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Featured Photography Profiles

Profile: James Philip Pegg – Artist

::: Artist Name::: James Philip Pegg

::: Media::: Illustrator, painting, art photography.

::: Website:::

http://philpegg.multiply.com/

http://gallery.passion4art.com/members/artnacogdoches/homepage.html

::: 1 ::: When did you first realize you were an artist? Did you draw as a kid? Color outside the lines?

Being the son of an artist, I had my drawing table next to my dad’s. I think that I was four years old then. Later, on at my tenth birthday, I was given my first camera and that started me in photography.

::: 2 ::: Could you tell us some more about your art and how your life has influenced your art? Where did you get your art training?

Someone once said, "A life’s journey begins and ends with a single breathe bound by the limitations of each man’s intellect, while expanded by the scope of their imagination and compassion. During this journey, accomplishments are judged as either fleeting moments or lasting imprints. Nonetheless, no one escapes the angst of his or her future – no one has been promised his or her tomorrow."

Fortunately, I learned early in life that happiness is found in the complexity of life’s journey; that champions conquer through perseverance and passion they pose the unanswerable questions, and understand others through empathy.

With a little flexibility in our thought processes, we have the power to make the journey one of little regret and much reward. Thus, there is no reason why one’s life should not leave an imprint.

::: 3 :::Does your work have a narrative? Do you use yourself as the subject for your work? Why is that? What are you trying to express with your art?

My inspiration comes from nature itself. I am enamoured with nature, and that admiration has only increased as I age. If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing comes together.

::: 4 ::: What famous artists have influenced you, and how?

My favourite people in the arts are: Victor Hugo, C.S Lewis, (writers). John Waterhouse, Erik James Pegg, Carl Larsson, John Hitsman (painters), Isadora Duncan (dancer), Two of my faviourite ballets are The Red Shoes, and The Tales Of Hoffmann. Rod Mckuen (poet), Fritz Henle , Andriete Le Secq & Julia Margaret Cameron (photographers). Music, I Love it!, Aysegul Yesilnil, Lila Downs, Gloria Estefan, Carmine D’amico, Bebel Gilberto, Fernando Ortega, Eliane Elias, Norah Jones, Stan Getz , and the list goes on.

::: 5 ::: What other interests do you have (besides painting and computer art)?

I love the sea and anything to do with the sea. Sailing, traveling, and nature.

::: 6 ::: How have you handled the business side of being an artist

Like most artists, the business side of being an artist is my least favorite thing to do.

I let my galleries,and publishers handle the business side.

::: 7 ::: What hardware (computer, scanner, printer, etc) do you use?

MacBook, plus a 20"monitor, a Wacom pen and tablet, Canon scanner & printer.

What software?

Photoshop CS, Comic Life Deluxe, Corel Painter X, and a old fashion Drawing board.

::: 8 ::: Has the Internet helped your career as an artist? Do you participate in many Internet groups or galleries?If so, which ones drawn the most responses?

James Philip Pegg on Deviant Art: http://philpegg.deviantart.com/

James Philip Pegg on Photo Net: http://photo.net/photos/philpegg

::: 9 ::: What’s the best and worst parts of being a full time, working artist?

The best part of being a full time artist, is choosing my own projects, making my own schedule and being totally in control of my life, and enjoying doing what I like. The worst part is keeping my mind and spirit fresh, 90 % of my art is created in my head and 10 % is in the finish work.

::: 10 ::: What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?

My advice for any young person would be that they should practice, practice, practice; just as with any skill practice makes perfect and the harder you work to brush up on your skill the more it will pay off in your work. Art is a pleasurable act and that sensation will fuel you with creativity and dedication late into the night. It is hard work to be an artist and it helps a great deal if you surround yourself with stimulating, like-minded people who are supportive and sharing.Have business cards, and a website as soon as you can to promote your art.

 

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ArtWorks Featured Profiles

Featured Artist: Robin Pedrero

 

artsyfartsy_featured2

 

Artist Statement

I respond to what catches my eyes and heart using colors, shapes and lines. I desire to capture simple pleasures, wind in the trees, atmospheric reflections, people and places around the world. I personify nature through color and movement evoking moods of transition, strength, and serenity. I use my fingers of both hands to blend pastels and sculpt form through layering pigment; pastel being one of the purest pigments. As I work the images can be unexpected, some terrains flow on to the paper gathered from memories, symbolically formed to portray ubiquitous scenes while some works are tangible locations. When I see smaller images like faces, animals, and cities within works in progress sometimes I enhance them to share my perceptions. I have always been enticed by faces and try not to stare, but as an artist sometimes I am caught in the beauty of the moment. I explore characters, various time periods, and human relationships through portraiture. I delight to capture a likeness but more to create a piece of art that is emotive and will stand through time. Simply smudges of color. What do you see?

 

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Bio

Robin Pedrero began fine art studies at the age of thirteen. She rode her bike where Foxwoods casino now sits near her hometown of Norwich, CT. Her early exhibitions began at The Mystic Art Association, the seaport town where she met Julia Roberts and cast during the filming of “Mystic Pizza”. Acknowledged for her luminous and captivating work Pedrero has since become an established award winning artist; published in magazines, newspapers, documentaries, and news broadcasts. Jeffrey Spalding now CEO and President for Glenbow Museum, Canada judged her work best of show with a “magical use of color” as Director of the Appleton Museum in Ocala Florida. The PSA after Pedrero’s signature is a privilege of elected signature members of the Pastel Society of America. Travel and family play a large role in her compositions; her art is a visual journey. Collected worldwide her works are in private and corporate collections.  She is represented by several galleries in America. Events and works in progress are posted on You Tube, blog, facebook and twitter. Pedrero works from her home studio in Longwood Florida, enjoying the company of her dog Max.

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Representation

Celebrations Gallery
Pomfret, CT

Galeria Tonantzin
San Juan Bautista, CA

Juxtapose Gallery, New Jersey

Wolfe Gallery
DeLand FL

Selected and most recent exhibits

  • “Celebrating Citrus” Comma Gallery, Orlando, FL 2009
  • “The Art of Chrome and Leather VI” , Museum of Florida Art, Deland FL 2009
  • “The Canvas Project” Art House Gallery Atlanta, GA 2008
  • The Florida Artist Registry Member Exhibit, Gallery at Avalon Island, Orlando, FL 2008
  • “Beyond Geppetto: Revisited!” The Gallery at Avalon Island, Orlando, FL 2008
  • “LOVE WORKS” City Arts Factory, Orlando, FL 2008  see You Tube 2008pedrerorm2-copy
  • “pARTicipation”, Maitland Center for the Arts, Maitland, FL 2008
  • Robin Maria Pedrero & Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson, Seminole Community College, Sanford, FL 2008
  • Katharine Butler Gallery, Sarasota  FL 2008
  • “Colorscapes,” Steinway Piano Gallery, Altamonte Springs, FL  2008
  • COWS At COMMA: Celebrating the Artistry of the Bovine, Comma Gallery, Orlando FL 2008
  • Bay Two at Mills Park, Orlando, FL 2008
  • Beyond Gepetto, First Thursdday, Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, FL 2008
  • Pedrero, Ela Steel and Vicki Jones, Dandelion Communitea Gallery, Orlando, FL 2008
  • “AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE: THE LANDSCAPE IN PERSPECTIVE”, Comma Gallery, Orlando, FL  2008
  • The Gallery at Avalon Island Duo Exhibition “Chalk,” Paper, Scissors 2007mysterious-without-explanation-web1-copyGallery on First 211 E First St.  Sanford, Florida (Named one of 20 essential galleries in the nation by “Go” magazine AirTran) 2005 – 2007
  • The Maitland Art Center “pARTicipation” 2007
  • The ORLANDO OPERA GUILD Designers Showhouse 2006
  • Historic Sanford Trust Holiday Tour of Homes 2006
  • Lake Mary Heathrow Festival of the Arts 2006 poster artist and second place award
  • Golden Rule Gala 2005
  • Lake Mary Heathrow Festival of the Arts 2005 second place award
  • Orlando Museum of Art Artist of the Month for August 2004
  • 2004 grant from United Arts of Florida to enhance her painting series
  • 2004 Best of Show for “House of Pears” in the traveling WCAFL exhibit “A Common Bond”
  • 2004 Robb and Stuckys

Corporate Collections

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  • Consumer Connections, Apopka, FL
  • Galleries/Exhibitions
  • Appleton Museum of Art,  Ocala, FL
  • The Gallery at Avalon Island, Orlando FL
  • Celebrations Gallery, Pomfret, CT
  • City Arts Factory, Orlando FL
  • The Maitland Art Center, Maitland, FL
  • COMMA gallery, Orlando, FL
  • Galeria Tonantzin, San Juan Bautista, CA
  • Bay Two at Mills Park, Orlando, FL
  • Beth’s Friends, Sanford FL
  • Alice Jenkins Gallery, Winter Park  FL
  • Saks Galleries, Cherry Creek Gallery Denver Colorado
  • Robb and Stuckys Altamonte Florida
  • Mystic Art Association Connecticut
  • Helen Jones Gallery, Sacramento, CA
  • Brick City Center for the Arts Ocala Florida
  • Thomas Center Gallery, Gainesville.
  • Osceola Center for the Arts Florida
  • Steinway Galleries, Altamonte, Florida
  • Art House, Casselberry Florida
  • Dandelion Communitea Cafe Gallery, Orlando Florida
  • Leslie Boyd Gallery Winter Park Florida
  • Cafe Tu Tu Tangos, I Drive Orlando Florida
  • Little Art Studio, Kissimmee Florida
  • Dicken’s Read, Mount Dora Florida
  • All That Art, Ocala, Florida
  • Orange County Library Apopka Florida
  • Casselberry City Hall Florida
  • Orlando Visual Artists League Florida
  • Winter Park Public Library
  • Central Florida Community College
  • Ocala Art and Frame
  • The Paddock Gallery Ocala Florida
  • Ocala Public Library Florida
  • Blue Heron Gallery Ocala Florida
  • Open Windows Studio Gallery, Florida
  • Catalyst Gallery Sanford, Florida
  • Gallery on First Sanford, Florida
  • Platform Florida #6 Tigers Stadium Lakeland, Florida

 

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ArtWorks Featured

Marketing Monday:pricing and the whole money thing.

Money, Money, Money the mere mention of the word causes many a stomach to tighten, that simple word is the source of  a lot of pain for a lot of folks.  The approaching  outdoor art fair season has caused the annual revisiting of that whole “how much do I charge” thing.

So what is the deal with this paper and coin thing? And why does it  cause artists to get all stiff, uptight and downright grumpy? Well…to start with, many of us grew up being told that talk of money was not polite, that it was also a source of…of PRIDE that awful thing. We grew up hearing our dads grouse about how much something cost and how he could “do just as good if not better even with his hands tied behind his back!” thank you very much! To even more complicate the issue, those of us from the “heartland”here had an extra thing to deal with…the only bragging we could do was related to bargains. So in addition to hearing the old man grouse we also had to deal with stuff that really didn’t work or really didn’t fit but oh was it a deal!!!

What this is all about is that we have been raised with a habit, that has turned into a value statement all tied to moolah, right and wrong and our own self worth. This is especially true for us small business folks. We tend to tie everything to money and then blame it when things get ugly or blame it as the reason for the world’s woes…it is the logical consequence of how we have lived! Even worse,our stoicism and tight liped  mindset has isolated us limiting our ability to receive and give support. Because of all the fear, regret, anger, desperation around money and our closely held habit of not talking about “that stuff” in polite society, we think we are the only ones with a money issue .

So before we can even talk about pricing we need to talk about money and our relationship with it. Yes..I did say relationship and no I’m not going to go all woowoo on you, and yes, yes it is important to understand our relationship with it. All of the energy behind the habit you have given power to leads you to see money as something bigger than it is.

Because money touches us at all levels of our lives and because that touch is so deeply rooted a lot of what we feel around money is automatic and our feelings about it are no where to be found because we are collectively living in denial.

So…let’s step back and take a look at this money thing. There are generally three main areas that hang us up when we talk about pricing  each is loaded with potential triggers from our past:

  • Value– as in we have to start “valuing ourselves more”
  • Getting– as in we can “get more money”
  • Receiving– as in ” I need to learn how to receive”

money growing Marketing Monday:pricing and the whole money thing.So let’s first look at the “value”thing…

My friend and Mentor Mark Silver points out that the problem with the way we use the word value turns it into a fundamental judgment statement. The judgment statement puts our worthiness  somewhere on a value continuum between great and worthless. Even more yucky is that judgment implies comparison, one thing is better than the other based on where it lies on the continuum…because value has no meaning if it isn’t measured, compared and evaluated. Ultimately what ever we are comparing ends up on the continuum including our selves.  So when we make statements about “valuing ourselves more”  we are unconsciously invoking judgment which starts the whole snow ball to avalanche thing going. How helpful is that? Not so much…

The other thing about assigning value, especially when we look at pricing, is we almost always end comparing our work with that of others. Here’s the problem though …we may as well be comparing apples and oranges. Because, especially any one who creates, our work is unique to us and our pricing should reflect that. Also, we tend to compare ourselves by sales which repeats the whole apples and orange thing all over again. If we make pots it doesn’t make sense to compare our pots even with another potter because she has a whole diferent vision than we do. Finally, comparing our sales of pots to Joe the wood turner, also doesn’t make sense, because we each have buyers looking for the kind of stuff we sell.

What about the “get” thing?

Well first of all, announcing that we need to “get” more money kinda does a couple of things, first it turns that money into something to be “gotten” through shear force of will. Essentially turning the whole thing into a competition,  with ourselves that can never be won because we have no control of the impulses of our buyers. We can become so focused on the “get” that we easily miss other opportunities that might pop up unexpectedly and lead to more sucess. Isolation happens here also, because we “have” to be focused if we are going to “get what we want” and miss possibilities and support available from others.

On to the “receiving” thing…

Learning to receive is a good thing for the most part, but saying “I just need to learn to receive” implies that whatever comes our way  is from some external power doling stuff out by some unknown criteria. Thinking this way can lead us to the slippery slope of blaming others for our short comings…think blaming those “idiots who couldn’t recoganize good art if it hit them in the face”. The other thing this mindset of “receiving” can lead to is scarcity which turns into fear and we all know where that goes…right back another time around the loop. If chasing your tail sounds fun then have at it, but sooner than later we all get dizzy and fall over from runing in to many circles.

So…before you start cringing and obsessing about pricing our work let’s spend some time looking at ourconversations about money. We need to pay attention to our view point, how we  frame the money thing because how we see money will show up in our conversations, by way of our body and your emotions.Our feelings about money can cause a buyer to automatically push the “reject” button close her ears and run for the hills. If the mere mention of money triggers a flash back to hearing your parents you might want to spend some time sorting out this whole money thing.

Pay attention to all this stuff and know that all it is, is habits and habits, we can change… all we need to do is be ready.

 Marketing Monday:pricing and the whole money thing.
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Worried about losing your creative mojo?

Are you afraid to commit to really incorporate business skills and tools because you might lose your creative mojo? Do you have trouble adding up 2+2 to get 4?  Have you shied away from thinking about business because it hurts your brain? Do you think in images and can never quite get things going in a strait line like figuring out what and where you want to go with your business? Are you resigned to being a starving artist?

You are not alone…creatives through out history have struggled with such questions, even more so since the time Descartes when linear left brain thinking became the accepted lens for viewing the world. The industrial revolution and the past century intensified the primacy of linear thought even more by holding science, math and other “hard” skills up as the standard for determining intelligence and cultural acceptability.

The result has been a heavy reliance on linear vision  produced generations of unimaginative people at the expense of those who were less linear. Consequently, little attention has been paid to discovering a more holistic integrated way of seeing and learning. In many ways this neural split has been a major factor of the general devaluation of creativity and art in particular. Leaving us, has with few exceptions,  left brain focused people who have difficulty “seeing” the world and right brain folks  who have problems adding.

Such are the issues that Lisa Sonora Bean takes on in her blog The Creative Entrepreneur and her book The Creative Entrepreneur: A DIY Visual Guidebook for Making Business Ideas Real. Lisa’s book and research serve as an example of how whole brain thinking can produce a sum greater than its parts.Her MBA focus was on finding ways to teach both creatives and linear types to fully develop their brain functions and in the process she turned the business development process on its head by giving us a way to approach the left brain world of business using the visual tools we are familiar with. But she didn’t stop there, she acknowledged the importance of spiritual development as the first step in building a business especially one based on creative processes so the first part of her book is devoted to to helping us uncover our hidden gifts.

mandala2 Worried about losing your creative mojo?

The four paths

The generally accepted way of starting to build any business is to have some idea as to where you want that business to go. Lisa has taken some of the current some of the current thinking in conscious business theories and added her own visual tools. Using the mandala, an archetypal symbol of unity and wholeness, as a model she combines left and right brain functions. Using graphics and multimedia graphic tools she shows us    the “sweet spot of unity” formed by the intersection of four paths:

Heart & meaning
This path helps us discover to follow our heart and creative dreams giving us a framework to examine if we are seeing “what we enjoy” at the expense other points of view.

Gifts & flow
We have been trained to suffer, that value is always determined by the amount of “hard work” and “sweat” involved in achieving what we set out to do. This pair shows us how suffering has no relationship to achievement and that “coming easy” is a true metric of being in the flow with our gifts.

Value & profitability
Shows us that creating a costumer centric business that creates and delivers value is crucial opening the door for getting paid for that value.

Skills & tools
Helps us see and use the business tools appropriate to our business and vital to our achieving success in the first two paths.

These four paths represent the ever spiraling journey of clarity we all seek when we are in creative flow with ourselves and our work. The “sweet spot” is simply the starting point which when refined starts us on a greater journey of healing and discovery. To help us along the way Lori includes “prompts” or questions throughout each part level of the spiral.

Beginning brain integration 

One of the overriding causes of artists failure in business is letting the fear of losing their creativity to left brain business mastery. Lisa debunks this argument with skill and her grasp of graphic tools, quite simply she  leads us through what she calls the “four Modes of Functioning” or more precisely “how we get things done. Becoming aware of the  functions of sensing, thinking, feeling and acting we can become aware of the presence of the constructive and destructive elements of each through graphically expressing their effect on us.

Joining the two sides
The tools Lisa set us up with are now ready and available for us to tackle the seemingly and frequently avoided challenge of strategic planning, branding, marketing and communicating our value. Once again she coaxes us to look at these left brain tasks using our right brain tools.

Magical results
The real value of this book is its magically imaginative way of giving users a way to move into whole brain living and eventually a more integrated view of the world.

Interestingly enough I can’t imagine a similar book written from the left brain view that could be even a smidgen as effective or close to providing as much fun!

Recommendation:

Don’t just buy it …use it!!! And better yet buy the book and attend one of her workshops, it will be time and money well spent…you deserve it!!

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On Passion, Courage and Grace

Recently I saw the movie “The Soloist” and of all the threads that touched me the one that stuck the most was the importance of Passion,Courage and Grace in the creative process. Passion keeps us committed to the act of creating, Courage helps us allay our fears of failure and Grace gives us the foundation of belief in ourselves and our ultimate ability to bring our gifts to the world. This thread so hit me that I realized it pretty much described the framework for what would call successful, professional artists.

As most of you know we launched out Artist recognition program by awarding The artstyfartsy biz award to five outstanding artists last week. One of the main motivating factors for creating the award came from my own desire to identify and honor artists who exemplified a holistic approach to integrating art and art and business.  I have been looking for role models who were blazing the trail for others to follow by showing that the path is not automatic nor is it easy nor is it a one size fits all template. Blazing the trail involves risk, fired by passion, sustained by courage and and reinforced with grace. It also involves trust, belief and love.

A brief return to ANTS

I wanted to create a way for those hesitating out of fear to see that they are not alone. And, if you have been reading this blog regularly you know that I have talked about fear regularly. Fear can freeze us up, it can keep us locked in a state of continual ground hog day like loops..and if examined closely the fear is usually related to judgment, and manifested by those nasty ANTS I talked about awhile back. One of the largest of the ANTS,  is fear of failure to meet our own or someone else’s perfectionist expectations. For those of us over 45 that fear is worse when it comes to anything electronic,  showing up in the form of a 10 year old geeky grand kid with an attitude. So instead of telling the kid to shut-up and go play elsewhere we shrivel at their impatience sure in our shame that we are less than human.

Breaking out of this fear cycle takes guts and gumption no matter your age. I know it may appear that we are the only ones on the planet to fear. But really, we aren’t… everybody has some sort of fear to deal with and it is how we deal with fear that differentiates us from  those who let their fear run them.

More than their art

Each of the five artists were not only talented in their medium they also knew that success was dependent on their willingness to venture into the unfamiliar left brain centric world of business they each exhibited:

Passion

Each of the artists  exhibits a high degree of skill when it comes to their medium, a depth of understanding that is necessary in order to give life to their visions through the medium. Each is also skilled in more than one medium or artistic expression passionaltely  expanding, experimenting, and incorporating new techniques. Like Nathaniel Ayers they can’t imagine a day or minute not creating.

Each artist searched out and learned to use more than one method to sell their work. Some, have set up online store fronts, sold through galleries or through commissioned works. What they did not do was let themselves be limited by a particular paradigm for selling their work.

Courage

They sought out other ways of receiving income from their work that both increased  the visibility of their work and increased the ways their  buyer’s could  enjoy their work. In order to make their work more accessible and visible they took risks by putting their work on jewelry, apparel, and even coffee mugs. They realized that the person using a mug might either purchase the original  or a friend might end up purchasing the original. They know and accept that only a percentage of those purchasing one of their collateral products might result in an up sell.

They embrace the new business paradigms buy learning and adapting to new techniques of marketing their work. Each actively uses social media in ways that will build their credibility and networks  increasing  their  visibility to more potential buyers. On a more detailed level they understand that  finding and connecting with folks who “get them” is critical to their success as artists in the 21st century.

Grace

Each engaged their network by blogging,  one of the most effective ways to build and connect to a network  available to artists today. They gracefully share their work, both current work, and in process.  They freely share both their successes and their failures showing that usccess is not possible without a few failures to learn from. They know the importance of being human, so they also share parts of their lives outside of their art. They share their challenges as they  balance their roles of wife, mother, sister, teacher, and student.

They realize the importance of nurturing their loyal buyers by gracefully giving without expectation. Whether it is in the form of a tutorial on their blog, a handmade and written thank you, or a holiday card and small gift they have a deep knowing that their relationship with their network is a sacred one. And they  recognize that their role in such a  sacred relationship is to always strive to be true to their vision so they can continue to show up for their supporters.

Collectively, they’re passionate about their work, courageous about stepping into unfamiliar territory and graceful in their internal faith and confidence in their own vision. Most importantly each realizes that “no one  changes anything by playing it safe”.

ayers1 On Passion,Courage and Grace

How do you show your Passion, Courage and Grace? Are you playing it safe?

 On Passion,Courage and Grace
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Featured Panels & Gutters & Zip Ribbons Profiles Sequential Art

Profile: Mihailo Vukelic

::: Artist(s) Name:::
Mihailo Vukelic

::: Publisher::: (self-published?)
Image

::: Website:::
http://solon-fyre.deviantart.com/

::: 1 ::: Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up? What’s your favorite color? When did you first realize you were an artist? Did you draw as a kid? Color outside the lines?

I grew up in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. At 11 I moved to the U.S. with my family. My favorite color is sepia. I realized I was an artist around 3 or 4, I have memories of those early attempts at transcribing my waking reality onto paper. I never liked coloring books and did not understand kids who colored pre-made pictures. And, philosophically, I suppose I always colored outside the lines and still do.

::: 2 ::: What comic book genres interest you the most? Who is your favorite comic book artist and/or writer? How have they influenced your work

It would be fair to say that Sci-fi is my favorite genre. In a matter of speaking, science fiction is mythology of and for our times. The same archetypes that exist in the great classics and mythologies of the world continue to resonate in the sci-fi format, the main difference being that we are currently conquering other frontiers and magic has been supplanted by science.

Never-the-less, the same universal issues remain as in the Odyssey, Gilgamesh and the Upanishads. Alan Moore is probably my favorite writer, more for the mastery of the English language and narrative virtuosity than concept and originality.

My single favorite comic is Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. My favorite artist was and always will be Moebius and his fantastical Harzack series still influences my work. In fact I am about to sart a sci-fi epic named Wrom in the Blossom and its inception owes much to Moebius’ work, at least visually if not lyrically.

::: 3 ::: How did you get involved in comics? What was your first comic?
The first time I got involved in comics was 1993 when I published a couple of comics on my own called Battle Axis. It was a highly conceptualized but immaturely executed two-issue run about a post-apocalyptic/superhero world where "bad guys" and "good guys" were not what they appeared and political agendas had more to do with their identities than values and principles. I self-published it under Intrepid Comics. In 1994 I illustrated a couple of sci-fi issues for a short run called Enchanted Worlds and it was for an indy publisher named Blackmore.

::: 4 ::: What is your favorite story you’ve ever drawn? Favorite character?
I’ve only published nine comics altogether, including the five-issue mini series that’s currently out. It’s called Back to Brooklyn and it is a Sopranos-like crime drama replete with seedy characters, mobsters, hookers and corrupt cops. So far it’s been my favorite story but I hope to do more in the near future.

Back to Brooklyn was co-written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Garth Ennis. Jimmy is co-creator of Painkiller Jane (comic, tv series) and Garth has written things like Preacher and worked on the most successful Punisher series in Marvel’s history. They are both world-class and I am honored to have worked with them.

::: 5 ::: How did you come up with the concept for Worm in the Blossom? Who is your favorite character?
Worm in the Blossom, if all goes well, will be my writing debut as a serious comic creator as well as a lengthy sci-fi epic. By lenghty I mean 10 volumes but that’s up in the air until actual publication time. I am currently co-writing it with another author and hope to have something published by next year.

Most of the illustrations you see here are from Worm in the Blossom. It has a story arc and concept that has NEVER been used in any sci-fi format before and yet it retains the major characteristics of an epic. It is heavily influenced by 19th century Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I will talk about it in much more detail, including the philosophical infrastructure of the story, upon publication.

::: 6 ::: What was the hardest part of creating your comic book? What hardware (computer, scanner, printer, etc) do you use? What software?
The hardest part of working on Back to Brooklyn was creating a gritty sense of realism that included real locations and credible "New York" characters. Also, with an ensemble of "real" characters, remaining consistent with the many faces and body types is challenging. If I worked a simpler style, e.g., manga, it would be only a matter of establishing a facial and morphological typology for each character.

I chose a more naturalistic style with it all the problems. It took me a couple of issues to nail down and polish my style. Many say that what I have done for Back to Brooklyn stands apart visually. I regard this entire project as "working out the bugs" in a sense. It’s a good primer for the next project.

As far as hardware goes I use a Dell workstation, an HP printer and a Mustek scanner (10×15 bed). I also have a sizable wacom tablet without which I wouldn’t even attempt to work in Photoshop. Most of everything I do has been touched by Photoshop CS in some way and I use Studio 3dmax a lot.

::: 7 ::: How have you handled the business side of being an artist? How do you promote your book/website/comic? What’s the best and worst parts of being a full time, working artist?
The business side of being an artist is tricky. In the gallery system it is the gallery owners who take care of most business issues and for a while I had an agent. Now I’m self-promoting on-line and I’ve started making appearances at conventions. The best part of being a full time working artist is the continuous maintenance of the "zone." I have to remain creative and on the edge regardless of my mood. The downside is an uncertain income.

::: 8 ::: Has the Internet helped your career as an artist? If so, how?
The Internet has helped insofar as I’ve received a requisite amount of attention from bloggers and critics for my Back to Brooklyn work. It has definitely put me on the "map" internationally, albeit, in a very small corner of the map… I am currently wroking on a new website so there is little in the way of self-promotion directly. I also maintain an account on deviantart so there is no shortage of input from fans and fellow artists.

::: 9 ::: What is one stereotype about comic book writers/artists that is absolutely wrong?
That we are all pathetically needy egomaniacs who ONLY recreate the world after our own fashion.

::: 10 ::: What one stereotype is dead on?
That we are all pathetically needy egomaniacs who AT TIMES recreate the world after our own fashion.

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Tech Tips for the left brain challenged

 

tech tips4 400x394 Tech Tips for the left brain challenged

Starting today we will have another regularly scheduled series. This series will be focused on technology tips and short cuts that can help artists. We will include tips for beginners as well as experienced computer and internet users. The series will be called  Tech Tips ( pretty creative uhh?).

The idea for the series was one of those light bulb moments( actually more like a DUHHHHH! Moment) that occurred while helping a client. This client along with many who were not born with geek blood often don’t know enough to know what to ask and many seem consider their computers as a place where majikal little gremlins run around  making things difficult. Also many in the 45 + age cohort are intimidated by those youngsters who came out of the womb with a mouse as an appendage.  So…the main goal of this series is to make getting and asking geeky  information without being embarrassed, intimidated or turning yourself into a geek.

A little self disclosure here…I am well into the 45+ age cohort and everything I know I have taught myself. However, I did have an advantage I was born with Geek blood as the son of an engineer and an artist, I know what a mix. I started using computers in high school and no they weren’t hand cranked but they were huge and they did have to be fed with cards sometimes thousands just to get anything to come out. Later in another life I worked with the Forest Service as a graduate design student to develop ways to map visual corridors through forests as a way to control clear cutting. Anyway you get the idea it sort of came natural to me but I know it doesn’t with most….so this is a way for me to share what I’ve collected over the years.

And it is not my intention to hog the content either so this series is VERY open to readers and their tips, tricks and general hacks so please feel free to share using the comment form.

Also don’t be afraid to ask a question I am not guaranteeing an answer right away but sooner or later somebody here may have one. Oh….almost forgot if you are afraid of being embarrassed feel free to use an alias!!

Here are just a few of the categories the tips may fall into:

  • Hardware work arounds or secrets
  • Twitter techniques
  • Software recommendations
  • Web site recommendations
  • Creative uses of technology to market your work
  • Tips & tricks
  • Blog design reviews & tips

Today’s Tips

Three of my favorite Mac apps that can save time:

about 1password Tech Tips for the left brain challenged1 Password

If you have ever gotten tired of trying to remember all your online stuff  or worse yet you can’t find that super-secret note book where all your on-line stuff resides encoded by using your super coder/decoder ring well save your hair… 1Password is the answer. Here’s what you can do with this frustration savior…

Set up your own profile information ( as many variations s you want) and with one click on your browser select the right profile and 1Password will fill it in automatically AND you don’t have to worry about taking up space in your brain with such trivia. Because this little gem will generate a password for you and then store it. So next time you log into one of your password requiring sites you can save your hair along with the screaming and stomping and just click…1Password does the rest.

Guess what is even more cool…it works with both the iPhone and that other one that Obama likes to carry.

skitch3 Tech Tips for the left brain challengedSkitch

Ever wonder how I get all those super cool graphics of my desk top? Well there are hard ways and there are simple ways to get them. Until recently I was suffering through the agonizingly slow process of captureing and annotating screen captures. First the click then the save then to Photoshop to add the text and the arrows then flatten then…you get the picture.

One day during my morning wake up surfing routine I ran across this program that let me do everything ya everything without all the putzing. Now you may ask why do I need that? Well remember that friend’s photo you always wanted to add a mustache and goggles to quickly and then post it on your Facebook page or e-mail it to them…now you can very easily.

One More Tip

Help…my computer is broken it is sooo slowwww I could take a nap while the screen refreshes! Well don’t toss it out the window yet unless of course it runs by hand crank.

The problem may be just molasses in your tubes or a huge traffic jam! Ya see even if you have the most blazingly fast souped up modem thingy  it doesn’t mean didly if  you’ve been surfin’ all day and night along with everybody else in your living arrangement. So try to remember …If the phone company sent a brown box with another box inside and lots of wires with funny things on the ends of them you have DSL and at least the first step is easy peasy. Just reach around the back of that modem box find the power cord and yank that sucker out, count to 60 then plug’er back in, watch the light show and once the green light labeled “internet” is a steady green you’re good to go.

Now if the cable guy came by and hooked’er up that’s a different story cause besides having tubes filled with molasses youinstaller Tech Tips for the left brain challenged may be in the middle of a traffic jam! See, cable networks are all webby like a spider web and if you and everybody else on your block or  in your neighborhood are all surfin’ together…all I can say is ya gotta wait your turn ‘cause you and your neighbors are all fightn’ to get on that super highway. So first thing ya need to do is the same thing I said for the DSL folks…find that power cord give it a yank and count to 60 before ya plug it back in. If that doesn’t work well you could….

Go all nutcase and run up and down your street yell at your neighbors to get offf the party line ‘cause you got important business to tend to.

Or…

You could just get up and come back at 2 AM when all your neighbors are snoozin’

Or….

You could just decide your stuff isn’t that important anyway and go grab a beer and watch some of the other kinda tube.

 Tech Tips for the left brain challenged

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Marketing Monday: Off-line Tactics

 

 

2day we’re going take a break from twits & upd8s and take a look at the other part of your marketing strategy…how to develop an off line strategy that compliments and supports your on-line efforts.There are three key elements to this strategy:

  • Your list
  • Your list
  • Your list

In the past we relied solely on one time mailings of our show schedule or post card to those on our mailing list frequently with little or no results. I know from my own experience how ineffective single  direct mailings were while at the same time helping me feel like I was “doing something”.  However, now that we have a very interactive Internet it is possible to combine off-line and on-line tactics to produce an effective strategy for drawing followers to both your blog and your booth by using a combination of off-line and on-line lists. This next series is designed to help you understand and develop such a strategy.

For an artist the foundation of this strategy is building a list of relevant people, people who like art, will probably buy it and are willing to give you information that will keep you connected. The question has always been how to get that information in a way that is not intrusive or intimidating and time consuming especially during a busy show.There are two basic ways to get that information for artists:

  1. Gather it at shows or galleries
  2. Gather it through an opt in on your web site/blog

To work well you will need the following basic information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Zip
  • E-mail

You will also need to have a Privacy policy  prominently placed on your list.

Later in this series we will address how you can use this information in your marketing.

How to build a list and not offend your buyers

Regardless of whether you are meeting people at a gallery opening or an art fair the process can be intimidating and awkward…remember the most important thing that can help you is that you are in the early stages of building a relationship. It is also about giving them the the opportunity to decide if indeed they want to connect with you.

Be a greeter
If you are at a gallery opening welcome visitors in be gracious then let them wander.
At an art fair do the same mingle with your visitors be approachable, listen and observe to find clues about them and their interest.

Make the conversation about them
At an opening or an art fair reach out to visitors find out their interests, why they are at the opening, look for common threads that could connect the two of you. Once you find those threads find out the problem they are looking to solve by visiting you. Everyone has a problem looking for a solution all you need to do is uncover the problem then solve it. Your visitor may be looking for a painting that works in a certain space or something that will connect to them spiritually. Your job is to show them how your work will help them.Ask them what drew them to visit your booth or gallery show. Listen to find if they resonate with your vision, if they do you then share some of yourself, describe in personal terms what you are saying with your work.

Give them a reason to connect with you

  • Tell them about your blog, and newsletter if you have one (and your should).
  • Have an example to show them and tell them how you protect privacy…show them your privacy policy
  • But most of all tell them why you want to stay connected with them and how doing so will help them, it could be subscriber only promotions, or preshow visits etc.
  • Don’t push..approach the subject like you would do someone you just met and thought you might like.

Make it easy and give them the choice
If after you have chatted with them and they still are not sure give them a card or other promo material with ALL of your contact information on prominently displayed.  Here are some more ways.

  • Add a place on receipts for their e-mail address
  • Have all of your contact info on your receipt
  • Provide a way for them to visualize your work in their home, have a hand out or some info on a hang tag
  • Tell them you will want to follow up with them to help them find the best location or use for your work.
  • Send them a thank you note when the buy and direct them to your blog
  • Send them home with something extra that says you want to stay connected and how important they are to you

Finally, remember that the average person/consumer needs to see something from you 7-9 times before they actually buy, at least that was the old way based on random sales. You greatly reduce that by building a relationship.

 Marketing Monday: Off line Tactics

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Featured Blogs…something new

 

Over the past few weeks I have been working on creating ways to feature Artists and their blogs in a way that encourages them to grow. Two of the ways I have come up with are

  • Adding a feature blog
  • Holding contests built around learning

However, I have been stewing about the “How” details wanting to make it “just right” before I launched it. As all to often happens when we get stuck “chasing our tails” something unexpected shows up to snap us out of our endless chase.

Well, that something happened recently when I exceeded 400 Twitter followers. The person who put me over the mark was so elated that I visited her blog. I came away inspired about her dedication to supporting what I have come to call “Open Source Art” the everyday efforts of ordinary folks to touch their creativity. I decided then and there that I would start my Featured Blog with her and continue it whenever I came across an art blog that supported and furthered not only the act of creation but also recognized the need to honor it.

At his point I have no set criteria for deciding but I will be looking at basic things like:

  • Design
  • Content
  • Connectedness
  • Purpose

What a featured blog gets

Each Featured blog will receive:

  • A feature article -The article will feature my impressions of the blog and why I picked it.
  • A bookmark on Digg,StumbleUpon,Reddit and any others they would like
  • A tweet – sent out when the article is published plus  special #followfriday listing and addition to the #featuredartblog listing
  • A custom widget – A widget similar to the one now at the top of the second sidebar column that will be dedicated to their posts. The widget will be placed in circulation within the WidgetBox gallery which will give the blog wider circulation.
  • A link from this site – An inbound link to help build credibility and readers
  • Other surprises – A grab bag of unknown (even to me) things that may be added.

Nominating a blog

I have been assembling a list of blogs to feature I also want to give others the ability to nominate blogs. For now the simplest way to nominate is to use the comment form below, enter the following basic info

  • Blog’s name
  • A link to the blog using its’ URL (the http:// web address)
  • Owner/Author’s name
  • Brief description of why you think the blog should be featured.
 Featured Blogs...something new

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Marketing Monday: getting and using intelligence

Now that you have taken the leap into the world marketing the next important step you need to take is to start collecting, analyzing  and organizing the intell you are gathering. What intell you ask? All of the information you are collecting about your market is your intell and you are the chief analyst using your list, your online listening posts, your conversations with customers  and their sales patterns. So let’s take a look at some of the ways you can turn this information into a format that will help you down the road.

There are four categories you need to pay attention to:

1. Web Metrics

The first part of web metrics is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which is a way of optimizing your blog so that it can be easily found and indexed by search engines, in return you are rewarded with higher page ranks on particular search terms. The most non-geek types need to know is that ease in which you are found is relative to the optimization level of your blog.

The other part of web metrics more important to you are the stats on who visits your blog, where they come from, what they read, how they move through and where they go after words. There are many ways to collect and analyze this information depending on your relative geekiness. For the non geek the simplest is Google web analytics for the real nerds Woopra could become an obsession. Where Google give you raw stats Woopra shows you visitors in real time as they travel through your site.

By placing a small bit of code into your blog or site you will be able to find out everything from usage patterns to geographic locations of visitors. For the artist traveling the art fair circuit this intell can help you find geographic patterns and if you are selling on line the relative interest level for one product over another. If you regularly update your blog with new work you can estimate relative popularity of a particular product by the number of visits to that product’s post.

Let’s take a quick look at the intell you can glean from something like Google Analytics:

google traffic 400x238 Marketing Monday: getting and using intelligence

General overview of traffic

This view gives you a summary of information collected over the period selected.

google demograph 400x263 Marketing Monday: getting and using intelligenceGeographic & demographic breakdown

This information will tell the geographic information of visitors and when analyzed deeper you’ll be able to see their entire journey through your pages.

google page visits 400x244 Marketing Monday: getting and using intelligenceTotal Pages Visited

Knowing what type of content your visitors read the most can help you both in your writing and production by knowing what subjects or products receive the highest attention. This level of analysis can also be taken deeper giving you links to geography, etc.

google referrals 400x269 Marketing Monday: getting and using intelligenceAll Traffic Sources

Knowing where your visitors arrived from is very important especially when looking for search engine arrivals. Penetrating deeper into this category you’ll be able to identify the key words that brought your visitors to you. You’ll also be able to see what sites are providing you with visitors and the value of those visitors relative to their time on your site.

2. Inventory info

One of the most important pieces of intell is your own inventory information. If you collect and maintain information on not only your inventory levels but also how the product was sold, on-line,gallery, or art fair, you can easily spot patterns. You will be able to see buying patterns that will help you with production strategy, merchandising and inventory for appropriate for particular venues.

The easiest way to do this is to use a database if you work on a Mac and have OS10.5 or newer Bento is perhaps the best and easiest to set up. Bento is a very scaled down and user friendly version of File Maker Pro which is also excellent but a little more challenging to set up custom data bases. Why use a database instead of a spread sheet like Excel or Apple Numbers? The primary reason is ease of use, analytical options and data entry, most databases today also have image fields making it possible to insert inventory images.

bento inventory 400x258 Marketing Monday: getting and using intelligence
Some of the information that would be good to keep track of for inventory are:

  • Product description
  • Sales
  • Purchaser
  • Show or venue sale made
  • Image of product
  • Price
  • Purchase date
  • Notes specific to the product
  • Date it was created

3. Customer information

bento customer 400x262 Marketing Monday: getting and using intelligence

Maintaining a customer database linked to your inventory can tell you a lot about your customers besides having all of their information in one place. Here are just a few of the types of inell you might want to maintain:

  • Personal details name,address,phone
  • Electronic contact info- e-mail, social networks
  • Item purchased
  • Price
  • Show
  • Date
  • Thank you card status
  • E-mails sent
  • Photo

If you are selling high end work $100+ and you have the time your buyers will consider themselves honored to be photographed with the work they purchased. You can then include that photo in their customer profile and even send them a copy along with a thank you card.

A benefit of keeping track of products specific to certain buyers is that you can start to see trends and use those trends to suggest other similar products …like Amazon especially if you are selling online.

4. Trends

The primary reason for collecting all of this information is to help you spot and respond to trends. Being nimble enough to respond to trends which can change in the blink of an eye is critical in today’s market. So here are some of the trends you might look for and how can analyze the information to spot them.

 

  • Online trends

Using Google Analytics you can quickly find out what your readers are reading on your blog and try to deliver similar information in the future. You can also see the effectiveness of your connection strategies by keeping tabs on referral sources like e-mail, or direct referrals both of which usually mean visitors have your web address. Watching google searches and the keywords associated with the search can tell you if and how people are finding you so you can adjust accordingly.

Watching the pages or posts visitors hit can  not only tell you what they are interested in reading but also if you are selling on-line what products are receiving the most attention. You can then use this information in conjunction with an on-line poll for example to help you determine what parts of your product line produce the highest sales vs. Production as in  80/20 rule.

  • Buying trends

Using both your inventory and customer data bases you can track buying trends by price point, location, even demographic if you have collected that info. So if you sell primarily at art fairs you can use both data bases to determine which product sells best, which price point experiences the highest sales to help you determine what inventory to take to which show.

Another advantage of keeping both types of databases is that you can pay attention to what your buyers purchase  and use that information as a basis for continued contact. You might ask them how they are using the product, if they are enjoying it etc. Finally, having such detailed and linked information will help you get them excited about reconnecting with you when you return.

Collecting your intell will always change because conditions, people etc. change the important thing to keep constant is using the intell to reinforce your core values and message so that you identify and serve the customers who will continue to buy from you.

 Marketing Monday: getting and using intelligence

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Marketing Monday: Twitter strategizing rehash

 

paper_typing_torn-400x171 Marketing Monday: Twitter strategizing rehash

So far we have talked about Twitter and building a following by finding the right followers and developing your connections with them. We are almost done with this part of of our marketing strategy. Today I want to re-visit the overall strategy as well as focus on some on going things you should be doing after you have your Twitter following going.

Strategic summary or where are we going again?

When we started on this journey I described the two general courses of action:

  • Attraction
  • Pro-action

I also suggested that the primary base of your efforts should be a blog because that is where your followers will be able to connect with your work and with you. Your blog should reflect you, your style and your values (as reflected in your art). Setting up your blog to broadcast you will play a key role in successfully attracting your Perfect People.

The proactive part of the formula is where Twitter and Facebook reside. Twitter is almost 100% pro-active used alone but when linked up with your blog and Facebook it becomes the your RadioArt station on your frequency and letting you not only broadcast but also listen to your People.

Facebook on the other hand can serve both as a limited base to listen, broadcast and interact with your People. On Facebook you can Pro-actively seek out Your Perfect People and have a place where people on the same path as you can still find you. While Facebook is a somewhat closed environment (you need to join to interact with others) a link with Twitter will increase your reach to a broader audience.

It is important to know that THERE IS NO RIGHT WAY to begin, so if you are reluctant to start blogging then Twitter or Facebook are excellent ways to get used to “putting yourself out there”. Twitter is a good exercise in brevity while Facebook will give you practice in building a home for your People.

The Success Trinity

If you really want to use all of your potential then you will need to learn and utilize:

  • Your blog
  • Your Twitter
  • Your Facebook

These three when used together are the key elements of your success there are other elements we will talk about later but these three are critical. Of course you can choose not to use all three, you just won’t be as successful.

What is next with Twitter

twitter-artistscircle-400x240 Marketing Monday: Twitter strategizing rehash

Friday we talked about automating tweets as a means of building buzz and also keeping your People connected to you. I had already established the beginning of a following and I showed you how to be selective. Over the weekend I returned to Twellow and focused a little finer to identify potential People. This time my criteria was:

  • To  find artists represented in the main media types we offer in our shows
  • People who had checked “art” as a category of interest.
  • People with high follower counts regardless of their interest in art ( I selected those who were not internet marketing focused as much as possible)

twittercounter-400x295 Marketing Monday: Twitter strategizing rehash

As the followers grew I periodically reviewed them and  not “following” those I felt not appropriate to our goal. The results above, show our following as of 02/16. You can also see that the beginning time period is shown as the 13th because that is when I set up the Twittercounter tracking and we had enough followers to track. As you can see with very little time involvement I was able to go from 2 followers on 02/12 to a current number of  101.

Other tactics
Be easy to follow

  • Put a “follow me” link on your blog
  • Put a similar link on your newsletter if you have one
  • Put a link to your Twitter account in your e-mail signature
  • Put your all of your contact points on everything that touches potential buyers

Use Social Proof
Once you reach over 100 followers on Twitter go to Twittercounter enter your information and copy and paste the counter into your blog side bar preferrably below your “follow me” link.

Also go to Twittergrader and enter your Twitter user name and get your “twitter Grade”. Once you surpass 90 copy and paste the  “Twitter Grade badge” below your Twitter counter badge.

twittergrader-399x234 Marketing Monday: Twitter strategizing rehash

So what is next? In order to maintain these followers and keep the connections we will need to tweet regularly. We do this by using the Trinity and our Attraction and Pro-active strategies:

  • Blog regularly no less than twice per week
  • We tweet regularly a minimum  average of +/- 60 min per week
  • We connect on Facebook once or twice a week.

That’s about it. Remember the purpose of this strategy is to build relationships so that you have a following Your Perfect people wherever you go to show. Our next area of focus will be Facebook so stay tuned……

 Marketing Monday: Twitter strategizing rehash

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Marketing Monday: a 21st Century strategy for artists

Historically, the process of selling goods and services fell generally into what came to be called the Sales Funnel Model. In this model businesses offered their goods and services through advertising campaigns that were largely aimed at the constant stream of potential buyers…this was a mass sales approach. Businesses would “catch” potential buyers as they stumbled into the wide mouth of their sales funnel…it was basically a mass approach to selling. Once inside the funnel buyers were pitched on the  benefits of the businesses product using a wide range of persuasive techniques. This approach was the “law” of the sales world for decades, it was practiced by everybody from the Fullerbrush man of the ’30s to the ’50s to car and appliance sales of today. Because of the negative emotions associates with the words sales and marketing many small businesses found reasons to either not market or to camouflage their methods.

The Artists’ Funnel

Many artists  have failed to market primarily because of the stigma associated with the word. Instead, they have favored delegating that task to show or gallery venues…often with less than stellar results because the shows and galleries have been using an adaptation of the sales funnel approach. The graphic below shows how that model looks and illustrates the result which is a reliance on random sales.

funnel1 Marketing Monday: a 21st Century strategy for artists

The top level of the graphic illustrates the flow of potential buyers in the market, some of those buyers may “fall” into the funnel either by accident or intention as a result of the venue’s marketing efforts. As these potential buyers pass through the funnel some may choose to leave causing the actual number of potential buyers “falling” out of the funnel to be less than those that entered.

From this reduced stream of “falls” through the funnel a ‘flow” of potential buyers is created. At this level are the artist funnels doing the same thing the venue funnel is doing…trying to “catch” a large number of potential buyers in hopes that a few will buy.
Some artists have larger numbers of “falls” into their funnel and some fewer, in any event the sales that do occur are mostly the result of chance. The graphic illustrates that  artists’ final sales numbers in terms of dollars don’t necessarily reflect the volume of potential buyers “falling” into the funnel mostly because the artists sales are not based on conscious action on their part.

The fundamental flaw of the funnel model is that it is not far from using a roulette wheel to make sales. There is no strategy to proactively attract or engage potential buyers by using the values, and metaphors that drove the products’ creation.

The rise of communications tools, and an unwillingness to participate in persuasion based selling consumers have changed all this, as I have mentioned in earlier articles. More engagement is now and will be more and more expected. Following the old way will pretty much guarantee failure for 21st Century businesses. Artists are positioned well for this change because most if not all of our sales are made face to face and the energy we put into our work in most cases reflects our values, style and metaphors. After sifting through all the possibilities I have come up with an artist focused strategy consisting of two models that can be used separately or in concert. The first is The Attraction Model and the second is The Network Model.

Using Attraction

The Attraction Model is illustrated below and is built around sending the “scent” of your style, values and metaphors out into the world to attract those who are attracted by them. For this model to work you as an artist must do more than set your work onto shelves or gallery pedestals, you must

  • Be clear the values you instill in your work,
  • Your style must be evident
  • You must be conscious of the metaphors and stories your work tells.

attraction3 Marketing Monday: a 21st Century strategy for artists

Once you are clear about all of these you must now make sure that your work is displayed in a manner that enhances your “scent” and reinforces its story. You also need to make sure that the “scent” is attached to everything that touches your market. The more you do this the more you will attract dedicated buyers who naturally see the value of your work and more importantly be driven by price because the value is already evident. If your scent is strong enough you will also attract potential buyers who may be just newly aware of their resonance with your values, style and metaphors.

The Connection Factor

The second strategy, The Network Strategy, is more proactive and is built on you developing relationships with your buyers in all the venues your work shows up. This model requires you to engage your buyers in each venue by starting conversations and then inviting them to your network. On a broad level this strategy can be one way on your part, with you using your channels to stay in touch with each network. So if you are an Art Fair artist going to Cherry Creek you can start early using your blog to share what you will be bringing, and using Twitter, e-mail and Facebook to reach your Cherry Creek network. Using this approach you can not only keep your network informed you can also get feedback from them so you can more precisely predict what they might buy. You can also keep them informed as to your booth location, arrival time, special network only sales etc.

network3 Marketing Monday: a 21st Century strategy for artists

I hope you can see that the motive behind these two strategies is to eliminate or greatly reduce the Funnel effects randomness and help you have more predictable sales.

 Marketing Monday: a 21st Century strategy for artists

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