Tell Me < Deep Thought Thursday

Longtime readers of the Art Biz Blog know that I write a lot of how-to posts. How to start a page on Facebook. How to attract fans for your art. How to fix your blog.

In the future I plan to write more advocacy posts.

What I want to know from you is . . . what do you want to see on this blog?

What do you want to learn when you come here or how do you want to feel when you leave?

What questions do you have about building your art business? Be as specific as you can. I don’t like writing or sharing “mushy” posts.

What information do you need for your new direction?

What do you want to read more about or less about?

Tell me.

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36 comments to Tell Me < Deep Thought Thursday

  • I’d like to hear more on/about artists that are not full time and how they manage to juggle their daily job/career while still making/getting their art out there and how theyhave made it a viable second income.

  • I don’t know if this is in your line, but would love to hear about the pros and cons of various art business entities: coop, LLC, corp, etc.

  • Terri

    I would like to hear about liceancing art, addressing artist block I.e. fear, copywrites, blogging, facebook, twitter, making promo materials like business cards and artist thankyou cards…post cards, etc…what to do if someone steals your art online.

  • The above 3 posts are exactly what I need – especially more about time management. Thanks!

  • How to posts are the most helpful, but I would like them to be interactive. For example a how to post on sales tax (a topic from a few weeks ago), but then have artists with experience in this area be able to comment and share their experience of how they handle the topic.

    You’re so helpful with your posts, I read them religiously, please keep them coming!

    Some topics I’m interested in (that you already address but need reminders of for continual improvement): blog resources for continually making it better and more accessible, shipping artwork, keeping and appreciating collectors, finding new collectors, galleries (if you need one, advice on applying, when it’s in our best interest or not), grants, juried shows, time management, etc.

    Thank you for asking!

  • John Schroedl

    I’d like to read a short series about how to go about the business of art from the consumer side. There are artists whose work I’d love to own but the business of actually purchasing art is like a fraternity of which I’m not a member. ex. look at the pretentios art gallery sites and art auction sites. I don’t know if I’m getting taken or not. How should I value the art? Why is that $1000 and this $150? Is it simply artist reputation, gallery cut, location? Should I contact an artist directly or just surf the web and hope I find something I like? Is an artist advertising on Etsy just as “legitimate” as one in a gallery but just cutting out the middleman? Are there reputable sites for beginning an art search? Are there scammers out there? (lots of them or few?).

    We’d love to own a few original pieces which we enjoy but the opposite poles of pretention and kitsch turn me off of the search for that middle-ground. I’m not rich so obviously budgets are a factor as well. Perhaps the art I enjoy will always be out of my price range…

    • John, I’m thinking that if you click on each link within the comments to this blog, you’d find a wealth of non-pretentious creative folks with reasonably priced work. Maybe you’d become friends with the artists whose work suits your tastes, and end up with original work that brings you joy!

      Hint: when the commenter’s name appears in red, it is a clickable link. Good luck!!

      • Jana, What a thoughtful post to make for John, and for anyone else looking for artwork. I have bought art myself just because I did what you suggested. I’d love to know if he followed up on your suggestion!
        Lynne

        • John Schroedl

          Thanks for these thoughtful answers and I agree with them. In fact, this blog is what has stuck in my list of feeds after beginning my searches. I do follow some of the photos Alyson links to other artists’ sites.

          I have not followed the links to commentors but that seems like as good a place to start as any other I’ve found — probably better in fact as these are to artists who care to better their craft (and business obviously).

          Thanks for the responses.

    • Hi John, Jana’s advice is really good (of course I have my name in red!!). But just to say that I, as an artist myself, have bought the wonderful work of other artists just because I clicked on the link to their work. I would say to trust your guts and always choose what you like. You could always ask and artist for more information about themselves and their work. Good hunting!

  • I’d like to hear more from you about creative ways to get your art out there – actually seen! Not just in the traditional places, but other places that are good for potential and actual sales. There are places one can hang their art (like a bank, let’s say), but people are in that place with their attention riveted on why they are there (like making a deposit), so not every place that is possible to show art is really a good place to do it. I am not including the web here, but actual spaces and places to put one’s art. Thank you!

  • I definitely like to hear about what’s new, what to pay attention to in a concise manner, because there’s so much to keep up with these days, those tidbits keep me aware. Thanks!

  • Aleta Jacobson

    I’d like to know how to manage a budget for art supplies when your work is not selling? You need supplies to create but thing art you have made is moving slowly. Do you wait. Get the artwork sold before you buy more supplies? The creative process stops because you ran out of paint and should not buy more?
    And what everyone else said here also.

  • What John Schroedl said struck a chord with me. I understand where he is coming from because I have bought art myself, but as an artist, I’m also faced with some people thinking they should be able to buy my art at a cheaper price than the gallery. (Which, of course, leads to no sale since I have to stand firm.) So what I would love to see a post about is how to determine who your best prospects are (including those that contact you first). I’ve done a customer profile, but it is limited since many sales come from galleries out of state so the customer is essentially “anonymous.” How much information or how many customers do you need to determine your customer profile? And once you have this information, does it ultimately mean you have to pay for advertising (i.e. in the periodicals they read in the regions they live) or are there other effective methods?

  • All of the posts above have great ideas. One that I would like to throw in is the artist/gallery partnership which can be very tricky particularly if you live in a small though very active art scene. I have read many books with chapters on this topic and have talked to many artists about it. Maneuvering for a better flow of information and more equitable contracts is tricky particularly if you are just emerging. BTW, love all that you do Alyson for the artist community.

  • I’m just a beginner at all of this, so I think Vanessa’s idea about part-time artists and how they balance their art and their day jobs would be great. Battling fears is also a good one. I’m not a “fine artist” so I’m not planning on going the gallery route, so I need help figuring out how to realistically price my work for the shows and cafes that I exhibit in… or maybe to realize that I’m stereotyping galleries and maybe I should be considering them some day!

    Anyway, thanks for everything you already do cover. I’ve learned so much!

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  • Rick Davis

    Im still in the “gaining exposure” stage. Im starting to rent booth space at outdoor Art Shows. In FL the weather changes by the minute. Could be expensive to lose a booth full of originals to a non payer like Mother Nature, Any thoughts on safer but still low budget exposure? Thanks

  • I’d like to know more about next steps, what to do after you have a web presence, after you have representation or awards.. Where to next? Do you keep trying for more representation? More awards? What direction do you push to become more established? How do we approach museums? How can we get articles published about us and where are the right places to do so? What can harm the serious artist’s career and what can help for the long haul? I know you have addressed some of these but I would love to know more :)

  • @ Lynn Oakes
    Lynn, part of “creative showing” is really looking at the kind of art you make and investigating who would be its best audience.
    For my garden inspired work, sculpture and fountains, I’ve been cultivating landscape architects and landscape designers which has led to showing at Home and Garden Shows and in Garden Tours. I install my sculpture in a lovely garden and several thousand people see it in a weekend. It’s led to a few small sales, Nothing magical. It’s a lot of work but I’m building relationships and networks.
    There are professional organizations for interior designers, etc who host monthly meetings where you can introduce yourself and your art…. It’s worth spending the time thinking about where you want (your art) to be and planning it rather than showing just anywhere.

    • Patrick, Thank you for what you wrote here. It gives me food for thought. I do paintings off people enjoying the pleasures of Life and each other….that’s why I’ve liked having my work in a restaurant type setting for one thing. But I only want a non-franchise place because the owners are committed in a way that non-owners and staff are not. There aren’t many places like that where I live. The franchises have taken over! But still, you make me think about searching out places related to what I actually paint! Thank you again.

  • Alyson,
    I trying to find a national audience for my work (sculpture is heavy and expensive to ship!) I’d like to hear your opinion on art organizations that rep. ie;The Guild, etc. I’ve been approached by several. Usually cash down is the first step….
    I’d love to hear from artists pro and con about these art businesses.

  • Sally

    I’m also a complete beginner.

    I’d like to see a link to all your ‘how to’ posts so they’re easy to find. (Perhaps there is one and I just can’t find it?)

    I’d like to see advice on how to find the right price to sell at. I tend to undervalue everything.

    I’d also like a complete beginners guide to creating a web presence. The number of networking, selling and blogging sites is overwhelming. Do I start with Facebook? A blog? Twitter? Etsy? How do I priorotise the time I spend updating and learning how to use each of these sites?

  • All these ideas are great! My favorite posts I’ve read on this blog are like this one:
    http://www.artbizblog.com/2010/12/give-away-your-art.html

    In this post, you’ve shared a specific example of how a specific artist solved a problem and exercised creative marketing. I really enjoy reading about these kinds of real-world examples.

  • Keisha

    I would love to hear about how “single” people are able to be full time in art. I mean people who are not married or have some other income to support them.

  • I’d like to hear your (and everyone’s!) thoughts on diversification versus specializing. For years I stubbornly insisted that I was a pencil artist and that was that. From there I branched into teaching drawing to private students. Then I read an article by Jack White that convinced me to learn to oil paint. After that I learned to paint murals. Now I don’t know what to put on my business card without sounding like a flake, so I actually have 2 business cards – one for pencil, one for oil painting!

    Seems to me that diversification is necessary in a rural area and specialization is more for someone seeking gallery representation. Looking forward to reading your thoughts – thanks!

    • Rick Davis

      I have always been told “branding” is very important, especially to attract big mfr to license your work. Does that mean specializing in only I medium? I dont think entirely so. Maybe should be related in some way. (maybe just your style makes it related enough) I have the same problem with a wide varity of styles that I produce. I would love to hear more input on this too.

    • I couldn’t agree more. Diversify if you can, and I see that you can. I also try not to confuse people with everything I do in one promo (business card, brochure, etc.). Right now I am trying to decide whether to have a new website for my abstract paintings, or to just have a new page under my Galleries for the abstracts. Its definitely challenging from a number of angles.

  • I would like to hear more about (and from) full time artists, who are making living with their art without any “outside help” or part time job.
    And since time management is always my issue, I would love more advice on that topic.

  • How to
    1. ship work safely and
    2. insure work esp. in the beginning of a career, so if it does get damaged when out of my hands I’ll get reimbursed even if I don’t have strong “proof of value”.

  • I’m just starting out. I’m trying to buckle down and get my first series done. I stopped art classes after high school but I’ve always loved to draw. I’m working full time to pay bills but I’m focussing more and more on becoming a better person and artist. I’ve read a lot of blogs and done a lot of research and I’m drawing more than ever but progress seems so slow! What do advice do you have for some one like me ? I want my first series to be amazing. But what do I do when I finish it?

  • This may have been covered at length already, but maybe it’s worth repeating. I want to be able to make a living selling my artwork myself online. What are the best, most direct ways to go about that? (I understand promoting such as FB, etc.)

    What kind online venues are good/bad for painters? (meaning such as Fine Art, Etsy, etc.)

    • I like the look and feel of http://www.Zatista.com. It is one of my goals to get my paintings represented by them. I am also thinking of making a purchase to see what the customer experience is ( and to get a new piece of art of course). They sell original 2D work and have a very good setup. Check them out to see if they are a fit for your needs.