Calling all AZ artists! We are currently accepting solo and group exhibition proposals for Fall and Winter. Take a look at the details and send us some great work to review!
You are cordially invited to join Art(ist)serv and Thermal.Gallery celebrate the New AZ Art exhibition at the Artists Bash!
Join us for a glass of wine (or two), meet the artists and curator, and enjoy a selection of contemporary AZ art from some seasoned veterans and up-and-comers!
When: Friday, September 16, 6-10pm
Where: The Walter Art Gallery, 6425 E Thomas Rd, Scottsdale, AZ
Click the image below to RSVP!
We are excited to announce the opening of our Fall New AZ Art exhibition that we will feature online in our 100% virtual Thermal.Gallery hosted on the Exhibbit platform AND will be physically installed at the Walter Art Gallery in Scottsdale!
The exhibition will be available for viewing online 24 /7 and by appointment at the Walter during the month of September 2016.
Artist reception – September 16, 2016, 6-10pm
Closing reception – September 30, 2016, 6-10pn
Thermal.Gallery sponsored by Art(ist)serv – http://www.artistserv.com/thermal-gallery
The Walter Art Gallery, 6425 E Thomas Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Well, I don’t know about you but I am in the dogs days here in AZ. We have already had 120 degree days and now that it is July it has cooled off a bit, but now it gets muggy, although I love when out apocalyptic monsoon storms start… But, vacation is over and now I am back at looking at my upcoming projects and prioritizing, getting ready for the upcoming season.
So, what do you do as an artist in the summer? Do you take time off from creating, get some R&R, and recharge the batteries? I hope so, we all need it! But it is also a great time to plan your year, start looking for Fall exhibitions to apply for, renew your written materials, photograph new work, update your website, etc.
I have you covered! Review my blog posts to help with ideas about writing, web, and marketing! If you need customized help contact me immediately and we can get started updating anything you need! Check out the CALLS FOR ART page to see upcoming deadlines and prepare those applications! And definitely don’t forget to apply for the NEW AZ ART show I am curating at the Walter Art Gallery in Scottsdale this September! Selected artists will have work installed at the gallery and featured in my online virtual Thermal.Gallery. Its kind of a big deal 😉 and we had a very generous sponsorship donation so we have deleted the review fee!!
Looking forward to seeing those applications and your new work! Stay cool and get ready for a busy season!
- Justin Germain
As we discussed previously, an artist’s website is their number one marketing tool. What else is there that can potentially reach the entire world? That being said the website needs to be simple, comprehensive, and updated to reflect what is happening every day.
Content marketing is all the rage these days and artists have a great opportunity to provide consistent content to their followers. The website blog is where it should all start and posts should be made weekly to reflect any news, events, works in progress, thoughts, or ideas that will influence how people see you as a professional artist. The types of posts are endless and can really get people to follow you because you can let them see inside your daily life as you think and create.
You can connect your web blog to all social media outlets you use as well (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc) so that the content spreads through your network. Research shows these platforms are good for up to 6 posts per day before followers start to ignore the content. The posts should also be shared in as many groups as possible (where appropriate) to increase the footprint and visibility of each post in a feed. Encouraging your followers to share also increases the visibility so make the content valuable!
Many businesses have gone away from email marketing but it is still a proven marketing tool, with research showing that people who are engaged with a business prefer weekly or bi-weekly email marketing over daily or monthly. Make sure to capture email addresses for anyone interested in your art and have a working email list. Services such as Mailchimp allow you to upload an entire list, put sign up forms on your website and social media, maintain subscriptions, and connect to social media for sharing purposes.
Direct mail marketing has also seemed to go the way of the buffalo, but is still very effective if used correctly. Keep an address list of loyal clients and send out postcards for special events or extraordinary exhibitions on your schedule. A minimum of 2-3 mailings a year will give your clients a tangible reminder of you.
Online event pages/sites are all over the internet, from the local news station website to Craigslist, there are a plethora of places to post your events. We suggest finding as many as possible to post events, exhibition openings—this gets the word out to a broader base and also helps in search (SEO) if you post a link to your website.
Press releases can yield some free advertising. A local reporter stated that the reason he doesn’t write about a lot of the galleries is because he doesn’t get any pitches from them. Now PR is a very different monster than simply emailing your media contact list, it takes some media savvy… Press releases should be written clearly and include the “When, What, Where, Why” along with something unique that catches attention. We do not recommend building a list of reporters from every media outlet and mass emailing them press releases, there may be some initial interest but it will fade due to repetition. Search for local reporters who write about the arts, culture, nightlife, events, things-to-do, and business. Create individual lists for each and start by emailing or calling them directly to introduce yourself and ask if they would like to receive press releases from you.
When you write a press release send it individually to a few reporters as a pitch, ask them if they would like to interview you for a story about the event or news, then allow time for follow up. If a day or so goes by try the next group. Make sure the releases are about things that each group specializes in, don’t send a release about an exhibition to a business writer. A major factor in getting coverage is finding out a timeline on when reporters need the information—magazine writers usually have longer publication times so need information a lot sooner than newspaper or TV, which focus on short term news.
The most critical part of marketing is your strategy, know what you want to do ahead of time and plan ahead. Creating a monthly and yearly marketing plan is the key to effectiveness. The most effective strategy is to have a weekly marketing schedule that you do one outreach task each day or so, then it becomes consistent!
On view in our 100% virtual gallery through the month of June is Phoenix artist Benjamin Goens solo exhibition “Stencilism: In the cut.” BenJam studied Art History and Art Education at university but has always had a fascination with hip-hop culture, graffiti, and the evolution of street art. Over the last two years he has dedicated himself to learning to cut intricate stencils to create the most realistic depictions of his subjects, often taken from Art History. He sometimes uses up to 12 or more stencils in one image to create lifelike tonal gradations in his imagery. He challenges himself to reconstruct and share the beauty of the past in a modern way to communicate to the broader public.
Visit Thermal.Gallery today on any device connected to the internet!
To view the show simply click on the gallery image above and take a tour!
Since my last blog about artist websites I have had a lot of requests for examples. Since the artist website is THE most important marketing tool I have done some research about some more points and some sites that really do well.
Scottsdale artist Cyndy Carstens website is beautifully designed with big, bold images, simple navigation, prominent contact information, a blog, and prices on every image! Check it out HERE
I worked with Lisa O’Riley last year on revamping the language and simplicity of her website and she did a great job. Check it out HERE
I also found a couple of artists that are extremely successful with sales from their respective websites. They use full portfolios, it is very clear what they do, and they make it super easy to purchase the work right from the site. Check out Ann Rea and Matt LeBlanc (not Joey from FRIENDS).
- Justin Germain
For the month of May we present a show of all new work by Phoenix artist Lisa O’Riley! Featuring 12 new mixed media paintings, the exhibition reflects inspirations of places she lived, from Hawaii to Phoenix, including tikis and graffiti writing. The influences show her connection to her past, present, and future surroundings.
Visit this 100% online virtual exhibition by clicking on the image below to redirect to our Exhibbit platform. It is accessible any time from nearly any device connected to the internet. Enjoy!
Simply put, an artist’s website is their most important marketing tool. It is where your entire portfolio resides on the internet–where anyone globally can access and learn about your work. Therefore, it should be simple, professional, and comprehensive.
I have seen many artist websites, some are absolute nightmares, some incomplete, some neglected, some only have a facebook page (and sometimes only personal ones at that) and some are pretty damn good. There are crucial elements that every artist needs on their website:
– A custom URL – Use a variation of your name or studio name. This will make it easier for people who are looking for you to find the site.
– “HOME” – The landing page is the introduction to your site so make it powerful and concise. Welcome visitors to your page with a short introductory paragraph and some images. Make sure to have a sentence that states your location and that you are a contemporary artist, painter, sculptor, etc. (This is for search purposes, which I will discuss a bit below). You can also include links to all of your social media on the home page. Hopefully your site will allow your contact information to display on every page, but at the least put it on the homepage, and possibly create a separate page for all your contact methods.
– “ABOUT” – Here you can create one page that includes your focused artist statement, bio, and CV or you can create “child” pages for each element. This depends on the length of your materials, so use your best judgment. Images of you, your studio, and exhibitions are good on these pages.
– The artwork pages or galleries – Of course this is where you want your visitors to land. I do not suggest having images of every work you have ever created on your website, especially if you have been making for a long time. Break your work up into time periods, separate themes (bodies), or even media. Some artists only show their newest work on their website. This is a judgment call too but make sure your categories are clearly defined. The newest work should be at the top of your page or list of pages. Make sure to list the title, date, media, size, and PRICE of each work on your website. If you want people to inquire or purchase from you, tell them how much and if you will do a payment plan. Very few people will contact you if they do not know how much they might be spending, the social semantics of “if we have to ask we cannot afford it” still holds true to many people.
–BLOG – Yes, it is a must. Use your blog to post news about your art including new works, works in progress, exhibitions, ideas, shows or artists that inspire you–anything that keeps fresh content on your site. Dedicate a few hours a week to posting updates that automatically go on to your social media as well so you extend your reach.
– CONTACT – If you choose to have a completely separate contact page make sure to include your email address, phone number (if you want calls), and links to all your social media.
These “rules” are meant for artists that are directly marketing themselves, if an artist is represented by a gallery there may need to be some changes based on the contract. It is essential you honor your contract and use your website to promote your work in your gallery’s inventory.
A little about search… Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a term used a lot in marketing and pushed by all sorts of sales people that want you to pay them to make your site #1. This is not important for a solo artist. Yes, you want people to find you but if they don’t know your name already, you could spend thousands of dollars on SEO, keywords, tags, and link building and still not be found in searches. So, here are a few important things that help with search and boost the importance of the information on your website.
– Use a platform already built for SEO such as wordpress, squarespace, weebly, or wix.
– Use text on as many pages as possible, search engines cannot find images. Some keywords are great. The first sentence on your homepage stating your name, location, and that you are a contemporary artist is great for search.
– Share links to your pages on social media and encourage others to share them as well. The more links to your website the easier search engines have to work to find it.
– Regularly post new content on your blog, search engines like new content.
If you have no idea how to build a website or want to make sure it is simple and easy to navigate let us know. We cost a lot less than a web designer and can consult with you on building a simple, effective site!
I have talked a lot about creating a professional portfolio, website, and having your own noticeable brand. These are all essential for applying to exhibitions and galleries, even they don’t require all of the materials, they will see the effort you put into your online presence and portfolio. That professionalism makes people take notice!
Once you are accepted into a show or gallery, then they have to market your work too, it takes a lot of work and time so if you provide them the materials that make it easier for them, you will be a rockstar in their minds.
Provide your written artist statement/bio/CV in a format they can easily add their branding. Make sure you’ve had them edited and looked over so there are not any typos and grammar issues. Also, have images of all of your artwork inventory ready for them, not only that they can use for web, print, and marketing but they may have clients who would like to see more of your work, so have it readily available to them.
My last post was about images but here are a few quick pointers:
Have digital files of high res (8 inches at 300 dpi), medium res (6 inches at 200 dpi), and low res (6 inches at 120 dpi) saved. The high and medium res can be saved as TIFF files, and I recommend using PNG files for the lower res, they don’t degrade over time like JPGs.
If the gallery has these written and visual materials available on demand they provide them to media and clients easily, either via email or print. A practice I encourage galleries to do is to provide a comprehensive curatorial packet including all the written materials and a high quality image with artwork specs to every client with their purchase. This is great for insurance purposes as well as provenance records. The gallery brand should be on all materials since there is no telling where they might end up and who might see them.
Like I said, if you make it easier for them to compile the info and brand it, they will love you for it. As always if you need any assistance with developing your portfolio, website, or documenting your artwork please don not hesitate to contact me.
- Justin Germain