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My Art News Letter #22
In this newsletter:
  • Ruth Payne: A Multitude of Exhibition Venues
  • Using live email links to build your address list
  • Get permission to sell celebrity images

Art Marketing Tips & Tactics

A Multitude of Exhibition Venues
by Ruth Payne,

Visual Arts Coordinator, West Vancouver Cultural Services, Ferry Building Gallery

Art Fairs, Outdoor Shows, Tradeshows, One-Of-A-Kind Shows, Festivals, Markets

In exhibiting your art, you certainly are not limited to commercial and public galleries. There are endless opportunities and venues for both selling and showing art if you become creative about researching prospects.

Many artists despair when turned down by a jury or when they get a 'sorry' letter from a commercial gallery. They then go into hiding, so to speak, wondering if the world of art lovers and buyers will ever find them.

If you look, you will usually find an opportunity for exhibiting in your own neighbourhood. First of all, consider home studio/gallery exhibitions. Host your own show and reception, or team up with fellow artists. Buyers love to visit the working space and creative homes of artists and this is often where the most sales will occur.

Don't forget to display a painting on the outside of your home or studio. Why not? Hang a piece that you will delegate as a promotional piece and don't mind if it gets beaten up by the weather, right on your front door. It is very appealing to see art on the exterior of a home and it immediately brands what you do. If you work is 3-D, I suggest the same thing. You can display art in the garden, in an outdoor entrance alcove, in the apartment building foyer…there are many more possibilities.

Alternative Venues

An array of alternative commercial venues exist for marketing art, and many buyers prefer the demystified and relaxed atmosphere of these for purchasing art. The following are some options, and you can add your own to this list:

  • Shopping mall exhibits, merchant windows
  • Offices: doctors, dentists, law offices, accountants, SPCA, veterinarians, investment firms.
  • Real estate offices, movie sets, homes for sale (staging)
  • Wine shops (often will display your art; then host a reception to celebrate both your art and their wine- -a winning combo!)
  • Cafes, restaurants
  • Hospitals, airports, banks, retail clothing stores, design shops, textile stores, shoe stores
  • City halls, hotels, public facilities, day cares, schools, universities.

Be willing to do the installation yourself and always sign the art, place a label next to it on the wall with your name, title of piece, medium, price and your contact info. Sign the art on the back with a Sharpee felt pen and put the date and a © for copyright.

Offering a commission of the sale to the hosting venue is an incentive for them to talk up your art. Write it all down, make sure you keep a copy, and keep in touch with the store, etc, every two weeks.

* Never display your art in a place where there are toxic substances, extreme light or temperature, moisture, fumes or chemicals that will damage it (i.e. drycleaners).

Tradeshows and outdoor art fairs can be great venues in which to sell to a large amount of buyers and reach an international market. This is generally very hard work and requires a finely rehearsed system to make it happen smoothly. However, it is an effective way to pay the mortgage!

Art Fairs are usually juried and you can do this by mail or email. There will be a fee and you will have to set up your own booth with displays, lighting, and furniture. You can rent equipment from companies specializing in display equipment. (i.e. Eddie's Hang-Ups, Vancouver). The Yellow Pages is a good source for renting racks and lighting.

I do know of a number of artists who sell extremely well at fairs in the larger cities and they have developed an efficient system to the way they pack, ship, setup and sell their art. One artist paints oil on canvas pinned to the wall. She then rolls the painting, places it into a mailing tube and ships it to the city where the fair is. Sometimes she takes them on the plane with her. When she gets to the fair, she has them put on stretchers. This cuts down on the hassles and costs of shipping.

  • Go online to find information for large city outdoor shows and fairs. Locally, your Arts Councils and Craft Associations can give/sell a resource guide.
  • Don't overlook the idea of local farmer's markets, fairs, and art festivals. Art can be sold at the most unlikely time, in the most unlikely way, at the most unlikely venue. This is guerilla marketing and the opportunities are endless. You could sell a $2000 painting in the Whistler weekend Farmer's Market, to a woman who is browsing and shopping for organic potatoes while her husband is playing a round of golf.
  • Art in the Park: Stanley Park in Vancouver is a bustling art market. Check out these options in your hometown, or create your own group to sell art in park areas. Plein air painting is very inviting to viewers, Europe is famous for it and it is a wonderful opportunity to sell your work.
  • Cruise ships and tourist locations.
  • Special events and occasions: political events, 2010 Olympics, sports and cultural events.
Guerilla marketing = unconventional marketing intended to get maximum results from minimal resources (it is worthwhile to search Guerilla Marketing on the internet. There are a host of worthwhile manuals, books and tips).

Best of success with your summer art sales!

Artfully yours,
Ruth Payne
Email: rpayne@westvancouver.ca

Using live email links to build your email address list

When visitors come to your MyArtClub.Com artist website, you can use "live" email links to your email address to encourage them to write to you. When they click on the link, their email opens ready to send an email to you.

Offer your visitor something you can send to them for free, and ask for them to write you by clicking on your email link. You get to start a dialog with a new visitor.

For example, let's say you just created a new image based on a new technique, one which is something different. You show the new image, and in the text describing the work you offer to tell the visitor more about the technique, how it works etc.

The technical element is this, just be careful to be exact (always test your entry):
To create a link to your email address, use the following html format:
myemailaddress@telus.net
where you substitute your email address for "myemailaddress@telus.net"

Here is our example, from our fictitious character example site, from the "Artist Statement" section. See if you can find this…at www.myartclub.com/art.meister

Please write to us now to find out more about artist statements. Send an email requesting "Artist statement details" to: Webmaster@MyArtClub.Com You'll be glad you did!

Place various offers through out your site. Be sure to respond to the emails requesting you fulfill the offer. It can be anything, tips of the trade, travel tips, anything you like, even a recipe!

You will be using your site to build your mailing list, the most important thing you can do. When someone writes to you, be sure to add their email to your list. Now they will hear from you when you add more work or have a show.

Get permission to sell celebrity images

In general pictures you take can be used as a basis for art. However with celebrities, getting permission is a good idea. Otherwise you may be unwittingly exploiting their rights to control their publicity.

On the US website from CafePress.com, an extensive discussion on this topic is posted. Cafepress.com reproduces items that are based on images posted by artists for commercial purposes. You might find it useful. Here is the link.
http://www.cafepress.com/cp/info/help/law.aspx
and on that page you will see this Q & A: (True and false format)

Assumption:
I took the photo, so I can use it however I want.
FALSE.
Simply taking a photo of a person, company, brand, logo or the like does not afford you the right to sell merchandise featuring that photograph. There are two distinct intellectual property rights in a photograph: (1) the rights in the photograph itself and (2) the rights in the subject of the picture, such as the product or person shown in it. For example, if you take a photo of a celebrity, you only own the rights to the photo, but not the right to use the photo of a celebrity for merchandise sale. In order to sell merchandise with the image, you will need to obtain explicit permission from the celebrity.

From the Canadian perspective, there is a good link from the Federal Government as a legal guideline for Museums. http://www.chin.gc.ca/English/Intellectual_Property/Licensing_Images/publicity.html

From that link it says: "In Canadian law, some legal protection is available in situations where there is an exploitation. In the case of living persons, written releases should be obtained from persons whose images are used commercially."

If the photos are yours, there should not be any issue in basing an art image on the photo. If not, then you would need the photographer's permission. If the photos were taken at a concert or other venue where cameras were not permitted, then do not use those photos.

Well that is it for the July 2007 update.
Thanks for reading - hope you enjoyed it, look forward to seeing your latest art and comments on the Internet!

Peter Newell and Cam Anderson,
MyArtClub.Com

Do you have any questions, comments or suggestions?
Please write to us at: Webmaster @MyArtClub.Com

P.S. Previous issues of this newsletter are available on the MyArtClub.Com under the Member's Help Section.

P.P.S. please pass this newsletter along to others. Any artist who doesn't have a site with MyArtClub.Com is welcome to post up to 3 of their images in the MyArtClub.Com Showcase Gallery at no charge, and will receive newsletters too!


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