Five reasons people give away their art

Back in the day I was the Director of Market Research at BYTE magazine.  My job was to prove the value of our readership for the ad sales staff.  I used to cringe when the young, inexperienced sales people used to come back to the publisher with some truly awful deals that would basically be giving away ad space.  Any fool can give things away for less than their value.   A seasoned professional or informed amateur recognizes the value of their work and the market needs.

The Line Up
The Line Up – call in the usual suspects – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/the-line-up-edward-fielding.html

Why do people give away their photographs and art?

The global art market achieved total sales of $63.8 billion in 2015.  People want to buy art and photography for their home and office.  They need to purchase art and photography for commercial purposes such as advertising, web pages, brochures, magazines, books, etc yet some people continue to give away their artwork and photographs or seriously undervalue their work.

Why is this?  I can think of five reasons:

Ignorance – They don’t understand the value of images in today’s marketplace and don’t realize the value of what they have. I recently sold an image for $360 profit a friend gave me. He didn’t understand the value of the image he had and I offered to sell it for him.  Images have value in the fine art market and commercial market.  It is just a matter of realizing it.

Exposure – Photographers and artists are often under the impression that giving away their images will somehow lead to future sales or recognition. The problem is that millions of images are given away every day on social media and there isn’t enough “exposure” to go around. What’s the value of this exposure? Perhaps 1 cent in today’s market. People value what they pay for – no one brags about art they got for free. And no one who has gotten something for free is going to pay for it the next time. They’ll just look for another free source the next time. And the value of someone looking for freebies as a “collector” is worthless. You want to cultivate a follow of people who value what you are offering, not people looking for freebies.

They are amateurs or hobbyists – The amateur or hobbyist is not looking to make a living on their photography or artwork.  They simply enjoy producing images for fun and are happy enough for others to look at their images.  They don’t want to the pressure of having to ask for money and would rather just give away their images.  They live for likes and shares.   The problem with this mindset is that it brings down the over all market and prevents the amateur or hobbyist from ever becoming a professional.  After being conditioned with instant success from likes and shares of their freebies, they are unprepared with standing up for the true value of their work and asking for money for their time, skill and effort.  The advanced amateur or hobbyist is setting themselves up for being asked to shoot weddings, soccer games, portraits for free.

They want to build up a portfolio – This might be the best reason to actually giving away services for free.  If you need to create a portfolio and need access to models or locations or maybe even a good project idea.  But there is no reason to give your time and effort for nothing.  Barter and exchange services instead.  Trade headshots for modeling time.  Create a video for a local business in exchange to some free time at the gym or on the massage table.  Don’t work for free, instead exchange one valuable service for another.

They don’t know how easy it is to take their goods to market – Some artists and photographers simple don’t know how easy it is to participate in the art and photography markets.  In the old days perhaps the only way to sell your art and photography was to take your portfolio around to galleries or sell directly to the public.  But with the Internet there are countless markets amateurs and professional photographers and artists can participate .  Stock agencies cater to professional image buyers and online galleries and print on demand sites sell directly to the public.  I explain how to sell via POD sites in these blog posts:

Ideas for making money with your camera

The market for photography is $10 billion dollars in the United States and is expect to grow at a rate of 1.8 percent annually.

Still images and video are needed more than ever in the digital age in portraits, business promotion, product photography, food photography, event photography and editorial photography to illustrate articles, news sources and websites. While the costs of photographer and the fees paid to photographers have decreased due to easier to use and process digital photography the need for images is always increasing.

The Photography industry has experienced several changes as digital cameras and post-production technologies have increasingly affected operators. While photographers are benefiting from the changes by increasing their efficiency and availability, consumers are now able to take professional-quality images without the need of a specialist.

Revenue is expected to improve slightly in the next five years as photographer focus on niche markets, such as events, sports and church directory photography.

Common industry services include school and family portraits, special events photography and sports’ photography. As consumers make up the largest buyers of these services, photography studios tend to be concentrated in densely populated areas.

Cities, in addition to being densely populated, have the largest amount of business activity. This leads industry establishments that focus on commercial and industrial photography to also concentrate in densely populated areas although the web allows photographers to find International and Domestic markets.

Top Ways to Make Money With Your Camera

1 – Sell Prints – I talk about how to sell prints of your photographs in my series on Print On Demand sites – http://www.dogfordstudios.com/understanding-print-demand/

You can also sell prints locally at galleries and  arts and crafts fairs.

2 – Stock Photography – You can upload your images to a stock photography agency who will then offer them to image buyers and designers to be used in publications, on the web,  on products etc.

Example of a licensed image.
Example of a licensed image.

For example the above image title “Wash Day” and which I sell as prints has also been licensed for use on the cover of a pet magazine in Florida.  https://edwardfielding.me/2014/02/07/wash-day-makes-the-front-page/

A few things to remember about stock photography:

  • Fine art photographs are not always suitable for stock images and conversely not all stock images make great fine art photographs.
  • Stock photographs need to be useful for the business buyers/designers.  They need copyspace, they need images that will illustrate the products and services they are selling or support the editorial in a magazine or on a blog.
  • A stock portfolio needs to be diverse, constantly updated and have a very large number of unique images to get noticed.  If you think you’ll upload 40 images and then kick back and watch the money flow in, you will be disappointed.

Sell Art Online

3 – Event Photography – Capturing images for an event such as a wedding, party, club, or special occasion is a great way to make money with your camera.  Even though everyone has a camera these days on their smart phone, smart people and people with money to spend on the good things in life know that it better to leave important things like capturing the event in pictures to the pros with the good equipment.  The pro might be the only one not drunk and certainly the only one in the room fully concentrated on getting the job done.

4. Portraits – From Headshots to Mugshots – the ability to photograph people well is the ticket to success.  Landscapes are for the hobbyists and amateurs.  Professionally produced portaits are money in the bank for the professional photographer.  Learn how to make people look good and you will have a successful photography business.
Sell Art Online

I’ve Sold 500+ Artworks and Photographs on Fine Art America!

Over 500 sales on Fine Art America!

Success on Fine Art America – I’ve been a member of Fine Art America and Pixels since 2011 and have 700+ followers and my work has been seen by 1,500,000+ visitors.


To date I’ve sold 500 of the 4,500+ images in my portfolio. Some have sold numerous times so the actual total number of sales is over 800. I keep track of the images that have sold in this gallery – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/collections/recently+sold+on+faa+pixels

Now are these my best work?  I don’t know,  I have my own favorites but these are the photographs and art images that my collectors have chosen to purchase as prints, framed art, phone cases, tote bags, throw pillows, metal prints, greeting cards etc.

I might pick different images to show at a gallery or put in a book….

Make your own photobook – https://share.picaboo.com/x/4CsqWA

…but as far as selling via my online gallery with Fine Art America and Pixels, these are the images the buyers have liked enough to spend money on.

Some of the images in my recently sold gallery have only sold once so far, other sell over and over. Some of my top sellers include the following images:

Photography Prints

Photography Prints

Art Prints

Art Prints

Photography Prints

Photography Prints

Now I’ll be the first one to tell you that selling artwork in a crowded marketplace is not easy. Sellers out number buyers by thousands to one. The odds are against you that you will be able to break through the pack, get noticed and find buyers for your work.

It took me about three years of uploading quality, intriguing, unique, niche focused artwork and marketing it on a consistent basis before I started to see steady sales. A few more years of building up my portfolio and brand to the point that I could say I make a living off of my photography and art.

Most people give up before they see any benefits. They end up blaming the system for their lack of success. But the true is that they didn’t put in the time and effort required to succeed in a market with more suppliers than buyers. You have to create stunning work and get people to see it among the millions of other people who are trying to do the same. Dreams are nice but actually hard work is what is required to make dreams come true.

Don’t be the victim of an art scam!

Artists are easy and frequent targets of scammers

Momma always said “If it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t”

Art scam 101 – When someone contacts you out of the blue and wants to purchase your artwork it’s often exciting.  Someone found me, looked at my work and wants to buy it!  Unfortunately a lot of these contacts are from scammers trying to rip off your art and your money.

Artist get targeted by scammers all the time.  I suppose we are an easy mark for a few reasons.

  • Artists tend be optimists and see the good in people
  • Artists tend to be naive to the world of crooks and scammers
  • Artists are used to shipping their product around the world
  • Artists have an emotional attachment to their art and want others to love it as much as they do.
  • Artists typically need the money, to pay the studio rent, pay for supplies and eat.
Red Neck Moving Day
http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/red-neck-moving-day-edward-fielding.html

What does a typical art scam look like?

There are a few well-worn art scams that have been around forever and are still being used by art scammers.

Usually there is some kind of story involved.  The person loves your work, they are moving to a new house and want to buy several pieces to decorate it.  Basically they are setting up with the prospect of a very large sale but it has lots of conditions and has to be completed quickly (before you realize it’s a scam!).

Hello Artist.
I am interested in purchasing some creative artworks from you let me know their various prices and i will be happy to have these selected artworks hanged in our new home. As well, I want you to take out the shipping cost.I have been in touch with a shipping firm that will be shipping other house decorative, We are traveling from our home to our new apartment as soon as possible,Please let me know on how to proceed and kindly reply to my personal e-mail at

Have a wonderful day.

Best regards,
Mr Mike.

Common tip offs that it’s a art scam include:

  • Foreign sounding names
  • Strange looking email accounts
  • Names that don’t match the email account or names that change between emails
  • They want to use their own shipping company
  • The quickness they want everything (willing to pay for super expensive fast shipping).
  • The lack of interest in the details like the size of the paintings or even the price.
  • When you send them to your easy to use online store or ask them a few questions they disappear.

How does the art scam work?

Usually the scammer could care less about your artwork. Artwork is not an easily resold commodity like a flat screen tv or camera.  The scammer is trying to make money ripping you off from the transaction and shipping fees.

…..He (the scammer) said that because he was moving he was in a state of flux and would it be okay if me mailed me the money in advance, with enough to pay the shipper at the door……

They will be using a stolen credit cards or a fake check to rip you off.  Any money that you give them will be their take.  For example they might send you a check for the artwork and OVERPAY for the shipping.  Then say “oops” can you send me the difference?

  • Following your usual method of payment.  Don’t accept some new way of paying.
  • Never accept overpayments.
  • Search the person’s name and email address to see if they come up.  Everyone these days has some sort of electronic trace that you should be able to find.
  • Most important: Wait until payments have cleared before shipping.  This might take a five days or a week.  The scammer is counting on speed.  A legitimate buyer can wait.  Art is rarely a last-minute purchase or a life or death purchase.

“…..Saw images of your paintings online, which really caught my attention. I am interested in purchasing paintings from your collection, can you please get back to me with the price range, sizes of your paintings, so i know how to go about my purchase.

Await your prompt reply……”  – said the scammer!

Art Scam Resources

 

About Fine Art America and Pixels

Fine Art America is privately held company that provides a market place for artists to sell their images.   Artists offer their images for sale, provide the mark up and Fine Art America and its sister site Pixels handles the sales transactions , printing and fulfillment.

Fine Art America started out as a popular artists forum in the early Internet days and then morphed into a marketplace over time.  Its  small company, mostly the brain child of computer engineer, Sean Broihier and a small support staff, but they manage to be the small business engine for thousands of artists and photographers.

There is currently two “flavors” of the Fine Art America POD marketplace.  One is the original Fine Art America that promotes fine art prints and original artwork.  The prints are handled by  Graphik Dimensions Ltd. of High Point NC who has been serving the artist community for over 50 years with printing and framing.

With these guys as the principal framing and print shop, FAA offers the most framing, printing and mounting options of any online POD outfit.  You can choose from thousands of framing options including metal, acrylic and new wood prints.

Pixels on the other hand is more of the gift shop to FAA’s gallery or museum experience.  In the Pixels store you will find an expanded collection of gift items like t-shirts, mugs and throw pillows.

Sample Artists Storefront

http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/
http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/

Fine Art America in the Press

Sean Broihier the owner of Fine Art America seems to have done a round of press back in 2012.  More recently he’s kept more tight lipped about the business maybe because of all the competition that has entered the POD market place over the last few years.

Here is some of the press on Fine Art America and Pixels from past articles.  Note that the sales figures certainly have increased from the 2012 numbers.

Doing $5 Million A Year With Three Employees: FineArtAmerica CEO Sean Broihier (Part 1)

http://www.sramanamitra.com/2012/03/22/doing-5m-a-year-with-3-employees-fineartamerica-ceo-sean-broihier-part-1/

Sramana: What is the business model behind FineArtAmerica?

Sean Broihier: The business model is to create a marketplace of buyers and sellers. We allow artist and photographers to upload their images to our site. We then offer them for sale as framed prints, stretched canvases, acrylic prints, greeting cards, and so on. We have a print-on-demand business model. Independent artists and photographers all over the world can open an account on our site and upload their images, and our software will determine what sizes and products we can sell based on the size of the image. The artist or photographer gets to name exactly how much they want to charge for each product or size of the print that is made available.

When a buyer comes along, he or she can pick the print and size. We allow buyers to choose additional features such as colored mats and frames. They can customize the entire picture via our website and place the order. FineArtAmerica takes care of the entire transaction for the artist. We print, frame, package, ship, collect payment, and send the profits to the artist.

How Fine Art America Built Its Business by Bootstrapping

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/222670

So how does Broihier do it? Here are his five tips on how to bootstrap a business:

  1. Be lean. He started out by keeping the overhead low — working alone on nights and weekends. He generated a $500 profit his first month in business. In 2010, he hired his first employee, and in 2011 he added another — both of whom work remotely.
  2. Generate buzz. Fine Art America didn’t advertise until late 2010. Instead, it took advantage of word-of-mouth through its artists via email, Facebook, Twitter and more. Customers, it turns out, are your best lead generators.
  3. Outsource. Fine Art America builds great online software and outsources everything else. ADP handles payroll. Amazon manages its web servers. WebmasterChecks.com pays the artists. A company out of North Carolina handles its printing, framing, matting, packaging and shipping.
  4. Don’t follow the leaders. Small firms often compete against well-funded corporations with millions of investment capital that can afford to throw money at bad ideas. Don’t copycat all of their decisions.
  5. Resist taking on investors. Once you accept investment capital, you’re no longer the boss and you’re on a path to sell your business or go public. Unless you’re struggling with cash flow or preparing for an exit, accepting outside money makes no sense.

 

Keywording 101 for Art Sellers

Selling Online Requires Keywording

What if you had a great product to sell but it was invisible?  How would you describe it to potential buyers?  How about you get them to see how the wonderful qualities of the product?  How would you attract potential buyers to said invisible product?

Selling products like artwork and fine art photographs online is much like selling an invisible product, because people search the Internet by using text based search engines.  Sure there are image search features on search engines like Google but for the most part buyers search using text.

Even within an online gallery like Fine Art America, text searches are used to bring up a selection of artwork and fine art photographs from the massive database.

If a buyer can’t find your art, they can’t buy it.  It’s as simple as that.

Keywords are the key to buyers finding your work

One of the most basic ways for your artwork and fine art photography to be found is via keywords.  Keywords are descriptive words used to describe the image.

In essence  you are trying to guess what word or words a potential buyer would use to find your artwork.

Another word for it:  Index term, a term used as a keyword to retrieve documents in an information system such as a catalog or a search engine

Usually online art galleries or databases require anywhere from 10 to 50 keywords.  You should start off with the first words that come to mind when looking at an image.  What words would you used to classify the image on your computer to find it again in the future?

This quick, top of mind words are going to be the most valuable.  For example, this photograph of a dog taking a photograph in the studios.

Art Prints

Right off the top of my head I’m going to think: dog, camera

Then I’m going to start getting more detailed and try to describe the image further with more detailed description words like:

studio, Westie, press camera, vintage

Then I’ll start to think about the mood of the image – funny, humor, photographer

And I’ll use descriptive words about the medium: photograph, black and white

I might add framed, print, fine art, poster and other more generic descriptors.

Basically you want to cover the who, what, where, when, why and how of the image.

Pho Dog Grapher Coffee Mug
Pho Dog Grapher Coffee Mug

If the product was a coffee mug I might include: ceramic, coffee, java, mug, tea, beverage, gift, household.

Keywording is an essential component of selling online so be sure to take the time and effort to do so!

 

Selling artwork to friends and family

Quick make a list of 500 friends and family connections

Back in college during career days, I recall the Insurance Companies sniffing around for potential sales position hires.  If you interviewed  for one of these insurance sales positions,  the first thing they have you do is write down a list of 500 people you know. Seriously 500 hundred people!

Coincidentally I’ve heard it said that 500 people is the most anyone can seriously maintain as a social circle.  People with over 500 people on their Facebook accounts can not really know all of those people.  Or at least in any meaningful way.  Try selling insurance or Amway to some distant cousin twice removed or someone who you only know because they like to share funny cat photos.

Photography Prints

Anyway, the insurance companies  expect you to sell people you know to get started.   Your friends and family will be your base pool of sales leads.  In other words, by hiring you, the insurance company gets 500 leads.

Its not unlike the modern art world.  In the old days, the artist just needed to get into the gallery world and then the gallery staff would sell to their carefully cultivated list of buyers.

That is the fantasy world that a lot of today’s artists still cling too – if only I could get into a gallery all my troubles would be over and I wouldn’t have to market myself.  I could just create all day long….

But nowadays, galleries and even art shows expect the artist to provide the bodies.  They expect the artist to pull in the connections and bring in a following.

New Limited Edition Release Vintage Typewriter
New Limited Edition Release Vintage Typewriter

Friend and Family – Gold Mine or Fool’s Gold

Everyone needs and understands the basic value of life insurance or home owners insurance – but do they need or understand art?

This where the idea of selling to friends and family falls short of the goal of becoming a successful artist.

  • Friends and family are a finite market
  • Family and friends may or may not be your market
  • F&F get annoyed

Your closest friends might be a nice way to get a few sales in pocket to start you off, but come on, you will need to sell a ton of artwork over your career to survive as an artist.  You are not going to do it by selling to friends and family.  Unless you are developing an ever increasing, dynamical expanding universe of friends.

But this will probably only occur after you become more successful and everyone wants to get in on your success.  Suddenly when your artwork becomes valuable, then you’ll find relatives that you never knew existed and friends coming out of the woodwork trying to get some deals on investment quality artwork.

Photography Prints

A better strategy is to make your work and you as an artist and individual creative person more accessible.   Let people get to know you as a person and as an artist.  It doesn’t require friendship just a bit of access to how you think, your process and your mindset.

Selling Artwork Online  – Cultivate a new family around your artwork

Online you have to do things to connect with people online. That means getting out there in cyberspace and communicating. Not just spamming people with “look at this” stuff over and over.

I wrote about this on my blog – Don’t Become Human Spam – http://www.dogfordstudios.com/dont-become-human-spam/

For the record, I ran a t-shirt business with an artist friend for 10 years.  I don’t think any friend or family member of ours ever bought anything.   It was funny fishing related line with crass humor.  We sold mostly to bass fishermen in the south.  Our friends and family are mostly non-fishermen living in the north.  Or fly fishermen, not bass fisherman.  Would be try to push our products on friends and family? Nope.

 
Art Prints

With my artwork and photography, I have only sold a few items to friends and family.  The other folks haven’t bought any art since the 1970s and even then they bought it at Sears.  Not exactly the market I’m striving for – I’d rather try to cultivate a following online consisting of people who understand and appreciate fine art photography.

Recent Print Sales Jan. 2017

Recent Artwork Sales from EdwardFielding.com

Print sales – Here is what has been selling in the new year.

Vince Lombardi Football Framed Print
Vince Lombardi Football Framed Print

Five of these framed and matted Vince Lombardi quotes with a photograph of a vintage leather football were purchased for a coaches award dinner in Missouri.  Four smaller framed prints of the photograph with the Vince Lombardi quote were going to assistant coaches and a larger framed print with gold trim were being handed out to the head coach.

Gift idea for football coaches
Gift idea for football coaches

Vince Lombardi On Perfection

http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/vince-lombardi-on-perfection-edward-fielding.html

Airstream Pillow
Airstream Pillow

This “Home Sweet Home” throw pillow is going to an owner’s camper.

Home Sweet Home Vintage Airstream

http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/home-sweet-home-vintage-airstream-edward-fielding.html

Dirty Dog Laundry Soap
Dirty Dog Laundry Soap http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/dirty-dog-laundry-soap-edward-fielding.html

This small matted and framed artwork of “Dirty Dog Laundry Soap” will be displayed in the guest bathroom of a westie dog fan.

Dirty Dog Laundry Soap

http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/dirty-dog-laundry-soap-edward-fielding.html

Happy customer
Happy customer

This pug pillow made the day of a cute young animal lover.

Pug

http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/pug-edward-fielding.html

The Nest by Edward M. Fielding
The Nest by Edward M. Fielding

“The Nest” is off to any office in New York City.  Framed and matted for a modern look.

The Nest

http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/the-nest-edward-fielding.html

Take Those Old Records Off The Shelf Framed Print
Take Those Old Records Off The Shelf Framed Print

This old 45 vinyl records soon will be displayed in a music lovers apartment in Toronto.

Take Those Old Records Off The Shelf

http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/take-those-old-records-off-the-shelf-edward-fielding.html

Photography Prints

“Vintage Dancing Bears” was recently sold as a box of 10 greeting cards.

Photography Prints

This Darth Vader fan painting was sold with a customer selected yellow background as a greeting card.

Darth Vader Artwork
Darth Vader Artwork

Photography Prints

“The Old Green Chevy Pickup Truck” was purchases as a 5×7 inch greeting card print.

About the Artwork

All work comes with a 30 day money-back guarantee. If you don’t love it, simply return it. NOTE: The watermark DOES NOT appear on the final print. © Copyright Edward Fielding All Rights Reserved. Edward Fielding retains all rights to these images. It is illegal to copy, scan or duplicate from the website in any form.

Selling Art – Search Engine Optimization SEO

Selling Artwork with Search Engine Optimization

Advice on selling artwork online by successful artist/fine art photographer Edward M. Fielding – www.edwardfielding.com

In order to buy art, collectors must first see it so the can fall in love with it.  In the brick and mortar world this means putting your wall art up in places frequented by potential collectors such as galleries, cafes and exhibits.

The Nest by Edward M. Fielding
The Nest by Edward M. Fielding  http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/the-nest-edward-fielding.html

Selling art online requires putting your artwork in online galleries but mainly creating content that will be collected and indexed by the major search engines.

When someone is in the mood to search for art to buy, you want your artwork or photography to pop to the top of search.  That is what the term “SEO” or “Search Engine Optimization” means.  Making your content (in this case your artwork) optimally positioned to be first found by the search engines and then ranked as high as it can be the search results.

Search engine results are the result of a constantly tweaked formula or algorithm.  A behind the scenes math equation that weights all sorts of variables to bring about the final result.  Elements such as popularity, readability, length of time people spend on the page, number of links going to the page, how many ads are on the page etc etc.  All of these measurements go into the formula to create the final page ranking.

Red Neck Moving Day
Red Neck Moving Day http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/red-neck-moving-day-edward-fielding.html

While search engines such as Google and Bing won’t actually reveal the methods they use to rank websites on their search results, those responsible for the practice of SEO have a pretty good idea which tactics are most effective – and research repeatedly confirms it comes down to just a handful of factors.

Relevant Content Creation

RCC or Relevant Content Creation is considered the most important way to achieve SEO.  You have to think of the search engine as a product.  The goal of any search engine is to be the best product in its class. It does this by satisfying the customers need for fast and relevant results.

The better job the search engine does of bringing you the results you want, the better the product.  So the search engine strives to bring up results that have actual useful information and it does this partly by measuring the amount of time the users spends on the page and the number of links from other sites that lead to this page.

Dirty Dog Laundry Soap
Dirty Dog Laundry Soap http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/dirty-dog-laundry-soap-edward-fielding.html

You can’t really fake good content.  In the old days, you might just fill up a page with keywords and the search engines would send customers to that page.  But now all kinds of other factors are considered such as readability, time spent on the page, other links to the page, social media interaction etc.

Relevant content creation, of course, is what SEO’s most often believe is the most effective SEO tactic. Recent research from Ascend2, in fact, found that 57 percent of respondents say relevant content creation is a highly effective SEO tactic. Other top tactics mentioned in the study include keyword/phrase research (49% cite as highly effective), social media integration (39%), and external/internal linking (36%).

Old Train Bridge
Old Train Bridge http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/2-old-steel-train-bridge-edward-fielding.html

Selling Artwork With Context

To attract search engines to your work you need to surround the work with words.  Visual images can be searched but usually its by people looking to grab a photo for a school report or presentation or something.  Art buyers are going to be searching within an online art gallery or via a search engine. You need to surround your visual artwork with relevant words or in other words put it in context.

Context – the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed.

In the SEO world, context is king.  Context can be keywords, a description of an artwork, the biography of the artist, the process behind the artwork, a description of the framing process etc.

In other words tell the story of the artwork for the potential buyer and the search engines.  Give the buyer and the search engine bots that index the Internet, multiple reasons to find, index, discover and learn about your artwork.  Provide interesting details about the work that will entice others to share and link to your work.

The more context you place around your artwork, the more likely it will be found and purchased.

 

About the Author

Before returning to fine art photography and art, Edward M. Fielding had a career in the high tech computer magazine and online content provider world including being the Director of Market Research at BYTE Magazine.

Currently Fielding’s work can be seen on bestselling book covers and in magazine’s around the world as well as in galleries and in the home’s of private collectors.

See more at: http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/index.html

More articles on selling artwork online here.

selling artwork buy smart doggie Art Online

Best of: Selling Artwork

A Collection of the Best Articles on Selling Artwork by Edward M. Fielding

Selling Artwork – Long before I was a best selling fine art and stock photographer, I was a little elementary school kid trading and selling marbles on the school yard. Later I bought a badge making kit from the back of a comic book and started selling buttons and badges to my classmates.  Selling was in my blood.

Inside The Horse Barn Black And White
Inside The Horse Barn Black And White – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/inside-the-horse-barn-black-and-white-edward-fielding.html

In college I had a couple business schemes going – a dating service for my fellow students (this was in the old school, pre-Internet days, matches were made by paper survey and intuition) and a party promotion/DJ/Booze Cruise company. Neither one was properly capitalized or successful but I did graduate from Boston University with a degree in Marketing and had a successful career in the publishing and web-zine industry specializing in market research. Needless say I know how to analysis a market and study consumer behavior.

Sunset over the old red barn.
Sunset over the old red barn.  http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/barn

I left the publishing world after the big dot.com and computer publication crash (anyone remember BYTE Magazine?)  and became a stay at home Dad supporting my wife’s career and work with a partner on a venture called “Fishboy Art and Design” which sold t-shirts and accessories to fishing fanatics and tourist locations.  The artwork was done by my partner Paul Ocepek, I handled the website and marketing.

Lobster Landing Sunset by Edward M. Fielding
Lobster Landing Sunset by Edward M. Fielding http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/lobster-landing-sunset-edward-fielding.html

As the kid got older I started having some more free time to dedicate to my own artwork, specifically photography.  First with re-learning photography in the digital age and then figuring out how to sell my work so I wouldn’t have to go back into the rat race.

It took me about three years of research, practice, exploring, testing, discovering and daily work to start to see some consistent results, but eventually all that work started to pay off.

Free shipping
www.edwardfielding.com  http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/

This collection of articles represent some of the best tips and advice I can give on selling artwork.  I can’t create the artwork for you.  I can’ t force you to work hard, work smart and put in all of the time and effort it takes to get your work seen in front of the millions of other people trying to sell their own artwork.  But perhaps these articles will you a sense of how to get started and will provide a chance for you to skip ahead of some of the pitfalls I found along the way.

Will this advice work for you?  Each artist’s journey to success takes its own path but some selling truths are consistent.  Good luck Grasshopper. — Edward M. Fielding