Posts Tagged ‘art marketing’

What Is The Value of Your Art?

What Is The Value of Your Art

I’ve been holding a lot of one-on-one, in depth conversations with artists who know they have hit a mud flat and are spinning their wheels.

Within the first hour of our conversation, something clicks into place – an insight they didn’t have before.

Suddenly, a light is shining on what had been in shadows before our call, and the artist can feel something opening up inside, expanding into the pathways for the dream, which they have always longed for, to be realized.

At this point, artists usually ask how much the mentoring /coaching service is going to cost.

And for some of these artists, often the ones who are hurting the most, the value of what they have just experienced, and know they will continue to experience if they work with me, gets strangled in the net of price.

In one moment, the precious, incalculable value of their insights become tangled up in lines of scarcity and fear, and then falls over a cliff, disappearing from view.

Sometimes artists can grab a hold of the lifeline I throw them, so they climb back up and see the vista that is always there, waiting for them.

Other times, the conditioning and hooks around money sink the dream—as it has for these artists from time immemorial.

What, you may wonder – as I have – has really happened here?

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Is Marketing Passé for Visual Artists?

is art marketing passe for visual artists

I have come to the startling conclusion that marketing is passé for visual fine artists.

That the whole concept of marketing in the art world has spiraled into a paint-by-numbers campaign with everyone trying to figure out the right formula.

There’s one set of rules for the 1% of the art world – the snob-filled, high-end world of auction houses and galleries where price lists are taboo – and another set of rules for the 99% of the art world – the artists who fill up the thousands and thousands of private galleries, art fairs, and museums sprinkled all around the globe.

The 1% crowd has no need for being approached through marketing. Their collectors are already captivated by their own lust for status, and catered to through strategies reserved for luxury and an overflowing bank account.

That leaves the 99% wondering how to sell their art while secretly yearning

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Inside a barrel or watching the waves crash in?

Taking the month of August off, like they do in Europe, has totally changed my idea of “context.” Suddenly things I wasn’t even aware of are popping into view.

Like posts that are ready to come back around for a second reading.
From now until I return in Sept, I’ll be dishing up yummy leftovers.



Once upon a time, an artist I was working with spent a long time priming and polishing her artist statement for a very serious studio exhibition she was planning in Boston.

She had been working for over a year on a series of oil paintings that had taken her in new directions, and she was attending to every detail of the exhibit with loving care.

Her large, abstract work was engaging on its own. But when you got a chance to read about her process and her thoughts as she painted, the work took on an even larger presence.

Part of my job was to coach her on how to present her artist statement so it reflected the same attention to detail that her art did.

But, as the saying goes…you can lead a horse to water…

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Lemonade or Art?

"Unsung Artist" by Joyce Wycoff

What does a book about death and loss have to do with knowing how to market our art? There is a connection, but I have to back up a bit…

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SOFA, Red Dots, and Artist Statements

Geoffrey Gorman's "Creatures of Curiosity"

I spent a grand spring day at SOFA NY (it poured!), hobnobbing around with Geoffrey Gorman, attending a lecture by Michael Petry, the director of MOCA London on his new book The Art of Not Making, and touring all the gorgeous artwork in the two dozen gallery booths. This was a high end New York show with a clientele to match.

But for the life of me, I couldn’t keep my coaching hat off (drives my family nuts too). It was the very first booth I stepped into–because there were these stunning glass sculptures of Martin Rosol’s that simply took my breath away; I loved the clean, geometric lines, just my cup of tea–and of course I wanted to…

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New York City Art Fair-Is It Right For Your Art?

I have a lot of material in my smARTist library, but until this  year, Art Fairs were not high on my list.

All that changed when I met Richard Rothbard – artist, gallery owner, and art fair producer – at a CODA conference in Savannah, GA, where I was speaking this last spring.

Besides hosting CODA Conference attendees at his Savannah Gallery, Richard treated me to a very non-Southern meal of fantastic sushi and brought me on board for his Contemporary Art Fair NYC, a sister show to his American Craft Fair NYC.

I was fascinated by Richard’s enthusiasm for bringing artists to NYC at a price they could afford – since most high-end venue Art Fairs are truly exorbitant. But more than that, it occurred to me that Richard was carrying around a wealth of information on Art Fairs.

I realized, in short order, that no one had thought to…

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Stumbling Around In The Dark

One reason I know so darn much about running a business as a solopreneur is I’ve been doing it for over 20 years.

And what amazes me, what never changes, is that the learning curve is always ahead of me. I used to think there was a catch-up point, and I’d race for it. Took a while for me to notice that each time I got close, the curve simply…

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I Turned My Career Around!

Four time, returning smARTist Alumni, Amadea Bailey, tells us exactly why she keeps coming back!

Is your art career sitting on the fence because you are?

Register for the smARTist Telesummit 2010. (It starts in 2 days!)

Your art career will thank you—and that’s a promise!

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Time to Market… really?

One of the main challenges of trying to fit marketing into an artist’s busy life is this overwhelming sense that it’s just all too much. I know because I struggle with this story too.

And, I have to remind myself that it is just a “story,” and as long as I keep telling myself the same plot over and over, that’s exactly where…

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Find people who want your tweets


Twitter works like this for lots of people:

1. You sign up and start tweeting enthusiastically.

2. Your list of followers grows slllooooowwwly. You wonder how all those other people got to 3000–or 300–followers. Isn’t Twitter supposed to be social networking magic?

3. You tweet less and less frequently. Eventually, you stop altogether.

If this is you, don’t despair. At the 2009 Smartist telesummit, Joan Stewart, the social networking maven, had a great suggestion about how to find your tweeps.

Use the search box.

Let’s say you’re a painter–and you paint dog portraits. Dog owners would make great clients for you. So you type ‘dog owners’ or ‘dogs’ or even ‘I love my dog’ into the search box–and voila! You have a bunch of potential clients. Chances are, if you follow them, they’ll follow you back.

But–and here’s the key–don’t say hello with a sales pitch. Next time, we’ll talk about how to keep people reading your tweets.


When it comes to tips and tricks for your art career, nothing’s better than those 7-days of the smARTist Telesummit 2009!

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Marketing: Is it Promotion? Or Connection?

In the old days it was location, location, location.

Now, it’s attitude, attitude, attitude.

We know this is true, especially as social media marketing takes over the traditional way of doing business.

I mean, it’s always been true that our attitude…

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The Crunch of Time

I’ve been feeling the crunch of time lately; chewing away at emails, tasting the flavor of helping clients, swallowing whole chunks of I’m-not-getting-to-what-I-want-to-do.

And now that smARTist 2009 is over, one of the consistent messages I hear from artists is, How can I do it all?

Given the vast range of art career information that smARTISTs encounter over the 7 days of the conference, I’m not surprised that suddenly they have even more on their plates than before.

So I thought the perfect remedy, for all of us, would be Waverly Fitzgerald, our Slow Time Lady expert from the smARTist Telesummit 2008

This post is one in a series of her time-tested ideas about helping time work for you!

She has a unique take on time, and our relationship to it. Instead of the more traditional “management” approach to all things hourly, daily, and monthly, Waverly advocates a sense of…

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Avoiding the “M” Word

Over the years I’ve encountered two groups of artists. Those who embrace the “M” word with determined resignation. And those who turn away, mumbling something about not selling their souls to the devil, or I wouldn’t have a clue where to start, or I’m an artist, as if the very obviousness of that fact will save them from getting their hands dirty.

For that, after all, is the real story behind the “M” word…

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Your Art: It’s Relationships First, Contract Later

I recently finished negotiations on a large equine sculpture for a major developer. Erik, a sculptural genius, is working with me on this. To date, we’ve had three meetings, and have invested about 8 hours of our time-most of that coming from Erik in the form of renderings. And all of this we did without…

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