IN MY PREVIOUS entry on how to sell paintings I wrote about quality as a means to sales. I recently purchased and watched all 4 hours of Eric Rhoads’ Art Marketing Bootcamp. I was surprised that Rhoads never mentioned the quality of an artist’s work. Perhaps it was assumed. But after watching just a few minutes I realized there is a lot more to this selling business than I had previously thought.
Rhoads is the publisher of Fine Art Connoisseur and Plein Air Magazine, two of the finest art magazines published today (read his art marketing blog here). I respect his editorials and the fact that both magazines have high standards in publishing and the art they showcase. The DVD is a series of speeches given at the first Plein Air convention in Las Vegas last year. Rhoads is an excellent speaker and I found his presentation engaging. There was too much information to review here, plus everyone who watches will get something different from the presentation. I suspect mid-career artists will glean valuable information. Artists who previously were prospering but now face a downturn might benefit most of all.
I changed several aspects of this blog based on information from the series. Rhoads explains that an artist is a brand. I named my blog Thick Paint because I initially started the blog from my fascination and frustration with painting thickly. But I now realize that my name is my brand. So I rebranded this site Brad Teare with a sub head of The art of Thick Paint. Rhoads reasons that an artist must have a promotional campaign just like BMW or McDonald’s. Accurate branding, or projecting a clear, authentic message, is at the heart of that process. Rhoads also suggests that blogs and web sites are essential to getting broader recognition but few readers read below the fold or below midway on a blog. So I reformatted my blog so more topics are above the midway point on the screen. If you feel this is an improvement (or a detriment) please leave a comment. Your opinions will help us all figure out how to make this work.
One of the most anticipated themes of the DVD was how to make advertising work. Rhoads again suggested the campaign model. Don’t place ads, he suggests, create an advertising campaign. But unfortunately he also advises if you don’t have the money to advertise with a campaign, don’t advertise. I don’t currently have the funds to advertise correctly so I’m locked out of that avenue to improve my career. He cautions against going into debt to advertise and I agree. Debt for artists can be a quagmire.
There are other fascinating ideas; how to get into a gallery, how to work effectively with gallery owners, how to leverage relationships in the business. Another change I intend to make that was not explicitly mentioned in the program is to start signing my work with my full name. Previously I’ve contented myself with Teare as my signature. If my name is my brand I need to broaden its recognizability by signing my full name so people can read it. It seems too good an opportunity to miss. Even though I’m fortunate to have a unique last name my full name allows me to be more easily located via the internet and other venues.
If you know how to jump the gap from no funds to advertise to implementing a successful ad campaign I hope you will offer your ideas below.
Brad Teare February 2013 PS- Another benefit of the DVD was I finally learned how to pronounce Camille Przewodek‘s name.