Sunday, January 23, 2011

What I'm Fired Up About at the Moment

Leafy Kimono - Collagraph Handprint by Susanne Clark

 Next week I'm off to Portugal on holiday.  I thought I would write about a few things that I'm fired up  about before I go.

smARTist Telesummit 2011.  Last week I took part in this one week online artist's career telesummit for the first time.  I was a bit dubious about spending the money in case it wasn't worthwhile but it was great.  There were some very good speakers whose presentations were both inspiring and helpful and although quite a lot of the material wasn't new to me I still gained a lot of new ideas and info.  It was pretty overwhelming because of the large amount of info over a short period of time so thankfully I will be able to listen to it all again online and when the set of cd's arrive.  There are handouts and a workbook to work through as well.  Even though it was a online event there was a lot of interaction between the participants.  I liked it so much that I may sign up for it again next year.  Before then though I have a lot of ideas to implement.  Link to smARTist

The China Diet.  I just finished reading this book and I think it's something that everyone should read. Once again I knew quite a lot about the diet that is written about in this book and yet it still made a big impression on me.  It clearly makes the connection between cancer, and many other diseases, to a western diet.  I've been a vegetarian for 30 years and I'm not thin, unfortunately, or pale and sickly looking which seems to be the general idea about veges,  and now I'm thinking of moving to a vegan diet after reading this.  The big problem, it appears, is animal fat.  I love cheese, yogurt and an egg a few times a week but I am going to cut that right back.  One of the interesting points is that animal fats make young girls menstruate at a much earlier age and then as they age they go into menopause later. This exposes women to more estrogen over their lifetime, something not good for breast cancer.  There are a lot of reviews on Amazon the average being 4.5 out of 5.  I would strongly encourage you to read this.   Read more here on Amazon.

The last thing I'm fired up about at the moment is how people seem to get so upset about seeing nudity on TV or a woman breastfeeding and yet they have no problem watching hours of violence on the tube.  North America seems to be worse about this than anywhere we have lived.  All advertising here seems to be based around sex and yet a woman breastfeeding seems to send nearly everyone into shock.  Huge artificial boobs are OK but using them for what they are designed for is not.  I don't like porn at all but have no trouble with nudity.

Now that I have shared my feelings I can relax and take off to Portugal.  Watch for a few posts from there.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Sales on Fine Art America

Susanne Clark - Cello Head in Red
©2009 Susanne Clark
Acrylic on panel 6 x 6 in

After my last post Eva mentioned that she was interested in my experience with Fine Art America so I decided to write this post.  I think it's good timing to write about it too because I just had notification that I sold three reproductions there today. 

Fine Art America is a print on demand site but you can also list and sell originals. I think they are very well set up and have a site that is easy to use. The number of artists on the site is increasing very fast too and shows work from very basic to outstanding in quality.  There are a few problems that need to be sorted, one being how they classify the artwork.  Some people on the site will put their work into every category instead of just still life or wild life for example. This must make it very frustrating for viewers trying to find a particular type of art.  When I lived in the UK I was on a small site there and they limited the number of categories so it worked better and more fairly.  They also looked at each photo submitted to verify that the picture was of a good quality and accurately showed the work, something that FAA doesn't seem to do. Hopefully they will sort out all the glitches in time

I have belonged to Fine Art America now for about eighteen months but the last six have been the best in terms of sales. In the past month I have sold nine reproductions and two originals here.  I hadn't bothered listing the price for originals as I didn't think that people would be interested in them on this site because of the price being higher than for a reproduction.  I realise now that was being a bit silly as I received an email from a lady who asked if I had any more originals because she preferred them. The pictures I had showing on the site, most of the originals had already been sold.  I sent her pictures of a few and she ended up purchasing two.  I think I learned a good lesson!

Prior to the last month I also had sales ... about eight I think and many of those were larger sizes and framed so the commission on those was good and very nice to receive.  I haven't done much in the way of promoting my work on the site and that's something I intend to do more of this year. I like the fact that once I have downloaded the pictures FAA takes care of the rest.  One thing I think is very important is making sure that the file is excellent so that the reproductions are good and I never offer the largest size that is available in case it's not as clear as it could be for that size.

I think it's a great site too for purchasers as they have access to a wide variety of work and prices.  I'm sure there is a painting there for everyone.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

My Artsy Year in Review

Now that 2010 has come to an end I am doing a quick review the artsy things I did and participated in during the year and deciding if I will drop some or do them again.  Life should be fun!  Here's what happened.

Moody Blues
by Susanne Clark.   Acrylic on canvas.  12 x 12 inches 

Outdoor Art Shows 
I took part in six over the summer with varying degrees of success.  Two local and four out of town.  While most of the out of town shows were fun I will only do one of them again.  We had recently returned to Toronto and thought it would be interesting to do shows north of the city in small towns that we hadn't visited for many years so there was a double purpose in participating.  Although some were held in very affluent and pretty towns where there are many summer cottages and visitors, the sales for most artists were very poor.  Perhaps it was because many of the attendees were from the US where the economy is much worse than here in Canada.  
Locally I did two shows. The best was the Queen West Art Crawl in downtown Toronto: my second year there.  The vibe is great and, for me, the sales have been good both years.

Open Studio
I held my first Toronto Open Studio and because my studio is in my home it made it very easy.  After I set it up it looked really good and although not many people attended, I don't know many people here yet, those who did come came to buy.  Open Studios have always been really good for me.  I think it's because people like to see the artist in their home or studio environment and see the art in a real setting. I also enjoy the meeting the people who come.  This is an event I will do each year and once I get to know more people here in the city I'm sure attendance will increase.

Internet Sales and Online Galleries
I am always amazed with online sales of art.  I"m not sure if I would ever buy art online and yet I have sold quite a few works online over recent years.  When I lived in the UK I used to list the life drawings I did each week on a small site and sold many of them fact three to one man which made me wonder?  I am now on Fine Art America where they offer reproductions of my work. It's a print on demand site but you can also list originals.  I sold both reproductions and originals there so that is something I will also continue. The photo attached is one of the recent originals I sold over the Internet.

More to come in the next post.
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