Thursday, July 31, 2008

Broadening my horizons

Bucket o' Duck
copyright Jeanette Jobson

This image was taken a couple of years ago when one of the Pekin ducks decided she wanted to get into a bucket of water, then got stuck. The photo op was too good to pass up before she was rescued. This will be the basis of a future drawing or painting. The image was placed in the Reference Library of WetCanvas, for members so if anyone wants to use it, please do. Or click on the photo here for a larger resolution image.

After some soul searching I have decided to bow out of doing tutorials for another art forum. They do take time to produce and while I enjoy the process, there isn't enough return for my efforts, so I am rethinking ways of using these tutorials.

While it doesn't all boil down to dollars and cents, let's be realistic, it is a large part of being an artist. So what do I want in return for sharing my knowledge?
  1. Exposure of my art to a wider viewing audience
  2. The opportunity to share information on techniques and mediums
  3. Potential sales of existing pieces
  4. Attracting potential students for drawing lessons
How can I achieve any of these objectives? Let's examine each a little more.

1. Exposure of my art to a wider viewing audience.
I had that to some degree, but the audience was limited to a fairly specific demographic of the population - complete beginners. To be able to reach a wider audience, I have to go outside of a specific framework or area and show multiple options, not just one section.

2. The opportunity to share information on techniques and mediums
I want to be able to reveal the 'secrets' of drawing and take the mystique out of it. Some artists hold it close to their chest as if mentoring others in drawing or painting will diminish their own spotlight. I want to be able to watch people learn and see them grow in ability. It really is interesting to watch the process of someone go from beginner to more advanced.

3.Potential sales of existing pieces
I have a room full of art pieces, some I sell from time to time, some sit collecting dust. They need to be out in the world, being viewed. Its the old saying revised "If an art piece isn't seen, does it exist?" Prints? Galleries? Online?

I think the majority of art sales are done either through word of mouth or through a gallery. I don't have the 15 - 20 pieces for a body of work to approach a gallery at this point, so I'm limited to marketing my work locally or to a broader audience in a virtual setting.

Prints have a limited market and need research before investing money in them. The same applies to greeting cards. These also require an investment of marketing time and dollars.

4. Attracting potential students for drawing lessons
This is a double edged sword, depending on how I approach it. I can do a form of online lessons and that frees up some of my time, with but my preference is to teach in real life. It may become a a bit of both.

Reviewing this information, it is starting to point me in the direction of a website. This has been in my plans for the last year or more, but I haven't acted on. I think it is time to do so. It can be a showcase for my art and a teaching tool as well. I will have to do more research into how I can work both into a good site.

It seems I have some work to do in terms of designing the site and considering what the content will be. Does anyone have any well designed artist websites that they recommend I can review and experiences, good and bad with creating your own website?


Michael said...

Interesting that would make this post right now. These are all exactly the same things that I have been struggling with and the reason that I created my art blog to begin with. I think a blog is important, but it is not the end all. I am planning on creating a website that will include a blog as part of it.

I have a very good friend that did SciFi Fantasy art for a long time. He is now illustrating childrens books. I have not talked to him in a long time, and his website has not been updated in an even longer time. But I am thinking of using the basic concepts and structure that he used for his.

He uses an online newsletter called Imprint for lessons and he has a community section that links to many useful places. Though some of the links are no longer good. I really need to contact him and see what is up with him.

Any way, his name is David Deen. Go to if you want to check it out.

Paulette said...

Hi Jeanette,
You're in a tourist area if I am not mistaken. I am surprised you are not selling art in a local shop.
I took a look at the website Michael pointed you to. It works real nice.

Jeanette said...

Things change and a blog doesn't provide enough. I see the blog as a day to day journal for experimenting with mediums and talking through processes. For the 'real' thing, it seems a website is important.

I had a quick look at David's site and it looks fine. His art is wonderful, very detailed. I'll browse around and see various designs before I make a decision on what I want.

Paulette, I do have work in stores locally, but as I don't do a lot of 'local scenes' its hard to hit the right target area for tourists. I refuse to draw to order just to sell things (at least right now :)) But like everything, it takes time to market and produce prints and working full time, its a challenge to fit it in. When I'm available, no one else is!

Paulette said...

Can't blame you for wanting to do your own thing.
Isn't that the way it goes with timing. When I have it they don't want it, when they want it I don't have it.:(
I am sure their is a right way to market your beautiful work, that will work well for you and your schedule. I commend you on keep looking for it.
I love the duck picture!

leslie said...

Lines and Colors has a great article titled "how not to display your artwork on the web".
Charlie Parkers blog is a trove of info.

Jeanette said...

Thanks Leslie, I'll have a look at that.

Jo Castillo said...

Jeannette, here are some other good sources for blog info

Look at a friend on the fineartstudio place, I think it is expensive, but she has done well with it. He sends out a good newsletter full of info. (free) is free for a web site and easy
Rose has a page there and several other of my online friends...

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Jeanette - take a look at the poll on my blog about where people are selling their art.

I think you ought to maybe think about setting up a selling blog. Websites are good but the sites which get traffic and ranking in Google are the blogs - and that's because they are dynamic and the info changes on a regular basis.

Whatever if you do - if you go for a website make sure that
a) it's dead easy to use
b) it's got some form of ecommerce facility