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Hi, Everyone! I am the guinea pig, er, Featured Artist this week. :o) I want to thank everyone in advance for their input and support. I tend to be long winded but will try my best to keep it brief!
Here's the format I'm going to try. 1. A little about me, my art, what I've done, goals,etc. 2. Ideas I have for furthering my career. 3. Specific questions. Let's see how it works!

1. About Me
Lifelong artist, began showing publicly in 1996. Stopped showing for about 5 years (99-03)
Website: www.angeliasart.com - site is 3 yrs old/just updated this spring (still working on it)
Other networking - All since January
Twitter - (AngeliasArt = 97 followers)
facebook (Angelia Thompson/Angelia's Art Page -89 fans)
OvationTV Community (resulting in 2 group books published through blogspot)
1st Angel Network (resulting in web published interview)
Ning Groups: MiPo (resulting in interview to be published in O&S Magazine)
W.A.R.M. - Womens Art Recognition Movement (men welcome!)
Blogspot (http://angeliasart-angelia.blogspot.com
Fine Art America (I've made my artwork available as giclee prints directly from my website)
Commissions (2008)
Lg Mural for Dept of Labor, Job Corps (can be seen on my website under "Projects"
"Creative Journaling" through the Womens' Center @ Lakeland Comm. College
Upcoming Events:
Shows: Tremont Arts & Cultural Festival- Sept. (I've done it the last 2 years. Sales suck)
Hugely popular annual art show @ Unitarian Church. (sold there in the past)Nov
Day of the Dead Show / local college Oct/Nov
Commissions: Scheduled to meet June 15 @ Women's Center to do an art project for
the center
So that's what I've done to get more exposure. I've also traded links with other artists' websites.


GOALS - I want to make a steady income through my art.

2. IDEAS
These are some of the ideas I've been tossing around. If you have experience with any of these, I would really love to hear some feedback on your success/failure!

Hand Painted Tee Shirts for Tremont along with wood painted items such as trays/birdhouses
Fliers for "House Portraits" - I've done in the past (watercolor starting at $150 11 x 14/unframed)
"Creative Journaling" - I've thought of doing this similar to other home parties. Host gets class for
free, flat-rate for each guest.
Residential murals - this scares me a little. People are just so whacked out!

3. Questions
Have you ever used fliers to generate business? How did you distribute?
"House Portraits" - Do you think it's worthwhile to do a small sample painting mailed to the
residence of a perspective client? Include rates in initial contact?
I was thinking of offering the Creative Journaling course through my website as a downloadable
booklet. Pay by PayPal or check. Have you ever done anything like that? Pros/Cons?
Do you have a successful blog? How often do you post? What do you write about? Strictly art
related?
Do you have a page on facebook? Are you on facebook? Send a friend request! (Angelia
Thompson)
Are you on Twitter? You can follow me @ AngeliasArt. (Do you only Twitter art related items?
What changes would you make to my website? (I am going to simplify the look of my gallery
page as previously suggested)
I get plenty of compliments and positive feedback on my work. Why have I not sold ONE print?
Does it REALLY have to match the sofa?
How do you find/determine your target group of collectors?
What's your opinion on my pricing?
What's your best tip for me?

Ok........that should be enough to get us started. We'll see how this works out! By the way, my name is spelled incorrectly. (you know we artists are sensitive about such things! :o) No "n"
Correct spelling is An'Angelia. Pronounced An Angela. Mom's way of saying her first born was "An angel" We're all friends here - call me "Ang" :o)

Feel free to critique my work. I will put some here and there are more on my profile page.

Thanks for partipating in this discussion!

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Replies to This Discussion

I know we spoke a bit about your website a while back, and I wanted to comment on your work but was a bit hesitant. I think your work is exciting; the color with the darks makes the work extremely palatable to a large audience. I would think your work would be best sold, not through a gallery, but through local art fairs. Galleries take as much as 60% of the sale, and your work will not fetch large price tags (sorry). I think you can easily make a living working 5 months selling at art fairs around whatever tri-state area you are in, and build a collector base through that. Then, you just have to contact those buyers every couple months and let them know you are still working and selling. You can also offer less expensive prints to get younger people buying, they may eventually buy large paintings. Your work is very easy to like and enjoy, use that to your advantage and look for the art fairs. Start with a state fair even, something cheap so you can prove to yourself you can move the work.

Do what feels right to you, the T-shirt thing might not be worth the time and trouble, the portraits are good and if you would bend to do pets you might just have something. Also know your audience, your work, from what I see, is very afro-centric and to be honest, the best collectors I know are African Americans, just find them and you will have a community of buyers ready for your work.
Ang, I looked at your website and saw many beautiful paintings. Now, my work has never been shown and I've never really tried anything to promote it, so I may not know what I'm talking about here.
'Grand River Lighthouse' is wonderful, so, I'm thinking maybe contact the Ohio or your town's tourist board to see if they need images for their promotions.
'There Would Be a Cure' mirrors my own thoughts and its so true. Perhaps the breast cancer foundation might be interested. This is also a stunning painting.
Anyway, I love your work.

Paula Johnson
Hi Angelia. First of all congratulation for your works. As someone else I too find some remainders of Frida Khalo in your immages at least in the motivations. Colourfully balanced and vibrant. Anyway I've appreciate very much the portrait and think you should make more of them. Some years ago I've made post cards and prints wich I will sell at a Flee market and the resoult was I never missed my bread and butter. Now I want to tell about Murals. As a travelling artist I find myself many times at starvation point and few murals in night clubs and turist resorts saved me many times. I see your style more appropriate for corporates and institutions as they need a touch of colour to alleviate the coldness of office life.Hope to have been of some help I send you my regards. Claudio.
Hi Angelia,
Your work is a delight. Color,color, color !!! Love it.The first time I viewed it, good feelings abounded.Could almost hear music.Reminds me of New Orleans. Your work would fit in there . Maybe something to look into. Love the Frida paintings .
One of your questions was about distributing fliers. I have been involved with a few charitable art events, where we made up fliers , posters and did a mass mailing of post cards. I remember the co ordinater of these events mentioning that only 1 to 2 percent response comes from these efforts . That not to say not to try . Just thought that was interesting bit of info. I think e-mail may be the way to go. Twitter ?? Face book ?
Idea - how about an open studio ? Do it over a weekend .Maybe close to christmas. Promote it well in advance. Have all the your ideas , such as prints ,tee shirt ,cards , etc etc. as well as your original work on deplay. If people can not afford an orignal piece maybe a tee shirt , card ????
Thank you for sharing your work with us. I like the honesty in your work. Glad we have met.
Angelia, I had promised to post this last night but due to a storm and lost of internet connect I am finally here. I have read everyone's comments and am not sure I can add any words of wisdom. Having been out of the art arena for quite a while, I have found that so much has changed from when I first began my career. The questions you pose are the same for me. I find you work delightful and the colors playful but behind all that a very serious and determined soul. Regardless of any words or actions by others NEVER STOP heading for your goal- it is there and sometimes it is in the least obvious place. You know what is within your heart and that is the biggest truth of all. Guess what I am saying is trust your gut feelings and never doubt or look back only forward. YOUR WORK IS WORTH ALL THE EFFORT!
An Angelia,
Thanks for the time and energy you have taken to share your art and experience. And not to leave out courage.
1. I salute you for your webwork, this takes a lot of time and it's time away from the studio. We can never do enough networking online or in real time. I don't feel like spending much time on a lot of catchy sites does much for sales...I want buyers not followers...Thanks for your mural work as we need more art in public places.What a brave soul you are to work festivals...now there is where you get a lot of critics...you have to have patience and thick skin oh and a good tent.
If you continue with your current marketing I'm sure you will reach your goals...just a reminder..being somewhere at the right time also helps...do any of us know when and where that is...smile... could be in an unrelated situation..standing in a line and meeting someone who happens to know someone looking for mural work etc.
2. Ideas.... I like the idea of hand painted T's but it would limit sales...might try screenprinting your designs....so for the t's lets check with Ed Hardy....his start at about $98.00.ouch!
House Portraits? do you mean of the house or the person at their home? I would think advertising portraits by An Angela in their home or in your studio.
Creative journaling parties could be a way to make extra cash but thats if you want to teach. ..there is a lot of interest in home entertainment...staycationers...
Residential murals scare me ...you just have to make sure you have a good match with your ideas and theirs.
3. Questions..Fliers can be ok if placed in libraries, bookstores and established artsy places.Please don't put one on my windshield...lol...I don't use fliers but if it's artsy enough I'll pick one up...
Your idea of a sample postcard painting mailed to perspective clients is a very good idea...I wouldn't include rates until you work up the contract.Mention these are small works that can be framed.
If you do the creative journaling through your website let us know how it goes...lots of educational course are online. Colleges have online courses maybe you could check with you local community college and add something with them.
Facebook..yes, I 'm on and kinda wonder why....I just don't spend that much time building virtual contacts (friends) as I'm an in your face real time person...A Blog? I haven't set on up and probably won't as I hardly have time to send and answer email as is ...but I do enjoy reading a good blog with educational art articles. My time is better spent in the studio.
Twitter? ...again to much time doing what? But whatever a person uses to promote their art is fine...promote.. promote... promote.....
Compliments and no sales...wow, I wish I had an answer for that one...if they like it that much I guess try and find a way for them to have it...payments...at that point is when a hard sell comes in and if you can't do it hire a rep. Your art already has their attention.
A painting doesn't have to match the sofa...but if you already do commissioned work and the price is right why not?
It could give you the financial foundation to create more of your art.
Collectors? Research. Somewhere I heard that there are list from credit card companies of names of people who purchase art...did I dream this?
Tip?..Keep producing work...collectors look for artist that produce consistently. Attend art openings and network with artist and the public...hand out your business card often...any time you get a chance and when you collect one send a quick email saying how nice it was meeting/talking with you etc.
You are doing all the right things to continue to build your art career.. it's just a keep on doing it kinda thing.
Your Art reminds me of New Orleans...such vibrant colors....you have a good eye for color and balance.
hi ang - sorry, not going to be longwinded here. just wanted to thank you for your efforts here at a2a. and to tell you i especially enjoyed the web interview you posted! very interesting and well thought out. its apparent that you have put a lot of thought into your vision. congratulations! and best wishes for a successful future! sounds like you are well on your way!
I love the colors in your work, the style, the voice definitely comes through as uniquely yours, That seems developed enough to be wholly professional.

I'm currently trying flyers. I'm sending out four a week to galleries, just one image and a website address. We'll see - the thing is, if the work resonates with the PERSON who sees the image, then the communication after that can follow the galleries guidelines. That's my logic and I'm sticking to it.

""House Portraits" - Do you think it's worthwhile to do a small sample painting mailed to the
residence of a perspective client? Include rates in initial contact?"

I think it would be worth trying once or twice but not to invest a lot of money in up front - doing a local show with some paintings of local houses, even street corner, main-town-square-type showing, with houses visible from the show, would plant the idea more directly in people really interested in that. Or paint a couple of prominent houses and then get an article done in the local newspaper. Sending out flyers with an example of a house the neighborhood you are sending it to would be able to see, then do a sample on follow up.

Just brainstorming.

"I was thinking of offering the Creative Journaling course through my website as a downloadable
booklet. Pay by PayPal or check. Have you ever done anything like that? Pros/Cons?" Do this. Also offer on websites offering print-as-ordered or download as ordered titles - pagenet? something like that - I ran across a couple of 'em, like etsy.

Website - I would make a current work section and then a gallery, including all the work, clicking on a painting image then takes you to statements about the painting and detailed images. I also constantly look at artist's sites for inspiration. I find the simpler, the more art is the focus, the better.

Prints - I sold one once. It was a photograph. Not a painting, though. Darn it.

Pricing - what works for you.

Best tip - "I'd rather be in the studio" by Alyson Stanfield. Step by step from a pro.

Thanks so much for being the first!
--spence

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