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.
In this Art Marketing Minute, Eric Rhoads shares thoughts on how to balance the practice of making and selling art; and what it means to have a “title” as an artist.
Listen to the Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 119 >
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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 artmarketing.com, the place to go to learn more about marketing. Now, here’s your host, art magazine publisher, Eric Rhoads.
In the art marketing minute, my goal is to answer your art marketing questions you can send them in or upload a video question art marketing.com/questions. Or you can email it to me Eric at art marketing.com. Most people email them. And my producer Amandine, who is French, has the questions for us. Amandine?
The first question is from TJ Pruitt from Virginia. If your primary purpose with your art is not monetizing, how best do you showcase art that you want to reach people, but are not primarily concerned in selling? For me, I enjoy when my art brings joy to others. So I want you to give it the best possible exposure for that cause.
All right, TJ, I’m gonna tell you a story. Great question. I hold these week long retreats. I do one in the Adirondacks every June although I think I’m going to stop doing it pretty soon because I you know, this is like the summer will be like the 12th one and I’m kind of sick of doing it. I want to go somewhere different. I don’t know if I’ll stop or not. But I might. Anyway, I hold these retreats to do another one a fall color week and one time we did fall color week and in Canada ask us Park Banff Lake Louise in Canada, and we had an unseasonably early snow and a massive snowstorm. And a lot of people didn’t want to go out. So we were painting out looking out the windows and painting indoors. Some of us went out and painted part of the time. But I offered some personal coaching to people because I teach marketing. And a bunch of people took me up on it. And this one guy wanted some time and we started talking about him wanting to sell his art. And he was asking how to do it. And I could sense that his heart wasn’t really into it. So I just said, you know, why do you want to sell your art? And he said, Well, I guess because I thought I was supposed to and I said well, there’s no supposed to Why do you really want to sell art? He says, I don’t know. I said do you need the money? No, I don’t need the money. I retired at a great job. I don’t need the money. I said then why do you want to sell your art? He says Well, I guess I don’t really want to sell it. He says I what we finally figured out is I asked him a bunch of questions. And we figured out that his need was that he wanted to contribute somehow. He wanted some recognition. For his art. It’s always nice to be validated that somebody else likes your art, which is not always the case. You know, sometimes I’ll give a painting to a family member and they’ll go Oh, thanks, you know, with gritted teeth. Because you know our it’s a personal thing, sometimes, you know, they’re not going to like it so we crafted a plan for him to market his art but not to sell it. At the end we determined that he wanted to leverage his art to help organizations and charities that he loved. So we worked on a plan to get him involved in those charities in auctions and we find ways to help his art help others and we left he was on fire with a mission now. I go into a lot of that stuff in my book. There’s a lot of different things you can do to get involved but essentially, if your charities local, then you need to become famous locally. And you have to follow a marketing plan to become famous locally because they want your art and in your art will raise more money. If you’re putting A piece of garbage art into an auction, it’s not going to sell, that’s going to be embarrassing. So you got to be good, you got to make sure that you’re you’re living up to it, you know, and, and I did that one time, when I wasn’t very good, I put a piece of art in, in a auction for the kids, elementary school, and nobody bought it. And so that just reflected badly on me. So you know, now I’m really, really careful, I had a moment, one time, it was really a great moment, when I had this great big painting, I did it just because I loved it, it was one of my better ones at the time. And I just gave it to this charity auction, and it ended up you know, it was the number one fundraiser for that auction, they had me stand up, you know, they’re holding it up, and I got a lot of recognition, it was kind of cool. And, and at the same time, the charity made a lot of money. So that was really the goal. So find a cause, find a cause or two. And there’s no rule about a painting has to make you money. You know, painting is about bringing you joy. Most people don’t start painting because they want to make a living becoming a painter painter, most people want to paint because they love painting, they want to get good at it. And then a lot of them say, you know, I kind of like to make a living at it. And a lot of that goes back to the recognition. But a lot of it is about, hey, I don’t want to work in this crummy job anymore. I want to I’d rather paint all day. And if I can paint and make my living, that’s even better. So you might consider depending on the quality of your work to explore, leaving a few select pieces to sub select museums, you might not get into the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the LA or Chicago museums. But unless you’re really already famous, and even then probably not. But you know, there’s hundreds of small local community museums that need art and art donations. And I’m actually working on a lifetime plan to build a museum of plein air and of realism. Because those are two areas that I’m really, really, really excited about all I need. All I need is somebody with a lot of money to fund it. I need a building in a major city. And I have all the art and some of the art I need to get yet but anyway, that’s the kind of thing you can do is, is donate art. And you have to put some stipulations whenever you donate anything, you got to put stipulations. Now there’s a guy by the name of Alphonse mukha, great painter, was really known for his art nouveau work. But he was a brilliant painter, he did this thing, this series of paintings called the Czech epic, or the Slav Epic, or something like that. And I’ve seen them, but they have been in hiding, because he gave them to the city of Budapest, and said that they must show them but he never said when or how long. So they sat in a warehouse for 100 years before they were shown. Now they’re starting to get shown a little bit, but you want to make sure you stipulate, you know, here’s what to do. You can’t sell my paintings, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Next question Amandine.
The next question is from Eugene Fama. Why does striving for titles from one’s peer group create unnecessary stress? Does it distract from the essence and joy of painting for pleasure? Are there any benefits to a title? What are the negatives, I see people spending a lot of money chasing the dream of a title.
Now Eugene, because you didn’t specify what kind of title I’m gonna have to guess I’m not sure what you mean by titles, I can think of a couple of things. One is to have a title in a local art club, you know, like President or treasurer, but I don’t think that’s what you mean. I think what you probably mean is a title from an organization. For instance, there’s one called the oil painters of America, there’s the one called the American impressionist society, there’s lots of them. If you mean a title from one of those, let’s explore the pros and cons. Now, these titles are typically not political. They can be but usually not, you get them from winning a certain number of awards annually. And if you win a certain number of awards annually and so many years in a row, and you get to accumulate a certain number of awards, that adds up to getting voted in and getting a title. Oftentimes, it’s a master title or a signature member title. And that way you can sign your paintings with that, that master title so for instance, for the oil painters of America Opa, you sign your painting, you know, Eric Rhoads comma op, an OP AMR OPM, and the idea is that you are an OPA master, right? And so, that means you’ve earned that title. Now there is prestige to that huge prestige among painters who know how hard you work to get there. And they know that the standard is high that you don’t get those awards. And when those awards by putting together crummy paintings, you get a good standard. And but you have to enter a lot of paintings until you get to the point where you’ve elevated yourself. Now among some collectors and some galleries that is also very prestigious. So that’s a pretty big deal. So keep that in mind. Now, the reality is there are big names out there brilliant masters, who we all know and love, who don’t have any titles. And there are some who have them, but they don’t use them. It just depends on on what you want to do. The process of getting a title takes a lot of commitment and time. And hopefully it elevates your standard of work. And when you don’t, when you learn, you grow, you try harder next time. And you keep trying more and more to win. Now, competitions of any kind make you stronger. In our own plein air salon competition, which is monthly by the way. It’s not by though it’s also not all plein air, it’s all kinds of painting portraits, figures, everything. But because it’s sponsored by plein air magazine, that’s, that’s why it’s called that. But anyway, I’ve seen the quality increase over the years because the people who enter get better and better and better and better and better. And so and by the way, there are top artists who enter their new artists who enter their new artists who win their top artists who win, you know, there’s no rhyme or reason. But when you compete, you get better. And the same is true when you enter these organizations. If you’re a member first you got to belong. I, California art club does this too. They have I don’t think they have titles. So I’m not sure anyway. I’ve never tried to get a title, I’m not so sure that I have the time to try to get a title because it’s not really all that important to me. But I don’t have to make my living selling my work. And I think I could make a living selling my work without a title. But it might be come important. At some point in my life. If I ever decide to paint full time or something which I don’t think I’ll do. But you never know. We all have to make our own art journey about our own goals, our own interests, our own time, not somebody else’s desires for us. I paint because I love to paint, you probably paint because you love to paint, I don’t send the galleries a lot of work. Because I don’t do a lot of work. I don’t want the pressure I don’t I turn down shows. Because I don’t want to pressure creating shows, I just want to paint I want to have fun. And if I get some good ones, I’ll send them off to the galleries. I don’t even care if they sell but they do sometimes. And sometimes they don’t. If I were making my living full time, I would care a lot more, right. But I make my living publishing art magazines and conferences and things like that. So it’s not about that. I love that I can just paint without pressure. And that might be you. You might want to just paint without pressure. Nothing else matters to me. I don’t need awards. I don’t need titles. I don’t care what happens. I just want to paint because I enjoy it. And you know, and I like to paint so I can hang out with my friends and I want to be good enough so that I don’t completely embarrass myself. But do what you want to do. Follow what you want to do. Don’t follow up Pied Piper. All right, that is today’s art marketing minute.
This has been the marketing minute with Eric Rhoads. You can learn more at artmarketing.com.
Eric Rhoads 1:13:31
And I also want to remind you to join me at plein air live coming up in March. PleinAirlive.com Join me at the plein air convention. You know the it’s pleinairconvention.com which is coming up in May. And if you’re not already a subscriber to plein air magazine, man, you will love it. You really will love it. I know I am not being humble about that. But I hear so many so many people just say they can’t wait. You know, some people have had it for 10 years. They just can’t wait for it to come in. I hope that would be the case for you. And if you don’t love it, you can cancel but nobody ever does. Well. There was that one guy one time. If you’ve not seen my blog where I talk about art and life and stuff and things, it’s called Sunday coffee, you can get it for free weekly at Coffeewitheric.com We got a big, big, big audience on that. I don’t know how many but I know it’s big. People keep forwarding it. That’s nice. Also, I’m on the air daily on Facebook shows called Art School live where hundreds of artists do demonstrations and talks one every day five days a week I’m on noon Eastern every weekday mostly live sometimes replay. You can subscribe on YouTube by searching streamline art and hit the subscribe button. Also, please follow me Eric Rhoads on Instagram and Facebook and by the way, I don’t have it here to show you. But I got my Instagram. I’m not my Instagram. I got my YouTube plaques. designating they’ve got 100,000 followers. That’s a pretty big deal for me. It’s a plaque, you know, it hangs up somewhere and gets dust but it’s kind of nice to get recognition. Anyway, it’s a, it’s a great thing to, to see a lot of people get something out of it. Anyway, I’m Eric Rhodes. I’m the publisher and founder of plein air magazine, among others. Thank you for tuning in today. And remember, it’s a big world out there. Go paint it. Bye bye.
How to Submit Your Art Marketing Questions: What questions do you have about selling your art? Submit it at artmarketing.com/questions to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.
> Visit EricRhoads.com (Publisher of ArtMarketing.com) to learn about opportunities for artists and art collectors, including:
- Art retreats
- International art trips
- Art conventions
- Art workshops (in person and online)
- And more!