Via the Arts Business Institute (ABI), I discovered this post on 10 Reasons to Diversify Your Creative Product Line. Although the article is targeted to artists who sell their creative products to wholesale buyers, I believe the information is also useful to Etsy-type sellers. Here are a few of the points that caught my interest:
Read the complete post for more useful information that you can apply to your own small business.
Here are some tips from Nettie for artists who want to advance their business:
"Some advice that I can offer for other artists who are interested in growing their business is don’t be afraid. Know in your heart that you can do it and then do it. Make a commitment to yourself that every day you will pay attention to learning, growing and sharing. There is plenty out there for everyone, including you."
Take a few minutes to read the complete post.
Via the Skinny Artist, I discovered this thought-provoking post, Why No One Likes Your Art: 26 Reasons , written by Alex Mathers, host of the Red Lemon Club. Here are just a few of the points that caught my interest in Alex's own words:
Take some time to read the entire post for more great ideas on how to enhance your art career.
Containers from My Studio
Here are a few tips that I especially like:
For more inspiration, check out the other tips in the article.
Founded by the Craft Guru, "iCraftopia was developed to serve handmade artisans from around the world with useful insights, tips, and business resources in an effort to raise awareness and advance the handmade selling industry."
There are many informative articles and cool Infographics on the site. Here's one post, and accompanying Infographic, that caught my attention, 30 Creative Exercises for Increasing Motivation. Here are just three examples from the list.
Take some time to read the complete article. Then check out the site for more inspiring ideas.
Well, today I received a delightful package of cards and stamps from Sarah. I love the clean line of these cards. They look too pretty to use. The card collection, from Nicely Noted, includes:
Perry Nelson is the founder of Nicely Noted which is a stationery subscription service that delivers a curated collection of letterpress cards and stamps to your mailbox every month. Take a few moments to read why Perry founded Nicely Noted and view her beautiful card collection too.
If you're interested in more details about the Letter Writing Campaign, check out The Paper Chronicles.
Technorati Tags: Iron Curtain Press, Letter Writing Campaign, mixed media art, Nicely Noted, Paperwheel Press, Perry Nelson, Sarah Schwartz, stationery, stationery subscription service, Stationery Trends, The Paper Chronicles, Wild Ink Press
Take a few minutes to read the complete post - and then decide how you can enhance your own portifolio.
I made two more stamps using Self-Adhesive Foam Sheets.
For the Create stamp, I used a Stencil Alphabet that I have in a Word format. When setting up your letter stamps, it's always a good idea to print the chosen word in mirror format so that you have a guide to follow when laying out your letters on the base. For my base, I used some old foam board that had once been a support for my watercolor paintings.
To protect the foam board from water during cleanup, I was going to coat it with some matte medium. Instead I first completely covered the board with packing tape - and then I pressed down the letters.
I like the look of large words, i.e., Create on an Art Journal page. It adds a nice pop to the layout. You might want to check the size of your journals first to determine how large you want to make your word stamps. The above Journal page is still a work-in-progress.
Alternately, you could also stamp your words diagonally across your Journal page. I've noticed that there are a lot of large Star stamps, and stencils, on the market. Save some money and google Star images and use the results to make some Star foam stamps.
What type of stamps do you make?
Via 99u, I discovered this interesting post, Sell More Art: Why Transparency & Storytelling Win Fans written by Jen Adrion and Omar Noory.
Here are two points that especially caught my interest:
Take the time to read the complete post for more thought-provoking strategies.
Via Social Media Today, I discovered this article on 11 Web Marketing and Social Media Trends That Will Shape 2014 written by Stephanie Frasco.
As mixed-media artists, it's important for us to be aware of marketing and social media trends that could affect our Art Business. Here are a few key points from the post:
Take time to read the complete article and then determine how you can make these trends work for your own Art Business.
Lori says that "Although there are sometimes circumstances beyond one’s control, most barriers to success are self-generated and can be fixed." I believe that the successful traits which Lori listed can serve as a roadmap for artists.
I agree with all of the Successful Traits in the Infographic but here are three of my favorites:
Make sure you check out the complete Infographics chart and then start working on your road to artistic success today.
Image from Do What You Love site
"A practical kit to help you make 2014 the year you do what you love. This FREE 24-page PDF will help you extract the good from 2013 - look ahead and shape your 2014 - into the year you want it to be. It includes a powerful technique to help you make dreams into reality, and make your ideas happen."
Check it out!
Maybe you're in the midst of tying up all those loose ends that are associated with your Art Business for 2013. But 2014 is already peeking around the corner.
If you want to be art business-ready for 2014, then read this 15 Point Checklist for a Successful New Year from the Arts Business Institute (ABI). Here are two points that especially resonated with me.
For more valuable tips, make sure you read the complete post from ABI.
I like what Cristallo says about making sure your goals work for you:
"Even with specific goals and deadlines it’s easy to get lost in the busy-ness of day-to day-work. To avoid potential goal disaster, create a list every single week where you write up a set of small doable tasks that will move you closer towards achieving your big goals."
"Make each task specific and easy to achieve within the week. It could be as simple as drafting an email to send to someone or as big as completing an entire artwork."
Take some time to read the complete post and then start building your retail strategy.
Image from Gifts and Greetings Review site
Read the complete post for more details.
Which of these trends catch your interest? I like the Fantasy Forest trend. Can you incorporate one or more of these trends into your product offerings this Christmas season?
If you're an Etsy Shop owner who is looking for solid business advice, check out this post on Handmadeology - Three Steps to Freshen Up Your Etsy Shop and Be Found Again.
There are many practical hints in the post. Here are three tips that I especially liked:
Take some time to read the complete post. Later, find more selling tips by checking the archives on Handmadeology.
Here are some quotes from the post that really resonated with me:
Take the time to read McGuinness' complete post and then take that first step today.
We all strive to create art work that is both unique - and that leaves a lasting impression on the viewer. But what do you see when you turn your art piece over? Artsy Shark offers an interesting post on: What’s the Back Story on Your Art?
Carolyn Edlund says that, "The way you finish the back (of your art) speaks to the quality and perceived value of your work, and can considerably enhance it." I agree.A little while back, I featured a post on Creating Certificates of Authenticity for Your Art. I usually create Certificates for the prints that I sell. I also like to collage the back of my art panels to cover the unfinished look which usually consists of the construction and brand name of the substrate.
You could also add your logo, a quote or a brief story about your art piece. Check out Carolyn's post and then try to think of other ways to enhance the back of your art.
Hmmmmm....... I wanted to do a post about a collage that I recently revised but TypePad will not let me upload images. There seems to be a problem with Internet Explorer. However, I use Google Chrome.
Instead of the collage, I will share an informative post about Art Licensing: The Importance in Knowing What Sells at Retail written by Joan Beiriger.
Joan mentions a newsletter that is new to me called Gift Beat. According to Joan, the newsletter "tracks trends in the gift industry that is aimed at the retailer but also has very useful information for artists."
In the article, she also offers additional tips to help artists learn about the type of art that sells at retail. Make sure that you read her complete post - and then check out the links too. Another great article from Joan!
Here are two of her artist branding tips that I especially liked:
Check out the rest of the article for more great information.
Via the Empty Easel site, I learned of a series of articles discussing The ABC’s of Art Marketing - an Alphabet Guide to Marketing Your Art, from A to Z. This thought provoking series is written by Aletta de Wal.
In today's 8/13 article, Aletta is "focusing on the 5 'I's' of art marketing by explaining the importance of impressing viewers and fans - interesting yourself in their lives - inspiring desire for your art - interpreting responses - and initiating follow-up actions."
Catch up with the previous posts by accessing The ABC’s of Art Marketing link. Check it out!
Are you interested in licensing your art to Greeting Card Manufacturers?
Image from Fine Art Tips with Lori McNee
Via Fine Art Tips with Lori McNee, I discovered this great post on 7 Ways to Improve Your Luck as an Artist. The article was written by ArtBistro’s Art Marketing Experts - and was originally posted on ArtBistro.Monster.com.
I especially like this quote from Doug Farrick.
"One guiding principle that has served me well and provided me with my fair share of good luck is the belief that everything counts. Now what does that mean exactly? It means that every interaction, every email and every contact — EVERYTHING counts. It’s often very tempting to “cut corners” or take the path of least resistance, but it’ll come back to bite you when you least expect it."
You can find additional Art Business Tips and Fine Art Tips on Lori's site. Take some time to check it out. There is a good deal of valuble information for artists.
Image from artpromotivate site
A while back, I heard of the concept of creating Certificates for Individual Artwork. According to artpromotivate: "There is no rule that artists must have certificates of authenticity, but they do add a layer of perceived value and trust for an artist, making art work easier to sell."
If you would like more information, the artpromotivate site provides the details on How to Make a Certificate of Authenticity for Artwork.
The article also offers Web sites with free certificate of authenticity template downloads. Check it out!
Can you believe that the year 2013 is more than half gone? Where did the time go? July is a good time to revisit - and revise - your Art Goals for 2013. Maybe you have a Marketing Plan. Does it need to be revamped?
And looking ahead to Christmas which is only a short five months from now. Do you know what products you will be selling during the Holiday Season? Equally important, have you started working on your holiday product line?
Then make today a Business of Art Day and:
Image from Art Buyer site
When you create art, do you follow trends? Trends can change very quickly. What’s in today can be tired-looking in a year. However, it’s still a good idea to be aware of trends when you are developing new art designs.
In the Spring/Summer 2013 issue of the Art Buyer magazine, Regina Cooper wrote an excellent article on Trend-Spotting. Here are some of the current trends that she cited:
Take some time to read the complete article online. You'll find more great ideas about trends. Then, you can decide how you might incorporate these trends into your own art work.
Image from Artsy Shark site
Yesterday, I submitted copies of my latest art work to the United States Copyright Office. First, I prepared my art according to Copyright Office guidelines. Then I signed into the site, filled out an online form, paid $35. (per application) and uploaded my work. You also have the option of sending copies of your art to their offices. The whole registration process is pretty simple - and there are FAQs to guide through each step.
Today, I came across this post on Artsy Shark on How Artists can Protect Their Intellectual Property - and I decided that this was an important topic for a blog post. The article was written by Emily Danchuk who is an intellectual property attorney and founder of Copyright Collaborative.
Read Emily's informative article and then start registering your art now.
Image from Arts Business Institute site
Life has been kind of hectic around here. Once things settle down, I'm going to check out the complete set of ABI posts. But I wanted to make sure that you saw this information today.
The Surtex (Art Licensing Event) and The National Stationery Show! recently took place in New York City. If you have an interest in Art Licensing then you must check out Joan Beiriger's article: Art Licensing: Successful 2013 SURTEX Over & Now the Followup.
At the end of the article, Joan provides a list of links to additional articles on these shows. I especially enjoyed reading Joanne Hus's post: surtex 2013: art + relationships = success. Lots of good advice for artists in this article. Check it out!
Via Lateral Action, I discovered this post, How to Start Licensing Your Art (and Why You Should) written by Natasha Wescoat.
I like what Natasha says about Making the Pitch:
"You can create your own opportunities. Make yourself known to companies you want to work with. Research their sites, their brand and then write a thoughtful letter describing your interest and make a brief introduction of yourself."
"Offer links to your work, as sometimes attachments are marked spam or they won’t open. Show them how THEY can benefit. Not just that you want to work with them. Show how you two fit. Link to the best examples of your work that complement what they already license."
Check out the rest of this informative post. And start taking that first step to Licensing Your Art.
Image from Artsy Shark site
Here's an inspiring post from Artsy Shark on How to Become a Successful Freelance Artist written by guest author & artist, Noah Bradley. I especially like his points on working hard - and doing the work you love.
You may also be interested in the Artsy Shark post on How Artists Can Build a Brand written by artist, John Borys. I like his messsage on style:
"If your work is quirky, whimsical or fun, your Web site, messaging, and social media efforts should reflect that vibe. If you are a traditional or realist painter, your Web site needs to look and feel like that. Colors, typeface, copy, images and layout are all tools to further communicate your brand, whatever that might be."
Check out these two posts and start working on incorporating some of the ideas into your own artist career today.
A while back I did a post about Selling with Social Media. Aldo Baker contacted me about a follow-up post on this topic: 50 Ways to Generate Leads with Social Media. Check it out!
Here's Baker's favorite tips in what he calls a Tweet Sheet:
Check out this informative post from Artsy Shark: 7 Ways to Promote Your Art with Notecards.
A while back, I took the (above) photograph of one of my favorite flowers, the hydrangea, and then had post cards printed up. I like to include complimentary post cards along with the orders that I send to my customers.
I especially liked this idea from Carolyn Edlund's article: "Got a hot prospect? Send a whole boxed set of mixed cards showing a selection of your portfolio, inside of a larger box. It’s sure to get opened, and makes a much bigger impression than just one piece."
Carolyn also offered this marketing tip in her post: "Don’t forget to include your name, information about the image, a statement about your work, and your website address on the back of each card."
Check out the rest of the Artsy Shark post for more great ideas.
Image from PRNewswire site
If you own an Indie Business, following trends in fashion, pop culture, crafts, color and interior design can be beneficial to your bottom line. You may also gain new ideas that you can incorporate into your own art product line.
Try to set aside time each week to track trends by visiting design & art-related blogs, Pinterest and other similar sites. Visit department stores and boutiques keeping an eye out for the next big thing. Make note of the trends you find. Then figure out how you can take a trend and apply your own unique ideas to create a new product.
You may just start a new trend.
Technorati Tags: 2013 art trends, collage, Craft Focus magazine, crafts, eco-chic, Indie Business, Michaels, mixed-media art, monograms, nostalgia, personalization, PRNewswire, unexpected materials, vintage
In the past, I've highlighted posts from other blogs on Jumpstarting Your Art Career.
Here's another article, from professional artist Lori McNee who is founder of Fine Art Tips, entitled, How to Jump Start Your Art Career. You will surely find a plethora of valuable tips in Lori's post that you can use to promote your own art career.
Here are a few ideas from Lori that I especially like:
Helen Aldous, founder of Artonomy (Business, Marketing & Survival Savvy for Creative Folks), provides a wealth of information for Indie artists on her site. Check out her post on where to Sell Art Online – A List of the Best Sites to Sell or Promote Your Art. Helen lives in West Yorkshire, England.
Visit Helen's site for additional focused Indie Business advice.
If you sell your mixed-media art, take some time to check out this List of Top 36 Product Marketing Experts You Need to Know from Andreea, host of Launch Grow Joy.
Visit each expert's Web site, including Andreea's site, for a wealth of marketing knowledge and information. In fact, you may want to bookmark the post so that you can check back later.
I know that many of you do Art Journaling? But do you keep a Notebook of Ideas? I've been filling notebooks with ideas for many years now. I believe it's the writer in me that likes to capture my thoughts with pen and paper.
Here are two posts from other people who also keep Idea Notebooks:
I like what Johnson says about ideas:
"...... Most good ideas (whether they're ideas for narrative structure, a particular twist in the argument, or a broader topic) come into our minds as hunches: small fragments of a larger idea, hints and intimations. Many of these ideas sit around for months or years before they coalesce into something useful, often by colliding with another hunch."
In order to exploit this particular quality of idea formation, Johnson keeps what he calls a 'spark file.' He explains: “A single document where I keep all my hunches: ideas for articles, speeches, software features, startups, ways of framing a chapter I know I’m going to write, even whole books.”
Johnson doesn’t try to organize them. The randomness is intentional. He reads them over every few months and finds themes emerging — connections between fragments that wouldn’t seem apparent if those fragments were presented in isolation.
Take a few minutes and read both of the above articles to determine how you might benefit from cataloging your thoughts. In my own Idea Notebook, I jot down notes for articles as well as ideas for mixed-media art projects.
What kind of Idea Notebook would you keep?
Well, Artsy Shark founder, Carolyn Edlund has expanded the list to 150 Places to Sell. The list is in alphabetical order and at the same link. Grab a cup of coffe and check out the additions to the list.
On a different note, my laptop crashed yesterday. It's at the Repair Shop now. I'm typing this post on Ron's laptop. I am feeling a bit lost since I don't have access to a scanner. Hopefully, I'll get my laptop back on Monday. Maybe Tuesday?
I'm passing on this quote that really resonated with me today: "Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements." Napoleon Hill
And, here's an information-rich article from artist Joan Beiriger - Art Licensing Editorial: Why, Where & How to Network. There are many valuable links in her post. Check it out.
Image from Artsy Shark site
I especially like her advice on planning and goals:
"When you start a new project, think, 'Does this advance me towards my goal? What results do I want from this? What contacts will I make – and how will I follow up with them?' When you pursue your business plan with focused intent, you will break out from the large group of artists who don’t have focus, and won’t get noticed."
Read Carolyn's article and then choose one of her ideas to start working on today.
Image from Artsy Shark Blog
The List is in alphabetical order with brief descriptions of each venue. Here are the first ten entries. Check out Carolyn's blog for the rest of this informative list.
1. 20×200.com – Jen Bekman’s site focuses on art, prints and photos, priced affordably. Juried (not currently accepting submissions, but sign up for their newsletter to get updated when submissions reopen.)
2. 500px.com – Photography site – store your photos, share them and sell them. Features work of beginners to experts. Sell your work by opening a “store” account, which is available to free as well as paid memberships.
3. AbsoluteArts – Claiming to be “the most trafficked contemporary arts site” it offers levels from free to premier. Artist bio/statement and portfolio displayed with shopping cart.
4. AffordableBritishArt (UK Site) – Artists sell their work with no middleman, commission free, but there is a charge to have an account (4 tiered levels). You must have a PayPal account to receive payment for your work.
5. Amazon – Upload your images to sell on one of the biggest marketplaces on the web. Jewelry is a huge category here, but you are competing with manufactured items.
6. Art.com – This highly ranked e-commerce site has a division called Artist Rising, where emerging artists can upload images. They provide a print-on-demand service to sell your work. Two levels of membership – free and paid.
7. ArtBreak – Describing themselves as “a global community of artists sharing and selling their work on the web,” this site is a commission-free way to upload images and sell with a shopping cart. Curiously, their blog and social media sites are inactive.
8. Art-Exchange – B2B site where artists can get connected to interior designers, architects and others in the trade. Work is sold wholesale here; they take 10% commission.
9. ArtFire – Huge marketplace of crafts, art, supplies, vintage and more. Customize your own shop on this site. $12.95 monthly fee.
10. ArtFortune – Create your own online art gallery here. Site visitors can see the images that you have uploaded, and click through to your website, where you make the sale. They charge a monthly fee, and have several different plans. There is also a forum and community on this site.
If you are new to Carolyn's blog, take some time to check out her other posts for important information on Marketing Your Art.
As you plan your art projects for the coming year, you may want to incorporate the top color choices for 2013 from Pantone and Sherwin Williams. I'm glad to say good-bye to Tangerine Tango. I've never really been an orange person.
The 2013 Pantone color of the year is Emerald. I especially like the soothing look of their Spring colors.
Every year the paint company, Sherwin Williams, selects a color of the year. For 2013, the chosen color is Aloe which is part of their Vintage Moxie collection. For more inspiration on color, check out the Sherwin Williams Pinterest site.
So what do you think? Are their any shades of blue or green in your future mixed-media art work?
During the lull between Christmas and New Year's Day, you may want to take some time to think about Your Art and the New Year ahead. Here are some ideas to get you started:
For more great ideas, check out these two excellent and informative posts from Artsy Shark written by Carolyn Edlund:
I have been busily working on some new art projects. When I checked my blog, I was surprised to learn that I hadn't posted in a few days.
Does the time go by so quickly due to this hurry-up world of Smart Phones, Pinterest, Web trolling, Texting and Apps? My two guilty pleasures are the Web and Pinterest. How about you?
Back to my art, here are the two newest art pieces that I completed yesterday:
Shabby Chic Ornament in my Etsy Shop
Eiffel Tower Wall Decor in my Etsy Shop
I do want to leave you with links to two excellent articles that I found on The Arts Business Institute (ABI) blog. (I do receive updates from ABI which I highly recommend for good marketing advice).
Check them out!
If you're like me, you probably juggle many mixed-media art projects at any given time. Well, I realized my To Do Lists and Project Lists were getting a bit disorganized - and many times misplaced in my pile of papers.
I had them printed at Office Max in two different colors so that they won't get lost in my paper clutter. I used a set of mini stamps to print out To Do and Projects. I used masking tape to hold the individual letter stamps together for ease of stamping.
How do you stay organized?
Image from The Moon From My Attic blog
Via The Moon From My Attic blog, which is hosted by Alex Colombo, I came across an enlightening post entitled, Style, Theme and Technique in Art Licensing - Artist Julie Dobson Miner.
Here's what Julie Dobson Miner says about her initial creative process:
"I put a considerable amount of thought into my collections. They may start with a store walk or a web search to see what's currently offered in the given theme. I'm looking for a new twist or following an emerging trend and applying it to an old theme." Julie has found if it is too similar to current market choices it will likely not be well received.
Check out the rest of the article for some great tips. And take some time to explore The Moon From My Attic blog. Alex regularly offers valuable tips on her Art Licensing blog.