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About mespace

Blog owner for: www.EvilFries.com, www.TerryAley.com, www.ArtListed.org.

Using Pinterest as an Artist’s Tool, And a Few Recent Pieces of Abstract Art

Here’s an article I wrote about Pinterest for a variety of uses relating to art (Click here). Whether promoting, buying, selling, inspiration, reference or developing your own work.

SLIDESHOW:  Here are a few pieces of artwork I’ve created recently.

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Here are a couple other places to follow me online.

Pinterest:

Abstract Art Reference Photos

My online art store.

Instagram:

I also run Refined Crude

And my Food photography website.

My new Flickr account.

On Twitter: @rawveggies (Not much art talk here.)

You are welcome to repost any artwork by Terry Aley, as long as you source the artist name and provide a link to www.refinedcrude.wordpress.com and/or www.artlisted.org.

-Terry Aley

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2013 in Artwork by Terry Aley FOR SALE

 

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Completed Large Mixed Media Abstract on Canvas by Terry Aley

Size: 5 feet wide x 7 feet tall (on canvas, unstretched)

What starts as a simple abstract develops more complexity as I continue adding layers of color, definition and depth. A couple years ago I became fascinated by the combination of urban decay and the street art you might see in an abandoned inner city building. Layer after layer of artists stopping by to leave their own creative mark, as the elements contribute character by continuing to weather their artwork down over time.

Everything visually pushes you back towards the center. But it’s meant to be viewed as an overall punch of organized chaos. You’ll notice the use of E@MC2 to imply energy in the modern quantum reality we’ve entered.

Abstract art works so well with contemporary interiors because without the color and often discord of this style to break it up, you often end up with a sterile uninspired atmosphere.

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This is approximately how the piece would look after it’s stretched over a wooden frame. Depending on the size of the frame and how it’s stretched.

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Inside the studio

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Close up detail.

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Closeup detail

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The full piece cropped in to show approximately how it would look after stretched over a frame.

This piece is designed to be rolled up and shipped. There is plenty of extra room on all 4 sides to pull around and stretch over a wooden frame. Check with your local frame store and often they can easily construct a wood frame and stretch this for you. This will be a few inches shorter on the width and height once it’s stretched, depending on how it’s stretched and the type of frame used.

A couple other places to follow me.

Pinterest:

Abstract Art Reference Photos

Abstract Photos I also post on this website you’re reading.

Instagram:

(Just opened this).

I also run Art Listed.

And my Food photography website.

My new Flickr account.

My art store.

On Twitter: @rawveggies (Not much art talk here.)

You are welcome to repost any artwork by Terry Aley, as long as you source the artist name and provide a link to www.refinedcrude.wordpress.com and/or www.artlisted.org.

-Terry Aley

 

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Art Reproduction Going Way Beyond Canvas

Maybe two weeks ago I was driving through Lake Havasu City’s main street late at night. Out of the corner of my eye I could have sworn I saw what looked like an art gallery that wasn’t here before. Now, if you’re an artist living in a small town in the middle of nowhere (well, 40,000 seems small to me after living in L.A.), seeing what appears to be a big city type gallery is quite a shock. Havasu is a kind of resort community, so it’s a mix of locals, retirees, and a lot of people on vacation from California and Canada (I asked a friend from Canada why there are so many Canadians here, and she simply replied “Because it’s warm there.”)

So today I was running by the health food store which is right across the street from this gallery, and decided to drop by. This business is still in the process of officially opening. But they gave me a tour and discussed the interesting way they make art reproductions. I’ve posted their business card below (their website isn’t up and running yet). You can follow them on Facebook to learn more about them.

Anyhow, out of fear I’ll explain this wrong, let me try to summarize what they do. They reproduce artwork using a “printer” they had custom built. They can emboss the surface with patterns or by following the structure of the image to give it a 3-D raised/embossed look. They can “print” artwork on anything from doors, to lightweight aluminum, to even wall fountains. Previously, I’ve only seen art reproductions in art giclée format (i.e., reproducing artwork directly on canvas with an ink jet printer). The size of these reproductions can be huge, as you can see in some of the photos below. If you want to reproduce artwork on non-traditional surfaces, this is the only place I know it can be done anywhere.

One of the reasons I love this technique is that you can have a reproduction on a strong, lightweight surface (if you choose). I have an abstract painting in my garage behind glass that’s so heavy I’ve never even bothered to hang it. I’m so afraid it will just fall off the wall and break under pressure. You shouldn’t have to hire a professional to bolt a piece of artwork to your wall studs!

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Large scale piece.

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This was one of my favorites. This image was “printed” on to a simple board. This piece would look great in a loft apartment. I couldn’t believe I was seeing this kind of interesting work locally!

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Art “printed” on a door. There was a totally different image printed on the reverse side.

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4 panels combine for one bigger piece.

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Posted by on May 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Large Art Giclees by Terry Aley

I’ve been working on a collection of giclée canvas art reproductions to sell in my online store. Finding the right company to produce these has taken me several weeks of research. I was struggling between using a company who really inexpensive/cheap, but with horrible customer service. Another company with “ok” customer service, a good product and good prices. And another company with a great product, great customer service and higher pricing. I finally decided on the higher priced company, even though that would make my giclées more expensive than many other artists. I figured, I’d rather have someone who isn’t too concerned about the price, who wants something unique and also wants good quality. There’s is a lot of great art out there, original and giclée, in every price range. You can pick through the home decor section of Target/Ross/Marshalls and find something affordable that looks great in any home. That’s a different market than what I’m targeting.

My goal is to eventually have several hundred or more giclée designs available. Since I create a wide range of styles, there would be something available for any taste. Most of the pieces are designed at larger scale, so 30″x40″ all the way up to “monster size” at 55″x115″ (about 4.5 feet by 9.5 feet). I wanted these to all be on high quality 1.5″ wooden stretcher boards, and arrive fully assembled. So all you have to do is unpack and hang on the wall. Offering giclées means I can also produce multiples of any design (hotels and chains might like this option).

These are reproduced on 19 mil canvas (poly/cotton blend) with a glossy finish that I would describe as a sheen. “Matte” finish is also available by special request. The image extends over the sides. Framing is always good, but not required for this style of art.

One other benefit to “digital” art is that I can often resize these. So if a person loves a giclée in 30×40″ but wants it in 40×60″, it’s fairly easily to rescale and adjust to fit.

I’m posting some photos from the giclée series below. I’m constantly adding new pieces to the store each week, so it will continue to expand and evolve.

You can visit my store by clicking this link.

 

 
 

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Big Art

One of my favorite things to paint? Gigantic abstracts on canvas. I’m about 20 articles behind, so I thought I’d combine two “stories illustrated with photos.”

The big dilemma with painting on a grand scale are the logistical problems. I can paint something 5 feet tall and 15 feet wide, but you probably live hundreds, or thousands of miles away. You might want to buy my work, but getting it from Point A to Point B is a problem. And it can be an expensive problem.

From an artist perspective, I have to deal with a couple issues. How do I store a huge painting and keep it in good condition until it moves to its new home? I’ve always thought the best way to keep a painting in good condition is to hang it on a wall. This keeps it off the floor (safer from random occurrences like bugs, pets or water damage). And because it’s hanging against a wall, the wood frames are less likely to warp (from being stacked or leaning against a wall). An artist has to deal with getting the unpainted framed canvas (or lumber if they’re constructing their own frames/stretcher bars) from a manufacturer to their studio. And while my SUV is spacious, it’s not exactly a U-haul. Once a large painting is sold, I then need to transport it again to UPS or the post office (if I don’t have them pick it up). I also need to deal with carefully packing a large item that’s basically in the shape of a huge pizza box.

When I lived in L.A., I once purchased a couple huge canvases on stretcher bars. Since they had delivery, I took them up on it. I assumed they had a big truck that would pull up in front of my apartment. But what actually happened was one of their employees strapped these canvases on top of his small car and slowly drove across town. It’s very similar to that college student who can’t afford a moving truck, strapping their king size mattress to the top of their car. I was so caught off guard over this method of transportation that I don’t believe I ever asked this art store to “ship” canvas to me again. It got the job done, but I felt badly for the driver.

If you have a large studio and your gallery is up the street, and they do “pick up,” none of this affects you.

I calculated that the biggest painting size I could reasonably ship (on stretcher bars, ready to hang) without it turning into an ordeal was 30″ x 40.” This is a substantial size, but without most of the logistical issues. But let’s face it, going really big is fun and I hate creative restrictions.

So I decided to return to rolled canvas, which I did frequently during the 1990s. It has benefits, but it also has its own set of complications. It does allow me to sell art for a lower cost because I’m spending less on materials. I can bulk order a 90-foot roll of canvas which can be cut down to any number of large canvases. Here’s a roll I recently purchased.

These rolls weigh about 10 times as much as they look. Pure dead weight.

So I cut off the size of the painting I want. I then paint all the way to the edge, but allow about 4″ of clearance on all sides of the painting. This is because once it’s shipped, it will need to be stretched around a wood frame on the buyer’s side (i.e., you take it to a local frame shop, they construct a wood frame and stretch the canvas over the frame for you). Then you call your cousin who has a truck and they drop it off at your house. The costs of having a canvas custom stretched would vary depending on the size of the canvas and what your frame shop charges. Oh, back to the 4″ clearance. You need to have flexibility on the sides so that you can stretch the painting around a frame and staple it on the reverse side. And you need to allow for a variety of stretcher bar widths. If you painted to the edge, then signed it 1″ from the bottom, your signature would end up on the back of your painting. Though most of my paintings don’t require a frame, adding a frame can take any painting to a higher level. And if you’re having a canvas stretched over a frame (i.e., stretcher bars), you might as well have them frame it at the same time. Even a simple minimalist frame will do.

So there are cost savings in production and shipping, but there’s the added step of custom canvas stretching.

The reason I’m having this conversation is because I want to be able to link people back to one source once I start listing gigantic canvas paintings. Then I simply roll them up and ship anywhere. This makes it particularly easy for international buyers. I remember working with a woman in the UK in around 1998 who purchased one of my large canvases. Then after she received the painting, she sent me a couple emails as she worked through the stretching/framing process. And I hope this painting is still being enjoyed on her wall in a London suburb as she’s sipping tea, eating crumpets and sharing gossip about the Real Housewives of Berkshire.

Part 2 of this story involves a painting in my house. I was originally planning on stenciling this design on my bedroom wall. But then I thought, if I decided to move in a year or two, I’ll have to paint this over. A lot of time wasting. So I decided to paint this on a large unused canvas I had on hand. Then I could just take it with me to the next house. Or even move it to another room if I wanted to change things up. To make this painting, I did a pastel type multi-color effect on the white canvas. I then covered this with a white/blue mix of paint, leaving open patches to reveal the “multi-color” paint. Then I rough stenciled the ivy. To get a perspective on the size of this painting, it’s 48″ x 60″ (4 feet by 5 feet). Actually, this painting has nothing to do with rolled canvas being stretched. But it does show an example of one of my larger pieces or artwork.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2012 in Abstract, Modern

 

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Seascape Painting

For something a little different, I found this seascape painting I did in 2007. Even though it’s in oil, it has a bit of a watercolor feel to it. I had this in a simple gold frame and it really looked nice. Great for that “cottage along the beach” feel.
Click here for the eBay listing.

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Posted by on September 28, 2012 in Artwork by Terry Aley FOR SALE

 

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Spa Blue Expressionism Abstract

I saw a tub of blue paint at the art store and realized I couldn’t live without it. There’s something about that color. It’s so vintage-y. The label calls this color “Spa Blue.” It’s somewhere in the realm of “powder blue,” baby blue or teal blue.

I’ve had this problem, like many artists I’m sure, you can’t paint all the way around your canvas. You end up placing your painting on an easel, but you can’t paint the side on the bottom until the other three sides dry. Otherwise you ruin your paint or it sticks to your easel. So you end up painting three sides, waiting for them to dry, then coming back and painting the last side. If you place your canvas flat on a table, you can’t paint the sides without painting the table. I concocted an idea in my head where eventually I would make a table with a levitated screen. Then I could paint the entire surface of the canvas. The extra paint would just drip through the screen on to a pile of newspapers.

So I was walking through my local Hobby Lobby store and a package of red pyramid plastic doodads caught my eye. (You can see one of them in the top photo.) They aren’t super stable, but you put one of these on each corner of a canvas lying flat. This allows you to paint all the way around the sides of your canvas without a “stop and dry” and without painting the table as you paint the sides. Not a perfect solution but it basically works.

Click here for the eBay listing of this abstract painting.

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Posted by on September 27, 2012 in Artwork by Terry Aley FOR SALE

 

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A Simple 11×14″ Red Abstract

Mixed media on canvas over .75″ stretcher bars. If you want some color and excitement but don’t have a lot of space, this is the one for you. This would look great framed.

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Listed on eBay here.

 

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2012 in Artwork by Terry Aley FOR SALE

 

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Fine Art – Vertical Abstract – “Beyond Reality”

I created this a few months ago. I wanted something that was somewhat substantial in scope, but manageable. And I wanted to try a different canvas shape. (It’s 16×40 INCHES) I wanted to be able to use this as either a vertical or a horizontal, depending on what space you have available. A vertical would work well at the end of a hallway, or any nook that doesn’t have a lot of width.  Horizontally, it would work well over a bed or mantle. Though either format would be great on an open wall.  This is mixed media with some collage. (By some I mean that Coke bottle.) I don’t normally sign this style because I got used to putting my name in the corner in “collage.” I wanted my name to be crisp and easy to read.

When I buy art, or I’m looking for a good deal on some possible vintage art, the biggest problem I often have is reading the name of the artist. Then I end up sitting in front of Google forever trying to figure out if it’s a B or an H in the signature or whatever. Paintings have a way of unexpectedly changing hands, then ending up in a place like a thrift shop or antique store. You want people to be able to research and figure out who you are with ease. When I paint abstracts without as much detail and without mixed media, I paint “T. Aley.” I have a brother who also paints and that would create confusion if either of us just signed a painting “Aley.”

One thing you notice on these photos is that natural light (like the first image) photographs different from indoor lighting (second image). I usually try and pull out some yellow from any indoor lighting photos and add some blue, which helps get closer to reality. Natural light is always best for photographing art (non-professionally). And though I often throw in some photos with a flash, I pretty much never end up using flash photos. A flash causes problems with glare. You can of course get around this if you’re a professional photographer with all the expensive lights and diffusers. But I’m just some guy with a $130 digital camera. It’s not what you’ve got, it’s how great you work with what you have.

This item is listed on eBay.

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2012 in Artwork by Terry Aley FOR SALE

 

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Black and Blue Abstract – Expressionism

Around 1997ish, I become fascinated with abstract expressionist Franz Kline. I absolutely love the simple color scheme and the focus on bold, sweeping brush strokes. It’s one of my favorite styles of artwork, and in my opinion, it’s some of the best art to showcase if you’re living in a space with contemporary style interior design. (In my head, I visualize one of these in every Frank Lloyd Wright house.) Or even a loft living space. My main problem with this style is that when you’re basically painting something on to a white background like Kline often did, it can have an unfinished look. It feels like you’re looking at empty canvas / negative space. Of course you can paint a white background with notes of gray to give it some tooth and texture, like he often did. So I toned the canvas in blue with some brown to add a little complexity. Then made my black brush strokes. I don’t know how to even explain how to do this technique. But you need to see some brush stroke texture and movement. And you have to be careful with the balance or it can end up looking off. It’s easy for this style to look under painted, or over painted.

I think I remember reading that Kline used a projector and a phone book. And he projected random shapes from ads in the phone book on to his canvas, adjusting it until he found the right balance. Then painted on the black paint. I think he also used really cheap black paint that he bought at a hardware store. And someone attempted to give him artist quality black paint and he would never use it because it didn’t have the right consistency. Sometimes better isn’t better.
The main reason I don’t do as many of these paintings is that I’m anxious about how people receive this style. Generally people who visit contemporary museums are used to this kind of abstract style. But the average person is like “I just don’t get it. Anyone could do that.” But I think I’m seeing many more of these in my future.

16×20″ mixed media on canvas over stretcher bars. Glossy varnish. Available on eBay, click here for information.

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2012 in Artwork by Terry Aley FOR SALE

 

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Abstract Art – Also Meet My Dog Pepi

This is an abstract style I’ve been doing on and off for a few years. I decided to make a smaller 16×20″ version. But once you add your own frame, it gains some size. This piece is for sale by clicking here.

Not thrilled about his new job as art mascot/spokesmodel.

Now that I have his attention. He’s contemplating how to get that cashew from my hand into his mouth. Oh, and there’s some artwork.

How this piece looks if I put on a basic gold frame. (Not included, just to get a feel for how it looks if you prefer things framed.)

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2012 in Artwork by Terry Aley FOR SALE

 

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What Rules? Abstract Art

I often catch myself in the creative process thinking “I can’t do that because…[insert reasonable response]“. The list is long. This is about letting go of limitations and expectations you have for yourself, or suspect others would have for you or what you do.

Here are some various photos from the creative process of this particular painting.

Mixed media 12″ x  16″ on canvas. The eBay listing is here. (eBay item # 230855136424)

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2012 in Artwork by Terry Aley FOR SALE

 

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The Business of Selling Art Through Sponsored Ads on Twitter

I’ve been doing a huge declutter around my house over the last couple of weeks. You watch an episode of Hoarders and you start to see a little of yourself in those people. Not enough for professional help, but heading in that general direction. One problem is that I’ve been painting artwork for years and it’s just been piling up. I’m way more interested in creating art than selling it. Back in the 1990s I made some good money selling art on eBay. But then I took some time off when I moved to Los Angeles, and the following I had developed disappeared. I decided that it was more important at this point to move art out of my house than to worry about “Am I getting what I think this painting is worth?” Yes. As long as I cover shipping related fees and roughly what I paid for supplies. I started bundling a couple smaller paintings into groups thinking there are people out there who might like a small art collection so the style matches throughout their homes. It just needs to move from here to appreciative homes.

Because I’m pretty much an expert at Twitter at this point, I figured that was the medium I should focus my energy on. If you buy ad space in art magazines, it will cost you a small fortune. Then your ad won’t hit the stands for a few weeks. Then you just have to hope for the best. And forget test marketing several magazines, that would cost you thousands. I had been eying Twitter users who sell sponsored Tweets on eBay. You basically give them a sentence and link in 140 characters or less and they post it to their followers. Generally, the cost to buy sponsored Tweets ranges from a low of 99 cents to a high of around $25. I decided to budget myself $50 and picked 5 Twitter users. I checked out their Twitter accounts in advance to make sure they looked fairly legit. Probably two of these Twitter users were artists or graphic designers. (for artsy targeting) A few were people I thought might have “trendy” type followers who like art. And one seller was willing to post a Tweet to a MILLION of his followers. Now there’s no way to confirm there are actually a million active users getting these Tweets. And keep in mind, the people that see your Tweet are the ones who happen to be sitting at their computer the moment your Tweet is released. For my ad buys, the number of followers ranged from around a thousand, to 77,000, to a million.

Now before I go any further, I should explain why I decided to “self promote” my artwork. eBay is so loaded up with art sellers (a search for “original art” brings up 50,000 items for sale. Your potential buyers will probably never see your stuff.) There’s maybe a one in a 5 thousand chance someone will buy your art. And even then, it’s at rock bottom prices. There is a market for major established artists, but again, it’s a buyer’s market and they’re selling at maybe 1/5th or less what a gallery is selling. There is also a market for DEAD artists who paint landscapes or Old Dutch master styles. Things aren’t selling for what they’re actually worth, but this dead artist market seems to be fairly solid. The main problem with this is that most artists trying to sell their artwork are still alive.

What generally happens when you list art on eBay for the first time is that it sits there. You might get 1-4 views throughout the entire duration of the auction. Most of the hits you get will happen at around two times, right when you list the auction (people looking through newly listed), and right when things are about to sell (because the closer to the end of the auction, the higher up your art shows in a search). Therefore, I’ve gone from using a standard 7 or 10 day auction to a 3-day auction. I’m also experimenting with a 1-day auction. Once you’ve listed it, it’s a simple matter of hitting a relist button if your item doesn’t sell. This allows your item to end up at the front of the line, and the end of the line, more than twice as much as a 7 day auction. My theory is that if an auction just sits there for 10 days, it’s just sitting around getting not seen for a longer time. Buyers also get annoyed when they pull up an auction and realize they have to wait around for a week or 10 days before they can find out if they win an item. This shortens that to something more manageable.

So the problem I was dealing with, if nobody clicks an auction, then nobody will see the art, and nobody will buy it. The main goal at this point is to rebuild my following and start moving artwork into the homes of collectors. Otherwise, I’m just living in an art storage unit. To drive traffic to my auctions, I set up a page on a website I’ve sort of abandoned, but because it was so lively for a few years, it still gets tons of daily hits. Nothing wrong with using good SEO you already have. Here’s that page. Once on this page, it shows some basic art styles, links to my eBay auctions and gives a brief artist profile.

At this point I’m only two days into my Twitter campaign. So I don’t know if anything will sell. But this is a marathon, not a sprint.

While I was organizing my Twitter buys, I decided to look for other sources of sponsored Tweets. I found BuySellAds.com. (I did 13 sponsored Tweets total, from 13 different Twitter users. 6 from eBay sellers, 7 from BuySellAds) This was interesting because it allows a person to do specific targeting to Twitter audiences, and it tracks the clicks. So I selected 7 Twitter users to test out the response on them as well. I probably spent about $200 on sponsored Tweets for my first “campaign.” But I’m in marketing and advertising, and successful businesses I work with will spend anywhere from $5000 to $30,000 a year or more on marketing. And this is pretty much mandatory spending to keep their businesses operating on full throttle. If they stop advertising, they have no clients. So for me to build a following, I need to be willing to invest in my promotion. Sure I could start randomly walking into galleries. But the nearest gallery is 100 miles away and they don’t have a clue who I am. I would rather start building this on my own, then seeing where it takes me. Rather than throwing myself at the mercy and good gestures of complete strangers.

Now when you do a sponsored Tweet, most of the activity will happen within a few hours. 24 hours later, your campaign is basically over. One thing I didn’t like about BuySellAds is that all 7 of my Tweets went out at the exact same time. When you buy sponsored Tweets on eBay, it’s at the discretion of the seller. One guy had sent out my Tweet within 10 minutes of buying it. But all 6 had Tweeted within 24 hours.

After seeing what happened, I have some data (see the BuySellAds chart), and some general impressions. I got maybe a 1400 hits to my website from all of these Tweets over two days. Not impressive. But the real test would be to examine all of the sponsored Tweets to see which ones had the most bang for the buck. This would allow me to repeat my marketing campaign and only spend money on the best results. Let me drop in this chart, then you can scroll below it for analysis.

810 clicks total, from 7 Tweets. First let me explain why I selected these Twitter users. The top 4 users were all art/design/visual related websites that also Tweet. I generally decided that even though people interested in the arts is a good target market, I don’t want to continue with this. For $10, I’m getting anywhere from 41 to 92 clicks. (11 cents per click on the high side, 24 cents per click on the low side). I also have a concern that the people clicking are mostly other artists looking to see what another artist is doing. Whereas, my actual market should include art BUYERS (not sellers). I should note that when all 7 of these Tweets went out, there wasn’t much of an increase in hits to my eBay listings. In other words, most people who clicked went to my website. Then possibly clicked over to view the overall collection of art I had on eBay, but didn’t click on individual pieces. That’s a big problem. When selecting people to Tweet, I decided to go with one kind of “major” high profile Twitter account, Lifehack. I wanted to see if it made a difference if I hit a more major player, even if it wasn’t particularly targeted towards the art market. What I discovered is that each click cost 46 cents when all was said and done. This is more than twice as much per click as compared to the best targeted clicks for an art specific audience. In other words, the worst waste of money. I spent 8 times as much money for a Tweet through LifeHack to only get twice the results of the art targeted Tweets.

I decided to throw in two wild cards, RealityPod and Weird Asia News. I thought RealityPod would hit urban hipsters who like to shop. But for $15, the response was comparable to the $10 spent on some of the art market targets. I picked Weird Asia News because for $25, your Tweet hits 106,000 followers. I then angled my Tweet to say something along the lines of “This artist wants to be huge in Asia!” As you can see from the chart, this Tweet had 267 clicks. (9 cents per click) This ended up being the best bang for the buck on BuySellAds. So after seeing the results, I’ve decided to ditch everyone on BuySellAds.com except for Weird Asia News.

Now back to those sponsored Tweets I got on eBay. I didn’t notice much activity as far as hits on my eBay listings in general except when the Tweet went out for the guy who posted to his million followers. Then suddenly my auctions that were getting 1-2 hits were now getting 20-90 hits. So from my overall campaign, this $7 sponsored Tweet did far more to drive traffic to my listings that everything else combined. Keep in mind, it was not targeted marketing. It was MASS marketing. Hit a huge number of people and have your message hammer across Twitter. Even if there aren’t a million active Twitter followers, there your Tweet sits in Twitter searches everywhere next to the hashtag #artist.

Some of this is an exact science and some is speculation. But for my new art marketing plan, I would probably have a monthly Tweet through Weird Asia News and continue building recognition over time. I could specifically create marketing that appeals to Asian buyers. Then I would do a weekly or twice a week $7 Tweet to the million followers. So for about $50-80 a month, I have a campaign that gets the most eyes in front of my eBay listings as possible, for the least expense. This new campaign could be expected to generate 4 times the response for 1/4 of the cost of the original campaign. This is the reason for testing and analyzing your marketing. If I wanted to continue spending about $200 a month on advertising, I could possibly get upwards of 16 times the response on my second campaign as the first. Just by eliminating 11 of the least performing of my 13 ad sources and using the two best sources. That’s not to say you shouldn’t continue experimenting over time. And if one of these sources stops delivering the same response, then it’s time to re-evaluate. The wording of various Tweets should be changed and tested. You may find that a really offbeat Tweet doubles your traffic because it catches attention.

You pretty much can’t just sell art on eBay these days, unless you’ve got magic in a bottle. Or extreme patience. You have to sell and market outside of eBay, then use eBay as the “cashier.” It’s free for a basic listing with photos. Then eBay takes a percentage of your sales. So you don’t have to spend money on listings unless you actually have a sale.

What I will need to do is continue my marketing plan and update everyone as I go. I chose Twitter because it’s fairly cheap and immediate. You could be the most talented artist in the world, but if no one sees your work, no one buys your work. Also keep in mind, the money you spend to advertise your business, regardless of what business it is (some people may be reading this for an analysis of sponsored Tweets in general), is tax deductible. Repetition over time is also key. People may need to see your name and click on your website 5-8 times before they have that recognition and want to make a purchase. I’m thinking most artists couldn’t sell a painting using this technique during the first week or two. But you would continue investing in your PR over time, then bringing in buyers one at a time. Once you have a following, then your art prices begin to increase because you have multiple people interested in your work.

One thing I also mentioned in most of my Tweets was for people to ReTweet my Tweet to their own followers. This expands your Twitter reach. I think I had about 19 people reTweet the various messages on Twitter. In other words, free advertising.

My art is listed for sale currently at this link.

 

-Terry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2012 in Artwork by Terry Aley FOR SALE

 

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Transcending Time – Fine Art by Terry Aley

16″x20″ on canvas over stretcher boards. (Not including the frame.) The dynamic between realism and crude renderings. Deliberate decay. This tidal wave looked a bit different until I did the mirror check (when you view your art with a mirror so you can figure out where the flaws are, gives you a fresh perspective). So I adjusted it against what I’m seeing right now, for how I’ll see it in six months.

People come and go, and maybe come back, but the waves keep going. They transcend time.

 

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Fine Art – by Terry Aley

You may not be able to see it in this smaller photo, but there is a bottle of Coke floating in the middle. Technically, since this is from a vintage advertisement, this art could fall under the “pop art” category. But I think it’s more fun to call it Pop Art because – it’s pop? Or soda art if you’re on the coasts. I wanted to paint in a different size, something more substantial in size. I couldn’t decide if I wanted this to be a strong vertical, or a strong horizontal. So I actually composed this so you could flip it vertically if you prefer. (Though the signature would be sideways. A note on the way I sign my paintings. It’s a long story, but I hate signing my own paintings. And a problem with many artists is that people can’t read the signatures for various reasons. When I’m buying art, it drives me crazy that I can’t tell who the artist is immediately much of the time. Since I’m often working with some collage elements, I actually print off my name in a white font reversed out of black. Purists will have a fit about this I’m sure. But I figure if they don’t like it, they can paint their own pictures.) This particular painting “Beyond Reality” is a mix of two full color bands sweeping across the front, with a duotone background (black and a teal green with some white outlines, I guess that would make it a tritone). I love combining contrasting colors, overloading with images and colors, along with sharp edges mixed with rough, decaying edges. All of the contrast creates a strong energy. Who wants a flat painting that visually sits there and sucks the life out of a room? 16″x40″ on canvas over stretcher boards.

 

 

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