Tuesday, August 12, 2008

To Blog Art or not to Blog Art

Recently one of my web design clients asked me if I'd visited DailyPainters.com. She said she'd heard many artists were successfully selling artwork using the site. I took a look. I was startled to find that artists were selling their original works for rather low prices, typically $75. to $150 per small painting. I've always been an advocate for artists finding the appropriate price point for their work without selling themselves short. Finding the right price for your work can be a daunting procedure and based on many factors both personal and commercial. But I realized if an artist approached the selling of their artwork pragmatically and with a little technical knowledge, a site like DailyPainters.com might work for them.

There are several things DailyPainters.com require from artists. First and foremost, you have to be comfortable with these price points and be able to produce work within the system they've set up. The next requirement would be a knowledge of how to photograph or hire someone one like Jay Daniel at Black Cat Studio in San Rafael to photograph their artwork. Then upload the digital files of their new work to the site and their own blog. The artist needs to maintain and update this blog. DailyPainters.com wants any sales be handled directly through each artist's blog. DailyPainters.com does not take a commission. Artists also must be able to produce paintings on a regular basis, have a collection of 60 paintings in their archive to begin, submit samples of work to the submissions jury and pay $29 a month to DailyPainters.com for marketing costs.

Blogs can be an effective marketing tool for the artist. When an artist posts recent artwork and shares their process in making it, it allows potential buyers an insight or rather a narrative that can be a key step toward making a sale. They see the work, get the story and have an accessible way to pay for it through Paypal or other online credit card services. It's easy for anyone to create and maintain their own blog. If you are thinking of doing this and are committed to maintaining one, I can consult with you on the process or set it up for you inexpensively.

Here are two of the most popular and a good place to start:
Blogger requires a Google account. It's free and makes it easy for the would-be blogger by offering an easy interface and a number of design templates to choose from.
Wordpress is popular, beautiful and easy to use and requires a (free) download to your computer.

My favorite blogs:
BoingBoing presents current culture in a humorous way.
ArtBackWash shows the commissions and art projects by illustrator and designer Von Glitchka.

Here's an interesting article at The Art Entrepreneur if you want to read more on this topic.