September 26th, 2016
A simple proposition: purchase your own artwork to improve your search ranking.
Create a buyer's account on PIXELS / FAA, or just make a buy as a guest, and purchase what you feel should be your best selling art piece. Keep it simple, try not to spend more than $30. The profits come back to you, no loss.
Ship it to a friend or relative as a gift.
The artwork should get a bump in the search results. It may not be a great big bump, but chances are, it will leap up quite a bit.
Do it again in a few weeks to a month with a different buyer's account, purchasing the same art piece, and ship it to a different address again. Now you will see some serious climb in the search rankings, because this piece of art is starting to move.
If possible, do it a third time, and chances are, if you aren't already there, you will make it to page one of the search for your specific keyworded and well titled artwork.
What you have done, is paid to be found at the forefront of the search results.
Seems like a pretty good allocation of your marketing budget to me.
September 26th, 2016
There is some solid advice out there on how to sell your artwork, and a lot of books on how to market your business. There is no shortage of online courses you can take, and blogs you can read that all claim to have the keys to your success. You can even go to school and get a degree in marketing, or take adult education classes for no credit.
All of these options can be valid, and some not so much. Ultimately, there is only one way to ever get to where you want to go with your art marketing, and that is to do the work. You can spend years preparing your journey, but in the end, you have to take those crucial steps, the allusive first steps, and every step after that.
And keep doing it.
You have to be willing to move forward, and to possibly fail. Because unless you get started, you will never know if what you have prepared for, and what you are willing to do, is ever going to work or not.
One of the certain outcomes we can expect when doing something, is that there is always a conclusion. It may not be the one you were aiming for, but it is guaranteed every time.
If your blog post falls on silent ears, or is read by no one, then you have your answer. Your Twitter post, or Facebook ad, will all have a response. It may not be the one you wanted, but it is an answer. Silence can be the most definitive and soul crushing of responses.
If your art did not sell, then you need to make adjustments to your marketing, look for more options, and carry on. Only with experience can you learn what will work. No book or forum advice can do for you what experience will.
On the other hand, if you're not willing to take chances, make course corrections, try new things and risk falling short, you can be comforted in knowing your results will reflect that as well.
Be willing to look the fool, and risk it all for a chance at the table.
September 12th, 2014
Way back in the days of film and chemistry, when I was just learning my craft, I worked as a photographers assistant for a brilliant studio shooter, now turned cinematographer, James 'Jim' LeGoy. He took me on a project in Aurora Colorado to assist him on a shoot he was doing for a gold mining company. We had a great time on the project, and I got to see some behind the scenes operations of how gold is mined and processed. As always, I had my camera with me, always looking for opportunities to shoot for myself when I wasn't assisting.
Along the road to the mining camp was the original mining camp, abandoned more than a hundred years earlier. I had a few minutes to myself to shoot a few rolls of film of what was left of the camp, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity. It was hot, the air was thin in the high altitude, and everybody was tired, but I still got my shots.
April 8th, 2014
While wood playing cards have been around for quite some time, having one made from 5 different species of wood veneer is a bit unusual. I have a mild fascination with the art on playing cards, so I had to do it in wood. Before the modern incarnation of "King of hearts", the cards were depictions of figures from history. The traditional Paris court card name for the king of hearts, was Charles or Charlemagne. So these were in fact, depictions of royalty, persons from history. The sword in his hand may be interpreted as suicide, hence the term, "Suicide King".
This is my modified version of artwork, attributed to: Vectorized Playing Cards 1.3- http://code.google.com/p/vectorized-playing-cards/
Copyright 2011 - Chris Aguilar
Licensed under LGPL 3 - www.gnu.org/copyleft/lesser.html
April 7th, 2014
A simple enough project, make a paper airplane out of wood, and a new series for me. There's a bit of humor in this new series, and maybe a little irony too, given that a lot of paper is made from wood byproducts. Who doesn't like a paper airplane? I decided to add a little more fun to the series, and added the landscape. This is part of a story about paper airplanes being free, venturing forth to do what they please.
April 3rd, 2014
This is another little twist in my paper airplane series. In fact, I would say that this is a sub series within the series! I set this plane into a shadow box. I'm not sure how far I will go in this new direction, but I can see that it's going to be fun!
The background on this is quite simple. I didn't want to over complicate the piece with too much detail.
March 31st, 2014
Made another shift in the direction I was heading. This one has a whole bunch of planes, which meant a whole lot of work. It's another whimsical illustration of a childhood toy. Ok, adults play with 'em too!
March 28th, 2014
Made a subtle shift in my "Paper Airplanes" series. I've softened up the colors a bit, made the model a bit smaller.
The viewer can go either way, seeing this plane as landing or taking off.
March 27th, 2014
The title to this post says it all for me. From my own experience there is very little difference between the Microstock market and the Fine Art market. On it's face it may seem there is a world of difference, and I could write endlessly about pricing, usage, et al. What I am looking at is the approach by art buyers, consumers in general. If you need a picture to adorn your company newsletter, a Microstock agency is a great place to start. Such limited usage and ease of access makes the route convenient.
If on the other hand you want a print for your hallway, and you just can't find one at your usual outlets, then Print On Demand (POD) sites are a convenient solution. I know that the two examples are worlds apart, but at their core, it's a consumer buying artwork for a specific usage.
So then why is selling Fine Art so difficult? In reality, it's no more difficult than selling Microstock.
March 23rd, 2014
I've noticed over the past few months a few members that take the position that the social activity on FAA is not going to ever lead to any hard numbers, or real world sales. That , groups, contests comments, likes and favorites are of little value. I can agree with that position only partly, and by partly I mean almost none at all.
If your only efforts for developing sales is social interaction on sites like FAA, then I agree, as a seller of artworks, you can't expect to generate much more than the occasional sale here and there from fellow artists. That is not to say that artists are not collectors; I display only other artists works on my walls. Rarely do I display my own work. I see it in front of me all day, so I have little need to see it on my walls.
Participating in the social part of FAA and other such sites is important as a skill builder. I tend to be a lurker, only occasionally participating in discussions, and contests and groups. Ironically, it's a direct reflection of how I market my own artwork, (rarely and not very well). As a result, my sales mirror those efforts.
Lately, I have been forcing myself to be more of a participant, and less an observer. It's not easy for me, because my strength is not in being a pal, or a chatty kind of person. It's my nature to be quiet. So participating in the social aspects of FAA has been a great way for me to force myself to be a part of the group. On occasion I let loose with my opinions, and I may even be critical once in awhile.
Being involved is good practice for the real world, the world of online marketing and sales. Participating in groups gives you practical skills that you can use to better your online presence. Writing blog posts helps build your writing skills, your communication skills, and develops discipline.
If you are naturally inclined to do all of the marketing tasks that are required of a business, then it's true that you won't get much more benefit from all the social aspects of FAA other than localized kudos from your FAA peers. But if you learn to be a part of the scene, it's a gateway to other possibilities that will grow from your FAA social experiences.
Participation of FAA should be an integral part of your marketing, but it shouldn't be the only part. Take the opportunity to participate in these social exercises, and soon you may find yourself seeking other avenues for getting out there and being a part of it all. That will lead to more of a presence in the art world, and hopefully will lead to sales.