Artists of Sonoma

Do-It-Yourself

painting of mechanical parts, by Ken Berman

“Passage of Time” by Ken Berman

Do-It-Yourself in Sonoma

If you like to create, build, craft, paint, draw, hammer or just make things yourself, you have the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) spirit. According to the Creative Sonoma Action Plan, this independent spirit is strong in Sonoma County:

“Culture in Sonoma County encompasses a strongly independent and entrepreneurial spirit…. There is an emphasis on self-reliance, DIY (do-it-yourself) and an inclusive definition of creativity, such as non-arts expressions of creativity through technological and conceptual invention. Creativity spans those participating in the alternative Burning Man Festival to ‘maker fairs.’ ”

Do-It-Yourself and Selling Art

The above mentioned  Creative Sonoma Action Plan suggests that our artists are not entirely efficient with marketing and advertising. So when you want to show and sell your arts and crafts independently, here are my top 4 recommendations:

1. Find the right niche for your artwork in a business sense. Think about what you make and why is it important? Write a compelling artist statement that includes keywords about your art and niche market. Why?  A physical gallery can’t reach out to the masses and show them your art. You’ll need words to describe it online and when asked.

2. Make an online presence with an artist portfolio website. After all, a physical gallery can’t reach out to the masses and show them your art. People often look for a sample of your artwork online in a gallery or slideshow, an “about” or “biography” page, a “contact me” page, and an “artist statement” page. If you teach art, give workshops or write books mention that on the “about” me page, linked to workshop and book pages.

If you don’t have the time or ability to do a full website at first, you can take photos of your artwork or products, and show them in a photo gallery on sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr or about.me.  The motto of about.me is: “Make a personal page and inspire people to connect with you.”

Guerilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business3. Generate publicity about your artwork. Here is a great book on marketing and free publicity: Guerilla Marketing by Jay Levinson.

“Jay Levinson revolutionized marketing strategies for the small-business owner with his take-no-prisoners approach to finding clients. Based on hundreds of solid ideas that really work, Levinson’s philosophy has given birth to a new way of learning about market share and how to gain it.”

4. Take your art “to the next level” by showing and selling your art to online audiences. Here are recommended marketplaces where you can show and sell your artwork and crafts, directly to the many folks online:
Discover a world of handmade and vintage items

Etsy

Discover a world of handmade and vintage items. Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect to buy and sell handmade and vintage goods. “Etsy offers a meaningful and personal shopping experience to consumers and gives independent, creative businesses around the world the tools to be successful. Our mission is to reimagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world.”  See Sonoma Etsy artists


CafePress

Shop from over 700+ million products or create your own. This online marketplace features one of the biggest collections of user-designed products. With a community of 6.5 million users, CafePress is where folks from all walks of life gather online to create, sell, and buy print on-demand products.

Amazon.com Marketplace

Here are places to sell arts and crafts at Amazon.com:

Amazon.com > Fine Art Department - For paintings, prints, photographs, drawings and mixed media.

Amazon.com > Home Decor Department - For accents, artwork, framed art, and prints & posters, and much more.

Have you followed the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) trend, that is rippling down the Bay Area, encouraging everyone to become makers, artists and craftspeople? From a practical standpoint, you may need to also do-it-yourself when marketing and selling your art.

“Make a personal page and inspire people to connect with you.”