Have we connected yet?

Circus by EBSQ Artist Veronique Perron
Circus by EBSQ Artist Veronique Perron


From the very beginning, EBSQ has been all over the interwebs. On eBay. Live Journal (our first blog!). Soon to celebrate our 5th Anniversary on Twitter(!). Are we friends yet?

Here’s where you can find us online:

On Twitter: @ebsq

On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EBSQart

We have a Street Team on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/teams/5789/ebsq-etsy

We have a group on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/groups/ebsq

We’re on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/EBSQ

And Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/ebsq

Oh, and don’t forget our home sweet home! http://www.ebsqart.com


EBSQ Live Studio – Social Media for Artists

This demonstration was originally presented by Amanda Makpeace on 17 May 2010.

Good evening everyone. Thank you so much for attending Social Media, the Artist and Marketing. I’m going to start things off by defining the term social media. Most often when we hear the word social media the first sites that come to mind are Facebook and Twitter, but social media is any site that allows you to share information and interact with other people via the internet. Sharing and interacting—these are the two main aspects. Yes Facebook and Twitter apply, but so too do Blogs, YouTube, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, Flickr, Digg and many more.

One of the best things you can do is explore social media sites. Chances are not all of them will work for you, nor do you have the time to utilize each and every one. The following link is a listing of the top 25 social media sites, along with marketing tips for each.

Top 25 Social Media Sites

When I began using social media sites several years ago I tried dozens of different platforms, but now I only use a handful. Here are my tops sites for interaction:



My Blog




Here are some of my recent experiences on Twitter:

Example 1: I love sci-fi/horror movies and books. I began reading Stephen King when I was 13 years old. This isn’t just something I’m interested in, it’s something I know. I follow many aspiring writers and published authors on twitter, and in turn quite a few follow me and they’ve also made purchases from my Etsy shop.

Example 2: Many of you know about my One Pebble Project? Well just last week bestselling author, Kat Richardson (who I follow and she follows me) caught wind of my tweet and went crazy sharing it with all of her friends. We bantered back and forth for a good 15 minutes. Okay yes, this was a lot of fun especially since she is one of my favorite authors, but it also spread my name and ultimately my art to the 1,117 people who follow her tweets.

Example 3: I entered a contest on a blog a few weeks ago and the blogger clicked on my profile to see who I was, and ultimately ended up at my Etsy shop. Within a matter of days she commissioned a painting!

Maybe I’m lucky, but I don’t think so. I think if you want to generate sales from social media marketing you have to interact with people and build relationships.

I’ve seen direct sales from Twitter, so I put most of my time and energy into using my tweets as a marketing tool. Twitter may not be that site for you. Maybe instead Facebook is where you generate the most interest or even YouTube. The key is to find which one works and put your energy into it, instead of spreading yourself to thin.

Here are some good and not so good practices. You can use these rules of thumb, in some form or another, on any social media site.

Good Practices

Give to Get – Successful social media marketing programs involve listening and participation. That participation centers around giving value before expecting anything in return.

Putting in the Time – Yes, social media marketing can be time-consuming, but if you choose the best times to participate you can plan and use your time wisely. There are also tools you can use so you aren’t spending all day on the computer.

You want to facilitate sales, not attempt to make sales directly. – This is probably the most important practice of all. People following you naturally become acquainted with what you do, and as you participate in the conversations and build interconnected followers sales can and do happen.

Think outside your product. – If you have interests outside your own art, and most of us do, share them! 1. You will gain new followers/friends who will then discover your art and 2. It makes you a “real” person who is interesting and not one-sided. Also, seek out people with those interests and follow them!

Bad Practices

Being fake, in any way. – This is self-explanatory. Nobody likes a fake.

Not listening.- If you aren’t listening you may miss opportunities to incorporate your product into a conversation, etc.

Being oblivious to formal & unwritten social rules – It’s good to do a certain amount of lurking to see what is socially accepted for a particular social media site.

Being pushy or overtly sales-y in messaging – If all you do is post links to your product people will ignore you.

Cautionary Practices

Be careful sharing your political and religious views. – Unless they pertain directly to your arts theme/subject. We’ve all seen the discussions that can turn ugly, this would be disastrous to your online image.

Be careful expressing anger or upset over an event/person. – This can work for you or against you. Last year I witnessed author, Alice Hoffman have a complete meltdown on twitter over a bad review. The backlash at her behavior forced her to leave Twitter, but not before her account was suspended.

Tools of the Trade for Twitter and Facebook

Twitterfeed – This site allows you to take any RSS feed and share it on Facebook and Twitter. I use it to share the images I “Stumble” but I could also use it to share new items I list on Etsy too.

Feedburner – You can also use Feedburner to share your latest blog posts on twitter, which means less time you spend on twitter! I like Feedburner for my blog because it has more customizable options.

TweetDeck – The newest version of TweetDeck allows you to simultaneously post to both Twitter and Facebook or separately. TweetDeck works on Windows, Mac and Linux, as well as iPhone and iPad and an Android application in the works.

TweetDeck also allows you to schedule tweets. This comes in handy if you have a busy day ahead of you but don’t want to leave your followers in silence.

Also, artist Lori Mcnee has an excellent article on her blog, Lori Mcnee: Fine Art and Tips, about branding yourself as an artist.

Lastly, I want to say just a few things about blogging. You don’t hear much about blogs as a social media tool, but they do fall into this category. Blog posts can be shared across a myriad of social networking sites with the click of a button. But guess what, nobody is reading your blog because of your art. If you want to know why, this recent post on Gapingvoid.com explains it in an easy to understand way.

And I am going to leave it there. I hope you find the information in this presentation useful. – Amanda Makepeace

Artist Guide: Art and Social Business

ff“All lasting business is built on friendship.” – Alfred A. Montapert

– by Natasha Wescoat

What is great about Art and Social media is that they are complentary and beneficial to one another. It’s a symbiotic relationship. But there is much to understand about social media that we may fail to see. One of the things we are realizing as we take advantage of the benefits we see in Social Media, is that we have to “want” to be part of the conversations and to be genuinely interested in the people that are following us on social networks. We can’t use Myspace, Twitter, Facebook, etc as billboards. People who use social media do not respond to empty posts or random links.

Do they know you?

Do they want to know you?

Are you making the effort to make them WANT to know  you?

Social Media is like an incubator. It’s a “social” tool. Not a adwords tool. Not a keyword tool.

Click here to read the rest of Art and Social Business . . .

Latest Mashable Guides for Artists

by Natasha Wescoat

Tweetable Art: 10 Twitter Tips for Artists

The Artist’s Guide To Flickr

The Artist’s Guide To Youtube

Be sure to share your input, ideas, comments, or share with us your experiences using these social media tools to promote and expose your work. Alot of artists out there don’t realize the awesome potential of the net to get their work out there and seen. 🙂


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Artist Guide: Make A Private Collector’s Club Through Twitter

by Natasha Wescoat

Twitter is one of the most influencial social media tools available to everyone, including artists as a way to connect with friends, fans, collectors, and business colleagues. If you don’t already know, it’s a microblogging tool where you can type what you are doing, reply to other Twitterers and send direct messages to others that are private.

It’s been used for everything from ranting and conversation to promotion and marketing. I could go on and on about the uses of Twitter, and will soon. But, I want to propose an idea on using Twitter that may not have been concieved yet.

Twitter allows you to protect your updates so that only the followers you want to come in can see them. Being that Twitter is excellent for making announcements, offering info and links, this would make an excellent place to hold your own private collector club/mailing list. Noone can see the updates if you didn’t approve them to follow you. And Twitter is FREE to use.

The possibilities are ENDLESS!


1.  Create your private profile and go into settings. There will be a box option that says “Protect my updates”. You want that marked so that your tweets are NOT public.

2.  Design the wallpaper and avatar to go onto the profile. You can either design your own or find a site online that offers designs for free or minimal fee.

3. Announce the private Twitter club on your mailing list, sites, blogs, social media profiles, etc.

4. Followers will start to show up on your profile, which you can approve by hand. It allows you to look up their profile. Have followers send you an email with their:
Twitter profile name, real name, and why they want to follow.

5. Decide if you’d like to monetize on the private group. You can offer them access for a fee, monthly subscription, or payments. You decide.


1. Exclusive offers and promos. Have a club only discount available to your followers.

2.  Club exclusive art or prints.
Offer something that only they can have. Maybe make it a special edition work that is created on a monthly, yearly, or seasonal basis.

3.  Special private art sales. Only the club members are allowed the discounts and offers that you give them. They are your most loyal customers. They deserve the offers. And noone outside gets to do it.

4.  Giveaways. Maybe you can giveaway a free print or special edition collectable to your club members within the group.

5.  Exclusive news feed. Announcements about new art, shows, interviews, or other events are sent to them immediately, thanks to Twitter. Before the news is posted on your site or blog, they get to hear about it.

Making a club for your loyal following builds a reputation. You are building up your collectors, and they in turn will build you up. Grassroots media is where its at, and if there are ways you can offer something special to them, they will want to tell the world!

Natasha Wescoat (natashawescoat.com) is a licensed artist and social media creative utilizing the web to promote and sell her art. Learn more about the artist at her official website or her blog, Natasha’s Art Candy (natashasartcandy.com)

Like what you see here?  We hope you’ll consider leaving a comment or subscribing to one of our feeds. Never miss another cool post from EBSQ. Subscribe to EBSQ: Art Meets Blog v2.0 by Email today!

Artist Guide: Using Myspace To Create Communities

As social media evolves, and our use of it changes or improves, we find places like Myspace seemingly growing old and useless. What used to be hip and swarming with possibilities, is just another space for emo pops and tech-defunct masses, and perverts to splatter the interweb with their rediculous junk food content and whiny mumblings. It has become a conductor of noise and junk. Where is the value? I wrote a lil guide for everyone on how to utilize Myspace to connect with other people and promote yourself without being noise. Read: Myspace: Creating Community In a Ghost Town

Like what you see here?  We hope you’ll consider leaving a comment or subscribing to one of our feeds. Never miss another cool post from EBSQ. Subscribe to EBSQ: Art Meets Blog v2.0 by Email today!

Social Media, Blogging, and Licensing Art Advice

A fellow artist (who has done work for Blizzard) had emailed me, asking me about a few things us artists all want to know, so I thought I’d share our conversation along with you as I answer his questions. And by the way I’m totally addicted to World of Warcraft, so it was an honor to talk to the artist who has rendered some of my favorite work for my favorite game:

If you don’t mind, I’d like to pick your brain about  Licensing & fine art.  I really enjoy finding another artists who actually see a bigger picture and understands the value in diversifying your talents across industries.  I’d like to hear your thoughts on the differences, problems, and benefits with the different fields.
I have no idea how profitable those fields can be.

Have blogs helped you?   Why do you prefer WordPress over blogger, facebook etc? …. Best, Sean”

Thanks Sean! My advice:

I’m still working on finding the best options in the business. Selling online has it’s pros and cons, so promoting is almost like an experiment.I’ve found that testing out all the options has helped me find out what works best for my business and my art audience. It may differ depending on your audience and art style as well. Some people find Facebook is a lovely tool for promoting art. I haven’t found it work for me, but yet I do get lots of networking opportunities as well as new fans through Myspace or through Twitter.

It probably took me about two years of working with all the available free online programs and communities to find my audience and know who want to see what I had to offer. Social media has given us really great opportunities to promote and expose our art to people worldwide. You learn alot by being able to connect with your fans too. I love that part of social media.

With licensing, I think it’s important to make it a regular routine to contact companies yourself.

Thought I’ve recieved most of my licensing deals by being contacted by the companies themselves, I have found that they are responsive to inquiries by artists. In the web, it’s hard to find artists that are really good, are talented, and marketable, so I think they like to be approached. It helps cut out their hard work to find you.

You may find a future opportunity you wouldn’t have had, had you not contacted them yourself. I’ve had several opportunities because I scouted out connections and people who’s company would benefit from my art.

When it comes to self-publishing, I have told artists to definitely seek that out. Seek out companies that offer self publishing like Imagekind.com. I was with Art.com since 2004 and because of them, I had achieved many opportunities, including spots on television, movies, and commission deals that I wouldn’t have been offered before. Unfortunately there are cons to that as well.

Art.com was a company that had changed it’s structure, closed it’s connection to emerging artists, and in doing so cut royalty opportunities significantly for artists. I also lost a significant deal with them that had been discontinued because their business’s plans had totally changed. I’m still waiting to see my art be part of their site again, instead of just being in the Emerging Artists category. They really reduced my possible sales (and their own profit) by having done that.

But in saying that, I’m not saying it’s bad to have your art in these places. Any exposure is good exposure and the people that want art like yours are out there, searching the net for it. Putting it in places where they are looking for art gives you the chance to find new collectors and fans! Finding a publisher may not be as good as publishing yourself. It all depends on the deal you are offered, or what you can negotiate.

It does take time to really understand the value of blogs. I have been blogging since 2004, when I started to offer my art online. I’ve used Livejournal, Blogger, Vox, and others until I found one that worked for me. I learned about HTML, blogging etiquette, design, and networking. Be sure to connect with other artists that blog. Comment on their blogs, read them every week. SUBSCRIBE! Which really makes it easier to read. I have mine come to my email. Also, try to blog every week at least 1-3 times. Even if it’s just about you. I think people like to be able to see your personal side as much as what you are doing. They want to know what you are about. But, like I said before, it’s about experimenting, testing, figuring out what works for you, what’s right for you, and what people respond to that will determine what you blog, how you blog, and what you do on the net.