Monday, October 07, 2013

Letter to an artist

I get lots of artists asking for advice on promoting their art and also asking whether it's possible to be featured on my blog. Too many to be fair to all - so I have a set of rules about who gets featured on this blog.

Below you can read the sort of letter which often gets sent to artists asking for advice.

Churchill's Chair at Chartwell
coloured pencils on Arches HP, 9" x 12"
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Hi [artist's name]

Thank you for your kind words about my blog.

You asked whether it's possible to be featured on my blog. I mainly feature:
  • either artists who blog. Do you have an art blog?
  • or participate in the annual exhibitions of national art societies
  • or are selected for juried and prestigious art competitions.
Would any of those descriptions fit you?

Otherwise I'm afraid I get approached all the time and I have to draw the line somewhere - if only to have some time to write my blog!

My main recommendations would be to
  • get much bigger images of your artwork online. Those thumbnails are not showing your art to best effect. You don't have to create very large images - but reasonable size pics eg 600 pixels @72 dpi aren't a risk. Plus you could do the odd large one.
  • don't use Flash - because lots of people browse the Internet using their iPads and iPads don't do Flash.
  • get yourself on Facebook and then create a Facebook Page for your professional presence. You'd be amazed at how important this now is for driving traffic to a website or blog.
    • Images work very well for attracting attention - but they do need to be a decent size.
    • Crop a bit out of a painting and show it large.
  • COMMUNICATE with people. Art does not speak for itself. People want to buy art off artists they know something about. Let people have a little bit of access to you.
    • Use a blog or Facebook to talk about your art and what you're doing.
    • Treat a blog and/or Facebook like an opportunity to have a permanent private view online.
Hope this helps

Katherine Tyrrell 
Artist and writer Katherine Tyrrell draws and writes about art for artists and art lovers Making A Mark is #3 in the top 25 art blogs in the UK over 2,200,000 visitors, over 4,500,000 pageviews - and counting......Follow Making A Mark on Facebook and Twitter

Note about the drawing: 

We've been visiting Chartwell on a regular basis all year and I've been sketching there. I wanted to do a drawing(s) of one or more aspects.  This is a first attempt at the little island in the lake where Churchill sat to read and paint.  I've been fiddling around with this drawing for a few days and can't decide whether or not it's finished and/or how it might be improved.  So it's going up on the blog so I can see better what needs doing.  Feel free to crit.  I'll give you a hint - I'm not entirely happy with it and need to see how to improve it in another version. [PS I'm currently preoccupied with a project and "who's made a mark this week" will be along later - maybe much later(!) - today.]


  1. I really like the last line Katherine "I hope this helps..." It most certainly does. I think your site is arguably the best one stop resource site for artists and i have often referred other artists to your site along with a couple of books i find useful. You've named a few of these on your site. The annual exhibitions calendar is one i keep bookmarked and use on a regular basis.
    I hope this doesn't sound like i am buttering you up for a mention ;-), but the advice/comments you list in your Letter to an artist' is spot on. Social media is a wonderful and cost effective way of promoting ourselves as artists. To that I would like to add that artists consider applying regularly to some of the juried shows, competitions and exhibitions available. They are another cost effective way of getting exposure.
    Btw - I do like the drawing, I am not sure why you are not quite happy with it? There is a lot of detail in the top half and not so much in the bottom half. I do tend to accept every artists presentation as finished if they say it is finished.
    Kind regards

  2. Lovely peaceful drawing,and great realistic colors.If it was my drawing I might darken and put more detail in the two trees that stand on the edge of the river.This should help them stand out from the background and create a better sense of perspective.

  3. From the title, I gather you want the chair to be the point of interest? FWIW, I'm not sure that's clear apart from the title. I actually think the strongest bit is the water - that is a stunning surface you've created there. It just glows. If it were me, I would darken the whole of the top, to bring out that water more. If you darkened the trees it looks like there would still be a band of light at chair level, would further bring that attention. You know what you want to achieve, but that water is truly impressive. You've created still water with texture in CPs - magnificent.


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