Painting a Snowstorm, a GIMP Tutorial

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A couple of my artworks that have been rather successful have featured snowstorms. I had a few questions about how I did it. Being a 3D render artist, people seemed to think that I might be using some sort of particle simulator or something, but, no, I just do it using the open source image editor GIMP.

So…here’s the video:

Daniel

P.S.

Don’t forget to check out this week’s sponsor, Dick Blick Art Materials (since I offer this site for free, I have to fund it somehow ūüėČ )

www.dickblick.com

Alternative Sources of Art Income

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I’ve mentioned before that you can make money with your art online by selling it directly or as prints from POD sites. Sales like this can be difficult. First off, buyers only have so much wall space, once they fill it, their demand for art drops to almost nil. Furthermore, you have a lot of competition for that wall space. Not only must you compete with other artists out there today, but because of the nature of art, you have to compete with artists from the past as well. In any give year, prints of Monet’s paintings likely outsell those of any artist alive today. So, yes, you are competing with the grandmasters. Not only that, you are also competing with your prospective buyer’s family photos and even more mundane stuff, like mirrors.

Keep your chin up though, you may have a lot of competition in the wall art arena, but prints still sell. After all, I sell them, and if I can do it, you can too.¬† ¬†In fact, if you want to see how well I do at selling via POD check out my article “How I Sell Art“.

However, this point of this article is something else: that there are other online ways to make money from art. So without further ado, here’s a few new ways you can earn art income:

Design

Rhino Watch
One of my best sellers on Zazzle is a watch with my work “Angry Rhino” on the face

Your art does not necessarily need to be just framed wall art. It can also become part of a more utlitarian object. In the art world, this is known as design. For instance, you can put you artwork on a coffee mug and sell that, or, perhaps, you can make a T-Shirt that features your art.

Making such items may sound like a lot of work, but, it does not have to be. Just as there are POD sites that will print and ship your art for you, sites such as Zazzle and Cafepress act as POD sites that will put your art on anything from coffee mugs to mobile phone cases. They handle the payment and do the shipping. You just collect the commission.

Personally, I use Zazzle as reports of product quality seem higher and I can set my own commission rate (Cafepress is locked at 10%).

Let People Rent Your Art

Art can be expensive, that can deter a lot of customers. What’s more peoples tastes change, and people recognize this in themselves. For many, buying a piece of art may seem like too much of a commitment for the cost. So, one site offers a novel solution: Turning Art, allows users to rent prints for a period of several months, with the option to buy at the end.

Rough Crowd of the Farmyard
I’ve never sold a print of “Rough Crowd of the Farmyard” through my gallery, but through TurningArt it has been rented quite often.

Like a traditional POD site, Turning Art allows you to create an account and upload your works, they handle the business of printing and shipping, you just collect commissions.

Being that they are rentals, you aren’t going to make nearly as much in commissions, but unlike a traditional POD site where you only get one commission on a sale, on Turning Art, a particular piece will earn you a commission month after month as it is being rented. This is known as recurring revenue.

I’ve used Turning Art for about a year now, and, though it doesn’t provide a lot of income, it still is another source.

Earn Money with Advertisements

Finding buyers for your art may be difficult, but finding who want to just view it online is WAY easier. So, if you make art that draws people in, create a blog or website to feature your art. Then you can put some form of advertising on it to earn some extra money.

What’s more, people may be interested in viewing art, but they are also interested in how it’s made. If you use your blog or website to not only show your art, but also talk about how you made it and why, you’ll draw even more people in. I’ve mentioned that the most important skill for being a successful online artists is writing. Well, it pays off here too.

In the online world you have many options for advertising. Two of the most common are affiliate marking, and pay-per-click ads:

With affiliate marketing, you sign up to be an affiliate of a company. You put their advertisements on you blog or website. When visitors click on the ads and buy something from that company, you get a commission. Many companies offer the chance for you to become an affiliate directly (usually there is a link at the bottom of their homepage). Others use affiliate marketing brokers like ShareASale or Commission Junction.

With pay-per-click ads, you place ads on your site that earn you money (usually only pennies) when ever a visitor clicks on the ad. Whether or not they buy something from the company being advertised is irrelevant. The king of the pay-per-click ad systems is Google’s Adsense. If you do this, resist the temptation to click on the ads on your own site – it could get you banned by the provider.

Do Commissions

Perhaps people are not buying your art, but they like your style enough to commission work from you. Quite often I get requests for fantasy book covers as well as paleontology publications. It can happen. It is up to you though to handle a lot of the details though. You’ll have to write up the contract and deal with collecting payment as well as making any changes your client requests and dealing with how you will deliver the final work to them.

Minstrel
“A Minstrel Named Rynstrel”, A commission I did for a book cover

The key to making this work is to get your art found. It really requires similar skills as selling your art, but there are a couple of sites that cater more to this form of business. One that I use is DeviantArt, particularly when it comes to genres (suspense, mystery, fantasy, scifi, etc.), a lot of people look for illustrators here. Another site that works well (more for photos) is flickr.

One warning about commissions though: they can be very stressful. Realizing your own visions in art can be hard enough, but realizing someone else’s can really give you sleepless nights and grey hair. Communication with your client is essential.

License your art

This is a bit like doing commissions, except a lot less stressful. The way licensing works is that someone finds your art and wants to use it in their commercial endeavor, e.g. as the cover art for the book, for a graphic on their website, etc. You then make an agreement with them to use your work. As with doing commissions, you may need to deal with the contract and handling payment and such.

You don’t necessarily need to handle all the details with licensing though. For instance, I use and online service that handles some of the details for me: Pixels.com. It’s an extension of the POD site FineArtAmerica.com and allows people to license your work by purchasing a license then downloading a high resolution version of your image.

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So, there’s a few alternative ways to make money with art online. There are likely many more. If you spend some time on artist forums, you inevitably pick up a few. Just keep an open mind and you’ll be surprised by the kinds of things that turn up.

Daniel

P.S.

Don’t forget to check out this week’s sponsor, Dick Blick Art Materials (since I offer this site for free, I have to fund it somehow ūüėČ )

www.dickblick.com

How to Make Art that Sells Better

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Though any kind of artwork can sell, there are still things you can do when making art that will make yours more likely to get purchased. What are these mysterious “things”? Why, they are the fundamentals of art, of course.

The Fundamentals of Art

On first glance, the fundamentals of art look like just the elements that make up a particular piece of art, but the idea of fundamentals implies more than just knowing what they are, but how to use them in such a way as to make your art more likely to be well received by the people viewing it. In many cases, people won’t necessarily know why they like art that takes advantage of the fundamentals, they just do. They tend to operate on the subconscious level of the viewer.

This is not necessarily a complete list, but some of the most important ones. In the future, I will likely have more detailed articles involving these subjects.

Line

Velociraptor Chasing a Small Mammal
In this work, I use a curved virtual line (highlighted with the red line) formed by the animals’ bodies to give a sense of action and motion

Line is the most basic of the structural elements of artwork. Almost all visual artwork involves lines. Of course, they define the outlines of shapes and forms, but they can also be used by the artist to guide the viewer: Strong straight lines can give a sense of strife, stress, anger, and aggression. Soft curved lines can indicate sensuality, relaxation, calm. You can use harder curves to emphasize movement or energy. Moveover, you can also orient the lines so that they draw the viewer’s eye to a certain area or in a certain direction.

Lines can also be implied rather then explicitly defined. Think of a line of people. They are not literally a line drawn from one point to another, but a group of subjects arranged in such a way to indicate a line.

Shape

A shape is what you get when a line closes back on itself. Shapes are two dimensional (though for something like sculpture, they may be oriented in a 3D space). Much like lines, you can use shapes to affect the user. Triangular shapes can indicate direction or speed. Rectangular shapes can indicate stability, stillness, or solidity while circles and ovoids might represent instability or movement.

Also, shapes may be implied just like lines. Objects can be arranged to create a virtual shape, e.g. a circle stones.

Form

Form is the 3D cousin of shape. It can be important in 2D works as well as in sculptures. It can define the way the lights and shadows play out in the image. Hard forms will create dramatic contrasts in light and increasing the tension of a work where soft forms will create more gradual transitions from light to dark giving works more of a sense of gentleness or sensuality.

Composition

Elephant Stampede
Composition can be used to influence the viewer’s emotions. In this case, I have the elephants form the shape of an eye (highlighted in green) looking back at the viewer to heighten the sense of threat.

Composition is the arrangement of of the prior three fundamentals: line, shape, and form. Composition can get very complex. There are enough books on this subject alone to fill libraries. With proper composition you can guide the viewer’s eye through your scene, indicate to them what is important, even affect their emotions. The will be much more on Composition in future articles.

Value

Value is the balance of light and dark in an artwork. I’ve already mentioned the importance of having a full range of light and dark, but there is more to value that just that. You can shift the balance of value to affect the viewers mood and energy. Works heavy in darker values can indicate doom and gloom. Works on the lighter end, tend to be happy and bright. Values can be strong in both the dark and light ends avoiding the mid-tones to increase a sense of drama, while works with values heavy in the mid-tones can give a more casual feel.

Color

Color too can be used to influence your viewers. Of course, certain colors have their cultural associations: e.g. in Western culture, black is often the color of villainy, red the color of danger but also lust, green the color of peaceful nature, blue sadness, etc. However, color can also be used to draw the eye, such as using the only small splotch of red in otherwise cool colored image to create a focal point. Also, understanding color theory (how different colors work together) can help your art, too. For instance, art that is themed with complimentary colors (red/green, blue/orange, yellow/purple) tends to be better received.

Light

Light is the basis of human visual experience. For abstract work, it’s may not even be a factor, but for figurative work, it is possibly the most important of the fundamentals. The various ways of lighting a scene can immensely change the viewers experience. High key lighting gives a sense of lightheartedness, happiness, casualness. Whereas, low key lighting can give a sense of drama or danger. Strong back lighting can create a halo around a subject and is often used to indicate sensuality and love.

Texture

Texture is, of course, very important in the realm of sculpture. It’s the way something feels. However, it can, like lines and shapes, be implied visually. You can have texture in a 2D work by indicating to your viewer what a surface would feel like if they touched it, for instance, you might use a rough brush stroke to give a wooded structure a rustic feel.

Don’t underestimate this fundamental. One of the most popular selling items that I’ve seen are photographs that have been “textured” with the use of Photoshop filters.

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There are other fundamentals as well. I just wanted to touch on the major ones. Understanding each of these and learning how to use them to your advantage will allow you to create works that have more of a psychological effect on your viewers. Used properly, they tend to give your work an air of professionalism, but moreover, viewers will just seem to like them more without knowing why. You don’t necessarily need to use all of the fundamentals in a given piece, and sometimes, they don’t even apply (like color in a B&W image), but even taking advantage of one or two can make your works more appealing to potential customers.

Regards,
Daniel
P.S.

Don’t forget to check out this week’s sponsor, BorrowLenses.com (since I offer this site for free, I have to fund it somehow ūüėČ )

Thanksgiving Special: 10% Off + 4 FREE Rental Days

Social Networks Basics for Artists

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Cafe Philosphers
Social Network sites are one of the keys to being successful artist online. They give you the ability to directly communicate with others, not just potential customers but other artists from whom you can learn.

I’ve said it before, the key to selling your art online is marketing. ¬†You should be spending half your “Art” time (or more) getting your¬†art in front of people. ¬†In the online world, one of the key ingredients to your marketing recipe is the Social Network.

I’m sure you’re familiar with at least a few of them, but there are MANY of them out there. For this article, I’m not going to talk about a particular social network. ¬†Some social network sites are well known: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.. ¬†However,¬†what you may not know is that there are many¬†web sites¬†that you never thought about that are, in fact, social network sites. ¬†You see, the online social network is what in the software engineering business we call an architecture, and it’s a common one that websites are built upon. ¬† Pretty much any site where you have an account that you log into and where you can communicate with other account holders is built on the social network architecture.

For example, many of the POD¬†sites, let you follow other artists, get a notification when they post new works, message them, and comment on or “favorite” their works. ¬†This is exactly the same as you “Friending” people in Facebook, seeing their updates in your feed, texting them in Facebook messenger, and being able to comment or like your friends posts. ¬† You’ll find this architecture everywhere, and there are some informal rules and tips you should know about this architecture for using it to your advantage to market your art.

Friending, Following, Subscribing to, etc

Key to the social network architecture is the ability to somehow associate yourself with other users. ¬†Just about every network seems to have a different name for it, but the effect is pretty much the same: you¬†get to follow¬†that other user’s activity on the site, and possibly they get to follow¬†yours.

Sometimes it is a two way connection¬†where you request the association from another user and they must accept it. ¬†The best example of this is “Friending” in Facebook. ¬†Once this associate is made, you are able to see each others activity on the social network.

More commonly¬†however, the¬†connection is only one way. ¬†You select another user on the network to follow. ¬†You will receive updates of the other user’s activity, but they will not see yours. However, they will probably be notified that you are following them. ¬†The best example of this is following someone on Twitter.

When it comes to marketing your art, you want as many such associations as you get.  These are your audience, the people you are marketing to.

Also, in the case of the one way connection, it is considered good etiquette when someone follows you, to follow them back (effectively making it a two way connection).  This is known as reciprocity.   In fact, you should keep this in mind to gain followers of your own.  Seek out people who you think will like your art on the network and follow them.  Often, they will follow your back.

Liking, Favoriting, Recommending, etc.

Another major aspect to Social networks is the ability to somehow indicate that you like or support another user’s activity. ¬†Whenever someone posts some sort of entry, other users will have the option to express their support of that post by clicking on a link or icon, such as a “thumbs up”. ¬†Generally, when one of your posts receives such a commendation you are notified.

The effects of these can be varied from site to site. ¬†On some, they really don’t amount to much, but on others they may elevate the status of your post in some way,¬†allow the “liker” quick access to return to your post, or even act as one of the one way connections mentioned in the above section.

As in the section above, reciprocity is good practice.  If someone endorses one of your posts, you should endorse one of theirs, assuming they have some.

Private Messaging

Most social networks allow you to send messages directly to another user.  These are like email in that only sender and recipient know the contents of the message.

Commenting

Most, but not all, social networks allow users to comment on one another’s activity. ¬†Reciprocity can apply¬†here as well. ¬†If someone comments on one of your works, you might want to¬†comment on one of theirs. ¬† At the very least, you should thank people for their comments. ¬†It’s good form and also gives you another opportunity to let them know that you exist.

One word of warning though about comments. ¬†Everybody viewing your posts, including your potential customers, will be able to see them. ¬†Immediately hide or delete any negative or critical comments (even if it is constructive criticism). ¬†You don’t want any potential customers to see anything that gives them doubts about buying your work. ¬†Also, it is bad form to make critical comments of others’ posts in such a public way. ¬†If you want to offer constructive criticism to another user, send them a private message.

Re-posting

Another great feature of social networks is the ability to re-post another user’s posts. ¬†If someone re-posts one of your¬†works, their friends/followers will get to see it, and perhaps they to will re-post your work, and so on. ¬†If you are lucky, this will set up a chain reaction of re-posting that will get large numbers of people to see your initial post in what is known as “going viral”.

Just as in following, commenting, and liking, here reciprocity is good etiquette. If someone re-posts one of yours, you re-post one of theirs.

Groups

One more major aspect of social networks you should be aware of is Groups. ¬†These are where multiple users on the network can¬†join a forum that caters to a particular subject. ¬†These can be a marketing gold mine if you produce works that fall under the theme of the group. ¬†Members of the group are expecting and looking for just your kind of art, so join the group and tell them about your work. ¬†However, be an active member of the group, comment on others posts to the forum and participate in the discussions. ¬†If you just post your art, and don’t do anything else, you will likely get banned from the group for spamming.

So it was a bit of a long article, but this is really stuff you need to know about Social Networks if you plan to use them in your marketing – AND YOU SHOULD. ¬†In future posts, I’ll be going over actual examples, but I’ll refer back to this one as the foundation for it all.

Regards,
Daniel
P.S.

Don’t forget to check out this week’s sponsor, BorrowLenses.com (since I offer this site for free, I have to fund it somehow ūüėČ )

Thanksgiving Special: 10% Off + 4 FREE Rental Days

Making Art That Has Value

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I’ve said it before: you can make any kind of art and sell it. All you have to do is find the right people, people who like your art enough to buy it. Any piece of art you make has a chance of success. You can do everything wrong according to the fundamentals of art and, against the odds, still have a hit. However, if you want to play the odds, and, put them more in your favor that your art will be well received, then you need an understanding of the fundamentals of art.

Today, my subject is one of the those fundamentals: Value. I’m not talking about how much a work of art is worth. Rather, I am referring to value as the range of light and dark shades within it. It’s a mistake I see time and time again from artists whose works I look at: They don’t use a complete range of values: the lightest shade is not bright enough or the darkest not deep enough. The result is that potential buyers see such a work as drab, washed out, or just plain dull.

Polar Bear in a Snowstorm
This version of my “Ploar Bear in a Snowstorm” has a full range of values, even for a subject that involves a lot of white objects.
Polar Bear In A Snowstorm Dingy
A dingy version where there is not enough light values.
Polar Bear In A Snowstorm Washed Out
This version is washed out. It lacks dark values.

Buyers tend to react better to a full range of values. The darkest part of your artwork should be black and the lightest should be white. That is not to say your work should be dominated by large dark areas and large light areas. In fact, those end points may only take up a small amount of the total area of your work. The point is that your work has a complete range of values: it might be heavy in the dark values or light values, but it should not ever be completely lacking one or the other.

Since we’re talking about selling your art online, I know that you actually have an advantage in this area. In order to sell art online, you have to have digital images of your work. That means you can open such images in photo editing software, such as Photoshop or GIMP.

One thing you can do rather quickly to see the range of values in your work is to convert them to grey scale (assuming your work was not already a black and white image). Looking at a work without the color, makes the dark and light values easier to see. With photo editing software, removing the color can usually be done with a single click of a mouse.

Another thing you can do with such software is to look at the histogram of an image. This is a graph that actually shows you the distribution of value in your image. What’s more, you can usually adjust the value of your image using the histogram (though if you are selling originals, you should be careful not to adjust so much that the digital image no longer accurately represents the original).

Balanced Histogram
This is the histogram for the final version of the “Polar Bear in a Snowstorm” above
Dingy Historgram
This is the histogram for the dingy version of the “Polar Bear in a Snowstorm” above
Washed Out Histogram
This is the histogram for the washed out version of the “Polar Bear in a Snowstorm” above

So, in order to potentially increase the value OF your art, pay attention to the value IN your art.

Regards,
Daniel

P.S.

Don’t forget to check out this week’s sponsor, Dick Blick Art Materials (since I offer this site for free, I have to fund it somehow ūüėČ )

www.dickblick.com

Where To Sell Art Online

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Where do you sell art online?

This is a huge question. It’s one of the cornerstones of this blog. Later on, I’ll get into detail about specific sites, but for now I want to set the stage and tell you about the two main kinds of sites that allow you to sell your art over the Internet.

Direct Sale Sites

The first kind are what I call direct sale sites. On these sites, you create some sort of entry describing an individual piece of art along with at least one image. The site will have some mechanism that will display your entry to potential customers. Visitors seeing your work on these sites can then purchase your art through the site. The site might accept payment on your behalf or it may leave it up to you handle. Either way, when someone chooses to purchase your art, the site notifies you that you have made a sale. It then leaves it up to you to complete the transaction. If the site didn’t handle the payment, you’ll need to do that first, then you will need to ship your artwork to the buyer.

Direct sales sites, can require a lot of work on your part, but if you are selling originals, it’s pretty much what you’ll have to do. Some examples include eBay, Craigslist, and Etsy.

Now here is the thing about direct sales sites: I don’t generally recommend them. Selling art on these sites is nearly impossible unless you have a well known name. Besides, people go eBay and Craigslist looking for bargains, and you probably don’t want to sell your art at bargain prices. The one exception is Etsy which is dedicated to selling arts and crafts; though, reports I get from other artists are that crafts and sculpture do well there, but 2D art (photos, drawings, paintings, prints, etc.) does not.

So if direct sales sites are no good for selling your original art, what is? Well, we’ll get to that in a minute…

Print on Demand

Running With Buffalo
This is perhaps one of my best works. Because I have it on a print-on-demand site, I have sold numerous prints of all sizes of it to people all around the world.

The next type of site is the print on demand site, hereafter referred to a POD site. With a POD site, you create an account to which you upload digital images of your artwork. Usually, you need to provide some details about you work such as the title, description, pricing details, etc. The site then publishes your work to their galleries (or, in some cases, creates a personalized gallery for you). Visitors to the site can browse through the galleries an buy prints of whatever they like. If they buy one of yours, you get a cut.

What’s great about this model, is that after you upload your art, you don’t have to do anything else regarding that sale. The POD site handles the processing of the payment, makes the print, ships, handles the customer service. Most will even handle returns.

Previously, I mentioned that I don’t recommend direct sales sites for selling original art. That is because many of the POD sites allow you to sell originals as well. So, for an individual piece, visitors will have the option of buying the original, but can also buy a print. They see both, and after seeing a high price for the original, a lower priced print will seem like a bargain, making them more likely to buy at least the print from you (this is known as the “Anchoring Effect” in marketing). So, if you have original to sell, skip the eBays of the world and use POD sites that offer selling of originals instead.

There is one problem with POD sites however: the print series are, by nature, unlimited. This can give collectors a sense that your prints will have trouble increasing in value, and while your art may make for great decor, it makes for a poor investment. If you are really concerned about this, there are ways to overcome this, such as giving an expiration date to your postings, but I’ve found that they are mostly not worth the effort.

Other Types of Art Business Sites

There may be a few other types of sites out there. For instance, I use a service that lets people rent my art for a period of three months with the option to purchase a print at the end. There is also something called microstocks, which allow businesses and individuals to license your work for use in commercial endeavors. I don’t have much experience with microstocks, but, if you don’t mind giving up control of your work, if may be worth your time to look into them.

I hope this article wasn’t too long, but it is a necessary foundation for future articles. So enjoy,

Daniel

The Biggest Mistake Artists Make

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Marooned
If you don’t market your art, you are figuratively marooning your art career on a island. Don’t isolate your art from the rest of the world. Get it out there.

What makes an artist successful?

For some, the satisfaction of having created a piece art is enough. These are the people who make art to relieve stress, to spend time creating their own worlds, to exercise their imagination, or just to pass the time. For them, it does not matter if someone else sees their art. Their art was successful to them simply because they made it and liked it. If this is all you need from art, more power to you; this article is not for you. You are already a success and need read no further.

Many artists, however, want more than the simple self satisfaction of creating art. They may want sales, or they may want to make a statement. They might want to influence minds, inspire others, or simply make people happy. For these people, success as an artist means RECOGNITION.

So what is the number one mistake these artists make?

The biggest mistake artists make in trying to achieve success is this: They spend too much of their “art” time making art and not enough getting people to look at it. The key to success as an artist is to find your audience and to get them to see your art. For an artist, the blanket term for this is Marketing.

So how much time should I spend marketing?

Well, it depends a bit on how good your are at marketing and the various channels you use as well as how fast you can produce art, but on average you should be spending about fifty percent of your dedicated art time to marketing. Yes, I said that. Roughly, HALF your time dedicated to art should be spent getting your art out there to be seen.

Why so much?

You need to spend that much time marketing because the art market is huge. A lot of people want to be artists, and there is a flood of art out there. People are not likely to find your art by accident. You have to bring them to it, and doing so requires effort.

So how do I market art?

The good news is that countless ways exist to get your art out there. For a creative person willing to find new ways to market, the sky’s the limit. And, guess what? You’re in luck; you’re an artist. That makes you a creative person.

Just to help you out though, at least for marketing online, you have this blog as a resource. In coming articles, I intend to share with you some of the methods that I have found for successfully marketing my own art, and perhaps they can work for you as well.

Regards,
Daniel

P.S.

Don’t forget to check out this week’s sponsor, Dick Blick Art Materials (since I offer this site for free, I have to fund it somehow ūüėČ )

www.dickblick.com

There Is No Such Thing As “Good” (or “Bad”) Art

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Abstract Expressionist works such as those of Jackson Pollock often spark debates as to what constitutes good and bad art.  They disregard almost all the fundamentals of art, yet still are admired by many and sell for millions.
Abstract Expressionist works such as those of Jackson Pollock often spark debates as to what constitutes good and bad art. They disregard almost all the fundamentals of art, yet still are admired by many and sell for millions.

My response to this question is that such terms as “good” and “bad” are not really applicable to art. First off, those are vague terms, and if you ask a hundred different people what makes are “good” you will get a hundred different answers. The only thing that really makes a piece of art good, is that people think it is.

There was a story earlier this year on NPR about the nature of popularity and what makes things (particularly art) good. It talked about why the Mona Lisa was considered the best painting in history. The answer but a bit cyclical in that it is considered the best simply because so many people consider it to be so. It’s good because people say it is.

That’s the beauty of art. It is completely subjective and can defy such categorization as being “good” or” bad”. It all depends on the person experiencing that art. It gets down to the old saying: “One man’s trash, is another man’s treasure.”

So, when it comes to selling art online, don’t be overly worried about whether your art is “good” or “bad” because the chances are, that, no matter what you put out there, some people will like it while others will not. The trick is to find those who do.

That’s where marketing comes in. Marketing is really the key to selling online. If you are good at marketing, you can sell just about anything. It’s all about finding the right buyer.

I’m going to add one caveat that though. Though I think such terms as “good” or “bad” aren’t appropriate when discussing art, there are some things you can do while making art that will increase the odds that more people will like your art. These are such concepts as composition, value, color, subjects, and many more such fundamentals much of which will be the basis for future articles.

Of course, you can create a work of art that ignores all the fundamentals and still have a hit, but the odds will favor those who take advantage them. So you can look forward to me discussing many of them in the future.

Daniel

P.S.

Don’t forget to check out this week’s sponsor, Dick Blick Art Materials (since I offer this site for free, I have to fund it somehow ūüėČ )

www.dickblick.com

Be The Artist

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Customers will not buy from an artist who looks like this.

Okay, so you’ll see a picture of me in the first article posted on this blog as well as in the About page. It’s part of my introduction, but it is also my first piece of advice: try not to be too anonymous. Art is not a typical product. Unlike toasters, televisions, or sofas, when people buy art, the person who made it can be as important to them as the art itself, if not more so.

I’ve created numerous online galleries using names that hide my identity. Weather it was a company name, or a snappy online ID, my sales where always slow. Once I started using my real identity though, the art sales started coming in much more often. Art buyers just seem reluctant to buy from someone like SuperArtist1973.

Now you could create a believable psuedonym, that is, a first and last name that could be that of a real person, but I believe that there’s more to to using your real identity though. I think that it has something to do with that once you attach you real self to your art, you are much more concerned about putting your best foot forward. Your art suddenly becomes a matter of pride, not just profit.

So use your real name for your online presence. Also, let people see you. Use real pictures of yourself for your online profiles on sites where you sell your art (but not necessarily where you market it – I’ll discuss that in a future post). Let your customers see that you are an actual human being.

In the spirit of this site, you don’t need to meet you customers face to face, but you do need to let them at least see yours.

Today’s Sponsor

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I offer this site free to everyone. I never charge for my advice, but I still have bills to pay. So today’s affiliate ad is from one of my favorite art supply stores: Dick Blick. When I first really started studying art seriously, Dick Blick was the store where I got all my art supplies. So if you click on this ad then buy something there, I get a small percentage.

Thanks Everyone!


www.dickblick.com