EBSQ Friday Five

Running in the Holly by Harlan

1. Harlan’s needle felted creations always make me smile and this one sings of the holidays.

2. Illustrator Kelley McMorris shares an excellent tool to help you price your art – Toggl.

3. The Huffington Post has a list of the 30 Best Art Books of 2013. Have you read any? Would you add any?

4. Creating Good Art Karma is another invaluable article, and a must read, on art marketing from EmptyEasel.com.

5. How Our Camera-Phone Nation is Inspiring Artists – “Now that everyone is a photographer, artists are redefining what photography is…” I would love to know your thoughts on this article!

Is your art marketing a hot mess?

Mothering Chaos by EBSQ Artist Kelli Ann Dubay
Mothering Chaos by EBSQ Artist Kelli Ann Dubay

So. You’ve been reading up on how to market your art, gathering advice and tips from a smathering of friends, colleagues, and online experts.  You believe in your art. You’ve got the requisite accounts at EBSQ (obviously), Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.  You have a blog. (You even occasionally update your blog.)  So, why isn’t it all coming together?

Sometimes it takes an outside eye to see what you’re missing. To that end, we’re looking for up to three artists to review, critique, and case study.  Totally on us.

Interested? Leave us a comment with your name, EBSQ Artist url, and let us know why you want our help. If you’re chosen, you’ll get to work with us for 90 days, totally for free, to see if we can help jump start your marketing efforts and find you some greater success.  We’ll be profiling our selected artists during the case study via the EBSQ blog. Even if you aren’t one of the lucky artists selected, we hope our case studies will be able to help you as well!

Ready? Let’s get started!

PS Not yet an EBSQ Artist member? Why not join today?

EBSQ Friday Five

 

1. Lady Luck – EBSQ has an abundance of visual artists but did you know we also have some amazing glass artists? I love these original earrings by Vickie Miller.

2. Strathmore 2013 Workshops – Strathmore has opened registration for their 2013 workshops. This year’s classes are: Abstract Fine Art Painting with Mixed Media, Sketching & Drawing with Toned Paper, and Artful Card-Making Techniques.

3. Copy Rights – What is fair use? Where do you draw the line? This is an interesting article from March of this year from Art News magazine.

4. 8 Secrets of a Successful Artist’s DNA – The habits and traits of a successful artist are examined in this article from Light, Space, & Time.

5. Do you have a news worthy blog post you’d like to share with our readers? Email me at amanda[at]ebsqart[dot]com.

Building Trust with Online Art Buyers

You Can Trust Me by Kris Jean

Building trust with online art buyers is essential. The internet is home to thousands of artist websites, online marketplaces, galleries and arts organizations. Standing out is the key to being noticed, but trust turns a visitor into a buyer. In a recent EBSQ forum discussion, I brought up the importance of portraying your true self online. For the most part, online buyers don’t get to meet you in person and a computer screen only offers a two-dimensional view of an individual. It’s therefore vital for us to show potential buyers that we are “real” people. We want them to trust us and buy our art. That’s not to say that an online persona can’t achieve success, but as it turns out, there is a trend toward buyers choosing to purchase from an individual over a logo.

EmptyEasel.com has an excellent article on building trust through social media. Here are their five tips:

1. Don’t Make it About “You”

“It’s about the community. People aren’t going to follow you if all you do is try to sell them stuff and promote yourself. Become a trusted resource, instead of a salesperson.”

2. Be sociable

“…the next time you think about listing one of your art pieces, take the time to figure out how you can present that piece in a more social manner.”

3. Show the real you

“Use a photo of yourself for your profile image, not a photo of your art, or company logo. People want to connect with people, not products or businesses.”

4. Respond to your fans

“When you respond to your fans (or customers)…have a conversation with them.”

5. Be consistent

“From how you portray your company across various social networks, to how often you post…”

I’ve reiterated many of these tips before. They are not new ideas–they are trusted rules. The quotes above are from the heads of different companies and marketing firms. Following these tips, over time, will build trust with your online following and when it comes time for them to make a purchase, either for themselves or as a gift, they’ll go with someone they know. Be sure to check out the full article at EmptyEasel.com.

Giveaway: 100 5 x 7 Postcards from PrintRunner

Click here to open the PrintRunner homepage in a new browser

For this giveaway, we’ve teamed up with our friends at PrintRunner to give one lucky reader 100 5 x 7 postcards, perfect for promoting your art.  Interested? Read on for the details!

About PrintRunner

PrintRunner.com was established with little more than a small press and a dream. Ten years later our company became one of the foremost quality printers in Southern California. Our commitment to provide the best value and high quality full color printing at affordable price made our company grow.  PrintRunner is a full service high quality printing company located in Chatsworth, California. Try PrintRunner’s postcard printing through their online printing services.

Giveaway Details

Postcard Size: Postcards 5×7

Quantity: 100

Colors: 4/0 Front Only Printing

Paper: 14 PT. UV Coating on Front,

Rounded Corners: Yes

Proof: None

Ready to Ship In: 4 Business Days

Standard shipping is free. Expedited shipping will be shouldered by the winner.

*Giveaway is open to US Residents only, ages 18 years old and above.

Consider giving PrintRunner some love by following them on Twitter and Liking them on Facebook

How to Win

For a chance to win, simply answer the following question in the comments:

  • What would you do with your 100 postcards?

Deadlines

Our submission deadline is May 29, 2012. Our winner will be notified via email on 31 May 2012, as well as announced in a separate post. Why not subscribe to our RSS feed so that you can be quickly notified when the winner announcement post has been published?

Our thanks to PrintRunner for providing us this giveaway. EBSQ will be compensated with postcards as well for hosting this event.

Is Pinterest relevant to your Interests?

Pinterest LogoWe’re looking for a handful of artists who regularly use Pinterest successfully as a marketing tool for their art for a future article here on the blog. Interested? Leave a comment on this post, drop us a line via email,  or get in touch via our Facebook page.

We hope to hear from you soon!

 

How can we help you today?

A Little Help From My Friends by EBSQ Artist Julie Cady Ryan
A Little Help From My Friends by EBSQ Artist Julie Cady Ryan

EBSQ is putting together a series of how-tos, both videos and blog posts, to help our members get the most out of the EBSQ Art website as well as best-practices for marketing your work online.  Is there something you’d like to know how to do better? A topic we haven’t explored yet?

What specific topics  would YOU like to see us cover?

EBSQ introduces targeted advertising for artists & art-related businesses

This month, EBSQ launched its first-ever advertising program. Our intent was to create advertising that augmented rather than detracted from the site experience, as well as a program that is a truly affordable way to reach both artists and art lovers alike.

Just this week, we launched Art of the Day sponsorships, with ad space available both for businesses as well as EBSQ members. And starting next week, we’ll be launching an exhibition sponsorship program that is truly unique: we’ll be giving serious real estate and newsletter time to businesses in exchange for these businesses offering a prize directly to the artists with no fees (hidden or otherwise) involved in the process.

So if your business is hoping to target the art market, might we recommend taking a look at what EBSQ has to offer?

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 . . .

5 How-tos for Artists

If you take a gander at the Learn section of EBSQ, you’ll find several years worth of how-to articles on specific art-related projects like Cigar Box Purses and Felt Making. But did you know we also have how-to articles that address the business of art as well? Here are five of our most popular how-to articles:

How to Write an Artist  Statement

An artist’s statement is a short document written by the artist which provides a window into the artist’s world. It offers insight into a single piece or an entire body of work and by describing the artist’s creative process, philosophy, vision, and passion. It enlightens and engages while at the same time giving the audience – potential buyers, exhibition curators, critics, fellow artists, or casual browsers – the freedom to draw their own conclusions. An artist’s statement reads easily, is informative, and adds to the understanding of the artist. (read more)

Image is Everything:  How to Photograph your Art

Probably the single most important thing you can do to sell your artwork is to post good photos on your auction listing. Many of the photos I see on eBay have glare from flashbulbs, focus problems or poor color. The method that has worked best for me, whether taking digital photos or film photos is to shoot artwork outdoors. You will find that outdoor light is the best, even on slightly overcast days, and you won’t risk a flash glare on your work. (read more)

The Importance of Online Presentation

The importance of pictures shown in your auction is vital puzzle in the outcome of the sale.

Most people like to feel like they are actually holding that piece of art. They want to see the texture, the size, the edges; they want to be able to investigate the piece like it was in their hands. This refers to the art on stretchers, but close up details still apply to cloth canvas artworks too, of course. (read more)

The Lighter Side of Pricing your Art

There are so many facets to consider about when creating a work of art, because this category and subject can get very detailed and is quite broad based on each individual and style of medium. Whether you sculpt, paint, sketch, weld, to the many mediums and styles of painting, colors, textures media etc., you can spend more time in trying to determine what the final masterpiece will be priced at that what it took to create it.  (read more)

Artist Business Cards

 A professional business card can be a useful marketing tool for artists, and well worth the investment if you are trying to get your name out there. So, do you have a business card? If not, then it’s time to get on the ball and do something about it. (read more)

What other business topics would YOU like to see us address in the future?

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: 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.

PRIVATE TWITTER ACCOUNTS AS COLLECTOR CLUBS
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!

5 STEPS TO BUILDING A PRIVATE TWITTER ACCOUNT:

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.

WHAT I WOULD OFFER IN MY PRIVATE TWITTER CLUB:

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: Speed and Intensity

1484869620_eca9fccb49_mby Natasha Wescoat

Web Presence, Exposure, and Evolution

When it comes to selling and marketing on the internet, speed and intensity is key. You may have this already working out in your favor, considering you have OCD tendencies, like me, and can’t wait to do this and that in regards to your business and art.

The internet’s rate of evolution is going at a much faster pace and increases. Now, if you spend about a month off of the internet and come back, you will notice new sites, new tools, new avenues of revenue possibilities. You may feel collectors or fans have long gone. It’s a catch 22, being an internet business. It’s about consistency and progress. It’s survival of the fittest or fastest!

Anything that’s static will die.

Read more here . . .

July 2008: How to keep being an Artist without losing your soul…or your shirt.


I’ve been hearing from so many artists who say they wish they could keep painting (or sculpting or crafting) but this economy is killing their business. We’ve seen some members have to close their accounts, vowing to return when times get better. There’s no question that things are tough when what you create is a luxury, not a necessity. It doesn’t just hurt your pocketbook. It also kills your soul just a little. And then a little more.

I believe there will always be a desire for beautiful things, for art and handmade items, even when times are bad. Perhaps, especially when times are bad. We want to offer some strategies for keeping your dream alive while also keeping a roof over your head. Some may seem silly. Some may be things you’re already doing. And if you have other ideas, we’d love to hear from you.

  • Work smaller. This may be a no-brainer. But if you haven’t tried it yet, it’s worth doing. Smaller art often takes less time to create. Less materials go into it, generally. Smaller art is cheaper to ship. And you might be able to offer this work at a much lower price point. ATC’s (Artist Trading Cards) and OSWOA’s (original small works of art, a 4 x 6 format) are quite popular with both artists and buyers right now. This could be a great way for a new collector to jump in and get an original from you now, which could lead to a larger purchase in the future.
  • Offer reproductions. Even if you don’t have the leisure time to crank out new work the way you used to, you can still make a fair living selling quality reproductions of your work. Imagekind does fantastic museum-quality prints at reasonable prices. You can order your own to resell at your leisure or have customers order directly through their website. It’s a great way to keep your work out there in circulation, and again, a print purchase now could lead to the purchase of an original at a later date.
  • Make your art into something useful. Along the lines of making reproductions available, why not also make your work available as a t-shirt via Spreadshirt? Or as a mug through sites like cafe press and zazzle? And again, this is a way to keep your previous work earning you some extra income even if you’re not able to create new work right now.
  • Try a less expensive media Now, we’re not talking about downgrading to canvas board and student-grade paint. But if you work in metal, perhaps you might want to try a less-expensive alloy and use it in a creative way so it doesn’t feel like a compromise. Or maybe move to a series of drawings on gessoed paper instead of your large oils on gallery-wrapped canvas. Or take up photography. Try working with found/recycled materials. Anything to keep you creating.

What are your strategies for coping with this economy without sacrificing your art–and yourself–in the process?

Amie Gillingham
1 July 2008
Get out of the vacuum and express yourself!

In this issue:

Amie Gillingham How to keep being an Artist without losing your soul…or your shirt.
Melissa Morton EBSQ Live: July 2008: EBSQ Portfolio Best Practices
Harlan Live Studio: Needle Felting Basics: Sheep Pincushion
Amie Gillingham Featured Artist: Fabio Napoleoni
Amie Gillingham Featured Artist: Stephen Pitts

June 2008: The Future is Here.

The Arrival by Alexis Covato
Alexis Covato

In the 21st century, being good at painting (or sculpting or photography or making altered books or …) is not enough. The internet has changed the face of art and art marketing irrecovably. Now you must be also be good at talking about your art, not just as part of an artist statement, but also in your blog, which you must update at least several times a week to gain any traction. You have to be better than average at photographing your work, or cough up the funds to find someone to photograph it for you. You have to master a slew of image editing tools to correct the mistakes you made with your photos before you put your art online. Because in this day and age, your jpeg is your proxy for your art. It’s often the only thing someone will see when they decide to buy your art or not. Or show your work in their gallery or juried show or not. And even that is starting to change, because with the advent of webcams, YouTube, and all number of video embedding (and editing) programs, artists are putting out non-traditional versions of their art. You can watch some artists paint live. Or sped up. Or super sexy slideshows set to Creative Commons licensed music. And artists are having to learn a whole new skill set. Again.

In the coming months, EBSQ will be looking in greater depth at how the art market is changing to embrace all things Web 2.0. To get things jump started, we’d like to showcase a few blog posts from our resident new media expert, Natasha Wescoat:

 

For further inspiration, we’ll also take a look at some of the staff’s favourite EBSQ artist-made videos currently on YouTube.

The future of art is here. Are you ready?
 
Amie Gillingham
1 June 2008
Get out of the vacuum and express yourself! 

 

In this issue:

Amie Gillingham   The Future is Here
Melissa Morton   EBSQ Live: Intro to Needlefelting
EBSQ   EBSQ Artists get into YouTubery
Amie Gillingham   Featured Artist: Jenny Doss
Amie Gillingham   Featured Artist: Tracey Allyn Greene
Amie Gillingham   Featured Artist: Ingrid

An EBSQ artist’s guide on how to succeed on Etsy without even trying (much)

(This might be old news if you’re a regular on the EBSQ forums or if you are on our mailing list.)

If you’re an EBSQ member who also sells their art on Etsy, we recommend the following steps for success:

  • Don’t forget to include your Etsy id under “my external links” in your EBSQ profile tools
  • Be sure to use EBSQ as one of your keywords since our EBSQ search tool sends potential buyers directly to items using EBSQ as one of their tags
  • Jump onto the EBSQ member forums and say hello to the EBSQ/Etsy Street Team. Our team would love to include your work in an upcoming treasury!

We appreciate you all sharing the EBSQ love at Etsy. At present time, we have more items tagged “EBSQ” at Etsy than our point of origin, eBay, and we believe that’s only a small portion of the EBSQ work that’s listed there! Tag away and show the world how strong our community is!

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