Thursday, October 05, 2006

Art Calendar and "a painting a day"

"Guess Who"
ACEO 2.5" x 3.5" (coloured pencil on film)
Copyright and all rights reserved: Maggie Stiefvater

Greywaren Art Blog: This little card is of my criminally insane cat Moose, who kept hanging off the back of my computer desk. His little eyeballs popped appealingly everytime he fell off. It was as if he begged each time he jumped: "Maggie, draw MEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeee . . "
The October edition of Art Calendar - the business magazine for visual artists - features a 6 page Art Market Report by Carolyn Proeber on "The New Internet Sensation: A Painting a Day". This covers the practical aspects of producing art on a daily basis and its marketing on the internet including the use of a 'painting a day' blog.

Carolyn asked Maggie Stiefvater and myself, both members of Fine Line Artists, to contribute to her research for this piece and we were both pleased to do so. Maggie has a couple of her images featured and we're both quoted in the text in relation to tips for different aspects of being successful.

The report provides a good overview of the different disciplines of a 'painting a day' and painting the same subject many times before getting into the nitty gritty detail of what is required to do business successfully when selling on a daily basis - including a summary of what you need to get started. It's a good read that I can recommend to anybody thinking about whether or not a 'painting a day' and selling on a daily basis is for them. In a short space I can only summarise and highlight a few items of note - see the article for more detail.

Potential advantages to an artist are:
  • scope to provide a steady income stream
  • time to complete larger works
  • striving to complete a painting every day can improve your artwork
Key tips for a 'painting a day' artist include:
  • discipline: make the commitment to creating a painting a day
  • pricing: keep your artwork affordable
  • internet and other systems: make sure all communication, billing, payment and shipping systems are simple, reliable and fast
  • marketing: build and keep viewers interest; develop a 'personal' relationship with your audience and buyers
Carolyn highlighted Maggie's unique and very charming way of asking for payment after a successful auction bid on e-bay. This charm has helped Maggie build a very faithful audience and the article notes that Maggie's art card (2.5" x 3.5") of her cat Moose (at the top of this blog entry) had 16 bids on e-bay before selling for $157.50

Art Calendar is mainly oriented towards a North American audience but includes a range of articles relevant to a wider audience. Subscriptions options include an online version.


My attention has been drawn to the fact that the "Daily Painters Blog", which I featured on Monday 2nd October, is not now a blog of 'painting a day blogs' only. Although that was its original intention, I understand recent discussions amongst its members have shifted its focus to being about painters who paint on a daily basis - of whom some are 'painting a day' artists and some produce a painting in a day on a much less regular basis. For me this shifts it away from being about a distinct niche group deserving of a higher profile. I highlighted this blog because I understood it to be about 'painting a day' people and described it as such. Consequently, I now feel I must make this change of focus clear to readers of this blog.

While a blog about artists who work on their art on a daily basis may have value there are rather a lot of them. Speaking personally, as somebody who has followed 'painting a day' blogs, I do feel it's a pity that we still do not have one blog devoted to artwork produced in a day by the much smaller group of people working in this way on a daily (or very nearly daily) basis.
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