7 Art Portfolio Best Practices to Start 2013 with a Bang!

Day of the Dead New Year by EBSQ Artist Susan Brack
Day of the Dead New Year by EBSQ Artist Susan Brack

Ok, I admit it: this is a repost from last year. But the advice is just as timely.  Get ready for 2013 with these 7 readiness tips.

Is your contact information up-to-date? Make sure we have your current private email address for lost password retrieval and public contact information for people who want to learn more about your art. We’ve often seen members post that they do commissions but don’t offer a contact method for potential buyers. If they can’t connect, you’ve lost a sale.

Are your website and blog addresses still correct? How about your eBay and Etsy IDs? Again, if we don’t have the right information, people aren’t going to be able to find you or your work at your preferred sales venues.

An addendum to the above: Have you linked to all of your current venues? And have you unlinked venues you no longer use? If you’re primarily selling at FineArtAmerica, but you only have a link to an abandoned eBay account, you’re squandering an opportunity to direct interested parties to work that’s currently available. We suggest you consider removing venues you aren’t actively using or maintaining. This includes placeholder websites and blogs that haven’t been updated in over a year.

When is the last time you took a serious look at your artist’s statement? Do you have a “Hi, I’m new,” message that you posted back in 2007 and simply forgot about? Or notes about your Spring cleaning sales from last year? Are you talking about your photography or sculpture when you’re now showing a portfolio full of abstract expressionism? Have you done any new shows or changed galleries? Don’t forget to add this new information to your CV.

Have your commission prices changed? If so, don’t forget to make these edits if you have pricing listed on your commissions page. Or maybe you don’t do commissioned work at all anymore–you can always turn off this feature by unchecking the “commissions available” box in your profile tools.

Are you showing your newest work? While we do have members that update their portfolio as soon as they have something new, others simply upload a handful of work when they join and forgeddaboutit, letting their portfolios collect cyber dust. When was the last time you added something new? Every time you add new art to your portfolio, that piece shows up on the front page of EBSQ, which in turn brings more people back to your portfolio.  For best success, we strongly suggest you upload new work monthly, or even weekly. “Post and Pray” does not work.

Is it for sale? If so, you can add in a PayPal “buy it now” button directly in your artist statement. You’re also welcome to link directly to other venues where a specific piece might be available. (Just make sure you update your information if it’s already been sold!)

Have another great tip for getting your portfolio into shape? Please share it in the comments below!


PS Not yet a member? Grab a great deal on EBSQ Artist Memberships through 31 December 2012!

EBSQ Facebook Artist of the Week: Susan Brack

Lady in Waiting by Susan Brack

Who and where are you?

I’m Susan Brack of Enchanted Sleigh Studios. I’m a self taught folk artist living in Indiana. I’m lucky to have been able to live most of my life in a rural setting. Our area is rich in farm land, crafting culture and antique shops. While raising my family, I taught quilting and followed the arts and crafts show circuit selling my original folk art dolls, bears and Santa figures. I think that early influence can still be seen in my work today.

How were you introduced to Facebook?

My daughter Rachel Sharp is also an artist living in Scotland. Which made it hard for us to share our latest art and artistic endeavors. She kept telling me I should join Facebook. I was reluctant. You know the old saying, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. ha. I finally signed on. I have never looked back. It has opened a new world to me. I can keep up with my daughter’s activities, share my own work and network all at the same time with other artists, collectors and Facebook friends. Our family also owns a small antique / gift shop in Centerville, IN called The Enchanted Sleigh. So I’ve been able to create an additional business page to share and promote our family’s store.

Any tips for other artists starting a Facebook Page?

Yes, first decide how you want to use your Facebook page. Do you just want to be sociable or do you want to use it to network and promote your art. Try to remember if you are using it to promote your art or business you should always present yourself in a professional and friendly manner. No gossip, political or mean spirited comments. I also try not to over do my postings or make a nuisance of myself. There are features on Facebook that allows you to post every single listing you might have on Etsy or Ebay. If you post all the time, your Facebook friends may end up blocking or unfollowing you. When I do post my art or listings, I try to include a short friendly comment that might be of interest. Facebook can be an awesome marketing tool.

What’s your favorite Facebook Page feature?

I like to be able to follow some of the other artists that I most admire. It is always nice to be able to see how they are using Facebook to promote themselves. It’s a great way to become more educated in my own marketing habits.

What’s coming next from your studio?

I hope to keep producing new Christmas, Halloween and Fantasy illustrations. I have just signed with a new licensing agency. I’m very excited to be back in the licensing world. I’ve always enjoyed designing collections for Holiday and Home Decor products. When the economy took a dive, so many companies seemed to quit using freelancers like me. I’m beginning to see signs of the economy slowly improving. The industry seems to be starting to use more outside art sources again. Thank goodness I had sites like Facebook and EBSQ to help promote and sell my original art to collectors which kept me afloat during the last few years when times were tuff. I hope all artists who want to expand their fan base will take advantage of today’s technology. If I can do it, anybody can.