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Posted in Marketing Online on May 26, 2015
Yesterday I watched a film about the comic strip artists and how they are adapting to the new markets since the demise of most of the newspapers and hence the syndicate marketing that went with it. It was as they said a time like the previous generation of book illustrators who had to adapt and become comic strip artists in order to survive. I was struck by the parallels of the comic strip artist and the fine artist with the gallery system which is slowly modifying and evolving into something different and the rise of the era of the independent artist.
The search for what’s next is always on my mind as I have another 30 years as an artist if I’m lucky and I want to accomplish a number of things. How to go about doing that is the question, what is the best way to approach the marketplace for the fine artist….
The comic strip artist’s have done what many of fine artist’s have done, i.e. they’ve created websites and created a means of direct sales on these website. http://muttscomics.com/ They outlined their process in the film see the following:
1) comics put online for free building an audience and following by creating story lines for their work. Creating a story line is not new, since this is how comic strips have been since their inception. The thing which is new is that they an offering these for free, no syndication process which builds an audience. We’ve seen this also in the book market as well, where publishers offer entire chapters for free online thereby creating a market for the book and in music as well where on YouTube musicians offer parts of albums to create a market for the downloaded album.
2) Step 1 is designed to create a large readership for the things which people like about the strip. Some of these comics have developed millions of readers which of course is a wonderful way to get the word out. In old marketing one use to say each person knows 5 people. So if you have 2000 readers x 5 you are actually reaching 10,000 readers. In old marketing you where you had a brick and mortar show you had the numbers of 1 in 20 would result in some sort of sale. I suspect that the numbers are not the same in online marketing. I generally go by the quality of the number, those people who view a site for more than 5 mins or see more than 6 pages are truly interested art lovers 1 in 20 of that type of viewer is your real market. Art is like eating a fine meal, it requires some time to savor so anyone who looks at a page for 20 seconds just isn’t getting it…
3) Monetize you site. The comic strip artist is selling books, prints, t-shirts etc… while fine artist’s can not do all of these things they can sell original art through the site by simply making a contact work on the site, ie email me if you have a question , you can sell prints, books, and instructional DVDs . The principle is the same.
4) Once the website is large enough you can advertise i.e. sell advertising space on the site if you want which is another means of making income.
5) They also said cut out the middle men. While I wouldn’t recommend this 100% for the fine artist, I do believe that in the present marketplace it is possible to be independent and work a show schedule as well without harming either. Actually I believe and have always thought so, that it should boost the market of both and thereby increase the health of the marketplace for the fine arts. Art is like fine wine it actually becomes richer with exposure, repeated exposure. I’ve always said that art isn’t like selling Bread there is NO sell by date.
Posted in Auction Notices on April 21, 2015
As part of my new site I’m trying out a new Auction format. Looking to move and build a larger two-story studio for the next 30 years of work and would like to sell as much as possible before I move. To this end I’m also working through some inventory with a new idea that benefits both the collector and the artist i.e. auctions. I’ve never liked the auction layout at eBay, never thought it showed the work off, and I’m not much of a fan of the auctioneer set up either… picky picky, which is highly risky for both the artist and collector because so little time is allowed for people to see the artwork and hyped atmosphere of the auction transpires over a period of less than a couple of minutes. I did like the silent auction that I saw used at the Artist of America Shows at the Denver Art Museum when I participated in that. This is what I decided to do, allow collectors to bid on a work, over a period of two weeks giving the collector time to look at the work think about the selection and ask the artist questions. See my new auction pages starting here: http://gallery.deborahchapin.com/silent-auction-page/ It is more conducive to selling art. I will be putting up paintings and announcing the auction the third Tuesday of each month and you’ll be able to sign onto the site and bid on the work the first through the 15th of each month going forward. The first Auction begins May 1st and ends May 15th starting with 3 pieces listed. If you have any questions feel free contacting me for information. This gives people a chance to buy art pieces some of which have never been exhibited and to shop my studio in the comfort of their own home. The choice of the artwork is up to the artist, although if you are interested in something in particular I’ll take suggestions. Contact the Artist
* to subscribe to auction go to http://gallery.deborahchapin.com/wp-login.php?action=register to Register. Enter a username (which may be anonymous and an email address) you will be invoiced should you have the winning bid. You will have the option of paying by Paypal or by personal check on an US bank. See the Silent Auction Page for more details.