Essential Fine Art Tips From 10 Pros

To help get your 2013 off to a good start, I asked some of your favorite Art Business industry leaders to share their top art business tips.
It’s an honor to have my colleagues share their expertise with us. There is a wealth of knowledge in this short post, and I hope to encourage you to visit their amazing art business blogs too. Here are your mentors in alphabetical order…enjoy!
Adam Leipzig: 2013 is the year that the individual Artist-Entrepreneur becomes a fully realized paradigm. Old-school phrases that are pejorative – like “self-publishing” or “setting up my own gallery” or “it’s my own music label” – will be replaced by what it really is: direct-to-audience marketing. So how does the Artist-Entrepreneur become an excellent direct-to-audience marketer?
Follow the ABC’s:
Always offer excellent work and get rid of anything that falls short
Break through your fear and share your work proudly
Connect directly with your audience, hear what they have to say, and engage them in a relationship.
Meet Adam at and right here on his awesome blog for writers, actors and artists

Alyson Stanfield: “Track it!” Track all of the numbers that will tell you whether you’re making money as an artist or just have an expensive hobby. This can be scary at first, but it should shock you into action. Tracking numbers tells the Universe that you are committed to your business. And the Universe doesn’t give you more of something until you’re ready to accept more. A list of the numbers to keep your eye on is here.
Meet Alyson on her top-notch art business blog
Barney Davey: My top art business tip for 2013 is Local Marketing. The easiest sales are to those who are either familiar with the artist, know about the artist, or know someone who knows the artist. There is a growing, powerful movement to buy local. Artists should be tapping in to it, and leading it where possible. Chasing gallery representation in far flung places, and trying to convert prospects met through social media should be secondary to marketing locally and regionally. It makes sense from a connections, strategic, tactical, geographical and financial perspective to market to local and regional buyers. They are most likely to be the fans who enthusiastically promote the artist, and buy additional pieces. My new Art Marketing: How to Get Your Work Seen and Sold book, with a planned March 1 publication date, is chock full of actionable ideas on how to capitalize on local marketing opportunities.
Meet Barney at Art Print Issues – the business blog for visual artists.
Carolyn Edlund: Many artists think they cannot sell – but the truth is that nobody cares as much about your business as you do, so you must become proficient at speaking about your work, telling your story, and establishing relationships with buyers. Taking that to a higher level means that you can sell consultatively. Believe it or not, many collectors value your opinion when you recommend which pieces they should buy. You are the expert on your own art – and you should be cultivating repeat collectors by understanding and conveying it’s value to your audience.
Meet Carolyn on her inspiring art business blog
Dan Johnson: Make sure your artwork is of a consistent style and quality before you try to make a full-time business out of it. You might sell the odd painting while you’re still exploring and experimenting, but if you want to consistently sell your work, it needs to be consistent itself.
Meet Dan on his helpful blog for artists
John R. Math: Today, more than ever an artist needs to increase their exposure on the Internet in order to reach their target audience. An art website setup with an RSS feed can help an artist to achieve this goal. An RSS feed on an art website can increase the following and the coverage for the site owner. (Stay tuned for more RSS feed info in a upcoming post).
Meet John on his helpful blog for artists and photographers
Kayrn Meyer: Learn more about the materials you use. In order to understand your own technique or even create a new style, know where your raw and manufactured materials come from, how they work and how they can work for you. You can better push them to their limits and open doors in your own creations. Whether it is paint, paper, clay, brushes or something completely untraditional, knowing what you’re working with can lend to smoother studio time and higher quality, more stable art. If you’re not sure how to find out more about the materials, ask your favorite retailer or write to the manufacturers.
Meet Karyn, an artist, social media developer and blogger for Dynasty Brush and Ampersand Art Supply.
Kyle Richardson: Invest in the highest quality art materials, it will often save you money in the long run. As a professional artist, you know that your time is worth money, having the right materials will not only save you time and aggravation, but these materials are often a value compared to “student” or “beginner” level materials.
For example, let’s take oil colors. As a general rule of thumb, student grade paints have about 50% of the pigment load of artist grade paints. Usually they are the same pigments as well. Besides the obvious benefits of the performance of the paint, the quality of the binder, and the lightfast rating, the fact that the pigment strength is twice that of the student grade paints means that you will need to use far less to achieve the results you want. The price of a tube of student grade paint is normally more than 50% of the cost of the equivalent color from an artist grade paint, so if you know your materials, you can not only push the limits of your work, but also save money!
Meet Kyle; he is the North American Business Manager – Royal Talens/Bruynzeel.
Maria Brophy: Practice doing what most successful people do; say the word “No” more often than “Yes.” Don’t let yourself be pulled in different directions by people asking for things that you do not want to do, or that may not pay very well. I urge you to choose to be in control of your career by keeping your focus on the projects and clients that move you in the direction of what you want. Put your energy into those things that will pay the best, or that make you feel happiest. Say NO to everything else.
Meet Maria, artist, agent and consultant at
…and I guess I will throw my ‘hat’ into the ring!
Lori McNee: By now most of you have been using social media for sometime and have built up your online relationships. 2013 is the year to take those important online relationships to the next level! What I am saying is when you meet somebody online and the two of you have an ongoing conversation online, why not take the conversation off-line? I have met resources that have changed my business and my life. In fact, I have great off-line connections with all my fellow art bloggers in this post – and this is just one example.
Reposted with permission from Fine Art Tips.
Lori McNee is a professional artist who specializes in still life, and landscape oil paintings. She is an exhibiting member of Oil Painters of America, Plein Air Painters of Idaho, serves on the Plein Air Mag Board of Advisors, and is an Ambassador Artist to Royal Talens. As the owner of, Lori blogs about fine art tips, marketing, and social media advice for the aspiring and professional artist. As a social media influencer, Lori ranks as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women on Twitter, has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and named a #TwitterPowerhouse by The Huffington Post. She is a keynote speaker, has been a talk show host for Plum TV, writes for F+W Media publications including Artist’s Magazine, Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market, Photographer’s Market. Also, Zero to 100,000: Social Media Tips & Tricks for Small Businesses.
You can get an MP3 instant download of Lori McNee’s Demystifying Social Media seminar here.

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