3 Great Local Networking Ideas for Artists {Plus A Common Mistake You MUST Avoid}

Guest writer Edward Stuart has some useful ideas to help artists market their work locally. 

Let’s talk about how to sell your work.

While we definitely want to encourage people to market themselves over the web and build networks that take advantage of its global nature, the advent of long-distance internet marketing has left many of the newer, non-established entrants into the art world behind. That is not, of course, because younger artists don’t know how to work on the internet, quite the contrary, rather it’s because they’ve left behind and forgotten traditional, yet very effective, marketing methods that secure a more steady (though generally drearier) income locally. Local, in-person communication is vital for building a steady flow of commissions.

Let’s take a look at a few important strategies…

For Graphic Designers: The Phone Book

No, you’re not going to try your hand at telemarketing. Go into the Yellow Pages and find your local screen printing and embroidery shops. Call them up and ask them if they’d be willing to refer clients in need of an artist to you in exchange for a referral fee. These people talk to small business owners, school clubs, and private people in need of graphic design work every single day.

Ideally you’ll get the shops to display some of your best portfolio pieces to inspire their customers to make use of you. Once you’re working with someone on a t-shirt design you have a foot in the door and can work with them to redesign their logo, website, or other tasks in your realm of expertise like designing fliers for their marketing efforts.

For Fine Artists: Cafes and Bars

If your expertise lies more in the fine-art realm you’ll need to get your art out in front of an audience, and preferably in a setting in which they’re inclined to spend money. Conveniently supporting local businesses and artists is a surging trend all over the country, meaning that bars and cafes in your area are most likely looking for good local artwork to put on their walls as cheaply as possible.

Simply call them up and offer to hang your work on their walls (with price tags!). If a patron wants to buy a piece they can pay the business and the business pays you. To generate more interest you can also visit the various establishments regularly, make friends with the regulars, and sketch out concepts in full view of the other patrons. The crowd you’ll automatically draw (heh, get it?) will help to generate interest, and any friends you make will enthusiastically point out that they know the artist who drew that thing on the wall over there to everyone else that comes in.

For Illustrators: The Local Writing Community

What if you’re an illustrator? Your art isn’t fancy enough to hang on the wall, and you don’t go around designing logos or webpages. Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Think about all the people who’ve ever told you that they’re “writing a novel”, “writing a children’s book”, or “writing a screen play”. There are many more people who are going to attempt to get their written work published (or will self-publish!) than there are good artists to make quality illustrations for their work. Obviously not everyone needs, wants, or can afford illustrations, but if you can find where writers hang out you’ll inevitably find work.

Get on the internet, and instead of just checking how your own social media marketing is going, go and spend some time googling for writing clubs in your area. Contact their members, attend their meetings, make friends with them, and show them why you looked them up.

IMPORTANT  – Don’t make this common mistake ~ When working with individuals rather than businesses remember not to work for free. It’s easy to slip into idealism when an aspiring writer promises you a cut of future profits, but at the end of the day their work is not guaranteed to succeed, and you’ll have put the work in for pure idealism’s sake, which won’t put food on your table.

Edward Stuart is an art and decoration enthusiast as well as an online publisher for Canvas Art. He frequently blogs on the topics of art, art history, design, and home decor.

 

 

Image courtesy of Tack-O-Rama

Toxic Friends – Self Confidence & The Artist

Artonomy reader Paul Stratton shares his artistic journey and some of the hard life lessons he has learned along the way…

Or – How the wrong friends can be so bad for you!

I’d always liked art and enjoyed creating it. When I was at school I was confident enough to think that I would get a good grade and was told that I would. I figured I’d move on to Art College and hopefully a career. Even though we’d had four different teachers in four years, when the last one ran through the list of things we should have done (and hadn’t) I was still expecting good things. At that point I was young and surrounded by people giving me words of encouragement and support. I thought I could pretty much do what I wanted and that meant making a career from art. I was very positive and looking forward to the future.

The horrible surprise…

So it came as a great and horrible surprise that I didn’t pass. I went into a kind of shock and just stopped doing art. My confidence was gone. Someone, somewhere, who carried a great deal of weight, had decided they didn’t agree with everyone else. I never knew why or where I’d gone wrong. I may have had the support but I didn’t have the experience and because other areas of my life weren’t so good I felt that my one chance had gone. I stopped listening to the sage advice from people telling me it was just a hic-up, that I could get back on my feet and try again and all the other supportive stuff they were saying. It seemed very black and white to my inexperienced eyes.

The re-awakening…

Roll on twenty years or so and I happened upon an architects shop in France. It showed some of his stuff and it was amazing. And I realised the interest was still there and so was the desire. But my situation was different and those supportive people I’d been surrounded with had moved on or moved away. The people I was with at the time were not the same and there was one friend in particular who taught me just how bad it can be if you are surrounded by the wrong kind of people. In fact he taught me so many lessons at once I wonder sometimes if things really do happen for a reason.

The Toxic Friend…

It turned out that this chap had tried to sell his art before. When I first saw his work (he’d hung some of his originals on the walls of his flat) I thought he was good but after he told me just how good he really was I thought he was fantastic. I wasn’t sure about some things but, because he was so good, I figured it must be that I wasn’t as good as him. I hadn’t learned enough or got it right. He told me that he had made some prints (a massive amount – 500 I think, A1 or A2 size) and had sold around 3. He went on to say that there was no point even trying because if he hadn’t sold any of his there was no way I was going to sell any of mine. At various points he would tell me how things should be drawn or what everyone expected when they looked at other people’s work. I can’t remember how long I lived under this guy’s shadow thinking there was no hope for someone as inferior as me and I never realised until now how much damage was being done. Not just by him but by me for allowing him to do it. (Then again, I was suffering from Depression very badly by this point)

The Valuable Lesson…

I learned many things from this. Firstly, that if you have absolute confidence that what you do is good, you can convince other people of that too. You can almost sweep them along in your enthusiasm. Even if you have doubts like I did about some his work, you can end up thinking that if someone is so good, those doubts must be misplaced. If this chap’s confidence hadn’t gone further into arrogance who knows where he and his art would be today? I’m not saying that you should convince people that you are good (that’s up to them to decide) but what it shows me is that if you have confidence in yourself you can achieve so much. Art’s subjective. Some will like it and some won’t but if you have confidence in yourself you won’t care about those who don’t. And you won’t give up either.

It also shows me that you have to have patience. You can’t give up at the first obstacle like my friend did or I did and you can’t expect things to always go right for you first time. I don’t think that’s the same as not believing in yourself but more in trusting that things will work out. That you may need to pick yourself up off the floor as few times as you go. That it’s ok to fail and then succeed.

Thirdly, it’s not for other people to tell you if you are going to succeed or not. Not only do they not know the future but they are not you. They failed. It doesn’t mean you will. It does mean they didn’t have the patience or work ethic but not that you don’t.

Lastly, it showed me that when your heads not in a good place or if you are very trusting of people (as artists often are) then their words and thoughts can have a massive effect on you. I believed this guy because he was very confident in himself and his work, I was very unconfident in myself and mine and because he was a friend I trusted his opinion. But he (and the majority of people who I thought were ‘real’ friends at the time) never offered any real encouragement or support. Just told me it wouldn’t work or wasn’t good enough and that became my perception regarding art until about 2 years ago. The thing was I never even realised that until I was shown. So not only is having the wrong people around you going to keep you down and view your future negatively but these thoughts become a pattern that you can end up taking with you without even realising it.

The support and encouragement given to me when I failed to pass my O-level must have sunk in. Without it I would have totally given up as a kid and definitely when my friend tried to tell me I wasn’t good enough. If you are unlucky enough to have been surrounded by people who put you down because it didn’t work for them or who never offer you any kind of support then it can only be bad for you. If you can offer support and encouragement to someone else then it might make a world of difference to them. It is difficult accepting that people you may have known for a long time and regard as friends are actually bad for you. It may take a lot of soul searching and effort to admit that it’s true and if you are like me, there’s a lot of resistance before the penny drops. It is also very difficult to ‘un-believe’ something you’ve been believing in for a long time.

In the end, I let go of the people who were bad for me. While it was very tough at the time it’s actually one of the best things I’ve done. The effects of those templates are still there, such as the perfectionism, but they are so much smaller than they were and getting smaller all the time. I know one day soon they’ll be gone. It takes time to re-program your head and to believe that things that have been so negative can be so positive. And it’s hard to make some decisions even if you know they are the right ones but it’s worth it. Things also come easier to some people than others but if any of the above sounds like stuff you are going through then take heart that things can change and it doesn’t matter if it takes a while because it’s the result that counts. Best of luck!

 

Paul Stratton is an artist who specialises in Art, Illustration, Scenery and Model Design. You can view his online portfolio here:

If you would like to share your experience of your artistic journey with our readers please get in contact with an outline of your guest post…

Image courtesy of Tack-O-Rama

 

Reader’s Showcase | Nadees Prabou | Stunning Colours of India

Watercolour artist Nadees Prabou lives in Pondicherry India, where he captures the beautiful drama and colour of Indian Street life…

“My work represent the daily life activities of the people on the way in my life.

Mostly I captured the changing monsoon whether its summer or winter or heavy rainy in the busy streets of India. It’s beautiful.”

 

nadees prabou

Visit Nadees’s website nadeeswatercolours.blogspot.com for many more images of his beautiful and stunning work.

The Silent Beauty of Business Cards For Artists

Guest blogger Agnese Aljena writes about the power of business cards and how they work for her in promoting her beautiful photographic work.

A Business card is a simple but very powerful tool if used wisely. You can call it a “visit” or “personal” card if you don’t like “business”.

Historically visiting cards were used to announce an arrival of an aristocratic or wealthy person. Now the status for business card is much lower but still – you and your profession are taken more seriously if you announce it by printed card. As in the 17th century, a business card is still part of your first impression. Especially if your card arrives first and you as a person just follow it. So, it is an important attribute in your image building.

Here are some tips and angles you can use when thinking about your business cards.

Representation of your brand.

A business card is an essential part of your brand and should be designed according to your overall branding strategy. A business card is like summary of your brand, personality, professional and artistic abilities. It means that before you can design a powerful card your personal brand should be in place.

Information.

Your business card’s main mission is to give information in a handy way. Usually it is name, profession, your home page, email, phone, maybe postal address. Now QR codes have become quite popular for faster information flow.

I use the other side of business cards for my portfolio presentation. In my card set I have about 20 different designs with pictures of my portfolio (and that is not as costly as might sound). Whenever I am ready to give a card, I hand a bunch of them so the other person can choose which one he or she likes. Usually it turns into emotional and lively part of otherwise maybe quite businesslike conversation. People like to choose, and, what is more important, they are watching my portfolio without pressure and we both are happy about it. Sometimes they involve people around and often I find myself giving away my cards even if I wasn’t intended to.

Accessibility.

Every piece of information in your business card should mean that you are accessible via given channel. Even if I have a skype name, I prefer not to put it on my cards since I don’t log in to skype every morning. I just have different habits. That is also a reason why people don’t put postal address – we are moving much more than several decades ago and we don’t send letters to postal address any more (although it is nice and romantic). It also means that your home page should be up and running and should be as an extended version of business card – giving more and deeper up-to-date information.

Design.

Since your business card is an essence of your brand, you should use your brand elements – both design and emotion-wise. You can use different size, emboss logo or your name, use scent, add some other dimension if you wish. Just be sure that it fits within standard business card holder – otherwise your card will be lost. Or you can stick to classics – black letters on white background – just as you feel your personality requires.

 

I am using smaller size cards (half of normal business cards) to encourage people to take more different designs. Psychologically smaller cards mean “I am not causing big financial loss if I take two or three”. When giving my cards to choose I try to carry with me quite a lot – to give an impression it is not the last one. I use also postcard size cards when I want to impress somebody (like when visiting corporate customers) and to send a hidden message “I am expensive – look, I can afford big business cards”. In those cases I give them together with small cards anyway – to fit into business card holder.

Usage

is the most important element in business card philosophy. When you have your cards and you are proud about them (and you should be), use them. It is not only when introducing yourself to others. I use them also every time I give away my finished work. I include several in packaging and there has been countless times when people are calling me and start conversation with a phrase – my friend gave me your business card… Those are real buyers. And it is much easier to give to somebody a business card not to spell your name and number. The secret here is also the design – it should be so attractive that people just don’t dare to throw them away as soon as open the package.

Another simple tip is – take your business cards with you. There have been so many times I have missed them. And that might be a missed opportunity to establish a good contact.

If you are a Rennaisance (wo)man with several occupations, print a card for each and every of them. Then opening a card wallet, you can silently sort them out and even without speaking send a message that you have other interesting angles of your personality. Of course, if you feel like cross-selling is a good idea. I use this strategy because every time I use my PhD story it raises my price as an artist – I choose to be an artist, not in academia where I could earn good money as well.

People may not always translate these messages into words, but they definitely receive them. In most cases strategy of many different cards encourages healthy and natural discussion. I even have cards with my kids – just in case being mom of two ginger girls is the angle I might find myself in conversation.

So far I can say – business cards has been one of the most powerful tools in my word-of-mouth marketing. It is a nice silent (and visual artists love to live without words) way of sending a clear message and good card is a beginning of natural friendly and human conversation that some day might lead to selling your art.

 

Agnese AljenaAgnese Aljena is children fashion and lifestyle photographer, business blog for artists owner and on her way to PhD in business models for fine arts.



Exercise for the Artist’s Mind, Body and Soul

Guest writer Kate Marillat shares some great tips to tune up your body and mind and keep creativity flowing…

We know that when we are in the flow, our creativity streams out, it’s easy, it’s joyful. We love it. But if we are feeling stuck, blocked or it’s simply not coming naturally, here are some great techniques to get your mind, body and soul back into flow.

Tune up the Body

If you are sitting in front of the computer writing magnificent prose or sketching out a future project, you may be cramping your spine which needs to be stretched out.

So STRRRRREEEETTTCCCCHHHHH. Set an alarm on your desk for every hour (or two if that seems impossible to start with) and stand up. Reach up for the ceiling and roll down to the floor. Do the same on tiptoes. Tune into your breathing and count in for six, out for six. Do this for three rounds of breath.

You can find lots of quick videos on You Tube to inspire you like this simple 3 minute neck stretch.

If stretching appeals to you, hunt down a local yoga class that you could slot into your day. Do you always take a lunch break? Most artists don’t, but can you negotiate with your inner critic that a yoga class IS a lunch break and exercise all in one.

Cycling is also another way to clear out the cobwebs. A twenty minute cycle around the park will pump the endorphins around your body. It also gets you out the house, connect with nature and give your body a work out. If cycling feels like too big a stretch or you live in a hilly area, think about an electric bike. They take the effort out of cycling, are cheaper to run than a car and good for the environment as well as your body.

Mind-full-ness

We are full of ideas, bursting with them and constantly downloading into our cognitive hard-drives. Twin this creativity with the pressures of modern life and our mind are buzzing most of the time. When your mind is full, it’s harder to focus on the project in hand. Two therapies which are brilliant at helping artists clear their minds are Meditation and Emotional Freedom Technique.

Practising mind-full-ness or meditation is easy. You don’t need to be a Tibetan monk sitting for hours on mountainside – simply take a minute to relax, quiet the mind and find the stillness inside.

Take just a minute www.just-a-minute.org is a great website with over 40 minute guided mediations to help you simply stop and breathe. There are hundreds of meditation resources available on You Tube, or www.freebuddhistaudio.com and www.jetcityorange.com.  Try them out and see what makes you relax and feel good.

Emotional Freedom Technique is a simple way you can move the energy in your body. Essentially you tap on acupressure points whilst verbally stating how you feel. The kinetic energy sends a signal to your amagdyla (the part of your brain that controls the flight or fight response) which relaxes you and enables you get back into flow, that joyful creative place. If you’d like to know more then download the free “getting started” guide from EFT Universe.

Getting Soulful

Artists more than any other group understand the concept of the soul. That inner essence that drives us to create, that our purpose is to nourish the world with our words, music and art. Our souls need to be fed delicious morsels and as Julia Cameron suggests in her brilliant book “The Artist’s Way” we must make time to have artist dates with ourselves.

This month go to something completely out of your usual social repertoire. Find a debating club, a magic show, a modern Buddhist temple, or a tourist attraction that you loved as a kid. Taking ourselves out of the familiar surroundings just for art’s sake will challenging your senses, feed your soul a banquet and seep into your personal well of inspiration.

Our mind, body and soul work together in a beautiful eco-system that creates your uniqueness and in turn your art. Don’t neglect any of these components…Is it time you tuned up? What could you do differently this month?

Kate Marillat is a freelance writer passionate about ethical communication. Connect with her on twitter at @ethicalbizkate

http://bethewriteryoudreamofbeing.com

Image credit – Stretch by Les Howard

 

 

Selling Art Online with Instagram {5 top tips + more}

Over the last few months you have probably noticed more and more images being shared across Facebook and other social networks. These photos often have an arty quality to them and retro style image frames around them. These images are originating from the smartphone app Instagram.

Instagram is an app that you use on your iPhone, iPad or Android based device. It allows you to shoot a photo and then process it in app to add a variety of filters and frames. However, the magic is then that Instagram allows you to share that photo across a variety of social media sites with one click of the button.

Like all social media sites or apps, Instagram has it’s fair share of brain sucking rubbish to wade through. This is mostly comprised of young girls taking photos of their hair and what they are eating [usually cupcakes].  However, used carefully and intelligently, the visual nature of Instagram is brilliant for artists. Its a great way of showing your work to the world and finding new fans for what you do.

One of the great things about Instagram is that it allows you to publish your images to other social media sites too therefore making your life easier in one fell swoop. Whenever you post an image you can also share it with Tumblr, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and via Email. One good picture of your work can go a long way with very little effort {always good where time sucking social media is concerned}

So how can Instagram help you grow your work, brand and visibility as an artist? Where do you start? I have put together a 5 tips below to help you get to grips with ways to use Instagram to help you sell art online…

 

1 What images should I post on Instagram?

Use Instagram to introduce people to your work. Therefore show them what you do, photographing your work and process, tools you use, places you visit, inspiration and things you like. Aim to use the app to give people a little glimpse into your art, ideas and life as an artist.

2 Keep it local

I have found the best success by using Instagram to find potential local fans and customers. By using this method I have developed a new relationship with a lovely local art gallery and found several new local customers for my work with very little effort.

My method is to search within the app for the hashtag of my local town {ie #London, #NewYork or wherever you live} Then comment on images by local people and start up a conversation. In this way I have grown my followers and made some great local connections who now see my work every time they check Instagram. If I were to hold an exhibition or local event I could easily use Instagram to help with publicity towards it. I intend to do this in the future.

It’s also a great idea to search for and follow local artists too to bring you local connections and networking opportunities that can help grow your work.

3 The secret is in the hashtags.

Post a picture alone onto Instagram and chances are you wont get much attention. However, the secret is to tag your picture correctly with the right hashtags. That way, people searching for the subject of your image can find your work.

So, for example, if you paint watercolour landscapes of New England you may want to use the hashtags #landscapepainting #NewEngland #watercolour #art #drawing or similar. A little bit of research using the hashtag search facility in the app will help you know which hashtags to use. Hashtags are definitely the key when it comes to using Instagram well and you can add many different ones to each image.

4 Can I sell my art directly through Instagram?

Instagram does not have a way to allow you to sell art directly through the app. I see it more as a way of creating or finding an audience for your work and spreading the word about what you do, leading people back to your main site or shop. However, I have seen popular artists with many followers release images of work for sale on Instagram along with a direct paypal address for payment and sell out their editions so it can definitely be done.

5 Can I use Instagram to promote my shop or sale?

Once you have an audience on Instagram you can promote items on your website or shop site. You can’t create a direct link in Instagram but I have seen people use an image very successfully to flag up sales and promotions on their site or Etsy shop. Simply prepare a nice image with the relevant information and then post to Instagram.

You can use apps like PhotoCollage, InstaCollage, PicFrame and InstaEffects or similar to create a nice promotional image for your sale.

 

But don’t Instagram want to steal all my images?

Instagram has recently come in for a lot of criticism for rewriting its terms and conditions in a way which gave them far too much legal access to users images, being able to use them for advertising. Users left in droves and the repercussions echoed around the social media sphere. Instagram was forced to look again into it’s policies and back down somewhat.

However, as with all Social Media sites it’s well to treat it with some caution as you never know what direction they will take in the future. Don’t post any clear images of work you want to fully control. Teaser images only.

 

Instagram Do’s and Dont’s

DO

  • Watermark your image – PhotoMarkr is just one app which can do this. Watermark with your website address so that wherever your image ends up people can find out who you are.
  • Follow artists you love. Then any time you log on to Instagram you have a ready stream of inspiration to look at.
  • Make every image count – don’t just post photos of cups of coffee and your new hairstyle. Post only one or two really great images a day. Quality over quantity definitely works on Instagram.
  • Link Instagram to your Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr accounts and use it to feed them with content. You don’t even need to spend any time on them. It’s a good way to get your work seen.
  • As always, try and lead people back to your main website with an offer or other enticement. Try and get them to sign up to your mailing list.

DON’T

  • Post easily steal-able nice straight on usable images of your work. Instagram images seem particularly prone to being ripped off by unscrupulous copyright ignoring trolls. Therefore, use Instagram images as a “tease” to interest people in your work. Post photos of your work shot at a strange angle, a small part of the whole image, or blur out some of the image {you can do this in the Instagram app} The idea is to lead people back to your main content elsewhere and raise your profile.
  • Release any image that you want to keep control over. Instagram images have a life of their own. Once you have set them free you have to just let them go.

 

So give Instagram a go. Its fun, inspirational [if you follow the right people] and doesn’t take up much time. Post your instagram profile address below so we can all look at your photos. Happy snapping.

 

Seasons Greetings – Peace Be With You

Christmas is nearly upon us and I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has visited, read and contributed to Artonomy over the past year.

Sometimes it is hard to find the true spirit of Christmas. Recent tragic events in America have made it difficult to see through negativity to a place of peace, love and hope. The commerciality of Christmas can seem like a shallow façade at times like this.

But my Christmas wish for you all is that you manage to find and capture a little of the magical true spirit of Christmas this year. The love and peace we can find if we look hard enough beyond the glitz. It is still there…

Wishing you a beautiful, magical and peaceful Christmas wherever you are…

Image from The Earth Story

The Circle of Life – Mandala Wisdom For Artists

I have recently discovered the beauty and mystery of Mandalas and become just a little bit obsessed with them {as is my way}.

A mandala is a concentric pattern which has spiritual and ritual significance in Buddhism and Hinduism. These beautiful images are meditative and restful to contemplate and are used as a way to enter deeper levels of the unconscious. They can appear in a dazzlingly wide array of forms and you may find them painted on silk, created out of sand by Buddhist monks with infinite patience and even tattooed on skin in delicate dotwork.

Tibetan monks making a temporary “Sand-Mandala”

The circle of the seasons

Maṇḍala (मण्डल) is a Sanskrit word meaning “circle.” and mandalas symbolize the circle of life.

As winter draws in and the nights become darker I find this a particularly relevant and comforting thing to contemplate. Everything is cyclical in life. Winter will come with it’s cold and darkness but we know that somewhere along the line, Spring will come around with it’s new shoots of growth and warmth and light. In fact, when I dashed through the garden yesterday in a rush to get indoors out of the freezing rain, I noticed the green tips of bulbs starting to poke through the soil already with their promise of warmer lighter days ahead. There are always signs that a change is coming if you look hard enough.

Thomas Hooper - Decalomania

Thomas Hooper – Decalomania Mandala Study 2

The circle of being

This is heartening to realise if you are going through a period of difficulty, albeit financial, personal or in your work. When things are difficult in life I like to remind myself of the ancient Eastern proverb “This too shall pass” meaning that all life is cyclical and all material conditions, positive or negative are transitory. It may be bad now but as with the seasons, change is coming if you look for it.

The circle of creativity

As with all things, creativity has it’s cycles too. In her book  The Artist’s Way Julia Cameron talks about working with the cycles of creative energy that ebb and flow through your life.

You may go through a period when your creative energy is low and blocked. When nothing much gets created and you aren’t happy with the things you do do. However, if you keep the faith that creativity is cyclical you can ride these rough patches with confidence, safe in the knowledge that your creative life force will gain strength again and you will enter another period of energy.

You just need to keep the faith that it WILL come around again and not panic when you are in a low period.

Or to put it in a much less spiritual and much more bluff way – in the down to earth words of Winston Churchill.

“If you are going through hell – keep going.”

Are you aware of the cycles in your life and creativity? How do you ride out the storms and troughs? Share with us in the comments.
Images - Buddhist Monks by HenryArt Mandala Image by Kosigrim

Reader’s Showcase | Casper Johansson | Rubber Stamp Artwork

Untitled

 

I am a full time artist from Sweden working in Burma since 2007. My works are all made in ink using rubber stamps. A technique that I have been working with for 2 years.

A vandal had written ´Destroy Power, Not People´ on the electric transmission building. In 1988 or -89, when my perception of power was limited to a source of energy I went home from school and started to scribble down my first piece on paper, attaching a yellow circle with the symbol of radioactive radiation. The style of the letters had already been introduced from the stickers inside Danish bubblegum packages. Two decades later, the power remains but my interpretation has changed, so has the style, today I use it as confrontation which intends to open up dialogue, a dyslexic language targeting the alleged veracity using unpressured paint as the core in my artistic expression.

Nutritionfact Kryptonite 2012

 

Contradictions, pronounced colouring and sharp outlines, using the urban landscape as a point of departure I want my art to stir up questions with the audience. The range of colours, shapes and style are rooted in graffiti which blends with everyday testimonies of feelings, beliefs and experiences. The result is a visual debate, a sphere between private and public, assumed truth and the untold, processed and enCAPsulated in the magnetism of art.

Because I am worth it

 

As art is a necessity and a common good, whether legal or illegal, my work is not strictly limited to canvas bounded by defined frames for an advantaged audience. Consequently your investment is my playground and I’m coming live in 5, 4, 3, 2…….

See more of Cap’s intriguing work on his site – http://capism.se or follow him on Twitter @duelling_banjos

 

Did You Know Facebook Is Hiding Your Posts? Important – What You Need To Know About Promoted Posts

Facebook has become an important part of social media promotion for artists over the past few years. Many artists have come to rely on Facebook for the majority of their promotion, using it as their main web presence. However, big changes at Facebook recently will impact on the usefulness of Facebook for your art business now and into the future.

The worrying thing is that these changes have been introduced “under the radar” and so many artists will not be aware that anything is amiss. This is a quick overview post to explain what is going on and to offer some suggestions.

What is happening?

Over the past few months, the amount of people a Facebook post will reach has been being “turned down”. Messages are now seen by a smaller proportion of your Facebook page fans. According to various sources, messages now only reach around 15-20% of people who signed up to your Facebook page. But coincidentally, Facebook have a solution to help you reach those fans…

Head of advertising at Facebook, Gokul Rajaram, explains:

“Organically, you get anywhere from 15 percent to 20 percent of your fans, that you reach organically. In order to reach the remaining 80 to 85 percent, sponsoring posts is important.” 

So, if you want to reach all the people who signed up to your page, as you did previously, you now need to pay Facebook to promote the post or the large majority of your fans will never see it.

Or as Richard Metzger writing on the Dangerous Minds blog puts it…

“In other words, through “Sponsored Stories,” brands, agencies and artists are now charged to reach their own fans—the whole reason for having a page—because those pages have suddenly stopped working.”

What are Sponsored Stories?

If you run a Facebook page you may have started to notice a little drop down “promote” menu appearing under some stories you post. Basically if you want to promote the post to be seen by everyone you are charged a fee depending on how many fans you have. This can vary between around $7 to $200 for a large fan base. This is PER POST so if you post a few times a day it will soon add up.

Why are Facebook doing this?

Facebook have hit hard times recently. After their much trumpeted launch on the stock market, shares plummeted in value as people began to realise that Facebook, for all it’s billions of users is hard to monetize. It’s advertising platform doesn’t work as well as Google ads because people primarily aren’t on Facebook to search for things to buy. Therefore Facebook now has to come up with a new way to make money and this is made all the more urgent by the fact that it now has a panicky set of shareholders at it’s back demanding it make them some money and fast! It has to work out new ways to make that money and it’s biggest commodity is YOU…

What does this mean for me and the future?

I think that the fact that Facebook has now changed it’s direction away from an advertising based monetizing model and turned its focus on ways to get money from it’s users is a significant development and sea change. We have all come to rely on Facebook as a FREE platform but it probably isn’t going to stay that way, at least for business users.  There may be other ways that Facebook will be able to charge for full access in the future. Its fair enough that Facebook should want to charge for their services but as artists we often dont have the money to pay what they demand.

What should I do?

I think this is a definite warning sign to reduce your dependency on Facebook.

If you read these posts below you will know that I advocate having your own website.

10 Crucial Reasons why every artist needs their own hub website

The Best Website to Sell Art Online – The Truth

That way YOU are in control and no one can suddenly start to charge you for reaching the fans you spent your own time collecting. If you own your own domain name and website you are in control.

The steps you need to take in the future

We all love using Facebook for keeping up with our friends and you can still use it but it pays to have a plan B “just in case” for your art business. I think that Facebook’s recent changes mean that it is time to ensure that you are not left being solely reliant on Facebook for promoting your work. That way you are not left in a situation where you are forced to pay and have more control over how you interact with the people who like your art.

These steps will help you regain some control.

Step 1

{nb – this workaround may not be the best solution – see comments below. If anyone knows of a good way around this please add to comments – thanks}

Alert your fans to the issue and help them to see more of your posts. Ask them to do the following.

  • Go to your page.
  • Hover your mouse over where it says “LIKED” and click on “ADD TO INTERESTS LISTS”
  • This will help your fans to be alerted to more of your posts without you having to pay to promote them.

 Step 2

Move away from Facebook as your main promotional platform. Still use it but just don’t be solely reliant on it.

Have you paid Facebook to promote your work via a sponsored post? Would you do so? What do you think of these changes? Share with us in the comments.

 

External sources

Facebook – I want my friends back – Dangerous Minds

Broken on Purpose: Why Getting It Wrong Pays More Than Getting It Right – New York Observer

Facebook: Pay to promote your posts for garage sales, parties – CNET