- by Barney Davey
If you see a pattern of entrepreneurship, of not following the beaten path, of using the Internet in unique ways, then you have followed the thread.
Artists are seekers. I've never known one that wasn't seeking something with his or her art. Once bitten by the potent urge to create and make something of the talent, it's hard, if not impossible, to put the quest down. Put it off for expediency and steady currency yes, but forget about it – never.
Here are a collection of disparate bits (links) I found to be interesting and compelling on their own. And, I also find a common thread running through them. Let me see if I can thread the needle for you.
Meet the boss
We'll start with the boss. That would be the formidable Katherine Tyrrell, the unparalleled blogger of Making a Mark. I call her the boss because she has put together a authoritative world class series of artist information Squidoo lenses to go along with her widely read blog. How she finds time for it all and manages to paint marvels me. It rivals the likes of the creative informative output of Robert Genn with his famous Twice-weekly Letter.
Katherine's post today is about something on every artist's mind, or ought to be. That would be how can I learn more about and get better at selling art online? She has decided it is enough of a big subject itself she is breaking if from her information rich Art Business – Resources for Artist Squidoo Lens. She is calling for your help. If you know of other sites where artists can sell their work not listed on her Art Business lens, please forward them to her.
High-end art market tanking…duh!
Bloomberg News had this headline today: Art Market May Take 3-5 Years to Recover, Survey Company Says. Go figure. Who would have known? I surmise it woud be just about every lucid person on the planet. But, somebody paid to prove the obvious. The article was based on research by an outfit called Art Tactic, Ltd. Granted, the article is what is happening at the top-tier "art as investment" fine art auction scene. However, what happens at the top trickles down. That is, it's hard for lower priced work to take big leaps up when prices of the most highly valued pieces are being depressed. The lesson here is it is another reason to be figuring out how to sell your art online, or any where else where willing buyers can be found for that matter. Perhaps the message is to work in a style that suits your local area in a way that will help insulate you from the larger push down on art prices.
Would have Picasso sold giclees?
This brings us to an article published by artist Henry Bateman. He's made a living as an artist for a long time and is an astute observer of the market from both a personal perspective and from a more macro look over time and circumstances. He published this online article, Are Giclee Prints Collectible? In it, he makes the case that Picasso would have embraced the giclee medium. He concludes that those prints that are remarqued with a bit of "graffiti" as he calls on it are the ones that will be collectible. He could be right. Another way to look at it would be sequentially numbered, but open edition pieces, might see the lower numbers become more collectible than higher numbers.
What is just as interesting about this article is where he published it. That is, the Home Improvements Directory.com. A very good place to be promoting himself as a knowledgeable art insider who just happens to be an artist himself. Nice bit of self-promoting to a targeted audience. Kudos to Henry. He's thinking outside the box on how to up his visibility online and potentially with some of his best prospects.
How to hook new customers and great publcity
Joan Ambrose-Bibbo is a multi-talented artist with a unique story. One that begs for publicity that practically writes itself. Son of a gun if that isn't exactly what happened. She was recently covered in a hometown paper, The Mercury, which serves Pottsdown, PA and surrounding counties. The story is titled, Hooked on Art. It details her career as a graphic artist (A familiar tale about paying the bills.)
Her real passion is making hooked rugs. With her artistic talents, she has come up with great designs and an in-demand product. So much so, she's turned to making giclee prints of the work and has a new source of revenue with the pieces selling in local galleries. She obviously has a look that ties in to the design themes and interests of her regional locale. Finding more and new ways to stretch your talent and reach a willing market is more crucial now than any previous time. There is lots to be learned here. Follow your passion, be creative about how to make your work, be unique and look for opportunities to let the media blow your horn with stellar priceless publicity.
Living your dream in the 2000s
Lastly, we'll look at Katie Davis. Like Henry Bateman, she has taken up pen to write articles online. This format gives her a boost in awareness while promoting a point of view and a subtle, but nonetheless obvious, agenda to help her sell her art. And, she has a great message for artists, or anyone else for that matter. In her article, How to Live Your Dream, she narrates navigating an interesting and changing career and life path that I'm sure many reading this can relate to in some fashion.
The path has taken her from starting out with a fine art degree and gravitating painting sets for movies and television. The tour takes her through creating greeting and notecards sold in local galleries. Where it gets interesting is how she has morphed that interest and talent into her own online e-card company at www.KatiesCards.com. The business allows her to unleash her creativity, learn new skills and enjoy a growing business where she works from home allowing her to be there for her kids. Nicely done Katie.
Seek and ye shall find
If you see a pattern of entrepreneurship, of not following the beaten path, of using the Internet in unique ways, then you have followed the thread. The artists mentioned here all are finding the time to do things to help themselves, to promote themselves, away from the easel. They have each embraced the Internet in their own way. Let them be an inspiration to you to try new things and to not convince yourself there is not enough time. If it's important, there is always time. Nurturing your career is as crucial as building your body of work and growing as an artist and as a seeker.