Marketing Help for the New Year
I just worked on my end of year self-evaluation (I didn't accomplish as much as I hoped) and put together a plan for next year to guide my efforts. One of the things I did this past year that seemed to work well is to use Vistaprint for my marketing materials. They are very affordable and very professional. I have used them for my two-sided business cards, post cards for show announcements, holiday note cards, and I had gift certificates and banners printed for my gallery/studio. Every time they are perfect. The price of the business cards are so good that you can afford to change out cards with your images frequently. It helps to have a photo imaging software that works well for you. There are templates for different projects that you can download that make the whole process easier. I use Photoshop for setup but I am sure any of the image editing softwares that you are familiar with will work. Vista has an upload connection where you can store your images in a portfolio for use on different projects. They charge a nominal upload fee when you use the image for the first time but after that your image can be used on any other project at no charge. Vista runs some amazing promotions throughout the year including 250-500 free business cards, promotions for free uploads, etc. I try to keep my time not spent painting to a minimum and using one company for my print stuff keeps things simple. I am a small business artist trying to keep my overhead as little as possible and still market as best as I can. This company works for me and many of my friends in our artist community. Happy Painting and Simpler Marketing in 2011.
New two-sided business card for 2011Comment on or Share this Article →
I recently sold an acrylic painting that I had just completed. I explained to my customer that I would like to varnish it before final framing and he was surprised to hear that I varnish my paintings. I explained how acrylic reacts to changes in temperature. Like the pores in your skin, acrylic molecules expand and contract with temperature fluctuations. Dust and dirt enter the surface of the painting and when the acrylic molecules contract that same dust and dirt will become trapped and dull the colors over time. I usually put two isolation coats on my paintings before varnishing so if at some time in the future the varnish needs to be removed it can be without ruining the painting. I did an informal survey of my friends that paint in oil and in acrylic and I was surprised to find that the majority of them do not varnish their paintings. You wouldn’t buy a car knowing the paint job would dull in a couple years. My collectors should know the colors in the paintings they purchase will hold up as well. I may be of the minority among my local area painters, but I like to treat every painting I complete to my own archival “spa” treatment.
This obsession probably started when I was in college studying Graphic Design. One of my teachers stressed craftsmanship as being equal to creativity and design. We would be given two separate grades on assignments. One was for correctly following the assignment and use of creativity in achieving the design objectives, the other grade was for craftsmanship. Many students would fail the assignment because even though the conception was superior the execution was flawed. For some reason this struck a chord with me and I work as hard on my craftsmanship as my artistic interpretation. To me they are one and the same. Every archival panel gets at least two coats of gesso, all paints used are archival and professional level, every painting gets isolation coats and varnish when finished, and every one gets a quality frame when exhibited. One of my friends has jokingly commented that my final framed paintings look as good on the back as the front (I’m not sure, maybe this is not a compliment).
My dad always told me anything worth doing is worth doing well. I guess the work ethic stuck. I hope if I treat each painting as a work of art of professional caliber and worthy of respect, others will too.