art, art for sale, art marketing, artist's resources, artists, best selling practices, career, earning a living, fine art america, flexibility, how to sell art, how to sell art online, income, make money with art, making a living with art, making money with art, online art sales, pod, print on demand, print on demand sites, prints, Redbubble, sell art, sell art smart, sell artwork, selling art, selling art online, sharon cummings, society 6
There was an article released yesterday that has a lot of artists in a panic. You can read the article here:
I will summarize it for you to save you some effort. Fine Art America is warning artists that all other Print On Demand (POD) sites are moving to a percentage business model. By in large, the new payment to artists will be a mere 5%. That definitely sucks. Fine Art America claims to be one of the few remaining POD sites that still allows a “set your own price” model. Some sites like Society 6 do allow us to put in our desired profit for some of their products. Others are set for us. The same is true for Redbubble. I agree that it is not ideal, but I find benefit to those two sites nonetheless.
I like Fine Art America and am currently making an amazing income with them. I am making more selling prints through FAA than I ever have for my entire print career. But what I have learned with online selling is that all good things can come to an end.
So are you flexible? One thing is constant in online art sales and that is change. Things WILL change. Sites that are booming today may go belly up tomorrow. But there are always new business models to take their place. Years ago I was on a site called Boundless Gallery. It was the BEST art site going for years and I made a TON of money with them. It was perfect and all of the best selling artist were very happy. Then they changed their business model and I saw the end coming. Instead of bitching and moaning about the inevitable failure of a terrific site, I made sure I was FLEXIBLE and I branched out into new territory. I tried different things until I found a few ideas that worked. And those same ideas that worked back then no longer do. But new ones have taken their place.
I have NEVER been without steady income in spite of things like eBay changing to a model that completely demoralizes artist. I got off of that horrible site. Boundless Gallery died a quick death and I survived. Other sites have come and gone too. The housing market crashed and I STILL made a great income every single month.
I remain flexible. I do not panic and worry about the future. I simply keep creating and marketing myself. I focus on the tools that are available to me today and I use the hell out of them! If new tools are offered in the future, I will use them too. I will always find a way to get my work out to the people that desire it. Always. The selling platform doesn’t matter to me as long as I am willing to market myself.
If Fine Art America changes their current business model to artists disadvantage, it may be that I set up my own print shop in my garage. I have enough space and enough money to invest in my career. I’ve been poised for this for the last 3 years. I already KNOW how to market myself! Or another site might come along that is even better. I am ready to bend and adapt.
For now I believe FAA is the best POD site out there. I hope it STAYS that way! If you have not tried them, have a look: http://www.fineartamerica.com
As an artist, I implore you to constantly be willing to change. Do not stay stuck in “one way” mentality as it will be your downfall. There is so much out there for us!
Reblogged this on B.E.S.T. Arts Gallery and commented:
If you are an ARTIST….This is a MUST R.E.A.D.!!!…………………………………….. #sellingartonline #art
Reblogged this on william patrick photo and commented:
If you are an ARTIST….This is a MUST R.E.A.D.!!!…………………………… #sellingartonline #printondemand #artistresource
Reblogged this on S.O.U.L. S-P-A-C-E.
You are a model of success and what you say is so very true! Thanks for the reminder Sharon 🙂
It helps to keep that mindset!
Priya Ghose said:
Reblogged this on Click And Color and commented:
Wise words for all artists from Sharon Cummings…
Adaptation is key! Glad you shared this Priya!
Deborah Benoit said:
Well on that note Sharon I am teaching myself how to draw. And then i may do watercolors. One never knows. And being flexible is a good thing. As nothing stays the same.You are doing fabulous Sharon and I hope it continues for you and some of your knowledge rubs off on me:))
That is an EXCELLENT idea Deb!! I used to only paint acrylic on canvas…..then I tried Yupo….then I mixed media and now I work in photography too! Do it ALL!!
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Thanks for writing such an encouraging post, Sharon! Well done for riding the wave of change with so much skill 🙂 With love, Meliza
I love to encourage other artists and photographers! So many try to bring people down. Uplifting each other is definitely the way to go! Thanks Meliza for stopping by!
I totally agree with you – helping one another along the way will make us all feel good about what we do and give us greater confidence in the value of what we can offer 🙂 Enjoy your weekend 🙂
Jordan Blackstone said:
Reblogged this on Imagine That! JB Photography and commented:
Important read for artists!
Jordan Blackstone said:
Reblogged! Thanks for putting this into perspective, Sharon!!
Maybe I’ll check out fineartamerica. I’m on smugmug and it really is a great place to store high res photos but I don’t sell anything there, not that anyone would actually purchase my images! lol But I’d like to try something else.
People buy all sorts of images….I once sold a goat chewing on a bra! You never know!
lol, that’s funny
Rudy Owens said:
Great post and for me, thanks for sharing this resource. I wouldn’t be surprised if Costco and Walmart start dominating this business niche, and Costco actually does not-so-bad Giclee prints through an easy to use portable (mediocre quality frame effort in some factory I presume).
Yes, things WILL change….you can count on it! I do wish FAA would give artists more incentive to be 100% loyal to them like better shipping policies and “flexibility” with unique orders. We will see how they change with the times…
Frank J. Casella Photographer said:
Great point, Sharon, to remain flexible as I too have seen the downward spiral at least of the stock photography industry. For in-depth of what that was about click here: http://www.danheller.com/truisms.html But, I think one major difference with FAA is that Sean ( the owner ) seems to have the artist in mind and not greed, as well as maintaining it as a family-owned business without investors. I think FAA and WordPress will be two online platforms that will survive the test of time because the founders believe in the free-market system and not the barriers caused by greed that all the others are doing.
I hope you are right! But Boundless Gallery was also very PRO Artist…and the changes they made actually benefited me in the “short term” but I knew they would be a disaster “long term” and I let them know….but alas. I will enjoy FAA as long as it lasts! Let’s hope it’s a good long while. 🙂
I totally agree that we need to remain flexible, in where and how we sell our art as well as how we are marketing our art. As I read the recent email from FAA, I couldn’t help but think that some of the recent upheaval and dissent there and the willingness of many of the artists to be flexible is just what has the management concerned enough to compose such a missive to the artist community.
A good read Sharon…well done as usual!
I made the mistake years ago thinking that if I sold prints the value of my originals would go down. I was wrong and am so thankful I was willing to try other things. I also made the mistake of being loyal to Boundless Gallery and excluding other sites, boundlessgallery.com went belly up and left us all high and dry. Companies go belly up for many reasons. An Italian restaurant in our neighborhood that has been here for 25 years and was always PACKED and standing room only to get in closed their doors last month. The owner retired and just closed shop. Promoting and selling your art “one way only” is a pitfall. I sincerely hope FAA stays in business and continues to make enough profit to allow us to set our own prices, but if not, I am ready to adapt!
And adapt…we shall!!
Masoud Ghavami said:
Reblogged this on OODOO.
“by and large”, not “by in large”
I am an artist….grammar is not my thing…LOL…Figures you are an academic at the University of Michigan. 😉