Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pen and Ink Drawing

Framed Pen & Ink drawing - Copyright 2008 Michael Warth

Hi all,

Many of you know I started my professional artist career focusing on pen and ink drawings. In particular, commissioned home portraits in pen and ink. I wanted to share one of my favorites completed during 2008 - a pen and ink home portrait commission for Ms Maria D. I have not lost interest in pen and ink - on the contrary, I love drawing in pen and ink. The problem is time. As you might imagine, they take a long time to complete and oils tend to fair better with the majority of art buyers.

I want to thank Maria D. and her sister for commissioning a pen and ink drawing of her Dad's house for Christmas. I really enjoyed doing the drawing.

Unframed Pen & Ink drawing - Copyright 2008 Michael Warth

I have mentioned this in earlier posts, but 2009 is going to be an exciting time for Michael Warth Studios. I plan to do more commissions and share them here on the blog. One area I'm really excited about is the dog portraits in oil that I am beginning an agressive marketing campaign on - more on that later.



Sunday, December 21, 2008

Art Marketing or Artist's Marketing?

Hi All,

I finally have some time to do the things that I've been putting off or have wanted to do for some time. One subject that always amazes me is marketing. To further complicate the subject I like to focus on art marketing. One area many would be famous artist seeks to 'market' themselves is the web. To be effective, a website must understand Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a buzz phrase for getting websites to the top of those search engine lists. There are many facets to making a site list at the top.

  • Content
  • Clever Keywords, Descriptions, and page title (AKA META TAGS)
  • Browser Friendly
  • Inbound / Outbound Links
  • And so much more
Online, offline, does it really make a big difference how an artist markets their work? I think artists should be effective marketers online but equally (or more) offline. If you are an artist, are you marketing your work, or are you simply an artist marketing? Before I get hatemail on this subject I just want to point out that as artists we have a responsibility to create. I am refering to those of us who produce to sell - if you paint because you want to, and you are simply painting for fun; there is no reason to market your art anyway. I'm not trying to be mean but this post is directed to sellers. Back to the responsibility to create thing...if we don't create we have nothing to sell. The following is a series of points I want you to think about;

  • Create to sell
  • Market the art (don't be an artist marketing)
  • Sell everything (art is only worth what someone will pay for it)
  • Repeat

Simply put, create art to sell because it pays the bills and keeps you learning as an artist. Market the art you create. Online and offline; just market your art and create a brand (you). Be sure not to be an artist marketing. To better understand what I am trying to say; just remember this, marketing your art should be about you and your art. If you are an artist marketing you may be missing the point, you may only be marketing the process of being an artist. Your would be clients are not want-to-be artists, they are patrons of the arts who want to buy your art (so market your art). Sell everything and at a price patrons are willing to pay for it. Sure, selling 50 - $20,000 paintings a year would be great but are your current patrons willing to pay that much? Finally, repeat. All I'm saying here is to get another blank canvas out and paint another one. Paint it, market it, sell it, and repeat - it is that simple folks.

One last thought here. When you are marketing your art, remember to market your name. Was Van Gough really that good? No, but his name makes the art worth something. The same goes for Rembrandt, Vermeer, Pollack, and Picasso. Online and offline, your marketing efforts should help you find patrons for your art - never forget that point. Find them, treat them well, keep them, and find more. Get to the front of the pack through SEO online, or becoming a recognized name in your offline market.