Blogs filed with the tag - Basics
Sep 24,2007
Building Your Art Business-The Four Basics,Part 1
Filed under: Commentary Marketing Recommendations Tags: People Space Time Money Basics Ruth+Payne

The following blog is the third in a series of articles from our guest, Ruth Payne. For many of you in the Vancouver area, Ruth Payne will need no introduction. Ruth is the curator at the Ferry Building Gallery and the Visual Arts Coordinator of West Vancouver Cultural Services. "Sacred space and sacred time and something joyous to do is all we need. Almost anything then becomes a continuous and increasing joy." – Joseph Campbell The Four Basics for building your art business are People, Space, Time and Money People to advise, encourage and help you Space to do your art and business Time to do your art and business Money to keep the wolf away from the door PEOPLE The people in your life who support your art business are your pit crew. They are the ones that spin your tires! They beam you up, dust you off and say…get back on the horse! Know who these people are. Let go of the naysayers, who may be envious or are just Negative Nellies. You don't have time for anyone who does not have positive and encouraging energy in regards to your art and business. Life is wondrous, the world is waiting for your art, and it is full of creative art marketing opportunities for you to grab. Let no one hold you back. Most people, if you explain heartfully to them, will understand and have great respect for the time you need to do your art, the path you are pursuing and the goals you have for your art sales and exhibitions. STUDIO You need a space that is yours to create art in. This may also be the space that you have your art business office in, where you do your marketing from. It is not the kitchen table. It is also not your bedroom or dining room. It is separate from the activities of daily life, and it is your designated art sanctuary. This space can be carved out in an unused garage, garden shed, empty room, space borrowed from a neighbour, artist's warehouse studios as in 1000 Parker Street, Vancouver, communal artist's spaces, rented apartment space, and the outdoor studio if you are a plein air painter. One very successful Vancouver artist has his studio in a converted garage off the alley. He rolls up the doors and it is called the Alley Gallery. Voila! Good lighting is essential, from either a skylight, natural and preferably northern light, or incandescent, but not fluorescent. Fluorescent light distorts colours. Your tools of the trade are a professional sturdy working easel, firm armless chair, preferably the twirling type with a flexible back, your paint and palette table, a filing cabinet for your business and art inventory keeping, and a worktable for your journal and sketchbook. Now add a chair or two for visitors, as well as a small table by the entrance where you have a photo of yourself at work, business cards, portfolio, invitations to exhibitions you may be in, and a vase of fresh flowers. Of course your art speaks for itself, and also the essence of who you are shines through in your studio space. Potential art purchasers are intrigued to meet the artist in his studio, see work-in-progress and generally feel a part of the process. It's all integral to your 'artist's magic' and every bit of your presentation is important. Visiting other artist's studios can be a great way to get creative ideas for your setup, renovation or to make your studio suit your personal style better. It is also a wonderful opportunity to network with other artists in their art-making space. I think it is useful to have a small shrine in the studio. This can be a table, a corner area, a small shelf, whatever works for you. On this you will put inspirational mementos, photographs of your children and mate, the seashell you brought home from your painting trip in Mexico, your little statue of Buddha or whatever has spiritual significance for you, and a candle. It is meant to centre you and bring you to the present moment of appreciation for your artist's life. Note: your business and tax set-up will take into account the space in which you work. Your costs and rental or mortgage agreement i.e. a percentage of your income, if used for work, may be deducted from your taxes. Please read your self-employed/ small business tax form available from Revenue Canada to learn about maximum workable deductions. For detailed information on The Business Of Finding A Workspace, a discussion of zoning requirements, leases, etc., please see Art, the Art Community, and the Law, Self- Counsel Press. In the next part of the article, Ruth discusses the other two basics: time and money. Artfully yours, Ruth Payne, Visual Arts Coordinator, West Vancouver Cultural Services, Ferry Building Gallery Email: rpayne@westvancouver.ca About Ruth Payne Ruth brings 25 years of experience as a gallery curator, visual artist, stress management consultant and teacher and runs the popular Arts Connection Networking Salon for visual artists. This article first appeared in the My Art News Letter #23 read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 07:50
Oct 08,2007
Building Your Art Business-The Four Basics,Part 2
Filed under: Commentary Marketing Recommendations Tags: Time Money People Space Basics Ruth+Payne

The following blog is the third in a series of articles from our guest, Ruth Payne. For many of you in the Vancouver area, Ruth Payne will need no introduction. Ruth is the curator at the Ferry Building Gallery and the Visual Arts Coordinator of West Vancouver Cultural Services. The Four Basics for building your art business are People, Space, Time and Money People to advise, encourage and help you Space to do your art and business Time to do your art and business Money to keep the wolf away from the door TIME "Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it." -Scott Peck Knowing how to set healthy boundaries with others is to know how to really say YES and NO and this in turn saying YES TO YOURSELF. Give yourself what you need in time, for both creating your art and for the marketing of your art. By the way, plan on spending 50% of your time on marketing. (unless you have a gallery to represent you full-time and exclusively) Do you trade your time for easy cash? Don't undersell yourself. Your time is meant for art-making and marketing your work. If you volunteer your time, do it because you want to, consider this tithing your time to help others, mentor students, or talk to a networking group of artists. This time is freely given, even though you may receive a small honorarium as a thank you. I believe that what you give freely and from your authentic self comes back to you at least 10 times. Work from the 80/20 rule that made Walmart so successful. "Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all your energies on a limited set of targets." - Nido Qubein The 80/20 rule says that on a list of 10 tasks, only 2 of those tasks will return 80% of the value of the entire list. Look at your art marketing 'to do' list. Which tasks are directly related to what you want to happen. Find the 2 high- value items on your list and tackle them first. These tasks, contacts, exhibitions, potential buyers are the ones that will really move your career forward. Many of us actively avoid the top 2 priorities because they are more challenging than the rest. If they are to lead us to worthy goals, they are undoubtedly asking us to move into new territory in thinking and acting, and this can be scary. But this is also REWARDING. Focussing on your Centre of Influence, as Stephen R. Covey speaks of, in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, with First Things First, is another way to do this. It takes you out of your Circle of Concern, where you tend to water down your time without concentration on your own needs. This is only a conscious choice away! "Don't kid yourself: it's because you're doing all those C's (low priorities) and NOT because you haven't any time, that you don't get to do you're A's." - Alan Lakein Make yourself a sign: ARTIST AT WORK: Please do not disturb. The flip side will say: ARTIST in STUDIO 2- 5pm: Please come in. One side is for your sacred art-making time and the other side is for open studio time for visitors and buyers. MONEY Don't quit your day job! This may sound trite, but there is nothing attractive about the artist who is really struggling to pay the rent and keep the chicken on the table. This angst comes across in the art you want to sell and it actually pushes the buyer away. It speaks of neediness and lack of security and it is not attractive. Balance in all aspects of your life will allow you to pursue your art business with ease and confidence. If your partner is willing to support you, you have an inheritance, or you are retiring, then great. Just make sure you have enough money for your basic living expenses, and to be able to invest in your art business. You will need to spend money on a website, invitations, business cards, as well as art-making supplies and framing. Extra cash is a necessity for this. I encourage you to add to this list, then post it in your studio as a reminder of what you will give to yourself! Artfully yours, Ruth Payne, Visual Arts Coordinator, West Vancouver Cultural Services, Ferry Building Gallery Email: rpayne@westvancouver.ca About Ruth Payne Ruth brings 25 years of experience as a gallery curator, visual artist, stress management consultant and teacher and runs the popular Arts Connection Networking Salon for visual artists. This article first appeared in the My Art News Letter #23 read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 07:49
Apr 02,2011
DIY Art Marketing - your top two considerations
Filed under: Commentary Marketing Recommendations Tags: Basics Goals Time Website

DIY (Do-It-Yourself) art marketing has never been so full of potential to help artists become successful. However artists need to realize results will be proportional to the amount of effort they put in. DIY artist websites offer artists the advantage of low start up costs; total control over content and display options; and powerful art marketing tools. With this in mind, artists need to consider how to make the best use of their time and money. We believe the key considerations are to determine: 1) your internet marketing goals and 2) your time commitment to execute your DIY effort. Goals: The first question to ask when considering your DIY web presence is: What are your expectations from having a website? Your answer might be some combination of: To show your art to others To connect with and build your audience To market and sell your art Time Commitment: The second question you need to ask yourself is: How much time are you willing to invest in achieving your DIY web presence objectives? You might reply with one of these typical answers: 1-2 hours / quarter – Time to build and maintain a web presence is time out of the studio! Save me from the computer! 1-2 hours / month- I just want to update occasionally when necessary. 1-2 hours / week – I am fairly committed – I see online presence as an important part of my marketing efforts. 1 hours / day – I am on the computer a lot and I really want to promote my art and art career for part of my day! An organized approach: With your answers to these 2 top considerations you will know where to focus your efforts. In upcoming blog entries, we will go into detail the web activities available to you to achieve your goals, reviewing the purpose of these activities along with their pros and cons. A summary of many typical artist website features or activities can be found here or a short commentary can be found here. Think of the three goals as if climbing a ladder. First build your site to show, then up a rung to connect, and further up to sell your art. Your time commitment should focus on the minimum required portion, the Basics of each rung, before advancing to the next rung on the ladder. Select anything from Optional section to enhance your artist website efforts. To Show Basics: Prepare suitable "jpeg" images of your art. Upload art images. Upload a picture of yourself. Choose your domain name. Optional: Upload a logo / signature header. Set site template colours and fonts. Group art by type in sub-pages (we call these "Studios"). Add your YouTube videos. Add a flash slideshow. Add music. To Connect Basics: Upload your Artist Statement, Resume and Contact info. Announce your website launch and subsequent updates. Link to sites you love. Add your domain name to your email signature. Add commentary, stories about each artwork. Optional: Set prices for gallery sales. Upload calendar events. Upload your email list. Email news of shows etc to your list. Blog about your target customers needs. Segment your contact list and email targeted messages. Use Facebook, Twitter to connect from and to your website. Create videos on YouTube and post to your blog or website. Add lots more links. Post comments on the blogs of others. Showcase your unique expertise or passion. To Sell (direct from the artist) Basics: Set up a payment provider account (e.g. PayPal, Visa etc). Set your pricing for direct sales. Add Order Forms, Price List and an Art Catalogue. Ask clients to buy from your site. Optional: Advertise on the internet. Offer specials – do some merchandizing. Prepare prints or lower price versions of your artwork. Give your customers specials / freebies. Use eBay and other online markets to meet new clients. Target your customer segment and converse via their community's blogs. How do you feel about our assessment? Your comments would help us understand your artist issues with managing an artist website. What have we got right or what have we missed? read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 07:53
Aug 11,2011
Top 5 key customer-driven necessities to sell art
Filed under: Analysis Marketing Tags: Customers Findings Promoting Website Basics Organizing Selling

A lot of artists wonder what it takes to sell art. They wonder what they have to do to become self supporting selling art. Some dream to earn a good living as an artist. There is nothing wrong about the idea of selling, and selling often. It doesn't have to be some wild and crazy dream to earn a good living from art. But it does have to be a business. Stop for a moment and ask yourself this: who do you know that makes a good living doing as they please? Is your answer a movie star, sports star, political figure, perhaps business owner? Think for a moment...are these people really free...totally free....to do anything they like and yet will continue to grow their incomes? Consider these career types a little deeper and you will see the movie star has to play a written role on screen and do it well, the sports star has to practice, produce points, and the business person is expected to add value to the bottom line. If they do not, their income will diminish and probably quite quickly, not grow. I think the only possible positive answer to this question is someone who is financially independent with a broad portfolio of business interests not reliant on the investor. A wealthy person can earn a living from their money and investments. They do not have to serve others to live comfortably if their investments are well managed. Artists who are financially independent are indeed fortunate, however in order to sell their art beyond sporadically, they still need to behave as if they are in business. As an artist you may think simply producing art is a valued service. Isn't that enough value add to be paid? Maybe, but only if someone else takes care of the admin and selling. It will take great art marketing. In short, all thriving businesses must provide products or services to customers that are 1) unique, 2) desired, 3) known, 4) convenient and 5) current. Let me explain these points from the view of the customer, with the example that they are purchasing a cell phone which is selling extremely well, the iPhone 4. Artists can provide these 5 necessities, here is how: 1) Unique A cell phone has a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). For example, the Apple iPhone 4 offers slimmer phone, better screen viewing, among other features. Apple itself as supplier is also important. Apple is a well known provider of designs that work well. The stronger the USP for a product vs. other similar solutions, the better it will sell. All works of original art are by nature unique. Uniqueness of art is a major attraction. This does not mean the art must be only the original. Our art marketing customer survey showed that of all potential customers, 65% said they purchase originals and 67% buy copies. How the customers value their unique personal connection to the work is more the nature of uniqueness in the art world. Artists create a personal brand image that is unique to them. There is only one you. Customers value knowing the artist, and add the uniqueness of the artist to the uniqueness of the work in valuing an individual art work. Build more about yourself into your art marketing. 2) Desired There are two main desire marketing aspects, product benefits and scarcity. In the example of the iPhone 4, it has sold very well because the USP offered is something customers value. If the USP of the iPhone 4 was that it made random noises, customers would not like that USP, and that product benefit would be not valued! When Apple launches any new product they follow a set formula to make it seem scarce. The build desire to the point early adopter buyers line up over night to be the first to have one. Sometimes the uniqueness can turn off a buyer, so just being unique is not enough. A desired work of art is beyond just unique. Customers in our survey (78%) mainly bought on impulse, because they loved the work. Really great quality of the art is the essential element that is required. Components of quality of art abound, but here is one particular simple view I liked. Artist (or should I say 100 artists in one – click here to understand why I say that ) Shea Hembrey suggests the main aspect of art can be summarized as Head, Hand, and Heart. Does the art and thus the artist stimulate intellectual interest or curiosity? (the head) Does the art illustrate the highest skills of the artist? (the hand) Does the art show the artist's passion? (the heart) A big part of desire is scarcity, whether real or perceived. When Apple launches any new product they follow a set formula to make it seem scarce. They build desire through pre-launch marketing to the point that buyer's line up over night to be the first to have one. Original art is very scarce, yet rare is the line up! Creating scarcity is what merchandizing marketing does when the offer is time limited, or available only to the first few in the door, or limited quantity, etc. Artists with better merchandizing use these techniques to boost client's desires. Very few artists market this way, until maybe after they die, and someone else takes up the marketing challenge. Consider pre- releasing information about the art. Arrange a private showing only for special clients. Consider a website with log-in for those privileged few to view hidden pages. 3) Known This element is about people knowing about an available product. Typically advertising whether formal or by word of mouth, are the means. Apple and the iPhone 4 are certainly well known, and are advertised everywhere, just to keep it top of mind. Artists and their art must be known in many ways. Known as to who they are, recognizable in their art, and known for what they stand. The more you show, and are seen by your customers and potential customers, the more chances you have to be known. It may sound simple, but it may be the artist's greatest challenge to become known. The good news is that, if uniqueness and desire levels are high, then getting known is much easier, as others will help pave the way. Until that hallowed time when others jump in to do your all your marketing, you need to focus mainly on your art, and building customer base as best you can. Communicate to your buyers often. Websites, newsletters, emails and social media facebook are great ways. Let them know you are still out there, so you too are top of mind. Be sure to follow up with your current clients to ensure they are most satisfied. When you are very sure they are, ask if they may want to invite a friend or two to your studio. It would be a way to show your appreciation to the client, and that they may show your works to potential new clients. 4) Convenient Today with the general conveniences offered by stores, shopping centers and the internet, all with carefully crafted displays and customer policies, it is hard to imagine buying an iPhone 4 could be made even more convenient. Notice too, a big part of the convenience is the display is especially set to maximize impulse purchases. As mentioned earlier, customers reported that art is mainly an impulse buy. One implication is that art must be available to be seen. So just being out there, everywhere, with highly attractive product is best. While this is not practical or easy, the more you do to offer your art, the better. Each year plan your exposure count. How many people will see my work, and will know it is by me, and will come to know me and my work? The more you can be seen by potential customers, the more you will sell, and grow your business. Offer to hang the buyers purchase. Offer to help them choose a frame. Offer great money back or gift exchange policies. Our art marketing customer survey also found of art buyers that 70% buy for personal use and 58% buy as a gift. Don't miss the gift opportunity! Have a convenient gift exchange policy. Tickle the customer's impulses with the age old suggestion that this makes a great gift. 5) Current A product can be all of the above, but if it is perceived as out of date, it will not sell. In the cell phone example, the iPhone 4 is the current rage, for sure. But sales will plummet the day Apple announces the coming of the iPhone 5. The price of the iPhone 4 will drop at that point, to bring more clients in to their customer base. New art does not necessarily bump out old art, but there is a school of thought that art from living artists should be perceived as recent works. After all, if you are progressing, a customer may perceive your more recent works to be higher on the progression scale. Keep your products and services evolving! You should be showing progress as an artist, you need not however, to be following fads. Stay true to your art AND progress. All your marketing print and web promotional items should be current and refreshed regularly. Stay with the times. Reflect what is going on in our world, through your work. Tell us some interesting stories through your work. Are you in business? The list above shines more light on the nature of the demands our customers place on all sellers, and in particular artists. Notice the customer perception of how you fulfill the demands is key. I know you do this already, and can do even more, when you break down what it is you are providing your client. As you think about these, do you see ways to make this a reality? How are you doing in each of these categories? Which area holds the most promise / opportunity? read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 10:57
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