Saturday, 31 March 2012

Are Artists Born—Or Made—To Mix Media?

 28 Mar 2012 

"It may seem controversial, but I really think artists are born, not made," says Meagan Shein. Definitely bold words, especially coming from someone who has advanced degrees in fine art and art history. "It doesn't mean that the innate skill is there," the artist quickly adds, "but the compulsion to create art and continue to hone your craft is innate. You did it because you have to in order to feel fulfilled. After all, an art career isn't the easiest road to go down."

Shein may have a point there. I mean, if you could find happiness and total fulfillment work in a steady, well-defined career wouldn't you invest in that instead of the fickle and fearful world of fine art?

Gas Station II by Meagan Shein, mixed media artwork on paper with beeswax, encaustic, and ink, 25.75 x 38, 2006.
Gas Station II by Meagan Shein, mixed media artwork
on paper with beeswax, encaustic, and ink, 25.75 x 38, 2006. 
For Shein, the desire to grow and challenge herself in mixed media arthasn't waned in more than 20 years. After years of working in oil, acrylic, and pastel, she has switched her focus to drawings that are minimalist in content and rich with meaning. Combining pen and ink on paper painted with beeswax and encaustic, her approach is largely experimental, with the materials playing as important a role as her formal concepts. "Really, I set up a frustration for myself," she says with a laugh. "I work through the tension of wanting to draw a beautiful line, and it's very satisfying and powerful when the flowing line appears because it's like I've earned it."
Earning a beautiful line--one of the many goals of a born artist. Do you think it was nature or nurture that fueled and sustained your interest in art? Do you mix media in ways that yielded unexpected results? Let me know by leaving a comment.
If you'd like to learn more about working with mixed media, check out Modern Mixed Media With Marshall Arisman. The two-hour DVD is jam-packed with tips and techniques to help you discover the hidden talents you may have been born with, but haven't yet unlocked.
Naomi Ekperigin is an associate editor of American Artist magazine.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Marketing ideas

Art Marketing: Top 10 Ways to Get Yourself Known As an Artist-Tips 1-5 Friday, March 26th, 2010 at 6:23 pm   We live in a world where perception is what matters not the reality. Most people form opinions and make decisions based on what they “perceive” to be the reality and not what the actual reality is. In the world of business and especially the Art business, people consider some people as “experts” and attach more value to that person’s product because they are better known. In many cases they are not more talented or do not do a better job than someone completely unknown but we assume that they are more talented and skilled because they are better known. In the Art World, the way sell art and increase the value of your Art is to get yourself our there and increase your profile. Picasso was a great artist but he also clearly understood the power of fame.   Now as an emerging artist in a competitive environment, very very few of us will ever become as well known as Picasso. But it’s still important for us to do what we can to add some sparkle of celebrity to our own names. If you’re an emerging artist, here’s a list of what you should or could be doing to get known. And if you’re already established, read through the list and see if there are any strategies you’ve missed that could do even more to spread your fame. In this article I will be covering 5 strategies and in my next Article I will cover the other 5. Go through the strategies listed below and see what you can put into action immediately and “do it”. Little by little you will see your name spreading and your contacts increasing. 1. Join Forums, Organisations and Networking Groups Joining your local Art Groups, Online Forums and local business organisations is a popular way of getting better known. Remember in the Art Business everyone you meet is a potential customer and they all have families and relatives that might be interested in what you have.  Participating in online forums is a fantastic way of getting your name out there and linking up with like minded people to increase your awareness of what’s happening in your industry. By providing answers to and solutions to your fellow artists, you will slowly position yourself as an expert and people will start getting drawn towards you and your artwork. Do your research and find out about local networking events and join them. However join only 1 or 2 at a time and slowly develop your credentials within these groups. 2. Create a Web site/Blog- Purchase your own domain name. Online marketing is one of the most effective ways of getting your name out there and positioning yourself as the expert but it has to be done correctly. In this day and age you definitely need your own BLOG. A blog is a fantastic tool to interact with your followers and position yourself as an expert. For more information about Blogging, check my related post You also need your Art Website which should be there to showcase your work effectively and is your own online gallery. However the website has to be structured to attract customers and when they arrive, they need to be made to take the desired action. Above all your website needs to portray you as an Expert. For more information you can download my Free Report “Secrets To A Killer Artist Website” by going to It is also very important to ensure that you procure your own Domain Name. Please read my post on this important issue The strategy here is to ensure that when someone types in your name in google, your website, blog, articles all appear. Imagine the confidence people will have straight away when your name is splattered all over the first page in Google. 3. Write Articles. Writing articles can be an excellent marketing strategy and can establish you as an expert. How it works is that you write about a topic for example the medium that you use, or how someone should look after the painting they have bought, etc. Brainstorm article topics that would give valuable information and position yourself as an expert in your area. Let us say someone is searching for Glass Art and they land on your article about Glass Art. Immediately they will see you as the person to go to if you want Glass Art because of your perceived knowledge. You then get your articles published in the right places and have the interested reader to then go to your website or blog or get in touch with you. You can have your articles published in magazines, websites, ezines, newspapers and other places that your readers will be going to. 4. Get Involved in Your Local Community. Taking a genuine interest in what is happening in your local community and where possible applying your talents to make the community a better place will have an amazing positive influence on yourself and your Art Business. Donating to local causes and serving in town committees will all increase goodwill towards you and increase your image and profile. Choose a cause and contact the relevant charity and find out how you can be of help to them especially providing your Artistic Talent to make the surroundings a better place and off course people will see the murals etc and your name on it. 5. Communicate Regularly Through Emails and Newsletters. To improve your perceived expertise, you need to portray yourself as being organised and eager to build a relationship with your customers and followers. This can be done effectively through the sending out regular emails and newsletters. Your communication should not be a sales pitch but sharing of information about what you are doing, events, art you are producing, tips etc. Create a database of emails and addresses. This database is going to be the foundation of your business as it is these people with whom you will build a relationship and they will buy your Art. Increasing your database is going to be your crucial Art Marketing Strategy. 6. Organise a Live Workshop For any product you are thinking of buying, if you were presented with a live demonstration of how it works or given a live lesson, your confidence in the product will no doubt increase and you will perceive the person doing the presentation an expert. In relation to your Art Marketing, next time you are creating your artwork, think of how you can show people your work in progress. It will help to form a relationship with potential customers and create a curiosity in them about your art. In these days with the internet, you could have yourself filmed whilst you are creating your artwork for your forthcoming exhibition giving your viewers a talk on what you are doing and then put the video onto You Tube or your website and invite visitors and people on your mailing list to the viewing. 7. Link Up With A Charity or Other Event Organiser If you can publicly support a charitable cause, it will boost your Art Marketing and give good PR whilst benefiting the charity. Select a charity that with a cause you can connect with and prepare artworks related to the charity and charitable event. So e.g if you are concerned about  World Preservation, then you could create an exhibition around the greenhouse effect. Most charities have a large database and so you will be able to tap into this and also the charity will be able to give fantastic media exposure if done the right way. 8. Become an Author and Write a Book There has never been a better time to think about producing a book then now thanks to the availability of self-publishing tools. Writing a book will immediately stand you out as the expert. I know that the concept of writing a book can be scary and you may think surely I cannot do this. Your task is simply to come up with material that a reader would find useful for e.g you can write about the struggles of an emerging artist or your views on Art Being an Investment. You do not have to write full-length novels, short books and ebooks are becoming increasingly popular. Focus on your expertise and come up with ideas for a title. Then write material chapter by chapter in outline only and gather a sense of whether the topic you have chosen will work or not. The whole process can actually be a lot of fun. If time and writing skills is an issue, then there is a solution here. All you have to do is come up with the concept and then you can hire ghostwriters to write the book for you. 9. Get On The radio. If you can be invited as a guest on the radio and be interviewed, it will provide you with amazing free publicity and you will immediately become well known (even a celebrity) Prepare a Press Release about a local event you are doing or your know works and include in the press release the fact that you are available for an interview. Or you can seek out radio programs where you could give the producers/ show host something interesting for their listeners. Make sure you obtain a recording of your interview which you can then put onto your website, email it or even have it transcribed and written into your book. 10. Get on TV. Getting on TV is off course the most difficult but is the best way to attain celebrity status. The beauty of TV is that viewers see you and if they see you in action, they start to think they know you. Search for TV programs that regularly feature guests and might see you as a suitable candidate. Then find out who the right contact person would be and make your pitch for a guest appearance.