Side Arts | Blog

Richard Heiens [Certified Visual Artist – Greenacres, FL]

Richard Heiens [Certified Visual Artist – Greenacres, FL]

Dr. Richard Heiens is a new Side Arts Certified Visual Artist from Greenacres, FL.

Dr. Richard Heiens is an accomplished international artist whose colorful abstract expressionist works never fail to solicit an emotional reaction from the viewer. His paintings are mostly abstract in nature with some figurative art. His abstracts highlight shapes and colors. Using color intensity and simplicity of composition, his works make a big impact without crowding the canvas.

His paintings have a wonderful balance and handling of the acrylics. They catch the eye of the beholder with their colors and shapes which tell a story. His paintings have a balance of warm, cold. and neutral color composition with a mix of different round and edged components. There are clear boundaries filled with soft shifting nuances. He uses layering of the paints to create the richness in the colors with light and darks being well placed.

Background

In Rome, Italy, Dr. Heiens took lessons from Professor Sergio Graziani, a famous artist and actor, on how to paint in oil and acrylics. When Dr. Heiens returned to the states, he taught art to seventh graders in Illinois. He obtained a Doctorate Degree in Education Technology in 2006.

Dr. Heiens obtained gallery representation in Texas and London after selling his works on Instagram. He has had private commissions from clients in Italy, Germany, the UK, Illinois, Missouri, South Carolina, California, Florida, and Washington.

See more work, visit dochartist.com

Richard Heiens

Richard Heiens

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Qrcky [Certified Visual Artist – Baltimore, MD]

Qrcky [Certified Visual Artist – Baltimore, MD]

Qrcky is a Side Arts Certified Visual Artist from Baltimore, MD.

Qrcky was born in southern Virginia during the seventies to a family where art was not practiced or encouraged. He was drawn instinctively to Chuck Jones’ cartoons, Norman Rockwell’s art, and Bob Ross’ PBS show. He would try to imitate their art while watching cartoons. Twenty years later, Qrcky began to paint – reverting to the kinds of self-expression he felt closest to as a child. Finding freedom in his art, he found his voice but exiled himself away from friends and family. Discovering that under emotional distress and displacement, he was able to focus and paint at his strongest while feeling content and whole.

Qrcky has six years of related work experience and a portfolio of varied accomplishments including exhibitions and academic achievements. He possesses a strong sense of artistry and forward-thinking that is consistently displayed across all art pieces. He is capable of communicating with clients regarding specifications for customized art pieces.

See more work, visit qrcky.net

Qrcky

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Leslie Jeffery [Certified Visual Artist – Largo, FL]

Leslie Jeffery [Certified Visual Artist – Largo, FL]

Leslie Jeffery is a Side Arts Certified Visual Artist from Largo, FL.

Leslie Jeffery was born in Jacksonville, FL, and became aware of art at a young age painting with her grandmother, an accomplished oil painter. She studied painting, art history, and constructive design at Florida State University and holds a BS in Art Education from FSU. Her large acrylic abstracts are exhibited widely and have received numerous awards.

Leslie works from her studios in Largo, FL, and Highlands, NC, where she spends the summer. Leslie’s paintings are primarily large format acrylic abstract compositions. The early Abstract Expressionists are her greatest influence, especially Franz Klein, Joan Mitchell, and Lee Krasner. Her work is about the process and features texture – light or heavy, marks of all kinds, deep colors and many layers, patterned backgrounds, drips, and various mediums. They convey energy and mood, and are lyrical. She hopes to create interest and curiosity through the simplicity or complexity of the piece. Leslie finds the painting process exhilarating and loves to talk to viewers about their reaction and perception to her work. She feels successful when she believes the last one is her best. While a few are difficult to plan and execute and others come easily, she usually thinks, “What fun that was!”

Leslie is a Signature Member of the International Society of Acrylic Painters (ISAP) and The Florida Artists Group (FLAG). She is a Past President of Las Damas de Arte, a Tampa based group of women who exhibit together and raise money for art scholarships. Leslie was co-founder of The Carolina Gallery of Fine Art in Highlands, NC, and in August, 2019, was the Presenter for the Art League of Highlands-Cashiers at The Bascom in Highlands, NC.

  • November 2019 – April 2020: Solo show at Galleria Misto at Mahaffey Theater, Duke Energy Center for the Arts in downtown St. Petersburg, FL
  • April 2020: Participated in the FLAG exhibition at Foosaner Museum in Melbourne, FL
  • May 2020: Won First Place at Art Center Sarasota juried exhibition “UNCHARTED” (out of 270 entries)
  • Dec 2020: Solo exhibit at Carrollwood Cultural Center, Tampa, FL “Adios 2020”

See more work, visit lesliejeffery.art

Leslie Jeffery

Leslie Jeffery

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Marcie Ziskind [Certified Visual Artist – Philadelphia, PA]

Marcie Ziskind [Certified Visual Artist – Philadelphia, PA]

Marcie Ziskind is a new Side Arts Certified Visual Artist from Philadelphia, PA.

Marcie Mehrman Ziskind is an Outsider Artist. She is mostly self taught. Having acquired skills in ceramics, painting, glass fusion, and mosaics, Marcie’s true passion lies in the creation of fiber art – including wet felting and embroidery – and uses these complex textiles to generate wall art, decorative items, and garments.

After enduring the unimaginable, the death of her oldest son in July 2016, Marcie discovered that the physicality of making felt helped her to process her grief. Not only does she pour her physical emotion into the making of her “Grief Vessels,” and other felted items, but also they hold the pain itself. They all have interesting nooks and crannies, just like our heartbreak, which hide in the little places inside us and pop out at unexpected and inopportune times. Sometimes surprising us.

Marcie’s work has been featured at local galleries and in exhibits across the country. She owns and operates The Expressive Hand, a paint-your-own-pottery and fused glass studio that provides access to art for everyone in the community. She is a current member of The Da Vinci Art Alliance, The Women’s Caucus for Art, The Philadelphia Handweaver’s Guild, and The Northeast Feltmakers Guild.

See more work, visit feltedstones.com

Marcie Ziskind

Marcie Ziskind

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Edna Santiago [Certified Visual Artist – Media, PA]

Edna Santiago [Certified Visual Artist – Media, PA]

Edna Santiago is a Side Arts Certified Visual Artist from Media, PA.

Edna Santiago, a self taught artist, started painting in 2006 after the tragic loss of her only son. Direct, alive, tells a story, and colorful … these are descriptions of her works in oil and acrylic.

Edna expresses life’s elements and stories in color and movement. She is a retired physical therapist and interested in assisting women and children find “their way” to reach their potential through arts. She volunteers at several Philadelphia area art centers such as the Mainline Art Center and Darlington Art Center.

Edna curated and opened an art exhibition, “Nor Wind Nor Waters,” at the Da Vinci Art Alliance in Philadelphia, PA in August 2019. This was the first of a series of exhibitions in support of Puerto Rican artists.

Medium: Printmaking, Gourd Art, Painting
Styles: Artesana, Expressive Impressionism, Abstract

See more work, visit ednasantiago.com

Edna Santiago

Edna Santiago

 

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Resume Service For Visual Artists

Resume Service For Visual Artists

Agreed, it’s much more fun to do almost anything than write a resume. How can you summarize what you do all day long into a short phrases? It’s not easy to see all your hard work in concise bullets with no context. It’s even harder for artists who strive to be creative and tell a story. And yet, you need one to apply for a job, to network with peers and colleagues, and to apply for your next award.

Ultimately, the objective of the resume is to highlight your strengths. It gives you the opportunity to move on to the next step.

Resume Tips From Jessica Saragovi

Before you start your resume, I suggest beginning with these questions. Taking the time to answer these questions will ultimately help you with your resume, the interview process and other aspects of the job search process. Write these answers down, revisit them, it’s an ongoing list and will be adapted as needed.

  1. What do you WANT? Is this for a grant application or for a bridge job? A different job will require a different focus and sections. This includes EVERYTHING from commute, salary (what salary structure – base, bonus and / or commission), hours, responsibilities, manager style, office set up. What’s your perfect day like?
  2. More importantly, what do you NOT want in your next role?
  3. What are your skills? These are things you know HOW to do, abilities, expertise, talents, competencies. These include both hard skills (measured, teachable and defined) and soft skills (not-measured, personality based and subjective).
  4. More importantly, what are your STRENGTHS? From the skills above, which ones do you LOVE to do? Strengths are skills that include an element of passion. What lights you when you talk about it? What comes easy to you and you enjoy doing?

The good news is that once you have a good foundation, it’s easy to update with your awards, exhibitions, and additional work experience. It’s important to have clear, legible fonts, the right amount of white space, and eye-friendly headings. A well-crafted, easy to read resume will help you open doors to jobs. It shows that you’re ready to be submitted for the next juried exhibition, grant, award, gallery show, commission, and residency program.

Free Resume Support

For Side Arts members, I offer a 20 minute complimentary conversation to answer questions and provide support for exactly where you are in the job search process. Request an appointment via email at systemichr@gmail.com.

Jessica SaragoviJessica Saragovi is a Human Resources professional with more than two decades of experience across various industries and companies across New York, Miami, and Philadelphia. Jessica’s deep insight into how organizations hire, train, manage, and develop employees allows her to be a skilled resume writer. Jessica partners with clients in developing a resume that fully encompasses who they are, what they’ve done, and where they want to go with their next role. View my profile on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/jsaragovi.

 

 

 


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Use Calling Cards To Grow Your Creative Practice

Use Calling Cards To Grow Your Creative Practice

Calling cards, takeaways, handouts, exclusives – no matter what you call them, they help your patrons understand your identity and keep them coming back. They are an important part of your strategy for marketing art. It’s all in the details, the signature things that your supporters find surprising and endearing. Whether you are preparing for a vendor event, exhibition, or an online storefront, try to think about the extras that would make it special for your supporters.

Ideas for Calling Cards

  • Packaging: Consider how you can elevate your packaging and delivery – customize the box (something patrons can use in case they need to move or ship the item), add a personalized and signed thank you note, emboss, gold leaf, and detail the package.
  • Business cards: If you are going to go the extra mile and spend more on business cards, make sure that the concept aligns with your art. Typically, a basic card size is all you need. Include your name, phone number, email address, and website. Remember to include white space to write additional details.
  • Signage: Banners, flags, and table covers are always important. Consider the height, having things at eye-level can catch the patron’s eyes more frequently. Draw the attention to your art.
  • Postcards: Believe it or not, some folks just don’t use the internet or email, use postcards to reach them. You want to be inclusive in your marketing. Even for those that are digital natives, receiving something of value in the snail mail can be a special occasion.
  • Gift tags: Most art is purchased as a gift for others. Make it easy for them by not having to also have to purchase a gift tag, card, box, or bag.
  • Return address labels: If you are mailing marketing or shipping artwork, add a unique identifier to the item. That way, the person doesn’t have to guess who or what they have received before needing to open it.
  • Certificates of Authenticity: Your art is special. Show patrons how special it is with a letter of provenance. It elevates the art and provides another means for patrons to remember you. Remember to include the item’s description and story, your contact information, and personalized signature.

It is especially important to think about things that have value beyond one use items. For example, stamp a business card with a unique qualifier for an online storefront discount. Gift bags and totes can be re-used. Certificates of authenticity can be saved and framed with the artwork.

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Vistaprint

You already have your artwork and know your details. Try incorporating them into your takeaways. Vistaprint has a range of products and services that can help you do just that. Business cards, banners, flyers, and printing services are available. All products have a wide possibility of standard formats to customization. Wizards take you through the process and you can save details for later use and second print runs. Often, there are discounts for return users and special sales throughout the year.


 

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Are You Ready For An Online Store?

Are You Ready For An Online Store?

A majority of art is sold through a variety of online store platforms. You can choose any sales methodology you like based on you strategy for marketing art. It depends on where and how you best reach your audience. You may have to experiment with several platforms and strategies before landing on the one that works best for you. There are many details and options to consider as well as new opportunities and platforms launching regularly.

Sales strategies

Email

A consistent way to connect with your followers is by building a targeted email list. Try sending announcements of new works available to your email lists and provide them a means to buy (either by reply to the email or a payment processing form). Inform your audience about upcoming exhibitions, vendor events, and pop-up galleries.

Social

There are many ways to sell art through social network platforms. The challenging part is keeping up with the platforms’ ever changing features and algorithms. What may work today may not work tomorrow. Staying on top of the trends is important and can make a big difference with acquiring new patrons.

Try promoting new artwork for sale on Instagram. Provide a rich description including title, process, size, price, and inspiration. Add instructions for buyers – the first to comment with their email address will be sent a payment processing invoice (PayPal / Venmo). They have 24 hours to purchase the art. First come, first served after that. Update the description if the item is sold.

Web

You may want to consider selling through a web platform, using your own website, or integrating a web platform into your website. The benefit of having an online store sales platform that you manage is that patrons can purchase at any time. This can often make a difference between an acquisition and someone’s lost interest. Keep in mind, just because your art is on a website or web platform doesn’t mean that it’s the platform’s job to promote it. Promotion is still up to you. Utilize your email and social networks.

Things to plan in advance

Sometimes with an online store, it is best to jump in and learn as you go. Other times, a little bit of preparation goes a long way. You will rarely know everything you need to in advance because situations change from person to person.  Here are a few things to consider:

Photography: A good photo of your work can inspire patrons to purchase. Most mobile devices have above-average photo capability, but stand-alone cameras and photo editing software can make your work stand out. Setting up a dedicated area or having a set process is helpful.

Pricing: Research can help. Knowing your costs and time associated with creating your work is important. The most important aspect is always valuing your artwork for what it is truly worth.

Description: Each piece of artwork should have a unique and rich description including keywords and hashtags. This takes time to develop. The story behind the artwork is just as important as the artwork itself.

Shipping: Visit your local shipping center in advance. Determine what materials you should always have on hand and what needs to be purchased on a one-off basis. If you anticipate bulk shipping, explore what discounted pricing is available.

Taxes and bookkeeping: Consult a certified public accountant to help understand what taxes to account for and how to do so. Determine if you need bookkeeping software to help keep track.

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Shopify Online Store

Check out Shopify as an online store. It has eCommerce and point-0f-sales features including card-readers for when you are online or on the go. Set up your shop as a standalone or integrate it securely with your website. Ready made templates help your store look like it was designed by a professional. Run social media campaigns. Manage orders, shipping, and payments.


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Total Marketing

Total Marketing

What if you could do all your marketing in one place? Forget all the log ins, passwords, am I forgetting to do things? As an artist, wouldn’t it be ideal to have a total marketing art service that does it all? Let’s be honest, perfect solutions rarely exist and one size does not fit all or else we would all be using them. Fortunately, there are a few services out there that bundle together several features that you can use together in convenient and efficient ways.

What is marketing?

First and in order to understand what you may need, what is marketing? There is no single definition which applies to all.

One way to think about marketing is how you attract and retain those that might be interested in what you have to offer. This is different from sales where they are already interested and you negotiate a transaction involving a trade of money, products, or services. In both cases, the process is educational and transactional. Although in marketing, the action is suggested, while in sales, the action is explicit.

In marketing, the outcome is engagement or how often someone interacts with you. In sales, the outcome is financial whether direct (a trade of money for products or services) or indirect (a trade of products or services for a relative equally valued products or services).

One goal of marketing is to increase engagement (interactivity) in order to increase sales. Total marketing is valuated based on the ratio of dollars spent marketing to net profit.

Marketing activities common to artists

You might want to think about marketing as asking for the least to the most amount of effort. Another way of looking at it is the least to the most amount of privacy given.

Most start with social media. Choose a platform or two with which you feel comfortable. Measure engagement by the relative number of clicks, likes, and shares to your current number of followers.

Depending on your goals, having a website can help build a following. It can be a landing page, a profile page on an eCommerce site, or your own dedicated art website. There are any number of  ways to measure engagement, but a good place to start is the number of pageviews per month and, if there is an eCommerce section, the total sales generated from the website per month.

Social media and web searchability is good, but you are still at the mercy of the platform’s algorithms. Collect your followers’ email addresses to take control of your how and when your content is seen. A great place to start is by sending a monthly newsletter. Measure email engagement by taking the average percent of your followers who open and click through your emails.

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Mailchimp Total Marketing

One total marketing platform that combines social media, websites, and email is Mailchimp. It’s a favorite among artists and crafters because it is relatively easy to set up, has clear tutorials, and you can pick and choose which options work best. It integrates with many other utilities, sales platforms, survey tools, social media ad management. There are so many great features  to integrate, often in a few clicks or less.

Mailchimp has reports for measuring engagement and customizable email templates. They have flexible plans for growing your creative practice. Give it a try!


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Email Addresses – Collect ‘Em All

Email Addresses – Collect ‘Em All

It’s great to grow your social following as part of your strategy for marketing art. Even better if followers click through to your website. Often, followers won’t buy on the first visit. That’s why collecting email addresses is important. The more times visitors see your social content, visit your website, and read your emails, the more likely they are to buy your artwork or see your exhibit.

The great thing about email is that you are your own social algorithm. No need to worry if a social network is limiting who sees your views or what you need to do to increase the chances that you’re found in a search query.

Email Address Collection Strategy

First things first, collect your follower’s email addresses in an organized manner. It’s a much easier ask for an email address than for sales or donations. It’s a good place to start when thinking about growing your creative practice.

The first step is manual: collecting email addresses in a single location such as a notebook, journal, or spreadsheet doc.  Most email lists start with the obvious… friends and family. Think about asking colleagues, sign up lists you’ve used previously, patrons, and others who have collected your art. Try posting an email sign up list at events you’re vending, outside your studio, and alongside public exhibitions of your work.

Make It Automatic

The next step is automatic: What if you could collect and save email addresses without having to be present? Try adding an email collection modal window to your website. Modal windows can be added to the header, footer, or a central pop-up that can be closed at any time. For example, check out Pop-up Domination. Customize every aspect of email collection: where it displays on the screen, when it appears, how frequently it appears, color, text, and size. Pop-up Domination not only connects to your website, but also to whatever email marketing service you use (such as MadMimi, Mailchimp, Constant Contact).

Try Pop-up Domination free for up to 14 days. Remember to post new content and share it on social media during the free trial so you get a sense of the difference when traffic is being driven to your site.

Email Addresses

Basic Guidelines

Remember that you should have a thoughtful strategy for growing your email addresses and creative practice. The process is different for everyone, but there are some basic guidelines to follow if you are not getting the results you want. Most important is to always be creating more art. Share snippets of the details on social media that link to your website or sales platform. Provide additional detail on your website or sales platform. Collect visitor’s email addresses. Share email updates which educate your followers about why your art is special. Continually drive followers back to your website. Provide a means for followers to make a purchase or support your art in some way.


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