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.


Episode 177 – New Markets for Artists / Prospering in the New Marketplace

Chapter 1

Prospering in the New Marketplace

Before this book entered production, the editor asked me to include more stories in the first chapter showing how specific artists used a social networking tool like Facebook to their advantage. A few short examples of what artists have done for their careers through Facebook are outlined here so you can see how it might work for you. To research these stories, I posted a paragraph on my Facebook and Google Plus accounts asking if artist friends had stories to tell about social media tools and connections helping their art career. I got many responses from friends. Here are a few I think worth sharing.

The Jerry Saltz Page Phenomenon

On Facebook, there is a well-known New York art critic, Jerry Saltz, who has a page that anyone can read. It is a place where hundreds of artists debate and meet each other. The friend limit has already been reached on that page, but Saltz is also on Twitter and other media, and he frequently deletes massive amounts of friends to make room for new ones!

P. Elaine Sharpe

P. Elaine Sharpe is an artist from Toronto, Canada, who frequents the page and often makes comments that are interesting enough to generate more debate and sometimes responses from the critic himself. Occasionally, comments turn into offline exchanges that can become very real. In 2011, Savannah Spirit, a curator who met Sharpe through Jerry Saltz’s Facebook page, put some of Sharpe’s work in a show called Hotter Than July, in NYC. That show got press, and was listed as a “Critics Pick” in New York Magazine as a show to see. The critic, of course, was Jerry Saltz. His use of Facebook is better than most, because as a writer he creates wonderful short phrases, often misspelled, seemingly in a rush, that are engaging, charming, vulgar, and thoughtful, and that generate tons of responses. He is truly communicating with his audience, as opposed to just making announcements about his latest interests.

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.