WHEN I LIST THE SIZE OF A PAINTING, SHOULD I USE THE
FRAMED SIZE OR THE SIZE OF THE PAINTING ITSELF?
Most of the time you should list the matted size. If your client wants to replace
the frame, that will make it a little easier. Some clients want to include the size
of the frame, especially if they are designing to a particular wall space. The
size of the work itself is not always relevant.
HOW DO I PRICE MY WORK?
Pricing is one of the most difficult aspects of selling your art. Check the market; look
for art similar to yours and see how that artist prices. Consider the amount of time and
effort you put into the work, the price of the frame, and framing costs. Look at the
overall effect of the piece, and how much you like it -- and try to stay objective. Test the
market and adjust accordingly.
SHOULD I ACCEPT AN "UNOFFICIAL" COMMISSION?
Usually no - unless you intended to paint that scene anyway. If
someone asks you if you could paint a picture of that downtown
fountain, don't assume that person will come running back when it's
finished and buy it. Make it a "real" commission and get a down
payment. If you do that, deliver the painting in a timely manner.
Remember -- it seems people always ask for something you don't
have with you at the time.
DO I NEED A COPYRIGHT?
Original works are the property of the artist cannot be copied without the consent
of the artist. See section titled "Copyrights".
HOW DO I SELL MY WORK?
That's the $64,000 question, and if there were an easy answer we'd all
be a lot richer. There are marketing seminars available in many areas,
and on the web. Guard against "under-selling" or "over-selling" in
your pricing. If you sell "cheap" that reputation will follow you for a
long time, and will over-pricing. If you over-price, you can always
choose to negotiate with a client, but beware! Many people want
something for nothing, especially if it's art. They're thinking Wal-Mart,
while you're thinking the Metropolitan Museum. Don't try to please
everyone -- or anyone. Do what you like, and someone will appreciate
HOW CAN I DISPLAY MY WORK AT SHOWS?
Gear your display to the type of show, or what's easiest for you. In this section is an
essay titled "How to Survive your First Art Show" that also has ideas for the
experienced exhibitor. There are ideas for display methods and addresses of
companies that sell stands, etc.
WHERE CAN I GET FRAMES AND ART SUPPLIES AT A
Watch for "Starving Artists" sales in your area. Most of them sell empty
frames without your buying a painting, and they are reasonably priced.
Look for half-price sales at your local frame shops, and watch for sales on
line. Try www.pictureframes.com.
I GET NERVOUS WHEN PEOPLE WATCH ME WORK. WHAT CAN I DO?
Practice. You can learn to block out your surroundings whether it's painting plein aire or
doing a demo at a show. If you can't talk and paint at the same time, that's OK -- a lot of
artists can't. Put your brush down occasionally and look around or say a few words. If
you do it enough, you'll find a fascinated audience, especially the children. Sometimes
it's tough, but try to smile occasionally and interact if you can. "Think" a song in your
head. It sometimes helps block out the "audience".
I STARTED PAINTING A FEW YEARS AGO, NOW I HAVE A HOUSE
FULL. HOW CAN I SHOW MY WORK?
Getting started is hard, and what may be hardest of all is getting up the "nerve" to put
your work on public display. Look for a gallery or gift shop that will display
"unknown artists" without a hefty fee. Check all the galleries and ask if they charge a
fee, or if they will exhibit, and what type of work they prefer. Don't feel bad if they tell
you they do not accept your work. Many restaurants and clubs love to have free art
to decorate their establishments, but make clear that the art is for sale, and set
guidelines as to how the sales will be handled and what the commission of the
establishment will be. There are also image banks that carry stock photos of scenes
or paintings, but make sure they will pay royalties if your work is used. Never sign
away the rights to any of your work! Start locally, then search the Internet, but as in
shopping, it's "Buyer Beware".
As an artist, I am occasionally asked, "I HAVE AN OLD PAINTING. HOW
CAN I TELL IF IT'S "REAL"?
Many times people come up with paintings found in attics, thrift shops or even
trash bins. Thanks to Antiques Roadshow, they always wonder if they've found
an Old Master, and are now fantastically rich. Though that happens occasionally --
rarely-- chances are all they have is an old painting. With computers today, a
skilled operator could reproduce a copy of the Mona Lisa that could fool some
people. There are also artists who specialize in copying famous paintings, or even
produce fairly good forgeries. Just because a painting has a signature doesn't
mean it's a "real" painting by that artist. This is where the professional art
appraiser comes in, and these people rarely, if ever, work without pay. If they
determine the art is an actual original, they may refer the patron to an antique art
specialist. This is a necessity for insurance purposes. It is important to save any
paper trails, i.e. receipts, labels, or notes that may have been written by a previous
owner. Rule of thumb is: if you really like the painting, hang it and enjoy it, even if
it's worth less than the frame.
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ART SHOW:
Can artists share a space at Arts on the River?
Yes, but each must pay the same entry fee. This is because of the cash awards and all the money
Do you accept any crafts?
No, not at this time. It's a fine arts show and has a good reputation for being just that.
Can I e-mail samples of my work?
Certainly! We try to make this as artist-friendly as possible. Check the Entry Form for details.
Do you take a commission on sales?
No commissions. The artists are responsible for all taxes.
Can I exhibit anything I want to?
No. The work must be yours and not anyone else's. Keep in mind that this is a family show, so use
discretion in regard to subject matter.