In the Art Marketing Minute Podcast, you’ll learn how to sell your art, how to market your paintings, and everything else you need to know in order to have a successful art career. Each episode answers questions from artists by host Eric Rhoads, author of “Make More Money Selling Your Art,” publisher of several art magazines and newsletters, and author of 

In this Art Marketing Minute, Eric Rhoads shares how to create an improvement plan and the best investments to consider; and suggestions for pricing a portrait commission and why it’s different for a landscape artist. (originally aired in early 2020)

Listen to the Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 104 >


Submit Your Art Marketing Question:

What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

FULL TRANSCRIPT of the Art Marketing Minute:
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the Art Marketing Minute. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.

This is the Art Marketing Minute with Eric Rhoads, author of the Amazon best selling book, “Make More Money Selling Your Art.” In the marketing minute we answer your questions to help your art career brought to you by, the place to go to learn more about marketing. Now, here’s your host, arts magazine publisher, Eric Rhoads.

Eric Rhoads:

In the marketing method, I try to answer your art marketing questions and you can email me, [email protected] or you can send me a note on Facebook or whatever Instagram. Here’s a question from Sue in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, which is right outside of West Palm Beach. And I only know that Sue because I used to live there in Palm Beach Gardens over in the Hunt Club. She says I’ve just begun participating in a few local plein air events and quick draws and my paintings have been been sold occasionally. Since improving the quality of artwork is an important part of marketing. Which of the following do you believe would be the most helpful part of an improvement plan for 2020? Even though I’d like to do all of them, number one is traveled to attend a highly regarded workshop number two is to attend pace in Denver, the plein air convention number three is to use the funds to purchase top quality art instruction videos. Number four, something else? Well, Sue, I got to tell you, it’s a loaded question. I can’t honestly answer objectively because I produce the plein air convention. And I produce hundreds of art instruction videos. So of course, I’m going to tell you, that’s what you should do. But that may not be what you should do. Let me just give you a lowdown on that convention makes you part of a bigger community. It’s a great way to meet folks. But it’s also a chance to sample lots of instructors so that you know how good their workshops are going to be, you get to watch them do demos. So you can kind of go from room to room to room and watch all these different demos and then choose who you want to go study with, whether it’s at a workshop or something more extensive if they happen to be in your area. Regarding the videos, most of our videos are really pretty long, you know, some of them are eight 910 1215 hours and we we really get every brushstroke. And that’s kind of what you would get in a workshop in a you know, workshop demo over two or three days, you might not get that much. So that’s a good way because you can rewind and rewatch and practice alongside and that’s, you know, that’s a good thing too. Plus, for the price of a convention or workshop, you can get a lot of videos. So that’s an option for you. I think there’s no substitute for being live. You know, getting personal attention is always good having people help you. At the plein air convention. For instance, we have all these mentors who are walking around when you’re painting and helping you out. And of course, if you’re new to plein air painting, we’ve got the basics course, which starts a day before the convention kind of gives you the whole lowdown on everything. So that’s good. But you know the other option for as soon as you might want to try, like the Armory Arts Center there in West Palm Beach, they’ve got a lot of really good painters who teach also, the lighthouse Center has a lot of great painters. And there’s probably a lot of other stuff around there now since I lived there. But that’s a good way to you know, study locally, it’s not going to necessarily be as expensive, you can do it week after week. And I think there’s a lot of value in that because you know, you’re working with somebody, and you’re learning, practicing during the week and going back after a week or so. And I did that for many, many years. And I think that’s a really great way to learn too. So there’s lots of options for you. So I hope that’s been helpful. Remember, don’t overthink everything. Sometimes you’re ready to get out there and start marketing yourself. Sometimes you’re not you need to get a pro to give you an opinion, maybe get a couple they’ll tell you the truth if you ask him to tell you the truth. And remember that we all tend to overthink making things perfect when you know sometimes you’re good enough to get out there or you’re ready to get out there and you should just get out there. Action wins every time over thought both are important. But action is where the money is made. If you’re all about making money you got to get out there.

The next question comes from someone we don’t know because they didn’t leave their name. I’m not sure how but it comes from social media says I paint portraits occasionally and I am primary primarily for juried exhibitions can’t read today. Recently I was offered a commission 36 by 24 with the subjects being three portraits in one composition, a question is not one of execution. But how much do I charge for this commission Commission’s I typically receiver for still I for landscape paintings, portraits or whole different matter. I’m welcome to all suggestions and I thank you well anonymous it’s kind of an impossible question for me to answer because I don’t know your normal price range and I don’t know your market and I don’t know what people are used to paying for you, et cetera. But typically portraits take a lot more time. You know, if you do a landscape and you move a tree or the tree is not perfect, nobody winds but if the eyes are wrong or they’re out of alignment, everybody’s gonna whine because the process of a portrait commission is usually involves sketching something something out getting that approved, maybe doing preliminary sketching that out getting that approved, getting different pieces of money at different times, portraiture takes a lot more time in that respect on top of actually having to, to make. So in. And also in this particular case, you have three portraits, not just one portrait, so you’ve got a lot more work involved. And so I would think, you know, you would have a standardized price for a portrait. And then for every, for every additional person, you’re going to add a certain amount of money for it, there’s remember the saying, that’ll cost you an arm and a leg? Well, that came from the portrait business. In the portrait business, it was, if you want to just a head and shoulders, that was one price, if you wanted one arm and a hand in it, that was another price. If you wanted two arms and hand in it, if you wanted a leg in it, you wanted a full body, that was another price. So that’s where that will cost you an arm and a leg came from. So you can kind of set up, you know what, what you would charge you know, because, quite frankly, if you’re painting a whole body, it’s a whole different than painting a face, etc. So keep keep that in mind. So the thing about pricing your work, I think that pricing, your work really boils down to this. You know it, it really kind of works out to how much do you need every year? And how much can you sell a year like so if you need 100k A year, and you can sell 10 paintings a year, then in reality, you need to sell them for 10 grand a painting, right. And of course, that’s easier said than done. Because you kind of build up your reputation, you got to get known and so on build a collector base. But that’s kind of how it works. And remember, your prices will never go up. As long as you have too much for sale. I got this advice from a an art gallery recently who said, you know, if I go to a website, and this this artist has got 50 paintings on their website for sale, it’s there’s no scarcity, I don’t feel like they’re important. But if they have three for sale, or for for sale, then I feel like maybe it’s a little bit more scarce and a little bit more important. And he suggested that you never have a lot of paintings out there. And he also suggested you take all the sold paintings off your website, because they can’t get them anyway, it’ll just frustrate people. I don’t know if I agree with that. But that was his his thought and he might be right. But scarcity is an important principle of all marketing. And prices rarely go up without scarcity. You know, scarcity is like something that nobody can have. Everybody wants what nobody can have, you know, the reason a Rolls Royce, or may back it costs so much more money is because very few people can afford them. And of course, they’re very specialized. They take a lot of extra effort. And so, you know, they’re scarce. The reason that, you know, Howard terpening paintings sell for over a million dollars, because he probably only does one or two of them a year, maybe one a year. I don’t know how many he’s doing anymore. But the idea is that you want to be scarce. You want to have people who are clamoring to get what you’ve got, you know, I’ve got a friend out west, I won’t use names. He sells four paintings a year, and he gets about $250,000 A painting. So he’s making a million bucks, he doesn’t even have a gallery involved. And everybody knows his stuff is so good and so rare and so special, that they’ll pay that kind of money, the people who collect that kind of art, which happens in this case to be Western art. So anyway, I hope that gives you a feel for things. I’m not so sure I answered your question, but I’m trying to help.

Well, this has been the art marketing minute with me. Eric Rhoads. My goal in life is to eliminate the idea of the starving artists to help your dreams actually come true. So if you want to submit questions, simply email [email protected]. And to learn more about marketing ideas, you can visit Thanks for listening.

How to Submit Your Art Marketing Questions: What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

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