A Year In Reflection

A Year In Reflection

art tips, tips for beginning artists, art advice, practical tips for artists,
Art tips from the past year!

Each week, I write a brand new article to support independent visual artists and share practical tips and experiences from my more than three decades of creating and selling art. This week we gather up some of the best tips and advice from over the past year from my weekly musings!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This week, I wanted to look back over the past year and what better time to reflect than on Thanksgiving. Many of my readers are from the USA and today I wish you all the very best as you gather around for Thanksgiving lunches and celebrations.

Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, this time of the year is always a good time to reflect and appreciate everything that we have. Some don’t have the same chances and opportunities that many of us do, so this week, let's pay it forward wherever we can.

Thank you to each and every one of you who regularly visit this site, just knowing that my random musings might be helpful to even just a few makes this worth doing week after week. Next week, I am planning on taking a vacation and maybe a week out from writing as I prepare for Christmas and take some time out to relax, and maybe, create a few new artworks. Today you can see a preview of one of my latest artworks, Finding Human, which I am hoping to release this weekend! As always, my work is available on a wide range of print options, home décor accessories and gifts right here!

Here's a work in progress shot of Finding Human!

finding human by Mark Taylor, Bigfoot art, Sasquatch, work in progress,
Close up of Finding Human - WIP Copyright Mark Taylor 2019

November 2019 – Picking up the small ticket breadcrumbs

With November almost over, we head closer to the big season for art sales but how many of us really take full advantage and market the smaller ticket items too? Yet during the recent promotional offers that were offered on Fine Art America and Pixels, I noticed how many more artists had managed to market and sell their smaller ticket items. Throughout the year, artists offer all sorts of smaller ticket items that offer outstanding value to buyers, so why not focus on the breadcrumbs of business and make a few extra sales! If you missed the article you can read it right here

October 2019 – how to sell and not sell your art

Back in October I reminded you how to not sell art which you can read right here, and then I followed this article up and we discussed how to sell more art which you can read right here.

In a lesson in not selling art the key takeaway was to not even try to be the next Uber or Steve Jobs, but instead to be you, focus on what you do best and work with that until you are the next you. We also discussed how the volume of art can drastically affect sales because you have to move a lot of mud to find a flake of gold, something that gold miners in the Yukon know all too well. You have to produce lots and lots of art if you want to make a sale.

During the lesson in selling art, we looked at just how important building relationships and trust are when it comes to engaging with potential buyers. We also covered updating your search engine optimisation across your online portfolios and the importance of having a social strategy too.

September 2019 – Focussing on your metrics and making a pitch

This was a big month where we focussed on not stressing over the wrong numbers. Hits are important but the smaller number of hits that converted into sales was a way more crucial set of numbers to focus on. We also touched on having a consistent pricing strategy that you should stick with. If you missed the article, you can read it right here

We also covered the art of making an art pitch, an important skill if you are seeking arts funding or need to stand in front of a crowd to market your work but there are hundreds of other situations, an artist can find themselves in that need a great pitch. You can read that article right here

August 2019 - Giving your art a title

Back in August we covered the art of artwork titles which if you missed it, you can find right here. In that article, the takeaways were that an artwork title can make or break the sale of a work of art, either by attracting buyers, introducing the artworks story, and becoming a part of your search engine optimisation strategy too.

In August, I also threw in a light-hearted post on the anatomy of a Facebook post which, if you are on Facebook, you will be able to completely relate to! You can find that article right here

It was back in August when I covered the work of some other very talented independent artists and that was an article you definitely didn’t want to miss.  You can read my summer artist spotlight article right here

July 2019 – Blogging for Artists

Back in July I covered a topic that I have had lots of experience in, the art of starting an artist blog! If you missed it you can read it right here. Having your own blog away from the social media channels seems like a very early millennium thing to do, yet artists blogs are actually becoming even more necessary today. They allow you to connect with potential buyers and they can work with your search strategy too. They give you another avenue to get your work out there but it’s not all about some get rich quick way to bring in the masses. They are hard work but when as anything to do with art ever been easy?

finding human by Mark Taylor, Sasquatch art, Mark Taylor, Fine Art,
Finding Human - WIP - Is it more obvious yet?

June 2019 – Exploring alternative art mediums

Exploring alternative art mediums can take your existing artistic style and add to it in ways that can make your art really stand out. Consistency is key with art but there are times when even the most experienced artists feel that a particular work just needs a little something else, a little more pop, a little more thinking outside the box, something that is a little different or more original, it needs some added zing and occasionally some added bling. Sometimes we have to add that little extra zing by introducing other mediums and materials. There is nothing that is cast in stone to say that any artist cannot do this and if you missed the full article, you can read it right here

May 2019 – Going Glocal

At one time it would have been everyone’s dream to operate a business on a global scale but the internet has made it easier to do that than reach more local markets. There are plenty of local issues that can break a marketing campaign that has been designed to go global, so it is important to look at marketing through both global and local marketing lenses.
You can read the full article right here

April 2019 – Looking after yourself and keeping your images safe

One of the most common things that I do all of the time and what I frequently see other artists do, is to forget that without them, their art would never exist. It is so essential to look after yourself both mentally and physically if you want to protect your art practice. You can read the article right here

I also wrote an article all about keeping your images safe using things like watermarks and lower resolutions when posting online. But even watermarks won’t guarantee that your images won’t be misused or scraped but using Steganographic watermarks sure makes it easier to prove provenance. You can read the full article right here. When you post your work online, having images scraped comes with the territory, thankfully, there is something you can do to make it a little more difficult for casual drive-by image takers to take your work.

March 2019 – Blockchain in the art world

Back in March, I discussed whether or not blockchain technologies have a place in the art world, I think they do but it is a little more complex than thinking of blockchain as being anything other than cryptocurrency. Blockchain has a use for things like proving the provenance of artwork but as artists, there will be a time in the not too far away future where we might have to consider taking cryptocurrencies as payment for our work. You can read the full article right here. Blockchain also has uses in making your images more secure too and especially with digital artworks.

Using Facebook Business Pages is something that businesses have to do if they want a presence on Facebook. You can’t use your personal profile for marketing and reach has been declining across social media platforms for a number of years. But, I proved it was still possible to gain reach when I posted a meme that went sort of viral. The post reach within a few days was more than 80,000 and significantly more than I have ever got for a piece of artwork that has been posted on my page. It proved one thing, if you hit on something that the audience can relate to, it is still possible to reach people on the platform. You can read the article and see the numbers right here

February 2019 – Size makes a difference

In February I wrote an article suggesting that sizing your artwork is something that you absolutely have to consider in the creation and marketing of your art. This becomes even more important when creating art digitally, but it isn’t always essential to create digital art at the highest resolutions that your device supports.

With traditional art, there are certain sizes that are more popular and sizing can make a huge difference between selling and not selling a work. If you are producing enormous works, someone who doesn’t have the wall space won’t be buying the art, and if you create prints, you need to have some flexibility to create the work in different sizes. Having a consistent and more standardised approach with art sizing also helps when it comes to things like framing, matting, and cropping the art.

I created a number of tables in the article that outlined some of the most popular sizes globally because there is very little standardisation across every region of the world. If you missed the article and want to know what size your next work should be, you can read it right here

Finding Human WIP - The phone was fun to create! 

January 2019 – Finding your own success

Back in January, we took a look at some of the things that other people think you need to do to become a successful visual artist and why their perceptions of success might not always get you exactly where you want or need to be. Defining your own success as an artist is how artists become any kind of successful. Often, it is celebrating the small wins, and we also explored if we should be chasing the success that others think we should at all. 

That’s mostly what Cézanne did when he deliberately left his works uncompleted in the hope to one day return to them. When he died he had only signed around one in ten of his works. Perhaps he wasn’t searching for success, but what he was really searching for was mastery

For Cézanne, mastery became a constant pursuit. Not having a commitment to any single goal, his art became about the reaching and not just the arriving and maybe that’s what we really need to do too. You can read the full article right here

finding human by Mark Taylor, bigfoot art, Sasquatch art, campfire art
Finding Human by Mark Taylor (Copyright M.A. Taylor 2019) The completed work!

I loved creating this piece and I have a few ideas for some further works with a similar theme! This one was just pure fun, fun, and more fun to create!

December 2018 – When to call yourself an artist

Technically, December 2018 was last year but this is such an important thing to know that I thought I would include it anyway!

Artist. It’s a job title, it’s also a way of life, it’s a mountain of really hard work, a vocation, a calling, it’s lots of things but mostly it’s a mindset.
Anyone can achieve that mindset even if they think they can’t draw or paint right now. The technical skills can be learned through practice, practice, and more practice. The theory through learning, the business through doing. Having the mindset of an artist though is something that can really hold you back if you don’t have it. 

When should you be calling yourself an artist? The moment you first pick up a paintbrush or pencil, or whatever tool of choice you will use to create your art. You are an artist.
If you missed the article, you can read it right here

mark taylor, artist, adrift collection, fine art america,
Just a few months of reflection on the work I have recently created!

About Mark…
I am an artist and blogger and live in Staffordshire, England. You can purchase my art through my Fine Art America store or my Pixels site here: https://10-mark-taylor.pixels.com
Any art sold through Fine Art America and Pixels contribute to the ongoing costs of running and developing this website. You can also view my portfolio website at https://beechhousemedia.com

You can also follow me on Facebook at: https://facebook.com/beechhousemedia where you will also find regular free reference photos of interesting subjects and places I visit. You can also follow me on Twitter @beechhouseart and on Pinterest at https://pinterest.com/beechhousemedia

If you would like to support the upkeep of this site or maybe just buy me a coffee, you can do so right here


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