Sunday, 23 July 2017

Third Time Lucky

When I was in marketing there was a rule that applies as well to art as any other product ... CONTACT A MINIMUM OF THREE TIMES.

Artists are a shy bunch and often afraid to stay in touch with customers for fear of frightening them off, but above all else, exposure is what sells art. The painting above was created in 2011 and recently sold after exposure in at least 3 shows, 3 galleries and many many shares on my blog and the internet. It sold for full price.

Staying in touch.... Firstly, art lovers love art. Duh! Your past clients and interested circle of friends and contacts have made their way onto your list because they enjoy your work. I'm not saying deluge them with emails, but don't forget about them either. I write a regular blog but not everyone in my circle follows my blog. Past customers may hop in and out but don't visit daily. That's understandable, but I am not doing my duty to them or my art if I don't keep them in the loop.

Everyone likes a bit of personal attention. Last year I sent a personal invitation to a client for an art show I was participating in. She replied immediately and said she wasn't interested in the show, but could I contact her about a commission. That commission turned into three paintings, perhaps none of which would have happened if I hadn't contacted her first.

A monthly newsletter is a good way to stay in touch, sharing your successes, upcoming exhibitions, shows, open studios, customer appreciation offers etc. It is always interesting to share a story about the creation of a piece or a photo of happy customer and of course a few images of new works. It doesn't matter if you've blogged some of the content before because readers will scan and dig deeper when something catches their attention. If like me, you are happy to recreate a painting in another size, or with small adjustments, let your customer know about your versatility. Someone that loves a piece may not have a place for it, but a smaller version or a slightly different palette is perfect.

Artists often want to exhibit their newest pieces at shows and juries like current work, but often it takes at least three viewings for a customer to purchase, so ensure you have an album of older works to show visitors. Some art lovers only attend a few shows a year. Maybe a patron didn't make it to your corner the one time you had a piece on view, or rushed past and never got back. Also exhibiting a work up to three times to the same people is not a bad thing. Someone that loved the piece before but didn't purchase for some reason, may now find the time is right. Perhaps a client is redecorating and that large painting they loved two years ago will now work over the couch. I could go on .....

What I'm saying is don't get into the trap of thinking your older work is past its prime. I've discovered that it often takes three years, or more, for even my most beautiful work to sell, but eventually the right person sees it at the right time and snaps it up.

And one final word on this ... don't believe everything people say. I have a regular patron that always goes for my most unique pieces but she has categorically told me in conversation that she NEVER commissions paintings, even on approval. Last year that client saw a piece of mine that she loved but there was something holding her back and she had decided against it. After discussing possibilities and emailing back and forth my client commissioned the painting in a larger size and on canvas rather than paper. She loves it!

Saturday, 22 July 2017

A Little Behind

A Little Behind

Actually my behind is much bigger than I would like, but what I'm referring to here is how slack I've been at posting. It's certainly not because I haven't been working, it's because I've been so busy Painting, cataloging, restocking my galleries, accounting, scheduling and living, that time just got away from me. I was quite shocked to see I havent posted for two weeks.

Locally we've had some trials, first with extensive run off flooding around the creeks and properties bordering the lakes, then fire season arrived with a bang and for weeks we've been trapped inside peering out through veils of smoke and wondering if we would ever be able to enjoy summer. When the wind shifts we dash down to the pool to swim some lengths, but all my plans for daily walks in the park have been put on hold.

The abstract above is one of my recent iPad drawings entitled Zorro for obvious reasons. I'm quite taken with it. As always my IPad work is available in limited edition canvas prints. Just contact me here.

8" x 10" - $65 + shipping
6" x 8" - $55 + shipping

I will do my best to catch up over the next few weeks. Stay tuned for more new work, interesting idea, tips and tricks etc. Follow my blog, Pinterest, etc by clicking the various buttons around this blog.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Preparing for an artists demo

Reposting one of my most popular blogs

There's no doubt about it, if you want to be a full time artist, eventually you are going to have to do a demo. The first time I did a demo it was on a scorching hot day in July and I was painting in fast drying acrylics "Plein Air": Certainly a trial by fire.

There are different kinds of demos
Demo at a show or event, which is all about painting and just needs courage and supplies.
Demo with talk, which is more varied and needs to be well prepared.

This is a check list of things to do to prepare for a demo with a talk. Remember people are there to see you paint, so keep the talk to 30 mins and demo at least 30 mins. Be brave and remember that people are already on your side by showing up. They want you to succeed. As well as an intro you will also be talking when you paint, but that will be about process and answering questions. Leave time at end to answer personal questions.

A list of good traits and bad traits in presenting.

Good - Sound knowledge, prepared, on topic, open and sharing, engaging, good voice and pace,start on time

Bad - Boring, no control, poor voice and speaking, knowledge of equipment, not set up.


1. (a) Pick a topic and a catchy title
Something you're passionate about
Something you are knowledgeable about
Something people are interested in -
Personal discoveries, techniques
Don't have too broad a topic

Possible Topics
Light and shadow
Finding style
Fur and feathers
Depth in water

1. (b) e.g Negative Painting for Positive Results

2. Collect material
Progress photos including prep drawings
Any visual material
What inspires you
Supplies and equipment
Slide show - 10 - 20 slides - no more than 6 bullets on each page, no more than 6 pages - not longer than 30 mins

3. Create short bio
How you took up art
Your personal journey as it relates to your art
Successes and failures
Keep it brief and think about what people want to hear not a list of achievements

4. Prepare an outline
Place everything in a folder on computer (make sure to number in order)
Focus on topic and gather visual aids
keep adding ideas - better to have too much than too little
Create Structure
Visual elements

5. Prepare for Tangents
Questions - Answer question and return to topic
List of supplies
Knowledgeable hijackers - Thank them and go to topic
Balance time versus interest

6. Assemble items
Power cord, lights
Several progress paintings to work on
Bring finished work

7. Plan Room
Best way to seat people
Rear tilted mirror
Easel (blocking view, which side to stand)
How equipment works
Arrange visual aids in order
Size of demo piece? According to size of room

8. The Demo
Be organized with tools and visuals
Paint for at least 30 mins
It's easier to prepare several progress canvases
Answer questions
Pass things around

Ending - allow people to come up and see
Answer questions
Leave time for off topic questions to be addressed personally