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It Doesn’t Work Unless You Work It

January 2, 2012

Out of Nowhere - Collage, 4x4" on 8x10 backing

(Click on the image to go to my collage shop)

Ruminations on the New Marketing Year

For the past three or four months I have been neglecting my overall art marketing to spend time on creating a lot of new digital pieces for publishers who ask for specific series of images. Licensing is more and more becoming my mainstay. However, I don’t want that to be my only outlet.

I still have one remaining gallery, a wonderful one that sells beautifully for me. I would like to have even one more. But that is going to require that I make some contacts with real people, not just social networking.

My Etsy shops are another obvious place that are crying for more attention. Tonight I’ve been poking around my two shops to see what listings are expired with the goal of getting them all current again. Etsy is one place that can’t be neglected without paying for it in low sales.

And last, I have decided I need to get out into the local art community more. The only thing I’ve participated in since we moved is an annual show that’s top notch, but that doesn’t help me do the ongoing networking that I’d like to do. So in the new year I want to reach out to those venues, find groups of artists who have their fingers on the pulse of what’s going on around us, and perhaps invite some of them for a studio visit.

Just thinking out loud.

Have you been thinking about new directions for your art in the new year?

9 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2012 9:26 pm

    Interesting to hear your thoughts. I have my first exhibit this month, and I’m curious where that will lead. How did you start with working for editors/licensing? I don’t know much about that. I work full-time in marketing/communications, so art has been very much on the back burner, but I’d like to set some art goals for 2012.

  2. January 3, 2012 5:08 pm

    Why do Etsy shops need such high profile marketing? I closed mine because I was just too busy, but I’ve reopened the first one today. Now I’ll have to be glued to the computer fiddling and so on.

    It works, though, so of course, we do it!

    Like the collage…..

    • January 3, 2012 11:25 pm

      Of course the answer is because there is so much competition on the site that it’s very easy to get lost in the sea of “stuff!” I like to renew things to get them to bubble up to the top again at least for a little bit. I know! It’s a pain, but I just don’t sell unless I’m tweaking things. Thanks! Glad you like the collage!

  3. January 4, 2012 5:36 am

    Wonderful again… your collage works fascinated me dear Martha, all my best wishes for 2012… You are doing great. Thank you, with my love, nia

  4. January 4, 2012 2:51 pm


    Galleries, museums, profit, nonprofit venues, yada, yada. This is showbiz. A very different game than the art making. For me, showbiz doesn’t relate to the making. Showbiz is an entirely different mindset and shouldn’t involve the artist really. This needs business savvy that can couple the creative end result to commerce. Above all it requires there be trust between the artist and the commodity peddler. I have been at the showbiz end of art making since 1960. The positives are very short when related to the negatives. When the final rollover came where the art became “art as commodity”, say around 1990, I began to loose interest in showbiz; especially the commercial side of it. I think there is still value in the nonprofits where art still has value as does education. There are far too few gallerists out there today who care about the art as well as the artist; where the $$$$$ doesn’t rule. Hard to find a good marriage now.

    Martha, I didn’t mean to rain on your parade. You seem to be one of the few artists that I know that are comfortable playing in the showbiz arena. Kudos to you.

    All of the above being said, as we start 2012 I am beginning to sense that “art” may be returning to the “art gallery” equation. This is a good thing. The concepts and operations revolving around “art as commodity” not only hurt deeply committed artists, but also hurt deeply committed collectors. We all lost. I am stepping off my soap box now. A new day is coming.


    • January 4, 2012 4:48 pm

      Are you kidding, David? I’m always delighted to have your input. Most readers of this blog don’t realize how many times we’ve been around and around with this conversation. I have a love/hate relationship with the idea of galleries, and yet I still have one now that I can’t say enough positive things about, so there you go. But this is a rare thing. I do love selling my art, because it’s always a thrill to realize someone actually loves it enough to want it on their walls. The money is kind of fun too, but that’s not the prime motivator.

      If I weren’t so lazy, I’d teach privately or maybe in a non profit setting. But so far I haven’t taken that leap.

      But there’s always the digital sandbox!! Yes!

      • January 4, 2012 5:56 pm


        I have to agree with you. Showbiz is a love-hate relationship. I pine for the old days when I’d show a director my work, they would say yes, a show date was set, the work was exhibited, the work was sold. No real abrasive relationship ever happened. Then the 90’s came and along with it a new set of paradigms were established where the artist as well as the work took a back seat to the dollar. Outside the first encounter with a gallery director, after the first show you (as the artist) was evaluated on the amount of sales brought to the enterprise. A director of one of my last relationshis told me at point blank, “if an artist can carry the gallery (profit) he/she can stay!” For the most part if an artist couldn’t carry the gallery the artist was dropped. All art/artist decisions were now made according to dollar sales. The art didn’t really matter. How sad!

        Teaching: Great fun. Loved the interaction with the students. Had to give it up. There is no money in teaching when you analyze the time required to teach etc. Also I found teaching quite exhausting and in the end took away some of my energy to do my work. I found it less stressful and more productie as an artist to work at a day job totally unrelated to art. However, retirement is the best job I ever had. Like my art making, in retirement I answer only to myself. Now this is really playing well in the sandbox!


      • January 4, 2012 6:58 pm

        Yes, me too, David! I don’t want to stretch myself too thin at this stage in life. I think we’ve earned the right to enjoy ourselves and play!!

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