Would You Benefit From Using a Different Artist Name?

It's hard to change your name once you have started exhibiting. Get clear on how you want to go down in the history books.

The arguments against using your given name are 1) that it’s difficult to spell or pronounce or 2) that it’s too common. Do you see how these two problems are exact opposites: one is too hard and the other too easy.

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How to Get Students to Visit Your Site

After the workshop, perhaps 5 days later, I send all students an email with a link to a special page just for them. This page has about 20 additional, highly relevant resources. I opt for doing it this way because:

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What Papa Taught Me About Selling Art from the Trunk of His Car

Charles Pannage Sculpture

Papa didn’t care for any art other than his own and didn’t know the “rules” of the art world. Heck, he didn’t even know there was an art world! Getting into a gallery never entered his thoughts. He just drove around with a trunk full of sculptures to show to people.

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What is a contact list?

The definition of a mailing list should be expanded and reconsidered as a “contact list.” Social media puts you in touch with all kinds of people that aren’t on your traditional mailing list.

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The first 4 steps toward selling your art: Step #3

John McCaskill, . 26 x 38 inches. ©The Artist

Being around other artists builds your confidence and sustains you emotionally. In addition, you will hear about opportunities you never knew existed if you hadn’t been part of a group. You’ll hear about them before they are ever published! Read more about why you should connect with other artist–especially at the beginning of your career–and how to do it.

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Get people to sell your art for you

Artists are telling me all the time that they wish they had someone else to promote and sell their work for them. Guess what? You can get other people to sell your art quickly and easily!

All you have to do is create an affiliate program.

An affiliate program is a system for referrals. Someone refers a friend, family member or colleague to your art, and you pay them a referral fee when that person buys something from you. Instead of paying a gallery or retail outlet, you’re paying a friend–someone who is part of your artist community and someone you might like to reward.

Sherrie York, In the Shadows (Ptarmigan). Reduction color linocut. 18 x 12 inches. ©The Artist

Here are five thoughts on creating an affiliate program . . .

1. Target your fans. You want affiliates to be people who genuinely love and support your art. Who better than your

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Pitch your story to magazines

We looked at brochures last week, and I imagine that many of you decided you didn’t need a brochure–at least not right now. There are any number of ways you can share your art outside of a fancy brochure. And, as I said in the last issue, you want to target your message as much as possible, especially if it’s for a promising lead or media outlet.

Laura K. Aiken asks:

Let’s say I wanted to pitch an idea to a magazine. Whatever I sent them, I would want it to be interesting enough for them to put on the front cover or as a highlighted article. What is going to make me stand out from all the other artists?

First, I love this question. Laura realizes that she needs to stand out. A one-size-fits-all brochure won’t cut it in this instance. What you need most are the following three

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Promote Your Art Consistently

If you intend to remain in this art game for a long time, you have to be disciplined. You’re not only an artist, you’re a businessperson. You have to be devoted to both creating your art with tremendous passion and to promoting it with equal enthusiasm.

You must make self-promotion a part of your routine.

If art is your career, you don’t have promotional “campaigns” that can be marked by a beginning and an end. Rather, you have promotional habits and promotional practices. Promoting your art means time away from your art and things you might enjoy more. But no one–least of all successful artists–ever said being an artist was easy.

How much time should you devote to promoting your art? It depends. It depends on how much time you have for your art career. First, the art has to be the #1 priority. Then, with a strong commitment to building a reputation as a

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Don't Shrink Your Mailing List Just Yet

David Castle, Elementals, Candied Trees. Watercolor on paper mounted on canvas, 22 x 30 inches. Private collection. (c) The Artist

Everyone wants to know the answer to this question. How long should someone remain on your mailing list? Or, more to the point, why should you keep someone on your mailing list after five years if you never hear from them and they never bought anything from you?

Here’s why.

During a visit to artist David Castle’s studio, he shared with me this story. A certain couple had been on his mailing list for five years, and he was seriously considering dropping them. After all, he had neither seen nor heard from them in five years. Then, out of the blue, David got a phone call. They were going to be in town and would like to visit his studio. Of course, he was

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Tweak Your Email Habits

Connie Lippert, Order (Cocochineal Series). Wool hand-dyed with natural dyes, linen, 24 x 24 inches. © The Artist

It’s probably the marketing tool you use most. So much so, in fact, that you do it without even thinking. You dash off an email. You quickly hit Reply. Or you blast your list at the last minute before an exhibit opening.

Wait! Stop! Think! Are you communicating in a way that shows you in your best possible light? Or are you messing with a good opportunity? I ask only because, well, because I get a lot of email from artists. And I have to say, only about half of the messages I receive are done right. The rest are sloppy, inconsiderate, or lazy and are a waste of my time and everyone else who is receiving them. Email is a fantastic tool when it adheres

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