Explore ways to overcome the 'starving artists' mentality and find new strategies to touch the world with your creative gifts!
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If the question is whether we should use our art/images as marketing tools then I 100% agree. It makes perfect sense to use our images like the posters as business cards or to convert them into free screen savers. Those are powerful and effective but I see that as distinctively different from giving away our work. If the question is whether we should give away our work (either originals or prints) to create a market that will later become a paying market...then you will find more times than not that the paying market will never develop. That process will create a self fulfilling prophecy. You need to set reasonable prices and then create the need/market for consumers to buy. I personally know an artist who has sold in top galleries in the country and has gotten 5 figures for his original work and hundreds to thousands for limited edition prints. Through poor business decisions he slashes prices to move his work quickly when he is in need for quick cash. Over time, what he ended up creating was the expectation among those who invested in his work that if they wait long enough...he will come down. In a short time, he basically destroyed both the primary and secondary markets for his work by cutting prices. That impact did not just "trickle" but poured into his national market. I have inventory of his work in my gallery that used to bring hundreds upon hundreds of dollars that now we can hardly give away (I mean that figuratively). It is not a function of his quality or even the genre of his work (both which remain positive)...it is solely a function of creating a pricing policy that failed. When the art is the primary focus (versus a byproduct for additional things) then giving your original or prints away is most likely going to bring less than desireable results. I think artist who set reasonable prices, and then work hard to create their market using a variety of tools and mechanisms will stand a much better chance to become commercially successful. To the extent that you can create low cost marketing pieces that display your images then that is great thing to give away....but I see that as distinctively different from giving away our primary work product. But then...that is just my two cents worth. The beauty and great thing of forums, business, and marketing, is that it is actually the trying and getting out there that creates chance for success. Never trying guarantees never succeeding commercially. Hope you all have a blessed week.
Jeremiah, I tend to agree with you. At the last conference at 48 Days an artist gave away posters of her paintings. It was like giving a business card and a way to build a following. Times certainly are changing and if we keep doing it the old way we lose.
Chris, I like using the word nostalgic or vintage for your art.
Nice graphic, Jeremiah.
Timmery, how are you doing with that tag line?
Ed, you're right - just get it out there. We live in a time of great opportunity. The internet has taken away many obstacles and given us a platform that boggles the mind.
sorry about all those typo's. It's late and I didn't proof read. Here's the graphic I did for that graphic designer/ social media position. This was in December.
It's been a long while since I've checked in here, thought I would jump in on the 'gibing away art' discussion. I think there are some instances when it is good to give away reproduction of art.
Example: say you are trying to promote a printed portfolio of all your work. You could give away digital images that people could use as computer wallpapers. Little cost to the artist since it's already made. Snother would be if someone is a comic book artist or illustrator, they might do the same thing t help build brand/character recognition.
Recently I had an interview for a graphic design/social marketing position and I spent a day or two doing a piece incorporating the company's logo with some cool background graphics. in order to show some creativity and initiative. I didn't get the job, unfortunately. At least there is no doubt in my mind that I didn't try my hardest. I can honestly say that they didn't quite understand the kind of position they were trying to fill, and passed me up because I didn't have more experience in formal marketing, when I don't think that is what they really needed.
webcomics is another huge example of people giving away their art for free. They build a huge fan base that way and then rake it in when they put together a collection. One group I know of even beat out Glenn Beck for #1 seller on amazon when they both went on sale the same day.
Those are just a few off the top off my head. So, the model is definitely there, in relatively mainstream groups. When you get into some more creative, well known mainstream secular musicians like Moby, Nine Inch Nails and Coldplay, those guys have done some awesome pricing structures, giving the album away for free, but having very high end collector's editions that sell for several thousand's of dollars.
While I'm thinking about it. If anyone is doing any non-profit stuff you can get audio tracks for free at http://mobygratis.com/film-music.html. Might not be the style of music this group is into, but maybe it will help someone out along the way.
Kenneth, sorry it took so long to respond to your post . Thanks for your insight on selling art. How fancy should one get when it comes to presenting their work?
Timmery, you need a tagline that describes your work. You can then use it on your website, bookmark and everywhere else. Maybe you have one already. A tagline could be 'Art that brings joy to the heart' . . . I think you made that statement while talking about your art at one time. It just needs to be something simple that gives a hint of what you are about.
Anyway, let us know your thoughts and how you progress with this. Each of us should have one, so maybe you'll prompt us all to think about how to describe our art in a concise way.
Come on guys . . . how about it? Chris, how could you describe your automobile art?
Hey guys, this is a ridiculous question but I find I'm fumbling a bit. I need to write a short Artist Bio that can fit on a bookmark. Any suggestions?
(I know, I know, it should be basic, right?! Name, media...and so on--but I'm stuck. Help!)
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