The Distraction of Art

The Distraction of Art

Old School Art Advice from a Non-Influencer

painting, art, paintbrushes, blog title image, the distraction of art,
Old School Art Tips from a Non-Influencer

It’s no secret that selling your artwork is much more challenging than creating it, even artists as far back as Van Gogh and before, realised this. Yet, we don’t have to make the process even more difficult than it already is by jumping on every bandwagon that promises to turn our paintbrush cleaning rags into riches.

The Rise of the Influencer – A warning to the rest of us…

Let’s start with a warning. If you are an influencer, thought leader, or you are a celebrity with an opinion on stuff you really have no idea about, this ain’t going to be the most comfortable of reads. Hey, you can read right?

This week…

A month or so ago I started writing a blog post about how the cost of art supplies had increased, it was going well apart from the rising costs for everything and a feeling of sadness as I realised just how difficult it is to be an artist these days.  I even created the now mandatory list (because lists are an internet thing) of cheaper alternatives that still accomplish the same results for a lower cost and without compromising the quality. Today, that article is a work in progress and as soon as I find that elusive thing we call time, and I’m able to tick more things off some random internet list, I’ll get around to finishing it off and because according to my fuel bill, we’re all heading to economic Hell in a handcart real soon.

By the way, the four horsemen of the apocalypse are now known as, Exxon, Chevron, Shell, and Putin. I digress but you at least now know where I’m heading with this.

I like to research every article I write, that’s why some of my articles are long, I never want to just give you one view of the world. The art supplies article was about 80% done when I decided to change track after one particularly lengthy research session when I stumbled across some advice online that I honestly think couldn’t have been any worse had it have been a photocopy of a photocopy of the most pointless advice in the history of ever.  It mattered not, the author had absolutely nailed the SEO and that stuff really matters apparently.

the last arcade artwork, boy standing in front of an arcade cabinet, video game art,
The Last Arcade by Mark Taylor - Available from Fine Art America and my Pixels store now!

The advice in question was that every artist must have a successful YouTube channel, must be present on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, must network at major shows including such gems as Basel, (good luck getting an invite), and must leave comments with links on every blog and forum post you can find. Try doing that here and you’ll quickly realise that my spam filters are going to deal with it before I even see it.

That’s the wrong advice however you want to cut it and it sounds like a heap of work that will either burn you out or burn everyone else out. As an artist who still believes that at least some of your time in the profession should continue to be dedicated to the noble act of creating art, I wouldn’t even begin to guess what compromises I would need to make to fit that lot in. I’m exhausted with the little I do in comparison, and that little I already do can easily consume 16-hours a day.

The internet isn’t all bad advice, scams, propaganda, and NFTs, I absolutely adore well written websites from artists sharing their musings that come from experience. I can relate to most of those and many of them offer some real nuggets of advice that could only come from someone who has lived at least a part of their life in the art world but even then, someone who has the lived experience of being an artist might not have the lived experience of also being the teacher.

So where should you turn to for advice as an artist? There are plenty of artists and others who have the lived experience of being inside the art world, you just have to look at that advice and determine whether or not the advice they offer will work for you. Good advice could see your business bloom, the bad advice or the advice that is only applicable to businesses that are poles apart from yours, well, that could see you fall over a cliff edge, or at best, forever run in circles which we’ll get to a little later.

spectrum artwork, circles, abstract, art by Mark Taylor
Spectrum by Mark Taylor

The way I run my business probably wouldn’t work for someone else with a different audience. I think I have always been careful to point this out throughout the hundreds of posts I have written over the years but what I do hope my posts achieve, is to raise an awareness that you can decide if something fits into your business delivery model or not, and to make you think about the uniqueness of your own art and business and more importantly, where you and it fits.

The real issue I have with many of the generic business advice websites out there, some of which I am sure are well intended,  is they just don’t provide the answers that have a good fit with the business of art, make you subscribe to their Patreon, or they lack any sort of context.

I can’t ever recall the last time I sat down and drew a Venn diagram to demonstrate to my imaginary shareholders how well I understood the lesson on Venn diagrams for diagrams sake. I tried demonstrating this to my two dogs with one responding, he’s got my favourite ball, make him give it back, – Yes, I know, but no one should think it’s odd to have a full on conversation with two Shih-Tzu’s, they’re full of inspiration and hugs but mostly the stubborn aloofness that only really small dogs can pull off so well.

That said, there are plenty of websites written by artists and others who have been in the industry for some time and who really do get the nuances of the industry, they understand that they are sharing their experiences rather than imparting the absolute rules of art, or they have a track record within the sector and they go to great pains to explain how they went about making changes that worked or didn’t work for them.

There are fewer who can take those experiences and present them as some kind of masterclass, they exist, but they’re a rare breed who mostly have a really good grip on the business of art and understand the difference between selling an artwork and selling a widget. Anyone who says that selling art is no different to selling a widget has most likely spent a little too much time puffing on a bong.

The only advice I would stand by for any artist is to develop a sense of being able to take any information that you get and to carefully consider how that advice might or might not help your business. Even advice from the greatest living artist of all time might not be suitable advice for your art business. Honestly, if Van Gogh were alive today, I’d be a little dubious of listening to his top ten fortune 500 companies to back because y’all just know that Buzzfeed needed another list.

ethernet cable art, art print, ethernet cables, abstract
Cable Management by Mark Taylor - available now from my Pixels and Fine Art America stores!

Too much and too little…

I get it. The art world has never been an easy career choice, sales can never be guaranteed, and because there is no one size fits all master blue-print to follow we soak up all of the information and advice that the internet can throw at us and then, at least for a little while, we dabble with ways that we can better engage with our audience in the vague hope that we stumble across a secret formula that will catapult us quickly towards success as defined by the same con-fluencer who wrote the top ten couscous recipes to make on a budget.

That very definition of success is different for every artist, or at least it should be. There is no bar, nor flag, nor anything etched in some biblical stone to suggest that an artist must achieve some level of greatness proven only by a solid sales record or because of some, in the know contact written in an address book. This is what the gatekeepers would once have us believe we needed to do and we would all dutifully chase the mythical unicorn we call ‘becoming discovered’ so that the gatekeepers would allow us passage through the gallery doors.

When the internet met the art world, the very barriers that would once prevent the majority of us from pursuing our creative dreams would begin to ebb away. It was suddenly easier to reach a global market than a local one and at the same time, the art world, through this new found simplicity, became a little harder to navigate too.

The internet soon became the promised land of opportunity, sales platforms, direct access to the masses, gave us some shockingly bad advice for everything and it introduced the birth of the click-hungry influencer. It’s little wonder that so many artists fail before they even begin.

Along with the internet, the accepted norm of the art world we once knew had now become disrupted where a hive mind of twenty-something self-styled celebrity influencers collectively tried to convince us that everything we thought we knew now needed to be relearned to conform with the branding guidelines of their latest sponsor.

abstract, ethernet cable art, art print,
Cabled Up by Mark Taylor - Available now on a wide range of print mediums and products - this looks fabtastic on steel plate and acrylic sheets!

For those artists who look only to the internet to solve all of their problems when they struggle to sell their first work, the click-winning whims of the influencers and so-called thought leaders (whatever they’re supposed to be) can make us believe that we always have to follow entirely new paths. Become a YouTuber, become an affiliate marketer, read the latest top twenty ways to sell more art, and they make us believe we need to do this at the same time as being our best selves when simply being human is perfectly okay.

Whatever the top twenty things are that Guru Internet tells you to do in these constantly regenerated copy and pasted generic lists, you absolutely don’t have to complicate the art world or the business you conduct within it any more than it already is, not when there are real artists and art world experts who frequently share their lived experiences but who might not show up on the first page of Google.

Don’t overcomplicate the already complicated…

I’ve chased those unicorns, tried every novelty trick in the book, bought the T-Shirt, even designed one on Zazzle, and after the best part of almost four decades in the business I’ve come to one conclusion, I get way more sales from spending time with my tribe instead of spending countless hours editing video that very few will watch, or chasing whatever this weeks version of the unicorn of success is.

We are human, we can be influenced…

Heavily influenced by the influencer, there’s an inherent risk that your creative process, your first love, the very reason you are exploring the internet for new ideas, becomes demoted to a secondary side hustle while you’re chasing the unicorns of sales, success, and discovery.

Copying worthy hashtags, repeatedly checking your notifications, or any number of hashtag relevant things that have been suggested by the pre-teenage master of marketing currently trending and presenting 10 minutes and 7 seconds of footage that just so happens to align with the required length of time favoured by the algorithm. All in an attempt to reach, well, we don’t quite know who, with, we don’t quite know what. There’s rarely any specificity that we can apply to some of this almost random advice, they tell us what to do but never quite get to the point of telling us exactly how to do it.

Art, or what is now known as, that thing which at one time really was your first love, has now become the distraction that you no longer have time for. It has been replaced by the chase and it’s a spiral. Let’s try this, okay that didn’t go well, so let’s try this instead. Instead, how about let’s try something really simple.

British bicycle, Raleigh chopper, art print, 80s art prints,
Britain's Best Bike - Although I never owned one which also makes me sad. You can order a print online from my stores.

It’s easy to be swayed but the numbers don’t lie, mostly…

No one can argue that the traditional way we once sold art has changed. We no longer only have the option of walking through a physical gallery door, we can walk through any number of virtual ones, or even alternative physical ones. Galleries are no longer exclusive to galleries, they can even be found in the local coffee shop.

No one can argue either that video isn’t a thing, people consume everything differently in the internet age and we’d be fools to think that they don’t. As artists, we need to respond to and address these things but we also have to find a balance that allows us to find our people while still having enough time to create whatever we create while staying physically and mentally healthy, so we really shouldn’t be making it more complicated than it already is.

Instead, we need to think of things like the internet, and in this day and age, dare I say it, even gallery representation, only as tools in a toolbox. They are incredibly useful tools if they’re used in the right way at the right time, but should we always reach for a screwdriver to crack a walnut?

The way people consume and purchase art might have changed but the overarching principle that sells art is just the same as it always was. Art sells when relationships are built, and it is those relationships that turn people into buyers and buyers eventually into collectors. That’s as true today as it always was despite the economic mess the world is in, but you don’t have to become a slave to the online world to make those connections.

If you are looking for any kind of secret formula, I think it could be that you really do have to build relationships with people, whether they’re buyers, gallery owners, or anyone else who takes a second or two out of their lives to give you a love, like or wow. Now this takes effort, and building relationships and maintaining engagement with those who you build a relationship with, is frankly, hard work. Hey, no one ever said art was easy.

Where art is sold might be different today but the process of selling it continues to follow a very traditional path, it really is all about the relationships that you can build. Sure you can sell to casual buyers with little to no relationship, but this will often be random, more often than not it’s unsustainable and those buyers will quickly move on and that’s not great if you’re looking to build up a collector base.

Despite what we’re told, the Holy Grail for an artist should never be gallery representation, neither should it be some kind of temporary YouTube celebrity status, it should be being able to have a direct relationship with the buyer, on your terms, where you can absolutely keep inviting that buyer back.

British flag, Red telephone box, fish and chips, London skyline, art print,
London Pride by Mark Taylor - a retro view of Britain that still mostly exists today - aside from the iconic Red Telephone Box!

They’re just tools…

The number of likes, loves, wows, views, emoji’s, emotions, or even having a social post reach viral levels of success, isn’t any guarantee that you will make a sale.  This is where frustration can creep into the business of art, or rather, the lack of business from your art. There’s a real risk that by chasing the trends we begin to rely too much on specific things that are ultimately only single tools that should be used alongside everything else in the toolbox.

We place so much effort into creating a carefully crafted social post, a YouTube video, a podcast, or any number of things that the influencers, advisors, or anyone with a passing interest tell us we should do to raise our exposure, but unless we ask the fundamental question of “who do we want our work to be exposed to”, any advice, good, bad, or indifferent, is fruitless.

This is something I often discuss with friends and the many new artists I get to work with when they tell me they have tried everything they can think of to market their work and close a sale. That chase often includes setting up a YouTube channel and investing hours into yet another venture that requires as much effort to market as selling the art itself. I’ve been there in the past and all too often what seems like a good idea at the time can frequently turn out to be another major drain on that elusive thing we call time.

The fundamental problem isn’t that setting up a YouTube channel is completely wrong, it could well be the very best strategy you can have, but unless you know exactly who the audience is and what the audience wants, you are more likely to spend as much time chasing the exposure unicorns to promote your YouTube channel as you’re already spending chasing the other exposure unicorns to sell your work. That’s also the one piece of advice that I wish I had listened to when I first stepped into my career.

Numbers often lie in the art world. At best it’s a world that’s not overly keen on being transparent, and just because some artistic leaning influencer is telling you that you could be earning ten thousand bucks a month with a YouTube channel or posting on social media, doesn’t firstly, mean that you can, and secondly, doesn’t mean that they are making that kind of bank either. Hypothetically, anything is possible, hey, it's even possible that the ten bucks of ad-revenue I made in the first three years of this blog will get paid out for finally hitting the threshold.

Equally, it doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t, you could be one of the however few, in every one thousand it is these days, who go on to find some kind of celebrity status funded by masses of advertising revenue, but be warned, it’s exactly this chase for the ad revenue that takes over the art, demoting your primary business to little more than a hobby in the process.

1980s technology, telephones, telephone box, British flag, 80s art prints,
Telephone Exchange by Mark Taylor - A retro inspired juxtapose of eighties communications - available from Fine Art America and my Pixels store!

So what are we to do?

There are lots of things that you can do to raise awareness of your art without having to go down every rabbit hole, and mostly, the things that you need to do are the things that centuries of artists have found to work before. Sure, there will be modern things that you can do to help you find your tribe on the way.

Fundamentally, the basic three elements are always going to be the same three elements that every successful artist has used before.

The Hook, as in the message that you want to communicate with your art.

The Grind – how you communicate the message your art is telling to your tribe.

Your Health – not just your business health, your physical and mental health too. The endless chase to find the unicorn can play havoc with all of these.

One thing you definitely don’t need to do is to replace one set of complicated marketing efforts with another, or worse, find you now have twice as many things to market. By all means, set up a YouTube channel but be mindful that a YouTube channel is no different to art when it comes to letting people know that it exists.

Ask any successful YouTuber what the early days of finding viewers were like and they will tell you it was a grind that involved plenty of creative marketing, a heap of learning about algorithms, and at least some blind luck. There’s a real risk that any promotion of your new channel could become nothing more than a doubling of your existing effort to market your art with the same level of little reward but if that’s where your tribe hang out, that’s kind of where you need to be.

If your strategy begins to look at all of the tools available today simply as tools that can be used either individually or in tandem with other tools, in the right place, in front of the right audience, and at the right time, you are much more likely to start seeing some success. If you mix those tools with tried and tested practices that artists have relied on for years such as making sure that you build on the relationships and engage with people when they engage with you, the chances of success will exponentially rise.

spectrum, art print, 80s technology, prototype art, personal computer, British flag,
Britain 1982 - The Protype - Home computer innovations of the 1980s - available from Fine Art America and my Pixels store!

The Exposure Bandwagon…

From experience, it’s worth being mindful that exposure doesn’t always equate to sales, or at least immediate sales. If you have been in the business of creating art for any length of time you might very well of heard that line where the client says, I have no budget but I can pay you in great exposure. No, mostly they can’t. I was probably the original case study in the art of being duped by these charlatans who then go on to produce T-Shirts featuring your work.

Increasing your exposure has to be a part of your business strategy, but it should never be a strategy determined and set by others whose only interest is in obtaining free art. Exposure is a slow burning candle that takes time to develop, and it needs to targeted to the right audience where you can then deliver the right message, not all at once, exposure needs room to grow over time and you need to be able to sustain it.

No one else knows your audience like you do and after a while, you will instinctively come to know what messages resonate with your people, so one question to always ask of others who promise to give you this exposure they talk of, is whether they also understand the message you are trying to convey. The only time great exposure via a third party might work is if the third party has a similar audience to yours and they absolutely have the ability to influence that audience.

In short, it comes back to that single question that answers so many things, you have to know exactly who you are trying to reach with your marketing message, then you need to follow that famous Aristotelian "triptych" - tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them.

We’re artists not marketing professionals…

I’m not going to sugar coat the next bit, but being an artist in the modern age means that you also have to be everything else. Where you can’t find the spark to move into that place where you need to be to wear the marketing hat, you might have to look towards other options such as paying someone else to run that side of the business for you because no matter what they say, art doesn’t sell itself.

This marketing thing is challenging for any artist, and one thing that certainly struck me in the early days of my career was just how overwhelming it could all be. When I started out I was told I needed to network but no one told me who I needed to network with, or how I needed to network with them. Turns out that just showing up cold at a gallery with a portfolio and an expectation that they would immediately represent me wasn’t an acceptable networking strategy in the art world. I distinctly remember the advice I got from one prestigious gallerist who suggested that I might need to be careful on the way out so that the door didn’t smack me in the ass. He later represented me but that was three years later.

One of the things I did back then whenever I hit such an obstacle, and something I regularly see new artists fall into the trap of doing, is to go away and look for the next piece of advice and then I would rinse and repeat until I either found something that worked, or more often, something that landed firmly in my comfort zone. I later realised that there’s really no such thing as progressing out of that comfort zone if I would forever only look for excuses to remain within it.

None of this is easy to master, no one is born a natural marketer, neither is anyone born a natural artist, these things are learned and mastered and the things we do and the experiences we collect influence how we learn and master those things over time.

They often say it all comes down to practice which in itself is a piece of advice that I have often struggled with. If you want to learn to draw then the consensus of advice on the internet often points to you protecting some time and drawing every day so that you become better over time. What I really struggle with when hearing this advice is how few people giving out that advice actually go on to tell you what to draw, or the where, or the how and the when.

The advice is often simply, draw every day. The problem is if you are drawing circles every day for a month, at the end of the month you will be brilliant at drawing circles but not very good at anything else. Advising someone to practice drawing, practice their marketing skills, well, yes absolutely, these things can only ever be truly mastered through doing them, but the how, the process, the why, those are all important things to understand too.

British phone box, red telephone box, British flag, Union Jack,
Great British Phone Box by Mark Taylor - mostly today these are listed buildings where they survived being sold off by the Telecoms companies, some are local lending libraries, some accommodate defibrillators, others are just for show. Available from my Fine Art America and Pixels stores now!

The best thing you can do…

The single best thing I ever figured out, and in the pre-internet days before we even had dial-up and a free America Online disc, was that you absolutely must figure out who you are creating your art for. If the answer to that is everyone, as it sometimes is with eager young artists, then you are doing art all wrong.

If you can work that out, the reliance on generic advice will lessen, the non-generic advice from those in the know will become infinitely more useful, and you will also discover the answer to so many other burning questions such as, how do I price my work. Art, or the business of art then becomes, dare I say it, a little easier.

red telephone box, British payphone, british history, telephone dial,
The British Payphone - the centre of the dial was in itself an iconic image from the 80s and before! Also, available now!

Should I take the advice of an influencer or from a generic business tips website?

When I started out in my art career I made sure I found a mentor who had been involved in the art world since, well, let’s say he remembered the last of the dinosaurs. But, here’s the thing. I didn’t always take his advice. Sometimes, gut instinct can be your very own inner influencer and you will instinctively know if something will work for you and your vision of where you need to be, but it takes time to trust your inner instinct.

Ultimately, your business and any decisions you take fall well and truly under the heading they call, your responsibility. The internet really has become a self-styled promised land of advice for everyone and everything and it’s easy to get swept along in the latest marketing trends and get rich quick shortcuts that are anything but, particularly if the advice describes a solution to a seemingly insurmountable problem you already have. We humans have this uncanny ability to always listen to what we want to hear but occasionally, we need to hear what we need to hear, but hey, the internet has always favoured emotion over logic.

The internet certainly has its place, but unless any advice is actionable and is firmly rooted in already well established art marketing practices, there could be very little benefit from the additional chase that many of these trends suggest they will deliver.

This doesn’t mean that setting up YouTube channels, having a presence on social media, or any number of other modern day things are a complete waste of time, if that’s where your tribe hangs out then of course it makes sense to do those things but because someone tells you that MySpace is making a return for hipsters and this is where you need to be, doesn’t mean you have to have a presence there.

boy sat at computer, 80s technology, home computers, vintage computers, retro art print,
Electric Dreams by Mark Taylor - 1982 was the year that created bedroom coders who made millions or nothing! Available now from my Fine Art America and Pixels stores!

Like so many other things in life, running an art business is essentially a balancing act. You need to juggle everything from creating your art to maintaining your health and you have to do these things simultaneously. There seems to be quite the knack to this life thing, extra points to those who figure it out.

If you feel you can find some value in following the advice of someone who expresses themselves purely in the internets vernacular, then by all means follow it. The art of marketing and selling art could never be conveyed in a single blog post or a ten minute seven second video, less so if it’s written by an influencer who turned a hobby into work and transitioned their opinions into personal brands, and bear in mind that even ‘tone deaf’ has been turned into a brand by more than a few of these so called influencers.

As artists, we absolutely don’t need to complicate the art world any more than it already is and as the internet age matures even more, it’s likely that the future of the art world for the majority of working artists will become even more complex to navigate. That shouldn’t put anyone off from becoming an artist, as difficult as the industry is, it also has a whole heap to give back to those who don’t constantly chase the shortcuts.

boy in front of tv playing video games wearing headphones, 80s art prints,
Console Gamer by Mark Taylor - There was nothing quite like getting a new game cartridge and plugging it in, no massive day one updates, just fun, fun, fun!

The non-generic Top Ten of Learning the Business of Art…

They say that any blog post that doesn’t also include a top ten list of things to tick off isn’t worth a read, so for what it’s worth I have assembled one and added an eleventh point to tick off as a bonus. Also, the things on this list are in no particular order but by ticking each off, you might just finally get a little closer to closing that elusive sale!

11… Apply the human filter more frequently. If something screams too good to be true, it’s usually too good to be true. Influencer marketing in the internet age can often be mistaken for promises.

10… Don’t try to sand down complex marketing with trending hashtags – they only ever trend for a limited time, sometimes hours or minutes, art is forever right?

9… If you are setting up a YouTube channel, set it up for the right reasons and find the right audience. Never confuse attention for personal or business growth. Find your tribe people!

8… Remember, you don’t have to be hyper-online, face to face communication and relationship building can bear way more fruit than chasing ad-revenue unicorns.

7… You don’t need permission to paint. Remember that success can be fleeting especially if you are seeking validation from online strangers.

6… Are you looking for alternative income streams to eventually replace your art, because they might offer more longer-term reward, because you want an audience, because on paper it sounds way easier, or because you can provide a value add to your work that has a fit. Make sure that any additional side hustles aren’t going to be another endless chase for unicorns and that you are doing it for the right reasons. Be honest about why you’re doing these things and your honesty will provide you with a much clearer direction of travel.

5… Seek out those with first-hand knowledge of the art world when you are looking for advice rather than giving too much truck to the many generic articles written with every business in mind, or at least copied and pasted from every other website. Searching the internet for the gems isn’t something you can afford to be lazy about!

4… Stop asking the questions that you already have, or need to find the answer to. Unless you can answer who you make your work for, no one can give you any real sense of, A) whether there is a market, B) How much you should charge for your work, C) what art sells best. For what it’s worth, the answer to C is landscapes and nudes, and if neither are in your wheelhouse, don’t sell out.

3… If you can’t commit the same amount of effort/work/hours into the side hustle as you put into your current art and marketing, you won’t make much headway. Unicorn chasing side-hustles often require more than doing a little something on the side!

2… Never lose sight of the value that going old school can provide when it comes to communicating with your tribe. Contrary to popular belief, a small ad in a local newspaper can provide you with more exposure than a social media advert to that hard to reach local population – as surprising as it seems in the internet age, physical newspapers remain the preferred choice for many. Leaflet drops can work too, they’re less spammy and local newspapers still love to cover a good local business success story.

1… It’s not a battle between becoming an influencer or the influenced. You can be your own person, your own artist with your own style. In truth, that’s exactly how art movements have been formed for centuries. The art world at every level wants unique, well, unless the viewer has been influenced by the celebrity influencer.

fluid abstract art print, orange, blue, yellow, wood grain,
Fluid by Mark Taylor - an unusual return to abstract works, each grain was hand painted in the wood effect!

Have a great week!

Yes, I know I disappeared for a while, unfortunately I was struck down with that dreaded bug after avoiding it since the very start, and my eighties work took on a whole new pace that I have barely been able to keep up with. In between, I hopped on a cruise ship to take up a vacation that had been cancelled annually for the past three years and had a brilliant time sailing the Norwegian Fjords, visiting what was perhaps the most expensive coffee house anywhere, thirty Euro’s for three coffee’s and a bottle of water. Talk about buyers regret, the coffee wasn’t that great.

For those of you who have reached out to me to ask about the possibility of me creating a colouring book of vintage technology, I am looking into it but who knew there were so many different uncoated papers. If I do go down this route then of course I will document the process and let you know if it really is as easy as they say it is to self-publish these days!

Until next time, I hope you all have a brilliant and creative time and you all keep safe and well!

Mark x

About Mark…

I am an artist and blogger who continues to live in the 1980s. You can purchase my art through my Fine Art America store or my Pixels site here:  

Any art sold through Fine Art America and Pixels contributes towards to the ongoing costs of running and developing this website. 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. You can also follow me on Twitter @beechhouseart and on Pinterest at because who even uses Pinterest any more?


  1. Hello Mark, Thanks for sharing this great advice and loving your eighties work, all are fabulous! Happy creating. xx

  2. Thanks Jane, deeply appreciated and hope you’re keeping safe and well! Xx Mark


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