"Peonies by the Window"
Oil, 12" x 12"
Yesterday's Artists Helping Artists show featured an interview with Robert Gamblin. Robert is an artist and is the majority owner and founder of Gamblin Art Colors, a manufacturer of paints for the retail industry located in Portland, Oregon.
Robert is one of the most informative people in the art industry I know. I am blown away by his knowledge about paints! The interview talks about painting in oils, using Fast Matte, safety and the toxicity (or lack thereof) of their paints and the fabulous Gamsol product. We also discuss mediums, glazing, varnishing, color and lighting. Plus there is even more to learn.
If you are an oil painter you just might want to listen to this show! Listen here.
Ready to Sail
36" x 24"
I think it is safe to say that today was not a very productive day. Not when you spend over four hours on the phone with "technical support".
No my computer is ok. Unfortunately my issue is with setting up my gmail account.
You may recall that on an earlier blog post I mentioned I was going to open a gmail account because I was so impressed with the extensions available on chrome. They only work with gmail (or Outlook on a PC). Of course I have a mac. So to make this sound somewhat interesting I can tell you that I have one company who hosts my domaine, another company that I use for an exchange server and then Outlook as my email provider. And now I have added gmail.
Seriously? I has some ok and great support folks on the phone today. Sometimes when I am doing computer stuff my hair color (blonde) has a tendency to shine and make me a bit dumb. But, it's all working now so who cares???
I set up a second email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) that is now technically my gmail address. And my email is getting forwarded to my gmail account and I have installed the extensions in chrome that will allow me to kick some butt in my email campaign to interior designers.
My head still hurts from the computer stuff today. And if you are at all interested, check out these google chrome extensions (apps). They are Hubspot Sales, Yesware and Data Miner. Let me know what you think! I can't wait to finish the tutorials on all of my new marketing tools.
"Spring Sunrise Trio"
Acrylic Abstract Triptych
Click here to purchase.
If you read my blog posts from the last two days then you MUST be feeling more confident about your art. Now it's time to focus on getting your art seen. Let's start with Pinterest.
I am hoping most of you are familiar with Pinterest. The idea is surprisingly simple. Pinterest is an online collection of your favorite images and photos in one convenient location. All you have to do is put the ‘pin it’ button on your toolbar (on your computer) and as you surf the web, any photo you see can be saved easily, quickly, and, best of all to artists, it keeps the original source with it.
Just that alone would be enough to have artists everywhere cheering in delight. Seriously, another way for people to essentially follow your art is great, right? Not only does the person pinning the photo get to keep your site in mind forever, but they also share their ‘pins’ with others. Millions and millions of others. Your audience just grew substantially.
If the idea of Pinterest is still intimidating, consider the following marketing ideas for your boards:
1. Videos: Pinterest loves videos. What videos can you pin to a board?
2. Keywords are big on Pinterest, so be sure to think carefully about what you name your picture and what words you use in the description. You can even use hashtags on Pinterest and if you're trying to get the attention of another Pinner, use the @ followed by their Pin-name to tag them.
3. When you add your pin, don't forget to tweet it and add it to Facebook; you can do this as soon as the pin is loaded.
4. When you blog, be sure to add great pictures to your blog so that when you pin your blog post to your board, you can capture a great image. Images on Pinterest are obviously important!
5. Click the "popular" link on Pinterest to see what's hot and what's trending. You might be able to make this part of your content strategy.
6. Be sure to promote your Pinterest account on Facebook, Twitter, on your website, and in your email signature line, of course.
24" x 24" acrylic abstract on stretched canvas
Click here to purchase.
I shared a few tips yesterday about how to be confident about your art. I have a few more I would like to share. I hope they work as well for you as they have for me.
1. Take a course or class
If you want to learn something new in your field, or if you just want a bit more reassurance that you do already know the basics, a course or class should help. It doesn’t need to be anything expensive or time consuming: you might be able to find a simple day course or a series of evening classes in your area, or you could look for an online program to join.
2. Don’t rush your process
If you’re pressuring yourself to get your creative work out there as quickly as possible, then you may be uncomfortably aware that it’s not as good as it could be. Perhaps you’ve had some disappointing feedback, or you simply feel that you’re not very proud of your work.
Taking a little extra time at each stage of the process means you’ll at least be able to have confidence that you’ve done a good job. That might mean allowing more time for planning or research at the start of a new project – especially if you tend to jump at new ideas, only to give up when they prove more difficult than you expected. It could mean giving yourself time to create plenty of rough sketches of a planned painting, or to edit your first few drafts of a short story.
3. Push yourself to try new things
It's important to keep on trying new things. Yes, this can be terrifying – but successfully getting through a new challenge is a great way to grow your skills and your confidence. You won’t be perfect first time (no-one is), but you probably will realize that it wasn’t as bad as you were expecting.
4. Work through your doubt
There will be days ahead when you will feel like every particle of talent you may have ever had has left you for good. Gone. Adios. Some days you will struggle, some paintings simply won't work out. That's okay. It's supposed to be like that. Without some kind of failure we wouldn't constantly be striving for that next great painting, novel, photograph, beaded earrings. Whatever. Accept this and move on.
Oil, 24" x 24" framed.
Having confidence is really important. Especially when it comes to your art. We know that confidence ebbs and flows and we all need to do a better job at feeling better in our abilities to succeed as an artist.
Here are some tips on how to do that.
1. Plan your day, every day
Start your day by writing a list of things to do that day. The first thing on your list should be time spent enjoying your art—whether that is working on a new piece or practicing techniques. Regular, daily practice will help you feel more comfortable and confident in your level of skill.
Next, plan an activity that makes you a little nervous, such as ringing the local gallery about a having an exhibition or submitting your artwork to a juried show. Choose one nerve-racking activity every day. This will push you out of your comfort zone and take you to areas that you never knew existed.
2. Don’t compare yourself to other artists
If you’re constantly comparing your work to other artists, you’re always going to find faults. Remember that you a NOT these other artists—you are you, and your work is unique and special because of your experiences and skills. Don’t force yourself to be something you’re not.
3. Remind yourself of your achievements
Get a piece of paper and write down ten things that you’re proud of achieving in your life and art, everything from “learning to use pastels” to “having two pieces in local exhibition” to “raising two beautiful girls.” Have you got ten? See if you can add more.
4. Remember your goals and dreams
Sometimes, when you feel your confidence really lacking, it can help to remind yourself why you’re doing this. Remember that even the most famous and talented artists doubt themselves at times, and that you’re strong enough and determined enough to push through the doubt to achieve your dreams.
5. Track your progress
When you’re in the trenches with your creative work, it can be hard to think back or think ahead. In the moment, you might be struggling with an aspect of your work-in-progress – and you may fear that you’ll never get it right.
By tracking your progress over time, you can easily look back and see how far you’ve come. You might want to list specific achievements, especially any “firsts” – like the first time you entered a competition, or the first time you showed your work to someone who wasn’t a family member or close friend. You could also record your feelings at different stages of a project (you might realise, for instance, that you inevitably go through a period of doubt at the almost mid-way stage, before everything gets much easier).
Tomorrow I will share a few more tips.
24" x 24" oil on stretched canvas.
Click here to purchase.
One of my favorite things to do in my job is marketing consultations. They are a great chance to get to know artists and I love sharing my marketing expertise with others! I usually schedule about ten consultations a month so they keep me very busy.
I spend a lot of time looking at art websites and over the years I have found what I think are common mistakes. So I thought I would share them with you today.
If you would like information about my marketing consultations, just click here.
Acrylic Abstract Diptych, 20" x 24" each.
Click here to purchase.
By far the most common question I get asked is “How do you accomplish so much?” I honestly don’t think I get that much done. That’s because I always have a huge list of things that still need to be done. Or I want to get done … you know what I mean.
The key to surviving and accomplishing a lot is to be organized. I do make to-do lists. And I do try to push myself to not just get done what has to be done. I try to also focus and make time for the “out of the box” and “creative” opportunities that really make a difference.
Today's Artists Helping Artists show is titled "Weekly Tasks Every Artist Should Do". On the show Margaret Sheldon (my co-host) and I are going to share a list of the weekly tasks we think every artist should accomplish. We honestly believe if you follow these tips, it will make a difference in the success of your art business.
The show airs at 9:00 am PST, 12:00 noon EST. You can listen to it here. If you can't catch it live, no worries. All of the shows are recorded and archived ... forever!
Abstract Acrylic, 20" x 20"
Click here to purchase.
Artists can and should make money from an already sold painting. But how can you do that?
When you sell a painting, you need to add a new link under the word “sold”.
The line should read ... Click here to purchase a print of this painting.
It's simple, yet a great way to make money from of all the paintings that have already sold. It’s all about making and selling prints of your artwork. If you are an artist, you should be selling them. It's easy and in most cases, does not cost a penny to get started.
Just remember to promote your prints. Add links to purchase your prints on your website and blog. And include the links with the paintings! I started selling points with a company called Imagekind about four years ago. I am thrilled with the income stream and I think every artist should take advantage of this great opportunity. Why not?
Nothin But Flowers
48" x 48" abstract commission
I repurposed my blog in January and since then I have really enjoyed writing blog posts. I write five of them a week and in a best case scenario, write them all on Sunday. The truth is, I think I have only done that once or twice.
I do have a list of blog topics in my phone. Currently there are about 32 ideas on the list. Nothing is worse than not having any idea what to write about on your blog. Especially when it is due in a few hours.
So here are a few more ideas you can use to help you write better blog posts.
#1: Review a Product
To maintain your status as an expert in the art industry, you need to provide your readers with the latest news and information. Do product reviews to keep your audience informed. Review many of the art supplies you already use such as an easel, paints, color monitor, frames, etc. Another very popular topic is your studio. What products do you use in your studio, especially those that help you stay organized?
Publishing reviews of art products provides other artists and collectors with valuable information on the pros and cons. It also helps them make informed buying decisions. And helps establish you as the expert.
#2: Compare Products
Product comparisons are similar to product reviews.
When artists or collectors narrow down their buying decision to two different choices, they look to experts to guide them. Write blog posts that compare popular art and/or framing products to one another.
Why not write a blog post comparing two of your paintings? Examine the different decisions a collector faces when deciding between the purchase of two different paintings. You could discuss sizing, color, framing and/or the type of setting the paintings would look best in, etc. It’s best to promote “choosing between two paintings” vs. “should I buy or not”. It’s the “either/or” vs. “yes/no” approach.
Blog posts discussing product comparisons aid customers in making their final decisions.
#3: Educate new Artists and Collectors that visit your blog
Providing educational information on your blog is the #1 way to build more blog followers. Give new visitors a reason to follow your blog. Become the place where they can learn about art! When a new artist/collector visits your blog you want them to feel right away they don’t want to miss out on all of the information you are providing! Make a plan to educate you follower about something in every blog post you create.
Share your expert knowledge with your readers so they can learn (and benefit) from your blog posts. People constantly search the Internet for information on all topics about art. Posting educational information on your blog will result in search engines listing your blog posts when these inquiries are made.
#4: Compile Top 10 Lists
People love lists. Lists concisely assemble a lot of information into one place. Whether they consist of top art resources, art products, or tips, lists serve as a resource guide for your artists and collector blog followers.
As you are writing your blog posts with these lists incorporate links to your paintings and products (such as workshops, merchandise, prints, etc.). Include links to your website pages or previously published blog posts into your lists. Create lists of art resources, but don’t forget to create top ten lists that are about your art too!
20" x 20" x 1 1/2" on stretched canvas
Click here for purchase information.
Writing blog posts can be a great habit to get in to. Each time you publish a new post you are sharing things about you and your art with other people. And marketing is all about getting "your story" in front as as many people as possible.
Here are some tips on how to write better blog posts.
#1: Answer Common Questions
All businesses, including ours, have their own frequently asked questions. These are the same questions I get asked over and over again. Do you paint with oils? How long does it take you to complete a painting? Do you teach workshops? Where do you sell your art? Do you do commissions? Can you paint larger paintings?
Rather than answer these 10 or 20 common questions over and over again on the phone, in person or through email, turn them into blog topics.
Make a list of common questions you are asked about your art. It will probably be an ongoing list as you may not remember them all in one sitting. So keep the list near your computer and add to it as time goes on.
#2: Create “How-To” Posts
How-to articles make excellent posts. First, they’ll do well in Google searches. Plus, educating your audience about your art or how to do something related to your art is an excellent way to pique their interest.
For the artists who follow your blog, you might want to post demos or “how-to” posts. Posts could feature color mixing, choosing inspiration for your art, understanding values, etc. If you teach workshops you should feature photos and lots of information about what happens in your workshops.
#3: Make an Announcement
It’s important to limit promotional content on your blog, just as it’s important to limit your promotional content on social media.
However, a blog post is a great way to share news about your art business with your readers. Share detailed information on new art, store openings, events, gallery news, upcoming workshops and sales. If you receive an award or are starting a new collection or series of paintings, write about those too.
#4: Host a Q&A
Q&A posts change up your typical blog post content, while providing a more personal angle on your art.
There are a variety of ways to use a Q&A format for your blog.
Help customers and potential customers get to know other artists who are in your “art community”. This will strengthen the connection and loyalty between you and some of the artist’s you are really close to. Be sure to include the artist’s photo and some of their artwork.
Join me tomorrow as I share more tips on how to write great blog posts!
Mom. Wife. Artist. Marketer. Teacher. Radio Show Host.
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