Whether you’re a painter, a sketch artist or a sculptor, the Internet can be an alluring place to market your art.
But a lot of the time, artists get bogged down by the amount of work it takes to maintain a website, promote their work on social media, and constantly offer new pieces to stay relevant in the noise of the online world.
One of the platforms that’s trying to help change that is Art-Shelf, an online retail start-up that offers artists a place to sell their art, without having to spend the rest of the day marketing and advertising.
I recently spoke with founder Josh King about how the business started and what it’s like to market art online today.
I just watched “Dear Mr. Watterson,” a light-hearted documentary about the impact that Bill Watterson’s ever-famous, ever-persistent comic strip, Calvin & Hobbes, has had on people over the years.
The part that gripped me most was when several prominent cartoonists spoke in extremely gloomy terms about new media.
Berkeley Breathed, the cartoonist behind Opus, Bloom County, and Outland, said that Bill Watterson had created the last great comic strip. He claims that art itself is now “atomized.”
He reasons that there’s a lot of stuff out there, but nothing that could be water-cooler conversation material, a piece of art that people – including Breathed’s mom – all know.
That made me wonder – are artists specializing their work to death? With so few filters to get through, and the freedom to only support the very, very specific, niche work we like, are we guaranteeing that no art can have the same widespread, enduring impact of something like Calvin & Hobbes?
In the summer of 2010, when I started my first job, I listened to about six hours of Pandora a day. The ads were an annoyance, but I sat through them because I loved the songs that Pandora found for me.
I knew that there was such a thing as “Pandora One,” but, like most millennials, I scorned the idea of paying for something I knew I could get for free.
Yet Pandora persisted. Hours and hours a day, it brought me amazing bands I never would have otherwise heard.
A few months in, I took the $32-a-month plunge. And I’ve never looked back.
Why did I buy something that was so optional? More importantly, how can any creative person ever hope to get compensated in the age of the optional purchase?
When it comes to blogging, nothing is ever easy.
Creative people who are blogging as a way to show off their work have it even harder.
You can upload as many art pieces and short stories as you want, but it seems almost impossible to get the kind of traffic you want.
In many cases, your pieces may get no traffic at all.
So, let’s fix that.