| Making art
is only the beginning of a long journey for an artist. If he or she
wants to sell that art, it will require a great deal of work and smart
When designing a marketing plan, don't forget
the Internet, says Ed Thompson.
"In this day and age, having a Web presence
is absolutely mandatory if you're interested in being seen. You just
have to be there."
Thompson has been managing his wife's Web
site (www.carolthompson.com) for five years. Two years ago he volunteered
to handle Web pages for members of the Olympia Art League. The site,
www.olympiaartleague.com, now showcases the work of 22 artists who pay
just $25 a year for Thompson to produce their Web site pages.
Thompson says artists exhibit their work via
the Internet for different reasons. Some enjoy posting their artwork
to share it with friends and family in faraway places.
"It ranges from artists who are doing it for
fun to artists like Carol, whose art is her sole source of income," says
However, people can only see what they know
about. Thompson says artists can't be shy about flaunting their Web
site address. Have it printed on business cards, mailing address
labels and checks, and include it in e-mail signatures.
Getting the Web page up and working requires
a lot of work for both the artist and a
||Web master. If an artist wants
the site to work, he or she must supply information that will attract Web
"The better information you give to the service
provider, the better chance you'll be found," Thompson explained.
"The Internet is made up of key words, so an artist must look at himself
as key words. What they do is a key word, who they are is a key word."
For example, key words that lead to Carol
Thompson's Web site include seascape, sunset, art, fine, artist, oils,
painting, print, limited, note, and card.
Sometimes a word will present a selling opportunity
from an unusual source. Carol has sold several prints of a rose called
"Chrysler Imperial" that grows in front of the couple's home in Olympia.
Car buffs, in search of a car of that same name, have been led to the painting
on Carol's site, which resulted in sales to nontraditional customers.
Take advantage of the Web by selling on ebay's
auction site. Thompson, who keeps an average of 150 prints of Carol's
paintings at auction, says the site has been a tremendous tool because
it's a kickover to Carol's personal Web site.
Thompson feels the Internet should be an integral
part of any artist's marketing plan.
"Search engines are extra kickers," he says.
"It's nice having your catalog in the sky just sitting up there."
Ed Thompson can be reached at (360) 357-8368 or
via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. He arrives early to the Olympia
Art League meetings to answer questions. The meeting is at 7 p.m,
the second Thursday of the month, September-May, at the Capital Museum