Monday, March 28, 2011

A Kinder, Gentler Blog

So, even in my last post, trying to avoid negativity and a solemn tone, it still was not exactly effervescent, and to anyone who DID want to be a race car driver when they grew up, "I apologize." Apparently, there is some deep rooted bitterness under the surface that I was unaware of, but, rather than change the title of my blog to "Fear and Loathing in Hyannis", I'm going to do what I initially set out to do. Help others who are experiencing similar obstacles to find ways over, around and through them, and despite the economy, not just survive as an artist, but prosper. And... I will do it with my genuine and true to character wit and charm. I'm even going to insert a joke here:

How many gallery customers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
(answer below)

Today, I'm going to fill you in on what I've been doing lately to pursue my dream of being an artist when I haven't been too busy writing about the difficulties along the way. Looking over that last sentence and seeing the way I phrased ,"my dream of becoming an artist", I'm going to edit it a tad. I AM an artist, and really always have been. The phrase that I need to focus on is the title of this blog,"Making A Living As An Artist." I have made a living in the Arts for a long time, from Gallery Owner, to Art Consultant, to Lecturer and Auctioneer. I have a real working knowledge of the industry. Its time to take what  I know from working on one side of the table and use it now that I'm on the other. Hopefully, if anyone out there is looking to attempt a similar undertaking, they will be able to use some of the information.

Okay ... enough boring explanations of where I've been and where I'm going...

So... Here's what I did...

1.)---ADVERTISING: No money for ads?.. No problem. I put an ad on Barnstable-Hyannis Patch. It cost me nothing and drove several people to my blog as well as my website and my online store. So far, I am the only artist on there.

Joke Answer: Two
(reason below)

2.)--- ONLINE STORE: To increase traffic in my online store I removed art that was not moving. Then I added more works in small groups.  My hits went from 2 or 3 a day, to 75-100/day.  On my studio floor against a wall in a corner were some studies that I had done of some simple Matisse line-drawings. I had originally done them just to get a feel for his sense of line with no intent to sell them. He has a beautiful, simple, elegant line that just seems to flow out of his crayon/brush...anyway... when I put them online. I tagged them Matisse studies... 100's of hits that day... Next time I'll put them on one at a time and be able to stretch that traffic out for days.

3.) ---TAG YOUR PHOTOS: Always use/add meta-tags to your photos. This increases their "Google-ability". An example is in the above, on that site, if someone was searching for a Matisse my work would come up.... The way those sites are visited it also will increased my visibility if some one  Googles "Matisse"...(eventually)

4.) ---WEBSITE: I've had a website, but haven't really spent too much time in building it. I spent some time this week just tweaking it a bit. There was no contact info on it. I changed that and added a hyper link so the viewer can e-mail me. I also played with some of the color and fonts. for the most part it looks the same because the template was designed by the nice folks at Apple and they know a heck of a lot more than you or I... More pages will be coming and I'll be loading more artwork. One key thing is making sure that all your sites are linked. Can the viewer get to your e-mail?.. Your blog?.. Your online store? with just one click? Make it as easy for them as possible.

5.) EVENTS AND SELLING: A few weeks back I mentioned Romero Britto and what exposure did for him... So this past week I looked to see where and how to get myself out there. Maybe an Absolute Vodka exec will be vacationing on the Cape this summer. So I looked to see what kind of Art events would be going on in my area. I found several within pedaling distance. One of them is the HY-arts Artist Shanties I applied and got one. As It stands now I've got a few weeks at the begining of the season. We'll see where it goes from there. Here are some links to other events going on in this area this summer :

Art on the Village Green
(There's also one in June which isn't on this page...)

6.) ALL ARTISTS CAPE COD: If you haven't seen the ads for their meetings it's probably because you haven't been looking. The next meeting that I'm sure about is at the South Yarmouth Library, on Wednesday, April 20th, at 6:00 PM. Basically, it's going to be a group of artists getting together to discuss (oddly enough...) "How to Make a Living As An Artist." If you have any questions on this feel free to e-mail or call. They are still building their website, but it will be here:

Punch Line:
One to change the lightbulb, and the other to say,"Pffft... My four year old could have done that..."

I hope that artists found this informative, especially those of you in my area...

I hope that you are enjoying my blog.

If you'd like to help me make a living as an artist. Please check out my online store: