Friday, July 15, 2011

Who's looking at your portfolio online?

Increasingly the art world is heading online, and people are searching for you whether you like it or not. Amidst all the clutter on the Internet, presentation is key! Regardless of whether you have your own website, your art posted on Facebook or an online arts community such as, your online site is a reflection of you. 

If you are serious about selling or promoting your work for a living, listen up. Here are some tips that will help you and your work stand out when that gallerist happens to stumble upon your art page: 

1. Your site is you. This may be the first impression people have of you. Online portfolios like those on have high Search Engine Optimization, which means that your site shows up on top of search engine lists when someone types in your name. Tailor the look and feel of your site according to how you wish to be portrayed and the audience you'd like to target.  Make sure it doesn’t look like--dare I say--a 16-year-old's Myspace profile. If you want to be taken seriously, your site should look professional.

2. Your site is your portfolio. You created your site to showcase your work. Let me repeat... your work! Not your killer web design skills (unless of course, you're a graphic designer). No matter what type of art you create, clean and simple design, layout and color scheme are best. At, we recommend using background templates in White, Black or Grey. This is not only the most pleasing to the eye, but it provides the closest look and feel of a real gallery. Try not to choose backgrounds, colors and fonts on your page that are too “loud” and distract from your work. Interestingly, one of the coolest sites I remember was by a graffiti artist who used a simple black background to display his images, avoiding clutter and designs that competed with his work. Ultimately you want your work to stand out… not the other sparkles and gadgets on your page.

3. Your site is your resume. Your site is the best way to learn more about you, so make sure it has the most complete and current information. Have you uploaded your latest work? Did you include press clippings? Have you updated your biography lately? Revise your bio on a regular and consistent basis. It can be a turn-off to potential buyers to see your Curriculum Vitae end in 2004, when you’d only just completed your first juried student show.

These simple tips make it clear and easy for your targeted audience to appreciate your work, bio and accomplishments.

So remember: 

Your site is you.
Your site is your portfolio.
Your site is your resume. 

*To learn more about creating your online presence, sign up for the Webinar "Creating Your Irresistible Brand Online" I'm hosting this month. 

Or read more about Branding and Promotion in Ch. 10 of my success e-program Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM). This program is sure to get you elevated to steer you in the right direction of success and build your confidence!

For more FREE tips and strategies and to get instant access to my "12 Secrets to Success Strategies" video, sign up now:
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Friday, July 1, 2011

Commercialization – Selling Art vs Selling Out

This week I chatted with several people who scorn certain “artists” making millions from trendy pop art styles. Many love and buy Romero Britto’s colorful and happy paintings and a plethora of everyday items in his trademark style such as mugs, umbrellas and clothing.

"He’s no artist, and that's not art!" I hear.  

[Keep in mind that commercialization exists in many different artistic genres. I've been singing since I was 3 and have accepted that many mediocre singers writing mediocre music make millions of dollars just because they have a popular style or certain “look.”]

The reality is that this type of work is considered “art” by most of the general audience. But many artists still fear being portrayed as too commercial. They see the over-commercialized artist as the big, bad business guy. To them, this is the epitome of selling out in the art world.

But unfortunately, many with this attitude end up subconsciously limiting themselves from succeeding. In the process of purposely trying not to sell out, they inhibit themselves from selling.

In some of my previous articles [Positivity and Action] I've discussed overcoming fears in order to become successful. It’s human nature to be insecure and unsure about ourselves while we’re moving up, and along the way we often sabotage ourselves from reaching success.

Do you fear 'selling out'? Do you purposely avoid publicity and fame? Do you price your pieces too low so as to not appear overly ambitious? Do you avoid other business practices that may seem too commercial or aggressive?

If any of these sound like you, reflect and be honest with yourself. Why are you really doing this?

Instead of wasting your energy thinking or complaining about these commercial artists or business practices, take a workshop on public speaking or pricing techniques, ask others for feedback on your work, or request advice on how to improve yourself.

Whether you like this type of commercial art or not, you must appreciate what their creators have done. They are entrepreneurs who need to survive off of their work, just like any other artist. Perhaps your mission and business model are different. That's perfectly okay. Art is still a business.

Appreciate the tenacity, persistence and other skills which have gotten these so-called “artists” where they are today. Learn from them, extract what’s valuable, and apply that to the business side of your art.

Always remember, if you sell your art: You are an Artist first, and a Business person second. 

*You can read more about elevating your business practices in Ch. 9 of my new book Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM). This book is sure to drive you down the road to success!

If you enjoy these articles on marketing and success, please subscribe to my blog in the upper right-hand section of the page. I also love reading comments, feel free to leave your thoughts or what has or hasn't worked for you. Please feel free to share this article with others who may benefit from it. Cheers to you!