You can host a dinner party, you can bring them baked ziti or you can offer an unknown Artist an online partnership that will give them wonderful exposure while generating a monthly income. Easy enough. Except so many Artists have no idea know how this works or worse than that, who to trust.
Being in the Art world, we tend to come across wonderful, unknown Artists. All talented, all deeply connected to their work, all wanting to share it with the world, but most of them can not sell. As inspired as an Artist must be in order to create the wonderful works of art by their own hand or through the eye of their lens, they simply can not master the art of marketing. For one reason alone, they don’t have the time. An Artist needs a marketing platform as much as they need their supplies. One without the other is futile.
I’ve also noticed that Artists are wary of people who want to “sell their art”. They’re concerned that they will be copied or worse, taken advantage of. I get that. We’ve all been jaded and ripped off. In fact, if you weren’t worried about it at all and I mean, not even concerned about signing a contract to protect your work, I’d be surprised. An artist has the right to check us out, see how professional our methods are, have us put pen to paper and commit to never commit fraud. (I love the irony in that statement).
Artists, you simply must take a leap of faith. Yes, there are bad people in this industry (as in most). They can be heartless, unjust and unprofessional. They should be reported or shared amongst your peers. But, there are really good people too. Online Marketing companies, art websites, framers etc. who want to represent your work and help you make money.
Here’s a few key points to look for when searching for an online “partner”. How impressed are you with their site? Does it appear professional? Try searching for something on the site and go so far as getting to the check out process. You don’t have to purchase anything, but it’s important to see their procedure. Contact the company. See how quickly they respond to you. Ask about their program. Read their contract. Be sure that they are not allowed to use your digital files without your expressed authorization. Do not give away any exclusivity. You don’t want to be bound to one company. You are a free agent. The commission structure is fairly straightforward. Between 10% and 20% commission on the wholesale or retail value, usually after discounts. Finally, be sure that your name is found on their home page. The last place you want to be is buried within their site. It’s about exposure. They are representing you and by doing so, you want to be well “presented”.
Online Art Sites are taking a risk. We invest our time uploading your artwork. We determine style, pricing, sizes, categories, even rooms which we feel best suit your work. We spend a lot of money. Not only with a team of online specialists and web design professionals, but with advertising. In fact, often a boatload of money is invested before a return is made. But for some of us, it is truly a labor of love. We are as proud to showcase your work and to sell your creations as you are. In fact, just knowing that one of your “pride and joys” is hanging beautifully on the walls of your art-admirer, is worth the search for the perfect online Art store.