Side Arts | Blog

Joe Tantillo [Certified Member – Side Arts]

Joe Tantillo [Certified Member – Side Arts]

Joe Tantillo is a Side Arts Certified Member and award-winning digital artist, photographer, and graphic designer who pursues the creative possibilities of a digital art world and invents new abstract digital animations. His artwork has been exhibited in galleries in the Hudson Valley, where he now lives, and in Manhattan, Connecticut, and Vermont.

His career has spanned many genres including book publishing and graphic design, advertising agency ownership, and being a fine artist and a local Hudson Valley historian. His design studio in New Haven, Connecticut, won 35 national and international awards.

He recently was named a Gold winner in the Abstract Photography category for the Art Folio 2020, forthcoming in January. He is a native of New Paltz, New York, and a graduate of the School of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University.

Creative Career

Over five decades, Joe Tantillo has evolved from following traditional 20th-century mentors drawn from surrealism, the bauhaus movement, and abstract expressionism to creating his own visions of 21st-century conceptualizations. The new possibilities of an art world captured in digital photographic images and the invention of new abstract digital pieces that meld elements of nature with rusting 20th-century classic cars and locomotives and other manmade detritus into original compositions has driven his work even further.

With his expansion into audience interaction and 3D video creations, Joe uses a blend of traditional art and computer software techniques to create unique, non-traditional 21st-century art pieces and animations.

He started his career working as a graphic designer while continuing as an abstract expressionist painter. His graphic design work brought him into the world of digital tools, and he became fluent in Adobe Photoshop from the inception of that software in 1990, later learning how to make 3D fractals and exploring other animation computer programs. In 2000, he began his quest to put these techniques to use in his creative work and turned his attention to landscapes and nature photography. His abstract art with paint and brushes had always been making images from an inward viewpoint— digital nature photography became an opposing counterpoint.

Joe Tantillo

A Dynamic Approach

This dynamic created a search for a merger of both the observed image and the expansion of that image into a new form. Joe achieved this by making abstracts using multiple layers of the photographic images that he’d taken over the past decade and by using computer programs and skills learned as a graphic designer that allowed him to achieve something new, abstract, conceptual and satisfying, which was based in reality but turned into a new and unique form.

The true excitement for Joe Tantillo was creating from a collection of his photos in a direct approach, letting the process drive the final image, a spontaneous process that as he layered and mixed and then added drawing elements, took on something new before his eyes, and that image could then change in a fraction of a second by modifying the image into a new form. As the artist worked, the piece became solidified, and it would suddenly be done.

The melting pot of images would have condensed into the “it” that allowed conscious and unconscious—skill and randomness—to make a new image using 21st-century technology as the only means to attain this. Joe has now turned his attention to animating his concepts and is in the process of creating an installation that is interactive with animation, fractal elements, and midi sound controllers that will make each visit to this installation one of a kind for the participants.

See more work by Joe Tantillo at tantillofineart.com

Joe Tantillo


Art Sales

 

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Researching Calls For Artists

Researching Calls For Artists

Researching calls for artists is an important component of your art sales strategy. It is challenging to figure out where to start. Sometimes this can feel overwhelming. To help build your confidence, break down your research into small actionable steps.

Bring The Opportunities To You

Set up Google Alerts for your area. Use this search string: “call for artists” + location. You may also want to include + medium.

For example: “call for artists” + Cleveland + painting

Sign up for niche call for artists platforms. Find them by searching for: “calls for artists” + medium or + style or + relevant topic. Most niche platforms will allow you to narrow your search results to your preferred locations once you sign up.

For example: “calls for artists” + sculpture + “public art” = Americans for the Arts Public Arts Listings

Sign up for newsletters from your area Arts Council and state Arts Commission. These will generally include calls for artists collected from local non-profits.

Dig Deeper For Hidden Gems

Sometimes, when you find a call for artists posted publicly, it has already been filled. It’s important to try to get in front of the process not only to make sure you have to to apply, but also in order to have enough time to create the work or have enough inventory available.

Whenever you find a recurring opportunity, add it to your own spreadsheet. Include the columns: Opportunity, location, deadline, contact information / URL, and a short description. Start checking for the yearly deadline and new information at least six months ahead.

Review call for artists content marketing platforms which offer a range of opportunities, such as Side Arts (our specialty is vetted and trusted call for artists with significant track records of success for artists), Zapplication (juried calls), and Art Fair Insiders (art fair specialists).

Check out their archives and forum sections for information and reviews of calls for artists which align with your goals and interests.

Side Arts only promotes new, active calls for artists – no duplicates.

  • Use the Active category to see current listings.
  • Use the Expired category to see listings which have passed their deadline. Find organizations which offer calls for artists in your area. They may be offering an opportunity, but not promoting it broadly.
  • Use the other categories to refine your search by location, type of call, award amount, and so on.

Researching Calls For Artists Conclusion

Try using free resources to bring the opportunities to your inbox. Join local arts listservs. Create a spreadsheet. Dedicate time once every three months (set up a Google Reminder) to do original research. Make it a SMART goal to add at least three opportunities to your list every month.


Art Sales

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Call For Artists Providers

Call For Artists Providers

Side Arts provides promotion content marketing for a range of call for artists providers and business types. The most common include art organizations, galleries, event promoters, private businesses, local governments, educational institutes, and museums.

Call For Artists Providers

In order of frequency, these are the types of organizations which provide opportunities for visual artists and crafters:

  1. Galleries – Offer 4-10 exhibition opportunities per year. These are themed calls which can range from colors, shapes, social issues, medium, and styles. The benefit of showing with a gallery is being able to take advantage of their relationships with collectors.
  2. Non-profit art organizations – Offer 2-3 exhibition or competitions per year. The non-profits are typically local arts councils or focused on a specific medium, such as wood, ceramics, or fabric. Exhibition themes revolve around local history, public figures, and community affairs.
  3. Event promoters – Manage annual art fairs. These pay-to-participate events usually include the opportunity for juried prizes. Participation to be juried often costs extra.
  4. Residencies – Destinations for inspired art making which may include travel expenses, room and board, studio space, and guided support and experiences. Residencies may be juried or paid. 1) Juried: There are no costs except application fees. 2) Paid: The participant assumes all costs. These provide different levels of services on a fee-based and availability basis.
  5. Government institutions – Opportunities provided by city government or state arts commissions. These occur irregularly and are dependent on funding. Funding may come from the city, state, federal, or percent-for-art (one-half of one percent of construction cost for art projects). These are requests for proposals for public works – murals, sculptures, traffic box wraps, storm drain painting, bus stop installations, bicycle rack artwork, public bench artwork, and other installations.
  6. Publications – Magazines, both online and in print. Usually pay-to-participate and ongoing based on publication frequency.
  7. Studio tours – Community events where artist studios are open to the public. Run by a local arts council or an independent non-profit organization. Pay-to-participate. Although traffic is not guaranteed, online and print promotion may be offered. The primary benefit is having a reason to clean up and organize the studio annually.
  8. Higher education institutions – These are often residencies which take advantage of a broad range of facilities and services available at the institution as well as dormitory living space.
  9. Private businesses – Commissions from private businesses looking for branding and marketing support – typically murals or 2D artwork in private offices, hotels, and other real estate.

Call For Artists Benefits

Providing each of the above has positive and negative aspects. Make sure the fee structure, commissions, and terms of engagement are clearly defined. Know your legal rights. Give quantitative and qualitative data to back up why someone should participate.


Call For Artists Promotion

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Call For Artists Point Of Contact [Write A Call For Artists]

Call For Artists Point Of Contact [Write A Call For Artists]

Providing a point of contact is important when writing a call for artists. Transparency is important to visual artists and crafters. They trust that we hold our clients accountable for their listings. Providing the relevant information helps establish that the client is not a faceless organization or phishing exercise and, in turn, increases response rates.

Calls For Artists Point Of Contact Information

Most promotion content marketing platforms require three point of contact pieces of information.

  • Public point of contact email
  • Email for administrative use
  • Name for administrative use

Public Point Of Contact

Email For Administrative Use

  • Where the promotion content marketing platform can contact the listing’s administrator for questions or concerns about the listing.
  • May be general (art@yourbusiness.com) or specific (jdoe@yourbusiness.com), but preferably specific.
  • The person that manages this email address is often both the person that publishes and promotes the listing, although in the case of some larger organizations, there may be two individuals that divide these responsibilities.
  • Promotion content marketing platforms will send this email address information about their account, listing updates, and information on best practices for marketing the listing.

Name For Administrative Use

  • This is the person that is most responsible for posting listings and managing the promotion content marketing platform’s account.
  • A full name (first and last) is usually required for account set up and maintenance.
  • Although not shown to the public, providing a contact name helps establish transparency and allows to quickly address account issues.

Call For Artists Promotion

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Listing Content Changes [Writing A Call For Artists]

Listing Content Changes [Writing A Call For Artists]

It is challenging to write an effective call for artists. There are many details to think through. Side Arts promotion service provides copywriters and content marketers who help you frame your listing and promotion in order to attract the most qualified participants.

Once a call for artists is published to the site, only Side Arts staff can make listing content changes. This is to ensure that our quality assurance process is not compromised.

Obviously, small changes and misunderstandings may occur. Therefore, changes may be requested for incidental updates; i.e. given the wrong link, change of date/location, or point of contact.

Our ability to keep the price manageable is reliant on the work load on our staff copywriters and promoters. Our policy is to have our copywriters format the listings in the best possible way in terms of grammar, online searchability, and current content marketing best practices.

Your social promotion is scheduled when the listing is posted. Changing your content may mean proofing and editing social content, as well.

We want your call for artist to succeed! If you have any questions about your promotions, reach out to us at mail@sidearts.com.


Call For Artists Promotion

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Pricing Your Artwork

Pricing Your Artwork

Pricing your artwork is an important component of your art sales strategy.

Pricing should not be an over-complicated procedure in the primary market. (Secondary market sales can be much more complicated.) If you are new to pricing your artwork, there is a formula to determine where to start.

Pricing Your Artwork Formula

  1. Start with the total costs of the materials used. Use the relative cost of only the materials used.
  2. Track the amount of time you actually spent creating the artwork.
  3. Multiply the number of hours by the rate you would charge per hour as a professional art consultant.
  4. Add the cost of materials and time.
  5. Multiply the result by a multiple based on your overall experience. This is typically between 2 (just starting out) and 10 (top of your field).

Price of Original Artwork = [Materials + (Time)(Hourly Rate)] (Experience)

For example, [$100 materials + (20 hours of work)($25/hr)] (5 years of experience adds a multiplier of 3) = $1800.

Pricing reproductions

  • Highest quality (limited edition giclee prints or high-end reproductions) = 50% of original price
  • Mid-grade quality (limited edition reproductions) = 30% of original price
  • Low quality (one-off prints or open-ended reproductions) = 10% of original price

Art Sales

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Art Sales Strategy: A Fresh Approach [Official Guide]

Art Sales Strategy: A Fresh Approach [Official Guide]

The tactics needed for your art sales strategy and elevating your creative practice are going to be different for every person. A one-size-fits-all guide that runs through the usual art marketing, eCommerce, website, social media, email, legal, and contract strategies may offer helpful components, but isn’t applicable to everyone. This is because artists and crafters come from so many varieties of experience, socioeconomic backgrounds, disabilities, and adversities to overcome. Side Arts helps by providing educational information, listings of opportunities, and a certification, networking, and promotion platform.

Artwork Sales Strategy: A Fresh Approach

  1. Understand your feelings
  2. Define your motivation
  3. Set positive goals
  4. Develop a process
  5. Scale your efforts
  6. Analyze your results
  7. Network for opportunities

1. Understand Your Feelings

What is common in all artists’ journeys is that you FEEL a certain way about implementing these strategies. This is something that CAN be managed and adapted to having a positive experience with your art sales strategy.

So rather than talking about the latest social media strategy, let’s start talking about how you feel about using social media for your work. Whether you are a digital native or technophobe, your feelings are at the core of how you use platforms to promote your work.

Being a digital native may lend to being over-confident about the potential results. Being a technophobe may undervalue what can be accomplished. It’s best to try to be somewhere in between. Here, it helps to be rational:

  • You don’t know what you can do unless you try.
  • Even the smallest results are a step in the right direction.
  • Be exact and truthful when measuring the results.

The most important step: Before you begin to try something new or view the results of something you have tried, 1) imagine a realistic positive result, 2) remind yourself to accept whatever the results are, and 3) commit to learning something from them. This will help put you in the right mindframe to move into the next positive step forward for your creative practice.

2. Define Your Motivation

The best question you can ask is, “Why?” It’s a question that children learn early. They are relentless with it! Their young minds are processing so much information. Ours are, too, although we often don’t have the patience to work through the reasons. It’s important to keep asking why.

The Five Whys

Ask yourself: Why do you want to sell your work? Then, ask why you gave that response, then ask why again, and again, and again. Ask yourself why five times to get to the heart of the matter. It’s challenging to be that honest with yourself, but you may discover something important that you hadn’t realized before. This can help inform your creative practice in new ways.

The Money Issue

I know. I know. We all want to make money. Some of us more than others, and that’s okay, that’s your right. The important thing to realize is that money is the by-product (rather than the reason for) of a transaction. The transaction is what is important. You have something and someone else sees the value in it. Therefore, the transaction is an item exchanged for validation. How much money is assigned to that validation is an abstract.

What Is Your Motivation?

Ask yourself: What do you have to offer and what type of validation are you seeking? It is important to know the answers to these questions so that you know what and when you have accomplished something. You’ll be able to definitely state your accomplishments.

3. Set Positive Goals

Goals are important because they help you understand the work you have accomplished and provide direction for your next steps. How often have you said to yourself, “I just don’t know what to do next?!” The first step in answering that question is looking back to what you have already done.

Try making a list first. Break the list into two columns. One column for things you have tried which have worked and another column for things that haven’t worked or yielded any results. Put this list somewhere you can see it every day. Make a commitment to stop doing things that you know don’t work and start doing more of what is working.

SMART Goals

SMART goals are defined as Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Focus first on things that are working (80% of your time) and then on new things that you have not tried before (20% of your time).

Examples:

  • Send out two email newsletters within the next four weeks. Try Madmimi, Mailchimp, or Constant Contact. Focus each on a new piece of work with a description and call to action to purchase.
  • Sign up for a social media platform which you are not currently using (i.e. Tiktok). Post four pieces of content within the next week and measure engagement.
  • Review your Google Analytics account for your website. Identify the pages which have the most visits. Update and/or republish these pages with new or additional content within the next week.
  • Increase your email list by 20% in the next 6 months.
  • Increase your sales by 10% in the next 3 months.

Projected and Stretch Goals

For each goal (and you may only want to try one at a time), set a projected and stretch goal.

Projected goals are those based on past data. For example, if you normally attain 5 new facebook followers a month, try changing how and when you post and see if you get 7 new followers each month for the next few months.

Stretch goals go beyond your projections, but not too far! Using the same example as above, try for 10 new followers per month.

Compare Yourself To Yourself

It’s easy to look at others with massive followings and sales and become discouraged. Try to remind yourself that they started out with 0 followers at one point. Rather than comparing yourself to others, look at what you have been able to accomplish. You might be surprised that the difference in results from this year to last are extraordinary compared to the results from five years ago.

Remember to celebrate the small victories. They add up! This might be a good opportunity to spend some time checking your feelings. Review what you have accomplished so far and how they relate to your motivation. Update your list of things you have tried.

4. Develop A Process

There is no set path for art sales success as a visual artist or crafter, but there is a standard journey for customers. For the purpose of this guide customers may be clients, patrons, buyers, gallerists, curators, commissioners, and so on.

Attract, Engage, Delight

To attract an audience, you’ll need to put yourself where they are. Everyone consumes information differently and has preferences as to how they want to be contacted. Most are best reached by email. But before you get their email address, you may need to put content out on SnapChat, Instagram, YouTube, or your own website.

Go where you think your audience is. If you paint, go where people expect paintings. If your paintings are about environmental issues, go where people expect to talk about environmental issues. Think broadly about your audience and their various preferences.

Engage with your audience. Educate them about why you do what you do and how you do it. This is more than a picture and one word description. There are so many ways to engage with your audience. Make a list of feels most authentic to you and narrow that list down to three to five items. Use these consistently.

Artist engagement

  • Show works in progress step by step
  • Write a story and rationale for each piece made
  • Do product reviews and demonstrations
  • Film short videos of works of progress
  • Studio selfies!
  • Provide lifestyle stories, tell who you are outside the studio

Give your audience a delight that will have them sharing the experience with their friends. This may include:

  • Personalized notes with each purchase
  • Mini-print contests
  • Fan appreciation give-aways
  • Take your packaging to the next level
  • Thank customers for at-home pictures of your work

Engagement Funnel

All of the above components fit within a art sales engagement funnel. Think of it as a big letter “V” where the top is how customers find out about you and the bottom is making a sale. Not everyone gets all the way through the funnel. It is important that the top of the funnel is continuously fed with new people. Most funnels are structured from top to bottom like this:

  • Social media – introduction
  • Website – education
  • Email – owned communication channel
  • Purchase – validation

Once someone has gone through the funnel, they are likely to go through again. Encourage the process by acquiring testimonials and referrals. This provides additional content to promote and new people being fed into the top.

5. Scale Your Efforts

Once you know what is working, there are a number of ways in which you can increase your art sales momentum. You may want to try repurposing content, paid media ads, and alternate art sales channels.

Repurpose content

Take the communication you have already developed and repackage it in a new way. These can be used for both engagement initiatives and value add sales applications.

  • Create an ebook or art book out of your works in progress and final exhibit / at home images.
  • Teach a class about your process
  • Offer an instructional manual
  • Offer special commissions based on current works
  • Create monthly patron or student webinars
  • Launch a podcast series (limited or on-going)

The key to success is using information and content that you already have with an established audience. They are likely to share with their networks and increase your visibility.

Paid media ads

Ads are most effective when they promote content that is already successful. Always point ads to your educational materials, rather than at a sales page. In turn, the educational material should offer a call to action that leads to your sales page. One way to think about this: “you have to ask me out on a date before you ask me to marry you.”

Value Add Art Sales Applications

You can obtain more information that informs your art sales strategy by participating in a variety of events. Getting live interaction directly from the source provides the best feedback. Remember that it is not just what they say, but what they do and how they do it that is important to recognize.

Other than direct art sales, consider participating in:

  • Requests for proposals
  • Grants
  • Vendor events
  • Platform sales
  • Licensing
  • Exhibitions
  • Competition

Click here for more information on each of the art sales channels. You won’t know what works best unless you give it a try. Do what is best for your creative practice, time, budget, and community.

6. Analyze Your Results

Take a break, at least once a month, to look at some of the data you have gathered. You may learn something new about what works, when to do something, and who to focus on. It’s easy to look at the data and move on, but it’s more important to make a commitment to make the small changes it suggests.

If you have your own website, set up Google Analytics. It will help you understand what pages get the most traffic and where the traffic comes from. You can determine which pages to target for ads and which sources generate more leads.

Almost all social media platforms offer some analytic data on your account. On these accounts, it’s most important to make adjustments in terms of who is visiting and when.

When using email marketing platforms, like MadMimi, Mailchimp, and Constant Contact, keep track of how many people are on your list, what percent open your emails, and what percent click through from content in your emails to your links. Change the content and / or formatting of your emails based on the highest open and click through rates.

Remember to look back on data from a year or more back to see how much your creative practice has grown. Take a moment to reflect on how you feel about these changes. Are you comfortable with what you have done? Do you feel you need to be more proactive? It might be time to revisit your SMART goals, both projected and stretch. What, if anything, do you want to do differently? Make a commitment, write it down, and plan your changes.

7. Network For Opportunities

If you want your art sales strategy to elevate to the next level, then network for opportunities. Many artists have similar opportunities when it comes to setting up their creative practice. There are free website hosting services and website templates, social media platforms with analytics, Google Analytics data, Google suite for managing content, and scalable email marketing platforms. All of these are available and mostly accessible to artists and crafters equally.

Personal networks are unique to each individual. These relationships should be fostered with care. There are many ways to do so.

  • Collect email addresses from anyone that seems interested in your art.
  • Connect with your contacts on LinkedIn
  • Search for and connect with 2nd degree connections on LinkedIn that may have similar interests
  • Volunteer at trade shows, exhibitions, and art and craft fairs
  • Join a professional association in your field of interest
  • Attend Meet-ups
  • Get Certified with Side Arts and join your local artist registries

Have a few high net worth contacts already? Ask them out for coffee once every six months. Set up a recurring reminder on Google calendar for each individual. Keep a few personal notes on each contact. Besides art, what are their other personal interests? You’ll have some easy talking points for each conversation. Ask how you can help them before asking for help yourself.

Art Sales Strategy Conclusion

Try thinking about your art sales strategy as a process of deliberate practice. It’s not about doing the same thing on repeat, but understanding your feelings and motivations, focusing on SMART Goals, and making adaptations. That hard thing is sticking with something that may feel uncomfortable at first or making a change the data supports which goes against your preconceived notions. Small steps first.


Art Sales

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Linda Dubin Garfield [Certified Member – Side Arts]

Linda Dubin Garfield [Certified Member – Side Arts]

Linda Dubin Garfield is a Side Arts Certified Member and award-winning printmaker and mixed media artist, creates visual memoirs exploring the mystery of memory and the magic of place, using hand-pulled printmaking techniques, photography, collage, and digital imaging. Her abstract and dynamic works use multiple layers of ink that waver between background and foreground creating a fusion of surface design and abstract expressionism. She creates installations that include public participatory art, especially when she is exploring themes relating to women in today’s culture.

In 2005, she founded ARTsisters, a group of professional artists who empower each other and their community through art. In 2007, she started smART business consulting, helping emerging artists reach their goals and their audience, providing consulting and coaching on the business side of art through individual, small groups, and workshop experiences as well as providing opportunities to exhibit work. Today, she serves on several non-profit boards and appreciates her good fortune to be able to make art every chance she gets.

Linda Dubin Garfield

Linda Dubin Garfield Artist’s Statement

In the early 90’s, I took a printmaking course and fell in love with the process. Unlike other passionate relationships that fade with time, the passion and love I have for printmaking has only gotten more intense. Several years ago, I started exploring mixed media and have found that combining collage and monotype is another relationship that works for me. I also enjoy combining photography and digital imaging with traditional printmaking techniques. The process leads to rich palimpsests using a vocabulary of shapes and motifs. My use of traditional printmaking techniques combined with experimental approaches is a means of expanding my visual language. The possibilities are exponential.

Nature nurtures and inspires me. I combine elements of nature, texture and design along with the magic of the press. I am intrigued by memory and what remains in our mind’s eye. My work reflects scenes from travel near and far. More than a report on how it was exactly, I am interested in my expressive and passionate response to the color and pattern of the landscape, experience or image. The fluid space of memory, influenced by time, place and experience, forms the foundation of content for my work. I merge aspects of experience and observations with imagined and remembered sensations to create non-objective work that reflects life and memory. My work has overlapping layers of color and space, shifting relationships with mark-making that includes monotype, silkscreen, stencil, image transfer as well as drawing. Inspired by travel, I am creating visual memoirs that offer multiple meanings to the viewer.

My focus on the process, not the outcome, frees me to be experimental. Following my passion and living my dream energizes me to be productive and alive. I feel like I am now living out loud. I want to share that passion and joie de vivre with those seeing my work, triggering a memory or experience for the viewer.

See more of her work at lindadubingarfield.com.

Linda Dubin Garfield


Certified Member Benefits

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Calls For Artists As Sales Channels

Calls For Artists As Sales Channels

Calls for artists are indirect sales channels for your artwork. How frequently do you apply to calls for artists and for what type do you typically apply? Where have you had the most success in generating the most margin on sales?

Side Arts can help. Learn more with our official guide, Art Sales Strategy: A Fresh Approach.

Calls for artists include

  • Requests for proposals – Commissions for your artwork
  • Grants – Funds that are available for the completion of a project or growth of a practice
  • Vendor events – Sell your own artwork at a rental space
  • Exhibition opportunities – Agents sell your artwork at a relatively high commission.
  • Competitions – Compete with others for a limited number of prizes

It is helpful to think of them in terms of both direct and indirect sales channels as they relate to the margin on your artwork. In other words, where do you get the most money relative to your efforts.

Margin By Sales Channels

Sales Channels

 

In direct sales, requests for proposals, and grants, you are typically setting the terms of engagement. You know the inputs and there are limited outputs.

Vendor events rank slightly lower. This is because you shoulder the costs of the booth rental fee. More importantly, it introduces more variables that are outside your control such as rain, advertising for the event, traffic flow, and so on.

Likewise, platform sales, such as Etsy and EBay introduce flat and variable fees for including your work on their sites. Although they offer extra promotion services, they come at a hefty price. Therefore, promotion, which costs time and money, is on you.

When utilizing licencing, the burden of promotion is now on the vendor to whom you have licenced your work. Since they do all the promotion, they take a much higher commission which reduces your margin considerably.

Exhibitions work the same way as licencing. The burden of promotion and sales is on the gallerist or curator hosting the exhibition. If they are not offering promotion and sales support, then it is simply a pay-for-play vendor event. The purpose of participating in an exhibition is to take advantage of the organization’s exclusive buyer’s lists which should align with the type of work you offer.

Lastly, competitions offer the greatest risk and least margin for your time and effort. You have no control as to how many others are participating, there may be a fee to participate, and there may only be one winner.

Conclusion

Before applying for a call for artists, think through how best it fits with your goals and the risk you are willing to take. Make sure you know quantitative answers to questions regarding promotion, buyer’s lists, and commission percentages.

Most artists looking to grow their professional network and sales opportunities apply to 10-15 calls for artists per year. The average cost of applying is $25-45.

Looking to lower the cost of applications? Side Arts Member Certification may be right for you. Certified Members whom are selected for opportunities promoted on Side Arts are eligible to be reimbursed that calls’ application fees. Click here to learn more.


Certified Member Benefits

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Call For Artists Application Questions [What To Include]

Call For Artists Application Questions [What To Include]

When looking to promote your call for artists, it should include all relevant information needed for an artist to decide whether to apply for your opportunity as well as for you to make an informed selection. The call for artists application is how artists send their information to you, whether it is for an exhibition, vendor event, competition, request for proposal, or grant.

Applications should use webforms with the ability to upload images. Applications by email, mail, or in-person are difficult to track and often have inconsistent entries. Many types of webforms are free. There are several reasonably priced online juried application management services available.

We recommend webform providers such as Jotform and Gravity Forms due to their simplicity and affordability. Depending on your needs, you may also consider using Wufoo or WESTAF’s CaFE or Zapplication.

Basic Application Questions

  • Name
  • Email
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Website
  • Artwork medium(s)
  • Artwork description
  • Artwork size
  • Price per piece (generally)
  • Image uploads (minimum of three)

Specific Call For Artists Questions

In order to better qualify your applicants, we recommend adding additional quantitative and qualitative fields (not all of which are relevant to every opportunity)

  • Keywords that describe your artwork (up to five)
  • Demographics (if they relate to the opportunity)
  • Facebook page
  • Facebook number of fans
  • Instagram account
  • Instagram number of followers
  • Total number of people in the artists’ email list
  • eCommerce websites (i.e. etsy, zazzle, and so on)
  • Business name (if applicable and incorporated)
  • Press coverage (two or three links)
  • Resume (showing work within the last three to ten years)
  • Are you exclusively represented by a gallery/agent (No/Yes, if so who)
  • Any needs to accommodate for special circumstances
  • How did you find out about the opportunity?
  • In what public art opportunities have you participated?
  • Include mock-ups, if applicable

Keep your application questions short and concise. Start with the easy name, address, and demographics questions, then move on to the questions which are specific to the opportunity. Remember to add a note that describes what happens after the application has been submitted so applicants understand the process.

Looking for more writing tips? Check out our official guide, How To Write A Call For Artists.


Call For Artists Promotion

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