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Thread: Fine Art Print sales, whose doing it and where?

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    Senior Member routlaw's Avatar
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    Fine Art Print sales, whose doing it and where?

    Over the last several months I have been on the receiving end of promotional efforts from a few of the online photo galleries for print sales as well as stock photography sales. But most notably Art Store Fronts is by far the most active in their promotional efforts to get me to sign on. Oddly I can't seem to find out much about the company either pro or con, but to hear them tell it they are the real deal in terms of hanging a shingle on the internet for artist print sales.

    Anyone here have any experience with this company that is located down in Austin, TX?

    How many of you are actually making a living either full or part time with print sales, and if so what methods are you using? Direct from your own website? Or from one of the many other online hosting and photographic print sales venues?

    Would love to have a decent conversation on this topic.

    Thanks in advance.

    Rob

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    Re: Fine Art Print sales, whose doing it and where?

    Hello Rob,
    I do artwork reproduction at our studio.
    We work with hundreds of artists and photographers and I can say not one makes a substantial amount of their income from online sales. I would say maybe a dozen or so make a few hundred dollars over the course of a month.
    I am familar with Art Store fronts as they have contacted me and asked me if I was interested.
    But after seeing so many artists trying to sell their work online with such poor results we declined.
    That being said if I was to try opening an online store Art Store Fronts does seem to have the best program I've seen

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    Senior Member routlaw's Avatar
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    Re: Fine Art Print sales, whose doing it and where?

    Thanks for the comments Mike. Somewhat surprised the thread or question did not generate more interest than this. Likewise I also work with lots of artist producing prints and have done some printing for other photographers as well. Have read many reviews also of all the other online venues but not much info on ASF seems to be available. And they don't provide actual examples of working sites that are having any success, sort of like you just have to take their word its the greatest thing going.

    Thanks again.

    Rob

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    Re: Fine Art Print sales, whose doing it and where?

    I think it's every artists dream that they will put their images on the web and orders will start to flow from all around the world.
    In real life artists who make a serious effort to market their work to a targeted market can have success and online orders from their web sites can be a sort of gravy. There is no easy button to push.
    I work with one artist who loves the blues, he goes to blues festivals, blues cruises, and paints pictures of blues singers. He loves his work and sells a lot of originals and prints at these events
    He knows his market and is having a great time.
    as far as AFS goes I think that to a certain extent they pander to everyone's hope for a get rich quick scheme. what artists and photographers don't seem to realize is that a web presence can be a good support tool but not the main way to promote your career.

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    Senior Member routlaw's Avatar
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    Re: Fine Art Print sales, whose doing it and where?

    I concur with all you say. From my own observations the artist's who succeed are the ones who are also the most diligent at promotion. Being a great painter or photographer for that matter is not enough in this day and age. Sadly for most artist, be it painter or photographer self promotion doesn't always come naturally or easily.

    I can also think of examples where it works the other way with average talent who shamelessly self promote take off like a rocket ship to mars with their careers. Its a funny world out there.

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    Senior Member JohnW's Avatar
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    Re: Fine Art Print sales, whose doing it and where?

    I sometimes think of trying outdoor art shows, which are plentiful all summer where I live. I notice many of the same photographers showing up year after year. For the better shows they come from far away. Makes you think they must be profitable. But every time I add up the numbers, it seems difficult to make it work, or at least very much a longshot.

    John

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    Senior Member routlaw's Avatar
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    Re: Fine Art Print sales, whose doing it and where?

    John interesting comment. I have heard of photographers who get into the big outdoor shows making as much as 20, 30 or 40 grand per show. This may have changed since the last economic fallout, don't know. I also know a lady (not well) who used to do the road shows for her dad. It was my understanding they were well worth the effort but after several years of being a "road hog" it wears you out apparently. I also work with numerous artist who do these tent shows and get the feeling its a bit of a mixed bag, some are great, others not so much.

    Regardless it does take a special kind of personality to do one of these things. Not sure I'm cut out for it, and my wife definitely doesn't.

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    Senior Member JohnW's Avatar
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    Re: Fine Art Print sales, whose doing it and where?

    Quote Originally Posted by routlaw View Post
    John interesting comment. I have heard of photographers who get into the big outdoor shows making as much as 20, 30 or 40 grand per show. This may have changed since the last economic fallout, don't know. I also know a lady (not well) who used to do the road shows for her dad. It was my understanding they were well worth the effort but after several years of being a "road hog" it wears you out apparently. I also work with numerous artist who do these tent shows and get the feeling its a bit of a mixed bag, some are great, others not so much.

    Regardless it does take a special kind of personality to do one of these things. Not sure I'm cut out for it, and my wife definitely doesn't.
    In your case (Montana), you'd likely have to cover a lot of ground to get sufficient shows. I'm in the Chicago area, and every town has one or more of these events, with many in affluent areas The Illlinois Arts Council consolidates all of them, so that part of the planning effort is easy.

    One thing I notice, though, is that the photography is generally of the calendar/postcard style -- not something I do or would care to do.

    Although there's one guy who sells only shots of small segments of the Peace Wall, in Berlin as I recall. Colorful John Lennon wisdom and that kind of thing. His booth is always busy. I think having a niche that resonates with people is probably key.

    John

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    Senior Member routlaw's Avatar
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    Re: Fine Art Print sales, whose doing it and where?

    This reminds me of an Arts Festival we once attended in Fairhope, AL. This very well heeled hamlet on the east shore of Mobile Bay has just finished their 63rd show. The annual show claims to draw more than a quarter million attendants and has artist from virtually all of the states exhibiting there. I remember this one photographer who specialized in oriental travel images and he dressed the part as well. Nice work, that had a very Zen quality to it. In a brief discussion with him it appeared he was very successful at this venue.

    By contrast another photographer doing LF B&W landscapes much in the AA tradition, had a booth setup a few blocks away had a completely different and shall we say confrontational attitude, nice enough work but…

    As I as setting up to take some general snapshots of the scene, (from a distance at that), with his booth was in the viewfinder, agitated he came over to me in quite an aggressive demeanor and told me I COULD NOT take this picture, so much so to the point it appeared he was going to become physically aggressive. I'm not making this up. My response was to back off and told him he was way out of line. I didn't give a rats behind about his work but I guess he thought I was somehow going to rip him off with the small P&S camera I was using. It was a very strange situation and not what one would expect at such an event. During the 3 day event I never saw anyone in his booth, perusing or buying.

    The stark contrast between the two photographers was priceless.
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