Rediscovering Serendipity Eyes On Art

Rediscovering Serendipity

rediscovering serendipity title cover
Rediscovering Serendipity

Getting More Eyes On Our Art

There is one thing that every artist needs other than more art supplies, and that is to get more eyes on their work. Whether it’s to gather feedback and critique, or for the purpose of marketing your work with the intention of selling it. As an artist, getting eyes on whatever you create once you have created it, is essential.

The art of serendipity...

The default for many new, and sometimes even not so new artists when they think about creating a marketing strategy is to head straight to social media and post anything and everything everywhere, in the hope that something will eventually stick.  There’s usually some level of inner hope that one of the posts will find some level of viral success or there will be a sale. Sadly, that’s not really how the world of social media works, sales will be hit and miss, but a targeted approach with a real strategy behind it would generate more hits than misses.  

Unless you have access to an entire professional marketing department who are working on a specific campaign for you, manufacturing any kind of post that is authentic, and then goes on to become a viral success is next to impossible.  When it does happen, it’s usually as a result of a moment of genius or serendipity, the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. In my experience, serendipity is so much easier to find than genius, or at least it was.

Serendipity often finds its way into an artist’s life, it has certainly been instrumental in pushing my own career in lots of new directions seemingly by chance, and the same is true for many of my artist friends too. They often tell me about those magical moments that just happen that then make new and even better moments happen. We’ve all experienced some kind of chance moment in some aspect of our lives, but serendipity does very much seem to be especially frequent in the arts. I often wonder how many art careers have been made, not from standing over a painting, but sitting at opposite sides of the table while having a cup of coffee, my guess is that it’s way more than we could ever count.

In normal times, serendipitous moments are more plentiful than they are today. You might meet someone waiting in line for coffee who can catapult your art career an inch or two forward, maybe a chance encounter with a friend of a friend who can make things happen or is in need of your kind of art, those really are beautiful moments but the problem today is that we’re stuck in the middle of a pandemic.

As far as serendipity goes, there is less opportunity at the moment for those precious moments to strike, that doesn’t mean that they won’t, but we’re all mostly confined within some kind of virtual bubble, so they’ve become less likely because we’re not finding ourselves in the same situations as we did before, I can’t remember waiting in line for a coffee at any point this year.

So, with serendipity currently being a rare commodity, we have to begin thinking about the other ways we can reach the people who might offer us those serendipitous moments, or who might want to buy into our work. Pandemic or not, art needs eyes on it before it sells, it’s as simple and as complicated as that, so we have to begin to think outside of the proverbial box when it comes to communicating and marketing.

Over the past six or seven months, I have lost count of all time and days do seem to roll into each other these days, but there have certainly been moments of innovation coming out of the art world. Artists and the rest of the world have discovered tools like Microsoft Teams and Zoom, we are seeing virtual shows and exhibitions, but I suspect, if you are anything like me, you are all by now, zoomed out.

Mark Taylor Aurora Artwork
My brand new Aurora Collection is available on my Pixels and Fine Art America Stores now!

The problem with innovation is that it’s only innovative until everyone else starts to do the same thing. What was a novelty at the beginning, has for a lot of people become an alternative to the grind of the commute.  Most folk who have been using video conferencing for years were all sat in front of our desks scratching our heads when the new to video conferencing people came along and got overly excited. Seriously, at the beginning of the pandemic, I had Teams calls to let me know colleagues were going into the kitchen for lunch, it was the same thing when my wife discovered emojis. She spoke to me only in smiley faces and prayer hands for weeks.

This kind of technology has undoubtedly saved businesses around the world, so we shouldn’t cast too much negative light on it, and it has kept us all in touch, but it’s one of many tools that can be used to connect and maybe the next innovation is in using some of those other tools too.  There’s a point when something that was once seen as innovation begins to get overused and when this happens, it runs the real risk of simply becoming just another noise. What was innovative a week ago can become exhausting quickly, and then we tune out, to keep people hooked, you have to offer variety.

If we’re looking for moments of serendipity to strike once again, we have to make contact outside of our contacts list and properly start communicating. The rules for selling art haven’t changed over the last year, you still need eyes on the work for it to stand any chance of selling, and those eyes are still out there, although we need to be mindful that they may not be the same eyes as before. That matters not, you just need to figure out where they are and let them know that you and your work are there, but you do need to cut through all the noise and be different.

So how do we do this?

We’re going to have to recap on some of my most popular articles from the past couple of years and look at how we provide some variety in the way we communicate.  We need to get back to basics, marketing 101, and we need to be a little bit different in what we do.

Majestic Aurora art by Mark Taylor
Majestic Aurora by Mark Taylor


Yes, this might sound old fashioned, but tell me why so many huge corporations are now adding blog pages to their websites? It’s because blogging is one of the best ways, even today, to connect with an audience on a much deeper level than you can reach with a social media post.

The real issue with blogging is that it sounds romantic, and to some, it might even sound like something you could become very rich from, we’ve all heard the stories of the super-star blogger who now lives in the Hamptons and occasionally Instagram’s photos of his or her lunch. The reality is often very different, maybe back in the early 2000s you might have stood a chance of earning a good living from writing a blog, but today, a blog isn’t so much about financial reward, it’s about making those deep, authentic connections that we are all yearning to make in the midst of a pandemic.

The downside, it can be insanely hard work, and blogs and websites never gain traction or traffic overnight unless you’re a celebrity with lots of mildly uninteresting things to say. Blogs are what you could call a slow-burning candle, but the eventual rewards can be high in terms of building a lasting relationship with your audience. For serendipity to strike, these connections are going to be vital.

If you are blogging to get rich, the best advice I can offer is to find something else to do instead. If anything, blogging is going to cost you a chunk of money and time and mostly with little thanks or reward in return. That’s not especially the point though, art buyers connect with the artist just as much, if not sometimes even more than the art, that’s something that has always been the case in the art world and blogging is an especially powerful way to connect in a virtual world to help you start making those kinds of connections.

Finding any connection through a blog does take a commitment to keep running with it. Most new bloggers will give up after a handful of posts and certainly within six months. During my career as a blogger, I have seen hundreds of blogs and websites come and go, and mostly go. The cold hard reality here is that you could be talking about a three to five-year strategy before you begin to see any kind of reward, but you are likely to see connections being made much sooner.

Moonlight Aurora by Mark Taylor
Moonlight Aurora by Mark Taylor

How do you start blogging?

Getting started is the hard part, gaining momentum and getting into some kind of disciplined habit of writing is going to be the first hurdle to overcome. My advice is to just start writing anything to begin with, not with the intention of publishing it, but with the intention of training yourself to find your blogging groove. I would even go as far as to say, never post the first thing you write, every post from your first to your last has to count.

The one mistake I often see most new bloggers make is that they sign up to a blogging platform, fill out their profile information and then they get stuck when it comes to writing anything at all. What they haven’t usually thought at all about, is what they want to write about, or the most important bit, who they are writing it for. Those really are kind of important and something that you absolutely have to begin fleshing out before you even sign up to a blogging platform or hosting solution.

You have to think about what you would like to, and are willing to share with your audience, and you really have to think about who your audience is too. There’s not much point blogging about politics if your audience shares zero interest in the subject. So, what do you want to say to who should be the first question to ask before you sign up to anything. This will also to some extent determine the kind of platform you need to host your blog on, but you also have to think about how you want your community to engage with you. If there are any secrets to successful blogging, these are the secrets that would be at the top of the list and if you spend time building the foundations, chances are that you will still be blogging in twelve months’ time and beyond.

Aside from those things, there is one piece of advice that I can offer from my own multiple years of blogging experience that I absolutely know will add more to your blog than any subject ever can, and that is to just be you. You’re potentially going to be blogging for the duration, so being anyone other than who you really are is going to be really, really hard work. Besides, you need the reader to connect with you and your art, so there’s not much point in trying to get them to connect to anyone else.

Once you have the foundations and some ideas and have begun to answer the what and the who, it’s then that you can begin preparing your content, and yes, we still haven’t settled on a blogging platform just yet. When you go live, you are going to need more than a single post and you might need a few in reserve too. The best advice I can offer is to have enough posts to carry you through at least a couple of weeks, more if you can, otherwise you will be writing frantically to meet your own publishing deadlines which also need to be regular. How regular, that really depends on what time you can give to your blog, but initially, you will want to keep the reader's attention so that they keep coming back.

Once you have some content and some ideas to start with, you need to select a blogging platform. The best advice I can offer here is that there’s little merit in going all out and setting up your own blogging platform and then paying a heap of hosting fees if this is going to turn into something and nothing.  It’s better initially to stick with the pre-built blogging platforms and see if you find your blogging groove and an audience. People are generally more concerned with your content than they are about who you have chosen to be your platform of choice and if you have your own domain name, no one will notice that you swapped your backend choice of hosting, except they might see it get better!

Dancing Skies art by Mark Taylor
Dancing Skies by Mark Taylor

The critical thing here is that regardless of the platform you use, you still have to create something that is professional, useful, and adds some kind of value to the reader, in short, start out with good content and then keep it up. If it then starts to work out, you can transfer your content over to a different hosting solution once you know that blogging is for you, it’s definitely not for everyone but the last thing you will want to do is commit to any kind of long-term hosting contract and then abandon it after a handful of posts. The internet is filled with abandoned hopes and dreams when it comes to blogging and websites.

Eventually, you might want to consider jumping over to WordPress and paying to have your blog hosted. WordPress is the go-to choice for most bloggers, but it’s also not the only choice, and while WordPress is brilliant, it can be let down by the service you use to host it. To start with, a platform such as Blogger is simple enough to learn and to get to grips with blogging, it has a supportive community and there are plenty of bloggers out there who wouldn’t go anywhere else.

Are there any costs associated with blogging? Hypothetically, you could start a blog this evening and be up and running without spending a dime, but as you progress, there will be incidentals that you will need to dip into your pocket for. Domain names, email hosting, cloud backup, an Office type application, so even a free platform can bring with it an element of cost, but you don’t have to spend out immediately.

The joy of running with a simple blogging platform is that you don’t have to immediately get to grips with coding, you might though want to develop skills in HTML as you progress because it really will make life easier, and it means that you will be able to do much more with the site than you can off the bat.

There’s another 600lb gorilla in the room when it comes to blogging, and that’s the thorny issue of monetisation. This is the point when most new to blogging, bloggers, make a decision to follow this path before having any meaningful content on their site, and it’s a short cut to failing fast.  For people to pay you anything, you have to offer a value and if you haven’t got enough content to provide that value, monetisation just won’t happen anytime soon. I think you need to proceed on the assumption that blogging doesn’t always pay back in cold hard cash, even when you do have plenty of content and thousands of readers, mostly, they’re not going to pay you for it either.

If it is monetisation you are searching for, the best way is always going to be through sponsorship, which you will be offered when brands begin to see you as an authority in your subject or you could monetise through adding a paywall and turning your blog into a service or program, but at that point, is it really still a blog or is it a website offering a service where you might also happen to host a blog? There’s a huge difference, but a blog alone is particularly difficult to monetise in a financial sense.

However, it’s not just about the money that you might or might not make from blogging, this is more about relationship building, gaining trust and being seen as the authority in either what you blog about, or you, or both.

It is possible to monetise a blog, it’s just really difficult to do it well without having some kind of sponsorship in place, there are still plenty of bloggers getting ready to buy a home in the Hamptons, but it is rare. The real monetisation should be coming through those new clients, you have built up a level of trust with.

Winter Aurora art by Mark Taylor
Winter Aurora by Mark Taylor

Is serendipity in plentiful supply through blogging – will it open doors?

It can be. It has certainly opened doors for me and I have got to know others in the blogging space so we can share ideas and support each other at the odd times of the morning and night that we find ourselves writing. If you make blogging a part of your overall marketing strategy it can attract an entirely new audience to your work and it can get those people interested in your work, and more importantly, interested in you. That’s kind of a necessity when you begin to think about growing a collector base.  


I would be surprised if the automated checkouts at Walmart didn’t have their own podcast this time next year. Everyone, it seems, is suddenly a podcaster, which has been pretty much confirmed by my own inability to purchase a studio-grade microphone because everyone else had already purchased all of the stock.

Podcasting has become massively popular during the pandemic and it isn’t going away anytime soon. Just like blogging, podcasting has the potential to help you connect with your audience on a deeper level than just using tools like social media. Here’s where it gets a little tricky though. The assumption is often made that creating a podcast is easier than blogging because you don’t have to spend any time typing everything out. Well, let’s just say that podcasts do have to be meticulously planned and they are very much less forgiving than writing a blog.

On the surface, it might appear to be easier than blogging because you just say what you say instead of worrying too much about writing it down, but I can say with some degree of certainty and experience, you will very much be writing things down and spending quite a bit of time working out things like sound quality and file sizes.  One major tip here, podcast subscribers run their lives around the availability of the next episode, so when you set your publishing schedule, it’s best not to mess with it!

 Regular readers will know that I have toyed with the idea of a podcast to run alongside this website for a while, with a summary here and a more in-depth discussion on the podcast. The good news is that I have now managed to track that studio-grade microphone down, the bad news is that you might soon be able to listen to my dulcet tones. I recorded a pilot episode, the editing is in line to get done!

So how do you get started?

I have to add a caveat here in that my own podcast experience is currently at around level rusty. It won’t be my first rodeo with podcasting, but it will be the first time that I will be the one doing the talking. The bulk of my experience comes from helping other podcasters, and a side hustle that very much was a result of serendipity, that has meant that audio and video editing has for a long time been something I have offered through my own business.

For me, the plan will be to utilise Spotify’s Anchor platform, in part because it’s definitely the easiest one that I have found to use, and it will automatically upload the podcasts to a number of podcast players including Spotify and Apple Music.

There’s just as much involvement behind the scenes as there is with a blog, planning the topic, working out who the audience will be, and even working out the format and duration of each episode, all of these details need to be considered. When you upload to any of the podcasting platforms, there’s some additional work that needs to be done, in a very similar way to blogging.

Woodland Aurora art by Mark Taylor
Woodland Aurora by Mark Taylor

Choosing a title, creating a metadata set so that you can be found, creating episode images which you need to make consistent so that you can be easily picked out from the thousands of other podcasts, although you might want to bear in mind that the artwork for any podcast can wait until you better establish the overall theme of your show after a few episodes. When you create the metadata, the same rules around keyword stuffing is relevant to podcasts too.

You also need to ensure that your podcast fits into a relevant category, this is one of the details that could mean your show won’t go anywhere if you place it in the wrong category and not every podcaster will immediately be clear as to which category their podcast fits. Will it be interviews, scripted, unscripted, educational, business, again this comes back to knowing your audience and your topic. When thinking about podcast duration, I tend to listen to two hours of podcasts a day, spread over the entire day and during the times when I don’t need to fully focus on something else. The joy of podcasts is that it allows the listener to multi-task, and it doesn’t really matter if that time is spread over one or more episodes. But what I have found with many podcasts is that there are some that seem to be longer than they need to be, and some with an awful lot of filler material at both ends to pad them out. I think a balance would be to make the show as long as it really needs to be without adding anything else, but a seven or eight-minute intro is almost a show in itself.

Just like blogging, the audience will take a while to grow and you will need to be comfortable with any publishing schedules you set. Mostly, both blogging and podcasts are about self-discipline and getting into positive habits and protecting your time so that you can focus.

In terms of cost, setting up can be inexpensive, although there is a need to make sure that people can comfortably listen to  whatever it is that you’ve got to say, and a good quality microphone is the most vital piece of equipment, you need to have.  You will need some editing software so something like GarageBand, or Audacity, both are freely available but device dependant, and so as long as you have a device capable of running the software and recording the sound, there isn’t too much else that you need to make start. As with everything, the more professional and proficient you become over time, the more you will find your fingers reaching for any spare change.

Beyond that, pick a quiet room to record your show, don’t ramble, don’t use music without permission, and rehearse endlessly until you are comfortable but take your time to learn the editing software. There is nothing worse than listening to poor audio quality recorded on the cheapest mic available from whatever online empire you make your social distanced purchases from these days.

Mountain mist aurora art by Mark Taylor
Mountain Mist Aurora by Mark Taylor

A Website…

I’m going to stand on my soapbox for this one. Blogging and podcasting are optional, having a website is not. If there really were any rules in the art world, having a website should be mandatory. I cannot stress this enough, we’re in the middle of a global pandemic, how else are people going to find you, social media? Not everyone is on social media, that’s a tool that should support a web presence, but in itself, it’s not strictly a web presence.

More and more artists are turning to Instagram and finding some level of success and there are plenty of stories of serendipity happening on the platform, but having your own website puts you in control, it also allows you to do the one thing that you also need to be doing, putting in a call to action out that says sign up for my email newsletter here.

Websites equate to work, but who said any of this should be easy? The simple fact is that when it comes to high ticket value items such as artworks, most of them don’t get sold through Facebook’s Marketplace or eBay. Buyers have never had it better or easier to compare artists and artworks and carry out their own due diligence, most of them will turn to the artist's website first, and when they can’t find it, they move on.

Everything worth doing as an artist is generally a slow-burning candle and a website is no different. Let’s not even try to dress this up either, this is yet another one of those hats that you need to swap and wear, but the results can be more than serendipitous, you could end up with a collector base that keeps on growing.

There are a few things that you absolutely need from a website, it’s a point of reference, an anchor that provides contact information all of the time, and it’s also a place that you can hang your hat alongside your artist bio, and maybe even your podcast and blog. It’s the home where you can tell your story, the story of your art, and point people towards but remember, you are a small business too, so it is also your corporate identity and represents your brand when you can’t. The best thing of all, it sits outside of the noise of social media. You have the viewers attention within your gift to direct, as long as you hook the viewer with useful content.

In its simplest form, the website doesn’t have to do much more than provide contact information and a hook that will get people interested in you and what you do. Of course, you can build on that, none of this has to be done in a single day and you always have the option of scaling things up over time.

If you go down the simple website builder route, there are a few things to avoid, and there are a few website building platforms that are perhaps best avoided too. Always read the reviews for these kinds of services, but generally you will want to avoid website builders that insist on displaying their own adverts, if there’s any money to be made from ads, it should be benefiting you, but be mindful that there’s not much money to be made from ads on any website these days unless the website receives an insane amount of traffic and none of the free offers is likely to bring you that.

Adverts really do put people off, they can distract from the main content but with modern-day browsers becoming increasingly better at blocking ads and tracking cookies, they serve little purpose other than to slow your website down, and that doesn’t play well with the search engines which favour fast loading responsive websites.  Besides, you have to absolutely present your work in the best and most professional light that you can and you’re not going to be doing much of that if there is some hooky advert attempting to sell fake sunglasses on your site, or worse, and managing the ads so that this sort of advert doesn’t appear is another time-consuming task.

Creating a website sounds more difficult than it is. The thought that you have to be remotely tech-savvy is largely folklore. Sure, it helps if you know about things like HTML, but that’s not necessary, it only becomes necessary in time. The most difficult thing you might need to do is connect your domain name to your site, and that’s kind of solvable after five minutes scouring the academy of YouTube. If the technical difficulty is putting you off building it, it doesn’t have to be hard, that’s just what we geeky folk like to tell you. Last week I guided a very non-technical friend through a quick build in twenty-minutes via video conference, and then my friend had a website.

At a basic level,  you can create a web presence in less than a few hours, albeit a very simple one, but a simple web presence is 100% more of a web presence than if you didn’t have one before. Just as with blogging, there will come a point in time where you will need something more complex, something that can maybe handle payments securely, and something that offers you more creative freedom than most of the templated site builders will initially give you, and for that, there is usually a price attached and especially if you want to rank anywhere close to the first page in the search engines.

You will want it hosted and set out in a way that the search engines like, and it will need to be responsive and completely agnostic to the device it is being viewed on. These additional layers of complexity can be expensive but not always, and they can be complex to build, but they’re easier to build then they once were and particularly if you have a few tech skills, to begin with, but there are plenty of folks online who will gladly offer help and support. I know my good friend and fellow artist Joshua Greer has been helping other artists for a while in creating sites and he’s very reasonable, so it’s not always the case that you absolutely need to sign up to one of the big design agencies. The skills you need can usually be found much closer to home, but more than that, having an initial presence and a strong desire to build on that idea will give you confidence, and at least a temporary home.  

The hardest part of any website is nowhere close to having to build it, it’s in getting people to visit it. So, it’s maybe worth mentioning that, that crafty 600lb gorilla is hiding in plain sight in the room once again, in that most artist websites generally don’t get anywhere near the traffic people think they generate, unless you are Banksy or you are exhibiting at Basel or updating it on a regular, and by that I kind of mean minute by minute, basis. It takes time to grow an audience and whilst you do need eyes on your art, you also need the right eyes to be included in the mix.

But here’s the clincher, with artists websites, the people who find you are way more likely to be looking for you and your work. An artist website really isn’t, and shouldn’t be all about the volume of traffic. What it absolutely should be about is the quality of any traffic you get and how that traffic converts to email sign-ups, and ultimately sales.

The essentials to remember when building a website are many, but in the main, you definitely need your own domain name and it should be easy to remember. You definitely need to show that you have a secure website by using an https certificate which is essentially the little padlock and the site has to be responsive so that it can display properly on whatever device it is viewed on.

In short, you might have to pay for hosting and you will most certainly have to pay for a domain name, but there are plenty of options with some packages even including everything you need to offer an e-commerce solution on your site. Some will give you a domain name free of charge for the first year, others might offer the first three years free, it all comes down to who you decide to go with for hosting, but whatever you do, don’t be tempted by offers that seem too good to be true. Read the reviews, ask questions of other artists and be informed.

Many of these all in one packages will also let you manage your email subscribers and some platforms even offer online ordering and subscriptions. The only downside is that you will need to be creative with your content, there’s a risk that is inherent with most of the website builders out there in that lots of people are using the same designs, but ultimately it is your content that will make it look and feel different.  

Aurora art collection by Mark Taylor
Aurora Art collection by Mark Taylor

The email list…

Which brings me nicely on to the email list. You are forgiven if like me, you think email lists are all about spamming and selling, and those that I never sign up for are. Those I do sign up to, I sign up to because I am interested in what the sender is saying or selling, and there are more people just like me who sign up to new email lists every day.

There is a fine art (no pun intended) in managing email lists, and there are certain commandments that you should definitely obey. Thou shalt not spam, thou shalt offer value to your subscriber, thou shalt not sell said email address or give it away to anyone else, and thou shalt protect those details as if they were your child.

There are some things that you need to be aware of beyond the above commandments, you definitely have to follow things like privacy rules and laws, and you should send out emails only when you have something worthy to say, you should also have something worthy to say on a regular to semi-regular basis. Now what you might find is that some large businesses and organisations have no qualms at all in sending out multiple emails a day to fill your inbox with, all of them offering to sell you something, and all of them at some point becoming annoying enough for you to click on unsubscribe.

The large businesses know that you will click that unsubscribe button sooner or later, but it matters not, this is cold, hard, marketing, operated by cold, hard, marketers who are experienced and paid to make you part with your cash. They send so many of these things out to so many recipients that a certain level of unsubscribes are acceptable, and because more often than not, they are buying email addresses where supposedly some kind of permission from the recipient has been given to share details from another organisation or company, previously, they literally have more than enough email addresses to send out that they can almost guarantee something will stick somewhere. In short, this is the ultimate spray and pray approach, but you have to be big enough to be able to pull this off. Interestingly, this is an age-old model that is also used by the very spammers who send out phishing emails to harvest your personal information and bank account details. The exact same principles of spray and pray, and also an action that is recognised as a pattern by search engines and social media platforms that is likely to get you and your website and email flagged as spam.

Email is a huge business, and the mega-corporations don’t have to play by the same rules that small businesses have to. Well, to be specific, they do have to play by the exact same rules when it comes to being on the right side of the law, but small businesses just don’t have the luxury of having millions of subscribers where every email subscription is hard-won. Small businesses are much more likely to play on a level playing field and some of the larger businesses I have to say, probably don’t really care.

There is one piece of advice that you absolutely need to have when it comes to managing emails, and that is to not even attempt to go down the route of just keeping a handy Excel spreadsheet to store email addresses and contact details on. You have a responsibility for keeping any details safe so the best course of action and the only one I would ever recommend, is to make use of a managed email list service such as those offered through services such as Mail Chimp and stick to the letter of the local applicable law.

Many of the print on demand services also offer an email list service, but I would suggest only using this if you get to see who you are sending the emails out to. That’s not something that all print on demand and drop shipping services offer and the problem with this when you don’t get to see the email addresses is that what you are essentially doing, is building a list for the service you are using. If you have access to the contact list you remain in control of your own destiny if you ever chose to migrate to another service. If you don’t and you end up using an alternative email service, you will need to start collecting the addresses all over again.  

Are there any serendipitous moments from having a website? There could be many or none, it depends who visits the site. However, this is more than serendipity, a website is about ensuring that you have a base on which to build solid foundations and having a real web presence, not just a social media account.

AWOL Again!

Well, I hope this week’s article has given you plenty of inspiration to get started in looking at alternative ways to keep in touch with art buyers. Everything I have covered can be as simple or as complicated as you need, to make it to work for you, but it is possible to do each of these things in just a few weekends. Whilst the work is front-loaded, the results will begin to pay off quickly, and there has never been a better time to get started with building a solid presence.

Also, I know it has been a few weeks since I last updated the site, my back has been giving me some serious issues over the past couple of weeks and I knew that I needed to concentrate on healing after ignoring the warning signs for so long. It couldn’t have come at a worse time as this past few months have been chaotically busy and juggling the workload with a gnarly back has been a real challenge at times, and despite the healing, I have been managing to clock up the hours and carry on painting.

That just leaves me with one more thing to say this week and that is, there has never been a better time to support independent artists and small businesses. Over the next few posts, I am planning on featuring at least one artist who has especially shined brightly this year with their work, and this week, I would like to introduce you to the work of my good friend and fellow artist, Jane See. You can view Jane’s work on her brand new website right here,  and don’t forget, you can sign up to her email newsletter too!

If you would like to be featured, let me know and who knows, maybe we will have our own virtual exhibition right here, no Teams or Zoom needed!

So as always, stay safe, stay well, stay creative, and look after each other!

Mark x

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:   and you can purchase my new works, special and limited editions directly.

 Any art sold through Fine Art America and Pixels contributes to the ongoing costs of running and developing this website and making sure that I can bring you independent writing every time and without any need to sign up to anything! You can also view my portfolio website at

 You can also follow me on Facebook at where you will also find regular free reference photos of interesting subjects and places I visit and resources to help you as an artist. You can also follow me on Twitter @beechhouseart and on Pinterest at

If you would like to support the upkeep of this site or maybe just buy me a coffee, you can do so at my Go Fund Me link right here. Good news, I am soon moving my online payments to Square to make things easier!

Any donations received will be used to ensure I can continue writing independently for independent artists as my art sales via Pixels and Fine Art America and donations via Go Fund Me are the only way I monetise these pages so that I can continue supporting independent artists, independently.


  1. Mark, A very special thank you for this awesome blog, as if it's custom-made for me :) and very grateful for the mention too., owe you big time! Wish you good health and safe! xx

    1. You’re very welcome Jane! Absolutely loving your latest works, and your new website is outstanding! Hope you have a safe and creative weekend! Xx

    2. Thanks so much for the compliment Mark, yet I'm finding myself uninspired and actually struggling to create for a while. Happy Sunday to you! xx

    3. I had a couple of weeks like that recently, I was completely exhausted after preparing for the exhibition. Started listening to random podcasts on my morning walk, usually about things totally unrelated to anything I normally do and it must have triggered something because I wasn’t thinking quite so hard about it. Listened to some crazy weird stuff to be fair, so it could be that my mind thought that it better get me back to arting instead of listening to the unexplained with Howard Hughes! A good walk and a podcast, definitely clears the mind! Hope you have had a brilliant Sunday! Xx

  2. Appreciate it Mark! So I've heard the benefit of walking might give it a go. Is he the same Howard Hughes played by Leonardo DiCaprio years ago?

    1. 7 miles a day, takes me 1hour 40 minutes, feel brilliant afterwards! No, not the same Howard Hughes, but there was much more to that Howard Hughes apparently, the other Howard did a couple of shows about him! All was not as it seemed! Xx


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