A video posted by SketchoftheDay (@sketchofthedays) on
My high school senior recently found out that he was accepted to the Rhode Island School of Design starting in the Fall of 2017. He attended the RISD Pre-college six week intensive program last summer and worked on his portfolio up to the last minute deadline of earlier acceptance.
At this point in their creative careers, Caffrey Fielding and friends are exploring anything and everything. Their creative output is amazing. No thoughts of commercial aspects, simply experimenting and testing out various mediums.
Here he is creating a huge charcoal self portrait for his RISD portfolio.
And plein air pasteling along the Connecticut River.
Selling Artwork – Christmas 2017 Art Selling Season Starts Now
Sell More Artwork By Planning Ahead – One of my families favorite Christmas season movies is “Elf” and there is a scene at the end where Santa tells the elves “congratulations for a great Christmas”. They all cheer and then get back to work on next year’s Christmas! No rest for the weary at the North Pole.
A friend of mine is a product designer for the electronics industry. Early January he is always crushed with business producing mock ups for the February trade shows.
All across the toy industry, designers are finalizing their designs for next year’s toys which will be manufactured all summer. Cooking magazine art directors are putting the final touches on their Halloween photoshoots right now. Book publishers are meeting with Christmas themed book writers in late winter.
The point is that the Christmas selling season starts now – not in December 2017.
Missed Out On The Christmas Buying Spree? What Are You Going To Do About It
Ok, many of you are not experiencing a jump in sales this Christmas season and perhaps are discouraged by hearing about other artists enjoying increased sales this season. Let’s face it the moment after you congratulate someone on a sale, the first thought is what do they have that I ain’t got?
So what are you going to do about it to build your business up to be ready to take advantage of more sales next Holiday season? Are you just going to droop your head down and say whoa is me? Or are you going to make a plan? How about a real business plan? For many of us this is a business, its time to start acting as such.
1. Are you going to analysis your offerings and offer more of what people want to buy and less of what only you like?
2. Are you going to increase your social networking efforts?
3. Are you going to get an artist website and blog?
4. Are you going to increase the number of markets you participate in?
5. Are you going to improve your skills and offer better work?
6. Create more places where people can buy your work?
7. Communicate with potential buyers?
8. Stop spending valuable time commiserating with others who are not selling?
9. Stop blaming your lack of sales on things like the economy, or slow networks, or Amazon, or the world that is conspiring against you?
10. Are you going to DO SOMETHING about it?
How about it? Anyone got any action plans for 2017? You better because your competition does and they working hard to create great art and marketing for the upcoming Christmas season that starts today.
About the Author
Artist Edward M. Fielding is a successful artist/designer/photographer on Fine Art America, Pixels and other POD sites as well as an International stock image supplier whose work has been featured in magazines and on book covers around the globe. His whimsical books of dog photos can be found on Amazon.com.
Getting more people to see your artwork and hopefully purchase it
Art does not sell within a vacuum. And art can’t be purchase without first being seen. The more people who see your work, the more potential your artwork as to being sold. How do you get more people to see your work? Are all viewers equal? How do you generate organic traffic? What is organic traffic?
In totality there are lots of ways for people to see your work:
On the street
On the Internet
Online there are two main ways to generate “traffic” the generic and cold term for web site visitors (i.e. people who might buy your work). Offline at retail space this “traffic” might be referred to as foot traffic.
The presence and movement of people walking around in a particular space. Foot traffic is important to many types of businesses, particularly retail establishments, as higher foot traffic can lead to higher sales. Strategies businesses can use to increase their foot traffic include holding grand openings and other promotional events such as demonstrations, giveaways, sales and charitable fundraisers.
First the terms: organic traffic vs. paid traffic:
Organic traffic generally refers to non-paid traffic, so includes traffic from:
Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
Referral traffic from other sites – visitors arriving at your site after clicking on a link on another website.
Direct traffic – someone typing in your URL into a browser.
Blogs – links from blogs describing your process or artwork
News – links from press releases, news articles and other press about your work.
YouTube – referrals and links from your YouTube or Vimeo videos.
Such traffic is all achievedorganically, rather than through a source of advertising or paid promotion of some kind.
On the other hand…
Paid traffic is where you are spending money to attract those visitors to your website. This might include:
Using paid listings on search engines.
Paying to promote your content/link on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and give it a much wider audience.
Showing ads on other sites around the net, usually using an ad network like Google’s Display Ads within Adwords.
Visitors arriving at your site because of an affiliate program you run, i.e. incentives others to link through to your site in return for monetary compensation of some kind, usually either on a sale or some other user action after they arrive.
Ninety percent of selling is conviction, and 10 per cent is persuasion. – Shiv Khera
Not All Traffic Is Created Equal
Of course not all traffic is created equal. Consider the value of a targeted mailing to active art buyers vs. a mailing to the general public. Or the value of a person walking into a high end gallery in NYC vs. someone walk into the decor section at Pier One. Two different buyers with vastly different sales potential and people who will most likely be attuned to a different sale pitch.
The expectations of the person walking into a high end art gallery are different than the Pier One customer. The gallery patron is expecting artwork of a certain quality and price point, as is the random Pier One customer. The Pier One customer is not expecting one of a kind work or a one of a kind artwork price point. While the gallery patron is looking for something exclusive and perhaps something that will be of investment grade artwork.
But compare this to someone who simply wandered into each store randomly as they were looking to have their shoes shined. They weren’t looking for artwork to buy and they might not even appreciate artwork. And besides they only have $20 in their pocket to get their shoes shined and perhaps pick up a newspaper and cup of coffee.
It would take a heck of a lot more salesmanship to sell some art to this random person.
Creating Targeted Traffic
This is why you want to create targeted traffic to your artwork. Targeted means you are messaging people who are in the market for what you are selling. You can do this in two ways. One – push messages at people who have been identified as members of your target market – usually this can only be done via demographics such as sex, age, income etc.
Art magazines are a good example of an advertising environment that includes a rich targeted audience for artwork messaging. But you will also get a lot of people within that audience who are other artists trying to sell their own stuff. In the magazine world they call this “concentration” and sell advertising based on this concentrated audience. For example they might show audience stats to a gallery showing that “30 percent of readers have purchased art in the past year” or something.
But this type of traffic has several drawbacks:
It costs money
It depends on the effectiveness of your advertising material
You never really know if traffic you are paying for matches your artwork.
There is a lot of fake traffic – bots, third world country click farms.
Salesmanship is limitless. Our very living is selling. We are all salespeople. James Cash Penney
Organic Traffic: Striking Gold
Self-selected, organic traffic is the gold standard of web traffic. People who discover your artwork on their own, from their own explorations.
Your job as an artist, small business person, entrepreneur, art marketer and art salesperson is to create material that will attract people and potential buyers to your artwork.
Ideas for generating organic traffic to your artwork:
Create YouTube videos showing your process
Describe your process, motivation,
Announce shows, openings, new series, sales
Use social media – everything and anything – Facebook, Google+, Instagram – engage your audience and build a following.
Teach and give workshops
Send out postcards and news articles.
Write blog entries and promote your ideas.
“If you take a print magazine with a million person circulation, and a blog with a devout readership of 1 million, for the purpose of selling anything that can be sold online, the blog is infinitely more powerful, because it’s only a click away.” – Timothy Ferriss
Build a funnel to channel organic traffic to your artwork
The goal is to use every avenue you can think of to attract potential customers to your artwork where hopefully they will fall in love with it and purchase a print or product.
Increase awareness of you, your brand, your artwork. Make sure potential buyers understand that your work is for sale.
Create interest in your work by letting your follows behind the scenes so they can see how you create your work. Show our process.
Help potential buyers purchase our work by explaining the various products available so they can make a decision.
Lastly have an easy to use method of completing the sales transactions.
How I became a successful selling artist
I sell regularly on Fine Art America but it took me many years of building up an audience and filling the funnel to get to this point. Filling the funnel can take years before it starts paying off. The good news is most people give up after a few months so for those who stick to it, you’ll reap the benefits.
As a successful seller on Fine Art America and Pixels, I’m often asked for advice from other artists trying to get an online business off the ground.
Art is Business
First of all the key word is “business”. My career in the arts started about 35 years ago when I first fell in love with photography at a summer camp. We shot film and developed it in a dark bag on a picnic table. Later in high school I got my first SLR and darkroom experience. Practicality took me to Boston Universities business school but I still shot film and developed prints in my closet darkroom as I studied the great photographers in BUs extensive library of photography books.
So I ended up with a business degree and a career in the publishing industry. Later when I left the publishing world to dedicate my time to my fine art career, I brought the knowledge of the business world and market research world with me. After all – Art is Business.
As an artist, one can not pretend that art is all about self-expression, freedom and ignorant bliss. You have to recognize that art is a marketplace like any other. There are needs that need to be fulfilled. There are buyers and sellers. There is an exchange of money for a product. The artist is in a sense a factory that produces a product just like any other product and the collector is a buyer of that product. If you produce items that have no market, you won’t be successful.
And you have to consider the over all market size for your art/product. It could be that there are thousands of people out their clamoring for your specific type of artwork. Or there might only be one person in the world who wants exactly what you have to offer.
Price accordingly. If the there are thousands of people looking for your art than you can sell them items with low mark up. Maybe mugs are the way to go. Maybe there are thousands of people looking for your art on a mug so you can make $1 on each one and net $1,000 for your effort and you can sell out in a day.
Or maybe there is only one elusive person on the planet who “gets” your work. Now to find this person will take considerable time and effort. You will have to spend a lot of money (in the form of time and maybe advertising) to find this buyer. You will need to cut through all of the clutter and grab their attention at the right time. Hopefully not just after they’ve spent all of their money on a different artist.
So after years of searching for this buyer and after convincing them that your work is worthy of their attention and money, what are you going to sell them? A coffee mug?
Sell The Gallery Not The Gift Shop
I see a lot of my fellow artists on Fine Art America clamoring for the site to sell things like calendars or coaster or some other low end product. I think it comes about for a few reasons:
They aren’t currently selling the products offered at the moment
They always dreamed about seeing their art on X,Y,Z
They think the addition of another product might be just the thing for their art to start selling
My strategy has always been to take the high road. Low end products can be there, in the gift shop so to speak, but my main goal is to sell prints.
I work with the idea that my work is going to hang on someone’s wall. This is how I approach my work. This is what motivates me to get up in the morning on a cold snowy day and hike out to an old red barn in rural Vermont to capture a winter landscape.
This is why I spend thousands of dollars on travel expenses and equipment and put in the hours of processing time. I’m doing this work to create art prints which have a decent profit built in to pay for my time and effort.
I’m not doing this to sell a greeting card, mug or beach towel. If those gift shop items happen to sell then so be it but that is not my focus. This is what I mean buy selling the gallery not the gift shop.
You sell the movie not the popcorn. Sell the main event not the side card. Sell the candidate not the red trucker hats. Sell the car not the fuzzy dice.
I license my work to greeting card companies, book publishers, magazine editors etc. This is the way to get your work on these products, created in the 10s of thousands. If your work is up to industry standards then there is a market for it on consumer products. This is different than self publishing in a vanity site. If your work is puzzle quality then seek out a puzzle publisher and license your work to them. They know the market, they know the buyers. Far too many artist try to reinvent the wheel by going it alone and trying handle every aspect of the various markets, many of them not having any understanding of how that market works.
I suggest seeking out the experts in the various sales channels, people who have years experience in that industry. Concentrate on selling high end products of your work, leave the gift shop items to themselves or the experts in those areas.
When it comes to selling your artwork, concentrate on the high end, not the low end. Be professional and value your work.
PODs or Print On Demand is just one of the amazing technologies we enjoy in the Internet fueled economy. POD can pertain to book or artwork is basically affordable custom manufacturing. Products created only when the customer places an order.
Print on demand (POD) is a printing technology and business process in which copies of a book (or other document) are not printed until an order has been received, allowing books to be printed singly, or in small quantities. While build to order has been an established business model in many other industries, “print on demand” developed only after digital printing began, because it was not economical to print single copies using traditional printing technology such as letterpress and offset printing.
Before digital printing it would have been prohibitively expensive to produce a one off product. Imagine going to a letterpress shop and asking the printer for a quote to print a single business card or a single wedding invitation. It just wouldn’t happen.
Print On Demand for Authors
Vanity printers have been around for decades. Printers who would print a number of books for a “self-published” author looking to market their own books or perhaps create books as a promotion or giveaway item. These authors were interested in bypassing the traditional mass publishing companies and create products directly. Often this meant living with box loads of books in the garage or storage unit for years.
Now print on demand publishers such as Lulu or Amazon’s CreateSpace can inexpensively inventory and print and ship a book on demand when a buyer wants a single copy. And they can offer these books on vast merchandising sites such as Amazon.
This is the method I used to create and sell my books “the Quotable Westie” and “Pugs”.
The print quality is not what you’d expect from a high quality coffee table book printed in Italy. But the print on demand digital printing method allows the author to offer a unique book at a very affordable price. These little books make great gift items and the quality is acceptable.
For the buyer, POD books allows for more choices and undeserved niches on subjects and topics might never make it to the shelves of a national chain store book merchant.
How To Create POD books
Creating POD books can be a bit tricky but vendors such as Lulu and Createspace offer downloadable templates to use. Straight text is the easiest way to create a book as their are no graphics to format but it is possible to layout a photo or graphic heavy book, page by page in Photoshop. All of the information can be found on the various vendor websites. Cover images can be licensed and cover designers offer their services online. Don’t skimp on the cover as this is the main marketing vehicle for any book.
Coming Up – Part Two of Understanding Print On Demand
In Part Two of Understanding Print On Demand, we’ll discuss buying and selling art via Print On Demand sites for artists and collectors.
Fine Art America and Pixels.com offers artists a number of tools to help them reach the public at large and offer their work for sale. The site allows the artist to display artwork and allows the buyer to purchase and configure the images on to a host of products including wall art and products such as tote bags, cell phone cases, throw pillows and t-shirts.
The wall art is available in thousands of configurations including canvas prints, metal prints, acrylic prints and a hundreds of custom framing and matting options as well as rolled in a tube for local framing.
The Shopping Car Widgets look like this on this blog:
William Wegman is an American photographer, painter and video artist probably most known for his work with Weimaraners.
In this video interview with artist/photographer William Wegman, William discusses his early use of video as well as his acclaimed work with the huge Polaroid which took 20×24 instant photographs.
I always enjoyed Wegman’s work, partly because he became most well known during the years I lived in Boston as well has his connections to Maine. I remember going to a great retrospective of his early drawings in Boston. Cartoon like drawings with lots of puns. His early photography work was displayed as well.
The Polaroid 20×24 camera is a very large instant camera made by Polaroid, with film plates that measure 20 by 24 inches (51 cm × 61 cm), although at least one camera takes pictures that are 23 by 36 inches (58 cm × 91 cm).It is one of the largest format cameras currently in common use, and used to be hired from Polaroid agents in various countries. Currently in the United States this can be rented from 20×24 Studio based out of New York and Mammoth Camera in San Francisco. Photographers such as Elsa Dorfman and Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, have used this heavy (235 lb or 107 kg), wheeled-chassis camera.To celebrate Lady Gaga’s new role as Creative Director of Polaroid, a portrait of her was shot with the 20×24 camera
Work Inspired by Willam Wegman
I have my own series of dog photographs that are no doubt inspired by William Wegman. After all if a “series” artist can use dogs as a stand in for humans, why not?
William Wegman (born December 2, 1943) is an American artist best known for creating series of compositions involving dogs, primarily his own Weimaraners in various costumes and poses.
This summer I had a great opportunity to photograph one of my favorite places on the planet, Prince Edward Island with bonus of having a car full of “willing” models – friends and family.
Remembering the rather consistent coastal breezes on the island from previous trips to Prince Edward Island, I did a bit of pre-planning and brought along some shear fabric as a prop from my model. Add the perfect location, in front of a beautifully restored and freshly painted lighthouse at New London beach and all of the elements came together to create “I’ll Fly Away”. The final image is a digitally enhanced photograph that brings about a painting like result.
A bit of history about this lighthouse which is officially called “New London Back Range” and is snugged into the dunes around the French River and an area known as Yankee Hill.
When Prince Edward Island joined Confederation in 1873 there was an evaluation of all Island lights. The Superintendents of lighthouses deemed a replacement of the two small lanterns raised on day beacons which guided ships into New London Bay.
Built in 1876, the New London Back Range was originally an independent light but became the Back Range when a new front light was built in 1879, approximately 300 m (1000ft.) seaward at the narrow entrance to New London Bay
In 1876, George McKenzie of French River constructed the New London Lighthouse for $1,300. Upon completion, he stayed on as lighthouse keeper for twenty years.
Prince Edward Island has no shortage of lighthouses. If you are a “Lighthouse Lover,” you’ve come to the right place. Lighthouses of many shapes and sizes dot the coastline of Prince Edward Island.
You can enjoy some of the best views of the beautiful island by visiting the lighthouses. Touring the lighthouse sites promise views of some of the island’s most scenic vistas.
How many lighthouses are on Prince Edward Island?
The PEI Lighthouse Society lists 63 lighthouses on the island.
1. NORTH CAPE LIGHTHOUSE
2. TIGNISH RUN LIGHTHOUSE/BIG TIGNISH/JUDE’S POINT
3. FORMER MIMINIGASH RANGE LIGHT
4. FORMER NORTHPORT BACK RANGE LIGHT
5. FORMER CASCUMPEC LIGHTHOUSE
6. NORTHPORT BACK RANGE LIGHT
7. FORMER HARDY’S CHANNEL/LITTLE CHANNEL LIGHTHOUSE
8. MALPEQUE HARBOUR APPROACH LIGHT
9. FORMER FISH ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE
10. MALPEQUE OUTER BACK RANGE LIGHT
11. MALPEQUE OUTER FRONT RANGE LIGHT
12. FORMER CAPE TRYON
13. CAPE TRYON LIGHTHOUSE
14. NEW LONDON LIGHTHOUSE/ NEW LONDON BACK RANGE LIGHT
15. NORTH RUSTICO HARBOUR LIGHTHOUSE
16. COVEHEAD HARBOUR LIGHTHOUSE
17. ST. PETER’S HARBOUR LIGHTHOUSE
18. SHIPWRECK POINT LIGHTHOUSE/NAUFRAGE LIGHTHOUSE
19. FORMER SHIPWRECK POINT LIGHTHOUSE
20. EAST POINT LIGHTHOUSE
21. SOURIS EAST LIGHTHOUSE
22. FORMER ANNANDALE FRONT RANGE LIGHT
23. ANNANDALE BACK RANGE LIGHT
24. ANNANDALE FRONT RANGE LIGHT
25. FORMER CARDIGAN RIVER RANGE LIGHT
26. GEORGETOWN BACK RANGE LIGHT
27. FORMER GEORGETOWN FRONT RANGE LIGHT
28. GEORGETOWN FRONT RANGE LIGHT
29. PANMURE HEAD LIGHTHOUSE OR PANMURE ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE
30. DOUSE POINT FRONT RANGE LIGHT
31. DOUSE POINT BACK RANGE LIGHT
32. MURRAY HARBOUR BACK RANGE LIGHT/BEACH POINT BACK RANGE LIGHT
33. MURRAY HARBOUR FRONT RANGE LIGHT/BEACH POINT FRONT RANGE LIGHT
34. CAPE BEAR LIGHTHOUSE
35. WOOD ISLANDS LIGHTHOUSE
36. WOOD ISLANDS BACK RANGE LIGHT
37. WOOD ISLANDS FRONT RANGE LIGHT
38. POINT PRIM LIGHTHOUSE
39. BRUSH WHARF FRONT RANGE
40. HASZARD POINT FRONT RANGE
41. HASZARD POINT BACK RANGE LIGHT
42. BRIGHTON BEACH FRONT RANGE
43. BRIGHTON BEACH BACK RANGE LIGHT
44. WARREN COVE BACK RANGE LIGHT
45. WARREN COVE FRONT RANGE LIGHT
46. BLOCKHOUSE POINT LIGHTHOUSE
47. ST. PETER’S ISLAND LIGHT
48. LEARD’S BACK RANGE LIGHT
49. LEARD’S FRONT RANGE LIGHT/PALMER’S BACK RANGE LIGHT
50. WRIGHT’S BACK RANGE LIGHT
51. WRIGHT’S FRONT RANGE LIGHT
52. PORT BORDEN FRONT RANGE LIGHT
53. PORT BORDEN BACK RANGE LIGHT
54. PORT BORDEN PIER LIGHT
55. SEACOW HEAD LIGHTHOUSE
56. FORMER SUMMERSIDE FRONT RANGE LIGHT
57. INDIAN HEAD LIGHTHOUSE
58. SUMMERSIDE BACK RANGE LIGHT
59. SUMMERSIDE OUTER FRONT RANGE LIGHT
60. SUMMERSIDE OUTER BACK RANGE LIGHT
61. CAPE EGMONT LIGHTHOUSE
62. WEST POINT LIGHTHOUSE
63. HOWARD’S COVE/SEAL POINT LIGHTHOUSE
You know you are an artist when you realize your unique vision of the world. Artists see the world differently than normal folk. They find was to question what others take for granted. They see details in the environment and society that others don’t see.
You know you are an artist when your technical skills match your vision and you are able to communicate your vision to the rest of the world. In terms of photography its called Pre-Visualization by Ansel Adams. The ability to see the final image before you make it and having the technical skills to bring it to life. – Edward M. Fielding – www.edwardfielding.com
More quotes about being an artist:
“The artist is the antenna of the race.” – Ezra Pound “The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again.” – William Faulkner “Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another purposively, to cause vibrations in the soul.” – Wassily Kandinsky
“An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world.” – George Santayana “I suppose an artist takes the elements of his life and rearranges them and then has them perceived by others as though they were the elements of their lives.” – Paul Simon “Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.” – Henry Ward Beecher
“The Artist is he who detects and applies the law from observation of the works of Genius, whether of man or Nature. The Artisan is he who merely applies the rules which others have detected.” – Henry David Thoreau “The highest art is always the most religious, and the greatest artist is always a devout person.” – Abraham Lincoln “Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.” – Andre Gide
“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts – such is the duty of the artist.” – Schumann “The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.” Francis Bacon “An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.” – James Whistler
“Artists don’t make objects. Artists make mythologies.” – Anish Kapoor “Every artist was first an amateur.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson “The moment you cheat for the sake of beauty, you know you’re an artist.” – David Hockney
“Even a true artist does not always produce art.” – Carroll O’Connor “The artist who aims at perfection in everything achieves it in nothing.” – Eugene Delacroix “Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything.” – Gustave Flaubert
“An artist has to be a little like Lewis and Clark, always exploring in new, uncharted directions.” – C.W. Mundy “A great artist is always before his time or behind it.” – George Moore “Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer
“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.” – Robert Hughes “Every work of art has its necessity; find out your very own. Ask yourself if you would do it if nobody would ever see it, if you would never be compensated for it, if nobody ever wanted it. If you come to a clear ‘yes’ in spite of it, then go ahead and don’t doubt it anymore.” – Ernst Haas “Ask yourself if you would do it if nobody would ever see it, if you would never be compensated for it, if nobody ever wanted it. If you come to a clear ‘yes’ in spite of it, then go ahead and don’t doubt it anymore.” – Ernst Haas
“You have brilliance in you, your contribution is valuable, and the art you create is precious. Only you can do, and you must.” – Seth Godin
“Everything you can imagine is real.”
― Pablo Picasso
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
― Pablo Picasso