Thursday, April 1, 2010

Discovered Artists

I remember reading article while in art school about when artist Mark Tobey came on the scene. He was a Seattle abstract expressionist who was "discovered" later in his career, and the article (as I remember it) attempted to make the case that it was surprising that a man of his talent hadn't been "discovered" sooner. I personally liked his paintings and found inspiration for one of my own in his Zen-like abstractions.

Reading the Wikipedia article about Tobey this morning, I realize that my mental image of the guy has been far different from the reality. I pictured a Seattle artist in the Upper Northwest making paintings and contemplating the universe. Turns out, the Wisconsin-born artist, who moved to Seattle, was a world traveller who lived in Paris when Gertrude Stein was reigning, travelling to such exotic places as Constantinople, Beirut, Japan, Barcelona and Greece. By the time he had his first solo exhibition in Seattle at age 45, he was a seasoned veteran of the art scene and no newcomer.

I'm not looking for recognition (yet) by the New York cultural community but, like many emerging artists, I'm serious about creating good work and finding my audience. In order to accomplish this, artists seek venues where they can display. After sifting a variety of online art sites and galleries, I discovered a gallery which impressed me because of the caliber of artists it represents,

Things I like about, besides the quality of the work, include the easy navigation, the helpful training videos for artists seeking to show their work and develop their careers, the clean look of the gallery... and the fact that they are set up to take credit cards in a secure fashion which helps make the financial transactions easier. I also like the way in which artists can show not only their paintings and photos, but also a few pictures from their studios and wor spaces. I think it helps build the relationship between collector and creator.

And, oh yeah, one more thing... you can
find and purchase some of my work there. New York can wait. For now, is my home.


Robert G. said...

I am not sold on these group art websites.

Better to spend the money to buy your own Web URL, such as, set up your own website, than pay to be on a group artist website like discoveredartists.
There you are 1 of a zillion. In fact, I went to the website and immediately forgot to look for your name and art. I clicked on the feature artists of the day, then got lost in the over 20,000 paintings listed, plus 27,000 photos,plus 9000 art objects from over who knows how many artist are there.

An artist must stick out from the crowd, not hide in the crowd.

With your own website you get so many more advantages of social networking, search engines and the like. With the group art site your name will not come up on searches
Search engines only look so many levels down; with group artist sites each artist is buried too low to be seen.

And with these sites, they sell art, but they never reveal their sales. Do they ever sell anything?
Who has the time to wade through 10s of thousands of pieces of art?

Better to set up your own website and URL.

Michael fitzgerald said...

hooray! I hope you enjoy the experience.


ENNYMAN said...

Thanks, Michael...

Robert G: I agree with you that are artist's work can get lost in a site with many other artists' works. I disliked considering eBay for that reason... 1.2 million paintings and a majority with zero bids. What does it say about you if your work is on eBay? Flip side is, some artists who started on eBay discovered that people responded to their work. Selling a few items gave them a nudge to break out.

From a marketing point of view the four P's are Price, Place, Product and Promotion. The part I liked at DA was that they seem to promote their site and they handle the financial transaction. Yes, one's work can be lost there... or one's work can be found by someone looking for something else. The key then would be whether there was traffic to the gallery, which is an issue in a bricks and mortar gallery as well. Our local galleries are crammed with art, and your work might not be priced right even in the brick and mortar spaces.

My involvement is a test and we'll see what it reveals. I like the quality of what is there, and the process of getting the work suitable for framing and selling was a good step.

I do have a blog of my art, which I was going to use for selling (as you suggest) but it also has to be promoted to bring traffic.
It probably needs a system set up to make it easier to purchase goods... It's a new site and a work in progress. Rome wasn't built in a day either.

Thanks, though, for the suggestions and thoughts, and the visit.