Watercolor Tip: Save Those Brushes!

old-brush Today’s watercolor tip is about making the most use out of all of your watercolor supplies, beginning with your brushes.

Brushes are the primary tools of watercolor artists. You probably have your individual favorites, including the specific brushes you reach for certain tasks. I have a squirrel hair brush that I use on most every painting in order to dampen the paper surface. I use my Terry Harrison watercolor brushes infrequently, however, I adore the effects I can get from their fan brushes.

I have a couple of Raphael brushes laying around, which barely cling onto the few remaining hairs. Yet, I’ll never part with these brushes until they become unusable. Why? Because of the wonderful textures that I can create using them, they are invaluable to me.

For me, painting is all about texture. My favorite paintings create texture whether it is an earthen pot or weathered wood. I believe texture creates a good painting.

Over time, my paint brushes become old familiar friends. They mold to the shape of my hand. I rely on my old brushes to create specific elements of texture. My tip to you then is to save your watercolor brushes even if use has created wear. It’s not that your brushes are unusable, but rather they have evolved for different uses.

Photo by allforks

Monday Marketing Meeting—Don’t Keep it to Yourself

Today’s Monday marketing meeting continues our discussion of repeat sales. The number one rule of marketing is that if you have a product to sell, don’t keep it to yourself. Market! Market! Market!

Don’t fool yourself in thinking that if you post the auction or your website, that if you place the items in your store, that your products will immediately sell. If it were only that easy.

This particular task is often the most difficult one that we as artists have to do—brag about ourselves. As artists, we tend to be introverted. We are sensitive to the criticism the world at large is ready to deliver. We abhor the thought of our masterpieces being thought of as trash. Therefore, we back off of marketing.

I challenge you to say your piece. If you feel uncomfortable outright marketing, talk about the motivation behind your work as a way to connect with potential clients. Clients will appreciate the opportunity to view the world from an artist’s eyes. Give them that, and you will be well on your way to marketing your work.

Monday Marketing Meeting—Part 2, Repeat Sales

nnToday’s marketing meeting follows up on the one thing that we as self-representing artists desire—repeat sales.

Repeat sales are one way you can build a client base through referrals. A happy client will share her positive experience. Your job is to make it pleasant.

Today’s focus is on buying. The number one rule of online sales is this: make it as easy as possible for someone to give you money.

Accept several forms of payment.

Don’t just limit yourself to PayPal. Accept other credit cards. You may want to consider other payment platforms such as Google Checkout and Amazon Payments. Both of these sites have solid online reputations that can win a sale for you.

Do away with mandatory registering.

Let guests buy from you too. These days, people  may be hesitate to register with a site, sharing personal information. Besides, it is an added step that you want to avoid. Which leads me to….

Make the path to the checkout short as possible.

Do not make your clients jump through hoops to pay you. Make it easy for them Minimize the number of steps it takes to go from browsing to buying. Each step along the way is a chance to lose them.

Maybe the phone rang or the kids came home. Your buyer has become distracted and may not return to finish the sale. Ride that tide of impulse sales.

As a self-representing artist, you  have to take advantage of every opportunity you can to sell. Anything you can do to make sales easier for your clients will win you income.