Artist Guide: Island vs. City

Another artist, who’s efforts in self-promotion and genuine goodness I admire, Valentina of Val’s Art Diary has offered her own advice out to the masses about traditional web presence vs. the new Social media-fueled internet world we live in. You can subscribe to her art tips here at http://www.valsartdiary.com in the Art Tips section.

Some of the points Val has made connect with what I’ve always said:

– A website cannot stand alone. Expect traffic and sales, and you are foolish.

– Social media acts like a virus. You can draw new fans and collectors through these sites, and that acts as a catalyst, or more specifically a snowball, drawing even MORE people to your pages.

– Good web presence means having multiple streams of traffic:

    a.YOUR HOME ON THE ISLAND: Website – This is where all of your important and vital information is placed. It’s the homebase for visitors who find your work being sold on the net, or find your myspace and want to find out who you are and gain trust. It’s your driver’s license so to speak.

    b. YOUR VACATION CONDO IN THE CITY: social networking pages – Having a few social media pages to represent your work. If you become big, someone else will do it for you and you don’t want misrepresentation. Choose myspace, facebook, or the like. Google the word “social networking” or “social net communities” for sites to consider. Remember to keep in mind your target audience and where they might be. For some of us, we need to join these sites SIMPLY to figure out who that target audience is. People of all ages are on myspace, remember. Not just teeny bopper emo wannabees. 🙂

    c. YOUR TRANSPORTATION: communication devices – We’re talking twitter, email, newsletters, blogging, videoblogging, etc. Using a one form or more for instant and open communication with your potential collectors and fans is the vehicle that drives traffic to your website and your social media pages. Many social media pages like facebook and myspace offer blogging, video uploading, and options to put a twitter widget in your page. Use the internet tools available in the form that works BEST for YOU to communicate with others through these sites.

– Keep it simple – Remember that there are hundreds of different sites and free net tools out there and it’s not NECESSARY or smart to use every single site just because everyone else is. That’s not methodical. That’s a mess! Stick to the things you like best, that work best, and that compliment your art best. If you only want to work with one tool. Twitter makes you confused. Then fair enough. Use what will provide you the best web coverage and connection with your fans and clients.

Would you rather open a gallery on an island? or in a city?

 You know the right answer to that question.

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Artist Guide: Increasing Traffic To Your Blog

by Natasha Wescoat

Here are a few things that really help draw traffic to your blog:

-Commenting and linking. Be sure to take time each week to comment on at LEAST 3 other blogs related to your company or style.

-Network with other bloggers. Getting connected is the most important and normally neglected advantage we have to use in our growing business.

-Contribute or ask to contribute to other blogs, where you can do advice articles or reviews of other things. Do commentaries on art you admire or for that matter, don’t.

-Do product reviews on your blog of similar companies. Reviewing your competition is actually good for your blog. This is a way of linking to other sites and keyword searching will draw people to your blog

– Get linked on blog directories

– Ask other blogs or sites to link to you, but let them know you link to them. It’s best to follow the earlier tip on commenting and networking because this would be the best and most effective way to get a link to your blog from them.

– Blog often. Keep it regular. WordPress, as far as I have known has a timestamp tool that allows you to plan your blog posts out. Really awesome if you are out of town or vacation and want to keep it consistent. It keeps you up in traffic ratings.

– Incorporate other internet media to draw traffic to your blog. Link and discuss it on your other sites, in your email signatures, and on your business cards.

http://www.natashasartcandy.com

Artist Guide: How To Survive The Art Expos

by Natasha Wescoat

In a letter to an artist I talked about New Years Goals with, I wanted to share with them advice about the Art Expo. They had asked before what I had thought about my experience and if it was worth the chance to attend. I gave them my ideas on the subject, and so I thought I should share a bit of it here as well…

“The Art Expo like I said, is strange, but it’s definitely going to be a great way to learn some things you otherwise would miss out on by not attending. I’m actually glad now that I did, though I seemed a bit cynical about it before after I had left. The initial shock of the experience can be negative and draining. However, it definitely was exciting and gave me ideas on how to improve the next chance I attend it again.”

My advice for attending the expo would be:

– Be sure to talk to everyone around you. Get connections with other artists, and don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially if they have been there before. They all have some amazing and funny stories about how it was at the expo their first time and what they are doing now to make it worth their time and money. Besides, half the time you will be standing there with nothing to do, your feet hurting, and little to no entertainment. Unless you were as lucky as me to have such amusing people to watch. ;P

– Be prepared for anything. Some people will be really excited about your work, and more than most will walk by with this look of disdain or shock on their face. The majority of attendees are people who know exactly what they want or aren’t even there to buy. Not everyone is going to like or understand your work. You have to expect the good and the bad.

– Teach them. Give them a chance to learn about you. Have posters that point out the latest noteworthy things you’ve participated in. Exhibitions, events, charities, competitions, etc. If you did anything you are excited about, it should be on that poster. Have flyers and brochures that they can take with them and hand those babies out even if they aren’t going to stop.

– Ask Questions. One of the most interesting lessons I learned going to the expo was watching the Thomas Kincade booth. They really know how to sell their work. I watched them take completely uninterested, unamused people who didn’t even collect art, and got them not only to buy some prints but to get excited about it. I couldn’t believe it!

Their secret was questioning, where they ask the people:

– How they like the show
– What they think of some of the art
– What they think Thomas Kincade’s work is worth

And then they go on to explain some key factors that would gain interest:

– The estimate of collectors and fans Thomas had, and how long he’d been in the business of art.
– What his art could be worth in the future.
– What his art conveys to people.
– What big things he has done that makes his art worth buying.

They appealed to the potential client’s personal benefit in buying the art, financially and aesthetically.

It’s a difficult issue for me, as I tend to feel it’s more important to be being genuine and let the buyer determine what they want, but if you are interested in the marketing aspects of it all, that is what most successful art sellers tend to focus on. It’s fascinating to say the least!

– Watch the others. Observe successful and emerging artists within the Expo. You should take time to get away from your booth to do this. See what they are doing to show their work. What is their art like? Do they have a consistent unique style or does it appear to be manufactered art. You will notice alot of both within the Expo. You can’t avoid it. What does the artist appear like? Are they easy to talk to? Do you appear to be nice and open? What do you percieve about their personal beliefs and marketing efforts whether good or bad that you can learn from?

http://www.natashasartcandy.com

Artist Guide: Creating Your Success: Online Self-Publishing

by Natasha Wescoat

Being successful doesn’t mean it must be determined through traditional channels. Media moguls are cutting college to develop their successful technology, artists are fending off traditional education in favor of self education, and writers are finding they don’t have to go through publishers to follow their dreams.

The world of DIY (Do-it-yourself) and POD (Print On Demand) is becoming a norm. Buyers are beginning to view self published products the same as traditionally produced items. It’s a matter of hard work, savvy, and marketing efforts that determine whether you will find success in your craft or not.

But, having said that, my point to be made is that one is no longer confined to the strict standards of traditional publishing and licensing markets. We have the ability to offer t-shirts, home decor, postage, cds, dvds, movies, books, magazines, calendars, and more custom designed, written, and produced by US. Edited and formated by us.

WE ARE OUR OWN BOSS
Because of companies like Zazzle, Imagekind, Cafepress, Lulu, and Blurb, we can be our OWN editors, designers, producers, clothing designers, merch retailers, writers, marketers, pr, and more.

We determine the deadlines.

We make choices on content and value.

We decide when something sells and when it’s retired.

We can offer limited editions, special editions, special series, one of a kind products that noone can get anywhere else but from YOU. We can create our own success.

25 Things I Learned About Selling Art Online

1.   Sometimes noone wants to buy that amazing painting. Ever. No matter what you try.

2.   A lot of people just want something to match their furniture.

3.   No matter how many links you put on your site or post in your newsletters, they always ask where to find your website.

4.   eBay isn’t an easy road to success, it’s a challenging one. Like rock in a hard place challenging.

5.    There are hundreds of artists, better than me, smarter than me, and more successful than me.

6.    Sometimes having a Myspace only attracts gangster rappers and porn star wannabees who want to friend you.

http://www.natashasartcandy.com

Using Flickr To Market Your Art

by Natasha Wescoat

Flickr has come to be known as one of the coolest and easiest photo management sites available. You can begin a free membership with up to 200 photos (If I’m wrong let me know. It’s been a while) and going Pro is only $24.95 per year which allows you access to other features. Joining is even easier if you already have a Yahoo! account to log in and sign up!

 

BASIC FLICKR FEATURES:

UPLOADING IN MULTIPLE WAYS

Photos can be uploaded from your desktop, sent via email, or directly from your mobile phone camera.

SIMPLE ORGANIZATION

You can create collections, sets, and tags for your photos for easy organization and professional look.

SHARING

You can join groups of similar interest, and use privacy functions to protect artwork you simply want to upload but keep private from public.

MAPPING YOUR PHOTOS

Share where your photos were taken, or where your art was created!

Read more… )

Artist Guide: Artist Egos, Emotional Energy, and Success

by Natasha Wescoat

I have recently made my rant on my videoblog (Artist Guide: Pet Peeves #4) (www.youtube.com/postmodernartist) regarding the artist ego, but I wanted to provide a more elaborate, complete thought on the subject and what I mean to convey in this message.

From my video, I speak mainly of how frustrating it is for you and I to deal with egos or emotions, either personally, or through someone else. It can delay or obliterate success and progress in your art career. It’s one of the best examples of creativity killing.

But before I go on, I want to say that there is a lot more to this subject than egos. We are talking about emotional energy and it’s impacts as well…

Emotion is a powerful part of our business.

So, here is what I mean…