Posted tagged ‘marketing art’

Another Old Year – Achievements

January 23, 2012

Well, it’s rolled around again, and again I’ll do my  brief summing up. Overall, I didn’t stroke much off the big list of major projects. Work and life got in the way. But as usual, when I add up what I did achieve, it surprises me. A lot of work on marketing this year, and my first exhibition of prints and books in a gallery setting!

Last time, I set the following goals:

  1. produce ten books in five years
    I’m not really on schedule for this, since the current book project, Tintern Abbey, was pushed into 2012 by a sudden and welcome flood of work in the studio.
  2. step up production value
    What I did produce this year certainly shows more confidence, in keeping with the “get serious!” theme of the next 5 year phase of the press.
  3. marketing: on-line presence, adverts, launches, more shows, book sellers
    Some of the ground work on planning and pushing the books paid off, with some books winding up in special collections. We hired a marketing consultant late last year, and I am determined to stop whining and learn to love social media.
  4. intensify illustration: my own, but working with other artists as well
    I’ve got some irons in the fire with work from other artists, and my own frontiers have opened up with my first efforts on wood engraving (see previous blogs).
  5. form working alliances with writers, illustrators, printers, bookbinders
    I approached a Queen’s University prof to write the intro for Tintern Abbey. He said yes, so that is about to be set in type possibly within days.
  6. further my studies in book design and typography.
    That is an on-going project indeed. I did spend some free time trolling through book spreads on line, making some observations but it’s hardly a concentrated study!

What I did do this year was a lot of little things done, including:

1) a new years card – I’m silly late this year, though!
2) Pondered reorganization, and made some minor progress
3) Tintern Abbey book got pushed, although my Wayzgoose anthology contribution made for an early study of the idea
4) Two rare commercial jobs, both invitations
5) Did the usual shows, organized one of them
6) Saw the work produced by Saint Lawrence College students from the printmaking course I taught the previous fall at their year end exhibition (That was a highlight!)
7) Collaborative calendar with the Ottawa Press Gang – (I’m April)
8) Wrote an article for Ornamentvm on the Canadian fine press scene
9) Took professional advise on marketing
10) Produced a broadside type sampler
11) Tried out wood engraving, although rightly that belongs to 2012
12) Spoke to the 2nd year architecture students at Carleton University about book arts
13) Had my first gallery show in Kingston at Studio22

Almost everything mentioned above is covered in some form or another in the previous couple dozen blog entries.

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Marketing Art

November 26, 2011

As part of our on-going plan to ramp up our respective art businesses, we escaped from the studio this past Wednesday to attend a business marketing symposium geared for artists, namely Art Works. The venue was the amazing Shenkman Arts Centre  in Orleans, which features a massive auditorium at its center, as well as many galleries, studio spaces and bright foyers.

We’re both pretty savvy about promotion, and Holly (more so than me) has already put a lot of the ideas bandied about into practice, particularly regarding on-line promotion.

After the keynote, we split up for the break-out sessions. She registered for the sales and on-line marketing workshops, while I covered other bases with a session on applying for loans and grants, and in the afternoon, a reminder on the importance of marketing generally.

Some artists are contemptuous of marketing, or would prefer to be in their studios creating. Unless those artists have someone else handling their marketing, they are going to have a struggle before them. So I heard about niches, branding, positioning, rational benefits etc. It struck me, after listening again to all the discussions and the Q&A, just how oddly art and artists fit in with traditional or standard business models and yet, if artists want to make money at their art, they must abandon romantic notions about their work and render it as a commodity. So a successful artist must almost be split in their approach, having one attitude to the work when creating it, and another when selling it. All this, or course, in a time when galleries and representation for artists is a very exclusive matter indeed. In the end, the marketing speaker replied to questions generally that “we are creative people; come up with creative solutions for marketing.” True enough.

Overall, we liked the event and enjoyed the talks and speeches, reacquainted with some artists we know, and came away with some very interesting bits to add to our own collected wisdom.


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