|California Sunset by Albert Bierstadt|
- a model for all aspiring painters of Californian landscapes?
What do you think are the priorities for an aspiring artist?
I received an email the other day which struck me as being from a "Mr Everyman". That's because what he was saying is probably representative of a number of artists who have moved beyond being a beginner.
"Mr Everyman" has been painting landscapes in California for about three years. He's sold art and would like to sell more but is in a quandary as to where to display that art online to get the best results.
I took a look at his website - with difficulty as it doesn't work properly. I'd characterise his art as being not unlike a lot of other artists who are serious leisure painters who are both trying to improve and also aspire to being full time painters one day. Also, as yet, there is nothing particularly distinctive about his art in terms of style or use of media. Just like me, he's no Bierstadt as yet! (Isn't that Bierstadt painting of a Californian Landscape at the top of the post a wonderful example of Luminism?)
Do have a read of the email from the artist - and then I've got some questions for you.
My name is *****, and I’m an artist living in California. I paint landscapes, and am wanting to find an online gallery to sell my ORIGINAL pieces of work. I basically will be selling my older gouache/oil landscapes, and gouache abstract/collage pieces. I’m an amateur, and my work does have issues with composition and design, and color harmony (things I’m getting much better at now!). However, I have sold some prints of my work and a few originals at coffee shops and other similar places, so I know my work is sellable.Now I'm a great believer in the wisdom of crowds so, having given him some advice, I asked whether it would be OK to post his letter online because of its generic questions - and he's fine about that.
That being said, I read your blog on online selling, and unfortunately maybe my mind has become poisoned because after reading numerous wetcanvas posts from various people, I’ve become very confused as where to sell. Etsy seems great, although many artists seem to think it’s not good for fine art and instead better for ‘crafts.’ Fine Art America seems good, although it appears as though that art is much higher quality than mine….so maybe Yessy, although I’ve read where their traffic is dwindling. UGH! This has lead me to become paralyzed in deciding where to sell.
If you were me, what would make the most sense? And to add to this, it would be great to list on ebay, and use one of these other sites to market my art but make the final purchase via ebay. Maybe that’s getting too complicated, lol!
Anyway – please help! I value your advice over anyone else because you seem more informed, and hence I’m leaning toward Etsy but wanted your viewpoint!
What would YOU advise this artist to do and why?
- Should his focus be on developing his artistic skills or developing his marketing and sales - or both?
- Is developing a good looking fully functioning website a priority for an artist wanting to sell art online?
- Should an artist wanting to sell art online develop a blog?
- Which, in your opinion, is the best online gallery for those wanting to sell original art - and why?
- Are there some online sites which are better for original paintings while others do better if you're trying to sell giclee prints?
Note: I'm not linking to the artist or showing any of his work as my experience suggests this can create a distraction and/or people feel they can't comment. Think of him as "Mr Everyman" - you will have seen a lot of artists like this gentleman on your travels around the internet.