Like our artwork, getting better at critique takes practice! First let’s look at the definitions of a critique:
A detailed analysis and assessment of something, esp. a literary, philosophical, or political theory. –Google Dictionary
A method of disciplined, systematic analysis of a written or oral discourse. - Wikipedia
A careful judgment in which you give your opinion about the good and bad parts of something (such as a piece of writing or a work of art) – Merriam-Webster Dictionary
So, in layman’s terms, a critique is a careful assessment, a detailed observation, an objective analysis. Sounds really egg heady doesn’t it? Well, it doesn’t have to be! The simplest way to start off learning how to critique is by conducting a formal analysis. Sounds uber smancy huh? A formal analysis is a careful and thorough observation of an artwork. A formal analysis is totally objective, it considers the formal properties of the artwork. The formal art elements are as follows:
· Shape and form
When conducting a formal analysis, think of each of those things. Here are some examples of different images that I’ve analyzed:
The head which is the main piece of this pendant is anthropomorphic, meaning that it has human features as well as animal parts; in this case bull horns and ears. There is fine detail in the curls of the hair and the beard. Although the beard and hair are very detailed they are also very unrealistic, or stylized. Since the hair is so stylized, we can tell that this pendant is definitely a face. Perhaps all of this detail is put into the pendant because it is only meant to be seen from the frontal view. The face is stylized as well, not revealing any individuality about this person. Considering that this is a jewelry piece, and that it is made of gold, it could be likely that it depicts, and, or was owned by a ruler.
This piece is a mosaic from the Church of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy. Justinian attempted to unite the Western and Eastern Empires of the Roman Empire, and he also established the “Corpus Juris Civilis” or “Body of Civil Law” which is still used today. Justinian is shown holding a loaf of bread that is part of Communion. The bread is a symbol of Christ’s body that was broken for the sins of the world. All of the figures portrayed are at level height with Justianian and are also symbolically representing Christ and the 12 Apostles. There is some individuality displayed in the faces of the clergy and the military attendants with the use of facial hair or the lack thereof. Justinian is clothed in a purple toga. Purple and royal Blue are colors used to symbolize royalty or authority. Although there is unity in the height of the figures, Justinian who is placed at the center, is the focal point. The horizontal lines created by the sameness in height make this piece easy to interpret. The goal of this work was to represent Justinian as a role model for the people he reigned over (essentially a propaganda image).
The Church of Saint Sernin is often called a basilica although it does not follow the plan of basilica churches. The plan of this church was also used in the building of cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, a famous pilgrimage church in Spain. The central nave of the church is barrel vaulted and is supported by buttresses on the outside. The ceilings are vaulted and it makes use of radiating chapels as well to display relics. Saint Sernin gained a lot of its recognition after Charlemagne donated numerous relics to the church which made the church a “pilgrimage site”. In addition to the various relics held within, many saints were buried within the crypt of the church as well.
All of the forms, including the figures, have been simplified into basic recognizable shapes and filled with flat color and contained with an outline. These two facts are indicative of the influence of Asian art (particularly Japanese woodblock prints) during the late 19th century.
The color palette also deviates from a natural scheme and appears to be Japanese inspired as well. However, there is a sense of depth in the floor tiles of the patio as well as the darkened background against the night sky. Since the background is a deep indigo, the figures easily pop forward though they are not situated in the center of the picture plane. The figures are not facing the viewer, so even more attention is drawn to their clothing.
Altogether, the color scheme, simplified rendering of figures and objects, and lack of direct narrative tell us that this is a very “modern” image. The avant-garde aspect of this image is apparent in its simplicity (compared to other “traditional” western artwork of the day) but mainly in the clothing of the women. The dress of the women is relaxed, lacking hoopskirts, or the addition of a bustle. There are small accents of embellishment in printed pattern rather than beading or other sewn elements. The women appear to be excitedly viewing fireworks, and though there is a hint of “nightlife” there is no vast city or architecture in the background. There is a sense of the sublime calm of nature rather than the congested energy of the city.
On average, a person will spend four seconds looking at a piece of art in a gallery. Formal analysis will not only help you become a better observer of artwork, it will help you get better at looking at artwork critically too. Also, describing an artwork through detailed observation will help you become more objective and less subjective about critiquing artwork. Often times the idea of critique is that it is a personal opinion of a piece of art (and we’ll very often see personal tastes expressed in articles represented as “critiques” in the mass media these days). Learning to see rather than look is also a useful skill for a visual artist, and you’ll be able to pick up more about an artwork.
"I mentioned before that I am currently attending a school called ------- University. So far, my first semester of a Junior year here has been bad. Art history classes (which I think are somewhat necessary) a Physics of Light and Color class. A web design class and a video and audio class which was essentially a film class after awhile. But I've been recently looking into CGMA and have been hearing how useful it is for people not on the coast. The classes look wonderful, pricy, but great, and I think I would be far happier doing those assignments than writing an essay.
This is not a cut and dry decision, it feels like to me. Drop the opportunity to finish out my school in another year and a half? Or roll the dice and throw myself into CGMA, paying my way through it by any means possible?"
"Ways to improve painting? Paint from life, draw often, study masters, amputate your social life? As far as I can tell people improve in a lot of different ways, but the common thread is work ethic."
I have a book on writing! www.amazon.com/The-Sarcastic-G… Go buy it.
I’ve been doing rewrites a lot lately, and for each chapter I do, I sit down and write these seven questions on the back of the last chapter page. Every. Chapter. (And I just did all 52 some-odd chapters of Mark of the Conifer last night.) If you can answer these questions with one sentence or so, you are in good shape to do a good rewrite. If you are rambling, writing paragraphs, you are losing focus and probably have too much going on in the chapter. You probably need to break things up, remove or cut elements, or move them to more appropriate places. These questions are supposed to help you declare a goal for each chapter, nail down what you’re going for, and help you keep in mind while you rewrite.
1. What is the tension in this scene? “Tension on every page” is pretty important. If you have a chapter where the character idyllically eats breakfast, it’s probably boring and needs tension. Tension can come from all sorts of sources: characterization, exposition, plot, foreshadowing, pacing, and so on. The important thing is that you have it. Please don’t think you have to have the same amount of tension on page one as you do when the climax is happening. You don’t. You can have low and high levels of tension throughout; keeping the tension nonstop becomes exhausting for your reader. But you need to have some tension, some drive, to keep things interesting. If you can’t identify the tension in your scene, it needs work. Most tension is as simple as putting Character A and B together and watching the sparks fly. Other scenes are more challenging.
2. Push and pull? This should help you in identifying tension. Push and pull are the two forces defying each other in the scene. Character A wants A, and Character B is in the way of A. One pulls against the push, and the other pushes against the pull, like wrestling. It might take a few chapters to determine who wins or not, but in the meantime you have tension. Most chapters have two forces, whether it’s Harry dealing with Snape or Tyrion slapping Joffrey around. It is possible to have more than two, but if you are pulling it off without diluting your tension you’re a better author than I am. If you have too many pushes and pulls, cut them or move them to other places. Focus is the key! I can’t pay attention to four lions with Machiavellian plots talking to each other in the same scene. I’ll lose the thread. But if you give me two, and then the next two in the next chapter, I’m much better off. This doesn’t mean nothing else can be mentioned; that’s what exposition and foreshadowing are for. But you give your push and pull the foreground, and other things can happen in the background that keeps the thread of the story going.
3. What am I trying to say in this chapter? “What is the point of this chapter?” is also an equally valid question. This is where you have to come up with a reason to justify this chapter’s existence. “Hero has a huge emotional moment”, “the villain is revealed”: these are valid reasons to keep a chapter around. “My hero’s likes and dislikes are known” is not. Neither is “I tell everyone how my world works in this one chapter.” Every chapter serves a story movement, and if your chapter isn’t serving the story movement, get rid of it. Or redistribute it so it does. It’s very important that you are answering this question in particular with one sentence. If you’re writing stuff like “Well, I introduce the hero’s sidekick, and the reader knows what the hero’s hair color is now, and that he likes grey horses” – uh-uh. Cut it. Tighten it. Go back to the drawing board on story structure and either figure out what movement your chapter is or get rid of it. Even if someone catches you flat-footed with this question (say, in a critique session), you should still be able to say what the point of it is.
4. How is my reader supposed to feel? Rewrites are for readers, like it or not. And you have to take into consideration how your reader feels, because emotion is the greatest window of connection your reader has to your story. It is their starting point. Other things like loving your details and admiring your diction will come later, but to begin with your reader must feel something about your writing. If you are writing a scene with funny dialogue and bright, shiny description, your reader is not going to feel morose and depressed. And if your goal is to make the reader feel morose and depressed, you need a rewrite something fierce. Everything from a single word choice to entire set-pieces affect how your reader feels. Be mindful of it. And again, you’re not writing paragraphs to answer this question. “Well, the reader should feel sorry for my hero, but also cheering him on, and bad about his dead horse, but also think the hero’s witty line of dialogue was hilarious …” That’s exhausting! The story element of mood is what’s being discussed here. Focus! “The reader is supposed to be horrified at the reveal of the killer.” Bam. That’s fantastic. “The reader is supposed to like the hero.” Great! Now go back and look at your writing. Are you writing in a way that invokes horror? Can you make it more horrifying? Is your hero doing things that are likable? Or is he kind of a jerk and you don’t care if the reader likes him or not?
5. Where did I succeed? Rewriting is not about reinventing the wheel, per se. (That’s not to say that yes, it is entirely possible to write entire manuscripts with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I’ve done it at least eight times. At least.) An artist has an eraser, not to wipe out entire drawings, but lines here and there that don’t work. The lines that work they build upon. Writers have lines that work, too. Keep them. Acknowledge them. Yes, these are probably your darlings, but they’re probably also moments where you “feel” the pop of the character, or mood, or world. These will be small and miniscule things, but they are diamonds. And yes, this is the place where no matter how much you hate yourself and your story, you’re supposed to find something positive about it. Even when I’m at a loss, I usually like my dialogue, so I can scribble down “Dialogue was good.” And yes, it’s entirely possible for something you loved last rewrite to be incredibly stupid next rewrite. Whatever. Acknowledge what works and be quick about it.
6. Where did I miss? The author of the book I got this question from was particular to not say “fail.” You MISSED. In that you can fix things, so it’s not a failure. (For you low self-esteemy types.) Whatever the answer to this question is (and it can be multiple things) is to be the focus of your next rewrite. “My pacing was off.” Okay, work on pacing next time, and when you get to this chapter you’re not scratching your head saying “What was wrong with this again?” Try to stay focused. Yes, it is possible that your pacing is bad, your characterization sucks, your exposition is clunky, and your characters aren’t likable. Odds are, those are problems throughout the entire book, and not just this one chapter. I do “pacing rewrites” all the time, where I rewrite specifically for pacing. And I know I have a manuscript coming up that I will have to do a “magic system rewrite” on. If you really want to learn about characterization, make that your focus of this rewrite. Sure, try for the others things, too, but keep characterization as your focus. Rewrites are like sanding. You graduate to finer and finer grades, more minute details, with each pass. A rough draft’s rewrite is broad strokes. Next rewrite more specific areas. Next one is fine details like diction. I have a manuscript that has been rewritten about ten times in its entirety (because it was terrible from the ground-up), and when I finally got a working draft of it, I rewrote it ten times. I just finished round eleven of rewrites, and it STILL needs tweaking on the ending and magic system. Writing is rewriting. Deal with it.
I've been thinking about how and why we learn to draw for a few years now. I started self-analazing my own drawing and character design thought process when I began writing my first art instruction book, "Creating Characters with Personality". It was harder than I thought to verbalize how I've learned and how I process drawing. This has led me to start looking back at my artistic life and how I learned art. What made me learn the most? What drove me to draw and stick with it? What led to others I knew as a child to stop drawing? I think I'm ready to present some of those thoughts here on DA and hear what you think. This is part 2 of three in a series. I'm not sure where this is leading, but step one is my establishing an online art instruction school called Taught ByA PRO (www.taughtbyapro.com) that will (in phase one) concentrate on drawing instruction for all forms of media. Here we go:
I believe there are THREE major problems in the way we learn art instruction in the United States. PROBLEM #1: Well-meaning adults kill a children's joy for drawing (can be read here: tombancroft.deviantart.com/jou… ) and PROBLEM #2: Artists are not training artists (can be read here: tombancroft.deviantart.com/jou… )
PROBLEM #3: We’ve been taught incorrectly- we need to know WHY and WHAT we are drawing.
This one may be the most controversial in this series.
In the mid- 70s one of the most popular art instruction book series were the “Draw 50” (airplanes, prehistoric animals, caricatures, aliens, cartoon character, etc, etc.) by Lee Ames. They are still in wide use at schools and libraries the world over. In the 70s and 80s these books were the obligatory gift at Christmas or birthdays for any child that liked to draw. The premise of these books was to create a step-by step way to draw a certain subject by breaking it down into simple lines and shapes. Step 1: Draw a circle, Step 2: draw a triangle below it, Step 3: add a curved line from the bottom of the triangle to the top of the circle, etc., etc. until you had a drawing of a beautiful OWL! For myself, as a young artist, I couldn’t help being drawn to being able to create a drawing of an owl that looked like a professional artist had done it! I still remember showing my mother drawings from the “Draw 50” series and her not believing I drew it. “Surely, you traced it, right?” she would say. There was a reward in that feeling. I wasn’t as frustrated as if I were looking at a photo of an owl and tried to recreate it. Those drawings never looked right. Now I had an art book were I could find a drawing of an owl that an artist had ALREADY simplified for me. I was piggybacking off of his training already by copying his version of an owl. In addition to that, the way I LEARNED to draw that pre-made Owl was through a geometric approach of following a formula. If one of my friends asked me to draw my new owl character from a different angle, a different pose, a different expression- I would be lost. This is because I didn’t know HOW I created that drawing. I really didn’t learn how to draw that owl; I learned how to replicate lines that in 7 easy steps BECAME the owl.
To back up a little, I do want to say that Mr. Lee Ames (who died a little over a year ago) WAS a classically trained artist in his own right. He had worked for 18 years at Walt Disney Studios and illustrated many paperback novels and illustrations for magazines. I don’t know how the “Draw 50” series came about but the step- by- step drawing approach he used had been around long before he created his books. I assume Mr. Ames had very good intentions in sparking kids desires to draw. In many ways, he was successful in that, and I include myself in that group. My point with using the “Draw 50” book series as an example is because its such a well-know series that has spun off many similar books on drawing horses, manga, comic book characters, etc. that are very popular today. This step-by-step approach DOES have some value. For children at an early age, it can give you some confidence and help you understand the most basic principles of drawing: shapes and lines, put together in the right way, can create a recognizable character, person, animal, or object. This is the most basic element of drawing and where we, as artists, gain our first “successes”. It's ALSO a way we, as animation artists especially, can replicate the same character from different angles, expressions, etc.- by breaking it down into basic shapes. THAT part of the art instruction WORKS. The point I'm trying to make is that there was a whole bunch of OTHER information that was not mentioned in those books (and books like them) that we needed to know to really grow to the next level. To be able to create that owl from the SIDE view, for example, I needed to know how that triangle and circle shapes turned in perspective. How do those shapes change when the owl is now flying? Its a huge leap for a child to do anything with that system of 7 steps and understand how to make ANOTHER, different owl. You have only learned THAT owl, from THAT view, with THAT expression, and in THAT style.
Once again, to be clear, THESE books are great for getting young kids interested in drawing. As children, we learn by copying. We also learn best by creating "known" things from simple shapes. The "Draw 50" books do those two basic things well. And with little to now text, so they books are easy for very young children to use. Someone asked me if she should tell her child to stop copying pictures (from comic books, comic strips, manga comics, etc.) and create his/her own characters. Ultimately, the question was: "Is copying bad?" My answer to this question is: No, not if they are young. We ALL first learn from copying. (Understand, I do not mean tracing. There is very little value in that.) Copying a professional's artwork gives a child the ability to make their work look ALMOST as nice as a professionals. It gives them some confidence, it gives them a little added knowledge, and it gives them practice drawing. Its a challenge to make your work look as CLOSE to the professional artwork as possible. Its good to give kids some challenges. And there are some drawing lessons/principles they will pick up through osmosis. Some. I used to draw Don Martin drawings, just to try a different style. His hands and feet-especially- were wonderfully odd and I remember even at a young age, thinking about how could I do that with my hand and feet. Did he add joints to get into those positions? I was comparing his very cartoony drawings/style to real anatomy and picking up some knowledge along the way. We learn from EVERYTHING we draw. So, at a young age, let them copy. We have to go through it. But, watch out, what comes next is what separates "doodlers for fun" from kids that might make a career of art.
It's the blank piece of paper. I still remember when I started creating my own characters/drawings. When I started drawing scenes out of my head. When I stopped copying. It was HORRIBLE. My artwork took about 100 steps backward and suddenly I felt like I couldn't draw. I had leaned too much on copying other peoples artwork (probably for longer than I should have) and, most of all, I had gotten used to some drawing success because of it. I was horrified how bad I drew when I wasn't looking at someone else's picture/art. I didn't know what to draw either. I was uninspired and lacked real knowledge of any real artistic principles. This is the point I stopped drawing. Not for too long, but I remember thinking maybe I wasn't an "artist" like I thought I was. The kids at school still said I was, it was my label at school and I was proud of it. It was what made me different. I was the guy the kids went to if they wanted a drawing. But now I was stripped of that ability, or so I thought. Slowly, though, I started back at it. Like a smoker trying to break a cigarette addiction, I decided I shouldn't go cold turkey. When I designed a new cartoon character of my own (back then I wanted to be a comic strip artist), I surrounded myself with art books of artists I liked and styles I wanted to emulate (today, you would call this the internet). I would try an nose from one character, mix in eyes i liked from another character, a body shape from another, etc. Pretty soon, I had an "original" character but with the help of the pros. It looked a little "Frankensteined", but it at least looked semi-professional. AND, the more I did it, the more some of those elements became my own. I started "Frankensteining" a style, you could say. After a while, I didn't need those books around me so much. Maybe just for inspiration, but I started figuring some things out for myself. AND, I was simultaneously, getting books on anatomy, perspective, techniques, tools, etc. During that time I was experimenting and learning drawing basics and applying that to my "research" into the artists that I loved and how they drew. BOTH were paying off and soon I felt like I was an "artist" again. But this time, I was drawing with a blank piece of paper in front of me. I was able to CREATE art. Not just copy it. It would be years (15 -20 years) before I felt I could CONSISTENTLY create art I liked or felt was working pretty well. I still make mistakes to this day. I still have drawings that don't come out correctly and I don't like. I always will. We never stop learning and growing in our art.
And, by the way, COPYING isn't bad later in life. We call it research then. Looking at photos of people in poses and "using" that pose for an illustration of a DIFFERENT character is great. It looks better, it has a natural sense to it- its based on reality so it has added believability. Win-win. Again, TRACING is always bad. Copying, when you get older, is about HOW you use the research in front of you. Its gaining knowledge through research on a given subject. We drew real lions and watched video after video of lions running, playing, etc. for our animation in "The Lion King", but none of it was traced from film of lions. No, we just wanted to gain some believability and knowledge from the real thing so our caricatured lions (after all ours talked and gestured with their paws as if they were hands) could feel more real. Sorry, this was a slight tangent from the main point.
HERE's THE POINT: I believe once we are ready to move past copying pictures from books, comics, photos, etc. and want to advance to creating a drawing from a blank piece of paper, we need to change the way we are taught. Its at this point, an artist needs to start thinking through their drawings more. Knowing WHY and WHAT they are drawing become the two MOST IMPORTANT questions to answer as they progress as an artist. From the "Draw 50" books I didn't learn to ask myself why I was drawing those lines, I was just copying them as I was told. I wasn't really learning how to draw. What came after that was a very disheartening search for real drawing principles. Some of that was going to come through lots of practice, but some of it, I needed to find other books on more advanced subjects so I could grow. I had to ask the questions in why I was drawing what I was drawing. I had to start having a purpose behind what I was sketching. Why do I draw a ball shape for the cranium of the head, then add construction lines too it? It means nothing if its not explained to you. Real art instruction is a lost art. Most of the great books on art instruction are from the 40s because art schools- not just elementary school art programs- have stopped teaching art instruction and they just put a life drawing model on a stand and say, "GO".
Ultimately, artists need some help getting through the transition from the copying phase to the “blank piece of paper” phase. This is the point we need REAL guidance and I believe it’s the point where we are most lacking in art instruction in the U. S.
I guess I just wish the talented Mr. Ames would have had some more advanced books so that the kids he got drawing with the "Draw 50" series could use that seed and start really learning drawing concepts so they could grow past the 7 steps to draw A OWL. He started a fire for many of us, but we are left to fan that flame on our own.
There are few hard and fast rules when it comes to pricing artwork to sell. Why you ask? Well for one there are many variables that go into determining the cost of the artwork. It’s for that very reason that many artists (including myself in the past) sell themselves tremendously short. Another reason we as artists feel our palms getting sweaty when someone asks for a price to an artwork is because we feel as though we’re not being true artists if we accept money for our work. No, no no. Listen, I can tell you from experience that the “starving artist” lifestyle is waaaay less glamorous than it sounds when your pantry is bare for reals. There is absolutely nothing shameful about getting paid for honest work, so don’t try to make yourself feel guilty or ashamed of turning a profit. On the other hand, artists fall into the mire of not even knowing how to price individual artworks. This confusion only gets worse when you look at the price tags in galleries or check out Sotheby’s.
Today I’m going to give you a few tools to get started!
You know that saying, “if you don’t value your time no one else will?” It will serve you well when it comes to pricing your artwork, especially if you are a craftsperson, or if you are making non-tangible things (digital artwork, design work, or writing) to start off with an hourly wage for yourself. Be reasonable, and by reasonable I don’t mean starting at whatever your state’s minimum wage is. For example, let’s say you set your hourly rate at $15 and create an artwork that you spent 20 hours on how much do you charge? I know, I know I can hear you all now, “ damnit, Xadrea! You know artists are bad at math!!” Just pull out the calculator and get on with it. Your earnings with those hypothetical numbers would be $300 (wage x time = cost).
Regardless of what anyone tells you what we as artists do does in fact matter. We are legit, we are professionals, we are important, and we deserve to be paid.
For those of us making tangible artwork, it’s incredibly important that we know what our materials cost. Now, in no way am I discounting the fact that you must spend money in order to make it. The fact of the matter is if you’re spending more than you’re making, you’ve got a problem. This is one of the ways it’s so easy for artists to sell themselves short. Let’s say you make a painting and your materials cost you $30. Modify upon the previous equation to this: wage x time + materials = cost. Your earnings would then be $330.
If your work is 2D (paintings, drawings, and the like) you may want to base your charges on the scale of the artwork. You can do this by charging by square inch (height x width) or by linear inch (height + width). With both you would need a multiplier, essentially what you want to charge per square or linear inch. Let’s say you choose a multiplier of $1 per square inch. The equation you would use for an 11x14 painting charging by the square inch would be the following: height x width x 1 = cost ($154). If you used the same scaled painting to charge by the linear inch with a multiplier of $10 your equation would be the following: height + width x 10 = cost ($151). This method of charging will help you establish consistent prices for similarly sized artworks. Whether you decide to charge for labor is entirely up to you.
Many of you folks sell your artwork on dA which is great! There are plenty of opportunities to sell through the prints shop or to sell content. I realize that many of you accept points as payment, and there are some things you should know about going that avenue. The first thing you should have a complete understanding of if you accept points as payment is their monetary value. 100 points sounds like a lot doesn’t it? 100 points is equal to $1.25. Know your conversions to $ when you set points prices. Also, be smart about what you decide to sell. Remember, if you choose to sell Premium Content through dA (as opposed to charging points yourself) you will be subject to a 20% tax (so you keep 80% of your earnings). Stop wrinkling your nose, you’d be hard pressed to find a better deal anywhere else online or in real life for that matter. I’ve shown at galleries that require up to 60% of whatever the artist sells in artwork. Refer to this handy journal ayame-kenoshi.deviantart.com/j… to learn more about selling premium content. Refer to this handy points calculator by charfade to get quick and accurate conversions of points to $USD.
This last point goes back the first point: value your time. Often times we as artists feel uncomfortable putting a price tag on what we make because we somehow feel unworthy to do so. What ultimately happens at that point is some serious undercharging. Stand firm on whatever prices you choose to sell your work, and market yourself accordingly. If you charge too low you’re not only losing sales, you’re cheapening your artwork and losing potential collectors and clients as well as other artists. Do not do it.
For more handy ideas on how to start selling your artwork check out these articles!
Venues, Exposure, How to Sell Your Art - Part 1I've got mixed feelings about "exposure." By exposure, I mean how you, fellow artists, get your work out into the world so people can enjoy it and possibly even remunerate you for it.
Ways and means are:
1. Art Galleries
2. Public Venues
3. Charity Auctions
4. Festivals and Events
5. Online Websites and Communities
I'm going to talk about the first three here and what has or hasn't worked for me.
1. Art Galleries
This is the big one. Everyone wants to have *Gallery Representation* < /Awed Voice > because isn't that how art is sold? Traditionally, yes; the channel, for centuries, has been artists-->galleries-->collectors.
So how do you get a gallery to represent you? New artists often face the same paradox as new graduates do when trying to get a job where no one will hire you if you don't have experience but you can't get experience unless you have a job. So galleries won't pay attention to you unless you've already been represented by galleries.
We all start somewhere. I stand
Venues, Exposure, How to Sell Your Art - Part 2In a previous entry, I discussed galleries, public venues, and charity auctions as potential sales channels for art. Now I'll share my experiences with festivals and online websites.
4. Festivals and Events
By "festivals", I mean art-themed events like art walks and organized open studio tours. These are, by far, the best opportunity for sales. Here is a comparison of my best and worst experiences.
My least successful event was a one night mega-gala featuring visual art, body painting, and a popular local entertainer at a large venue. Artists were juried by the promoter and then charged a $200 nonrefundable entry fee. Tickets to the event were $60. The artists were asked to sell tickets to their friends and customer base for a commission. The event was positioned as a fundraiser for an arts foundation that I didn't recognize, but a brief internet search revealed that this foundation was run by the promoter.