Episode 187 – New Markets for Artists / Privacy Concerns

Privacy Concerns

I want you to enjoy Facebook and find it easy to use, but the privacy settings are up to you. No matter how secure the billion-dollar network  of Facebook  may be, hackers  can find a way to access your personal information or fool you into signing up for silly Facebook games that could end up being a problem. I am not trying to scare you, but we are all taking a risk by putting our information out there. At the same time, you are an artist, and that is part of your mission, to show and exhibit your art, your writings, and your interesting self, and you can’t share all this with the world without incurring some risk.

Adding Friends

Now it’s  time to begin using Facebook and adding friends. If you have added a photo and some information, go to the bottom of the screen and click the button that says, “save changes.” You will also be asked if you want to invite your friends. If you provide Facebook with your email account it can send messages to all of the email addresses associated with your account to ask all contacts if they want to join you on Facebook. You can do this at any time. If you are not sure whether you want to invite all your friends, just wait until later, and click “skip” on that step.

Begin Using Facebook

When you are logged in to Facebook, you will see there are two words in the upper right hand corner of the screen: “Home” and your name. These are the two main portals that you can use to navigate all of Facebook. You will split most of your time between Home and your Profile, which is the button with your name on it. For now, click on the “Home” button. Now look near the top of the page, and there is an empty field that says, “What’s on your mind?” Stop. Now click on the “Profile” button which is your name, and locate that similar empty field at the top of the page. It is the same field, and you can use it to enter a short phrase about anything or a link to an interesting video, article, etc. Stop now and write something in that space. It’s simple; just do as it says and write whatever is “on your mind.” You could write, “I am becoming a Facebook Jedi Master though I am still a Padawan.” Or you could say something very casual, like “Just turned on the new air conditioner!” After you type in your first phrase, click the button that says “Post.” Hitting your return or enter key is not enough; you have to actually click the post button. Once you’ve done that you will have sent out your first “status update.” You can use your status updates to tell people about an art project you are working on to a dream you had or a show you saw recently that was particularly good.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 186 – New Markets for Artists / Logging In to Facebook

Logging In to Facebook

Go to Facebook.com and bookmark the site in your browser. Click on the sign-in button and enter your email address and your password for the account. (If you have a password program that collects passwords, save this one.) Once you are signed in to Facebook, you’ll see a bar on the left side of your screen that shows how much you have left to do to set up your account. There is usually a single bar graph that shows you how much you have to do to complete the process. You might be thinking, Hey, I already signed up! but you still need to add your photos and more information to flesh out your page. It’s a lot like creating a web page. To do this, go to your profile, look for the word “edit,” and click on it. If you can’t find that word, just let your mouse hover over or near the word “profile” without clicking it, and you will usually see an edit button there.

Editing Your Account

Once you’ve begun editing, one of the first things you’ll be asked to add is a profile photograph, and a timeline photograph at the top. This is fairly easy to do. There is a button after you click on the words, “add your photo” that says “browse.” Click on that browse button. Now you are looking through the files on your computer for an image. The picture you choose for your profile picture will be the one that is most seen by people but it will also be displayed at a very small size most of the time. This picture does not have to be a picture of you. It could be of your art, your dog, your town—anything at all—and you can change it as often as you like. There will be more questions to answer before your profile is complete, but you do not have to put up any more photos yet, other than one more for the top of your page which is the biggest image. Seen on your page initially. So use your art here or something beautiful. You will have to crop it into a landscape, horizontal image, but it is the same process as your profile photo.

As you move down the list of things Facebook is asking you to complete, you will see areas where you can fill in your education and interests. I would only fill in the essentials. It is good to put down your real university if you attended one because Facebook is one of the best ways to keep track of and get in touch with your former classmates. At the same time, it’s good to know that you can block people you do not wish to talk to. Privacy and stalkers are taken very seriously on Facebook, and there are many controls to allow you to limit what can be seen of your personal information, and it’s easy to change your privacy settings.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 185 – New Markets for Artists / How to Figure Things Out on Your Own

How to Figure Things Out on Your Own

Here is some advice on how to use your computer to figure out things that you don’t understand. Make believe that your computer is like a ‘70s sci-fi machine that knows everything. If you are intimidated by the thought of opening a Facebook account, just go to Google.com and type “how to open a Facebook account” into the search bar. Your results will be a combination of pictures, videos, and articles. I tend to choose the videos because they are usually YouTube videos made by users who walk you through the process in a very visual way. Some are better than others, but I find that this is a great way to learn something; it covers the specifics without getting too complicated. If my computer is acting strange and having specific problems, like displaying a specific error message, I might type into the search bar, “My Mac computer keeps saying there is an error. What is a kernel panic?” I often get the answer to my questions very quickly this way.

Opening a Facebook Account

Your next step is to open a Facebook account. You can open a new one if you have one already, but let’s just say, for the sake of illustration, that you are opening an account for one person, yourself, for the first time. Go to Facebook.com and you will be asked if you want to sign in or create a new account; in this case, you want to create a new account. You will be asked for your real name, and because Facebook is kind of like a phone book for the twenty-first century, it is good to use your real name if you want people to be able to find you. You could specify that you would like your name to be unlisted, just like in the old phonebook, or you could make up a last name or create a pen name. This is just an option. To start, I suggest using your real name. This will be the most advantageous for you, because you will be meeting people and in most cases you want them to remember your name, not your made-up name.

Private Information

After you enter your name, they will ask for your birth date. If you are concerned about this, you have a few choices here. You can either lie about your birth date and say you are one hundred years old or something, or you could put in your real birth date. If you put in your real birth date, you can also check a box that says not to

display it on your profile. This way you know that it will never be available to the public. Because Facebook is built on personal information, it helps to share it, but of course it is your choice—and although it’s big right now and it does not look like it will pass anytime soon, you can opt out of this system altogether if you like. Having said that, I recommend creating an account and just sharing as much information as you’re comfortable with.

The password you will be asked to create should be unique. Make it different from the one on your email address, please! This is a big warning; I have written a whole chapter, the next one, on passwords, but for now, take my word for it that your password for Facebook has to be different, and hard to memorize!

The process of signing up will not take long, and you will be asked to confirm via email verification, which means to send back another email or click a link in order to confirm that your email address is valid. Once your account is activated, the fun begins.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 184 – New Markets for Artists / Website Ranking

Website  Ranking

You have probably heard about “website ranking,” which determines how likely it is for your art website to come up in online search results. Those rankings are determined in part by how often the content changes on your website— that is, how often you put up new images. If you don’t make those updates every day, your website will not be ranked very high.

But do not fear; it is still valuable to have a website, and I’ll explain why. If you have a website already there is really only one thing you need to do at the moment, and that is to make a link on the first page of your website to your Facebook and Twitter accounts (more on those in a bit). You may decide to change your website at a later date, but for now, let’s keep it simple; just leave it as it is but add links to get people to go to your Facebook page and Twitter account. Your webmaster can easily do that for you once you have set up accounts, or you can try to do it yourself.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 183 – New Markets for Artists / Facebook and Twitter for the Complete Beginner

Chapter 2

Facebook and Twitter for the Complete Beginner

This chapter is for both those who are new to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media and those who use Facebook sparingly and reluctantly. More advanced social media users can skip to the next chapter. I write a weekly newsletter, and one time I was writing about managing all of your social media accounts. I received this letter from one of my readers.

Dear Brainard,

Yes, there are artists who have never used Facebook! (More time attaching me to my computer screen.) I thought it’s enough to have a website. Please tell those few of us, what should we put on our Facebook page? How does this reach the people I need to reach? And would it link to my website? And then, how does Twitter get me contacts? Who do I send it to, or does it just go out to the whole world? Does Facebook go out to the whole world? Yeah, I know this is embarrassingly basic. Thanks, Stephanie

I will answer Stephanie’s questions here in detail to cover the basics. Even if you decide not to use social media tools at all, the information in this chapter will familiarize you with the language associated with these tools, which we encounter more and more often in movies, on television, and in print. These words have entered our daily slang, sometimes taking on new meanings and even becoming verbs; for example, to “like” a page or “friend” someone are now common expressions. All of this and more will be discussed in this chapter, which deals with the very first steps to using social media and your website to promote your artwork.

Artist Websites and Their Purpose

Artists have been building websites (or having them built for them) for over a decade now. For many, the purpose of their website isn’t clear. Is it a showcase? A virtual gallery? Or is it a commercial site through which to sell one’s prints or original work? Most often, it ends up being a sort of archive of an artist’s work, in which pieces completed by the artist in the past are organized according to year. What we have learned from artists’ websites is that they are largely ineffective. This is not to say that they can’t help artists in many ways and even help them to sell their work, but the idea of a website that needs to be updated frequently comes with two problems. One is that, in most cases, it actually doesn’t change much or get updated too often, so there is little incentive for anyone to visit it more than once.

Two, it is often the case that the artist cannot change the website by themselves; they need to pay someone to do it. Those are two big problems, and even if you can update the website without a professional’s help, number one is a big problem unless you are updating the site all the time. This does not mean you should give up your website, however; it just means that it needs to be linked to your social media pages.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 182 – New Markets for Artists / Kickstarter.com


The fundraising platform Kickstarter has resulted in the most success stories for artists launching projects and shows independently. With Kickstarter’s help, artists can propose anything from a book to a film to an album, and seek funding for their project. My own story is detailed later in this book, but to summarize here, the project I proposed was to make a museum. My wife and I created what we called a Non-Visible Museum and sold imaginary artworks. That’s right! The owner would receive a card with the description of the work on it. I raised that money in just ninety days, and we sold over $16,000 worth of non-visible art! I describe this process in great detail in chapter 14, but it goes to show how useful Kickstarter can be for raising money in a short period of time.

Another Kickstarter project that was very successful was called the Regretsy Tarot,  which was created by a group of international artists who got together by email. Each one of them made a few Tarot card designs for a deck to be printed. They sold the decks in advance on Kickstarter so that they could pay to print them. They only needed $4,000 dollars, but they sold out of all the decks and raised over $23,000 before even printing them! The success of that project also derived from its collaborative appeal and greater outreach because more than one artist was involved, bringing in more circles of friends. Research “Regresty” and “Non-Visble Museum” on Kickstarter and you will see both archived there.

Let’s Go Already

Now you should be ready to dive in to the world of social media! If you are a total beginner, then turn to the next chapter, where I lead you through the very first steps to setting up a new account (and a new beginning). If you are already a Facebook or Twitter user, then skip to chapter 3, where passwords are discussed in a chapter that will serve as the foundation for everything you do online. Nothing is safe online unless you put security first!

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 181 – New Markets for Artists / Samira Abbassy

Samira Abbassy

Samira Abbassy is an artist and art administrator in New York. She has used Facebook to make new connections with people and solidify weaker connections. She said that relationships can be fostered through Facebook, and that she has found many opportunities through it. As a general rule, she posts pictures of new art on Facebook when she makes it. Sometimes friends or curators comment. As a result, she was approached by one curator that put her in a university show in Connecticut. Samira feels that it is easier to find people on Facebook and that it allows artists to be exhibited all the time, which opens up many possibilities. www.samiraabbassy.com

Lisa Pressman

Lisa Pressman points out that Facebook makes it possible to network with artists and curators all over the world. She is the mother of two children and uses email and Facebook to connect with shows and find other sales opportunities. For her, it is all about long-term relationships; she might end up emailing or messaging the same people for years. Sometimes she meets them at parties or online and then asks them directly about working together. Thanks in part to this technique, she is represented by five galleries. Her method is elegant and simple: keep showing people what you do, and ask them if they want to work with you.

Of course, this strategy applies for gaining exposure in print and online as well. Lisa once saw a photographer looking for artists’ studios to photograph, so she contacted him and invited him to photograph hers. The photo was a featured image in a Huffington Post article. She stressed that her success can be attributed to her pursuing people through social media—a channel that is often less crowded than email inboxes. www.lisapressman.net

Aaron Fein

Aaron Fein is forty years old and a father of two children. At first he resisted Facebook, but he eventually managed to connect with friends and others who helped him finish a long-term 9/11 memorial project that he was working on. In February 2010, his wife helped him write about his project and post it on Facebook. He found that this allowed him to interact with people and discuss the project as well as his process. An online community formed, which became part of the project. He was not very comfortable self-promoting and asking for money—he still isn’t—but he was able to raise money and awareness gradually through Facebook, little by little, by asking for sponsorships, asking people to help with parts of the project, etc. Also through Facebook, Aaron met someone who was driving through forty-eight contiguous states and volunteering, doing “service” in different places. After he sent him a Facebook message and explained his art project, the volunteer agreed to come by to help. Aaron said that experience alone strongly affected him and his children, and could not have happened before Facebook existed. www.aaronfein.com

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 180 – New Markets for Artists / Katherine Boland

Katherine Boland

Katherine Boland  also  has a fantastic Facebook story. She says:

I am a professional Australian contemporary artist living in Melbourne, Australia. I had only been a member of Facebook for two months and had become Facebook friends with an artist in Pakistan. This artist was invited by the Ministry of Culture in Egypt to participate in an international artist’s symposium in Luxor, Egypt. The Ministry of Culture asked her if she knew of any international artists who would be suitable to submit a proposal for participation in the symposium. She put my name forward and I subsequently submitted an application which was reviewed and accepted by the symposium committee. I flew to Egypt in November 2010. I produced and exhibited a body of work during my time in Luxor using locally sourced materials such as palm trees, papyrus, desert sand, mummy bandages, lime stone, and encaustic. As an aside I met and fell in love with an Egyptian man whilst in Egypt and have been back there twice since November. During one of my visits I was asked to participate in a biennial in Turkey. I made the work in Cairo and flew to Istanbul to deliver it. That work is now in a gallery in Istanbul. As you can see, Facebook has dramatically changed my life and the consequences of this Facebook connection have been far-reaching and continue to influence my career.

Isn’t that an amazing story? One of the wonderful things about artists using Facebook to create connections and opportunities is the possibility of chance happenings and unintended meetings. Unlike the typical decision-making paths we follow in life, the Internet allows multiple possibilities from all over the globe to take shape at once. That may sound overwhelming, but it actually results in surprises that can make all the difference in life. www.katherineboland.com

Terry Marks

Terry Marks found a niche through networking and then Facebook that inspires her to create and share. She said:

I’m a figurative painter living in New York City, who had for some years been discouraged by the extreme lack of representational painting in the gallery system, when, in the summer of 2001, I heard a radio piece on NPR about a new arts group called the Stuckists. I listened with interest as they talked about themselves as painters who felt the same way I did and also about their group, which they referred to as “Remodernist.” I looked up their website, contacted one of the founders, Charles Thompson, and began the NY chapter of the group myself, becoming the first NY Stuckist. The group has since gone international with chapters around the world. Since then, I have participated in numerous group exhibitions with Stuckists in the UK. I was also interviewed as a direct result of my participation with the group. Since Facebook has come on the scene, I have formed personal relationships and friendships with many Stuckists all over world, including some in Iran, France, New Zealand, and all over the US and the UK. Three Stuckists have painted portraits of members they have gotten to know specifically through Facebook, and  I have been lucky enough to have my likeness appear in all three groups. I have received invitations to visit and stay with several members in the UK, which I am planning to do next year, finances permitting.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 179 – New Markets for Artists / Abbey Ryan

Abbey Ryan

Abbey Ryan is discussed in detail in chapter 6, but she began the same way Sandy Tracey did, and after less than three years of posting her small paintings on eBay every day, she was earning over $200,000 from her work. Like Tracey, she began with low prices, and the prices slowly grew until she was selling a small painting for about $800 every day. There are more and more artists selling this way from all over the world, and eBay is a market that builds real value, because as demand grows, the prices will naturally be bid higher.

While Abbey Ryan is a big success, it is important to see that it isn’t all or nothing. Sandy Tracey is also selling her work and isn’t looking for a full-time income—just a way to earn a little extra income. www.abbeyryan.com

Kim Jacobi

Here is the story of Kim Jacobi, an artist who used Craigslist and Facebook to jumpstart her career. In her own  words:

I am a textile and batik artist living in Southern California. Although I created a batik over twenty years ago as an assignment in an interior design class, I started rather late as an “artist” (I was over fifty when I again picked up fabric, wax and dyes). Convinced by family and friends that I should try to market and sell my art, I felt I had no time to waste. I started looking at Craigslist ads under Community and Artists at least twice a day and answered every “call for art” I saw. I’ve shown at over thirty one-night  art  shows,  have  been  involved  in three monthly art walks and two community art fairs, and am now hanging in one art gallery and one clothing store, both on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, CA, which has turned into a world-renowned shopping mecca. All of this has happened in under a year. I am now coordinating a series of modern batik art workshops with master batik artist/ instructor, David Kibuuka, here in L.A. I reached him by just sending him an email telling him how much I admired his work and explaining what I do, how I started, and how I evolved, and including a link to my website. I told him I’d appreciate any comments. Well, he wrote me the very next day saying he loved my work and wanted to learn my process, and that we should collaborate on some project and he would come here to do it. I was having a hard time finding a suitable location at a reasonable price until I posted a “shout out” on a Facebook page called SoCal Art Shows & Events. I found the perfect spot. The workshops are set to go forward in October and I have already had sixteen people respond to flyers I had printed as well as another post on the same Facebook page. So I’m a big advocate of Internet networking. It’s been working for me.

For Kim Jacobi, Craigslist and Facebook brought the majority of her opportunities, along with old-fashioned ambition and dedication to her goals. She started like everyone else, not knowing what Facebook is even about, and before long it was a comfortable tool in her hands. http://badassbatik.com/

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 178 – New Markets for Artists / Lindsey O’Leary

Lindsey O’Leary

Lindsey O’Leary was working in a museum to help market exhibits. She said that in October of 2010 she tweeted a couple of times at Robin Cembalest, editor of ARTnews, and it resulted in a review of the Mattress Factory’s “Queloides: Race and Racism in Contemporary Cuban Art” exhibition in 2010. She went on to say, “From that moment forward, I believed in the democratic nature of social media.” That is a small amount of effort to put in to gain a major review, and it points to the ease of personal tweets to gain press attention worth thousands of dollars. www.mattress.org

Jill Slaymaker

Jill Slaymaker is a fifty-six-year-old artist who started using Facebook in 2010. She uses it to build her résumé and get exhibits. She said Rolando Ramos contacted her on Facebook saying he was curating The Chakra Show at the Mary Benson Gallery in Jersey City, which she was eventually included in. Also, while looking through Facebook and seeking opportunities for exhibits she saw an open call for the Tate Modern in London. She submitted work and was accepted into a  group  show  there curated by Ceci Moss. For her, Facebook is also a way of meeting new and interesting people. There was a museum in Barcelona that invited her for a solo show, and that turned out to be a glass phone booth, which was a conceptual project by another artist, but it was real and a lot of fun to be part of, for her. She continues to exhibit and build her career by looking for opportunities, but also by chance happenings that come from getting out there and meeting people. www.jillslaymaker.com

Terri Loyd

Terri Loyd, artist, fifty years old, uses Facebook to build a community of artists that share similar interests for mutual gain. She created an organization called The Haggus Society. After meeting in person with Deborah Forbes, an artist and friend from Facebook, Loyd convinced her to become a member of the Haggus Society. In the Spring of 2010 Loyd launched the society as a nonprofit and began gathering more members. Within a year she has thirty-eight local members and eighty-eight worldwide. As a group, they share work, create exhibits, and increase visibility for women artists over forty years old. As the site says, “The Haggus Society strives to redefine the conventional terminology of emerging, mid-career, and late-career artists as classifications and barriers to accessing support.”Her use of Facebook has enabled her to meet new members, through Facebook and grow her organization, and also simply to meet more artists who feel the same way she does. www.thehaggussociety.org

Sandy Tracey

Sandy Tracey is fifty-eight years old, has a background in graphic design, and started a blog where she posts a painting every day. She spends about ninety minutes every morning painting a small work, about five by seven inches. Then she photographs it with her small consumer camera, and posts it on her blog. The blog also automatically posts it to her Facebook page. At first she asked for $50 for each painting, but they weren’t selling, so she dropped the price to $30, and people bought them. Sandy said she did whatever the blog instructions said to do to promote your blog, like using Twitter and commenting on other peoples’ posts. She also started to write more and to tell people she was saving up for a trip to Greece, and that seemed to increase sales for her. Now she sells a painting at least once a week and has a growing base of fans. www.sandytracey.com

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.