Precision Marketing

business of art

Precision Marketing

Precision Marketing Notes

I know a lot of artists who have been caught up in the idea that getting large numbers of followers on social media ,mailing lists and newsletters, is precision marketing. These artists also follow lots of other artists and share lots of art around on their accounts. I have not found that to be useful at all for my own career. In fact, I follow very few artists on Instagram, and few galleries. There are a lot of artists who are friends on Facebook, but I actually follow very few.

Linda’s Bird Art

Precision Marketing

For some reason, artists pay attention to other artists more than the do collectors and potential collectors. They often assume that collectors will be found if one hangs around with artists, and art events. I have found that most of my collectors are not artists and most of them don’t attend gallery events.

Precision Marketing

I have done the opposite of many artists. I rarely attend artist events. My focus has narrowed down to collectors, potential collectors, and areas of interest to me such as science, botany, birding, nature, hiking, tea parties, agriculture,ranching, land conservation, dogs, and cooking. Stories and the history of my career attract certain groups of people that are not related to artists, galleries,museums, etc.

Precision Marketing

Monthly Painting Offer

I no longer look at lots of art around the Internet. I have narrowed down my focus on my own work. It really helps me to not be distracted by everyone else’s ideas. I have been a painter for a long time. I don’t follow the latest color schemes, styles or subjects. My interest is truly in recording the subjects I love and treasure, improving my technique as I work.

Precision Marketing

Letting go of most of the distractions has helped me to treasure my life, my work, and the kind friends who support me. My collectors are so important to me. Most of what goes on in social media is fluff and I don’t waste time focusing on frivolous relationships.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe

Cream cheese biscuits

8 ounces full fat cream cheese, softened
⅔ cup butter, softened
1 cup self-rising flour*, plus more for dusting

*To make your own self-rising flour whisk 1 cup of flour with 1 + ½ teaspoons baking powder plus ¼ teaspoon salt

Pulse together the cream cheese, butter and flour in a food processor until combined, about 10 pulses, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl halfway through.
Turn out onto a piece of lightly floured parchment paper and pat it into a disc. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Place an oven rack on the highest rung and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sprinkle a work surface with flour, unwrap the dough and sprinkle the top and a rolling pin lightly with flour.
Roll out to ½-inch thick and cut with a 1 + ¼-inch thick biscuit cooker. Place them on the baking sheet about an inch apart.
Stick the scraps together and make more biscuits. If you can’t fit them all on the baking sheet refrigerate and bake them in turns.
Bake about 14 minutes on the top rack until golden and puffed, rotating the pan halfway through. You can brush the tops with melted butter if you like.

 

Balance Art and Marketing

Balance art and marketing

Balance Art and Marketing

Balance Art and Marketing Notes

I’ve always considered it essential to balance art and marketing In my career. I read a lot of books about art marketing and they are all good, but to accomplish all that they recommend would take 24 hours a day in organization and effort. We have to be careful not to put marketing before our real work which is painting. It is a delicate balance.

Balance Art and Marketing

Landscape Paintings

I think compromise between the two is essential for success. Frankly, I used to care a lot more about it than I do now. I needed to. Emerging artists must market to make a name for themselves. I suppose after you get to a certain stage in your career you may not need to work as hard to be known. I have given up some things which I used to do because my focus has shifted more toward painting. Moving toward self representation has changed my focus too. I don’t spend a lot of time anymore doing museum or gallery shows, though I still do a few each year. That took up a lot of my time. I’m not saying I’ll turn down opportunities that come my way, but I don’t invest a lot of time looking for them anymore.

Balance Art and Marketing

Another thing I have done is to really think about what I wish to accomplish and what my goals really are. I think that is one of the more important things to do at least every few years. What I wanted 10 years ago has little to do with what I want now. I thought about what I want right now and I want to sell enough work to pay my bills, do commissions because they are a challenging, stable source of income, and I want to paint.  Add to that a bit of teaching now and then  and research and I’m a happy camper.

Balance Art and Marketing

Twenty  years ago, I wanted to be a leader in the Florida plein air community, a well known painter with lots of gallery and museum affiliations and a long and impressive resume. Fame and glory were foremost in my mind. My hubris knew no bounds :>) I accomplished a lot of those goals but to what end? I can laugh at myself looking back. It never occurred to me that being a good painter and selling enough work to survive would be more important.

Balance Art and Marketing

Linda’s Bird Art

I direct my marketing toward the goals I have at different stages of my career. I don’t spend overmuch time in building my name brand or my resume now because it is not as relevant to my goals. My artist statement does not fit the proper formula because I want to tell people about me, my journey as an amateur naturalist and why I paint. It is written  as a mission with no artsy words, not cool, but I like to give my collectors an honest look at a real artist’s life. Basically I tend to break most of the marketing rules, but manage to survive in spite of it all.

Balance Art and Marketing

I think reading the books is important, especially for emerging painters. I just think a word of caution about going overboard is warranted. There is nothing more important than studying painting and putting the time into the work. Without that all the marketing in the world will not make you a true success. You may get away with it and fake your way to fame, but inside you will know you can’t paint.

If I have to choose between organizing files,keeping my inventory up to date or putting the time in at the easel, I have to choose the easel time. The rest will take care of itself. If my work gets better, people will notice. More people will buy it if it is good.

So,I think we have to set our priorities carefully,realistically and focus specifically toward our goals, in terms of time and financial investment. If we wish to be noticed then Internet exposure is vital and should have a priority. We need to use our mailing list effectively and we need to work within our budget.

Balance Art and Marketing

After that, we need to decide what is more vital, painting or marketing. If you have a studio full of work and no sales, then you must decide whether your work needs improvement or whether you need to spend more time marketing. If you have reasonable sales, keep improving your work to generate more.

We ignore marketing at our own peril, but we don’t need to be obsessive about it to succeed.

There is a danger in spending more of ones time doing press releases, and worrying more about nice stationary than painting. Many emerging painters hide behind doing all of the marketing activities to avoid painting because they are afraid to face the easel. They don’t want to do what it takes to improve. They don’t want to go through the tedious time of study in order to be a good painter. They would rather spend their time churning out poor work and focus on selling.

Balance Art and Marketing

Believe me, I am not at all anti-marketing. Those of you who know me realize that I have spent many years studying art marketing. What I am saying is pick the things that will do you the most good and let go of the small stuff, until you start having some success. Then you can add the small marketing chores as you have free time. None of us are super human.

More musings for artists and collectors to come……

Today’s Recipe:

Corn Pancakes

10 ears of corn
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup milk
Pinch salt
Corn oil, for sauteing
1/4 cup sour cream, for garnish

Remove kernels form husk of corn using a sharp knife. Puree in a blender. Mix in the sugar, milk, and salt. Heat griddle to medium heat, lightly coat with canola oil. Spoon mixture onto hot griddle to form “pancakes” of your desired size. Cook for 2 minutes on each side. Garnish with sour cream.

Business Fasting

business fasting

Business Fasting

Business Fasting Notes

Business fasting has become a nice way to save pennies here and there. I’ve read that a body is improved by fasting for 12 hours after the evening meal. I fast between 7:00 PM and 11:30 AM each day. I have gotten used to it. Who knows if it helps my body?

Linda’s Bird Art

. Business Fasting

This gave me the idea of business fasting. I fast from buying art supplies, studio supplies, advertising, studio parties, postage (except for shipping paintings), or studio maintenance for a month. I do this mostly in the summer months, when my party schedule is off, but now and then throughout the year. I’d say I’m business fasting for about 5 months per year.

 

The lowered costs are more significant than I realized. It is a great way to use up all of those weird colored paints that I seem to accumulate in boxes. I make brushes last longer by cleaning them more carefully, knowing I can’t buy that month. I use odd sized canvases that are in storage. It is amazing what seems to be useable when you can’t buy anything.

Business Fasting

Psychologically, it is useful because I feel thrifty and I have a few bucks to put into my emergency fund, which seems to be emptied out regularly. The ultimate goal would be to business fast for about 8 months a year, leaving myself four months of purchasing power for my entire year’s  studio function.

Monthly Make an Offer

I try to purchase supplies when they are on sale when I’m not fasting. I’ve just gotten started with this idea this year. So far I’m sticking to it. The hardest time is about the last week of a fasting month. I start to run out of paint colors, or canvas sizes I like, or ideas for marketing. I have to be patient and wait, always a good lesson.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe

Sweet and Sour Coctail

1 1/2 oz tequila
4 oz sour mix
1/2 oz triple sec
1/2 oz maraschino cherry juice
Maraschino cherries, optional for garnish

Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Add all ingredients (except cherry juice and garnish).

 

Shake well; strain into an ice-filled Collins glass.

 

Top with cherry juice. Garnish with cherries if desired.