I frequently commission articles on exceptional artists who sell their original artwork through outdoor shows. I do that for two particular reasons: One is that those artists are, of necessity, well organized and able to deliver requested photographs and documentation without delay; and the other is because the artists are on the front line of marketing art directly to collectors and can offer helpful advice to readers. They spend their weekends talking to people who view their paintings inside a 10’-x-10’ tent; and they must learn what subjects, sizes, styles, and prices will convince someone to acquire one of their creations.
I don’t mean to suggest that these artists pander to the buying public. On the contrary, the only artists I am interested in presenting in the magazine are those who have found a way of satisfying their personal need to express what is important to them while, at the same time, making connections with others who appreciate their work.
For example, in the September 2009 issue of American Artist, Robin Frisella explained why creating still life paintings in pastel allows her to respond to beautiful and cherished vases, pitchers, bowls, and silver-service items that have been passed down in families from one generation to another; and why collectors respond to the subjects with the same emotional intensity the artist brings to her creative process. In the same issue, Scott Coulter offered a step-by-step demonstration of his acrylic-painting technique and told why he avoids identifying the exact location that inspired the pictures because that information might limit sales.
In this difficult economic climate, it is especially important for artists to help one another improve their skills; gain public attention; and successfully market their drawing, prints, and paintings. The articles in our magazines are part of that process of sharing and so too are the blogs and forums on our website that are also available through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other websites. As I’m sure you know, helping a fellow artist is a way of paying back your teachers and mentors, and it is a vital process of building support for the entire community of artists.
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