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Mystique Series : Venues for promotion ...

Posted by Dave Bull at 10:27 AM, March 28, 2010

OK, here's a post with a request to make ...

Given that the number of subscribers hasn't exactly run through the roof on this new series (76 at the moment), I'm going to have to start to 'get out there' to try and get some attention.

But I'm not quite sure what kind of places to focus on. Does it matter? It certainly seems to ... As an example, I had an experience a couple of years ago where I got what I thought was a good piece of publicity, but which turned out to be not quite as it seemed at first. Perhaps you have heard of the blogger Jason Kottke (one of the earliest people making waves in that field). A couple of years ago, after I wrote to him about my work he decided to write a little feature about it, and this brought in nearly a dozen new subscribers over the next few days. Sounds good.

Unfortunately, around half of those people ended up quitting or became 'no-pay', I suppose because of the demographic involved. So it's not enough just 'getting publicity' and running the numbers up; the 'core' market for what I do is obviously more limited than the overall 'general' market.

Many of you who are reading these RoundTable posts are already collectors - or potential collectors - so are thus kind of 'selected', and this gives me a chance to glean some interesting data. If I were to think of people like you as being my best potential audience, where would I reach 'you'? You (perhaps) don't read kottke.org, but what kind of places do you read?

If you don't mind, please drop some links into the Comments section below. Please give me a good cross-section of places on the internet where 'my kind of people' spend their time!


Following comment posted by: Dave on March 28, 2010 10:42 AM

I'll kick this off my listing a few of the places I myself head for when I'm looking for 'something to read'.

Lots to read there, but no real chance for me to expose my work. I need to find places like the Kottke example I mentioned earlier, where a person with influence decides to talk about my work ...

Following comment posted by: Bill B on March 28, 2010 11:42 PM

How about on McLain's? They have a featured artist, and other such websites, Graphic Chemicals, Dick Blick, Jerry's Artorama, might be willing to do something like this. A facebook page will reach many, and we can all join. More later, gotta go.


Following comment posted by: Barbara Mason on March 29, 2010 1:54 AM

The problem with the above mentioned places is they are all supplier of art products, and while artists are sometimes good at buying art, lets face it, we don't have much disposable money.
Face book is a good idea, if you ask all your "friends" to join you and ask their friends, that really brings in a lot of folks. I would try that to get your work out there. I have told people bur obviously not successfully. Artists all have friends who are not artists and not addicted to spending all their money on tools and paper

Following comment posted by: Sharri on March 29, 2010 2:53 AM

Have you ever sent anything to "Journal of The Print World"? Even if you have, do it again - send an article about who you are and what you do with a couple of examples of your work. I think their clientele is mostly collectors, but a lot of print artists (who also seem to collect, it seems)are in that mix, too. I think it would be an ideal place to hit your target audience. Hope this helps. ;-)

Following comment posted by: Maria on March 29, 2010 7:21 AM

Follow up comment on the "artists as buyers" I have found that MANY artists are collectors as well. You have to remember that the artist eeking out a living with art is a minority of the artist community; many artists are hobbyists with money.

And speaking of community, the sad truth is that the recommendation of a Facebook page (or a -fill-in-your-least-favorite-online-community page) is a good one. This seems the current way of communicating now a days. I say sadly because I still see it as a "come see me, in my corner" way of relating to each other, rather than the "join us in our community" way.
Regardless, every time I open my e-mouth in some online forum, I end up selling a couple of books or a print. I should do more of that "online socializing" but, frankly, I don't have the time or the gumption. And I get more comments on my blog or facebook page about prints than in the Baren forum. Sad, because nobody else can "hear" the private little conversations going around. This very conversation should be on the barenforum, where many more members could benefit from it and perhaps subscribe to your series. What percentage of the forum do you suppose clicks on your blog? Doubtful that it is everyone.

Facebook is a good suggestion, you can "share" your blog comments to your wall automatically (at least with Blogger you can). Twitter to me is an idiotic waste of time 140 characters at a time, but many people "follow" other people there. I don't tweet.

Wet Canvas seems to be the leader in art "information sharing", certainly the most popular.

Lately I've had a huge number of sales on eBay and some on Etsy; both have forums and, again, give someone some good advice and a sale happens. These might be good for your older smaller works (Christmas, New Years cards) or simply to sell some of your "stock" of purchased bargain prints like the Nafuda prints. You can have a link to your website/blog in your profile pages to attract people to subscribe to your current series. Again, listing regularly (automatically in eBay with their free listing tool) and having auctions end frequently bring the most attention and sales and clicks to your "real" website.

As for real mags, Art on Paper sadly just went out of business. Aside from J. of the Print World, Printmaking Today, based in the UK might also be worthwhile, although their focus is usually cutting edge stuff.

That's all I got! My best online frenzies always occurred just after festivals, so it seems that personal contact is still king.

Following comment posted by: Jeff on March 30, 2010 2:17 AM

Have you considered contacting art galleries? There are literally hundreds of small shops and galleries around the world capable of selling your prints.

Following comment posted by: James on March 30, 2010 6:33 AM

I follow the blog lines and colors which has a daily featured artist. I often go to the artist website with a possible interest in buying. These are usually gallery artists, so your site has the advantage of showing full size images and being able to subscribe online.

Following comment posted by: Mark Mason on March 30, 2010 6:53 AM

Museum and Gallery shops would be a possible venue for your completed sets or individual prints. Although some may consider your prints as bought stock (ie: buy it off you to sell in their shop), most would offer a sale or return deal. This doesn't really help your subscription numbers though, and I would suggest targetting groups or organisations which cater for people interested in different aspects of Japanese culture. The Japan Foundation has branches in London and Paris (Paris has a large shop of Japanese books, art and other stuff), and probably other places too. They have websites and many other ways to circulate info on Japanese culture. There is also a North West of England Japan Society (I'll try to find the details and correct name) who hold a Japan Day in Manchester every year, and there is also the Japanese Garden Society. I think all these groups would be interested in your work because they're all interested in Japanese culture.

Following comment posted by: Dave on March 30, 2010 9:17 AM

Thanks for all the replies gang - no time to respond in detail just now, I have to run for the train in a few minutes ...

Lots of good suggestions it seems, but I think that some of you have mis-understood what I was trying (clumsily, I guess) to ask. Let me try and give another example.

You#1 - the person reading this - are the kind of person with an interest in the sort of thing that I do. You#2 - another person reading this - also (because you are here) have an interest in my work.

Now You#1 is also a devotee of the well-known blog "XYZ". Might it be possible that other readers of "XYZ" would be the sort of people who may be intrigued by my work? If You#2 were also to pipe up "Yes, I frequently read XYZ too," then I think we might have a 'trend' here, and it would perhaps be worth my while to write to the people at "XYZ" introducing them to my work (or perhaps even try running an ad on their site, etc.).

Do you see what I am getting at? I'm trying to sort of get a 'snapshot' of the people who like my stuff, to try and use that as a guide to some good places where 'people like you' hang out - places which should thus be interested in my work too ...

Anyway, that's what I was thinking, when I made this post ... (Oh, and about Lines And Colors, Charlie over there has been very good to me, featuring my work twice already (1) (2). I don't dare ask him again!)

Following comment posted by: Julio Rodriguez on March 31, 2010 5:07 AM


Why don't you put a simple feedback survey together and send it out to your current and past subscribers...


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