Friday, October 12, 2012

Halloween is Approaching

             One of my best holidays is just about here. Do you have your costumes ready?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Celebrating Columbus Day

Today I took a walk over to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in celebration of Columbus Day. Boston has a neat habit of celebrating the occasion by opening it's doors to several of the the local Fenway Alliance members. This includes museums, art schools, and learning institutions.

I could not help watching one booth where Mom's and their little daughters were face painting and making magic wands. I was inspired by the moment amongst these family members and started some quick sketches based on this experience and some not related.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Illustration Friday's Illustration

Illustration Friday weekly theme for "Book"
I had some time and thought I would quickly do this week's theme for IllustrationFriday.
The work was created with pencil and sketch and finalized in Photoshop.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Selling Your Artwork Online

There are a number of ways artists can sell their artwork on the web. If you don't sell your images directly from your website you might consider having a link directly to one of these popular websites such as Cafepress, Etsy, and Imagekind. These websites make it easy for artists to display their work on a number of merchandise products and sell directly to customers. I currently have a link on my website that brings you directly to my galleries on Imagekind. It was very easy organizing my images and placing them within galleries for display. Here are some ideas to consider before you make your selling experience potentially successful.

I am not going to mention all the possible websites that you can sell your work on. I will mention just three I am familiar with. The first website is Cafepress. This is an online retailer of stock and user customized for on demand products. On this website users are able to upload their images and placed on merchandise products for sale. The second website to consider is Etsy. This commercial website focuses on handmade or vintage items as well as art and craft supplies. Members setup a display where their samples are displayed for sale. Imagekind is the third commercial website that prints and sells 2 -dimensional art forms artists can upload and display within "galleries". Shoppers can buy prints from their favorite artists collections. I joined this website because I found it easy to organize and place my images within galleries for sale. This article will offer ideas predominantly for selling artwork from Imagekind. All three of these websites sell artists work but differ in the arrangement and number of merchandise products. These websites also differ in how artwork is displayed on the websites. You should consider these issues before selecting a website for selling your work.

Before you place images on websites such as CafePressEtsy, and Imagekind you should consider how you will organize your images. Place only your best work for display. Images that stand out and represent professional quality. Some thought should be given as to how you will group your images in your gallery. Give each gallery a title that describes your group of images or theme. Visitors will appreciate your organizing skills and making their shopping experience enjoyable.

Search Engine Optimization should be on your mind when placing your artwork for shoppers to find on the web. I don't mean adjusting the size of the image for easy download but allowing Google, Yahoo, and MSN to easily find you. Using tags or words to describe your artwork is important. Imagekind uses the terminology of taxonomy to setup word descriptions so search engines can find your artwork. I find Imagekind features flexible and simple to use. This website has a series of boxes and submenus for you to fill out. You are allotted a limited number of tags to use. Artist should include detailed descriptions for each image because this will increase the chance that your image will be found by the search engines. Descriptions also give shoppers a way to identify more about who you are as an artist and let's shoppers understand more about your artwork. Imagekind likes it when you mention where the artwork was created, why it was created and what inspired the creation for each artwork. 

Artists should also consider writing a bio. This creates a sense of shoppers connecting with the artist and establishing a human side that shoppers can identify with. Shoppers enjoy connecting with artists who describe something about their personality. What inspired the creation of the image, where the artist lives and maybe the reason for the creation of the image. These are some ideas you should consider.

When your gallery of samples are setup your should start thinking about your marketing strategies. Imagekind provides a variety of tools artists can use. Some of these tools provided include your unique URL supplied by Imagekind. You should consider making this a text link placed on your website or blog. This is exactly what I have done placing a link on my website. When the link is selected you are taken directly to my Imagekind galleries.

Another strategy is placing customized Imagekind banners or buttons on your website. I prefer creating my own text link from my website rather than using advertising banners or buttons from other websites. I prefer to keep ads from other websites to a minimum or not at all on my website. 

Placing links on your blog is another possibility. I use my blog not just for relevant illustration articles but advertising new additions to my galleries on Imagekind. This adds another dimension to my blog.

There is so much networking going on and if you are part of this scene why not consider using FacebookTwitter and Myspace to promote your artwork. Look for new shoppers or fans who may be interested in your style of work.

Newsletters are another vehicle for keeping your clients up to date with your artwork. Imagekind occasionally offers promotional discounts. This is something where you can pass these special deals on to your friends, family and shoppers to take advantage of. 

Finally, being part of the artist community on Cafepress, Etsy and Imagekind allows artists to learn some of the tricks of the trade from other artists. Imagekind offers several ways for artists to connect, share and learn from each other. This goes without saying since artists should be aware of the benefits connecting with your art communities and sharing ideas. In the long run you become more effective reaching out and connecting with your shoppers.

I have mentioned three possible websites such as Cafepress, Etsy and Imagekind for artists to consider when branching out and distributing their artwork. You should explore these websites and discover what works for you. It has been said "There is little or no rewards for those who don't put in the effort". Feel free to explore and view how my galleries are setup on Imagekind.