The Art Edge with Brian Sherwin

Obtaining Reference Photographs - Part 2

I know that many art bloggers -- including art marketing gurus -- have suggested that Creative Commons images are a good 'work around' for obtaining reference images. It is a good 'work around'... to a point. For example, those CC image reference can be useful for study paintings that you don't plan to exhibit or profit from. BUT the specifics of the CC license may not be so good if you plan to actually market the art that you created using the reference image. Keep this in mind before you find yourself knee-deep in a legal mess. [...]

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Obtaining Reference Photographs - Part 1

I've read several articles lately about how to obtain reference photographs. Most of the articles stressed the importance of obtaining permission from photographers before using images as a reference for a drawing, painting, sculpture, -- what have you. That is a great suggestion. We should do all that we can to acknowledge the legal rights of photographers (their rights are intertwined with our own). However, obtaining permission is not necessarily the best solution for a business-minded artist. I will explain my position in this brief series on The Art Edge. [...]

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Do You Use Pinterest to Sell Your Art?

Pinterest has become an art marketing staple for many business-minded artists. It is not hard to find artists praising the marketing potential of Pinterest on art blogs and forums. In my opinion, the promotional value of Pinterest is important. It is a powerful promotional tool. I don't think anyone will deny that. However, the promotion of art -- no matter how visible -- does not always mean that work ends up sold. I'm interested in knowing if anyone has actually sold art after establishing a connection on Pinterest. [...]

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Let's Have an Ar(t)gument: Does 'Original Art' truly exist?

The artist makes conscious and subconscious choices. These choices are 'rooted' in what he or she knows... what he or she has seen -- influences from A to Z. With that in mind, I think most of you will agree that we humans are natural borrowers. Said 'borrowing' is enforced by our intellect and how we put our thoughts to work. A civilization 'borrows' from past civilizations... the painter working in his or her studio today has certainly heard of Picasso. [...]

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I've Been Interviewed by Carrie Turner

I was recently interviewed by Carrie Turner. Carrie is the Editor of FineArtViews (FAV). Some of you may recall that I work with her on the FASO Featured Artist series and Staff Picks from the FASO Daily Art Show series on FAV. Additionally, she serves as a FASO Artist Support Agent. The interview was posted on FASO's official product blog. [...]

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Freedom of Movement

A FineArtViews post written by artist / author Jack White forced me to think about the financial struggles that artists have faced in recent years. His words also forced me to think about the actions an artist can take in order to improve his or her situation when faced with dire straits. Jack's article, titled A Secure Base, is a must read if you want to avoid being stuck. [...]

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Take Advantage of Art Business Turning Points

My favorite art professor suggested that life 'in the studio' is little more than a series of turning points. I cherish the wisdom he shared with me during my years at Illinois College. Randy was right -- life 'in the studio' is a series of turning points. The artist develops studio techniques and methods. He or she will gain and lose ground (turning points go both ways in the studio, folks!). In a sense, the explorative nature of creating art can easily spur a life that is filled with self-discovery. The same can be said of the business of art. [...]

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The Art Business Coach is not Always Right

As I've mentioned in the past, we should not lump ALL art collectors together. Unfortunately, my experience dictates that art business coaches, generally speaking, tend to do a lot of 'lumping together' on a regular basis. For example, some art business coaches have suggested that art collectors don't care about reading artist statements. I disagree. I collect art... AND I love reading artist statements! I get 'hungry' for more information IF I'm captivated by what an artist is doing in his or her studio. [...]

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You're Only Human

Your passion is certainly real! You endure the exhaustion, sweat, and in some cases, tears of frustration. A failed work of art OR cold exhibit rejection can be a pain! You may end up feeling depressed... or you may decide to press on! These are two choices that are expected from a mere mortal... no magic attached. You, dear artist, are human. There is no reason to pretend otherwise. [...]

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The Spiritual Significance of Art

I can easily think of specific works of art that have touched my soul. 'Art that has touched my soul' is the only way I can describe the experience. I imagine that most of you have had similar experiences at some point during your years of art viewing / art making. Frankly, a powerful work of art can easily take viewers to a level beyond the reach of written words -- it can trigger an indescribable surge of emotion that facilitates change within the viewer... a connection that rocks the viewer to his or her core. This much I know to be true: Art has the power to move people on a spiritual level. [...]

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