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Clintavo Art Blog

Abandoning Art Magazine Advertising Platform...For Now

by clintavo , February 5, 2009—12:00 AM

Topics: All Posts

Hmmm, I may change my mind on this, but I think I'm abandoning art magazine least as far as trying to partner with magazines to help our clients by developing an easy online platform to place ads and save money.

I read that Google has abandoned it's effort to bring print advertising into their wildly successful advertising network. And it got me to thinking about my own attempts to integrate print advertising into the online tools we offer artists to promote themselves.

I had, for years, thought it would be really cool to have an online platform for our artists to place ads in art magazines. I figured we could make it easy to create the ad online, do all the legwork, collect all the money and purchase larger blocks of space and save the artists some money.

Anyone can figure out that if you book a double-page spread and share the cost among 8 people that it's going to be cheaper than if those 8 people all book individual ads.....artists and art organizations do this all the time. But what I've discovered is that, even though it's true and it's done all the time, some magazines don't like it when you point it out and/or put together a coop ad and actually tell the participants they're saving money.

Jeff Jarvis said it better on his blog than I possibly could, "The big, slick publishers I__™ve worked with are loath to allow anyone else to sell " or certainly undersell " their space. And they are very protective of the value of their brands because, well, that™s the only value they really have (otherwise, they™re just pages with words)."

That's been my experience too. It's been somewhat frustrating because I'm trying to help artists market themselves and perhaps bring some new clients to these magazines. "Online" has changed the world and traditional media needs to adapt to new ways of thinking. I mean, newspapers are already taking their last, labored breaths on their deathbeds....shouldn't other print mediums be learning from their example?

But it's now clear to me that if not even Google can make an online ad fulfillment platform for print publications work........then I have no chance.

Besides, now that we all know that art marketing is's a lot easier to have a conversation online anyway. Heck, this blog is attracts as many or more online visitors per month than any of the web sites of the magazines I had in mind (at least according to It's just that there are so many art lovers who read those magazines offline that I wanted to help our artists reach, and we can't reach them all least not yet.

Don't get me wrong. I think magazine advertising can be effective. And I encourage artists to consider it as part of their marketing strategy. The publications I've had the pleasure to work with in the past are all fine publications that I enjoy reading. I often discover (and sometimes buy) art in them. It's just that, for now, if you as an artist want to run any ads, you'll have to continue to do it the old 20th century way. When it comes to developing a platform to bridge online marketing and offline print, our attempts....and Google's... have failed.....for now.

Now go change the world.


Clint Watson Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic

PS - There are, of course, always exceptions and I must say that Artist Advocate has been an absolute joy to work with.

PPS - If any magazine people are reading this post and disagree with me and want to work with me to help artists advertise easily and save money, I would welcome the opportunity to partner.

This article originally appeared on my other blog at:




  Bob Ragland ( homepage )

02/05/2009 * 12:27:12

The amount of money spent on magazine and paid advertising is costly.
I like to send handwritten letters in this day and age of technology.
I figure, I can buy a bunch of first class stamps and be more personal to people.

There are so many magazines that one could advertise in, when I look at the number of publications available , it's overwhelming.

Illustrated snail mail is special and I used it to get my house paid off and to get an interview on NPR on 12-27-2008.

Jose Acosta is correct about other ways to get some notice.
I try to get local press every two years, I get feature writers to tell my story.
Feature stories seem to have a wider appeal.

Newspaper stories can be copied,letters written on the reverse and sent out to
ones special art people.

The Nashville Tennessean does a very good job of writing human interest
stories on artists in their city and state.
Local publicity can help an artist to people who haven't discovered artists who live and work locally.

Marketing is just another part of my art life , I have made peace with it.
If one does it on a steady basis it will pay off.


Bob Ragland


  Jose Acosta ( homepage )

02/05/2009 * 10:38:09

I gave up buying ads in magazines and art newspapers a few years ago. I never saw any increase of sales or interest in my art because of those adds. However we should not forget our local papers and magazines that can give us free articles announcing our shows and our art. Those have been the best source for info on my art and I did generate sales and interest in my work because of those free articles. So create interesting and noteworthy press releases and make sure you follow up with all local newspapers and area magazines that can cover your story for free. When they do write an article about you and your art always remember to send them a thank you note. It is always nice to be appreciated and they will remember you next time you have art related news again. As Artist we would love to just create art and let someone else worry about the promotion and advertising. Still no one is going to care or have more interest in your art and your future then yourself. So learn to do as much as you can to help promote yourself and your art. And hopefully in the future when you and your art are famous you will be able to hire someone to do it for you. Keep Plugging along and best of luck to all.

Cuban - American Artist Jose Acosta.

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