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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Posting Online doesn’t guarantee Success

"Sand Crane Dreams" mixed media on canvas (Done free-hand with brush to create dream-like images)

When friends learned that I had been selling online, they were all determined to follow my lead. I was delighted, because I wanted them to feel that element of success when you overcome your fears, conquer the inevitable learning curve of uploading photos correctly, and then seeing your paintings online.

News Flash! It does not stop there! You can’t just prepare a website or blog and hope for the best. You must “work the territory.” What does that mean exactly? You must take advantage of all the apps and opportunities available on each particular website.

"Barred Owl Posing" 16x20 acrylic on panel
If there are contests, you must enter as many as you can. Then you must vote in those contests. If you join a group (I’ve joined many), you must participate in the discussions, comment on other people’s paintings, and generally get to know the artists that are out there. If you develop some relationships, this will bring you votes, a visual platform, and other opportunities to display your paintings.

Many an artist has paid to have someone prepare an elegant website, only to abandon it and leave it to chance. If there are no links or interactive tools to ask questions or make comments, people go away disappointed. Sure they may see your work, but if it’s difficult to find out the information they are looking for, they may never come back.

"Jack's Roses" oil on canvas (SOLD) Prints available!  Done almost entirely by free-hand brush drawing
An artist must still stay active in their home community. If people know you, and become familiar with your name or your work they are more likely to go to your website when shopping for artwork. Collector’s also become familiar with your name as they float from gallery to gallery.

Marketing is a 75% proposition, with a 25% ratio of time for painting. It sounds impossible, but it’s important if you ever want to sell. I never thought I’d sell an original online, but I’ve sold four this past year. Some of those paintings continue to make money through print sales online.

This time ratio means you have to work faster and harder at production. I’m becoming better at drawing with a brush and seeing clearly the painting I want to make in my mind before I begin. I still use models and photographic references, but I’m able to do much of my drawing on canvas free-hand with a brush. The exciting colors and forms that develop intuitively make it a joy to complete.
(8x10 canvas)
"in progress" sorry about the shadow! I painted an acrylic background and have to decide what to put on it!
Marketing is a very slow and upward process. The secret is to “never give up” and “never give in,” even when you get discouraged.