Art Sales – Different Strokes for Different Folks

Art Sales – Selling art is a lot like going fishing.  You never know what sale might come along but there certainly are ways to increase your success rate.  Think about two different Fishermen – Bob and Pablo.

Fisherman Bob  sits on the dock near his house all day using the same bait. He picked the location because he didn’t want to invest in a boat and it’s easy. He catches nothing but minnows but at least he got out of the house for the day.

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Meanwhile, Fisherman Pablo buys a boat and heads out to the deep end of the lake where the big fish live, he tries various lures until he finds what works,  pulls in a boat load of lunkers and invites the neighborhood over for a fish fry.

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Selling art is no different.  It takes more effort, more investment and more experimentation to figure out what will work best for your art business.

Photography Prints

You can sit around for years using the easiest or first sales channel you found waiting for sales to magically appear, perhaps using a bait-less hook or you can study the competitive landscape and various sales channels and figure out which will work best for your art and your promotional efforts.

Photography Prints

Whatever sales channel you choose (or multiple), it still requires work to get noticed.  You need the right bait – great artwork and you need to drop your line where the fish live.  You have to offer different bait or lures for Bass then you would for Trout.  You have to make your bait more attractive than the natural alternatives and often you have to make full fish hungry with offers they can’t refuse.  You also have to make it easy for the fish or art customer to eat or buy your work.  Let’s face it, if you are a fish or a person buying art we all like convenience.

Fine Art America and Pixels Unofficial FAQ Answers

As a successful, long time artist selling on Fine Art America and Pixels, I get asked a lot of basic questions about the format and set up of an account on the POD site.  I’ve covered basic art selling tips and strategies in other blog posts, and talked about what Print On Demand or POD is all about, so in this blog post I’m just going to concentrate on the basic mechanics and questions about the Fine Art America and Pixels sites.

 

BEHIND THE SCENES

Behind The Scenes is where you can control your sellers account on FAA an Pixels.  It contains your account information, public profile, marketing, stats, sales data, sale balance, pricing, etc.

To find your own “behind the scenes” first log in to your account and then hover over your name in the upper right.  A drop down menu will appear and “behind the scenes” will be the second choice.  Click on that and you’ll have access to all of the behind the scenes setting to set up your account.

Spend a lot of time in Behind The Scenes and you’ll discover all you need to know about offering your work for sale on FAA and Pixels.

PRICING

In the real world art pricing is based on an individual artists reputation, skill, past history, career point, show history etc.   While many POD sites treat all artists the same and have fixed profit margins (typically low), FAA and Pixels allows the individual artist to set their own profit margin.

This allows a more established artist to sell at higher prices or perhaps allows for a strategy of volume selling with a lower profit margin — in any case the pricing strategy is left to the individual artist.

FAA and Pixels are a middle man between the artist and the various vendors that they use to fulfill the orders.  The vendor (the one who actually prints the t-shirt, mug, or art print) gets a cut of the overall price and FAA/Pixels takes their cut for processing the orders and running the website.  Then there is the artist’s cut which you determine.  Will it be $5 or $500 for a 20×20 inch canvas print?

In the “behind the scenes” area you will have to put in your profit margin that will be added to the vendor cut and FAA/Pixels cut to determine the final price to the buyer.

You can add profit margins for any print size as well as for products such as mugs and phone cases.  This is the amount you will receive if the item sells.

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Tips

  • If you don’t want to sell a particular print size or a certain product – leave the box completely blank.  Don’t put in a “0”.  A zero means that it can still sell and you will receive nothing.
  • Don’t follow the suggested prices from management.  They are very low and you can do better.
  • You can price individual images each time or set up “Default Prices” in “Behind the Scenes”
  • You can change your prices universally using “Default Prices” and then applying the new prices to some or all of your images.

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PREMIUM ACCOUNT

Is it worthwhile to pay $30 a month for a Premium Account on Fine Art America and Pixels?  Yes – if you are serious about running a business selling your artwork on Fine Art America and Pixels.  You can set up a free account to test out the system and upload 25 images.  A free account is great for seeing how everything works and getting your profile ready, but don’t expect to sell anything.  25 images is a drop in the bucket to the thousands of new images that get uploaded every day on these sites.

The chances of some buyer finding your images with only 25 is like a needle in a haystack.  Consider that you will be in this for the long haul and it might take many months if not years to start selling your work.  It takes time for your promotional efforts to pay off.

So any way, consider the $30 a cost of doing business that will most likely be paid off with a sale or two if you market your work.

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Pixels vs. Fine Art America

Pixels and FAA look awfully similar don’t they?  Except for a few logo differences and colors they are virtually the same site although Pixels has more of the product stuff such as mugs and t-shirts whereas Fine Art America sticks to the more traditional art offerings such as canvas prints and framed art.  But its the same company, same artists for the most part and same vendors fulfilling the orders.

If you sign up to sell your work with one of them, you will be on the other one too.  All of the “behind the scenes” stuff is shared.  Make a change to a price or upload a new image on one site and it changes on the other on too.

Why do I get so many visitors from the same cities?

If you watch the visitor count in “Behind The Scenes” you see your images being visited by the same cities over and over. Especially if you promote your images on social media such as Twitter. Instantly after Tweeting you’ll see 20 or so hits from these cities.

Are these real people looking at your work? Most likely not. Most of the views are from search engine bots that constantly scan the web for new content and uses these software bots to analysis and index web pages and images. Most of what you see recorded in “behind the scenes” will be these software robots or “bots”. To get real people to see your work you have to stop wasting time looking at “views” and get out there and actively promote and market your artwork. Don’t worry about view counts, worry about attracting buyers. It only takes one view from an active buyer to make a sale or you can get thousands of bot views and not sell.

How and when will I be paid?

If you are fortunate enough to make a sale, you will receive notification via email.  You can also check sales in “behind the scenes” under “sales” or under “balance”.  Payments are made each month on the 15th via PayPal.  But you won’t be paid right away.  FAA/PIxels has a 30 day money back guarantee so you have to wait for that period to end.   It could be up to two months before you are paid depending on when the order comes in.  And the buyer could cancel to order, have used a bad credit card or returned the item.  So basically don’t count your chickens until they are in your PayPal account.  Fortunately returns are rare but they do happen and they stink!

Classic vs. Trendy – what kind of framing do you like for your artwork?

As far as framing photographs and artwork, I’ve typically gone with the traditional looks I see in museums. Natural wood frame with white mat and glass or black metal or wood frame with glass. Nice thing about this type of art framing is that you can group several pieces together on the same wall and they match with the similar frames.

Lately I’ve been ordering some frame less photographs printed on metal for a modern look that floats on the wall. Trendy designers say a white on white framing style is all the rage. I’ve seen a few of my photographs and artwork ordered that way recently but most are either ordered as prints for framing locally or at home or in the traditional style of black frame and white mat.

Here are the most recently ordered framed prints from customers of my website – http://www.edwardfielding.com

You can see how the fine art photographs and artwork was ordered. With 100s of framing choices in 100s of styles, colors and matting combinations, the traditional simple wood frame and white mat seems to be the most popular. Perhaps because it is economical or perhaps it matches what the customer already has, plus some of these orders might be gifts.

https://pixels.com/featured/vintage-trout-shop-sign-west-yellowstone-edward-fielding.html
https://pixels.com/featured/vintage-trout-shop-sign-west-yellowstone-edward-fielding.html

40.000″ x 24.125″ print of Vintage Trout Shop Sign West Yellowstone to a buyer from Calgary, AB – Canada.

https://pixels.com/featured/vince-lombardi-football-mug-edward-fielding.html
https://pixels.com/featured/vince-lombardi-football-mug-edward-fielding.html

14.000″ x 6.125″ print of Vince Lombardi Football Mug to a buyer from Victoria, TX.

Classics stand the test of time but trendy homes want to follow the latest looks from furniture to framing.  Furniture trends are heading back to Mid Century Modern and frame and molding makers offer matching frames for the trend of Danish and Scandinavian furniture. This video highlights some of the looks possible at your local framing store.

https://pixels.com/featured/the-four-aces-diner-edward-fielding.html
https://pixels.com/featured/the-four-aces-diner-edward-fielding.html

7.125″ x 10.000″ print of The Four Aces Diner to a buyer from Seatac, WA.

A collection of books on how to decorate with photographs

Organizing your collection of artwork and fine art photographs takes planning and thought to acheive the style you are looking for – these books can help you arrange and display your photography collection.

Vintage Ford Tractor Square Framed Print
Vintage Ford Tractor Square Framed Print – Modern Farm House Style Decor – more at: http://www.edwardfielding.com

 Decorating With Pictures by Stephanie Hoppen

Inspires the reader to go beyond conventions when selecting and hanging pictures–to plunge in and create stylish rooms with character. Ms. Hoppen gives tips on how to get started, illustrates the many possibilities for displaying pictures, and addresses specific questions of hanging, mounting, and framing, providing practical and aesthetic guidance. A directory of sources and a glossary complete the book.

The Grid method of art display
Going for the Grid
When hanging a collage of themed photography, rely on the style standby of matte black picture frames. They don’t compete with the artwork and provide an elegant boundary. In this display, the repetition of black and white photography is what provides the excitement. The punctuation pop of the red lampshade doesn’t hurt, either.

At Home with Pictures: Arranging & Displaying Photos, Artwork & Collections by Paige Gilchrist

Pair pictures with the perfect mats, use inventive hanging techniques, try out different wall arrangements, and play with combinations of color. Uncertain of what to put up rather than how to do it? Then feast upon the innovative suggestions for creating themed displays, or assembling still lifes that blend pictures with everything from wooden sculptures to childhood memorabilia. Broaden your definition of a “picture” to include such fabulous things as antique game boards, painted china plates, or a key collection. With these ideas as a springboard, home-sweet-home will look more beautiful than ever.

Contemporary home office in black and white
Contemporary home office in black and white

How to Hang a Picture: And Other Essential Lessons for the Stylish Home  by Jay Sacher

Like tying a Windsor knot or brewing a perfect cup of coffee, knowing how to hang art on your wall is a hallmark of everyday style and nuts-and-bolts know-how. The where, what, and whys of hanging art are an overlooked, under-appreciated line of inquiry. Most of us simply wing it with a quick eyeball and a swing of the hammer. How hard can it be? we think. What can go wrong? The answer, of course, is plenty: crumbling plaster, ruined antique laths, mismatched art hung too-close together, or a poorly-mounted photograph warping in its frame. But beyond the technical mishaps, there is a more essential lesson to be learned: The skill and consideration with which you decorate your home makes an aesthetic statement about the world you inhabit-and more importantly, when it’s done right, it very clearly looks a whole lot better.

Slim and stylish, How to Hang a Picture: And Other Essential Lessons for a Stylish Home is a user-friendly guidebook that details everything you need to know about hanging, framing, decorating and displaying art. If Strunk & White’s Elements of Style was crossed with a no-nonsense how-to manual, you will have captured the tone and immediacy of How to Hang a Picture: simple rules and essential information presented with charm and intelligence.

Decorate With Black And White Photographs
Decorate With Black And White Photographs

The Complete Photo Guide to Framing and Displaying Artwork: 500 Full-Color How-to Photos by Vivian Carli Kistler

Step-by-step color photos for all areas of matting and framing; the information is complete, accurate, and up-to-date. This book includes top-notch instructions for archival framing—the correct methods and materials for preserving photos and artwork for posterity. The author also provides inspiration and helpful examples to show people how to display their artwork using basic design principles in a manner that is easily grasped. There are important techniques to follow for success—even the basic mechanics of hanging a picture.

 

Decorate with color photography

A wall of black and white photography in matching frames can make a stunning wall display but with color photography it can be difficult to mix and match different images, unless they all have a similar theme and post processing look such as this faded vintage style farm themed photographs by fine art photographer Edward M. Fielding.

Photography PrintsSell Art OnlineSell Art OnlineArt Prints

With color photography a more likely success will be with a single large print taking up a good portion of a wall. Make the print a show piece of the room. Large prints make a great impact especially frame-less, floating on the wall as a canvas or metal print.

Matching your room colors to a landscape photograph
Matching your room colors to a landscape photograph

Metal prints in particular are very modern and have an amazing 3D quality if lit properly as the light enters the print and then is reflected back from the metalic backing. The results are very striking with highly saturated colors that pop. Metal prints are best when paired with a saturated type of image.

Amazing artwork for your home!
Amazing artwork for your home!

The colorful fall foliage watercolor by Edward M. Fielding shown above brings a needed splash of color to this other wise monochromatic decor of whites and off whites.  The whole room comes alive with this new focal point which creates a window to nature whether you are in the middle of a city or simply in a room that could use another window.

The easiest mistake to make is buying an image that is too small for the space.  Don’t be afraid to go big and go bold.  Few people ever say they should have purchased a smaller image.

Sell Art OnlinePhotography PrintsPhotography PrintsArt PrintsSell Art Online

Fall foliage photography taken around New Hampshire, Vermont and New England by fine art photographer Edward M. Fielding and is available in all sizes from greeting card to sofa sized prints – framed, canvas, metal, wood and more available at http://www.edwardfielding.com

Getting that modern farmhouse style!

Old Red Vintage Tractors Prince Edward Island Framed Print
Old Farmhouse in Vermont
Old Farmhouse in Vermont by Edward M. Fielding with barnwood frame and off white mat – customize your print here – https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/old-colonial-farm-house-vermont-edward-fielding.html
10 elements of Farmhouse Style
10 elements of Farmhouse Style

The modern farmhouse style is hot right now! Livable, casual, friendly and with roots in the good soil, family and good home cooking, the look of the fresh modern farmhouse decor is here to stay. Born from the front porches and welcoming parlors of the classic old time farmhouses, which were actually on a farm, modern farmhouse looks can be had in large modern homes with the right elements.

The key is to bring in some detail, some rustic character and charm to our often cold, large white wall houses and apartments. A bit of history, a bit of worn surfaces and some key art elements calling back the good old days of simpler charms like a tall glass of iced tea on the front porch after a simmering hot day of chores on the back forty.

Vintage Ford Tractor Artwork by Edward M. Fielding
Vintage Ford Tractor Artwork by Edward M. Fielding – Shown as canvas print with black frame – customize yours at:   https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/old-ford-tractor-colored-pencil-edward-fielding.html
Farmhouse Living
Farmhouse Living – Rustic furnishings with plenty of hand-crafted and well worn elements as well as carefully curated pieces and artwork can bring charm and warm to the modern farmhouse style.

 

Modern Farm House Decor Dining Room
Modern Farm House Decor Dining Room – Artwork can be both smart and modern while at the same time echoing the past like in this piece by Edward M. Fielding – https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/vintage-tractor-pop-art-edward-fielding.html

Some modern farm house decor essentials:

  • planked wood floors
  • simple, sensible styling
  • glass front cabinets
  • aprons
  • barn beam anything
  • galvanized metals
  • wire baskets
  • grain sacks
  • wooden spoons
  • painted wood floors
  • open shelves
  • plate racks
  • large glass jars
  • artwork featuring barns, tractors, simple pleasures

Nothing says modern farmhouse style more than a black and white photograph of farm fresh eggs in a vintage wire egg gathering basket in a barnwood frame like this one.

Farm fresh eggs art print
Farm fresh eggs art print – more farm fresh images and photographs here – https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/farm+fresh

Books:

Opening A Touch of Farmhouse Charm is like taking a breath of fresh, clean country air. With the turn of each page, Liz Fourez leads you on a tour through her family’s house, restored to its 1940s rustic farm style, and teaches you how to make each handmade decoration yourself. The projects require minimal effort, yet add instant charm to any room. With your blue jeans on and a few of the most basic supplies in hand, you’ll be on your way to your dream home in no time.

You’ll learn how to make a custom wood Family Name Sign for your living room, a Wooden Boot Tray on Casters for the entryway, a Ruffled Stool Slipcover for the kitchen and a Rustic Wooden Frame for the bedroom, plus decorations for the office, bathroom, kids’ bedroom and playroom. Farmhouse style is about cultivating a connection among family, home and nature; A Touch of Farmhouse Charm helps you bring the warmth and beauty of simpler times to your modern life naturally.

In the third installment of their successful farmhouse-style series, designer Terry John Woods and photographer Kindra Clineff profile farmhouses in the Northeast that blend traditional and modern elements in new and interesting ways. Fans of Woods’s previous books will be delighted with the breadth of farmhouses profiled and the variety of locales, from Vermont to Maine to New Hampshire. Known for celebrating imperfections, Woods designs with intention, and his homes are places filled with warmth, texture, and light. He takes an honest approach to his subject, offering simple but beautiful ideas that will transform the home. Pairing the clean lines and industrial feel of modern design with the rustic, hand-forged, and natural elements of more traditional design allows Woods to explore contrast and space in a way that has never been seen before.


Come along on the hunt to coveted country sources and the best secret antiquing spots, and learn how to create country farmhouse style in your city dwelling. Author Kim Leggett is the creator of City Farmhouse, an interior design business, pop-up antiquing fairs, and vintage store. She is also a legendary “picker” and favorite designer to celebrity clients (and country-style mavens) including Meg Ryan, Ralph Lauren, Sheryl Crow, and Philip Sweet and Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town. In City Farmhouse Style, Leggett offers great style advice, breaking down the design vocabulary that makes for fresh country style (no matter the setting).

The popularity of farmhouse style has designers, home­owners, and fans in search of inspiration to create this look in all its rural glory. City Farmhouse Style is the first design book of its kind to focus entirely on transforming urban interiors with unfussy, welcoming, country-style decor.

Mid-Century Modern Design

As Dogford Studios makes its slow move to the new location on Anderson Pond, we’ll be considering some design clues from the contemporary design elements of the building. Mid-century modern furniture will fit in nicely to fill out the decor.

Art Prints

Mid-century modern is an architectural, interior, product and graphic design that generally describes mid-20th century developments in modern design, architecture and urban development from roughly 1933 to 1965.

The term, employed as a style descriptor as early as the mid-1950s, was reaffirmed in 1983 by Cara Greenberg in the title of her book, Mid-Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s (Random House), celebrating the style that is now recognized by scholars and museums worldwide as a significant design movement.

Photography Prints

The husband and wife team of Charles and Ray Eames created a lot of the iconic furniture of the mid-century modern era that exists even today in official and reproduction versions.

The Eames Lounge Chair and ottoman are furnishings made of molded plywood and leather, designed by Charles and Ray Eames for the Herman Miller furniture company. They are officially titled Eames Lounge (670) and Ottoman (671) and were released in 1956 after years of development by designers.

Art to compliment a mid-century modern decor

 

Discover gorgeous Mid century modern fine art prints. Fast and reliable shipping. 100% satisfaction guarantee. Bold graphic, abstract fine art black and white photography and more.

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Photography Prints

Want to sell your artwork online? Do some math first

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I had to chuckle when a new artist on Pixels and Fine Art America was complaining about their lack of sales on the forum recently.  They couldn’t understand why they hadn’t made a sale yet despite having over 1,000+ views.

Really?  1,000 views and they expect the sales to come flooding in?  Think about how many people walk by an artwork at a gallery or even at a mall store window before something sells.

And that’s real people.  People in a retail environment.  People with a wallet in their pocket or cash in their purse.  People who are already in the mood to do a little shopping.

What is a 1,000 views on the Internet?  Most likely its bots.  Little software robots that index the internet every day.  They come to a page, scan the contents and report back to the search engine from which they came.  They are not buyers.  Bots are most likely 99% of the traffic that an internet page receives and bots are not buyers.

Then there are the lookers, tire kickers and browsers.  People looking for free clip art, people looking for free screen savers, people who are just curious, people who are simply at work – bored and playing around.  And perhaps a few are serious buyers.

So out of that 1,000 views, how many are valid potential buyers?  Perhaps three?

Sell Art Online

Now take that three and consider the competition.  Pixels and Fine Art America says they have upwards of 125,000 living artists who use their site to offer their artwork for sale.  125K artists who are uploading something like 6,000 new images on a daily basis.

So this is the kicker from this artist who can’t believe they haven’t sold anything yet.

“Granted, I only have 8-9 drawings posted” and only joined in 2016 and has zero followers.  In other words hasn’t done much at all.

Sell Art Online

POD means Print On Demand not ATM

Uploading images to a POD site and “offering” work is not the same as marketing, promoting and selling your artwork.  POD sites are not ATM machines.  They don’t spit out money without putting in some effort.

Despite what you might have heard, art does not sell itself.  It needs to be seen and it needs to be seen by a lot of people before the right buyer reaches into their pocket and parts with their hard-earned money to purchase said artwork.

Do you have any idea how many buyers there are in the world wanting to purchase your artwork?  Does it appeal to hundreds? Thousands? Millions? A few? Just one? No one?

Some of the work I offer in my portfolio of nearly 5,000 pieces of photography and artwork has never sold – perhaps yet or perhaps never.  Some have sold a few times and a few have sold nearly fifty times.  Some sold in as little as three days, others took three years to find a buyer.

Some have less than 100 views and have sold.  Other have thousands of views and haven’t sold once.

Photography Prints

What does it take to sell artwork on Pixels and Fine Art America and other Print On Demand or POD websites?

There really is not secret formula to selling artwork on POD sites.  Good work, that is in demand, lots of it plus marketing, promotion and time for people to find it is the secret.

  • Professional, top quality work
  • Unique work that sets you apart from the pack
  • Work that fits the audience of the website
  • Lots of inventory to choose from
  • Promotion
  • Social Media activity
  • Marketing
  • Good titles, keywording, descriptions
  • Time for the work to be found by search engines and potential buyers.

 

 

 

New! Vintage Beach House Decor

Custom frame vintage sea life decor
Custom frame vintage sea life decor

Introducing a new collection of vintage nautical sea life prints with sea shells, tall ships, crabs, sea horses and more.  Each design can be ordered frame and matted from our collection of hundreds of papers, mats and frames from rustic cottage to chic modern designs.

Custom beach house decor
Custom beach house decor

These nautical designs can be ordered as prints, framed wall art, canvas prints, metal prints, wood prints, acrylic prints as well as rolled in a tube for framing locally or in your existing frames.  Products such as tote bags and throw pillows are also available.
Sell Art OnlinePhotography PrintsSell Art OnlineSell Art OnlinePhotography PrintsPhotography PrintsSell Art OnlineSell Art OnlinePhotography PrintsPhotography Prints

You can see the entire collection of “Art for the Beach House” including framed artwork, photographs, drawings, images as well as vintage artwork here – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/collections/art+for+the+beach+house

Vintage Octopus Illustration
Vintage Octopus Illustration

Art PrintsArt Prints