This time the reporter from the New York Times is asking
Will the painting-a-day frenzy last? Or is it merely the fleeting symptom of a new Internet trend?I think it's possibly more likely that this reporter needed to find a new 'line' given the amount of exposure 'painting a day' blogs and associated marketing has been getting recently in various media. For what it's worth, here's my take on it.
Although it's entirely possible that the 'daily painting' thing is the latest e-bay type fad which has transferred off e-bay into the hands of individual artists, we should perhaps look at the bigger picture.
More and more artists are finding a way to market their work independently of organised institutions (eg traditional gallery; on-line art gallery). Some artists seem to be doing very well while others languish. However, the good news is that there's no need to go down the 'daily painting' route to do this.
Here are some of the things that I know or notice about people who seem to do well:
- they produce good quality and original work
- they have a business-like approach to their art business
- they present their artwork well - using good quality images and good design
- they have a consistent style - making their work very collectable
- they use an appropriate medium and channel to allow people to buy at least some of their work at reasonable prices (some sell small works; some sell prints etc)
- they post their work on a regular basis - on a blog/website/e-bay site
- they communicate well - they explain what they're doing / say something about their work / say something about their life and how it relates to their art
- they build up a personal relationship with their customers - many of whom go on to become repeat buyers
- they make paying for a piece of art really easy
- work is well-packaged and arrives promptly due to the use of a reliable service - and generates few, if any, complaints about this aspect of business
- all complaints are attended to promptly and positively
- selling direct means they (rather than a gallery) get the names and addresses of buyers which can potentially enable the marketing of other artwork through the development of a customer database.
- artists getting business-like and getting their art out there
- artists being rewarded for their hard work at marketing their art as well as all the effort that goes into producing it.
- sloppy and/or poor quality paintings being marketed
- artists who are unbusinesslike and/or provide poor service to their customers
We should respect people who generate art business and sales largely from their own efforts. The easier it is for people to buy good quality art, the more this will trickle through to the art economy as a whole. Those who have dipped their toes into the £100 painting art market will find it easier to move on to higher priced paintings. I hear many artists complaining that sales through galleries have been slow this year. Maybe the 'painting a day' people and other successful on-line artists will eventually help 'bricks and mortar' galleries get back on their feet?
Whatever the future holds for the "a painting a day" blogs, congratulations to all those who were featured by in the New York Times article:
- Nick Janischigg - http://www.nickjainschigg.org (I loved the animation and sounds before I even got to Nick's paintings - and it was really nice to see a bit more text alonsgide the paintings)
- Randal Plowman - http://acollageaday.blogspot.com (very refreshing to see a new slant on the artwork a day - this time using collage)
- Jan Blencowe - http://paintingadayproject.blogspot.com (Jan has a number of other blogs and her work can also be seen regularly in the Artwork from Life and Plein Air Forums of www.wetcanvas.com)
- Elin Pendleton - http://www.dailypaintings.com (Elin's images are not showing up at present - maybe a case of bandwidth being exceeded by interest in her site! You can also see her work at website - seee below for link)
And if you'd like to see some more of these type of blogs, I note Jeff Hayes has been thinking hard about marketing and has come up with a neat marketing twist. His Squidoo lens "A Painting a Day" lists a number of different artists who are producing daily paintings - as well as featuring his own daily effort!
art, art business, art marketing, painting a day