Friday, November 6, 2009

Calling All Artists: Drive Sales to Your Personal Art Gallery

The Online Art Gallery at American Frame is a free resource for artists and photographers who are interested in reaching individual art collectors, designers and retail buyers nationwide. Use it to your advantage. Here is how to make the most of our service to help others find, admire and purchase your work.

It is simple to join. Just go to the Art Gallery sign-up page and follow the step by step instructions for setting up an account. Once that is completed, choose an icon (either a picture of yourself or a representative image of your work) then write up a brief resume so the online shopper can get to know you, and start uploading your work. If you are a professional, let us know where you studied, if you were self taught, what honors and awards you have received and what you find exciting about your work. If you’re an amateur dabbling in your craft, fabulous! We all have to start somewhere.

Make sure your images are of a high enough resolution and quality so that any reproductions you sell are truly representative of your work. Ideally, we would like the digital files to be at least 15MB and 120 PPI at full size. This will give your buyers a wide range of printing options from which to choose. Artists - please make sure you have even lighting when you photograph your work. Have questions? Call our Photography Department for assistance.

As you choose your art pieces to feature, take your time, and do it right. Each image upload is an opportunity to describe your work and connect with your potential customers. We all know that art purchases generally start with an emotional response to an image, and any information you can provide to solidify that relationship between the viewer and the art will increase the likelihood that it may be eventually purchased. Tell us about your piece including what inspired the work, the size and media used in the original piece, and whether the original has been sold. In the case of photography, I always like to have a description of the subject matter and some information on the camera/lens/photographic technique used.

I cannot over-emphasize the importance of search terms. Too many artists skimp on this critical step. Take a simple example of a red rose. If it was something that I painted, I would use all of the following terms: red, rose, red rose, red rose painting, floral, still life, oil (or acrylic) painting and then of course my name: Laura, Jajko, Laura Jajko. The more ways you can describe your work and link it to yourself as the artist, the more likely it will come up in a search.

The pricing decision is always a tough one. Your fine art reproduction will sell for the cost of the image you set (your commission) plus the cost of the printing and framing treatment your customer selects. I recommend that you start with a commission of $20.00 per piece of which you receive in full 60 days after the image is sold. At that price, a customer can purchase a 16 x 20 with our standard mat, acrylic, backing and 1 7/8” 8411 black wood frame for a little over $90.00 plus shipping. If you are established and would like to command more per sale, just change the rate in your gallery on an item by item basis. You decide on how you would like to build your business.

Be sure to present a meaningful body of work. We allow for up to 35 public works to be displayed at a time. To be interesting to the average buyer or collector, I recommend that you upload at least a dozen of your finest images and then market your gallery online as much as possible. Take advantage of social networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. Post the direct link to YOUR gallery on these sites so when your buyers come to, they don’t have to search for your collection. Twitter your followers when you add a new piece to the gallery. There are so many creative ways to get your work noticed without spending a dime, so you can focus on making more art, and let us take care of the rest.


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