EBSQ Facebook Artist of the Week: Torrie Smiley

Who and where are you?

Hello, my name is Torrie Smiley. I am a “trying to be daily painter” from West Texas now living and painting in Charlotte, North Carolina. I am blessed to have a wonderful life full of adventure–not really, I am a mom to four, grandma to one, and leader of the pack to three dogs.

How were you introduced to Facebook?

I was introduced to Facebook by teenage daughters back when you had to be in college to have an account. In 2008, a young girl in the local coffee shop who admired my paintings, created a “Facebook Fan Page” featuring my paintings and my Etsy store. My younger daughter began getting questions regarding my paintings and how to purchase them on her Facebook page. She gave me one of the “mom your ruining my life” speeches and told me I had to start my own Facebook page to handle my own painting business……I am surprised she didn’t just ask for a cut of my Facebook income~ Well, as they say, the rest is history. I have been on facebook since 2008. It was fun in the beginning listening to the kid’s friends say “I can’t believe your mom is on Facebook”.

Any tips for other artists starting a Facebook Page?

The biggest tip for the Facebook page is make sure it is searchable by your name and your collectors can find you. If you are on Facebook, you know they are constantly making changes and updates. The “Fan Page” has gone, replaced by “business/professional pages”. In 2010, I started my Facebook page under the title “Original Works of Art”. I forged ahead as with all my online adventures ~ trial and error, realizing later my page was not searchable by my name, Torrie Smiley, only by Original Works of Art. I found this to be a problem for new customers to locate my page. I started the new page this year under my name Torrie Smiley, Artist. Not wanting to delete my Original Works of Art page and lose my page regulars, I maintain the two pages making it available to new and returning customers. Tips from lessons learned is to make sure you are searchable by your name. If your name is taken add “artist”, “designer”, whatever you do to your name in order to keep your page searchable to your name. If you stores have a different name, use what is most familiar to your customer. Also post, post, post!! I try not to neglect regular posting, but sometimes I do, and I definitely notice a drop in sales and commissions.

What’s your favorite Facebook Page feature?

There are so many to choose from~ My Etsy store and Fine Art America stores are linked to my Facebook page. New posts on those websites update themselves to my page. I post new paintings to Facebook first and then add to my stores giving regular customers and friends a sneak peek before the paintings go into the online stores. The share feature allows people to share my work and stores with their friends and on their page adding to my customer base. Link everything using the links feature-DailyPaintworks, Etsy store, eBay, Twitter, Website, and blog. I post the same painting in all the different locations to purchase the painting–eBay, Etsy, Daily Paintworks. Collectors have their favorite websites and can purchase where they feel most comfortable.

What’s coming next from your studio?

I am always working on commissions along with the work put in my store. I will be painting several cupcake paintings, the larger ones will be placed at Cupcrazed, a local cupcake shop in Fort Mill, SC (Cupcake Wars Winner!). I will also continue to paint pears, martinis, and still life. I continue to be fascinated with landscape painting and hope to be completing more soon.

I love participating in the challenges at DailyPaintworks.com. I plan on participating in the EBSQart.com Nibblefest by the end of the year. I just have to get past the next wedding in September and I will have more time to have fun in the studio. It seems everyday there is a new idea I need to get on canvas before it vanishes from my brain…..I need more time!

http://torriesmiley.ebsqart.com/

Facebook: Original Works of Art

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EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Torrie Smiley

This week’s EBSQ Blogger of the Week has such a rich palette and the paintings she creates vibrate with a life of their own. Though I know I shouldn’t, I wish I could touch them and feel the texture of the paint. I bet you will too!

Who and where are you?

My name is Mary Victoria Smiley, but I sign and certify my work “Torrie”.  Originally from West Texas, I now live and paint in Charlotte, North Carolina.  I started painting in 2001, prompted by my daughter’s interest in art.  She went off to college majoring in art and I started painting.  I checked out every book on painting in the library and with trial and error painted away.  I followed artists on the web and watched the painting shows on television.  As many already know, painting can be very expensive.  As a single mom, my “hobby” seemed a bit frivolous.  In 2005, I decided to start selling my paintings on eBay at modest prices to try to recoup my expenses in order to buy more paint and canvas.  I also joined EBSQart.com and started following the artists.  I guess you could say one thing lead to another…my children now say my “hobby” has gotten totally out of control ~ but I am having the time of my life.

Golden Martinis 16" x 20" Acrylic on Gallery Wrapped Canvas

How did you get started art blogging?

Blogging just seemed to be part of the progression into the world of self-representation. I started blogging slowly in 2006.  It was quite difficult at first, but has become easier.  I am still not where I want to be in my blogging, it continues to be a work in progress.  There are some really great blogs out there that I follow and I have learned so much by following artists I admire.

The Swan IV 16" x 20" Acrylic on Gallery Wrapped Canvas

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

Blog, BLOG, BLOG!!  Jump in there~  blogging is such a wonderful tool to interact with your collectors and other artists.  It gives people an easy way to locate and follow your work, know what you are up to creatively, and communicate with you.  I appreciate any comments from artists and collectors letting me know what they think of my newest works.  My goal is to blog more often and keep my blogs informative and fun using it to keep in touch with the people who follow my work.

My Favorite Pear 16" x 20" Acrylic on Gallery Wrapped Canvas

Do you have any rituals associated with your creative time?

My studio/office is at the front of the house with a small TV.  I usually have it on the news channels during the day when I am working.  Sometimes, I turn if off and just listen to everything else that is going on in the house~ Kevin, two dogs, four kids, and one grandchild.  I am often inspired by the chaos/reality of everyday and can’t wait to squirt paint on the palette and get started.  On days where I am stuck and need inspiration of what to paint, I have a file cabinet and computer full of pictures, I just start going through them and quickly find something I had forgotten that I had wanted to paint.

Afternoon Tea 6" x 6" Acrylic on Gallery Wrapped Canvas

What’s coming next from your easel?

There is so much started, planned, sketched……I have a dream of one day having the time to be a “real daily painter”, mainly to get around to painting everything~ I feel like I got such a late start, I have to make up for lost time.   There are more martini paintings, one almost finished.  I am going to paint more animals~ cows, roosters, dogs.  I am not where I want to be with my landscape capabilities, so there will be more of those.  I will be painting three pieces this month for the “Ripped Off Show” and I participate in several challenge painting blogs on the internet. ~Of course, there will always be pears, all sizes all colors.

http://www.torriesmiley.blogspot.com/

Thank you Torrie for being an EBSQ Blogger of the Week!

If you are an EBSQ Artist and would like to be considered for Blogger of the Week just add us to your blogroll. I’m searching EBSQ profiles weekly for links to artist’s blogs. If you aren’t an EBSQ Artist, what are you waiting for?

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EBSQ Spotlight on Still Life: Torrie Smiley

This month’s featured gallery is Still Life. A still life is a collection of inanimate objects depicted in an artistic composition and is a genre that has always been a staple for artists. Setting up a still life is an exercise in composition. Painting or photographing the composition is an exercise in technique. The result of these efforts is a work of art. Throughout the month of January, we are going to take a few moments to catch up with some of EBSQ’s still life artists.

Torrie Smiley

Cherries and Shadows - Torrie Smiley

What do I find compelling about Still Lifes is such a hard question to answer! I had to really think about it and what I discovered, to my amazement, is I love still life paintings. So many times when I set up to paint just for fun, it is still life. Landscapes and portraits seem like work.

When visiting galleries, I always gravitate toward the still life paintings. The different compositions- the setup, the lighting, the everyday objects depicted in a way to capture your imagination. The differences in technique can make the same still life look so different. I love detailed realistic still life and at the same time enjoy loose impressionistic still life paintings.

I often find myself looking at everyday objects the way the light is hitting it, the random placement, and immediately I think “that’s a painting”. I was in eating at a restaurant in Ohio not long ago and from across the room I saw their water table set up, the light was hitting it in such a way it was beautiful. I immediately grabbed my camera and discretely took several photos.

I guess what I am randomly trying to say is, I never set out to be a still life painter – my brain just led me that way. – Torrie Smiley

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How to add a PayPal button to your EBSQ Art Portfolio

by guest contributor Torrie Smiley

First, let me warn you~  I have had no formal computer training.   There is no computer lingo in the instructions and lots of pictures!

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Listing from EBSQart.com Gallery

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Upload/Edit Art Case

You can add a PayPal button through editing your item or when you initially add your item to your Art Case.

Fill in the appropriate information for your listing.  I like to include a brief description about the composition, the specifics regarding materials used, and the purchasing and shipping details.  I separate these paragraphs with the funny symbol

This tells the computer to insert a space between the paragraphs.  I also use the curly-cue at the upper left of the keyboard and stars to separate different sections of the listing.  If you notice at the end of the listing after the PayPal button, I have included an EBSQ counter so I can watch the views of the listing.

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Select the tab for Merchant Services

Under Create Buttons in the center left column, select/click Buy Now

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You are now ready to create your PayPal button!

Fill in Item name.  I enter the title of my painting and the size.  Just to the right, I enter the painting name in the Item ID box.

Now, fill in the Price for your item.

Continuing down the page……

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Next, enter your Shipping.  In my listings, I use a flat shipping fee that I enter by selecting Use Specific amount.

~~Don’t be frightened by the “pop-up” shipping information, just click it off if it does not apply to you~~~ (I always click it off)

You have now completed the basic information for a PayPal button and can select the Create Button.

(There are other options on this page that don’t pertain to me…but may to you; fill out these areas if you need them included with your PayPal information.)

Here is the “code” for your PayPal button:

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Select/Click on Select Code.  This will highlight all of the text in the box.  “Right click” your mouse to copy.

Now, go back to you listing in your EBSQart.com Art Case:

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Select the spot on your listing (artist statement for this piece) where you would like your PayPal button to be and “right click” and “Paste”

All done…..sort of…..

On my listings, I like everything separated out to make it easier to read on smaller computer screens.

The <p> is the symbol to add a space and I do this before I paste the PayPal code and at the end of the code to set the button apart with spaces.

Save your listing, and then check out your button on “View my Profile” public view. 

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To make sure everything works as expected, open the listing as if you were a buyer and click your new button. 

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If you were successful with your button creation, you should arrive at a log in screen to PayPal.com with your painting information at the top.

CONGRATULATIONS!

You can now sell your art directly from your gallery.  Pay attention to your emails from PayPal.  That is how you will know you have a sale!

One final note: once you DO make that sale, make sure to remove your button from your listing, or someone could try to buy the same item again!

Torrie Smiley

Have a useful hack for the EBSQ website? Drop us a line; we’d love to share it in our blog!

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!