Jane Appleby has been an artist on MyArtClub.Com since the spring of 2000. Jane's site has consistently
attracted high numbers of visitors each month. So we sat down with Jane for an in-depth discussion on her
approach to her website, and her thoughts generally about promoting her art successfully.
On websites and promotion by artists
MyArtClub: What ways do you get customers to come to your website?
Jane: By handing out my card to anyone that might be interested-even the milkman. (He
actually came to one of our shows). When people ask what I do I say, "I paint..."
Usually they want to know more because they are not sure what I paint so when they ask
I explain briefly and mention "MyArtClub.Com" -and I offer my card. If I feel it
appropriate to ask for their email I do but otherwise I leave it up to them.
When I invite people to my shows I include the web site address on the invite (in bold or
some other colour to make it stand out). People that cannot make it might like at least to
view some paintings over the web. Many like to preview some of the show and actually
ask if they can see the painting before the show.
I find it easier to promote MyArtClub.Com as it is a site of many artists and I mention
that often. I may say something like: "You know there are a number of wonderful artist
on the site my work is on that you may enjoy". I expect not everyone will like what I do
so I invite them to view others work. And I truly do like the work and calibre of artists
that I "share the site with" so am happy to promote it.
Furthermore, I think it is important to provide opportunities for people to learn about art,
and that it can be something fun to view or to take part in. And heck people love talking
about the latest site to visit so why shouldn't it be MyArtClub.Com or ApplebyArt.Com?
Part of really promoting is talking about what you do to as many people that are
interested. And because I not only sell art but I also teach that opens up the discussion to
almost anyone that may be interested in taking up a creative outlet. In that way I have
been able to get many people visiting my site.
MyArtClub: Do you use other ways to promote your art?
Jane: Word of mouth has seemed to work the best for me so far. But I highly regard the
galleries, offices, restaurants or any other location that an artist hangs their work at as one
of the most important ways to promote work. Not to mention the people that work there.
I always try to respect what they do and I am thankful for their support.
MyArtClub: If you had 2 or 3 suggestions for artists to raise their profile or visibility, or to
increase website traffic, what would they be?
Jane: Hang your work to show!! It's a lot of work but worth it even without sales. What
job doesn't have its brunt of grunt work?
Of course include your web site on the cards that describe the painting or have business
cards available there for people that may want one.
What an artist have a "Business card"? Absolutely!! And many of them!
MyArtClub: Time spent promoting takes away from time creating art, how do you balance this
Jane: I work fast so that helps. It has been interesting to find out about running a business
and learning as I go. I do not have a business background (it's actually in Biology)
however getting a degree prepared me for perseverance in completing tasks.
Much of my time creating inspires me to want to share my work with others and thus gets
me to the computer to upload images and post updates. I have a digital camera that I like
because I do not have to take a whole roll to developed them so when I finish a painting I
feel it gets it's little showing right away as I put it on the web.
It may take much longer for me to actually frame it and get it to a gallery so I guess I like
that initial landmark of at least getting my painting on the web. And it's important to pat
yourself on the back once in awhile!
In Part 3 of the article, Jane discusses the benefits of having her site.
About Jane Appleby
Jane Appleby has been an artist on MyArtClub.Com since spring 2000. She is program
coordinator and past president of the Burnaby Artist Guild, as well as active member of the
Federation of Canadian Artists, Artfully Yours and the Burnaby Arts Council.
Our thanks to Jane Appleby for her valuable contribution with this article.
This article was first published in the My Art News Letter #9