In an interview on the One Million by One Million Blog (http://www.sramanamitra.com) Fine Art America and Pixels.com founder Sean Broihier explains why some artists on the site pull in $10K a month while others see little sales:
Sramana: What accounts for the success of some artists and the lack of success of others on FineArtAmerica?
Sean Broihier: There is a disproportionate distribution of wealth because we do not have a huge bulk of buyers relative to artists. There are some artists who are making an enormous amount of money and some who are making relatively little money. It all comes down to how the artists take advantage of the tools we give them and how they market themselves. The artists who are making $5,000 to $10,000 a month are putting in the required time and energy to generate their own sales. They are doing email campaigns, they are going to art fairs, making TV appearances, and attending trade shows. We are just doing fulfillment orders for those types of artists.
We are a marketplace that gives you tools to be successful. With so many artists on the site, we cannot provide them all with individualized sales and marketing attention. All we can do is give them tools to help them be successful. People who sit around and take the wait-and-see approach will have one or two sales a year. As for anything in life, you will not be successful unless you put effort into it.
Earlier in the interview Broihier explained how the number of artists signing up every day on Fine Art America and Pixels outpaces the number of buyers. In other words, artists on average see less sales unless they are going above and beyond with their marketing, branding and offerings.
Sean Broihier: The vast majority of orders go to non-artists who have found us through Google or Facebook. You would expect that if you had five artists, you would have 25 buyers to keep them happy. However, because we are free to join and everyone has seen how fast the business is growing, we have attracted a ton of artists. The pace of buying has not kept up currently. Obviously, we are growing quickly. If word got out that FineArtAmerica was doing incredibly well, then I could have another 200,000 artists sign up overnight. I am not necessarily going to see a correlation in the number of buyers signing up at the same time.
As an Artist Your Value Proposition Separates Your Work from the Crowd
What is it about your work that makes it deserve a sale? Think about the last time you purchased or supported another artist’s work. Why did you do it? How did it make you feel? What was the value of the purchase to you?
Consider that buying artwork is not like buying a commodity product like salt or gas. Art is not purchased because it’s the lowest price or you had a coupon.
Out of the zillions of available art works and photographs on the market that you could purchase, for some reason this particular piece of artwork compelled you to love it and purchase it.
Some of the factors involved might be:
You met the artist face to face
You saw a documentary about the artist
You read an interesting article about the artist
The artwork provoked a strong memory
The artwork was the perfect size or color for a space in your home
A friend recommend this artist
The artist reminds you of a more famous artist that you can’t afford
The artwork created a gut reaction
The art makes you happy
The art makes you think
The art sets a mood
The art matches your decor
The art matches your theme
You like the artist positions
You like what the art has to say about the world
The art is modern, the art is retro
The art gives you a positive feeling
etc, etc, etc.
One thing to remember when selling art is people buy or support art for a very different set of reasons than anything else they spend money on. Not only are they receiving a product for their money but they like to know they are supporting an artist so they can continue to create.
Support Artists To Support Your Set of Values
If you see work you like, you should support this work, even if you don’t end up owning it, because this artist is creating the kind of beauty you want to see in the world. By helping this artist survive and continue to make work, you’re helping someone change the world in the way you want it to change.
Your Value Proposition
Your value proposition as an artist sets you apart from your fellow artists and photographers.
VALUE PROPOSITION – (in marketing) an innovation, service, or feature intended to make a company or product attractive to customers.
In an never ending flood of amateur snapshots uploaded daily on social media, a professional level quality and execution. Consistently, editing, selection and subject choice can be enough to pull your work out of the masses and into the realm of quality worth spending money.
Your followers will come to expect focused images with good composition, free of dust spots, grain and poles sticking out of people’s heads.
My value proposition as a fine art photographer would go something like this:
Using professional equipment, honed post-processing skills, years of study, effort and passion for my subjects, creativity and a unique vision, I offer a unique and compelling images suitable for display in the finest homes and offices.
Further my collectors come to appreciate my style of clean and uncluttered compositions. They might also take comfort knowing that my work has been shown in galleries, on book covers and magazines around the world.
The fact that professional image buyers have selected my work to grace book covers and illustrate magazine articles doesn’t make someone love it, but it does provide affirmation that their choice is a solid one. After all, if it’s good enough for a book publisher to bet the success of a book launch on, it’s probably good enough to grace a guest room.
Abstract artwork for sale – Open edition reproductions of “Phantom Lik” by visual artist Edward M. Fielding are available for purchase in sizes up to 22 x 30 inches as matted and framed artwork, canvas, wood, acrylic, metal prints and more.
Artist Statement generated via artybollocks.com
My work explores the relationship between emerging sexualities and counter-terrorism.
With influences as diverse as Nietzsche and John Cage, new tensions are created from both explicit and implicit structures.
Ever since I was a pre-adolescent I have been fascinated by the endless oscillation of relationships. What starts out as vision soon becomes debased into a tragedy of greed, leaving only a sense of nihilism and the dawn of a new understanding.
As spatial replicas become transformed through studious and critical practice, the viewer is left with a clue to the edges of our era.
Actually this piece came about after some playful time generating fractals.
A fractal is a curve or geometric figure, each part of which has the same statistical character as the whole. Fractals are useful in modeling structures (such as eroded coastlines or snowflakes) in which similar patterns recur at progressively smaller scales, and in describing partly random or chaotic phenomena such as crystal growth, fluid turbulence, and galaxy formation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mid-century modernis 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.
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.