You don’t have to do a lot of high-tech Internet marketing to sell your art.

One of my readers’ favorite stories in I’d Rather Be in the Studio! is the recount of how Karen Bubb was able to travel to China by selling shares of her trip. She not only made enough money to cover her costs, she also engaged a lot of people in the process. (See Action 14 in the book for all of the details.)

What’s so surprising is that Karen did this the old-fashioned way: with very little help from the Internet. Karen didn’t even have a website, wasn’t blogging, and Twitter and Facebook weren’t on the scene in 2004. (She still doesn’t have a website or Facebook page, which is why I’m not linking to her here.)

Karen sold 225 shares @ $32/share by using her mailing list, which was comprised of her friends and family in Boise, Idaho.

Karen’s idea was so interesting that a newspaper picked up on it, which brought in shareholders that were previously unknown to her.

Shelly Lewis Stanfield, Fresh. Acrylic and charcoal on birch panel©2010 Shelly Lewis Stanfield, Fresh. Acrylic and charcoal on birch panel, 48 x 48 inches.

My sister-in-law, Shelly Lewis Stanfield, is a painter who lives in Oklahoma City. Since 2007, Shelly has sold more than 300 paintings.

Shelly has a website, but she doesn’t have a blog, doesn’t use Twitter, and doesn’t have a business page on Facebook. She has some gallery representation, but the galleries sell little compared to what Shelly sells on her own.

Get this: Shelly has sold most of her art by having exhibits at restaurants and by contributing art to fundraisers for organizations that get 20-25% of the proceeds.

Shelly would tell you there’s no magic formula.

She has sold most of her art by using her mailing list. She encourages the people she knows to attend the restaurant openings and visit the restaurant while the work is up.

Her preferred method of contact? Postcards. She sends one or two at a time to individuals on her mailing list for a personal touch.

And no, Shelly has never asked me for any help or advice. Honest. She’s done this all on her own – fearlessly. Shelly succeeds because she’s out there pounding the pavement, not just the computer keys.

If you’re not embracing email, blogs, and social media, follow the example of Shelly and Karen. You can do amazing things with traditional marketing.


Mark your calendar!

Christmas Cheer Weekend
December 4th & 5th, 10am to 5pm at the Gallery (202 S. Main Street – Galena).
Come…enjoy Pepperkakor cookies and “Uncle Walt’s Swedish Glugg” while you decide on a gift for someone special.

“Ho-Ho” Good Customer Holiday Discount
10% OFF through December 24th
Give us a “Ho-Ho” when you stop in, call (815-777-1222), or e-mail (cjart@galenalink.net ) to place an order.

Recession Special!!!
Order before December 4th and receive an extra 5% off!

New Giclee Print for the Holidays….
“Jo Daviess Autumn”
$265.00 framed / 175.00 unframed

We thank you for being good customers and friends…and we wish you wonderful holidays.
Marilyn and Carl Johnson

Just a reminder! Registration for Dubuque Art Center’s Winter Art classes begins this week.  Sign up for free classes begins Sat. Nov 13 from 9-5 at the art center.  Pre-registration for individuals with class and gift passes begins Thursday, Nov. 11th and Friday, Nov. 12th from 2-8pm.

EVERYONE QUALIFIES FOR A FREE ART CLASS ONCE A YEAR . Because of the FREE CLASSES, all classes tend to fill very quickly. For the Fall Classes, almost all classes filled up the first day of registration.

JoAnne Hauser-Warren is teaching a watercolor class that starts Feb. 16th thru March 23rd., 6-8 pm and a power class (1 day drawing workshop) on Sat. Feb. 19th from 12:30-5pm.)

The weekly drawing class will be taught by Bill Ferrell. There are other classes.  For more info go to their web site.

Thanks and keep painting!

Tips & Ideas

Some very interesting articles on Ceramics Arts Daily

Holiday Sale Tips

Holiday Studio Sale Tips by Potters Council President Chris Campbell’s

Give a very nice door prize, collect names and addresses on entry forms, and keep those addresses for next year.

Make sure everything is clearly priced.

Take credit cards — make it easy to buy multiples!

Create your mood with music — Jazz, blues, rock — I don’t play Christmas carols.

Scent the air with an apple, vanilla, cinnamon mix, kept out of sight.

Serve good food — not a bag of store-bought cookies and weak punch.

Spread the treats around and people will follow the m&m’s trail!

Get a friend or two to help with wrapping and check out. The most crucial thing for my sale was getting them rung up and packed when they were ready to go. We had a place set aside where they could set stuff down with their name on it to hold it so they could shop more or visit. I had three people working there to make sure they got out quickly.

I put a large sign on my front door inviting people to just walk in, then, just inside, another simple sign with an arrow showing them where to start.

On the first Friday of November (the 5th) Carol Mantey’s pottery will be featured at the Galena Elks Club, 123 Main Street.   Carol’s pottery is functional – not just decorative – things that can be incorporated into the pattern of daily life.  Carol’s work is a reflection of her love of nature – incorporating nature themes, patterns and textures in earthy tones and colors. She sometimes presses the leaves, prairie plants, wildflowers and weeds into the tiles and bowls.

Texture & Detail

Stop by the Galena Elks Club on Friday, November 5th 6-8 p.m. to meet Carol and to see & purchase her bowls, mugs, vases and teapots.  A cash bar and appetizers are available.

About Carol:

Carol Mantey first studied ceramics in Chicago at Salt Creek Pottery.  Since retiring to Galena seven years ago, she dedicates more time to her interest in art and nature.  Carol took courses from Charles Fach and was an associate at the Stone House Pottery in Galena for five years.   She belongs to a co-operative group of potters in Dubuque, Iowa called Mississippi Mud Studios.  Carol recently built her own studio at her home outside Galena.  Carol is active in the Conservation Guardians.  She volunteers at the Lost Mound Refuge and participates in blue bird monitoring and the Audubon bird counts.

Carol’s Recent Shows & Exhibits

Galena Territory Art Show – November 2006, 2007
Annual Holiday Market – Galena Territory – 2008, 2009, 2010
Galena Fine Arts Summer Festival – 2006, 2007, 2008
Fire and Earth Festival – 2006
Galena Artist Guild Gallery 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
Stone House Pottery and Gallery  – winter 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
Hello Galena Gallery – 2006, 2007
Natural Area Guardians Art Show – 2005, 2007
Galena Art Guild Art Show at Galena Cellars – 2006, 2007
Galena Cellars Fall Harvest and Art Festival 2010

repost from Alyson B. Stanfield’s ArtBiz Blog:

Bulk email messages can hit a lot of people at once, but your personal notes will elicit action.

We’ve become too dependent on growing our email lists and sending easy messages to vast numbers of people. This is the most popular method to communicate with your contact list, but it shouldn’t be the only way you get your message out.

Whether you’re telling people about a workshop, inviting them to an opening, or announcing a sale, a personal email (or letter or phone call) will garner far more attention than a mass announcement.

To personalize your communications, consider these 4 tips:

1.  Write to a single person.
Don’t write as if you’re talking to a large group. Write with one person in mind. How would you speak to her if you met in the same room? Use that more relaxed and casual voice than what you’d write in a proclamation. It’s more trustworthy.

You can use the same framework as a starting point for personalized email, but you must take care to ensure that each recipient’s message is unique to them. Use his or her name, mention anything personal you’ve shared (like lunch), and remove references that don’t apply.

2.  Use a salutation.
Addressing someone by name isn’t just professional, it is also the polite way to start an email. Please be sure to double check the spelling of the person’s name before you press the Send button. You instantly lose credibility when you misspell a name.

3.  Be clear about what action you’re looking for.
What do you want recipients to do as a result of your email? Don’t make them guess and don’t beat around the bush. More importantly, don’t command or demand anything. “Please post this on your blog” might sound polite, but it’s still a command. Instead of commanding, ask. But asking doesn’t have to be in the form of a question, as evidenced by these examples:

I know how busy you are, but I would really appreciate your help [doing xyz].

If you have a couple of minutes, would you mind forwarding this to people who might be interested?

If you know anyone who might like to attend, I’d be grateful if you would share this with them.

4.  Customize the subject line.
Your subject line shouldn’t sound like a promotion. It should read as if you’re writing to a friend.

When you want recipients of your communications to take action, send a sincere, personal request.

Business practices such as those described above are part of cultivating buyers, collectors, and fans for your art. If you’d like more of these types of people in your life, join us for the Cultivate Collectors class. The fun begins October 6 at ArtBizCoach.