Monday, March 23, 2009

Top Ten Tips To Sell Your Art

Top Ten Tips To Sell Your Art
Fraser Kee Scott, one of my Twitter and MySpace friends, who owns an amazing gallery ( in England, says this about selling your art...

The most important things for survival as an emerging artist, in order of importance, are:

1. Make drop dead stunning art. Make art that just stops people in their tracks. The competition is T O U G H. To survive your work has to be the best of the best of the best. The definition for a good work of art is: Technical expertise itself adequate to produce an emotional impact. So make sure you have exceptional technique, but that you do not concentrate so much on technique that you do not get your comunication out.

2. Be ethical. Being ethical means doing things which aid you, and the people and the world around you, to survive. Ethics is a personal thing. When a person does things which they themselves, deep down, know are not helpful to their own and others survival, they then cut back their own success. You are basically good and you only allow yourself success if you feel you deserve it. If you want to succeed in anything, you have to be ethical.

3. Do not have suppressive people around you. Do not accept ANY invalidative criticism. Artists are creative by definition. There are people out there who are currently destructive. They like to pick on artists as targets to pretend to be friendly to, but actually to pick at, upset and destroy. There are two types of criticism: Constructive Criticism - where the person suggests a better way to do something & Invalidative Criticism - where the person just says something is not good. Be aware in any criticism that there are such things as personal taste, contemporary standards and even envy or jealosy. Criticism is the biggest reason an artist stops making art. Surround yourself with supportive people with social personalities.

4. PROMOTE. If you have No.1, 2 & 3 done then this step will be EASY. Promoting exceptional art by ethical artists who do not have suppressive people around is a dream. If you are having a hard time with promotion have a look over 1,2 & 3 and work on them a little, then promote again. But, there is a law in the universe and it is: Outflow = Inflow - the more you communicate to the world about your art, the more attention and money you will get back. In the arts the Press is God - so make sure you are always communicating to the art, luxury lifestyle and mass press. But also make sure you are always communicating to art buyers or galleries and your past buyers. Ideally you will have a gallery do that for you, but the point is that you have to promote if you want to survive and the key is - number of people reached and number of times reached.

Once you have got those handled, then check out:

Top Ten Tips To Sell Your Art!!!!!!!

1. Find out what is needed and wanted. Like, if you find out that people want pretty pictures of houses with snow on the roof and you DON'T DO THAT, then I am not saying compromise yourself by doing that, but a fatal mistake many artists make is not to consider in any way what their potential clients need and want. Like, it can be a tiny consideration, like the client wants it framed in black or the clients in a certain area only buy certain size works, whatever, survey the people who are your potential clients and find out what is needed and wanted.

2. Present your work as if it has value. More than any other object Art is all about percieved value. A drawing by Picasso is worth $50,000 and a drawing by Mr. Pisacco is worth a cup of tea in the diner if he gets lucky. So spend a lot of time considering how you present your work, really make it look like it's worth a lot. It doesn't have to cost a lot to do this, mainly care and attention to detail.

3. Keep a very detailed log of anyone who has bought from you before, keep this seperate from anyone who has been interested in buying a work before, keep that seperate from anyone who has viewed your work before. Communicate to the lists differently - give very special care and personal attention of the first, have some personal aspects to your communication with the second, be more 'mass mail' to the third.

4. OUTFLOW. Outflow is things going out from you. Like handing out leaflets is outflow, sending out promo, making phone calls, whatever. There is a law in life that is OUTFLOW = INFLOW. Just keep outflowing, it may seem you are not having an effect, then the effect comes 6 weeks later, you might hand out a thousand leaflets in one place and someone walks in from another place, keep it up, it works.

5. Devote some time to promoting yourself. One of the most successful artists I show in my gallery spends minimum 20% of his time promoting himself. Not because he enjoys it, but it keeps him alive. Sure, he has galleries to show his work and promote him, but he has to manage them. Basically it is not enough just to make the best work in the world, you also have to get that work to the world.

6. Start off with prices low and build up. Some people take the compilments to their head and think they should get high prices straight out of college. This can be a fatal mistake. People are wary of buying art, it can be a financial risk. Most people buy art because they love it, but are wary of being burned. Your buying clients are your best form of advertising. If someone has paid bucks for your art and they love it when they have friends round for dinner the first thing they are going to show them is your art, they will be proud of it, they will 'sell it' to their friends, who, trusting their buddy and seeing the work has value as it has been bought by their friend, are likely to want one themselves. So get your art out there. Sell it for whatever you will be satisfied with, make sure you survive, but at the start, until you are selling regularly and well, sell as low as you can possibly afford, that way you build up a clientel. The goal should be to have a waiting list who battle over the works (hence driving the prices up)

7. Be ethical. You are a powerful being, more powerful than you imagine. One of the reasons you do not use all your power is that you are basically good and when a person sees themself doing something with their power they wish they didn't do, they cut back their power, to protect other things around them. So stay ethical, because then you allow yourself to be powerful (which includes selling lots of art). Also, if you find that you just are not selling, perhaps your work is better than a friend who just can't keep hold of his work and it just doesn't add up... Well check your ethics. Is there someone you ripped off? Did you sell a big work and should have paid your bills but you spend the money on loose women and liquor (lol)? If so you need to sort these things out somehow. Maybe you don't have the money to pay the bill now (you spent all that and can't remember half of what you spent it on!) - well, just get in communication with the person you owe and sort some arrangement out, confront it, pay them a little towards it, whatever - keep yourself ethical and sort out any unethical stuff from your past. This is vital to success.

8. Remember what you did that was successful and do that; remember what you did that wasn't successful and don't do that. Look at periods when you did really well, work out why and let that inform your actions, it worked, it will work again. if you are doing really good, then take a sharp turn for the worse, figure out what caused it and stop doing that. You don't need to reinvent the wheel everytime- with me I know that doing Art fairs is successful, so I do as many as I can. That type of thing.

9. Finish what you start. If you do not complete an action you start you can leave a lot of your attention on what you did not complete. That can tie things up. Incomplete actions tend to build up and form mountains. These backlogs destroy the possibility of future production. When you see your production going into apathy know you have gone the route of 'not done's' and 'half dones' and handle them.

10. Be true to you self. Work out honestly and earnestly your goals as an artist (these can be as wild and high as you like). Then work out realistically how you are going to achieve them. Enthuse yourself about them. Don't let anything or anyone get in your way or discourage you or tell you you can't have what you aim for.
How to find a job in this lousy economy:

Kelly Jo, a fellow Portland MySpace friend spills her secrets....

How I Landed a Great Job in this Lousy Economy

I recently found a great job in a dream company during the worst economic times since the Great Depression. How did I do it? I spent at least an hour every day for two years doing all of the things I have listed below. These are my Cliff Notes for landing your dream job, or at least a job that is a stepping stone to your dream job. This is a really long blog, and I'm sure most of you won't read it all. But you at least have to scroll down and read the last section about first impressions!

There is so much more to say, but I think I'll just put it in a book and let you download it if you want it.

Find a Business Networking Group

A business networking group is a place where you can go and meet people from all kinds of industries who may or may not be able to connect you to someone who can help you get a job. I attended a networking group called "The Breakfast Club" every other Tuesday morning for a year, and made some fantastic connections.

Update Your Resume
Customize Your Resume Every Time

I know it sounds like overkill, but the only way you're going to get a job in this economy is if your skill set is an exact match to what the hiring manager is looking for. If the job description says they're looking for a one-legged pirate who can knit, by God you'd better be a one-legged pirate with lots of hand-knitted sweaters in your portfolio!

Have Someone Review Your Resume
Give your resume to someone in your industry and have them give you constructive criticism. I probably have 10 different versions of my resume thanks to all of the suggestions I got.

Know Which Industries are Hiring
I come from the land of high tech, but high tech isn't doing so well these days, so I had to broaden my search scope into other industries. Let's brainstorm here for a minute and come up with a few companies and industries that are thriving in this economic downturn:

* NetFlix. People are staying home more, going out less. NetFlix is hiring.
* Alternative energy. We have a company here in Hillsboro called SolarWorld. They are the largest solar cell manufacturer in the country. They can't find enough qualified people for all of their job openings! Vestas, the turbine wind company from Denmark is moving its U.S. headquarters to Portland.

* Certain media companies. The company I work for creates, supports and manages interactive TV applications that allow you to interact with applications on your TV. In the UK you can even buy stuff from QVC with your remote.

Be willing to change industries.

Join an Industry Group
I am a member of OEN (Oregon Entrepreneurs Network) and SAO (Software Association of Oregon). These groups hold business and social functions where you can meet all kinds of people, and get introduced to companies you've never heard of. Find an organization in your area and join!

Subscribe to the Online Business Journals
I subscribe to the headlines for three business journals: Portland, Puget Sound and Silicon Valley. Every day I get little snippets in my Inbox telling me which companies are laying people off, which new companies just got more funding, etc. This is the way you track where the jobs are.

Create a Profile on LinkedIn
Become a Master Networker on LinkedIn
I have been online since the word was coined. Seriously. If there is a new business or social networking site in town I check it out. LinkedIn is a business networking site that allows you to keep in touch with current co-workers, ex co-workers, friends and recruiters.


If you're not on LinkedIn, sign up. It's free.

Create a profile that showcases your job experience.

Start looking for people you know to connect to.

Ask for Recommendations
Ask anyone you've ever worked with to write a recommendation for you on LinkedIn. These are public references that potential employers can view. The more recommendations you have on LinkedIn the better.

Update Your Status


Change your status on LinkedIn at least once a week. Why? Because it keeps your name showing up at the top of everyone's update list. It keeps you visible.

Put industry keywords in your status, because that's how recruiters will find you. I swear if my status said, "Kelly is slaying SQL Server dragons and writing complex queries," my profile would get views from all kinds of people in the database industry, and I would get contacted by recruiters.

* Say you are interviewing for jobs even if you have no interviews lined up.

Which brings me to...

LinkedIn Keywords
I'm not exactly sure how the LinkedIn search engine works, or how the paid part of the site works, but I will tell you that keywords are everything. If you are looking for wok in the IT industry you better have buzzwords in your profile and in your status. Use hot words like "whitelisting" and "positive IT tools."

LinkedIn Jobs Page
Linked in has a jobs page, and there were probably 25-45 jobs listed within 15 miles of my house at any given time. Not just job jobs, but great jobs. Many of the jobs actually give you the recruiter's name, so you can apply directly. Many of the jobs say "recommendations preferred," which is why I say get as many people to write
recommendations for you as possible. It really pays off.

Other Places to Find Work
Create a Profile on
Create a profile on, and sign up for the job alerts. Update your profile on a weekly basis, even if you only change one word, because it pops you to the top of the stack when employers are searching for people. You land in the "recently updated profiles" bucket.

Which leads me to...

Hang out a Shingle
Start a business on your own. My fallback skill has always been writing, so I hung out my shingle and started my own contract writing business. How did I get that first job? A friend on MySpace. Gary (Garibaldi) hired me to help him with an RFP. How did I get the second job? LinkedIn jobs board. I interviewed for a sales engineer position,
and I didn't get the job, but they did hire me as a contract writer for almost a year, which was much more lucrative.
Yes, craigslist! Not only are there many jobs posted there, it's also a great place to post your resume.

I posted a mini resume on craigslist and got three contract jobs in less than a week. There are hundreds of people looking for jobs on craigslist so the key is to differentiate yourself.

My headline was this:

>>> Not Your Typical Tech Writer <<<

The first line of my posting was something like, "Highly technical perfectionist with a Journalism degree, social skills and a sense of humor." Then I had 10 bullet points that listed what my skills were. You have to differentiate yourself or you will get lost in the rubble.

Register on Company Websites
Go directly to the companies you want to work for and use their online registration to post your resume. And sign up for their job alerts!

Get to Know Some Recruiters
Some companies still have inside recruiters, but more often than not companies will hire outside recruiters to fill positions. I had recruiters coming out of the woodwork when I posted on craigslist, and I called every one of them, and then chose ONE to work with. Not all recruiters are created equal. Choose one who will go to bat for you.

Get Someone to Hand-Walk Your Resume
Many jobs on company websites are in the final stages of interviewing before you even see them posted. The only way you're going to get an interview is to have an inside source who can tell you what jobs are going to be posted BEFORE they get posted. Have your insider walk your resume to the inside recruiter or the hiring manager's desk.

First Impressions Are Everything
When I had been doing all of the above for two years and I still hadn't been able to land a full-time job I had to ask myself why. Why did I always get down to the top two candidates and come in second? I finally decided to try something that even I didn't believe would work: I changed the color of my hair. Why? Because most people, whether they will admit it or not, have preconceived notions about blondes. They are perceived to be flaky, fun and dumb.

(Kelly Jo is now a blonde...)
To read her fabulous blog directly link here:

Sunday, March 1, 2009

NEW Suzabelle Collection just in. And I want you to save!

Suzabelle's NEW Spring Collection is here.

Loaded with texture and fun brass buttons, the Belleterre Cropped Jacket in this fresh pewter color is a lovely brocade jacket with silk lining. It has a mandarin collar as well as pockets on the front sides and 3/4 belle sleeves.
Sizes XS, S, M.

* Fabric Content: 50% cotton, 45% 45 polyester, 5% nylon
* Fit: fitted cropped
* Color: pewter
SALE $159

SWEET! That just what it is! The Clermont Blouse in Creme by Suzabelle features a double layered cotton-silk blend style blouse. It is created with flutter sleeves and a removable waist sash. Brass buttons decorate the front as well as a crochet-lace trim placket. Finally, a keyhole opening at back finishes this piece with a feminine touch!

* Fabric Content: 70% cotton, 30% silk
* Fit: fitted
* Color: creme
* Designer Style No. clermont
SALE $129

This sleek pencil skit pairs up perfectly with the sweet Clermont blouse and Mont Royal Jacket (below).

It's royal color is flattering and classic.
Sizes XS, S, M

Can you say sweet butter creme. Oh, how this buttercup anorak jacket makes me smile and think of sailing, backyard picnics and easy-going sports. Just my kind of fun.

It's all in the details. This sweet dress is perfect for a spring getaway.
Oh, how darling coming and going... Feel soooo pretty in this Augstin Dress in Black crafted by Suzabelle. This silk dress has natural wooden beading on the edges of the straps. It it also equipped with hidden side pockets for your prized possessions. The front has an adjustable tie with keyhole at bust and finally the straps cross in the back for a complete look. A smocked back ensures a perfect fit to this flirty dress.

* Fabric Content: 100% silk
* Fit: comfortable, smocked back
* Color: black
SALE $169

The Nicolet Trench Coat in Classic Black or Taupe by Suzabelle combines chic style with functionality. This piece has cool linen fabric with satin lining. The front is equipped with chrome buttons and buckle, as well as an adjustable belt. Finally, the fold over collar can we worn buttoned or opened.

* Fabric Content: 54% cotton, 46% polyester
* Fit: fitted
* Color: classic black or taupe
SALE $259

When I see this dress, I think of my girlfriends, Martine and Carolyn, who love ice cream hues of orange. Details at the waist makes this a summer party favorite.
This is the sweetest dress and lux fabric of cotton and silk.
Sizes XS,S, M

Hip and young. Darling styling that recons backs to the 40s. With matching fabric belt and two sweet buttons on the back of the collar.

Truly stunning with a 40's flair of sweetness. Petals and soft dressing. A very "pretty girl" dress.

When the big brown box marked "Suzabelle parcel" arrived at my boutique, I was so excited to tear into it.
So as usual in Portland, Oregon, Spring is, of course, teasing us with it's perpetual lateness.
The birds are just starting to chirp a happier tune in the wee morning hours...the sun is just beginning to peek out a bit more...and fresh new starts are popping up in the yard. It's time to brighten up, and look to fresh, new looks. So this parcel box arrived at the perfect time.

The entire Suzabelle Collection is so pretty, classic and refreshing.
These pieces will brighten your wardrobe and your spirits.
Plus I want you to feel good about your purchase so I'm marking them down.
Just because I'd love for you to find the lowest prices on Suzabelle at Anne Bocci Boutique.
Happy Spring!