The Strategy of Art

Developing a strategy to market your art…

The strategy of art cover image
The Strategy of Art

If you can find a job you enjoy, you’ll never work a day in your life. I’m not sure who first said that, but I followed that advice and became an artist expecting that my days would be filled with glitter and paint, evenings would be spent nibbling on canapes at my next art exhibition and I would be able to wear paint-stained clothes in public and drive around in a sleek Italian sports car.

It turned out a little different...

At no point did anyone ever suggest that it might actually be hard work, nor that I would end up driving around in a cute little yellow Fiat 500.

To be fair, I did manage to fulfil the dream of owning a sports car, although it was a British Jaguar rather than some sleek Italian number. The Fiat 500 though had been on the bucket list for a while, and I wanted to become a lot more environmentally friendly, and in part, because art supplies have become exponentially more expensive and my keen to be green attitude meant there would be more cash available to import Japanese paintbrushes. I never questioned if they were arriving by air.

Nor did anyone mention that mostly, I would need to be concerned about things like sales funnels or distributed growth strategies, which to be totally honest, I’m still not convinced is an actual thing. More recently there’s so much currency given to being ‘agile’, a business buzzword that as far as I can tell, means that you make it up as you go along. Not that there is anything wrong in making it up as you go along, I’m convinced that’s exactly how you innovate, it’s certainly how you learn, it’s also how you make mistakes which are also great and essential lessons to learn.

Whenever I write an article about starting out in the art business I always mention having a strategy that covers both marketing and sales, and I have often talked about having a content strategy for the works that you create and of course, the content you put out on social media. That’s all well and good but what I don’t usually expand on in too much depth is what you really need to focus on when writing those strategies.

This week, we’re going to take a dive into the world of creating a strategy to build your art business on, and I will provide a few ideas that you might not have thought about but might be important. They’re certainly things that have helped me over my increasingly long career.

80s pop music culture art
80s Pop Music Culture by Mark Taylor

Times are changing…

When I first started out as an independent artist there was no such thing as the internet, or at least the internet that we know today. Hey, we had bulletin boards and a dial-up modem that the phone needed to be placed on top of. If you were born in the age of anything more recent, you most likely have zero idea what I’m even talking about, just know that life was hard.

If you needed to find anything out about running a business it usually involved some insane amount of effort, a few books, and some good luck. It’s a little easier today in one respect, almost everything you need to learn can be found online, but to some extent running a business has also become much more complicated than it once was. There’s a heap more distraction for a start.

In the art world of the past, there was a structure that an artist would generally follow. You would go to art school, make contacts, work your way up through the gallery system and then hopefully at the end of it, you might have sold some work. There was though, never a guarantee despite being told that was the only way.

It was a well-trodden, almost linear path that was more or less easily understood, even if it was next to a nightmare to navigate or even get a foothold into at times. Today, that structure has been eroded away, gone are the gatekeepers to the art world that once stood outside the gallery doors.  Today it’s entirely possible to have a successful career in the creative sector without ever having stepped into a gallery at all.

Today’s relatively easy access to the art world doesn’t have anywhere near the same structure. Sure, there are still, gallery routes that artists can follow, but you now also have the option of going it alone or working in collaboration, assuming you can find someone who is willing to collaborate and understands that collaboration is a two way thing, but that’s another blog entirely. The downside is that you then have to also, do the job that the galleries once did, and that means that you need to learn the art of the business of art, rather than just the art of creating great art.

Tools of the Trade cassette tape and pencil artwork
Tools of the Trade - by Mark Taylor and now available in my store!

Unfortunately, there is no simple shortcut that allows you to only ever focus on creating art if you want any of that art to find a paying wall to hang itself on. It takes effort, an effort that can feel herculean at times, and I think it’s fair to say that almost every artist who has chosen this route in the history of ever has found out that at times, going it alone in the art world can feel incredibly daunting, even lonely, and it most certainly identifies and exposes your vulnerable side like no other business I know.

That daunting feeling is a difficult one to overcome. An artist today has to work in so many different areas than they did at any time before. Back in the days of showing my work in a gallery, I had no idea about any of the business buzzwords that we hear so much about today, it was simply a case of knuckling down and doing your best and following the galleries lead, it was still incredibly hard though. I don’t think I even came across terms such as progressively disintermediating functionalized channels until a few years ago and to this day, I still have little idea about what it really means. For all, I know it could be a made-up business buzz phrase designed to put us off even trying.

One thing I absolutely do know though, is that the daunting feeling can be overcome and the business side of things can start to become second nature, so long as you have the absolute basics in place from the off.

And that’s the rub with so many of the new artists I come across who are just thinking about stepping out onto the creative path as a professional artist. Knowing exactly what the basics of running an art business are, isn’t a topic generally covered in any meaningful depth in many academic art studies, that’s if the subject of business is even included at all.

My advice to anyone thinking of formally studying art is to double up on the learning and take an academic program in business too and maybe even do this first. For those who are going down the self-taught route,  it matters not where or how you learn, that’s another upside that has come from the erosion of old school ways of doing things, but my advice is the same. Spend as much time learning about business as you spend learning about creating great art and then some more if you can.

Learning about the business of art is more critical than ever before. There has been an explosive growth in technology over the past eighteen months and that growth has fractured an already outdated art world even more. It’s a sector that has become much more destabilised due to the pandemic, and as a result, the way we now have to work has changed almost beyond recognition.

Ascend abstract space artwork
Ascend - one of a number of Space inspired artworks in my new collection - Space and Beyond!

That might sound as if a career in the art world should be even more daunting than before, and it can be if you don’t have a plan that builds the foundations on which you can build a successful career, one step at a time. Given that the art world now looks and functions very differently to the art world we all knew just a little under two years ago, having a strategy that factors in those new changes and challenges makes sense, even for artists who have been in the business for a while. Things have changed, it might be time to change your forward strategy a little to take into account what might be around the corner and of course to take into account the massive changes we have been seeing over the course of the pandemic.

Avoiding Noise…

The single most critical element when writing any strategy, be it for marketing, sales, content, whatever is to avoid noise. It’s essential that the foundations are well built and robust enough for you to build a business in a world that has changed, in some cases, almost beyond recognition when compared to the same business a couple of years ago.

Noise has no place in an artists strategy, yet I see it far too often, and I see the impending frustration emerges when the art fails to go out of the door. Whenever I work with new artists, I’m often struck at just how hard they work and by how much currency they give to new trends.

Some trends are worthy pursuits, it’s great to be right in at the start of something, but the fact that a trend is a trend implies that you wouldn’t be the first to do it and that automatically puts you in at least second place. You need to spot the next trend way before it’s a trend and that my friends ain’t exactly easy.

One of the more recent trends that we have all seen is a classic example of noise. The noise in question is around the use of non-fungible tokens or NFTs.  No doubt a trend spurred on by recent NFT sales that have grabbed headlines in mainstream media around the world. Inevitably, after about ten minutes of the first headline to announce that millions had been paid for artwork through an NFT, artists were offering work for sale through NFTs and perhaps missing the point a little that NFTs aren’t something that only takes five minutes to master and slightly less to set up.

NFTs aren’t new. A few years ago I wrote an article asking whether artists were ready for bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrency in the art world. This was something that I had been dabbling in at that point for a while, more out of interest than it being written in any kind of master plan. It wasn’t an easy process back then and it’s still as complex and costly to do it today. Another misconception that seems to influence a lot of strategies is that NFTs are some kind of golden panacea to being discovered, they’re not.

NFTs won’t make your art either more valuable or more desirable, indeed, they might even put a lot if regular buyers off. If you are totally unprepared for NFT then it’s better to leave that as a strategy for later, in the meantime, it’s totally fine to accept the currency of RFM, or real freakin money, just like millions upon millions of artists have done and continue to do every day.

There is a place for NFTs, and they will continue to be prevalent for a while, although my guess is that at some point the world will change. Indeed, they can provide the provenance for digital works that have been impossible to supply in any other way. But their prominence could be undermined if some of the financial institutions, countries and governments who are generally doing their best to make them less relevant get their way.

Personally, I can see some form of the blunt instrument called regulation being imposed on them, not least because the other side of cryptocurrency has both uses in illegal activity and a massive negative impact on the environment.

vintage technology painted as an artwork
Obsolescence by Mark Taylor - available in my store - digitally hand-painted recreations of vintage technology that was designed to become obsolete! 

The point is, that many trends are generally noise and they can hamper whatever strategy you currently have, especially if you’re not well prepared. Once those foundations of a strategy are built, that’s the time when you can begin to lay the bricks, and then in time, you might want to add the roof and a few essential extras. You don’t have to do it all today, you don’t even have to do it all tomorrow, art isn’t a race, it’s way beyond even a marathon, it’s an entire career that can last a lifetime so you need a strategy that evolves and flexes throughout that lifetime.

Let’s address that one thing we all know but prefer to never really talk about. Writing down strategies and plans is plain and simply, boring. I know, and it’s not lost on me that the minute anyone sits down with the good intention to knuckle down and strategize, that’s when life 1.0 gets in the way, or oh shiny happens, or another commission comes in. The thing is that you are the one who knows where you want to go with your art business so it makes sense that there is only you who can map it out. There are no templates, art is the least cookie-cutter type business to be involved in, your strategy has to be as unique as your art, and as unique as the people you want to buy your work.

Just start with the basics…

Once you begin to recognise that you don’t have to fall in with every trend or become distracted with every little noise, or get confused by the obscurity of business terminology, you can begin to focus on the basics.

If you were to ask a business guru, and that’s definitely not me, they would tell you that a well-developed marketing strategy will help you realise your goals and focus on what you need to be doing to reach your target market. In my experience, which to be fair over the years has often drifted between try it and see and a laser-like focus has proven to me that it’s the time when I’m least lazy about doing the business-critical things is when I tend to get the majority of sales. Equally, it’s not always possible to be 100% focussed on the business side of things when you also have to be 100% focussed on creating the art at the same time.

computer storage media from the eighties hand painted digital art
Storage Wars by Mark Taylor - one of my latest creations - all drawn by hand using a digital medium and saved on, you guessed, a drive that isn't depicted here!

At its most basic, a strategy is something that provides you with some direction that makes it less easy to be lazy, we’re human and by default, we’re tuned to seek out the shortcut. The strategy has to identify the core principles and direction that your business needs to take, in a way that you can follow. It has to outline what your business is, what your aims are, what your product and/or service is. Knowing that should give you the confidence to know the value and purpose of your business, and identify your place within the industry. Those really are critical things to know and understand. Break it down to its most basic level and it becomes exponentially easier to get to grips with.

In short:

  • The strategy should identify what you and your work are about.
  • The strategy should explain how your artwork fits into the market – do you have a theme, a specific medium, genre.
  • Your strategy identifies the people you are trying to reach with your work.
  • A good strategy sets out the tactics that you will use to reach those people.
  • A strategy has to define your business goals and it calls for a need to be totally honest with yourself as to why you are in the business you are in and what you really want out of the business that you have created.

There is no right and wrong answer to this last point, if your primary motivation is to produce great art, that’s awesome. If your primary motivation is to make a living wage, that’s completely fine too. If it’s to make a living while creating great art, that’s perfect, but never confuse why you are doing what you are doing.

If you’re serious about being in the professional art creating business, you kind of have to forget being a fragile genius who thinks that art and money have no place in the same sentence. If that were the case then art supplies would be free and the bills would never get paid. Never think that you have to compromise making a living to create great art, the myth of a starving artist is as real today as it was in the eighteenth century, and it really is just that, a myth that belongs in some romanticised period novel.

hot flamingo vibrant 80s inspired artwork by Mark Taylor
Hot Flamingo by Mark Taylor - Oh those colours just pop!

A quick point to note here is that the starving artist myth was at one time more likely to be applied to an artist who had only one, or a small number of assistants, it had very little if anything to do with actually starving. The media probably romanticised the myth more than the art world did. Throughout art history, art has attracted artists from all kinds of backgrounds and incomes and whilst many historically successful artists weren’t necessarily wealthy, not many of them were actually starving either.

The starving artist label has prevailed throughout art history, and to some extent, we’ve been forever led to believe that art that is functional or commercial has no legitimate place and that an artist must suffer to produce great work. Nope, you don’t have to suffer to produce great work at all.  In fact, you can enjoy creating art, even if it is functional or commercial. Being an artist shouldn’t be about surviving, it should be about thriving and having a conversation with the world.

You really do have a choice, you can hang around in the hope of being discovered and be the one in however many hundreds of thousands of artists who manage to find success this way, or you can do what every other successful artist is doing right now, and that’s to build a business around your work. Forget the romantic and noble notion of working in a darkened room, for the majority of working artists who are making it already, they tend to have the lights well and truly on.

I do get it, there’s a fear that by somehow commercialising our talent we will lose the purity of our art, and while that can be a legitimate concern for some, it’s not a rational way of thinking about how you should create. That is something at the very core of creating a strategy and I sometimes wonder if that is something that puts artists off creating one. If you formulate any strategy with a view that devalues your talent and your work from the start, that really won’t be a very good business or marketing strategy to move forward with and you will forever be chasing the proverbial tail.

Once you have this nailed down you can then think about a marketing strategy, something that can only be defined by the goals that you set yourself through your business strategy. Your marketing strategy relies on having a strong symbiotic relationship with your business goals, but they’re not the same.

toucan art collage by mark taylor
Toucan Play This Game by Mark Taylor - Available in my store!

The basics of any strategy…

Now we understand that there’s a need to define your business goals so that you can focus on developing your marketing strategy, we now have the basic foundations on which you can build upwards and outwards. The marketing strategy differs from the business strategy in that this is the plan that will lay out the roadmap of how to get your art hanging on the walls of other peoples homes.

That might mean defining how you plan to increase the size of your market, or how you develop the market to sell your work to other people who don’t already buy from you. These don’t have to be overnight strategies, I don’t think that would even be possible in the art world unless you already have the pedigree of say, Matisse or Banksy. Van Gogh even found that his pedigree needed some development even after his death. I think that in most cases, the art will always need a strategy that outlasts you.

Marketing strategies and by default, the business strategy, should constantly evolve and they should remain aligned. If you update one you need to update the other, at a minimum you should be rewriting strategies year on year or whenever you notice a change in the market.

What happens if your next-door neighbour starts selling the same work as you and starts selling it in the same space, what happens if you suddenly find that your current market has moved on to something else? They can and they do, and whilst these things might sound extreme, this is what happens in any business.

Your market today is never guaranteed to be your market tomorrow, and I think that’s a good thing. I would think it would be really hard work to keep the same market engaged forever purely in terms of what you would need to create to keep them engaged. There’s another train of thought in that you should at some point want to change the market of your own volition. If your current market is only buying one hundred buck prints, you might want to find the market that wants to buy the two hundred buck print or the five thousand buck original.

Much of your marketing strategy can be completed by thinking about the reasons you create what you create and who you are creating it for. I have previously said that if you haven’t currently got vast amounts of customer profile information it’s a useful exercise to set out on paper, the exact type of person you think you are creating for. That will at least get you a customer profile to build on, and once you have that fleshed out with some reasonably basic information, you can then think about how you might attract a different audience, perhaps a younger or older generation or a generation with a little more disposable income.

trippy mushroom art by Mark Taylor
Eat Me by Mark Taylor - from a commissioned series and available in my store!

Those strategies might include changing how you run your social media, creating a presence on other platforms, or getting out and about in your own local community. In fact, any strategy that fails to include drawing in the power of your local community is missing something that has the potential to significantly make selling easier down the line. For me, creating a community strategy and raising my local profile by becoming involved in the community has opened more opportunities than any number of previous exhibitions.

If you ask some of those business gurus I mentioned earlier, I think many of them would say that any strategy needs to be smart. Smart being the acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. I’m personally not a fan of setting targets, especially SMART targets, they don’t necessarily have a perfect fit with the art world, they’re cliched and often destructive and more than that, they’re outdated.

Instead, forget the acronyms. Whatever you do has to be purposeful, it has to move your business forward, and any goals that you set for yourself should be set with affirmative action, and then rinse and repeat over and over, tracking your progress so you can see how far you have developed, and this doesn’t have to be complicated.

What it comes down to is knowing whether something needs to be done, did your last work land exactly where you thought it would, and if it didn’t, identifying what didn’t work and taking an affirmative action to put it right. Remember, this really doesn’t have to be complicated, if you can create something that is really easy to follow you will be more likely to continue following it.  It really is as simple as that.

mushroom art by Mark Taylor
Majestic Mushroom by Mark Taylor - available in my store from a commissioned series of work!

Aligning the stars…

If you can align the stars that are the business strategy and the marketing strategy, you then have the foundations that will begin to solidify the rest of your business.

A marketing strategy is essential if you plan to do things like running online advertising, and that’s something that you should never even contemplate attempting without having any kind of strategy in place at all. The glossy invites luring you into spending a few dollars a day on clicks isn’t necessarily a worthy strategy to follow, especially if you have no idea about who you need to target to get the best bang for your buck. Coupled with all of the new privacy restrictions implemented by tech giants such as Apple, it’s even more vital that you know as much as you can know about who your market is before you spend anything on ads.

Out of all of the artists I know who have travelled down this rabbit hole without having the information groundwork completed beforehand, only those who have taken the time to understand who they need to reach through advertising has had any real success.  

Your strategies will inform everything that you do. If you haven’t strategized something beforehand, there’s little point in jumping in with both feet. Ad spends are a great example of absolutely needing some level of planning to be in place, not least when it comes to funding the spend.

A strategy should provide the details around funding a campaign and perhaps even more critical, it should outline the tactics that you will engage throughout the campaign. Without these in place, you’re more likely to misread the market and ultimately you could end up paying even more for your campaign trying to salvage it.

Many business owners representing all kinds of businesses get online ad-spend completely wrong through a lack of having a strategy in place that identifies the target audience, only to find that the spend doesn’t land anywhere near who they need to reach.

vintage tech art with palm trees
Miami Nights by Mark Taylor - Each piece is hand-drawn and represents an original work in itself!

Who buys your art?

Figuring out the question of who buys your art is easy.  At least it is when people are buying your art. If they’re not, it becomes a tad more challenging and can even feel impossible. If you’re starting from scratch and don’t have a consistent sales record you will need to carry out some market research, and this shouldn’t be limited to online research.

The art world isn’t known for its transparency. Googling another artists sales history or the type of buyer who buys their work isn’t a guarantee that you will find any level of useful data to suggest that you should go after the same or similar clients. There’s never a guarantee with online research that the information you find is anything like the truth. Sure, the internet will play a role in your market research but physically getting out and about and talking to real people is going to bear more fruit.

What you need to figure out is who are you creating your art for? Once you work that out you can then identify the potential size of the market, its potential to grow, demographics such as age, income levels, gender, and perhaps just as importantly, the markets social trends. Are the people you identify on Facebook or Twitter, perhaps they don’t do social media at all. That’s the kind of information that can turn a potential sale into a guaranteed sale if you are targeting the very people you know will be more likely to buy your work.

That might sound obvious, except in the art world, it’s not. Artists who have carried out any level of market research tend to be the exception rather than the rule. Art doesn’t always fail to sell because it's bad, it usually fails to sell because the marketing isn’t reaching the right audience.  The people who are more likely to buy your art just have no idea that you are there.

Of course, there will be other reasons why work doesn’t sell. Just last week I noticed a relative newcomer to the art world marketing a thousand dollar print, with no provenance, little experience, and clearly little idea that the platform they were selling the work on wasn’t suited to that type of work or that kind of price level.

That’s not to say that a thousand dollars for your first work is unobtainable, it is, but only if someone with a thousand dollars is looking at it and wants to buy it. The thing is, the work was pretty good, but on that particular platform it wasn’t close to a thousand dollars kind of good because it was the single most expensive print on the platform by around $900!

vintage technology art by Mark Taylor
Together In Electric Dreams by Mark Taylor - available now!

Profile your tribe!

Once you have identified the market, figured out where they hang out, and begun the process of connecting with them, that’s the point when you can begin to profile your ideal customer. Profiling will reveal the customers buying patterns, do they only buy occasionally or are they regularly purchasing work, and more importantly, what is it that they’re buying and when?

When the profile of your audience changes, that’s the trigger point to change the strategy, give it a fresh coat of thinking and a fresh coat of research. Again, that’s something that is often missed, a strategy should live, evolve, and grow along with your business and any changing trends.

It’s not just about your own client base though, keeping an eye on the market to figure out what’s working for other artists who sell similar works is also just as critical. I’m reluctant to say that any other artist is competition, for me, other artists are my inspiration, but that’s not to say that you can’t learn from how other artists are using marketing to attract their own buyers, sometimes you just need a little inspiration to think outside of the proverbial box.

Having said that, if the market of another artist is exactly the same as yours, you do have to identify what makes you the better choice and then you have to somehow convey that message to your buyers. It might be that you offer a much more personal service or your products are created on better quality materials, equally your products might be of a lower quality, and you need to consider whether the buyers are indeed even the same at all, it’s not always obvious.

You can begin to use this information to work out what sets your business apart from everyone else’s. This will improve your performance, improve your offer, and give you an opportunity to review things like your pricing strategy, or marketing tactics, and even your supply chain. A good example of this would be if your market shifted to become much more environmentally friendly. Your current supply chain might not be as environmentally sustainable as another artist and that could make a difference in a client deciding to buy or walk on by.

Knowing the audience allows you to begin to cater exactly to their needs, you no longer have the tedious and complex job of trying to market to anyone and everyone which is in itself a really hard way to run any business. By taking the time to strategize and work out your audience you can focus on the product because you’re being smarter about the strategy. That really is the Holy Grail for artists, every artist I have ever met would give up their best paint brush to spend more time arting than marketing.

It’s really important to test out any new ideas first too rather than jump in with both feet from the off. Remember when I talked about avoiding the distraction of noise earlier, it becomes way too easy to fall into those distractions when things begin to go well so you really do have to be mindful and remain both focussed and grounded. You have to strive to become the signal that is so much louder than the noise.

boom box art by Mark Taylor
Turn it Up by Mark Taylor - available in my store now! You should absolutely get this on an acrylic block and illuminate it from behind, it looks super-80s-awesome!


Lastly, you absolutely have to resist the romantic notion that your art practice isn’t a business unless it really is a hobby, and if it is, that’s absolutely okay too but don’t get concerned about not selling art if that’s the case. Art is too often seen as an incredibly vulnerable undertaking that is fragile and can be disturbed or even sullied by the concept of commercialising it.

With art, you can’t wait until the time is right, it never will be, and you can’t afford to hang around in the belief that inspiration for your next masterpiece is just around the corner. You have to resist anything that stops you pushing forward with your creations, and just as importantly, selling the work that will fund the next piece. It’s only when you are known by someone that you will be discovered and you’re more likely to be known by someone when that someone can see that you are striving to be prolific, and to an extent in the art world, it’s fair to also say being profitable. Sounds cold, that's a reality though!

You absolutely can’t be fragile or lazy when it comes to creating art. If you have a belief and a deep passion for something, anything, it doesn’t even have to be art, there will forever be competing factors that will work to stop you pushing forward. If you park your truck in that space there will always be competing excuses that stop you from realising your full potential.  Excuses can become comfort blankets that you hold on to so tightly that you never take the leap over the edge and you never take the leap of making a firm plan. We've all been there!

warp speed space abstract art by Mark Taylor
Warp Speed by Mark Taylor

Art is hard work, but it’s not the only work of an artist. Every successful artist before and after you will have reached out and engaged with their tribe. They will have done the marketing thing, even if they now have a team of people who do it for them.

The one’s who got discovered will have initially found that someone who noticed them and they will have realised that confirmation of talent doesn’t come solely through sales, they will have found validation in other ways long before they even sold a work.

Your art is the conversation that you have with the world, so make it count, but try not to get too distracted with all that noise on the way. You totally have this. Anyone who wants to be an artist as much as you do has the potential to become a great artist, but you really do have to remember that resisting what needs to be done in favour of only ever taking the creative path isn’t going to make the journey any easier.

Before I go for this week, there is one very simple thing that has proven to me time and time again that the business of art doesn’t have to become messy and chaotic. That simple thing is to make sure that you get the things that you least like doing out of the way early on. Even get some simple things out of the way early too in order to give you the confidence to tackle something more challenging. The more early wins you get, the more willing your mind will be to accept that the business of art is essential, even critical to your success.  Most of all, have a plan, define your own space, define your own style, and there will come a time when even the business of art will become fun.

the night garden art by mark taylor, snail, mushrooms,
The Night Garden by Mark Taylor - now available in my In the Night Garden Collection!

I’m back!

If you have been wondering where I have been for the past month or so, I have been inundated with new commissions, building out my new retro-inspired collections and I took on another major project – more on that in the weeks ahead! You can see some of my latest releases throughout this article!

I have plenty of new articles lined up, we’ll be deep-diving into some of my processes in creating art, including my work on vintage computers to create authentic 8 and 16-bit artwork! A niche that hasn’t gone away for more than thirty years of creating the art for a community that keeps vintage computing alive, and I will be exploring the art of the artist side hustle!

As always, stay safe, stay well, and happy creating!

About Mark…

I am an artist and blogger and live in Staffordshire, England. I began creating digital art in 1980, moving on to coding 8-bit computer games and producing graphics for early computers. To this day I am still involved in the retro and vintage computer industry creating 8-bit and retro-inspired works along with my more traditional landscapes, book cover and box art designs.

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. You can also view my portfolio website at Or you can reach out directly if you need a digital commission or rights-cleared work for your next TV or film production - digital files can be with you within minutes when you need work on set!

If you are on Facebook, you can give me a follow right here,  You can also follow me on Twitter @beechhouseart and on Pinterest at



  1. Thanks so much for this awesome post Mark! Will certainly make some time for the next one. Fabulous artwork as ever xx

    1. Thanks so very much Jane! Hope you’re keeping safe and well xx


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