In the Art Marketing Minute Podcast with Eric Rhoads, 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 week’s Art Marketing Minute, Eric answers the questions, “Who owns the rights to copy your painting if you donate it?” and “Should you take genre-specific paintings only when attending a niche event?”

The Art Marketing Minute Podcast has been named one of the 2023 “Top 25 Art Business and Marketing Blogs on the web” by FeedSpot.

Listen to the Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode #132 >

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What questions do you have about selling your art? Visit or e-mail Eric 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, it is sometimes 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, art magazine publisher, Eric Rhoads.

Eric Rhoads:
Okay, the first question comes from Gail Caraghnatto of inland South Carolina. It says if you have created a painting, and it is donated to your local art group for a fundraiser, who owns the rights to the copy of the painting to make greeting cards or prints that might be sold? Well, Gail, that’s a really great question. Let’s talk about the pros and cons of donating paintings to but first copyright issues. I am not a copyright attorney, it’s a really good idea to have somebody that you can rely on to give you valuable advice in case I’m wrong. But I think what I have understood is it depends entirely on how the painting is marked. Right now I can’t give legal advice. And you should check with an expert in case I’m wrong. But I signed my name on the front, my signature. And on the back I write I sign my name and I write my name. And I put Circle C copyright 2023 My name, period, and then I write all rights reserved. All means everything, everything. All copies, all prints, all postcards, all everything all rights reserved. That is a statement that says you own it. If you do not do that, my understanding is that person who owns that painting could potentially go duplicate it and sell it. So you want to make sure that’s clear. Now I have a little rubber stamp that I had made. Now I have to update it every year that says, you know copyright 2023 B Eric Rhoads all rights reserved, and I think there’s something else on it. I can’t remember what’s on it. I don’t have it in front of me. But then I also put my website on it which is also valuable, you know, to contact the artist, go to www whatever. And so This is a great opportunity to get your website on the back of it too. But I have friends who put a circle C in front of their signature on the front of the painting. And some of them have said, If you don’t do that it really isn’t valuably copyrighted. Now there’s a copyright process. But there is also you know, where you can actually, you know, mail a copy of print of the mag print of the, the image to yourself and so on it. You know, that’s, that’s more than most of us will do. But you want to have some kind of production anyway. Now, let’s talk about donating paintings. Since we’re on that topic a little bit. I get a lot of requests. I know you do, too. And my rule is this does it fit with my current marketing plan? Right. So like if, let’s say, I live in the Adirondacks in the summer, but I’m only focusing on selling paintings in my hometown of Austin, or something hometown, but we’re live now, then I am not likely to do a giveaway of a painting in the Adirondacks because I don’t care if I get known here, right. I don’t care if people know who I am. But if I unless, of course, I just want to do it, because I’m a nice guy. And that’s a different story. You want to help somebody out. That’s cool, too. But if you’re doing it is marketing, then you want to have some reason to do it. Now. I have something that I started doing years ago, and it’s worked very effectively. Imagine this I’m at, I’m going to be in this art auction. And a piece of Mahler comes out for this art auction. And my painting is highlighted on the brochure that gets mailed. It’s big. It says, this painting worth, you know, whatever. $1,000 is going to be auctioned off, you know, by Eric Rhoads. And so now I’m getting my name in their mailer, I’m getting my name on their website, I’m getting my name on their email promotions. And when I went to the event, they held the painting up and they stood up and they said, Please, we’d like to introduce the artist Eric Rhoads. And I stood up, and I got some polite applause. And then I sat down, then afterwards, people came up to me, I didn’t know you were the artist. But now I put your face with the name. And so you get a dialogue going, and you have a chance to possibly get commissions or other things. That’s all of that stuff was intentional. I said to them, I’ll donate a painting. And I’ll do it under the circumstances. So you can go there’s one thing I’ve done in the past is I’ve said, Okay, I’ll give you a little tiny painting. But if you do the following things, I’ll give you a big painting. And because I’m looking for publicity, right, so I’ll say, you know, if you do an introduction to me, if you put my painting as a highlighted piece of the biggest image on your promotional materials, and your website and your emails, and if you introduce me at the event, I’ll do that I’ll give you a, you know, more expensive, larger painting or something like that. And so that’s been very effective. I don’t do it very often. Because quite frankly, I’m so busy doing this, I don’t do much to market my own artwork, I mean, a couple of galleries, but they do that stuff, but I’m not doing it. So but if you’re doing it figure out does it fit what it is I’m trying to do. Now, the other thing I always ask for, I don’t always get it, but I try is I say I’ll tell you what, I’ll give you a big one and a little one. Here’s the deal. On the little one. Usually you go to these auctions, they have silent auction for some pieces, like so I’ll say I’ll give you a small frame painting, if I can put a business card poll out, and some slips, so people can put their name in it. And that way I get names. Now, the other thing I’ve done and sometimes effectively, sometimes not. And that is I’ve said, I will also give you this bigger, more expensive painting. If after the auction, you send out an email and you make sure that you mention and show my painting and somebody me holding the painting with the winner of the auction. That’s all I need is because it’s just another chance to get my name out there. And they’ll usually do that they usually won’t give you their email list, but sometimes they will. And so I have had one instances anyway, where I’ve been able to send out my own email and say, hey, you know, you saw me at the, the SO and SO St. Jude charity auction, and I had these paintings and I just wanted to make you aware of some of the other paintings I have. If you’re ever interested in you can join my email list by clicking this and so on. So, you know sometimes you can do things like that. Now, my understanding is that the laws of change used to be you could only deduct the cost of materials like the cost of paint and canvas. This thick those laws changed finally, and you can deduct a true market value if you can prove that market value. But again, check with your experts, your bookkeeper, whomever. You know, but I’m only interested in marketing, you know, if I’m not focused on a local town, if I’m focused nationally, then I’m going to I’d be more likely to put something in a national event than I would a local event, for instance. Okay. All right.

The second question comes from David Gorski in Fairfield, Connecticut. I think this is a two-parter. For many years, I was an aviation artist while trying to get better at landscapes for my aviation paintings, I basically stopped painting aircraft and started painting seascapes and landscapes. Recently out of the blue and Aviation Museum, airshow contacted me asked me to bring my aviation art to the airshow. So the first question is, Should I bring aviation art to the show? Because it’s what they’re all about? Or should I also bring a smattering of my other paintings. I’m concerned about diluting the aviation brand, making it look less focused. I also understand that there might be others there who might be interested in other subjects. Now, first off, you probably have to ask them that question. But I would, or maybe you just don’t ask, and maybe you just, you know, bring all your aviation paintings and put them up on a wall, and then have another wall that’s devoted to other paintings that you’ve done. Because if somebody has fallen in love with your paintings, they might like something else that you’ve done. And you’re right, there are other people there who might not be interested in airplanes, they might be there for some other reason. But they go, Oh, I love that landscape, or that farm or whatever. So I think any opportunity to get things in front of people is a good idea. So I like the idea of show your paintings as originals, and also show other options. And I think in a case like that, I’m not a big prints guy. But I think in a case like that, you’re selling originals, but you could also sell prints of all of your most popular originals. That way, you know, somebody is not going to spend 2345 $10,000 on an original, they might spend 50 bucks on a print. Just saying. So. I mean, that happens very frequently at art shows that, you know, 10 shows. So his follow up question is, since the show is coming up soon, I need to make decisions on my website. Because I think, you know, probably people are going to be visiting it right? So do you think I should have them the aviation paintings, and the other art together on the same website, or under different categories? Right now they’re separate. And I’m just not sure having two separate desperate subjects on the site would look like I’m not focused, again, thanks for your expertise and insight, blah, blah, blah. Well, I, you know, aviation people, car people, you know, they’re interested in what they’re interested in. And so I think I’d have a website, it’s cheap and easy to do, I’d have a website, if you’re really focusing on getting these people to come back and buy something, I’d have a website on your aviation art, and I’d have it filled with keywords. So if somebody searches, pictures of airplanes, you know, your website comes up and have a way they can order it by online. And then you might have a button that says, visit my other, my other art on that. And then that takes you to your, normal website, which, I assume would be David And then you can have all of your other art there. And you can also have a button say, visit my aviation art website, so you’re not cluttering it up. The thing that I believe is that there is what I like to call a set, and that is the set of painting or a style. So you want to make sure that if somebody sees an ad and they click through to your website, what they see in the ad is there not what something that isn’t there and you want to you know, if it’s sold, put a sold sign on it. And then have a button that says other paintings like this, you know, but follow the set and do what people want. Anyway, hope that helps. That’s it for the marketing minute.

How to Submit Your Art Marketing Questions: What questions do you have about selling your art? Submit it at to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.