Lots of changes have been taking place already this new year, 2014: Biggest change is I am moving out of the studio space I have occupied for more then two years. Main (ST)udios is changing as well and renovating into a space I feel won’t fit my needs, so I am moving out. Right now I will be working mainly out of my home while much of my finished art will be stored in a storage unit and sold on a website I am working on and Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TrinityHawksMinishop.
I have a new Assistant – she is young and a very intelligent lady who is very much a go getter. We both are looking forward to once this move is finished, getting down to the business of creating art. I am going to teach her how to create art on the computer, my families traditional bead work, and I have already said I am going to put her to work on organizing my receipts and paperwork – to which she actually was excited about. – go figure – LOL
My Heart daughter has gone into the hospital today, 1/8/2014 to have her daughter. We are all very excited about this addition! Plus, my biological daughter found out she was expecting at Thanksgiving, gave us yet one more thing to count as a blessing. She is due in July, would be wonderful if she had my grandbug on our wedding anniversary (which happens to be my mother’s birthday) July 11th.
Our family has several birthdays in July, so if this little one wants its’ own birthday, s/he has some work to do to miss hitting a birthday *chuckle*.
Back to the fact that I am leaving my studio behind, part of what made this decision for me is the fact that I have been reinstated for SSI (supplementary Social Security). The government acknowledged once again that I am disabled due to my Fibro, RA, debilitating Cupual Tunnel, and back issues. However, I only get SSI not full disability because I am self employed have been for numbers of years and do not have enough “credits”. These are credits they mark down on your record for how long you have worked apparently, and according to their “records” I haven’t worked enough hours in my life to qualify for full disability.
However, I have worked in some fashion or another since I was 11/12 years old. The thing is to prove this fact is not one that is easy to do, and in my case at 46 years of age, is nearly impossible. As my wife and I have learned the Government does not keep very good records, they lose records regularly, and one MUST read what is sent you not just take for granted they will know what is going on. We received paperwork recently that said I was addicted to Vicodin, she hadn’t worked at all in June of 2013, and that I reside in a subsidized housing (um no I don’t).
So, with all this going on and needing to constantly be on the alert and keep the paperwork trail correct for the government we have decided it would be best if I go part time and retire part time. We will see how this plan works out..as we all know I am a work freak and do not sit still very well.
In the center of all this I am continuing my meditation and trying to find my peaceful center. For I know to find the peace is to find that place where everything will fall into place. I also know that the perfect diamond in all its’ beauty and uniqueness is created from Charcoal under stress and pressure other wise it only remains dark, black charcoal.
I will keep you updated on how the changes are coming along – until that time here is one of my new pieces:
I hope you like it. Feel free to lave comments and thoughts.
Peace and Happiness to one and all – blessings to you and yours in the New Year!
I belong to several newsletters and blog sites and this week I am going through http://www.artistmarketingtips.com/ and re-reading their series of newsletters about artist profiles and how to market your artwork online. I will re-blog their work and make sure to credit their site through out the blog. That way those who would like to check out their website and newsletter may.
Week 1: Building An Online Portfolio
The best place to start with this series is to talk about
building an online portfolio
. Every artist/photographer that wants to market their artwork, needs to start with a good online presence – and why not? Portfolio websites are easy to setup and so inexpensive, there is no excuse for not having one!
Your online portfolio displays your artwork to the world. It also allows others to contact you and gives buyers the chance to purchase your artwork.
What Is Your Purpose for Being Online?
The first question you must ask yourself is, why do you want to be online? The answer to this question will help you determine what type of online portfolio you look for. There are typically three responses to this question: Sell my artwork, display my artwork or participate in an artist community. Some artists want to have all three. Once you have defined your online purpose, you should look to create an online portfolio that will accomplish your goals.
Two Types of Online Portfolios
All artist websites basically boil down to two types…1) Artist Community Websites and 2) Custom Artist Websites. Here is a brief description of each:
1) Artist Community Websites
allow the artist to upload his/her artwork into a online portfolio at little or no cost. Normally these community websites have hundreds (or thousands) of artist members, who display their artwork together and interact with each other. Art community advantages include: Low/No setup cost, high amount of traffic, rich set of features, built in e-commerce shopping cart, artwork feedback, the ability to interact with other artists and much more. Each website has it’s own list of features/benefits. Pick the website that aligns with your goals and has the features you are looking for.
are unique and custom built for the artist. Normally these websites have their own ‘dot-com’ web address (ie http://www.ArtistName.com) to make them more personal and easier to remember. Custom websites are good for artists, because you have full control over the exact look and feel of the site and they will only contain YOUR artwork. However, custom websites are normally more expensive to build/maintain, web programming knowledge is required to keep the site updated and they usually get far less traffic than a community portfolio. Some artists drop their art community website, once they have a personal site. This is a big mistake! You should still upload some of your artwork to one or more art community websites. Then use your community website to gain exposure and point visitors back to your official website.
Get the best of both worlds. Register your own dot-com website address (for under $10/year) and then point it to your community portfolio website.
How Many Websites Should You Have?
This is a common question we get asked by artists.
The answer is…
you should have as many portfolio websites as you have the time to maintain. For some artists, this may only be one website. For other artists with more time on their hands, posting your artwork on multiple websites will always increase your exposure and potential buyers.
For example, if you wanted to advertise a new product on TV, wouldn’t you rather advertise on three TV stations, instead of just one? Marketing your artwork is no different. The more places you can post your artwork, the better!
What Should Your Online Website Contain?
Every portfolio website is different, but there are several things that all artist websites should have. Here is a quick list..
Your Artwork – This is a no brainer. You are an artist, so you better show off your art (or photography) on your website. Your website should showcase your BEST artwork. Remember, your online portfolio is not a collection of everything you have ever doodled which dates back to elementary school. It’s a place to show off how talented you are, so make your pieces count! If you have a lot of art on your site, break your artwork into categories, so your website visitors can see the many styles/subjects you have made.
Artist Bio – If people are interested in your artwork, then they will want to know a bit more about you. You need a spot on your website to toot your horn. Talk about your schooling, your experience, past clients you have worked with, your philosophy, hobbies/interests and anything else that will help someone get to know your better. You should also use this area to promote any galleries or exhibits you may be featured in.
Contact Information – What’s the point in having a website, if people can’t contact you? At the bare minimum you should allow people to e-mail you from your site, but if you are interested in selling your artwork, you should include additional contact information, such as your phone number or mailing address.
Fresh Content – If you went to a clothing store every month for 4 months, and it never had anything new, would you come back on the 5th month? Probably not. The same concept applies to websites. You need to continue to post new artwork and new content on your website to keep your visitors coming back for more. Even if you don’t have any new artwork, at least have a blog/journal that your fans can read and see what you are up to. If your website gets stale, you can kiss your fans good-bye.
Other Ideas – Here are just a few additional ideas to get your brain going. Let your visitors sign-up for your newsletter. Post tutorials or step-by-step photos on how you have created a recent piece. Offer advise to new artists. Create a blog, so people can see what you are up to. Encourage visitors to bookmark or share your website with others. Post links to other websites that contain your work. Feature specific artwork or products that are new or on sale. Over the next few weeks, we will be talking about some of these ideas more in-depth, so you can see the power of marketing.
Promote Your Website Everywhere!
We will be talking about this topic multiple times throughout this course. What’s the point of a great website, it no one knows about it? You should advertise your portfolio website anywhere and everywhere. Make sure it’s listed in your e-mail signature. Tell your friends and family about it. Print your website address on your business cards and all other marketing materials. Talk about your website on your social media website (ie Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc.) Print personalized products (t-shirt/hats/mugs) that advertise your website address. Mention your website on your voice mail message. Bottom line, you want to drive everyone to your website, because this is where they can see and purchase your artwork.
Track Your Website Statistics
Once you have a website, it’s important to make sure you have some kind of statistics tracking enabled. How many people are visiting your site. What artwork did they like? How long did they stay on your site? Did your gallery showing increase visitors to your website? Did your last e-mail newsletter bring in new traffic? Are people browsing and not buying? All these questions and more can be answered by having the proper statistics tracking for your website. You can then use this information to give your art fans what they want.
Most community websites have basic statistics tracking enabled for your online portfolio. Some websites offer very detailed reports of your website traffic. If you own your own website, then you will need to install some type of web analytics program to track your website activity. You could spend thousands of dollars a month for an excellent statistics engine, but lets not go there now. Google offers a free statistics engine for your site called
that is actually quite powerful. For more information, visit:
Yep, that’s right, you WILL have homework in this course. What’s the point in learning how to market your artwork, if you don’t put any plans into action? Don’t worry, your homework will be light and will leave you plenty of time to use your right-side of your brain to create new artwork. This week’s homework is:
Write down your purpose for being online and the goals you would like to accomplish.
If you don’t already have an online website, get one! If you already have one, review what you have and see what you can do to improve it.
Update your website this week with at least one new image or one new blog post.
Add your website URL (link) to your e-mail signature.
Review your website statistics (if you have them) and see what images/sections are the most popular.
I have created a video portfolio and wanted to post it here for your viewing pleasure and asking my blogging readers how they felt about an art newsletter. Would you be interested in me putting out a newsletter? Monthly or quarterly? In the newsletter I would post links to interesting sites about art world wide, art blogs, marketing information for artist and other helpful information for artist and art community. If you would be interested in such a newsletter please send me your email to firstname.lastname@example.org or reply to this post with your email and the subject ” Art Newsletter”.
I have started a new group on FB “Artist Helping Artist Network”, I hope this group takes off and There is a lot of communicating between artist from all over, Here in Buffalo and Western NY but also other states and even countries. Talking about how they market their artwork, how they work together with in their own communities etc. I truly believe that Artist with in a Community need to work together to help the Artist Community grow because if they don’t that Community won’t grow it will stagnate and die. There will be to much in fighting and cliques being built “East side” vs “West side”, “Contemporary” vs “Photography” vs “Realism” etc., and then again we have those who say if don’t have formal training you can’t possibly be an artist. What ever happen to apprenticeships or born in talent? With all these cliques and inner fighting the Art Community will die out, I have seen it happen and it is a very sad thing to watch. Because Art is really the center point to many economies and to many education plans.
Art can bring tourist into a town/city, it gets children and teens off streets and give them something to do on the days they don’t have school. Art has saved lives, healed those who are sick, mentally and physically. I have always said “Art is the Music to my Soul”! If I get down or feeling like I am losing control of my life, I shut myself into a room and lose myself into an art piece, my art works what ever is bothering me out onto that canvas and I come out feeling refreshed and all ready to face what ever is stressing me out. Or I can take my camera and just go off into solitary walk and just lose myself into taking pictures of what ever hits me at the moment. I meditate as I take those pictures, losing myself into the moment. Again, I return refreshed and ready to return to what ever it is I need to face.
I know others who do the same thing but with music, beading, wood working, dancing, writing, etc. What is it that can cause you to go into the “moment of focus” and then feel totally ready to face a problem?
Just a side note* This group is not just for artist, it is for anyone in the art community – Artist, Art Dealers, Art Gallery Directors, Owners, Curators etc, Art Collectors, Those looking to Sponsor Artist – Etc
What are your thoughts on Art Communities in your area?
A mini- series – our finger prints are our Identity, each one unique and tells us something about the person behind the finger print. This series will be in the Identity themed Group show in July Runs 07/05-07/17/13 at Main (ST)udio – 515 Main St Buffalo, NY 14203.
WHO: Open to all artists THEME: Identity (Interpretation left up to the artist) MEDIA: Paintings, Photography, Collage, and all other 2d works that can be hung on a wall DEADLINE: June 22, 2013 11:59pm EST NOTIFICATION: June 23, 2013
Upon Notification all artwork must be shipped or hand delivered by July 1st. If you require return shipping, you must include a reusable box and return postage. All accepted works must be framed or matted and ready to hang.
ENTRY FEE: $25 for 1-3 images SUBMISSIONS: Complete these 2 simple steps to enter the Juried show “Identity” 1. Pay $25 to the following PayPal address: email@example.com 2. Email 1-3 images for the show themed “Identity” to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your PayPal transaction number in the message. Please put “IDENTITY” in the subject line
Today I worked on some beading which I haven’t done in years. I hadn’t created created beaded art in years because of my hands and carpal tunnel. Yet, due to a group I belong too needing baskets for a silent auction I decided to work with beads again as well as paint a couple of pictures. Here are the beaded objects so far I have created:
I created a skull and Cuff Uni-sexed single earring out of some odds and ends I had in my supplies. You can see the finished product to the left.
I also created a necklace and earring set out of gun metal and glass beads. The beads are Cobalt blue and Ruby red. There is a fairy charm which I found among my supplies at the end of the necklace I found that just made the necklace! you can see the result below.
If you would like me to create you something please feel free to contact me. My wife also creates beautiful jewelry and rosaries (as you saw in a previous blog).
We both take commission requests, as well as I take them for paintings.
Until Next Time; Safe Surfing, Healthy Marketing, and Many Blessings: