Use a Blog to Let Art Buyers Know You


Greeting Card Designer Blog invited Mary Lawler, artist to be a special guest writer to talk about why she has a blog.

Guest Writer, Mary Lawler

An artist's blog is one of the best ways to help a potential buyer get to "know you". Buyers are much more likely to purchase from an artist they feel a connection with, than not.


Think about the questions people ask you at art shows and gallery openings. What inspires you? Where is this landscape (house, garden, scene)? How long did it take you? What materials do you use? People really want to know about you and your work.

A blog need not be long but it should be focused on some aspect of your art. It isn’t necessary to disclose your personal life unless it's relevant to the subject. Just be honest, ask for feedback and be yourself.

One blogger I know bears her struggling, painful soul in her posts. She gets a lot of sympathy but her followers drop off after a while, there is no useful content. Another blogger posts a picture of a piece, and the blog contains the title, size and price. Period. That’s not enough content.

The feedback I receive, or don’t receive, keeps me on track. I also know when I have hit a nerve or a controversial subject. My blog is integrated into my site, so viewers aren’t directed away to a separate site. You run the risk of them not returning.

Not a writer? Here is a link to a blog about what to write about in your blog.

Mary Lawler
Social Media Diredtor, ArtId.com
mary@artid.com
www.artid.com/marylawler
www.artid.com/calligraphy/blog


About Mary: As a self-employed artist for over 30 years, I have a wealth of experience in many aspects of art business and marketing. I share my knowledge and experience, through teaching, blogging and consulting with artist members of www.ArtId.com.

How I Sell my Designs Online: Jude Maceren

GCDesigner Blog invited painter Jude Maceren, to be a guest writer for "Social Media Month" to talk about his experience of selling his art online. Jude is amazing in that not only does he sells his art through multiple online sites, but he also sold over 200 paintings on Ebay auctions!

Guest Writer, Jude Maceren

I've acquired many design contracts online, and I would like to tell you a story of how I got my latest contract, and how important it is to have an online presence.

When I started learning about the business of art, I got a website, showed my work through other websites, and created a blog. Then I promoted these websites and blog on all these social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc. I posted daily or weekly. From this experience I became strongly visible online, especially through search engines, which landed me a licensing contract to the owner of Farfalla Winery, a wine company based in Oklahoma.

Farfalla Winery was in the early stages of their winery business, and they were looking for an image to represent their brand. Since "Farfalla" is an Italian word which means "butterfly," they started searching butterfly images through Google, to find an image to symbolize their brand image. My butterfly painting appeared at the top search which caught their attention.

To my surprise, I received an email from them and got a contract to paint a butterfly. After that, they created wine labels, stationery, a logo, brochures, business cards, etc. My butterfly became their brand.

HOW TO SELL ART ONLINE

You can get opportunities online. To do so:

1. Create the best artwork you can,
2. Learn the latest trends that sell
3. Share your creative experiences by posting on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.,
4. Link to websites and blogs that carry your art.

That's how I got my wine label design contract, by doing these things.

Facebook is the most useful, because you can show your life and business of being an artist. Take advantage of the Facebook Fan Page (versus profile page). Make an effort to increase your friend's list, to reach a 1,000. The more contacts you have in your list, the better your chances are of getting noticed by people who like your art. In my case I paint flowers, butterflies, and landscapes, so I invited friends and fans that love this type of art.

You should also make sure to take advantage of the power of Twitter by posting social updates and occasionally promoting your art. On top of that, you also have to regularly post new work to blogs. We not only have to create art, but we also have to learn business.

I believe that the combination of these online promotional resources will greatly help artists connect to the right licensing contract. A consistent posting through these social networking sites, and attracting the right market, will get the attention of the art buyer who are searching for your.


ABOUT MY ART
Art has been my passion since I was a child. I do illustrations for editorial, corporate, publishing and advertising accounts using traditional and digital renderings. As I mature in my artistic career I've discovered I also want to use acrylics, oils and watercolor mediums. I exhibit and sell them online and offline through art galleries and art festivals.

My butterfly painting was posted on "Moshe Mikanovsky Art Blog" in the article "3 Examples Of Art Licensing Online Scouting." I also have over 300 illustrations licensed in stockillustrations.com, several product lines, manufactured and sold through zazzle, and I also sell my prints on Etsy. Most of my orginals are sold through Boundless Gallery. I've even sold 200 painting in an auction on Ebay! Here are some of my client's comments.

Where Find Jude Maceren Art:

Website: http://www.judemaceren.com
Blog: http://paintingsbyjude.blogspot.com
Paintings at Boundless Gallery
Fine Art Floral, Landscape & Animal Paintings
Art Products on Zazzle
Prints on Etsy
Be Jude's fan on Facebook
Follow Jude on Twitter






...More Articles on Technology and Art Licensing:


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Children's Ilustrator Wisdom: Why Artists Need Blogs

GC Designer Blog invited Allyn Howard, Children's Illustrator, to be a special guest writer for "Social Media Month" and talk about why she thinks artists should have a blog.



Guest Writer, Allyn Howard

I started my blog, Blipadee.blogspot.com on a whim after someone I knew created one for her baby. I thought if a newborn could have one, so could I!

I post about once a week and share aspects of my life as a working artist living in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. It appears that most commercial artists have one for the additional exposure to their work.

I enjoy writing about my process for illustration & mural projects, but knew I didn't want to write exclusively about it.

I was surprised by just how much I enjoy profiling other artists, designers and businesses that I admire, plus interesting neighborhood characters. There is so much great stuff out there, it feels rewarding to help shed light on what I find deserving and getting to know the people behind it!

Sharing my inspiration, influences and neighborhood gems in a casual way makes it fun to write and lets readers get to know me in a relaxed way that a single (work-related) website doesn't.
Maintaining a blog can be time consuming and I opt for a mini-post when time is tight.

Facebook and other social networking sites are a good way to find readers. I've even become actual friends with a reader who lives nearby. I love taking pictures and an added perk is having a reason to always have my camera on me.

With a blog, there's always a chance that your business or your personal favorites will experience the dream; word of mouth gone wild or at the least, a few kind comments.

I was just hired for a job that came directly from writing my blog. A toy store in my neighborhood with a kids' hair salon is in need of some cute characters to spice it up! I had profiled the shop last Spring and when the owner revamped and renamed it, I decided to post about the changes. The owner gave me a call and now I have a fun new project. Again, one of the best things about having a blog has been meeting people that I may never have said more than hello to otherwise. It takes work, but so far it has been very gratifying.

ABOUT ALLYN: I am a Brooklyn based painter who specializes in artwork and custom murals for children's rooms and nurseries. My business has expanded to include a line of greeting cards, T-Shirts and art prints. I work in both a painterly style and a simplified graphic one unified by the use of vibrant color and the innocent optimism of my characters. I'm currently launching my designs to license on products in the children's market & beyond.

Allyn Howard
507 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Studio: 718.643.6065
Mobile: 347.512.7340
www.AllynHoward.com
www.Blipadee.blogspot.com

The Future of Trade Shows

Greeting Card Designer Blog invited Mike Hartnett, Craft Industry Reporter, to be a special guest writer for "Social Media Month" and talk about the future of trade shows in the new media age.


Guest Writer, Mike Hartnett

First, a little introduction: I've been reporting on the arts & crafts industry for 30+ years, served a total of 12 years on the boards of directors of three industry trade association that sponsored trade shows, and attended approximately 100 trade shows.

I recently returned from the Craft & Hobby Association's winter show – the largest in the industry – convinced that trade shows as we know them today will not exist a decade from now. I've written about it in my newsletter, Creative Leisure News (www.clnonline.com) and Kate asked me to summarize my thoughts.

The craft industry is dominated by six major chains – Michaels, Jo-Ann, Hobby Lobby, Hancock Fabrics, A.C. Moore, and Wal-Mart. For many trade show exhibitors those chains comprise 80% of their sales.
  • Some vendors, whose new products have already been shown to, and approved, by at least one chain store, spend $50,000 or more on a show hoping the chain's top execs will stop by.
  • A major vendor filmed his booth; at each major product line, an employee would show-demonstrate each new product. The video was then posted on the web for any retailer who couldn't attend the trade show.
  • One vendor flies individual chain buyers to its home office.
  • There are trade shows in which vendors pay $15,000, set up in a hotel room, and then are guaranteed they will have at least a 20-minute visit from each major buyer. Part of that exhibit fee pays for the buyers' hotel and plane bills.
  • Some vendors admitted they exhibit at a show primarily because their competitors exhibit.
  • Others exhibit because they are afraid rumors will fly if they don't exhibit.

Independents

But what about independents? Do they need trade shows to see new products?
  • I talked to an independent retailer who spent almost all of her show time in seminars and workshops. Didn't she want to see the new products? "My sales reps back home will show them to me."
  • Seminars on improving your business are an invaluable element to trade shows, but consider this: Last year I moderated a webinar for 100 bead/jewelry retailers. The audience heard the speakers via their telephones or computers and saw the speakers' power-point presentations on their computers. If they had a question, they would type it and it would appear in real time on my computer; then I'd ask the question. It was a great seminar, and no one had to travel.
  • So many exhibitors use websites, blogs, Facebook, and Twitter to reveal their new products before a trade show that retailers can see hundreds (thousands?) of new lines without attending a show. It's reached a point now where often Internet-savvy consumers know about a new product before a retailer does.
  • For many independents, there's the cost of attending a trade show, but also the time spent preparing for the show and staffing the store while they're gone.
  • A needlework company said it only exhibited at the TNNA hotel shows; the large, convention-center shows are too expensive for the number of buyers they attract.

What's the Future?
  • Another site that is for business-to-business transactions – without trade shows: www.alibaba.com.
  • Consider how much technology has improved in the past decade. You can assume it will improve again at least as much in this new one. In just the first two months of this decade, Google announced it was testing a system that is 100 times faster than broadband, and 3-D TV sets were unveiled at the Consumer Electronic Show.
  • The end result? Buyers will be able to remain in their offices and stores and visit any vendor's virtual booth any time. But what about the lack of personal interaction? A CLN subscriber told me she toured Steven Spielberg's Hollywood DreamWorks studio and saw a conference room with technology so advanced that a person could have a meeting with people thousands of miles away and feel like everyone was sitting at the same table – and making eye contact. GoToMeetings.com is just the start.

Some things we do know

Rest assured, the cost of travel, hotels, and food will increase. Exhibitors will also have higher expenses for building and shipping a booth. If a buyer can attend seminars and see new products without those costs, will he/she continue to attend trade shows? And if the number of buyers attending a show declines, won't exhibitors reach a tipping point and decide a show – any show – is not worth it?

The downside of all this is incalculable: The lack of networking, squeezing out independents who can't afford the fancy, yet-to-be-invented technology, and the increased difficulty of a new vendor breaking into the market, to name a few. The result will be a touch-and-feel industry that loses its touch. The greatest value of trade shows is intangible, but as bean counters assume more and more control of the companies, they will ask, "Explain to me again why we have to spend $50,000 on a trade show?"

Think of it this way: for the exhibitors who pay the bills for a show, trade shows are a form of advertising. David Ogilvie, the founder the famous ad agency Ogilvie & Mather, defined it this way:
"Advertising is what you do when you can't go see somebody." If a company can "see" its customers – and they can "see" the company – without a trade show, what will happen to the show?

I don't like what I'm predicting, and by 2020, I probably will have been led off to the Home for Confused Journalists. But for those of you who plan to be in business 10 years from now, watch and be ready to change the way you do business.

Comments on this article can be left below or sent to Mike Hartnett.
Copyright © 2010 Mike Hartnett


Why a Sculptor should have a blog

Greeting Card Designer Blog invited Patrick Gracewood, sculptor, to be a special guest writer for "Social Media Month" and talk about his experiences of having blog about his art.


by Patrick Gracewood

I post three times a week to my sculpture blog, www.ShadowsOnStone.blogspot.com. There are several reasons I believe having a blog is helpful for artists:


Why I Have a Blog

  • Writing that often has made me much more articulate about my own work and the work of others.
  • Writing for a blog is like writing a post card. Blogs need good images and short concise sentences.
  • I'm thinking more about the why we make sculpture and less about the how (techniques ) of artmaking.
  • The most surprising thing is getting new subscribers from all over the world, Australia, Argentina, and Serbia.

How did they find my humble blog?

Well, it turns out there are a few other people who like to think about making sculpture and why.

It's a small audience but that's exactly who I want to engage in this conversation.

My approach to sculpture is poetic, I use images of nature metaphorically to evoke an emotional response.


Contact info

Patrick Gracewood
email: pmg@gracewoodstudio.com
website: www.GracewoodStudio.com

Gracewood Studio offers his art work and sculpture services to designers, architects, landscape designers, and private clients.
Blog: http://shadowsonstone.blogspot.com/

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