Journal

How Much Do You Know?..

Well the holidays are finally over and it’s time to get back to that artist’s nightmare…marketing..
You’ve redone the profile page, figured out your audience, and think you’re all set, but how much do you actually know about what goes on in your Redbubble gallery
?…

For example, do you know how many visitors you get on a daily basis, how long they stay, and how many images they view?
I don’t know about you but I find that kind of information incredibly valuable from a marketing standpoint, as well as curiosity about what visitors are interested in viewing and purchasing

When I first set up my personal websites a few years ago, one of the first things I did was to find tools to help me track visitors….I wanted to know who visited, where t

How To Fail As An Artist...

For weeks I’ve been posting articles about how to succeed as an artist, now I’m going to show you how to fail
I have posted articles by Jack White several times before and though they can be long they are always worth reading and following his advice…this article was excerpted from Fine Art Views, a newsletter about art and fine living by Clint Watson who allows sharing in my journal

Jack White has the title Official Texas State Artist and recently Governor Rick Perry appointed him an Admiral in the Texas Navy. Jack authored six Art Marketing books. The first, “Mystery of Making It”, describes how he taught Mikki to paint and has sold over six million dollars worth of her art.

Here are 12 ways to fail as an artist

  • 1. No one can find you. You are hiding in the clo

Get Rid of the Labels and the Illusion

The article below was written by Jack White in Fine Art Views, a newsletter about Art and Fine Living…FAV allows subscribers to share the information it contains..
Jack White has the title Official Texas State Artist and recently Governor Rick Perry appointed him an Admiral in the Texas Navy. Jack has authored six Art Marketing books
.

This post touches on a discussion we had about improving our profile pages..(see link on the right), to whit whether using the words “self taught” is a good idea…this is Jack White’s take on it

I think there are pecking orders in most aspects of life. In small towns, it’s the county judge or sheriff at the top. In other small communities it’s the minister, teacher or winning coach.
In the art world the academia wants to i

People Are Talking About You...

Like it or not, marketing through social media is here to stay…even if you are adamantly averse to it, know that people are talking about you right now..
Question is what are they saying?…Well it all depends on if you’ve got something to talk about…
Want to get out there and find out what they’re saying?…
Well you might not care, but in fact you should… if you want to start selling or increase your art sales you must get out there and join the conversation

I hear you…“hey Janis…no one’s talking about me”…well if that’s true, it’s because of the way they perceive you and your art…but the reality is that since you are here, (or you won’t be reading this post), or on Facebook or even have your

How To Tell Your Story...

In continuing the conversation about marketing online, it is important to learn how to tell your story…recently we discussed improving profile page…here are some tips on how to tell your story to keep viewers and buyers intrigued and to keep them coming back again and again

The post below is by Luann Udell, regular contributing author for FineArtViews…FAV allows subscribers to share information with others….

Artists are creative people. That’s pretty redundant, right? After all, the whole point of being an artist is—we create. Whether we work in oils, pastels or watercolor, fiber, clay or bronze, we take ordinary materials and transform them into something wonderful.

In order for our art to be ‘out in the world’, there are three critical things we

Does Selling Prints Diminish Your Credibility?

Marketing art has changed quite a bit in the past few years and I thought it would be worth revisiting some of the points raised in this article that I wrote and posted a year or so ago….the points are still valid today..
If you’re really interested in selling your work and not just posting it in an online gallery hoping someone will find you, continue reading below

Some time ago during a lengthy session at the hairdresser, we got to talking about art….
I have been with the same hairstylist since my twenties but we rarely chat because I view it as a time to be quiet and introspective….to my surprise in the middle of a silence broken only by the snipping of scissors, he said “You paint right?” when I replied in the affirmative, he said that an arti

Avoiding Mistakes When Making Connections..

We’ve talked about the importance of utilizing social media sites as part of your marketing tools, but do you know that using them incorrectly is just as bad as not using them at all..I did some extensive research on the net and found some excellent tips on avoiding SM mistakes..

  • 1.Over-following:
    Social media is based on the foundation of making connections and it is important to build these over time by adding value to the community…..you do this by listening, interacting and adding to the conversation.. There are no shortcuts so be careful about following too many people in a short amount of time. This will only result in an unmanageable account with no “true” connections to build on
    ….Mashable has 2,329,890 followers but follows only 2,256
  • 2.Using too many soc

Diversity In Watercolour

Come join us at a special show curated by Claudia Dingle and I…
It’s a showcase of the diversity and incredible range of Watercolour works on Redbubble
…click the banner below..

Who Is Your Audience?...

Recently we discussed planting the seeds of growth by communicating locally, sending newsletters and emails, creating brochures and cards..you’ve revamped your profile page, Tweet regularly, and are on Facebook participating in groups or writing a Fan page..

But just who is your audience and are you tailoring your message to reach them?

I’ve scoured the net on the topic and have posted excerpts from an article by Keith Bond (contributing writer for Fine Art Views, which allows sharing), that addresses just that issue…

Do you know who your audience is?
Is it the audience you wanted?
What do they want from you?
Do you know what that is?
Are you giving them what they want?
Are you focusing your efforts in the right place
?

  • Who exactly is your Audience?
    I am implying thos

Is Your Profile Page Attracting Viewers?...

The last few days I have been writing about how to market your work in these times when Social Media is on the rise more than ever…
You may already have your FB page up and running, or you are already posting on Twitter….
Buyers may be flocking over to view your art and the first thing they see is your profile page and your artist statement, or lack thereof….
Is it a pithy paragraph on the most important aspects of your art (and this includes all types of artwork) and the techniques you use to make it?…
It should be, but instead many times viewers or potential buyers come across a rambling dissertation on your life, where you live, family, pets etc…
When the statement finally gets around to describing the art, words like “I try to, I attempt to, I’m se

Don't Waste Your Money..

Expanding on the last post about marketing where you live, I know that many of you have community newspapers and magazines…have you considered placing an ad in your local paper?
Recently I came across the article below by Jack White (it’s long but worth reading and Jack is always entertaining), about the pros and cons of advertising and how best to advertise your work..
I thought I should share the post with you just in case you are in the same quandary…it explains why one type of advertising works and another doesn’t
..

  • Question: What is the biggest marketing myth that artists gulp down?
    Answer: “If I place a series of ads in art magazines, success will follow like a hungry dog
  • We see ads of other artists and assume they must be successful. Most of us subscribe to a

Plant the Seeds of Growth Right Where You Are...

I was reading Barney Davey’s wise words of advice today and thought I would share some with you…
I have just added some excerpts of the article to keep the post short..
As always I appreciate your wonderful comments and feedback as it enables me to decide whether I should continue to write the journal
..

Davey believes in growing your art buying public right where you live and wonders how many of you tell your friends and family when you have new work to sell..

“Have you supplied them with postcards, sales sheets, or other art marketing materials to give to others? In your professional circle, how many contacts have bought your art?
How many professionals do you use in your life? Do your doctor, your lawyer, your CPA, and bookkeeper own your art? Have you shown them your ar

The Validity of Fine Art...Is It "Merely Illustration"?

Expanding on our discussion in the last post, Should Artists Be Paid, here is an article by Keith Bond on the topic of Western art and it’s validity…the article appears in in Fine Art Views, with permission to share from the publisher..

Several months ago, I read an opinion piece by Rose Fredrick entitled Redefining Contemporary Western Art .
In the article, she addresses the topic of Western Art and asks if it is valid.
In developing her opinion, she returns to the ongoing debate of illustration vs. fine art
.

She states that fine art should “advance art for art’s sake.” Real art (fine art) should “further the movement and evolution of art; to leave a lasting mark on society.” It needs to be “honest work.” Near the end of her article, she writes that art that doesn’t &q

Should Artists Be Paid?

I came across this argument on a blog post about whether artists should be paid for their work…
A social media person had gone up to blogger Maria Brophy at a show and stated….
Artists shouldn’t be paid for their art. Getting paid prevents them from creating really good stuff."…
He was asked "If they don’t get paid, who feeds their families and pays for their supplies
?"
They should work another job," he replied, rather smugly
’….

Brophy made several sound arguments supporting the fact that artists should get paid and generously too, but it made me stop and think

  • Did that viewer have a valid argument? ..
  • Is wanting or needing to sell our art stifling our creativity?
  • Are the artists who don’t need to or want to sell their work more cr

An eBay Primer for Selling Original Art Successfully..

I’ve been posting the wise words of Jack White for a while now, and have been told that they have made a great difference to your art careers, and in truth a life changing impact on the sales of at least one RB artist..

Jack has made tons of sales of his originals on eBay, selling as an unknown artist under a pseudonym, earning $29,000.00 in the first year alone, and eventually becoming a Power Seller …
Although he says that artists can make a comfortable living selling their art on eBay he also asserts that it is not for "the lazy or faint of heart
"…

For those who are interested in pursuing this tricky but potentially lucrative way to sell your original artworks, here are some of his tips…the quotes are his actual words..the others are my precis of his ad

That All Important Description....

Alan Bamberger, knows all about the art of buying art..in fact he has written a book about it…he is also an expert on the business of art in general and has valuable advice for artists on how they can improve their marketing techniques..(see my post on the right about Traditional Art Marketing…an interview with Alan that is featured in the Weekly Wrap today)..

One of the most important aspects of any marketing strategy is keeping the viewer interested in the work…whether in a gallery or online, Bamberger states that "most encounters with art are fleeting, and most people want electrifyingly stunning reasons to stand there and stare".

“What kind of reasons? Reasons they understand and identify with— reasons that the artists provide— or else the

Art As Business..

The following articles is from my FASO newsletter and we are encouraged to share the information it contains…it is by Keith Bond contributing writer to the forum..

Let’s face it, if you want to sell your art and make money, you must realize this simple Truth:

Art is a business..

Sure, it isn’t romantic. And most artists have that romanticized idea of just creating all day and having freedom to do what you want, when you want. It’s all about “me”. Well, you could go that route. But here is another truth:

Art is a business.

And in business, there are tasks that you don’t like, but must be done to keep the business running. Until you embrace this fact, you will never succeed as an artist. Some of the things that need doing are:

Create your work – yes, most of you do this one alre

Selection of Works...

207 works for a project I’m working on, but do look and enjoy….

Embers…
by � Janis Zroback
The Wild Sun..
by � Janis Zroback
Sudden Gusts…
by � Janis Zroback
Golden Days…
by � Janis Zroback
Twilight on Egdon Heath..
by � Janis Zroback
Early Snow…
by � Janis Zroback
Moonglow…
by � Janis Zroback
The Rain Was Ending..
by � Janis Zroback
The Gate..
by � Janis Zroback
Honesty…
by � Janis Zroback
The Door
by � Janis Zroback
The Way of Life…
by � Janis Zroback
Clematis Summer…
by � Janis Zroback
Night Comes Creeping…
by � Janis Zroback
An Evening Near The City
by � Janis Zroback
Curfew…
by � Janis Zroback
Still Life with Pears,…
by � Janis Zroback
Unwrapped….
by � Janis Zroback

Five Opposing Ideas

The following article was written by Barney Davey in Art Print…I added it here with permission to share, as it think there are some note worthy ideas for us to ponder

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless yet be determined to make them otherwise.
~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

With apologies to F. Scott Fitzgerald, I offer this set of five opposing ideas for your perusal and contemplation:

It’s Never Too Late don’t let your age or any other potential drawback mess with your mind. Get started today.

It’s Never Too Soon if you are lucky enough to see your future and desire it; don’t let anythi

Traditional Art Marketing and The Internet...An Expert's Viewpoint

This post is long but certainly worth the read….it is a FineArtViews Interview with permission to share it here….
Alan Bamberger, Art Appraiser, Consultant, and Author interviewed by Brian Sherwin, regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. Brian Sherwin is an art critic, blogger, curator, artist and writer based near Chicago, Illinois
….

Brian Sherwin: Alan, you have been an art consultant since 1985 and have written about art business since 1983. You are also known throughout San Francisco for being an astute art critic. Thus, you have no doubt observed how art marketing has changed over the years— specifically since the advent of the Internet and the bombardment of social media that our lives tend to be linked to today. In general, what are your thoughts conce

Exposure..A Slippery Slope...

The following post is by Jack White and was excerpted for the Newsletter Fine Art Views by Clint Watson which gives permission to share their posts in my journal.
In this article Jack shares his thoughts and opinions on the dangers of over exposure..in these days where we’re encouraged to get exposure everywhere and anywhere, his point of view might give you reasons to stop and think before you plunge into any of the situations he outlines below
..

Jack White has the title Official Texas State Artist and recently Governor Rick Perry appointed him an Admiral in the Texas Navy. Jack authored six Art Marketing books. The first, “Mystery of Making It”, describes how he taught Mikki to paint and has sold over six million dollars worth of her art.

You know how we as artists do all kinds of

Realism plus Romanticism..My Style..

Realism in the visual arts and literature is the general attempt to depict subjects as they are considered to exist in third person objective reality, without embellishment or interpretation and “in accordance with secular, empirical rules.”
The approach inherently implies a belief that such reality is ontologically independent of man’s conceptual schemes, linguistic practices and beliefs, and thus can be known (or knowable) to the artist, who can in turn represent this ‘reality’ faithfully. As Ian Watt states, modern realism “begins from the position that truth can be discovered by the individual through the senses” and as such "it has its origins in Descartes and Locke, and received its first full formulation by Thomas Reid in the middle of

A Good Day for Good Things...

A good day because I published a new book “The Little Book of Cherries” is response to a commission that I do just that…
My Cherry collection is now all together in one lovely little book, each of the 24 paintings with a black background that makes the colours pop..
The ever popular “Ripe Cherries” is on the front cover with Frozen on the back, and I have included some of my favourite poems as well..do go and check it out…it is available for sale in all configurations, so it meets every price point in the store
click the link below..
My Bookstore
Tonight I added an Engagement Calendar too…I initially designed it for myself, but thought it would make a great Christmas gift…see Here

The second big event today is that Redbubble very kindly chos

Fabulous News...

Earlier this year a Scandinavian Publishing Company purchased 85 of my works to publish in four books (in two series each of inspirational books), one with quotes from the Bible and another with verses from the great poets..
Here, all the way from Copenhagen is “Be Happy”…in it are quotes about Joy along with a selection of my paintings..the book is actually 128 pages long, but I will show you just a sample of what they’ve done…they did a wonderful job


The book, alongside gift card and bag both with my paintings

Below are the covers from the books in the Wisdom series, showing various paintings from my collections that you might recognize..the second series of books (the poetry collection), is not yet available…

The books will be sold

Earth Songs is my new book...

Earth Songs” is a collection of paintings that I created as an artist’s journal….each section is a prayer for the earth, for land, for sea and air, for food…. as the pages turn, the images reflect the seasons, the thoughts and musings of the diarist and show many different images, painted or drawn in a semi abstract way…it is a celebration of the world that surrounds and sustains us and at the same time, a book of daily thoughts and aspirations gleaned from famous writers and poets of the past..

I think it is so important to relate what we do to something outside of us….there is a rhythm that underscores all our lives and as artists we are so lucky in that we are able to embrace that rhythm and reflect it in our work…to understand it and to communicate it as best we can…by doing a sort o

A Very Exciting Week

By now you know I’ve created three books (see here) with the help of the self publishing site Blurb, which a few weeks ago offered the RB community a free coupon to get us started on the road publishing our very own art books…I neglected to use my coupon, but more about that later on..
To my great surprise and delight, on the 11th October I got an email from Blurb’s International Marketing manager Jason Lilien, saying that he loved the books I had made with Blurb and invited me to attend a series of Blurb events over the course of this past week…
Of course I accepted and yesterday attended the last event of a very exciting week which I would love to share with you…see below
..

The first day called Storytelling Unleashed, was a breakfast and getting up very early

Pitch It In The Fire And Start Another

The following is an article by Robert Genn whose wise words I have often shared with you in my journal….

Last week someone wrote, "I’m an artist at the beginning of my journey toward a well-made watercolour. Recently, I took down some paintings stashed on the top of my cupboard and ruthlessly consigned about half of them to the trash. Mostly, it was easy to tell which ones to get rid of. Then I wondered if I’m too close to my own work to see its merit? Am I needlessly abandoning things that others might see value in one day? Or is it good to purge?"
 
You’re right on top of one of the main areas where beginning (and many advanced) artists fall down. Hope springs eternal that our work is professional or getting pretty close. At the beginning of a career, pro

Recreativity...a fancy term for Art Theft

The quotes below are from an excellent article in the Slate Book Review called "You Are Not a Switch…..Recreativity and the modern dismissal of genius by Simon Reynolds"..

It seems that there is a current way of thinking that there is no original work, people should be free to copy, paste, swipe and recreate anything and everything created by other people…I have copied some of the main points of the article, but it’s worth reading in it’s entirety as the points made are very telling ones.

Recreativity: a fancy term for the cut-and-paste sensibility fostered by digital culture, defending plagiarism as an artistic practice, stating there is no such thing as original art and "which tends to reduce us (content creators) to the textual: a receiver/transmi

My New Book, New Book, New Book...

To Quote Robert Genn as I do so many times…."You need to ask yourself what extraordinary thing could be made to happen in your picture. It could be, among many things, a burst of light or an unlikely inclusion. You need to think of something just a bit magical. An engagement of imagination brings a shot of emotion, drama or surprise. This visual epiphany, devised or not, is key to entering the sensibilities of others. Artists who merely rest on their drawing or other facility are forever condemned to the back room".

A valuable blah-reducing ploy is to do inventive things with your surfaces. This might include adding crusty impasto (a la Lucien Freud), flinty fidges of gradation and zip, (a la Paul Cezanne) or smears and smudges (a la Francis Bacon). But it’s the nuan

Exciting News...

My new book “An Artist’s Vision” is ready to be previewed…
Quite different from my previous book, Winter in the North, and twice the size, this book is filled with extravagant colour and light from all seasons of the year…
I have allowed 16 pages in the preview (best viewed full screen), but might reduce that number in future, so have a look now while these pages are available…I am just now mastering the software, so I would love to know your thoughts

Click Here

I Created a Blurb Book


I created a 20 page Blurb Book as a trial using some of my winter landscapes and used a single format
If you have any questions, post them in your comments here…there’s still a few days left to take advantage of RB’s free coupon, which I did not use as I wanted a different style of book….

Have a look at a preview here

And This Is Exactly Why...

And this is exactly why we protest so rigourously against pinning without permission..this is not an unusual occurrence…it has happened to me several times, where my painting was used to illustrate, as avatars etc. without any links back to me..

Have a look

Fun Game...

“Her heart banged as she stooped to pick it up"..

It’s International Book Week and this game is being played on the net in various social media sites….I thought we could have a little fun with it….the guesses could be the best part of the game…remember to add your guesses of the other quotes..
The rules: grab the closest book to you, turn to page 52, post the 5th sentence in the comments below. Don’t mention the title and we’ll see if we can guess what it is

Mine is the quote above…

Finding Your Voice..

The following post is by Keith Bond of Fine Art Views, a newsletter on the arts which pops into my mailbox craving to be shared….

From a marketing standpoint, it is much easier to have a recognizable style. However, many artists resist this idea. Many don’t want to be pigeonholed. Others have too much fun experimenting and exploring many different media and styles that they can’t settle on just one thing anyway
 
Recently I came across an interesting quote on the topic. Austrian filmmaker Götz Spielmann was quoting Jean Cocteau (I read an English translation of a German translation of the original French):
 
One must absolutely strive not to have a personal style. One must not, however, succeed.”
 
So, what does that quote mean?
 
According to him, it is critical to develop a persona

"Shut Up And Paint"

I’ve posted many of Robert Genn’s articles before so he needs no introduction, except to say that he is an extremely successful painter with very strong opinions… in these days of sharing everything including WIPs on various blogs, stating our intentions before we start working, our successes and failures etc. his idea of shutting up and getting on with it, might be a bit controversial…(the title of the post is a quote, not a reprimand)…

Readers may have noticed that I don’t think artists should talk about what they’re going to do, what they’re doing, or, in some cases, what they’ve done. Something about words that eviscerates the will to do things, to derail works in progress, or take the shine off done deals. But now that everyone

My Art Nominated for Sojie 18

MY WORK HAS BEEN NOMINATED FOR SoJie 18!

 

Join me at the Juried Invitational Exhibition of Abstract Art
 


Abstract…The Typhon
by Janis Zroback

 

I am very excited to have my art selected to exhibit in SoJie 18. SoJie 18 takes its name from the first letters of Solo’s Juried Invitational Exhibition. 63 other artists, besides myself, have abstract art or photography in the show.

Winners of the invitational will be announced on September 4th, when a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, in addition to special judges’ awards, will be awarded in three categories: digital art, photography, and traditional art.

Non members, as well as members, ARE welcome to view all of the work nominated. So I hope that you will click the show banner, above, and follow the link to view my fellow exhi…

Just For Fun

This post is just for fun…I am sure most people have had guests who overstayed their welcome, but the ones in this story take the cake….it’s long but fun reading, and if you know of or have bad guest or bad host stories, do come back and share

LINK

There Are Men Too Gentle To Live Among Wolves..

Here yet another poem by James Kavanaugh, a writer whose work I deeply admire….though written 38 years ago this one still resonates….it is one of his most famous works….the book where this poem lives is no longer in print, but can be purchased online from second hand sellers..

This is for all those gentle men who live and love their wives, lovers and families, and who are the best of friends to those who know them…I am sure many of you have such men in your lives.

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who prey upon them with IBM eyes
And sell their hearts and guts for martinis at noon
.

There are men too gentle for a savage world
Who dream instead of snow and children and Halloween
And wonder if the leaves will change their color soon
.

There are men too gentle t

Beginnings....

Has the furor over the new format settled down? your guess is as good as mine..
I only know that there have been no new forum posts on the subject for a while..
Having the activity page being the first thing I see is a great help to me…fewer clicks to see what’s been happening since I last looked…the morbid silence of the first few days seems to be gone too…
In Solo Exhibition the energy has not flagged…workshops moved along at the same rapid pace and now we’re getting ready for the next workshop starting Sept 1st…now that my broken leg is improving I can participate more actively…
After a short lull, things are beginning to pick up and hopefully we all will be enjoying a renewed spirit in the community…here is another Kavanaugh, for your

For Those Afraid to be Themselves...

This is a poem by James Kavanaugh, a writer whose work I deeply admire….a few years ago I posted several of his poems and I have been asked to post more of them, as his work is so inspiring….

This is for all those (men and women), over whelmed by life’s vicissitudes and every day fears… Many of us are still reeling from the depressing news about investments we felt were secure, or are afraid to place ourselves once more into the job market, after losing that job that was supposed to last forever….more are agonising about personal losses, friendships and relationships…these words with their simply imagery can be a great comfort.

There is no failure for one afraid to be himself,
No defeat for one who does what he can without
sacrificing the private rhythm o

Loving Your Name

Recent research has shed some light on the connection between self-esteem and names….
Jochen Gebauer of Cardiff University in Wales has authored a study on the relationship between people’s names and their image of themselves. “People with high self-esteem tend to like their names more,” he says. It’s called the “mere-ownership effect.” It means that we tend to like things that are ours. Apparently, people with low self-esteem tend to like and even covet other people’s things
.

It follows that artists who like their name tend to like their work. While it’s not necessary to be overly gung-ho about your stuff, it helps to feel good about it at least some of the time.

When an artist’s name is perceived by the artist to be inappropriat

The Careful Use of Compliments..

I wrote this article several years ago, but thought it would be nice to post it again..

The “Careful Use of Compliments” is the title of a book I read by Alexander McCall Smith…I have taken this book along to appointments and on the subway, as it’s perfect light reading, and everywhere I go people ask me if it is a book about manners in today’s society…before I can explain that the story has really nothing to do with manners in society, they would say, “it’s about time a book like that was written”, or “we really need something like that these days”…this has happened so many times that it started me thinking…is it true that we need a book to tell us how to pay compliments to each other?

I felt I had to do some more research

The Webster Dictionary…

Redefining Happiness Through Art...

In “Against Happiness,” popular writer Eric Wilson disparages our current love affair with putting on a happy face. With our “feel good” culture and the widespread use of happy drugs, everybody’s trying to be cheerful and there are no decent dollops of melancholy and sadness, he says. When this happens, art becomes bland, unchallenging and redundant. Dr. Thomas Svolos of the department of Psychiatry at Creighton University School of Medicine thinks Wilson is right. “When you’re melancholy, you tend to step back and examine your life,” he says. "That kind of questioning is essential for creativity."

What these guys are talking about is a redefinition of happiness, and I think they’re onto something. Life’s not about gett

How to handle commissioned work....

Recently I was asked for advice by a couple of members as to how best to handle a commissioned work…after answering their particular queries, I decided to revive this post that I had written but did not publish in it’s revised form…
Most of you are aware that I have done and still do a certain amount of commissioned work…for many years commissions made up 90% of my work..I have now reduced that number to a small percentage of what I do in order to be more in control of what I create…however they continue to be a valuable though often challenging aspect of being a painter…
I take commissions that I consider to be enjoyable and that would fit comfortably within the scope of the work I am currently working on, which is work on paper and canvas..
e.g.I used to

Painters...Take Heart..

The following post is by Robert Genn, a Canadian artist of international repute whose writings I have often posted with his full permission…Genn also heads an art listing site called the Painters Keys

Several artists have written to suggest that the massive growth of the use of digital cameras (here read happy snaps, not the art of photography), might be de-popularizing fine art. While reports of the decline of painting are suspect, protestors have a point.

The stats are impressive. Last year, one billion mobile phones with cameras were sold around the world.
One third of the world’s population now owns a digital camera.
Facebook alone reports 300 million uploaded photos per day. The recent Queen’s Diamond Jubilee resulted in the production of more than 1.3 billion photo

Strange Looking Pieces of Information...About You..

The following article is by Canadian artist Moshe Mikanovsky, contributing writer for Fine Art Views…
I thought it was important to share it here… Technology is growing by leaps and bounds and it is very important that we artists are not left behind….

This is a QR Code. Do you know what it says?

These are the little strange looking squarish abstract mumbo-jumbo black and white pieces of nothingness that we have started seeing lately in news papers and other printed material. …these are bar codes for mobiles and that people can use their cam-enabled cell phones to scan the little codes and get more information online, immediately.

Brilliant!

But the power of this technology didn’t yet click in, until, one day, I entered a Starbucks downtown, and there it was ̵

The Importance or Not, of the Copyright Notice....

The following article was written by Jonathan Bailey in Plagiarism Today on Jun 27, 2012 01:24 pm
This newsletter encourages sharing and the information provided, though often not applicable to me is always worth reading….this particular post however is applicable to all of us here…

Why bother with a copyright notice?
On the surface, a copyright notice seems like an anachronism
.

The law hasn’t required such a notice for decades (in the U.S.), the structure of the modern copyright notice was developed well before the Internet and few people seem to notice them, beyond the presence of the date.

So why have a copyright notice at all? Why take the time to learn how to write a proper one and append it to your site?

Are we just bowing before an old tradition or is there something more

Painters:How To Make Your Photos Work For You...

The article below was written by Robert Genn…I have his full permission to reprint excerpts….Genn is a very successful painter who runs an art listing site called the Painters Keys, and whose works I have reprinted many times…

This article ties in with my previous one Showing Your Voice which describes how easy it is to become a slave to photos or reference materials….the difference here is that this post describes how to avoid that pitfall..

How to take photographic reference and make it exciting, instead of only reproducing a photo.

A lot of it has to do with the analysis that an artist gives to the reference prior to picking up the brush. Here are a few ideas you might find useful: When you’re looking at a photo that you think might be made into a pai

What Is Good Art?

This post is by author, Heather Craft. This article has been edited and published with the author’s permission, and was excerpted from the newsletter Fine Art Views, for your information…

Recently, the Today Show did a story on Autumn-an 8 year old artist..

As I stood in the kitchen and listened to the 15 second teaser before the commercial break, the cynic in me began to rear its ugly head. I remembered a few years ago watching a documentary on HBO about Marla, a little girl of 4 or 5 who at that tender age was already having solo shows and whose work was selling for tens of thousands of dollars. Never mind the controversy that surrounded her work and accusations that her father was actually directing her and in some cases actually doing some of the painting.

Most of the pie

Showing Your Voice..

This article is by Keith Bond, artist and regular contributing author for Fine Art Views newsletter
 
My thoughts today are prompted by a painting that I recently saw.
 
The artist was certainly a skilled painter. The colors were good. The brushwork was confident and interesting. The artist was a good draftsman. The motif was interesting and appealing. Overall the composition was fairly strong.
 
But there was one area of weakness in the painting – and it was fairly obvious.
 
The artist was a slave…to the reference material..
 
It was obvious that certain things were put into the painting because they were in the photo. Those elements didn’t add to the painting. In fact, some of them were a distraction. One element in particular was awkward and looked unnatural. But it was there, so the artist pai

Solo Exhibition..

MY WORK HAS BEEN NOMINATED FOR SoJie 16!


The In-rolling Walls of the Fog…
by Janis Zroback

 
 

The Eternal Game
by Janis Zroback

 
 


   Join me at Solo’s Juried Invitational Exhibition…
 

I am very excited to have my art selected to exhibit in SoJie 16. SoJie 16 takes its name from the first letters of Solo’s Juried Invitational Exhibition. This month is the 16th such exhibition; and 74 other artists, besides myself, are exhibiting. Together we represent at least 14 countries.

Winners of the invitational will be announced on July 3rd, when a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place will be awarded in three categories: digital art, photography, and traditional art.

Non members, as well as members, ARE welcome to view all of the work nominated. So I hop…

How To Be A Critic...Of Your Own Work (in any medium)

This article is by Lori Woodward, contributing writer for FineArtViews. She also writes “The Artist’s Life” blog on American Artists’ Forum.

“If you’ve been painting or making fine craft for a time, you’re probably aware that it’s quite easy to critique another artist’s work, while it’s difficult to get a objective idea of our own. Some of us are way too hard on ourselves and keep overworking a painting when it was just fine hours or days before. Other artistic personalities overrate their work – ignoring the fact that it is quite amateur, and thinking that if it’s marketed well, there is much money to be made. The rest of us fall somewhere in between the two extremes.

Look At Your Work Objectively

We’re all dif

About Mistakes....

This post is by author, Richard Rogers.  This article has been edited and published with the author’s permission in the Fine Art Views Newsletter..
 
As an artist, what do you think the biggest mistake you can make is?
 
My vote for the biggest mistake is being afraid of making mistakes.  
 
Nothing will slow down learning or progress more than the fear of getting something wrong, of making a mistake. It is a fear that immobilises some people altogether.
 
It doesn’t happen often, but I’ve had people walk out of workshops before they even had a chance to learn something new, let alone practice a new skill, and all because they didn’t instantly get a great result. Such unrealistic expectations preclude any possibility of learning or further growth.
 
The truth is mistakes are inevitable. They

Friends As Agents....

The following article was written by Robert Genn, an artist of Internatioanl repute whose wise words I have shared, with his permission, in my journals over the years..
He describes an interesting relationship a reader/artist has with a friend who earns a commission from referrals and sales

The artist wrote to Genn, "I’ve begun a working relationship with a friend. He’s taken the initiative to introduce my paintings to potential clients. I’ve given a 10% finder’s fee in the past to a person who made a referral which led to a sale or a commission. Not much effort for him. Beyond just an introduction, is a higher percentage appropriate if the intermediary makes phone calls and sends e-mails to hard sell the work? Is the finder’s fee to be paid for ad

It's All About Moxie....

When you’re stuck in an armchair for hours at a time, actually pretty well all day, your only recourses are reading, television, and a laptop, or for me the IPad….
I visit them all in turn, except I generally have the television on right through the reading and the iPad, as I can ignore it or pay attention if something interesting pops up
….

Something interesting is often a movie, but it’s also HGTV, mainly House Hunters International, because seeing what a million dollars can buy in different parts of the world is fascinating…
In case you have never seen it, the show is about people who for one reason or another decide to pack up spacious homes mostly in the U.S. and settle for a teeny tiny apartment in Paris…well not all the time, sometimes it’s a

Look Right Behind You...

The following article was written by Robert Genn, a Canadian artist of international repute who has given me permission to share his words of wisdom, gleaned from a long and successful career…..
 
I’ve spent a lifetime trying to figure out why some artists just go ahead and do things and thrive, while others don’t get much done and languish. I noticed that thriving in our game often has more to do with attitude than talent. Further, I noticed that some would-be artists were dragging something around. I knew this because there were times when I dragged the thing around myself.
 
These days, some high-priced shrinks are talking about “Your Inferior Shadow.” This creepy critter is a dark presence—always with you—and he wants you to be fearful, incompeten

Sittin N Thinkin...

Here I am with the ice packs around my broken leg Sittin N Thinkin….I’ve got time on my hands now…thanks to Steve J. and the iPad….
I am overwhelmed by all your good wishes for my recovery…my heartfelt thanks to all of you again and again…..with so many rooting for me this healing is bound to happen..
Anyway the other thing I was thinking was something that occasionally happens to painters and who knows, maybe to photographers and digital artists too…
You know when you start the work….you’re all enthused…it’s going really well..you tell yourself “wow this is going to be great”…then sometime later, hours, days, you hate it, hate hate hate it…everything is wrong, colours don’t look right, compositio

Pick Any Two.....

The following article by Sonia Simone appeared in my mail today and I thought it was worth posting here…let me know your thoughts…agree or disagree or if you have some good advice of your own to add

Back when I was writing novels and working on getting them published, someone gave me a piece of advice.

“You need talent, luck, and persistence. Pick any two.”

It’s probably been twenty years since I heard those words, but I still think of them all the time. They don’t just apply to getting book deals, of course.

Whether you want to paint, write, play music, raise a happy kid, design beautiful houses, or run an online business that makes you happy and rich, you can reach your goals with just two of those three.

At first glance it might seem like two of them are out of your control

Mauve...How It Changed the World...

Hard to believe it, but the colour Mauve changed the world….yes it’s quite true…in a nutshell, a man who was searching for a cure for his malaria, accidentally discovered the colour Mauve and his doing so changed the world

The man was Sir William Perkin, an alchemist’s grandson. In 1856 he had accidentally invented the first artificial colour, which happened to be beautiful, and, as it turned out, widely consequential. It overturned the prevailing belief, shared by Perkin’s own father, that the science of chemistry was not especially useful, let alone lucrative. Perkin’s discovery also initiated the betrothal, however stormy it has since become, of science and industry. For elucidation of these curiosities there is no better volume than "Mau

I am so glad...

to have reached that stage of life where I can respond to anything irksome or annoying, by simply saying “what rubbish”, and mentally or actually walking away, knowing fully well that if there are consequences, they won’t matter and what’s more, never will matter….

Starting Now..Begin To Live....

I get this newsletter very frequently and read it religiously…however despite the share notices I somehow have posted only a few of the brilliant articles contained in it, so I felt it was time to share some of Leo Battauta’s wise words..

‘Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.’ ~Seneca

I’m not a rich man, nor do I fly around the world and drink champagne with famous people in exotic locales, nor do I own a sports car or SUV or a yacht.

And yet, I’m very happy.

Much happier than seven years ago when I ate fried foods and sweets all time time and felt unhealthy and overweight, when I watched television and was out of shape, when I shopped a lot and was in debt, when I worked a job that paid fairly well and had no time for myself or my loved ones.…

A Definitive Post....

“While lawsuits are expected to sprout in order to stem the unprecedented increase of copyright infringement facilitated by Pinterest and its clones, the first one has come from an unexpected source"….
The following article is long but well worth reading…if you are interested in protecting your copyright and conversely yourself from lawsuits, please click the title below and come back to discuss….

Creators Against Pinterest

More On Successful Selling...

The following article was written by Jack White, regular contributing writer for FineArtViews, a news letter I receive and which allows subscribers to share their posts…
I have posted several articles by Mr.White, whose selling tactics have made him an incredibly successful artist…as usual this article is long, but very informative and worth reading to the end

Jack White has enjoyed a forty-one year career as a successful fulltime artist and author. He has written for Professional Artist Magazine for 14 years and has six art marketing books published. In 1976 Jack was named the Official Artist of Texas. He has mentored hundreds of artists around the world. Jack authored six Art Marketing books. The first, “Mystery of Making It”, describes how he taught Mikki to paint and has

I Will Never Get It.....

Found this article through Constance Widen on Facebook and had to post it here for those of you who aren’t FB members….the points raised are things I’ve been saying for a long time now….minus the expletives of course…if this is what art has come to then the lord help us all..
Have a look and come back to discuss
…click the sentence below…

I’m sick of pretending

Another Site to check out...

Check out this Pinterest like website….click the search button type your name to look for your art works….
I found lots of mine that were posted without my permission…though they are back-linked, at this point I’m not sure what the site is all about, so I’m having them removed
…the site is in development at the moment, but is acting like a scraper site…what’s more it’s an affiliate of Carcabin which is in fact a scraper site…

http://www.picanize.com/

Further to the above post….the remove buttons don’t seem to work..please go
HERE

Identify the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed, or – if multiple copyrighted works are covered by this Notice – you may provide a representative list of the copyrig

Your Name and SEO...

The following article is by Clint Watson, founder of Fine Art Views a news letter that sometimes pops into my email, sometimes not, but always has valuable information….since I’m allowed to share the info I try to do so in my journals…if you find the information helpful do let me know in your comments..

“SEO” is short for “Search Engine Optimization.”
SEO is a collection of practices that are intended to “optimize” a website for maximum visibility in search engine results…. basically it means you’re trying to rank at the top of the results in Google for various searches
. (it’s just a tool not a magic wand..edit)

Example…your name is so important, as a visual artist, that Google would be embarrassed not to have

Why they are following us....

I’m Being Followed: How Google—and 104 Other Companies—Are Tracking Me on the Web

This morning, if you opened your browser and went to NYTimes.com, an amazing thing happened in the milliseconds between your click and when the news about North Korea and James Murdoch appeared on your screen.
Data from this single visit was sent to 10 different companies, including Microsoft and Google subsidiaries, a gaggle of traffic-logging sites, and other, smaller ad firms. Nearly instantaneously, these companies can log your visit, place ads tailored for your eyes specifically, and add to the ever-growing online file about you
.

Read More

Looking for innovative ways to protect your work?

I don’t know about you but I am fed up with pirating on the net…I am also sick of spending time monitoring web sites for theft of my work…
To that end, I have been looking into ways and means to cut back on image theft and one of the ideas I am going to explore is adding a Creative Barcode
..

\

From the website…“Creative Barcode is the easiest, fastest and most time and cost efficient way for concept originators to manage their intellectual property worldwide.
And it’s a lot more than just a means of authenticating & protecting your work worldwide.
Each barcode you create contains the specific project details, your ownership details and unique ID number. The project barcode is applied to all files associated with each innovation concept & enables it

Important....Protect Your Privacy before the March 1st Deadline...

“Two more days to go before Google changes to its new privacy policy that allows it to gather, store and use personal information, users have a last chance to delete their Google Browsing History, along with any damning information therein.
Once Google’s new unified privacy policy takes effect all data already collected about you, including search queries, sites visited, age, gender and location will be gathered and assigned to your online identity
Tech News Daily reports that Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco that advocates for online privacy, says: "Search data can reveal particularly sensitive information about you, including facts about your location, interests, age, sexual orientation, religion, health concerns, and

Worth Taking Another Look....

Some posts you might like to read or revisit…Links are all live now…
How to Sell More Art
Does Selling Prints Diminish your Credibility
Five Opposing Ideas
How to handle Commissioned Work
Is your Art a Police Report, Novel, or Poem?
Do some people Hate your Artwork?
How to Build a Body of Work
How to get your work exhibited in a Gallery
Professional Jealousy
Chinese Brush Painting..How-To

Let me know if you find these posts helpful…feedback helps me to decide whether to continue doing the research and continuing these journals…thanks so much..

Google wants us to report these sites to them...

“Google is testing algorithmic changes for scraper sites (especially blog scrapers) (like the ones which scraped your images).
We are asking for examples, and may use data you submit to test and improve our algorithms..please complete the simple questionnaire to help get rid of these scraper sites
"…Google

Use the same urls from your take down notices…see the post where you copied the DMCA notice, and copy and paste them in the text boxes…add as much info as you like in the comment box re your work being shown to a site without permission, in competition with a legit site where you sell your work etc……

LINK

Take Down Notice...

Info from GoDaddy about breaches…(the copyright section applies to us)

“If the Complaining Party would like to submit a copyright claim for material on which you hold a bona fide copyright, Go Daddy requests that the Complaining Party substantiate such claim by providing Go Daddy with the following information via email to CopyrightClaims@godaddy.com. The words “Copyright Claim” should appear in the subject line. A copyright claim can also be submitted by mail to: Copyright Agent, Go Daddy, 14455 N. Hayden Road, Suite 219, Scottsdale, AZ 85260"

Please use the form below to send the notice to GoDaddy re Pixceleb…make sure it shows the correct address of the pages where your work appears

Note:this take down notice can be used in any situation where

To Share or Not to Share....

Facebook announced more than 60 new partnerships last Thursday, all of which yielded apps that can be integrated into your Timeline.
We’ve already seen the early results of select partnerships — including Spotify, The Washington Post and Foursquare. Now, Facebook is taking the Open Graph and Gestures platforms a step further
.

Facebook is pushing Timeline to all users….(I have already converted my page)
Basically, Timeline is your new profile, whether you want it or not. It will roll out within the next few weeks.
“Open Graph” is a developer platform that allows you to customize your Timeline with select apps. It incorporates “frictionless” sharing, which posts your online activity (e.g. what you’re listening to or reading) directly to your profile without the need of a “li

Important...

Those who care about the unauthorized use of their images might want to check this site….TattooDonkey.com….
I found the images of a number of Redbubble artists offered as free downloads to use for tattoos or anything else….to check if your work is there just type your name or user name in the search box or simply type Redbubble
…Note: there are 84500 images taken from Zazzle alone…

If you find your images and not sure what to do next please let me know in the comments below….

Stick With What You Know...

This post is by Jack White, regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. Jack has enjoyed a forty-one year career as a successful fulltime artist and author. He has written for Professional Artist Magazine for 14 years and has six art marketing books published. In 1976 Jack was named the Official Artist of Texas. He has mentored hundreds of artists around the world. Jack authored six Art Marketing books. The first, “Mystery of Making It”, describes how he taught Mikki, his wife, to paint and has sold over six million dollars worth of her art.

Edit…Jack White’s articles are long but well worth taking the time to read and digest them…you’ll end up giggling and maybe changing the way you paint..
I know I will
..

White…One of the major reasons artist fail is the

What Do You Think?

The article below was written by Robert Genn who has given me permission to reproduce it here…Genn is a Canadian artist of international repute who runs an art listing site called The Painter’s Keys

Huffington Post art critic Mat Gleason thinks the art business is stuck in 1966. “Artists have traditionally consigned artwork to galleries,” says Gleason. "When the artwork sells, the gallery and the artist split the sale 50/50. When the work doesn’t sell, the artist gets the art back.
This is the way the game is played and it is ludicrous. The artist literally loans the gallery collateral at no risk to the gallery and with no interest on the loan. Galleries should just buy the art from the artist. How hard is that? If the gallery cannot afford it, ei