Diane Mannion, BOTTLE, 3.5x2.5"oil on linen
Snippet Series #14
Quick study of an antique bottle I found after a day of exploring the 24 antique shops in Arcadia, Florida. I'll paint this one a few more times! Sold
Wrote the following as an answer to an artist friend's question. I'm posting it here because it may be useful to others just starting out.
ZAPPING YOUR ARTWORK TO CYBERSPACE!
Or just a few things I know about putting work online.
An artist friend asked me a very good question: How do I put my work online, advertise, sell and collect the funds? In other words, how do I create an online presence and business. I’m far from an expert, but have been online since 2008, so I know a few things. I also know what I’m not doing (things on my to-do list) and will mention those. All the information is out there, but a simple list might help someone just venturing into this world start off a little easier. I'll include links at the end of this post.
1. Photograph your artwork! Learn how to photograph your artwork, crop and adjust it with Photoshop or some other digital software. Photoshop Elements 10 works well and is not as expensive as the professional Photoshop. I take photos with my digital camera or use a scanner for the small paintings.
I archive (number and save in a file) the images at full size jpg. Then I create a web size copy of the image. To do this I save the image at 300dpi with the longest side at 2 inches. There are other ways to create a web size, but I won't go into it because this has worked for me. (If someone wants to reproduce your web image... it's only 2 inches so it will look awful if they want to steal it and make a poster.)
2. Start a blog!!! This is one of the most important things you can do! It's free. It can be the home of your online world. I love blogspot.com!
In 2008, my daughters said, "Mom, you need a blog." Couldn't think of a reason why. One lazy Sunday afternoon I visited blogspot.com just to check it out. Pushed a few buttons and in minutes... I WAS A BLOGGER! It's a great place to archive my work, keep track of my paintings and let my mother and daughters see what I paint. We live far away from each other, New York, California, Texas and Florida and it's a great way to keep in touch.
At the same time I became aware of the many daily painters online. The blog became an incentive and motivation to join the movement. Since, 2008 I've posted 690 paintings! I can see the improvement in my work year by year and it's all on my blog, archived!
My blog has become an important part of my work and also of my teaching as a place to share some of my techniques. My blog address is on every email signature, business card, and linked to all my other online sites. It goes into Facebook automatically, so I don't have to deal with it directly. Also linked my blog to networked blogs.
I link my blog to everything I can. It's a visual history of my work... even if it's just my Mom and daughters who visit.
3. Paypal! Set up an account. It's a safe way to deal with collecting funds if you sell something. Really wonderful to get an email from them saying someone has added funds to your account. Sometimes, that's the first way I find out a painting has sold. And nothing gets shipped until the funds are there. I don't accept checks online. Paypal links to any artist store you set up or to your blog or website. It's wonderful. The directions are easy and clear.
4. Online Groups
I belong to a few online artists groups. I really never know which one a client has discovered my work in or which link causes a sale. Some artists don't belong to any and that's also fine.
Daily Paintworks is fabulous! Can't say enough good things about it, so please go and visit. It's a wonderful site for learning, selling, motivation, and artist camaraderie. Right now, it's open to all artists and not expensive.
Contemporary Fine Arts International, has daily painting groups for states and subjects. Good for marketing. Juried.
Daily Painters Gallery. Was just accepted into this group and I'm very proud! It's the oldest and most established group. Juried.
5. eBay and Etsy
Just started putting a few tiny paintings on eBay in the last few weeks. I've already sold and shipped several... one to Russia! Found eBay auctions really easy to use! Some wonderful artists use eBay as their only online store and don't belong to any of the above groups. But I think it helps to get exposure wherever you can. Again, everything is linked back to my blog.
I haven't tried an Etsy store yet, but a lot of artists use it.
It's important! It establishes and verifies your online presence as an artist. It's also connected to my blog and most everything else. I use Fine Art Studio Online, FASO. It's your online portfolio and business card. FASO has a monthly competition, Boldbrush, well worth entering for exposure and who knows, maybe even win.
7. Things To-Do List
Make a client email and address list
Make an ebook
Make a Blurb book
Write a newsletter
Listen to Blog Talk Radio: Artists Helping Artists (Fabulous archived programs to learn from!)
Enter artist magazine competitions.
Enter art society competitions