Developing Publicity for your Work Feed

Using Pinterest Link for Visibility and Vigilance to Monitor Your Images

Harriete-estel-Berman-Pinterest-title

Pinterest has a method to look at images pinned from your website or blog. It is very simple.

COPY this link shown below and insert your website or blog address instead of the yellow text: 

pinterest.com/source/yourwebsitehere.com/

For example; to look at the images pinned from my website the link looks like this: 

http://www.pinterest.com/source/harriete-estel-berman.info/

Why would anyone want to look at Pinterest images of their own work, website or blog?

Harriete-estel-Berman-Pinterest

By checking on these Pinterest results you could:

  • ask for proper attribution in the description
  • correct descriptions
  • see which images are most effective
  • gauge interest in a body of work
  • ask for the image to be removed (if you object to your work on Pinterest)
  • contact the poster - (maybe they would like to buy your work, and talking to the artist is all they need to be engaged for a purchase)

ASK-Harriete-Pinterest-title

Keep in mind that you need a Pinterest account to contact the pinner or leave a comment.

ASK-Harriete-Pinterest

Creative Commons License

Harriete Estel Berman by ASK Harriete is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.askharriete.typepad.com.

 


Discretion Has Value Beyond $$ Visibility

You might have noticed that the previous posts in this series about appraising value for a artwork has not included names and dollar numbers. While my personal and professional approach emphasizes transparency, there are times when the discretion and confidentiality has value.
Egg-Scale-Discretion
TRUST IS EVERYTHING

The collector's donation of my work to a museum has been in the works for years, yet the appraiser would not mention or discuss the names of the collector or the museum. Even though I knew the name of the collector, and shared this information in our conversation, the appraiser would not confirm or deny this information.

Her commitment to anonymity  and discretion reflects her responsibility and professionalism.


Antique-bar-scaleI already knew that the collector preferred to remain as non-public as possible from previous correspondence, but to think that it could not be mentioned in a private conversation surprised me.

Sometimes, we must respect the wishes of others, even if it appears to sacrifice visibility to gain other benefits.  In this case, I have foregone the publicity that a famous collector has purchased my work to gain that collector's trust over the past 16 years.  It would have been advantageous on my resume, but a confidential relationship with the collector has value beyond visibility.

Most collectors prefer to remain anonymous. And the bigger the collector, the more likely they prefer to remain unexposed to uncontrolled visibility in the age of the internet.

Consequently, when I see artists and makers itemize the names of collectors of their work on their resumes or websites, this is a gigantic red flag.

Did the collectors approve such public revelations?  

Based on my experience, artists and makers should never publicly identify a collector's name without permission. It also gives me the hibbie jibbies when I see articles and blogs about unsolicited contacting of your collectors.
                  _____________________

There is a very fine line that must be decided on a case by case basis. If you get to know the collectors who have purchased your work, that is great. An email now and then, may be welcomed. Sure ask them if they be mentioned on your resume or website.

At the same time, the collectors of your work may have a different perspective and not want to receive unsolicited emails, musings, newsletters or public mentions. There is no one approach, but if the collectors think your correspondence sounds needy, self promoting, or over abundant, you could easily burn that bridge.

PREVIOUS POSTS in this series:

What Information is Needed for Appraising Value?

Appraisers Approach to Appraising Value




Responsibilities of Craft Show Organizers

In this post, Alison Antelman  offers her opinion on the role and responsibility of craft show organizers. She has been participating in retail juried craft shows for 12 years. She participates in 6 to 8 national juried shows per year, in addition to two open studio events.

Note: The opinions expressed by the author, Alison Antelman, in this post are hers and hers alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASKHarriete or Harriete Estel Berman. No endorsement or refutation is implied.
Alison Antelman in BOOTH with CUSTOMERS
Alison Antelman at the Bellevue Museum of Art Arts Fair. This show is actually held inside the parking garage. The show has very long hours (till 9:00 p.m.) because the garage is open that late! Make sure you investigate these issues in advance.

Craftfair by Alison AntelmanThe art festival/craft show sponsor establishes the flow and organization of a huge multi-level event. Many shows are run by non-profits, some by a city’s chamber of commerce, other civic groups, or even artists who want to create the "perfect" show. These events operate in a kind of partnership with the artists. They provide the venue, publicity and crowds. The artists provide high quality work to attract and satisfy the visitors.


The two previous posts on ASK Harriete recommended that artists and makers do their research
before committing to a craft show/art festival. Below is a list of responsibilites for the craft show organizers.  

Most important a craft show or art festival should promote the event and individual artists including an image and link to each artist's website on their website. Advertising should promote the artists through print, television, web site, Facebook and other social media.

Additional Event responsibilities:
  • Clear written instructions for artists before arriving with booth location, logistics, details, schedule and useful tips
  • Organize and plan the move in and move out
  • Provide security before, during and after the show
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Bring in the audience of potential buyers  
  • Provide the space and atmosphere that enhances artwork sales
  • Deal with problems immediately
  • Provide an artist listing and map of layout for visitors to navigate
  • Make sure exhibitors are displaying the work represented in their jury images
  • In case of extreme weather, have a system in place for warnings. An example would be automatic phone calls with updates about storms.
  • Provide a survey at the end of the show for artist input

Some shows also provide:
  • Hospitality services for artists including daily lunch
  • Free beverage coupons
  • Booth delivery of water and snacks
  • Booth sitters (important if any artists are doing the show alone)
  • Hospitality location where artists can relax and have some snacks/food
  • Special events: This might include galas for patrons where artists are invited and expected to schmooze.
  • Awards, cash prices or acceptance into the next year's show.
  • Breakfasts, dinners or receptions.
  • Links to lodging and special artist pricing for hotels
  • Parking during the show
  • Fashion shows, music, kids events and other amusements
  • Incentives for patrons to become collectors and commit to purchase a certain dollar amount at the show.
  • Artist Demo’s and/or lectures
  • Brochures with artist listing, images, featured artists, sponsors, map of show layout, and information about the show promoter/organization

AlisonAntelmanNECKLACEHanging Garden Necklace
Hanging Garden Necklace by Alison Antelman
S. silver, 18 + 22k gold, tourmaline, rose cut diamonds.

Thank you Alison for your words of experience. If the readers of ASK Harriete have any suggestions for the responsibilities of craft show organizers, please consider adding them as a comment. It is always good to hear from a range of experience.

NEXT POST:
What is the Artist's Job Before a Art /Craft Event?


RELATED POSTS by Alison Antelman:

6 STEPS to Craft Show Research

Resources for Craft Show Evaluation

Harriete


Tag Lines and Tagalongs -- Like Girl Scout Cookies, Wildly Popular and not really good for you.

"What should I use for a tag line?" A very common question posed to ASK Harriete.  Tagalongs Tag lines are popular, and like Tagalong Girl Scout cookies, somewhat over rated, and not really good for you.

Sorry to be so harsh, but I am kind of bemused. It seems that tag lines are something that people consider important  way too early in their art/craft business career. When they are still figuring out what their best products will be, the aesthetic styling of their business cards, and the work they plan to make, they want to believe that a "perfect" tag line is going to bring it all into focus for them and their customers.

Whoa!!!!!! I've looked in every book on my shelves about art and craft business management (I have lots) and only one had any suggestions about tag lines. Art Marketing 101 gives this topic a small half page. They describe a tag line as "similar to a slogan." They continue, "A tag line should note the physical features of your artwork, the emotional aspects and the special qualities. As an artist, you also want your tag line to help define the style and /or subject matter of your artwork..." 

Fine, all good, but your tag line should not become a priority in your business. Don't buy 500 cards with tag lines on them thinking you'll explode on the scene and have your business figured out.

Only time and experience is going to help you figure out your artwork, aesthetic, and the style of work that is selling.  Who knows, you might even find more than one niche market so that your marketing will have to change or adapt depending on the context.

MOOcardsHORIZONTAL72 If you want tags or tag lines, or even business cards that can function as both...try starting out small. Moo cards are a flexible solution. They let you print 100 cards and all of them different for about $20. You can experiment with images and text for a range of variations. Test out your images in a small print format, then see how people respond. 

Another option -  color copy on card stock, and cut up the cards yourself. Do some experimentation before you print 500 of cards that may or may not really work for you.

Tagalongsbox Forgive me, I must have Girl Scout Cookies on the brain since my husband brought home a couple of boxes.  (I've eaten them but I really wish he hadn't purchased them, and instead made a donation.)

Tagalongs are described as "Tasty cookies topped with creamy peanut butter and covered with a luscious chocolaty coating."  That tag line for Tagalongs sounds really yummy and descriptive, but, have you ever read the ingredients? The cookies are really a combination of partially hydrogenated oils and sugar with very little peanut butter or chocolate. The cookies are not really good for us. Tagalongs cookies have a great tag line sold by cute, adorable, aspiring young girls. Girl Scout cookies have their niche market and they know it well. 

So if you feel you must have a tag line, make it specific, descriptive, memorable, emotional and irresistible.

NOTE:  I am just Harriete (with no tag line).

Harriete

P.S. The web site at Small Biz Bee offers a great article about tag lines that shows you what really works. Follow their sound advice or skip the mushy, vague and ineffective tag lines that most artists and makers use.

MOO cards HORIZONTAL72 PPS. Great MOO discount if you never bought Moo Cards before. A 20% discount off  your entire order until the 30th of March.

Remember, it's only valid until 11.59pm (PT) 30th March 2011 - so place an order before then! You should also  know that the 20% discount does not apply to Shipping, Rush Printing, or Logo Design.


Are your image descriptions the best they can be?

Your image description is an important ingredient in the successful presentation of your work in all media. The image description can play many roles. Once written, it can be used over and over in multiple applications and situations.  Too frequently, artists are not taking full advantage of this important opportunity in developing an identity for their work.

Your image description should ideally be short and to the point. It is NOT an artist statement or bio. It should include:

  • Title of the work
  • Copyright
  • Date of the work
  • Name of artist
  • Materials
  • Dimensions
    • height
    • width
    • depth
  • Photo Credit

If your work has a mechanism or some element that is not apparent in the photo, add one short sentence about this feature in the description.

WomanizerFULL72 Write the image description as soon as you complete the work. Then you can use it over and over.  Get in the habit of including the image description EVERY TIME you  show your work. This includes all postings on the web for Facebook, Flickr or portfolio sites like Crafthaus. There is no excuse for not posting your description. It only takes a few minutes to copy and paste the description into any situation.

Do NOT use the term "mixed media."  It is not descriptive enough to help the viewer figure out if you used oil paint, or nail polish, glitter, sequins, rhinestones or gemstones, oil paint to enamel, just to mention a few scenarios.

Avoid using "fluff" terms that might be found in a T.V. commercial or print ad or catalog.  Terms such as "designer,"  "showcase," "special," etc. are not appropriate in your image description.  A selling situation is completely different than an image description. If you are selling your work or describing your work for a catalog, then you can modify the image description to suit a particular context.

Place or link your image description with all your work that appears online. This is not conceited self-promotion, this is sharing information with your viewers. 

Your image description can also be used for on line jury sites and applications. Keep the information to the facts. Advertising verbiage is inappropriate in this context. 

A sample image description is shown below.

Womanizer, Kitchen Queen    © 1982  Harriete Estel Berman

Blender body and lid are a painted copper construction.
Button panel has a plastic lamination with applied lettering reads:
     LOVE, HONOR, OBEY, CHERISH, MIX, BLEND, STIR, CREAM, SPREAD, BEAR.

Pierced Nu-gold brass lettering on button panel Womanizer, Kitchen Queen and
crown (Misstress of the Home).

Ballerina inside the transparent plastic blender container pirouettes in conjunction with the music by wind-up mechanism.                                            

15" height   x   5” width   x   5.5" depth

Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

Harriete
www.harriete-estel-berman.info


Your photos are your best marketing tool.

Artists often wonder how they can promote their work more effectively. There are many paths but they all start with having fabulous photographs as your number one marketing tool.  The Professional Guidelines now has two new topics to help you evaluate your photographs and advance your professional development.

The two new Professional Guidelines documents are:

Guide to Professional Quality Images

and

Working with Digital Images Effectively

Use these two documents to evaluate your photos. Over the next few weeks this blog will offer a series of helpful hints for promoting your work with your photographic images.

Harriete
www.harriete-estel-berman.info


Are your images good enough?

Bridgette Martin on Crafthaus recently posted a blog with six tips about photographic images. This is such an important topic for all artists and makers in all media. She should know. Bridgette has established Crafthaus, an arts community social network on line and runs her own "bricks and mortar" gallery Luke and Eloy in Pittsburgh. She looks at images everyday.

Fabulous photographic images have always been important but with the circulation of images on the Internet, and the growing opportunities to have your work published in books and magazines great photographic images have become even more important.

That is why I decided to write a new Professional Guidelines document about Quality Photographic Images. This will be published soon. There is also a new topic KNOWING HOW TO WORK WITH DIGITAL IMAGES which is almost complete. The final topic of this three part series will be bad and good photographic examples with an explanation.

If anyone would like to submit their photos for public evaluation in this 3rd document please send them directly to me as 2" x 2", 300 dpi. Send the images to: bermaid [at] harriete-estel-berman [dot] info. As compensation for allowing me to use your images in this document, I am offering a private critique of the photo and the work if you are interested. This is optional but can be an opportunity to work toward success.

To be successful, all creative individuals need to strive for improvement and "deliberate practice" as described in the book TALENT IS OVERRATED by Geoff Colvin. Are you striving for improvement? Do you show your images to your Critique Group and ask for critique? Are you projecting your images to see if they still look good to a jury? A digital camera does not make you a photographer. Evaluate your images carefully as a key to success.


Is Your Studio Interesting?

Have you considered creating interest in your artwork by making your studio interesting?

Drillsabstract72 Your studio can be a "magnet" for extra publicity. The creative space of the artist, crafts person, writer or musician has mythical interest to the lay person. They want to see where the magic happens. It is a very popular myth that being a creative person in any media is "fun" and inspiring.  They want to share in the joy of creativity. 

Your creative studio space can promote your work in a whole new light.  Highlight the persona of the artist. The fact that you make your work by hand, from concept to the finished product distinguishes your work from the mass produced items at the mall.

Fix up your studio. This doesn't mean make it entirely neat, tidy and perfect. I mean give it  "character" and the personality of the artist. Make your studio look like no other place on earth. Display your sources of inspiration; share images from your sketch book or the objects that inspire new ideas and forms. If you have no wall space, hang inspirations from the ceiling, decorate your tables and chairs (even if you found them on the street for free).  Embellish, paint, create.  Make your creative space reflect and express your aesthetic and the artist's voice.

Whenever I am feeling uninspired about my artwork, I take a break and put some time into enhancing my studio space, just adding a little more here or there.  Sometimes it is my "warm-up" to get me working in the studio on more important pieces....and believe me, my studio can be cold since there is no heat.

My recent additions to the studio over the last two years include:

SHELVES2Buying junky games for a few cents at yard sales and resale
shops and using the box for storage. It looks a lot more interesting than plain brown cardboard, don't you think?

LINE of Irons72 My iron collection is always on display. A domestic iron is my hallmark, my maker's mark, so this is a fitting symbol in my studio.  I never pay much, usually only a few dollars at most.To see a larger picture of my iron collection visit my studio on my web site. 

ViseTABLEbetter I have decorated some of the tables in my studio with tin cans. Since tin cans are my raw material this is a natural choice for me. Choose the colors, patterns, media, or materials to decorate your studio that reflect your personal aesthetic. If you work with paper, cover your tables with paper; if you paint, why not paint the tables and chairs?  

There is a recent article in Metalsmith Magazine about my studio. If you don't subscribe to Metalsmith Magazine find a copy at a bookstore, your local library (ask them to buy a subscription), or purchase it online. Though this article is about visiting the studio of artist Harriete Estel Berman, the lesson is to think about how you can make your own space interesting and marketable.

After that, think about what publications might be interested in an article about your studio. There are tons of possibilities from your local newspapers to the newspapers near a store that sells your work. Don't think about just magazines like Metalsmith, that's just one idea.  Think about all the publications that are possibly suitable for the content or images in your work.

Next step, prepare a package of images to send to the magazine or newspaper or blog that fits your work. Write a unique angle about your "creative spaces" or your chosen media. Send the same packet to the gallery or store that sells your work. They can send this information to their local newspaper to boost sales and visibility for your work and the gallery or store.

Artists and craftspeople need to approach developing opportunities for their work as creatively as they think about the objects, paintings, and sculptures they produce. 

Learn to use the creativity of the artist in many ways.

Harriete Estel Berman 


What do I include in a package of images for a publication?

To submit your artwork or craft work to a magazine, newspaper or any publication there are some really important considerations and components to include in your envelope.

The first consideration is to go on-line to see if the publication has any guidelines for submitting materials. Check the web site thoroughly because Submission Guidelines are sometimes buried deep since this is not commonly accessed information.

Follow their Submission Guidelines EXACTLY including the items they request and the size for the digital images. Many times they will actually dictate dimensions for the images (either in inches and/or pixels) and the DPI (dots per inch). Generally, print images are 300 dpi, but some publications are asking for a higher DPI to assure a superior print quality.

Unless they specify differently, include the following in the image package:

  • Cover Letter - stating briefly why your work is relevant to the publication.
  • Resume  - one or two pages
  • Artist Statement - one or two short paragraphs (short, entertaining and relevant to the publication AND your work). Pique their interest in your work with interesting content. 
  • Images of your work - burned on a CD
    • Send both jpg (for easy viewing) and
    • TIFF 300 dpi (or higher) for print quality
  • Image description sheet for each image suitable as a photo caption.
    • Title of work
    • Date of work
    • Brief description of materials
    • Dimensions (height x width x depth)
    • Photo Credit of the photographer
    • Possibly some information about the work
  • Page of thumbnail images and key information (a "Contact Sheet").

BermanContactSheetSAMPLE72 A contact sheet is rarely requested but I think that it adds a lot to your image package.

To the left is a sample Contact Sheet. Each image has a title for the image and a brief description next to it.

Creating this contact sheet of images is very easy in Photoshop.

STEP 1. Put all the images you are burning on the CD in one folder.
STEP 2. Open Photoshop.
STEP 3. CLICK on  FILE,  scroll down.
STEP 4. CLICK  on AUTOMATE.
STEP 5. CLICK on CONTACT SHEET
Step 6. Photoshop will ask you to BROWSE and select the folder where you have the images in your computer for the CONTACT SHEET.
Step 7. Click OK, Photoshop will automatically create the Contact Sheet.

It is a little more time consuming to have information next to all your images (as in the example).

Make sure that the titles for the images include your last name and the title of the work  (or at least part of the title).

Finally, put your materials in an interesting, eye-catching or colorful envelope with a beautifully, handwritten address. Your image package should look creative and professional.

Harriete