EBSQ Facebook Artist of the Week: Christine Krainock

Who and where are you?

My name is Christine Krainock and I am a contemporary artist residing in beautiful Southern California. I paint contemporary, modern, oil and acrylic paintings in my unique style by palette knife. I create paintings in a textured, impasto style, which are described as possessing texture, depth, movement, and vibrancy of color. I am fortunate to live just outside of San Diego in the gorgeous, wine country city of Temecula, CA. I hold a Master’s of Arts Degree, and in fact, taught for many years before “quitting my day job” in order to pursue my passion for painting. Although I still adore teaching a few hours a week, I am a full-time artist painting daily. I am currently kept very busy selling my paintings to collectors from all over the world. I sell locally from my studio in California; however, a great portion of my work is sold or commissioned through my online presence.

How were you introduced to Facebook?

I was first introduced to Facebook by my best friend, Dianne, in 2008. I was extremely hesitant at first to join, in fact, I argued with her for months stating all sorts of reasons why I did not want to sign up. She finally convinced me to open my personal account in Dec. 2008, with the argument that, if for nothing else, Facebook would be a great way for us to share photos with each other since we lived so far apart. I quickly got “sucked in” to Facebook, and had fun connecting with current family and friends, as well as finding it was a great way to reconnect and develop new friendships with old high school classmates. In 2010-2011, I very reluctantly threw a very few photos of my artwork onto my FB profile, however, I was always very hesitant to do that because I didn’t want to come across to my Facebook friends as being obnoxious with my paintings. So, in the spring of 2011, I decided to start my Facebook page for my artwork. http://www.facebook.com/Contemporaryartbychristine. I was shocked at how quickly my page “likes” started adding up! I truly love my Facebook page, and often find myself utilizing it more than my personal account. It has been a fabulous tool for me to quickly and easily communicate with those who enjoy following my art and what I’m up to.

Any tips for other artists starting a Facebook Page?

There are several tips I can give to other artists who may be wanting to start a Facebook page. First of all, the goal of maintaining a Facebook page for art or any other business is to increase your sales. To do that, you need your page to be seen and followed. On Facebook that means receiving “likes”. One question that I often receive is, “How did you gain so many “likes” your page?” Well, what I do is I add links to my Facebook page to the majority of my emails, business cards, post cards, and most importantly the internet sites that I am present on. This includes my primary website, http://www.contemporaryartbychristine.com/, my Etsy Shop, Fine Art America (where I sell prints), EBSQ, and any other online artist site or news release mentioning my art. I find that if collectors are online, see and like your art, but aren’t necessarily ready to purchase, offering them a link to your Facebook page is a way for them to know that they have a connection to you for the future, and that they can follow your latest works, and can contact you when needed. Many assume that I must recruit people whom I personally know to “like” my page. This in fact, is the opposite of what I do! Out of my over 1800 “likes”, only 39 are mutual friends of mine from my personal Facebook account. Pretty low! Most Facebook users are aware of a feature on Facebook that is available for you to promote your page, it allows you to ask your personal Facebook friends to “like” your page. They will then receive a notification inviting them to your page. This can be a great way to obtain your first few “likes”, however, I DO NOT want to annoy all of my personal family and friends with the requests of liking my page when perhaps they don’t even care for my art. Therefore, I have only once sent that request out, and to only a very select few of my closest family and friends. Many of my very closest friends haven’t even “liked” my page, and that’s fine. (Although, I must say, my feelings ARE a little hurt. 😉 Ha!) I also do not participate in what many artists will try to gain followers, the old “Hi, I “liked” your page, will you “like” mine?” My belief is, you truly only want people “liking” your page who are honestly interested in following you, and someday perhaps in purchasing your art. That should be your goal; – gaining future clients and future sales. Your goal should not be to get as many “likes” as possible from people who are just being nice, and are following your page because you asked them to. These people are not the ones who are going to gain you more followers by commenting on, and sharing your work and posts. In fact, you will likely become hidden from their newsfeeds in the future. So my advice is do not waste your time begging for “likes”.

I would also advise artists to post often, but not too often. There is a fine line between keeping your followers interested, commenting and sharing, and annoying them by spamming their newsfeed 5 times a day. Over posting is sure to get you hidden from their feeds. I vary on how often I post. At times I post as much as 2-3 times a week, but other times only once every 2 weeks. It really depends on what you have going on that is meaningful to your followers, and what you have to post about.

As far as what to post- if you are an artist, post about your art! Keep strictly to posts about your art, your newest pieces, news and events, and your creative process. The majority of my posts are photos of my paintings. I will add a pleasant comment about something to do with the piece, my life, or even a quote. This helps to personalize the post to me, the artist, while still keeping my posts professional. I do not believe Facebook pages related to any business should be filled with posts containing too much of the owners personal life, political or religious views. This can become a turn-off for future clients, and will limit your audience. Have fun with your posts, be positive, and let your personality come through. Provide information on your newest art, events, etc. in a professional manner to your followers without becoming annoying.

What’s your favorite Facebook Page feature?

My favorite feature on Facebook Pages is a pretty basic one – Photos! If you are a visual artist, what better way to reach thousands of eyes than to post pictures of your work? Many of these images that you post may also be picked up in Google image searches, so add photos! I post photos of paintings a few times a month and make sure I also add a link within the post to where they can view close ups of the painting and can purchase that piece online. Photos are so important in selling any product online, and what do your eyes gravitate to as you scan your own Facebook newsfeed? Photos! Most people are very visual and just describing your newest piece won’t gain nearly as much attention as showing it. People who have liked your page are also much more likely to “share” a photo than just a text or link post.

Another favorite feature on my Facebook Page includes the apps that you can have displayed on the top of your timeline. I am able to have a link to “My Shop” which, when clicked, gives customers a Facebook version of the listings that I currently have available for sale in my Etsy shop. I also have the same type of app link which directs visitors to my gallery on Fine Art America where I release a few pieces as prints and giclees.

I truly find so many positives in maintaining my artist Facebook page, and recommend having one to any artist or small business owner. Visitors can view information about you such as where you reside, your website links, they can view albums of previous works and sold art, and most importantly they can correspond with you in a fun, casual manner. The comments and messages that I receive from followers of my page are hands-down the best part! I am a very humble gal, always believing I can do better, and the when I am feeling a bit down- reading the overly kind comments on my Facebook page can really pick me up and even be inspiring!

What’s coming next from your studio?

I am currently beginning a new series of landscapes; abstract tree paintings with earthy color palettes. I am combining a bit of brush work with my typical palette knife created, impasto style. I am also working on completing some larger pieces to be exhibited this fall and December locally.