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idahogirl
12-11-2004, 12:04 PM
My goal is to better handle the psychological issues involved in selling. What I find myself doing is: if an item sells for a decent price I feel loved, accepted and appreciated. If an item doesn't sell (or sells for a low price) I feel unloved, rejected and ignored. What I am going to try and do better is to split my business between the creative side and the business side. The creative side freely creates without overly analyzing and worrying too much about how it will do on Ebay. Once it is off the easel, it becomes "product" which the business side handles. If it doesn't sell, the business side will analyze in an objective way.... was the price too low, was the price too high, was it appropriate for the Ebay market, how are other similar items selling, could it have been presented better etc. In other words, the business side will treat the creative side like a client... trying to do the best possible job of marketing.

The roller coaster ride is exciting but too draining... all of the above is easier said than done but my plan is to do my best... What do you think?

Dee

Lady Rando
12-11-2004, 12:20 PM
Sounds like a good plan. :)

What I am going to do better in the New Year is put aside time everyday for the creating of art. I plan to make it clear to my family that I am working during that time, (even if I'm sitting at my easel shooting ruberbands across the studio!) and unless the house is on fire or I just won the lottery I am not to be interupted. I think I'll make a sign to hang on my back ... "Approach with caution, Artist at work and may be a danger to your health." :p

CarlyHardy
12-11-2004, 12:38 PM
Dee, I think you could expand that idea into a year's journal and write it up as a book....and make a lot of money:D

Tamara, I think you could create those signs and laminate them...add a hanging string and sell them too! There are not good art quote signs out there!!

How's that for my shift in thinking to marketing? My goal for the New Year is to find ways to sell!!!

How about this one? "No Critique - Cash Only Please!"

carly :D

surreal
12-11-2004, 12:58 PM
My goal is to better handle the psychological issues involved in selling. What I find myself doing is: if an item sells for a decent price I feel loved, accepted and appreciated. If an item doesn't sell (or sells for a low price) I feel unloved, rejected and ignored. What I am going to try and do better is to split my business between the creative side and the business side. The creative side freely creates without overly analyzing and worrying too much about how it will do on Ebay. Once it is off the easel, it becomes "product" which the business side handles. If it doesn't sell, the business side will analyze in an objective way.... was the price too low, was the price too high, was it appropriate for the Ebay market, how are other similar items selling, could it have been presented better etc. In other words, the business side will treat the creative side like a client... trying to do the best possible job of marketing.

The roller coaster ride is exciting but too draining... all of the above is easier said than done but my plan is to do my best... What do you think?

Dee
Hi Dee,
I think your idea is terrific!
I applaud you for it!
:D
The psychological issues you describe must not be ignored, because they are too costly to your emotional well-being and quality of life.
:)

Maryem
12-11-2004, 04:38 PM
I am going to do fewer "quick" paintings for Ebay. I am going to lavish attention on something I like to paint, and try prints before offering (if ever) the original.

I am NOT going to FP!

Mary :wave:

TeAnne
12-11-2004, 04:49 PM
Morning all.
I'm going to try to not let no sales get to me............... Lately it's bringing me down and affecting my art and inspiration.

Dee, you described exactly how I feel.

sherina
12-11-2004, 06:45 PM
Hello Deefox, first remember that it's said that (artist) those of us who create that we don't make the best business people. Start there first. Sharpen your business skills. Creating as we do is second nature and what we should all do as artist is try and become stronger and better business people, especially in a industry as competitive as our's. There is no time for, I repeat for your emotions about what sells and why someone didn't buy a particular piece. Your work in and of itself should make you feel loved and validated. You have to remember that everyone is not going to be open and receptive to what you create, it's just not realistic. My motto is a little reversed as I feel that with failure comes success. Maybe not when you want it, but with perserverance it comes. Be patient. Good luck in the future.

idahogirl
12-11-2004, 07:16 PM
Lady Rondo,

I'll buy one of those "do not disturb" signs :D :D

Carly,

Great idea about the journal... you really ARE in a money making mood today :D :D

Nina,

Thanks for your support. What you say is so true.

Maryem,

I really like your idea of taking time and making a wonderful original and selling the prints. Takes the pressure off of getting it done so you can list it. I may try that with my more realistic work. Also like the no FP idea..... all together now NO FP, NO FP, NO FP...

Te Anne,

Good morning! Hope I have your permission to call you on it when you are letting your sales effect your self image.

Sherina,

Thanks for your thoughts. Fortunately (or unfortunately :D ) I score 50/50 on those left brain, right brain tests. Now will try to build on the strenghts of each side instead of being too emotional with the business side and too analytical with the creative side.... at least that's the goal :D

Dee

sandge
12-11-2004, 07:23 PM
Dee,
Very best of luck with your plan. I will be interested to hear how it goes. :)

For myself, I have found that it is very easy to say that I will not let non-sales affect me ... when I'm selling! As soon as the sales dry up - as they do from time to time - it's another story! :rolleyes: ;)

My plans are ... well, at the moment, I am contemplating the production of more serious works with a view to exploring other places to sell. Sounds fine on paper but I have very little time to paint which is why ebay has been so convenient. We shall see ...

TeAnne
12-11-2004, 09:22 PM
Te Anne,

Good morning! Hope I have your permission to call you on it when you are letting your sales effect your self image.


Dee
You may :) I do need a kick up the rear end from time to time. :evil:

idahogirl
12-12-2004, 11:08 AM
My first big challenge

Today I have 2 seascapes ending. They were started at $1.00 NR (I don't recommend this to anyone but it is something I am trying right now). I have bids on both from the same buyer at..... you guessed it...... $1.00.

So.... my business side is not upset. I knew when I listed that way that three things could happen (1) they wouldn't sell (2) they would sell for $1.00 or (3) they would sell for more than $1.00. This is part of a bigger strategy of getting a lot (I hope) of people who regularly watch my auctions so I don't have to do FP. So far it is working. I am seeing people come back.

My creative side is not upset. When I finished these paintings, I was happy with them. I know they were as good as I could do. As far as I am concerned, they are yesterday's toast :D My creative side is now working on an exciting abstract using greens, a combination of organic shapes and geometric shapes and is having a VERY good time.

Hope my honeymoon lasts :D

Dee

surreal
12-12-2004, 01:08 PM
My first big challenge

Today I have 2 seascapes ending. They were started at $1.00 NR (I don't recommend this to anyone but it is something I am trying right now). I have bids on both from the same buyer at..... you guessed it...... $1.00.

So.... my business side is not upset. I knew when I listed that way that three things could happen (1) they wouldn't sell (2) they would sell for $1.00 or (3) they would sell for more than $1.00. This is part of a bigger strategy of getting a lot (I hope) of people who regularly watch my auctions so I don't have to do FP. So far it is working. I am seeing people come back.

My creative side is not upset. When I finished these paintings, I was happy with them. I know they were as good as I could do. As far as I am concerned, they are yesterday's toast :D My creative side is now working on an exciting abstract using greens, a combination of organic shapes and geometric shapes and is having a VERY good time.

Hope my honeymoon lasts :D

Dee
All sounds very excellent!!!
Be sure to keep up your current mindset!
:D
If you cannot keep up this upbeat, optimistic and realistic mindset, I would say (forgive my bluntness) that it is time to give up selling on ebay. I base this opinion on the previous information that you shared about the extremely negative emotions you experienced regarding your $bay experiences.
However, always keep painting. :D

idahogirl
12-12-2004, 03:10 PM
All sounds very excellent!!!
Be sure to keep up your current mindset!
:D
If you cannot keep up this upbeat, optimistic and realistic mindset, I would say (forgive my bluntness) that it is time to give up selling on ebay. I base this opinion on the previous information that you shared about the extremely negative emotions you experienced regarding your $bay experiences.
However, always keep painting. :D

Thanks for your encouragement and concern... but, even if I have my down times... I'm strong and can bounce back. :D :D

:wave:

Dee

surreal
12-12-2004, 03:13 PM
.... but, even if I have my down times... I'm strong and can bounce back. :D :D

:wave:

Dee

Now this is very good to hear!!!
:D

So, I don't have to worry about you, after all!
:D

:wave:

sandge
12-12-2004, 03:22 PM
My first big challenge

Today I have 2 seascapes ending. They were started at $1.00 NR (I don't recommend this to anyone but it is something I am trying right now). I have bids on both from the same buyer at..... you guessed it...... $1.00.

So.... my business side is not upset. I knew when I listed that way that three things could happen (1) they wouldn't sell (2) they would sell for $1.00 or (3) they would sell for more than $1.00. This is part of a bigger strategy of getting a lot (I hope) of people who regularly watch my auctions so I don't have to do FP. So far it is working. I am seeing people come back.

My creative side is not upset. When I finished these paintings, I was happy with them. I know they were as good as I could do. As far as I am concerned, they are yesterday's toast :D My creative side is now working on an exciting abstract using greens, a combination of organic shapes and geometric shapes and is having a VERY good time.

Hope my honeymoon lasts :D

Dee
Dee, it's good to hear that your strategy is working for you. I see you have 2 bids on each now. Let's hope for a little bidding war! :D

As you're working to tight margins, I thought your business side might be interested in this ebay fees calculator:
Sellathon's eBay Listing Fee Calculator (http://www.sellathon.com/ebay_calculator.html).

Best of luck! :D

surreal
12-12-2004, 03:27 PM
Hmmmmmmmmmmm - me and what I will try to do better in the New Year.
:rolleyes: ..................

O.K. - I do declare my addiction to selling at auction. :o

However, I also will need to earn money from the sales of my art in future; however this money doesn't need to come from auction sales.

My challenge is to produce art that fulfills my creative needs (to make a long story short) as well as creating salable art.

Another challenge I always face is that the art I create does not have broad buyer appeal, and it never will. People either dislike or are disinterested in my art or love it.

I have confidence in my artistic abilities, so this is not a problem. ;)

Perhaps I will create renditions of trees (which I love to do) and sell paintings of trees on ebay with a vengeance (including fp'ing).
We shall see.

I am happy that this thread was started because it is making me think of how I should proceed in future with my art.
:D

Maryem
12-12-2004, 05:56 PM
I have just spent 4 hours (so far) on a nude painting in stained-glass style on an oval canvas, in acrylics. It is way off of my usual style/medium. I don't have to hurry, Ebay is slow, I have an idea to do a £1 starting price sale on prints, to give me a break but to continue to be visible.........

I am enjoying this painting......

Mary :wave:

laurali
12-12-2004, 06:48 PM
Hi Nina,

I think your style has more general appeal than what you realize. Your work has a fascinating quality...it is bright & cheerful on one side, but has a deeper side too.

Of course, the key factor in online auction sales seems to be visibility. That can be accomplished both by paying exhorbitant fees for extras and increasing what you offer at auction so you can list a piece or two everyday (I can't quite manage either but I'm not unhappy with my sales rate).

My goal for next year is to cut down on my computer time and spend more time painting.

Laura

Hmmmmmmmmmmm - me and what I will try to do better in the New Year.
:rolleyes: ..................

O.K. - I do declare my addiction to selling at auction. :o

However, I also will need to earn money from the sales of my art in future; however this money doesn't need to come from auction sales.

My challenge is to produce art that fulfills my creative needs (to make a long story short) as well as creating salable art.

Another challenge I always face is that the art I create does not have broad buyer appeal, and it never will. People either dislike or are disinterested in my art or love it.

I have confidence in my artistic abilities, so this is not a problem. ;)

Perhaps I will create renditions of trees (which I love to do) and sell paintings of trees on ebay with a vengeance (including fp'ing).
We shall see.

I am happy that this thread was started because it is making me think of how I should proceed in future with my art.
:D

ponting
12-12-2004, 06:56 PM
Weaning yourself off E-Bay

I hate to be the nay-sayer here but I find the use of E-Bay for the selling of art can be a self-defeating process.

Constantly seeing work go for sometimes ridiculously low bids would erode the confidence of even the most successful artist. We all have soft spots in our egos, some more fragile than others but to constantly submit ourselves to battering day in and out is shear suicide.

Before I go further, I want to say the had E-Bay been around when I was a fledgling artist, I would certainly have used it but as we progress in the art world we have to look at it and see it for what it is and is not.

Lets look at the concept of E-Bay verses selling in a gallery, or art exhibition. People’s perception of E-Bay is not conducive to building a name for yourself as an artist and a gallery is in the business of selling names as a part of selling artwork. There are certain unwritten rules that an artist becomes aware of as he or she begins that long climb to success.

You have starting points, mid points, and high points on your way to your ultimate goal of becoming a recognized and successful artist. As you reach each of these levels you must close the door on the last and have faith that with determination and trust in yourself you will succeed in each new stage.

I am going to come back to this but first I want to pop in something here that helps for a clearer image of the route our quest must ultimately take. I wrote this for an artist who was looking for ways to price his paintings but is relevant here also.

I don't think I can say it enough times. It is not how good you are but who you are that sells artwork.

Once you get passed selling to your friends and acquaintances you are entering the world of the elite. Recall the amount of times you have heard someone mention that they have a “Bateman” or an “Anybody”. Most of the time they would be hard pressed to tell you the title of the work or even accurately describe it. I can clearly remember the first time a client related to me that someone had walked into his home and commented on his “Ponting”. My hat size grew a little that day but it took a couple more instances to realize the real significance of that statement.

The first time I showed in what I didn’t realize was a ritzy neighbourhood, I spent my week sitting the exhibit listening to looky-lous saying “I have never heard of you!”. It was getting to the point of being comical. Every second or third person was saying the same thing and I found myself waiting just to see if this next one would make the same comment. This new phenomenon intrigued me so much that I just had to figure it out and in the process I learned that good doesn’t really count.

Even that everyday Joe who can’t afford it but buys because he just likes what he sees is going to come up to you one day and want to know what new and exciting thing he can tell his friends about you. Go on to the upper-middle class who can afford whatever they want and the practice just balloons. All but a rare few of these people want their guests to recognize their tastes and you have to keep these clients constantly amused with new awards and recognitions that they in turn can amuse their friends with. Not nice but just the way it is. You can never be too successful to benefit from good PR.

You have to earn your prices not with the hours you invest into your work but with the hours you invest in your persona. So comparing your prices to another’s really has to do with the image rather than the quality of work.

Each level of selling has some stigma attached to it. Some are more acceptable to the public and gallery owners than others. They all realize that we have to begin somewhere and are tolerant of the fact but in the end the gallery/s that carry your work are going to be overly concerned with your image as that is one of their main commodities. Who you are and What you are.

Level one is where you begin selling your work. We all start here at the local level of craft, fair, church bazaar and hobby art shows. And yes E-Bay can be here also. This is where we as an artist are the most vulnerable to the whims of the buying public. We are tentatively sticking out toe in the water and can be crippled by a bad critique or lack of sales.

Displays here usually consist of single or only a few pieces and our framing is bad because we are not going to spend money on something that we have little faith in so we drag out that out-dated old frame from the attic or junk store and it looks good enough to us.

Things went fairly well so we move on to level two where we get into a serious art group and juried shows. Our presentation has improved but we are still juggling frames between pictures because we are not making enough on sales yet to go right out and buy new ones for every painting. It is at this level that we will find out through the process of jurying and peer critiques just whether or not we have what it takes to become an artist. We take lots of courses and try different mediums and techniques and although our ego is still fragile, we can see the wisdom in asking for and receiving honest assessments of our work rather along with those comments about how wonderfully we are doing.

Some of us are not going to go any further that this level simply because not all artists are created equal. Talent is not evenly distributed and we need to assess ourselves and our abilities and make decisions on our chosen paths. I might not have a strong ability to render realism but may be wonderful in composition, colour and design but I might make a great abstract painter interior decorator.

Now we have decided that we have the talent so next must come the first steps in creating the persona that will sell us. This is where we have to put on our salesperson hat and start looking at the big picture. We have never thought of ourselves as above others but find ourselves having to make assessments based entirely on good business practices. We are in a transition period here and as we progress through it we must pick and choose between situations and events that would elevate, maintain or lower our status in the art world. Naturally winning awards would elevate us unless these were won in an event where our work is far more advanced than our fellow artists. Instead we have just gone down a step.

We are judged by those that surround us. If we hang with good artists, the public perceives us to be one also. At this level we might still be showing in malls with good art groups or hanging in office buildings and restaurants but we are continually marching on toward bigger and better things. We want to be in galleries, any galleries. All of the venues in level one are long gone and E-Bay is definitely out now also.

Finally we have hit our goal and are in one or more minor galleries and on our way to a major one. This is where the groundwork we have laid, really begins to pay off. We no longer feel as strong a need for peer acceptance and are capable of assessing the our own work. Not only have we been winning awards, been discussed in our local paper several times and are becoming a household word in our community but we have now become “respectable” in terms of how we present ourselves and our work. It would be an embarrassment to the gallery and the “image” they are selling if we were to exhibit “beneath” ourselves.

Art is all in image and the business part of ourselves has to recognize and deal straightforwardly with this. I have seen a lot of work on E-Bay from artists that should be and probably want to be hanging in galleries but the detrimental image caused by selling there past what I call level one is self-destructive to the cause. So certainly use E-Bay as a tool but be aware of that it can also have adverse effects and it must go by the wayside in the natural progression of things.

Sorry to ramble no so but I feel that all of the above is relevant to those looking to go one step further be it in the New Year or anytime.

Cheers and sell lots.........Dianna

laurali
12-12-2004, 06:57 PM
I went that way too...started offering prints. I don't feel I have to hurry a piece along to produce a quota to list, or to stick with small pieces. I don't feel stressed if a piece takes a few days or a week, and I plan more larger pieces (hoping that they will be print worthy).

Now, I just need a bit more courage to lower the prices. I don't print them myself--I get giclees on canvas done professionally so there is a fairly hefty initial investment. I've been listing them higher so it is quicker to get to the break-even point, but I would probably be better off to sell them lower and order more when they run out, even if I am still in the hole after the first batch.

Laura

I have just spent 4 hours (so far) on a nude painting in stained-glass style on an oval canvas, in acrylics. It is way off of my usual style/medium. I don't have to hurry, Ebay is slow, I have an idea to do a £1 starting price sale on prints, to give me a break but to continue to be visible.........

I am enjoying this painting......

Mary :wave:

surreal
12-12-2004, 07:54 PM
Laura,
Thanks so much for your valuable feedback.
:)

I, too, have the same goal of spending less time on the computer and more time on my art.
The internet is more addictive than selling at auction. :wink2:

Mary,
Good for you!
:)

Dianna,
I scanned your very long post, which seems to be packed with valuable truisms.
:D
I will read it tomorrow after I print it out.
You were not rambling.
I, personally, find it difficult to read long posts online.
It's very nice to meet you, Dianna!
I will probably pm you with my thoughts about what you wrote (after I read it all)!
:D

tonigart
12-12-2004, 11:25 PM
Hi Diana!
Your artwork is awesome!! I read your post with a lot of interest! It is always great to hear from artists who have "been there done that" and are willing to share thoughts and experiences, THANK YOU.

I have done well with ebay and have really enjoyed it. It is hard for me to imagine that I will need to give it up to acheive the goals that I have set forth for myself. It has been the best tool for me to sell, mainly cause it is hard for me to travel and I live in an arts "no mans land".

I feel I am leaving level 2 and am stuck at the door of level 3. I am going to do more national juried shows, look into licensing and art publishers, maybe a gallery this year. My "problem" is I live in rural Iowa and can't hang with the art establishment, I live in a town of 500 amongst the beanfields I always laugh when people say, "you are famous" I always think, "yeah, in Carroll Iowa!" Traveling is tough for me, that is one reason I feel "stuck".

When it comes to spend money on marketing, what did you find was your best return for your investment? Juried shows? advertising? art shows? I am ready to enter the level that requires a level of persona. But I am a take me or leave me so it is hard to place myself out there are a celebrity of sorts to build that "awe" status. Any tips or advice would be much appreciated!

Take care,
Toni

blondheim12
12-13-2004, 07:54 AM
Diana,
Some of us sell our studies on Ebay because it is just plain fun!!!

I show in galleries in Alabama Georgia and Florida. I do several museum exhibitions a year and I teach art. I am fairly well known as a regional artistand I judge art shows and exhibitions.

I sell my small plein air studies on Ebay. They range in size from 4x6 to 8x10. I sometimes sell older paintings there that I feel are not up to my present skill level. I meet lots of very nice people through Ebay and have sold from my galleries to those same people when they go through those cities.

I have a diverse marketing apporach which has served me very well over the years.

Love,
Linda

ponting
12-13-2004, 12:54 PM
Well that was relatively painless. I thought for sure someone would shoot the messenger with my last post. Perhaps I haven’t given it enough time!!

Linda - What I have written is a generality and I have no doubt that there are artists like yourself who can co-exist with E-Bay and prestigious galleries. And the fun part I understand also but have a little difficulty with selling work that is less than indicative of my present skill level. Many times I have recalled a dusty old unsold work and at times would give my eye teeth to reclaim a sold piece for just that reason.

I don’t have illusions of my work as being masterpieces and therefore I still have a very long ways to go and undoubtedly will be long gone before I am even comfortable with what I expect of myself so please don’t think that I am a snob. These are strictly good business practices that need to be considered in the big picture.

Toni - You are an exceptionally good artist and will do well in a high end gallery. You are versatile and that is great because it gives you the advantage of a wider range of galleries types to seek out. In the meanwhile, a good web presence is a given in today’s world especially for someone like yourself in the middle of Iowa :-) I see you have at least 6 mentions on Yahoo search ( .......4 of them mention E-Bay) and that is a good start but there are countless other good links that you can hook up with that will give you 20 mentions and will raise your profile. The more they see the better you look. But chose them carefully and realize that the search engines tend to pick up the first works they see. I see on one listing they have picked up that you do personalized watercolour snowmen. I doubt that is what you want to be recognized for. Get some award winning words in there right off the bat.

I have been “found” on the net by two galleries and researched there by two more so presentation speaks for itself. Rather than spending money on advertising, go for the awards, they are both personally satisfying and do speak loudly. This is not the time to be modest as no one will is going to speak for you unless you do it yourself. If you have access and the abilities, do yourself a tri-fold brochure that you can print out and send off. It has to be very professional looking so don’t do it unless you are capable of quality. Make friends with your local media and don’t be afraid to write up a wonderful article about yourself and your latest big event or award and post of email it off to them. How else are they to find out. You can write them in the third person and it is so much easier to tout all of those wonderful qualities that you have without sounding like you are on an ego trip. Put the best spin on every little thing that happens to you. Did you know that I was invited to show my work to the Queen and top officials of the Commonwealth. This is a huge international event that takes place every so many years. Very, very prestigious. I feel extremely badly for the Queen because she missed me as circumstances prevented her from attending that night but that does not prevent me from using the truthful statement that I was invited to do so. Get the picture? :-)

In order not to ramble again.....before you seek out that gallery, get your professional portfolio in order....containing your awards and important events section. Contact galleries and inquire as to whether or not they are accepting new artists and if they require slides or photos or cd or originals to view. Always make an appointment and never show up without one. Dress well but as befits an artist. You are expected to be at openings and many gallery owners and customers don’t want to see a school marm or a hippy but do like some kind of personal statement in attire. Persona again. I like to pre-cruise galleries to see how they approach customers, dress, display and of course their sales techniques. Do you fit into their environment? Asking what they think about their one horse painting will give you a true idea of whether it is an odd addition or if they might be interested in more of the same. I am a buyer here not an artist and I leave without introducing myself...appointment only. On a last note.......walk in there with confidence...in you and in the worthiness of your work....know what you want for prices don’t ask them what they think they are worth and don’t under price yourself ....you have already checked them out and asked about the background of several of their artists so you know where you stand in the order of things.

Nina - thanks for taking me to bed with you.....hope it was helpful.

Gotta go......good luck and keep me informed.....cheers, Dianna

blondheim12
12-13-2004, 01:40 PM
Linda - What I have written is a generality and I have no doubt that there are artists like yourself who can co-exist with E-Bay and prestigious galleries. And the fun part I understand also but have a little difficulty with selling work that is less than indicative of my present skill level. Many times I have recalled a dusty old unsold work and at times would give my eye teeth to reclaim a sold piece for just that reason.


Diana,
Our philosophies are quite different and that is what makes the world a more interesting place. I don't cringe at all in selling my older work or seeing it in people's homes. In fact, It is reassuring to me that folks liked it enough to buy it and support me as an artist. It also shows me and others that I have grown in the last 30+ years of painting. I am long past the point of worrying what critics think or whether my peers feel I'm good enough. I have had a good career and will continue to. I decided many years ago not to get caught up in the whole snob arena that so many artists fall into. The oneupsmanship, etc. My whole attitude about art is that it is wonderful and fun!!! Nuturing young or new artists who study with me is a wonderful bonus. I show my work wherever I please and it pays the bills. If I never achieve anything more than that as a painter, I will be extremely happy to study painting until I die. I leave the climb to the lofty elitist ranks for others. I am priviledged to know some of the best painters as friends and most of them feel the same way.
Love,
Linda

ponting
12-13-2004, 02:07 PM
Hello again Linda......you have some great points there. :)

It is wonderful to chat with a true artist like yourself who paints with an eye to producing work simply because it brings them joy. I am beginning to experience that great feeling almost every time I paint now. I am finally in control and can pick and choose subjects and mediums that excite me. I have never considered myself an artist like yourself as when I first picked up a paintbrush it was for the explicit purpose of making a living, it only happened to involve art. It was the old story of a single mom with no particular job skills but with an untapped talent for art and some good business sense. I can see where we have approached things from different angles and in the same amount of time still ended up enjoying the same goal.

Good luck to you in your approach ....perhaps we will meet one day and be able to discuss the journey. Cheers, Dianna :wave:

blondheim12
12-13-2004, 02:40 PM
Good luck to you in your approach ....perhaps we will meet one day and be able to discuss the journey. Cheers, Dianna :wave:

I will look forward to it. :D
Love,
Linda

AquaChimp
12-13-2004, 05:05 PM
I have never considered myself an artist like yourself as when I first picked up a paintbrush it was for the explicit purpose of making a living, it only happened to involve art. It was the old story of a single mom with no particular job skills but with an untapped talent for art and some good business sense.

I was fascinated by your posts giving advice on the different levels of artists. I would be interested in hearing your story of how you started out as a single mom selling art. I've been following this forum because I love reading about artists selling their art on ebay. It's just amazing to me that it can happen.

-Jen

ponting
12-13-2004, 08:24 PM
Jen - I will PM you with the meager details of my "facinating" beginnings the world of art :D

Cheers, Dianna

tonigart
12-13-2004, 10:06 PM
Thanks Dianna!
I appreciate your encouraging words. I am always writing up goals (especially this time of the year) and that happens to be a direction I was thinking I should go...do some juried shows and more publicity to build up a rep, not just in my area but more regionally then nationally. Thanks again for sharing your insight, it is always nice to hear how artists have succeeded in this tough self-appointed career.
Take care,
Toni

arsinoé
12-15-2004, 08:57 AM
Dianna,
Your point of view is very interesting and thought-provoking.
Thanks for having posted.

ponting
12-15-2004, 11:42 AM
Thank you so much Arsinoe

There are a lot of shy people out there as my PM has been going hot and heavy with interesting views. What surprises me most is the amount of people truly wanting advice on how to succeed in the art world. It shows a real need for forum like this but in order to make it more than a debate centered around E-Bay is to hear from other artists out there who have gained a measure of success. What worked for them and what didn't. I believe that is where Dee was hoping this would lead.

I will keep watching and hopefully with more input will pick up some more tips to further my career...in the meantime, I think I will go list something on E-Bay and see what I am missing.......

Cheers, Dianna :cat:

blondheim12
12-15-2004, 12:04 PM
Good point Dainna,

This thread would be helpful with info on what works in marketing.
For myself I keep my work and my name out in circulation constantly. I try to relate to my cleints and students as friends rather than clients and students. People are fascinated by art and interested in artists. I make my studio accessable to all. I have a studio club which I offer to friends. It includes value added incentives for members. I send out a weekly E-Painting to an opt in group of over 400 viewers. I always make sure that I change my work regularly in my galleries and that I promote my galleries to potential clients in their markets. I keep a portfolio of images and brochures at each gallery. I work frequently on location. I always have business cards to hand out to viewers. I network with many other artists and have an extensive mailing list which I use!!! I send out Press releases to all regional newpapers for all of my activities and events. I send out a quarterly newsletter to friends. I give away paintings to my charites,which also brings in sales. I always make sure that the charity representative comes to my studio to pick up the donated painting. They usually browse while there and often buy paintings for themselves. I often receive tickets to events and charity auctions, concerts,the ballet, which I send to valuable clients. They a re grateful and often purchase more paintings.

One important element to success is branding. You need to be known for your work. Changing subjects, styles, and mediums frequently can be a problem in brand name recognition. I am known for southern landscapes and that is what I do. I chose this theme long ago because I love the South and love painting landscapes.

I use a number of different venues for my work, including commercial galleries, museums, art centers, Ebay, and local shops.

Love,
Linda

matingara
12-15-2004, 10:58 PM
Dianna et al,

wow! such a piquant melange of ideas and theories and stories!

i don't get as much time to paint and also read/contribute to Wetcanvas as I would like. I have a full time job as a Solution Architect in the high end of the IT industry. And - well - it keeps me kinda busy.

i first started painting because i signed up for an art class (two years ago) because I thought i would enjoy it. well - it turns out that i not only enjoy it - i adore it.

i first sold a painting, sixth months into my nascent art career, because someone saw it online and asked if they might purchase it.

so - i concluded that some people might actually like what i produced and this made me even more eager to learn more and paint more.

i decided to create a fledgling web prescence. i also dabbled on eBay and sold most everything i put up for auction at quite reasonable (for eBay that is!!!) prices.

but - at this stage that is as far as i have come in my adventure. i would like someday to retire from the IT biz and teach and sell art. as Dianna says, i think i am building a solid foundation for future success.

but i wonder - do i truly deserve this? i am doing it as a hobby. when i do it i do it with my whole heart and my whole soul. but - i do not do it all the time. i am not in a position to quit my main job for a long while yet.

can i give this thing the attention it deserves part time? i don't know. i doubt it.

anyway. it is a great and passionate hobby. i enjoy myself and i am enjoying the journey for what it is.

:)

joel.

ponting
12-16-2004, 12:13 AM
One important element to success is branding. You need to be known for your work. Changing subjects, styles, and mediums frequently can be a problem in brand name recognition. I am known for southern landscapes and that is what I do. I chose this theme long ago because I love the South and love painting landscapes.


This is getting to be quite fun Linda :p

You certainly have all of the bases soundly covered and cornering the charity pick-ups is a great idea.

As to the branding.....good term. I seem to draw the crowds for the opposite reason....to each his own right? :)

In a regular year (this past hasn't been one as I have concentrated on pastels) I work in 3 or 4 mediums and my subject matter is all over the map. One of the comments most often made revolves around the fact that because I am so diverse, my shows pull cross-over clients away from their usual venues. It appears they don't know what to expect and don't want to miss out. It pleases my galleries immensely....and it doesn't upset me in the least. :p


Joel....thanks so much. It is a long slow process so you probably won't have to make those major decisions for a while yet. Why don't you just do as you have been while enjoying yourself and the decision may well be taken out of your hands. Some fantastic gallery may scoop you up....push your prices up sky high...and make you rich!! It wouldn't be the first time. So just maintain that presence and wait and see :cat:

Cheers, Dianna

surreal
12-16-2004, 01:10 AM
......................................
I show in galleries in Alabama Georgia and Florida. I do several museum exhibitions a year and I teach art. I am fairly well known as a regional artistand I judge art shows and exhibitions............

...................................

Given the above information, why do you also sell your art in shops?
:)

What kind of museum exhibitions do you participate in?
Are you invited to participate in them or are they open to local artists?
:)

Are any of your paintings in the collections of museums?
:)

I have always admired your marketing smarts.
:)

surreal
12-16-2004, 01:16 AM
Hi Dianna,
You make so many excellent points!!!
Thanks so much for posting!
:D

blondheim12
12-16-2004, 07:31 AM
Given the above information, why do you also sell your art in shops?
:)

What kind of museum exhibitions do you participate in?
Are you invited to participate in them or are they open to local artists?
:)

Are any of your paintings in the collections of museums?
:)

I have always admired your marketing smarts.
:)

Why do I sell in shops? Because people buy my paintings there. Why would I not put my work where it sells?

Are any of my paintings in museums? No, I'm not important enough to be collected by museums. However, I do have work in a number of corporate collections around the south.

What kind of exhibitions?
I show in regional museums,university and college galleries, and art centers in Florida, Georgia and Alabama, sometimes in one woman shows, small group shows, and sometimes in juried exhibitons where you must submit slides for inclusion.
Here are a few:
Thomas Center-Gainesville Florida
Ponte Vedre Art Center- Ponte Vedre Florida
Annette Howell Turner Center- Valdosta Georgia
Sylacaga Museum- Alabama
Wiregrass Museum- Alabama

In response to Dianna's comment about subject and medium diversity, you are right. Once you attain a certain level of success and recogniton you may paint anything you please. I was referring to name branding for folks who are starting out in their careers. For myself, I like what I paint and have no desire to change at this point. I do some work for galleries that require European landscapes and such.

This thread has been great.
Love,
Linda

surreal
12-16-2004, 10:56 AM
Thanks for the info you provided, Linda!
:)


You are right in that this thread is excellent!
:)

I have rated this thread "excellent" and hope that others will do the same.
:)

arsinoé
12-16-2004, 12:05 PM
Thanks for the info you provided, Linda!
:)


You are right in that this thread is excellent!
:)

I have rated this thread "excellent" and hope that others will do the same.
:)
I did! :)

hillrune
12-16-2004, 12:59 PM
Sometimes I feel like an octopus. Three arms waving with oils painting abstracts. Three with acrylics painting nudes...how many arms does an octopus have anyway? I'm sure you get the idea...the other two are tapping my chin trying to decide what I want to do next. Each medium brings out different creative styles.

Should I say that for my New Year's Resolution I will settle down and devote myself to exploring one thing at a time?

I don't think it's possible!

Mary

surreal
12-16-2004, 01:09 PM
.............................................
Should I say that for my New Year's Resolution I will settle down and devote myself to exploring one thing at a time?
......................
Definitely not!!!
Never stifle your creativity - the cost may be too great.
The "cost" I speak of is not financial. ;)



........................................
I don't think it's possible!

Mary
Glad to hear that!
:wink2:

matingara
12-16-2004, 05:25 PM
Joel....thanks so much. It is a long slow process so you probably won't have to make those major decisions for a while yet. Why don't you just do as you have been while enjoying yourself and the decision may well be taken out of your hands. Some fantastic gallery may scoop you up....push your prices up sky high...and make you rich!! It wouldn't be the first time. So just maintain that presence and wait and see

Dianna, you are most insightful. You have picked up on a wavelength of thinking that is in my head that I had not really explored inside myself as yet. Whilst I am a hobbyist I am somewhat protected from criticism. I do not take myself seriously as an artist at this stage. I just like to paint and make images that please me - that tell something of my life's story.

I also paint exclusively in watercolor because I have always adored looking at watercolors - and watercolor is not as much in vogue as other media.

NIna, I will most definitely rate this thread excellent!!! :)

Just need to figure out how........

:)

Joel.

ponting
12-17-2004, 03:20 AM
Sometimes I feel like an octopus. Three arms waving with oils painting abstracts. Three with acrylics painting nudes...how many arms does an octopus have anyway? I'm sure you get the idea...the other two are tapping my chin trying to decide what I want to do next. Each medium brings out different creative styles.

Should I say that for my New Year's Resolution I will settle down and devote myself to exploring one thing at a time?

Mary I know of three very high calibre artists who choose to work in varying styles, mediums and subject areas. Then there is also me......doing exactly the same thing. One can never get bored if you let the subject matter choose the medium and style and you also avoid the pitfall of being 'pigeon-holed'.

The trick to success here is to follow your New Year' Resolution and devote yourself to one medium but only as long as it takes to become proficient in it's use before going on to master another. We have all experienced investing time and money on a workshop only to lose most of what we learned when shelve our new-found knowledge before it had a chance to become ingrained. Do this with each newly learn skill and we become a Jack of all trades and master of none.

Thank you surreal and Joel for your kind words.

......Cheers and have fun, Dianna :wave:

Ghislaine Bruno
12-17-2004, 08:19 AM
Great thread, thank you for starting it. And thanks to Dianna and Linda for sharing their knowledge.

On the 16th of november, 2003, I decided to paint more seriously, and specifically, to learn how to paint watercolor flowers. I began journaling about my arts activities on the same day.

One year later, I 've painted a few good florals and sold most of them. I exhibited in a hair salon, at a village fair and in a juried show. The best venue so far is the hair salon ! I would like to give ebay a try, but think it's wiser to develop other venues first. I definitely could'nt live on my art yet, but it pays for any art supplies I feel like buying plus extra. My main problem is I don't paint enough. I plan to improve that. I'm still journaling everyday and it helps a lot not to procrastinate and to stay focused on my goals.

For the upcoming year, I plan to always have a body of 10 works and paint another watercolor as soon as one is sold. I also intend to paint larger works. I'm going to give ebay a try in february or march. In between my watercolor activities, I want to experiment oil landscapes. This should keep me buzy enough.

Ghislaine.

hillrune
12-17-2004, 08:50 AM
Dianna, You're right! I should strive for excellence.

That's a good one since I am such a fast slap it on kind of painter. If I take a whole day on anything I have stretched myself. No wonder I likened myself to an octopus. My subconscious knew...

Okay then, a new resolution - I will strive to take longer?

I hope my sense of humor comes across I really do have a strange set of funny bones. It's hereditary! All my father's fault. My mother never had them.

Mary

theIsland
12-17-2004, 01:42 PM
In the new year, my priority is to get organized! My art and shipping supplies have overrun the available space, but will fit just fine if I install the closet organizer that's been sitting in the garage for a year. The situation is so bad that I lost the small frames I had custom made to fit gift boxes for Christmas sales. I felt like I had lost my mind - how does something as big as a box of frames disappear in a house as small as ours? When I finally found them (too late), they were in the empty Christmas tree box, where I stashed them to save space after we put the tree up.

Also I want to put up several rows of picture shelving in my studio. That way I can display the paintings on the shelves, and stash any related paperwork (COAs, etc) behind each painting. So I can be more organized and have a nice little rotating gallery too. The hubby likes this idea, because he can enjoy the paintings for awhile before they're out the door.

I need to be more careful about backing up my records. Our computer fried recently, taking all my eBay and tax-related stuff with it. I finally have the HD in a new machine now, so it'll be okay, but it's a scary thing to happen in December. So from now on, I'm going to back up everything on CD.

As for eBay, I will continue to enjoy it, and see where it takes me. I have no desire to "wean" myself from it. I love selling there! It's the wave of the future, and I'm happy to be part of it. Because of eBay, selling art is much easier than it's ever been. And it's fun! The exposure is fantastic, and I think the traditionalists might be surprised at the quality of some of the buyers. I've shipped paintings to recognizable names or addresses in Manhattan, and thought to myself, "Gallery artists work years to attract these kind of buyers, and I'm selling to them right here on eBay!" Better yet, I'm the one establishing the relationship with the client, not some gallery rep. Their phone numbers and addresses go in my records, not theirs. Because my background is in commercial art and portrait commissions, I'm used to dealing directly with the clients, so eBay sales are right up my alley. I intend to keep working to build them in the coming year.

I'm coming off a long hiatus, so I need to get back into the groove of doing offline promotional stuff. This time around, my goal will be to get new people to my website, and from there, to eBay. I need to get some magazine advertising together, articles, and hopefully a cover. I need to think about getting some letters behind my name, not for me, but for the people who have already supported my art. So I'll apply to a professional organization later this year. I've already done enough of their juried shows to apply, I just need to get the portfolio together and DO it.

To everyone, thanks for all the great information you've posted in 2004. This forum has been an invaluable source of information. May you have much success in 2005, and find yourself one step closer to your goals this time next year. :)

Noma

ponting
12-17-2004, 04:43 PM
Hello Ghislaine... :wave: ...I have never heard of anyone selling through and hair salon and successfully too.........who'd a thunk it eh? It is great to see everyone come up with their own inovative ideas. Good luck with your career.

Cheers, Di

blondheim12
12-17-2004, 05:07 PM
Dianna,
I sell well at upscale hair salons, bookshops, Dr offices, banks, and cafe's. Lots of regular folks out there who can afford to have their nails done and eat out, also buy original art.
Love,
Linda

ponting
12-17-2004, 05:52 PM
To everyone, thanks for all the great information you've posted in 2004. This forum has been an invaluable source of information. May you have much success in 2005, and find yourself one step closer to your goals this time next year. :)

My sentiments exactly Norma..........Dianna

hillrune
12-17-2004, 07:43 PM
As for places to sell art don't forget restaurants and other public buildings! Even banks!

Especially in a tourist town. I know around here it's great to be asked to fill walls with your art. Quite an honor and a way for the restaurant manager to draw in crowds as well as sponsoring the local artist population. They even hold openings just like in private galleries. And the art sells!

The only drawback and one that I consider is will there be smoking around the art. It's funny how that lingers and bothers non smokers.

Mary

blondheim12
12-17-2004, 09:18 PM
Mary,
In Florida there is no smoking allowed in restaurants.
Love,
Linda

surreal
12-18-2004, 11:49 AM
Dianna,
I sell well at upscale hair salons, bookshops, Dr offices, banks, and cafe's. Lots of regular folks out there who can afford to have their nails done and eat out, also buy original art.
Love,
Linda

Hi Linda,
I greatly admire your energetic marketing!!!
And the fact that you are selling well at the places you indicate in your above post is marvellous!
Congrats to you!
:)

blondheim12
12-18-2004, 12:54 PM
Thanks Nina,
I will point out that everything Dianna says is true about making a reputation for yourself in the industry. If you want to look important on the national level and be perceived as one of the "Biggies" in the art world, you will not be able to market as I do. You will have to give up selling in shops and ebay and pursue museums and galleries only. Not a thing wrong with that approach, in fact it is more the norm than my way.

I am one of those folks who doesn't care about achieving national status. I want to sell my work, teach and paint. Those are my joys. At 54+ years old I am past caring about status or jockying for position. I Yam What I Yam as Popeye would say. I have a comfortable life and I enjoy the client base I have. I love selling on Ebay because it is exciting and fun. I have enough exhibitions to stay very busy, so I'm happy. My focus at this point is painting every day and I enjoy every minute.
Love,
Linda

hillrune
12-18-2004, 09:31 PM
Hey Linda, my husband's father lives in Gainesville. What a nice town.

Mary

blondheim12
12-18-2004, 09:49 PM
Yes, It is a wonderful place. There are lots of artists here.
Love,
Linda