Maria Williams-Russell Art Blog
Artists, Get Creative!
!IMAGE127!As an artist, you probably know that making great art isn't all it takes to make a living as an artist. Once the artwork is done, getting the artwork sold is another challenge. Even if you loathe the idea of having to be a marketing agent and public relations guru, with a little creativity, the marketing aspect of the job can be done on your own terms.
Take, for example, painter Duane Keiser. Duane is a painter who, until the past several years, typically sold a couple of paintings a year. That is, until he came up with the idea of "100 paintings for $100." The idea was that he would paint 100 small postcard size paintings and then sell each of them for $100 dollars. He painted the paintings and then put an invitation out to his friends and buyers to come to his studio for the opening of "100 Paintings for $100". The opening was a hit and the paintings flew off the wall. You do the math. Keiser's entrepreneurial idea paid off. So, he took it one step further. He started to post his small works for sale on his website, and whenever he put a new one up, he sent an email to all of his friends and clients again. The pieces sold. After awhile, Keiser decided on a new, but similar selling strategy. He began painting one postcard size painting a day and posting them on a free blog with a click thru to eBay where clients and visitors could bid on the paintings. Again, the idea was a phenomenal success. "After that, it just exploded. I would post a painting, and someone in India would buy it within five minutes," says Keiser as quoted in the online article by USA Today. !IMAGE128! Not only did the paintings sell, but the auction venue on eBay allowed a $100 painting to be bid up to sometimes $1200. Again, do the math. Keiser suddenly found himself making a decent salary on his art and making a name for himself. The buzz his "painting a day" blog created got him mentioned in the USA Today article, as well as in the interior design magazine Domino. Now, "a painting a day" has become a trend and written about in the New York Times last August. !IMAGE131! I give you this example to motivate you to take the not-so-giant leap into marketing your own work. As an artist, you are also a small business and finding new and interesting ways to sell your work can mean the difference between selling a couple of paintings a year, or a couple of paintings a day. !IMAGE129! The Internet can be the best tool you ever used in finding the right buyers for your art. The opportunities are endless. But, like Keiser, you have to work it and have confidence. Without the confidence and motivation, obviously nothing will happen. So, put those thinking caps on. Sit down one afternoon and brainstorm. Ask yourself these questions: What could I do that would be an interesting way to sell my art? What kind of budget do I have for advertising? Who do I need to be in contact with and how do I reach them? And then, go. Do it.
!IMAGE130!Your ideas could range from selling your paintings in the park to donating a painting to all the art consultants in your area so they know your name and can contact you when they need more work - for sale. Basquiat gained attention as a graffiti artist in his youth by leaving thought-provoking phrases in his work under the name SAMO. The important thing is, whatever you do, you will have beaten the marketing blues and be making headway on the financial aspect of your chosen career. Good luck. Have fun. Make sales!
Minds Island artists, if you have any interesting sales ideas or success stories in this regard, please post them below!