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Part 2: Where to show and sell your artwork?

October 25, 2014
Lookout Buckeye! There's a spider web behind you!

Lookout Buckeye! There’s a spider web behind you!

So as promised….part 2 of where I sell work online. Been putting this off for awhile as it’s so easy to forget all the things I want to do unless I put a big sign on my wall. I’ve added lots of links so you can see for yourself as well. I always try to share a picture with you that is current or relates to my subject and thought this little guy would be a good reminder that even when you post your pictures to remember to be aware of your surroundings and posting where your pictures are protected and resize for social media.

First I want to talk about Flickr, which is where I started putting my pictures online back in 2007. They were just from my little digital point and shoot but I loved them. Flickr has come a long way and so have I. They were purchased by Yahoo and I’ve seen an announcement that they have plans in the future to allow people to sell but so far I’ve only seen them saying that “you can now print from your pictures”. That’s very different… hmmm, perhaps that is what they really meant. Here  are their current guidelines and under ‘What not to do’ and then ‘Don’t use Flickr to sell’ they have more good info to stay familiar with. David Pogue wrote a review for the NY Times that is worth the read as well for those of you wondering if Flickr is for you. I had Flickr friends who did not like the changes and went to Ipernity.com which has a nice look as well.

The next place I started putting my work on was RedBubble after comparing it with Zazzle and CafePress. I didn’t do much with it, and soon I found Society6. I decided that I did like it and felt it was more a match for me, and honestly, I liked the fact that it was a company from my own country. Creative Cravings shares a nice tutorial for beginners that will help you get started.

But as so often has happened I got busy with working to pay bills and adding content pretty much got ignored. I really wanted to offer phone covers but I had the hardest time trying to figure out how to upload for the phone templates. There is a page there that tells you what size files but now how to do it, and I’ve been quite challenged in my knowledge of Photoshop. I’ve looked for help before but it wasn’t until last night that I finally put in the right question to Google and came up with a few good articles right away by asking “how to make templates for uploading to society 6?” Hope these help you: JIMIYO,  Shine On and from Andre Belaz on Behance. Now I didn’t have as much luck with that search on YouTube, which is kind of my go to since I learn best from videos. So if you know of one I would love if you could share with us in the comments.

Then last year I decided to try Fine Art America, which you can read about in my last post.

And finally this year I began posting to 500px. It took me a long time to commit as I suppose I felt a little intimidated by the excellent quality of of the photos I saw on there. I just needed time. Time to believe in myself and my work and to be prepared should I be ignored. And to tell myself that being ignored is not the worst thing in the world and I bet there is someone whose day, or moment might be a little brighter by looking at a lovely image. Well, what I found is that there are others who feel that way too and that there are many there who like to interact as well.

I really like the interface of 500px and how easy it is for others to see your work. Let’s say someone likes your work by clicking on the big thumbs up button or favorites it by clicking on the heart. Well, then all their followers will see that if they happen to be on the site around the same time. The UI is divided up into sections which you navigate and have other dropdowns to decide where you want to go. The mobile and desktop versions are somewhat similar and on the desktop you have the option of blocking adult content, which sadly there is a fair amount posted by photographers. They are also an evolving site as they learn what works and doesn’t but have been working to make it better. I would like to see them add a tab for blogs, but as it is, when you go to ‘about’ anyone can find all your links that you have posted . Here is a great review by SLRlounge

Flickr and 500px are also very easy to post to if you use Adobe’s Lightroom as you can drag and drop and ‘publish’, or choose old school and add them from your saved files. I’ve gotten into a kind of simple workflow by publishing to these two and then immediately saving in a file I call something like ‘Top Photos’ and then I can easily add from my hard drive file to FineArtAmerica/Pixels.com

The main thing I would recommend with any of these sites is to put a little time into your profile. I love to read about others. I see their pictures and my mind starts churning, “ooh where are they from, what do they do?” I’m always a little sad when I see that space empty. From one who has a hard time talking about myself and am shy in front of the camera I understand how it feels, but take 15 mins. and share. I can attest that it does get easier as you go. I put something on there and I didn’t explode…ok, I’m gonna be ok! :-)

There you go! Just a little bit of the marketing I’ve chosen to use! Whew!! Thanks for hanging in with me through all this as marketing is definitely not my strong point. Let’s get back to a lot of creating now!

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Part 1: Where to show and sell your artwork?

September 10, 2014
Painted Dahlias

Painted Dahlias

Completed a new painting today of one of my photographs of Dahlias and then I made it available online to anyone who might want to purchase a print of it.

If you are selling or purchasing art may I recommend Fine Art America. You can start by finding beautiful canvas artwork here at my profile page: Karen Hernandez

I will post more ideas of websites for you soon, in hopes that it may help someone of you see where your work can be offered, or even where you can purchase amazing artwork. At FAA your work can also show up on Pixels.com and DesignerPrints.com, as they are also owned by FAA.

I’m first showing you FAA though as it is the main source for all of my work. Currently I have my my photographs and digital paintings but I appreciate that I can also put my original paintings and illustrations on there as well. They offer different kinds of prints as well as cards and phone covers, and I’m sure more is to come. I also appreciate that there are Community boards and Groups. FineArtAmerica.com makes it very easy to get started and then I just need to market my work.

They also have an amazing app, for the iPad, that let’s you visualize the art on your wall. Here is a list of their recent announcements where you will find more information on it:  http://fineartamerica.com/announcements.html

Marketing is certainly not my strong point, but I am learning and FineArtAmerica is certainly helping.

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What’s Your “about me” Say!

August 10, 2014

As I mentioned in my last post, I absolutely love what I’m doing! And I want to do so much more. I am just putting one foot in front of the other. Simple little things can be big steps, and it can take time to see results.

One thing I did recently was to update my about.me page.

And then today I worked on my Bio at 500px 

But then I wasn’t sure if I’d written a Bio or an Artist’s Statement. It made me want to look and make sure that I wasn’t confusing the two. So I did a little search and found a couple good articles    http://tinyurl.com/5tsd4k3     In it he gives quick points on the basics.

Here is another that was even shorter but really helped at  artbizblog

So after reading it I was thinking that what I wrote was more of an artist’s statement  and would need to go back and add new headings and add and define my Biography.  I’m happy with the latest version. My Bio is definitely short, especially since I’ve never put more work out to win awards or had any One Woman Shows. Everything takes time and hopefully those will happen soon.

So why is it important to have these things?

As an artist it’s important for art shows and for our art businesses it’s a necessity so that potential buyers can connect with the artist, blah, blah, blah! I would take this even one step further in that the world that most of us live in, where we share our pictures and paintings and blogs and web pages,  is a rather sterile place. I know for myself, I almost immediately am looking at profiles and “about me’s” to see who this person really is. I want to know where they live, are they real, do they have pink hair and wear cool jewelry, and I want to see how I relate to them. I especially love knowing if someone lives in my corner of the world, because there are a lot of creative people in the Pacific Northwest and maybe someday I’ll get to meet some of them.

A lot of times I find those little “about me’s” are empty. I want to know more! Did you take that bug picture in France or South Africa? Are you just now talking about Lilacs blooming in June because you live in Canada! I love to know the little things about people. Even online I guess I’m a good listener. ;-D  Sometimes I want my world to be very private and other times I say “oh heck with it, be transparent!” I guess today’s one of those days. We are pretty amazing people and I hope I have encouraged someone today to fill out that little form about yourself. ‘Cause I know people are crazy and interesting and we want to know a little about you.

Growing in Knowledge and Understanding

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Following the Swallowtail

July 27, 2014

Yep, that’s what I do when camera in hand and I spot a butterfly. The swallowtails seem to take a little longer to drink than the monarch, which  are very difficult to get pictures of. By the time I reach them with my lens, which is not a zoom but a prime 100, they are on the move again.

One nice thing this year is that I am already seeing more of both species than I have in the past few years. Although I’ve yet to see any caterpillars. This Oregon Swallowtail (Papilio oregonius) certainly had me following him around. One thing I do notice on some though, is how much of their wings they can be missing and still fly.

Swallowtail on Lavender Butterfly Bush-1

There is something very special about seeing a butterfly flying through the air. Maybe because they fly with such delicacy, but they can really move. I’ve watched them fly very quickly through the forest. Skippers have been clocked at around 30mph and some, such as the monarch, are known to fly thousands of miles. Amazing little creatures.

In the past year I’ve certainly been absent from here. Life has certainly been interesting. Technology difficulties such as my computer dying, twice! And then when I finally got a monitor calibrator in May it stopped working a month later. Now that things are fixed I need to keep the momentum going. Last year it was work that took me away from trying to pursue my art. But I find myself currently without employment and realizing this week that I must begin again and let inertia help keep me going.

I absolutely love what I’m doing! I have much to be thankful for in the midst of a lot of difficult things this Summer, but I keep following the Lord and finding ways to share the beauty He puts before me. I know that if I keep my eyes on Him, and not chase what is not the best for me, that I will do well.

I hope this week you have the opportunity to find butterflies and that your week is blessed in following your passions and the maker of our hearts.

“Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow.” Psalms 25:4

 

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Watching for Spring

February 8, 2014

First Forsythia Blooms

Today I was walking to an event and noticed a little yellow peeking out of a large pile of long twigs. To my delight, I found one of my favorite blossoms: Forsythia. So much of the U.S. is covered in snow right now as the latest storm flows through, in what has been a Winter of storm after storm in the East, and yet record droughts in the West.

And then, like every year,  Spring comes back, and we start noticing all the little changes until the landscape erupts in color.  Every year I am enchanted as I watch it happen.  This is my  favorite season!

And so I’ve returned too! To my blog that is, after nearly a year away and too much time in pursuit of jobs to pay the bills. Now it’s time to return to my dreams of creating an artful life.

And so my gift to you today is a little touch of yellow that tells us to hang on. Spring is close at hand.

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Macro has it’s challenges!

April 16, 2013

Ladybug chasing in the blossoms

I love photographing bugs! I’ve spent many hours this past year trying to get the focus just right on their eyes and have certainly learned that it is no easy task. Since last May I have been using Canons 100 mm L macro on my 60D. This picture was taken at 1/200 and f/4.0, but the real challenge, even though the light was in and out of the clouds, was the wind. I would like to have had both eyes in sharp focus and that’s what I aim for. But a moving subject on a moving object made me really work for this one. Shooting closeups and macros with a prime lens has kept me active. Good thing these guys are back at work as the cold Winter kept me way to inactive with out being able to chase the bugs from flower to flower.

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A yard of Lupine

March 19, 2013

A Yard of Lupine

I’ve been a little busy for the past month learning to paint again. A different kind this time as I have always wanted to make digital paintings from my photographs. I purchased a Wacom Intuos 5 and Painter 12 and am really loving it!

This is from a photo I took about 3 years ago when I had a yard full of Lupine. I know I will now be searching out different scenarios for my picture taking because I love putting lots of color into my paintings. Hope you enjoy!

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