Mine is through Fine Art America. Awarded for excellence in art. It’s a fun thing that they do. I am honored.
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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!
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“The Journey” is my latest dazzling digital. http://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-journey-abstract-art-by-sharon-cummings-sharon-cummings.html
I’ve been working really hard lately to get ready for this upcoming Holiday Season. My main focus has been on creating some new work such as my Pure Water and Black Magic pieces and also prints. I am working with an agency who will be showing my work to some pretty big names like Hayneedle, Kirklands, Cracker Barrel, etc. and I am excited about the prospects! This time of year has always been filled with excitement and this one is no different. I have gained so many new collectors and followers since January that I feel like I am on top of the World. 🙂 Stay tuned for the many fun things to come!
Some Winter Holiday fun “Frosty Family”. http://fineartamerica.com/featured/frosty-family-1-merry-christmas-by-sharon-cummings-sharon-cummings.html
New ORIGINAL Pure Water pieces are listed!! https://www.etsy.com/shop/BuyArtSharonCummings?section_id=5536987
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I hope you’ve enjoyed all of the wonderful photographers I have featured this week. What have I been up to? I am always looking for new ways to express myself creatively. Recently I started experimenting with some dazzling digital effects to create some striking art. Some start as paintings that I scan and then manipulate and others are photos that take on a whole new life!
This piece called “Good Karma” is one of my favorites so far. The colors are vivid, but at the same time soothing. Stare at it long enough and you will start to feel calm and relaxed. It also best represents what I am feeling right now. Good. 🙂
See more here:
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Many people these days take pretty pictures. Digital photography makes it easier and easier to get stunning imagery. However, most of these attractive photos do not create an emotion or make you think. True art comes from a technical aspect and even more so from a great eye and heart. Zina Zinchik is one artist who has both of these qualities. When I look at her work I can “feel” the emotion behind it. I can see that she is meticulous at setting up her shots, but also that she makes a story as she does so.
I caught up with Zina recently to learn more about her work. Here are her answers:
What inspires your works? Photography for me opened the doors to share my fantasies, my anxieties and my emotions with people.
Which of your photographs is your favorite? My favorite is Night Sonata which was taken quite a few years ago. This image comes directly from the camera with just minor adjustments in post-processing and it took very precise calculations of time and angles to get the picture just right. The musition is part of holidays window display at Bergdorf and Goodman and trees reflections comes from the park across the street.
Is there a photographer you relate to? And why? I am self-taught — started to learn craft of photography from online forums and discussions and it hard for me to pin-point the names. But if I must I would say that my biggest inspirations are coming from works of Annie Leibovitz and Peter Lindbergh.
Do you ever feel like giving up? Not yet… So far the universe has been very kind to me, giving me support just when I needed it the most.
How long have you been taking photos? 11 years for me.
What’s the best thing about being a photographer? Being able to open hidden beauty and show another dimensions of every day objects.
What’s the worst thing about being an photographer? Having to choose the best frame out of hundreds.
Is there a purpose to your photography? Open another world to the viewers and stop time forever.
How do you feel when people interpret your photos differently? We all are different and I am delighted when someone finds another meaning in my photographs, for me it means that picture ‘hit the spot’ for someone else.
What advice do you have for aspiring photographers? Don’t afraid to experiment and push your limits.
You can see more of Zina’s amazing work here:
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I’ve always envied people with a lot of patience. When I take photos, I just randomly snap whatever catches my eye. This is not the case for Gerald Marella. When I was first introduced to him and his work, I could tell that he was different. He was certainly interactive in our social media group, but it was obvious that his heart and mind were always on his craft. He made excuses for absences sometimes, but there was really no need. His work shows where he spends his time and the results are utter perfection.
I recently asked Gerald the same questions I have been asking other photographers I am featuring. Here are his responses:
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I have been talking an awful lot about myself lately and have decided that this week will be dedicated to others. I want to share some amazing photographers with you. First up are Charlie and Norma Brock of Avinger, TX. I first had the pleasure of meeting these two through a support group for artists/photographers. Not only are their images exceptional they are both just super nice people. Their inner compassion shows through in their work. I asked them the following questions so we can all learn more:
What inspires your works? A passion to see things that others overlook…the beauty in ordinary or obscure things.
Which of your photographs is your favorite? Reflections – a sunken boat filled with the reflection of a cloudy sky. It was taken near Clifden, County Galway, Ireland in 2007, during a fantastic holiday on the Emerald Isle.
Is there a photographer you relate to? And why? none really. Charlie learned the mechanics from helping in his Dad’s studio, but quickly developed his own style and interests. Norma learned from Charlie, so he’s definitely her mentor and inspiration!
How long have you been taking photos? Charlie- 50 years! Norma – 38 years. It’s unbelievable how much equipment has changed, yet the basic principals of good photography have stayed the same.
What’s the best thing about being a photographer? Having 100’s of thousands of photographs to enjoy and share! Worst thing: Having 100’s of thousands of photographs to sort, edit, store and file! Never enough time!
Is there a purpose to your photography? Capturing the adventure of life and making a permanent record of each splendid moment .
How do you feel when people interpret your photos differently? When someone interprets our photos differently, we are delighted! Each picture is worth a 1000 words, and it’s great to learn what others see in the experience! Humbling and flattering at the same time.
What advice do you have for aspiring photographers? Lighting is the single most important factor for a successful photo. Composition is 2nd most important, but be creative. Learn the rules, then break them a little bit!
You can see Charlie and Norma’s entire portfolio here. Be prepared for a visual feast!
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I created this sunflower art many years ago using my signature “Labor of Love” style. When I listed it for sale, it sold immediately…..within minutes! It’s always been a favorite of mine, but for many years it languished as a print listing without much interest. I’ve always wondered why and now I know! It just wasn’t getting any traffic! Two days ago Fine Art America promoted this piece to email subscribers (I did not know they were going to do this). The response was phenomenal! I got tons of comments, inquiries for commissions and I’ve sold 15 prints so far! So happy that this painting is finally getting the attention it deserves. It was created with so much joy….joy that should fill others too. 🙂
A special promotion is still going on here…DO NOT MISS!
As I am browsing around Fine Art America today, I stumble across this gorgeous piece titled “Red Lotus Flowers”. Being the color junkie that I am, I am immediately drawn in. I love the bright red petals that contrast with the vivid blue sky. It has so much visual texture in the green leaves and interest. It looks like something I would hang in my own home. Much to my great pleasure, I see that this piece belongs to my friend Laura Carter. She and I go way back to the beginning of online art sales together. We survived the eBay years listing side by side. We may go years without speaking, but always rekindle our appreciation and respect for one another now and again. Laura has a unique style and emotive expression in all of her work. I took some time to go through her entire portfolio on Fine Art America today and it was well worth it! This is just a small sample of what Laura has to offer. Gothic art lovers are in for a real treat!
To learn more about Laura’s work, you can follow her blog here:
And you can see her Fine Art America portfolio here:
She has a Facebook Fan page too:
And an Etsy shop: