Another Street Artist Sells Out? by TMNK

Some would say to be a “real” street artist, you have to keep it real in the streets. In other words, constantly doing bigger, riskier more provocative works in public and private spaces. But the minute that artist experiences any sort of financial success for his or her art, he or she is labeled a “sell-out” ala Shepard Fairey.

I strongly disagree. Like many of my contemporaries, the “streets” might be considered our birth place, in terms of notoriety and reputation. And it definitely has provided and continues to provide me with stimulation and inspiration. Still, I’m just an artist. And the streets are simply one of many mediums and/or canvases I use to craft and express my art. The streets don’t define me.



I recently attended an exceptional exhibition by Ron English, where many of his works were priced in excess of $180,000, and quite of few of those had red dots indicating they were sold. Yet, his success in the galleries, product endorsements, and other commercially successful ventures in my opinion do not in any way diminish his credibility as one of our great “street artists.”  He is simply a talented artist, who has worked hard at his craft for many years, and is now earning the recognition and financial compensation that goes along with it.

So, yes. I am a New York Street Artist. Although some would argue, I’m really a nobody. And yes, I did do a line of t-shirts for a nationally know retail chain. And yes, my recent solo show in Norway’s Galleri Galleberg was besieged with red dots (wink). But let me assure you, even with my art selling out around the world, my “soul” has not been sold, nor is it for sale. I believe success is a by-product of talent, hard work, and persistence. So label me what you want, I’m going to continue to work at being “somebody.”




Market Yourself by M Theresa Brown

Positive Tips for success

As much as we would all like to stay in our studios and create our artwork and never appear in public, the best chances for success include regular public appearances. Art and Craft shows are just one of the many opportunities for artists. They can be large and juried; small and non-juried but participating in one opens the door not only for sales of your art product, but to an ongoing  relationship with clients. Here are some positive tips for success!

Project a positive and upbeat attitude at all times.

Keep a guest book to accumulate names and addresses for your email or mailing list.

Mail or email a personalized flyer to your customers with a list of your upcoming shows once you know your schedule.

Be flexible and accommodating to your customers. Keep your promises for deliveries, special orders, etc.

Market yourself. You are your own best salesperson. Keep your display updated with new and exciting work.

Greet your customers with a friendly smile – but give them space to browse.

Make sure all your signage is professional in appearance.

Display your name and prices.

Proudly present your bio and business cards.

Take pride in your personal appearance.

Dress for success! Maintain your canopy, walls, browse boxes and pedestals and keep all in new condition.

When someone shows interest in your work offer any inspirations or background on the image / sculpture. This creates a personal bond between the patron, the work and you.

Follow up immediately after a show with emails and phone calls!

Take responsibility for your own success.  Art and Craft Shows give you the opportunity to participate in an art show, but cannot guarantee your sales. That is up to you!

Now for a few don'ts ...

*Don't fail to get your customers' addresses for your mailing list.

*Don't sit in the back of your booth and read a book.

*Don't ignore the customers who are in your booth.

*Don't pre-determine your customers' buying capabilities based on their appearance.

*Don't skip the shower or wear the same clothes you wore at set up.

*Don't smoke cigars or cigarettes in your booth.

*Don't be inflexible when it comes to your customers' satisfaction. It can hurt future sales for everyone.

*Don't let your artwork and booth become stale, outdated and boring.

*Don't project a negative attitude towards customers and fellow artists

TIPS for 3-D artist/crafters

Pedestals, at different levels are the best display pottery, ceramic, glass, sculpture and wood. Make sure pedestals are painted a nice clean color that enhances your work, or have them covered with a nice neutral fabric.

If you use tables, please be sure they are professionally covered and skirted to the ground. Absolutely no plastic covers, bedsheets or tablecloths should be used! All covers must be hemmed and all covered tables must have the same color scheme. No storage bins or boxes should be visible.


Anyone can put out tables and either lay jewelry on the table or on velvet necks for display. What we find the most attractive is wood or mica units, with or without glass, with either coral, stones, or whatever ideas you can come up with to enhance your jewelry. For example of you make Glass Jewelry have a few pieces of the loose glass on your cases/pedestals.

2-D Artwork

DIsplay hanging art in frames. Situate yourself so you are not blocking your entrance. Many booths are designed with a back flap where the artist can watch the booth and speak with customers yet not block the view. Professional tent makers for art shows have many wall examples and designs to enhance your booth at a show.  Have prints and surplus art at table level, in viewable containers, not on the floor. People simply do not stoop to look at most art!

Take a look at your displays and determine:

Is my display professional and aesthetically pleasing?

Is my entire display attractive and inviting to the public?

Have I made every effort to represent  myself to the best of my ability?

Suggested places where booths can be purchased:

Flourish 1-800-296-0049

Showoff 1-800-771-7469

Light Dome 1-800-351-8889

Pro Panels  1-800-525-4159

ACE Forums

Art Career Experts


2 Tips for Online Sales by M Theresa Brown

You know that marketing phrase "Make money while you sleep?" Well it IS possible for artists to do just that with their art product IF they make it convenient and  easy for shoppers to see and buy their art 24/7. That is only possible if you are set up with an online merchant account. It is easy with Paypal.

In our workshops we emphasize adding testimonials from your clients all over the site and an ability for the client to purchase your art online. Some of it is common sense. Making it difficult or time consuming for an interested person to buy your art went out a long time ago!  The Art World has always been in love with the words "elite, exclusive, private inquiries, call for pricing inquiries, etc." when it came to marketing art.  The idea was to elevate the appeal and perceived value of  the art in question by making a potential client jump through hoops to finally talk with a gallery salesman.

But times,  as in everything, change.   The consumer savvy client many times has the money but not the time to go through the contact process. There are plenty of artists out there making it easy to purchase their art.  You can offer the same advantage by having not only prices, but a way to purchase your art at any time of the day or night which truly does enable you to "make money while you sleep." And that is an amazing feeling the first time you experience it!  It's even better when it becomes a regular occurance :-)

You can have a store on Etsy or Ebay and the whole sales checkout is set up for you. They'll work fine. Etsy, by the way, is far less expensive than Ebay but having a small shopping cart on your own website or blog is even less expensive!

The testimonials are equally crucial. Buyers don't really want to hear how great you believe you are. They want to hear that from your buyers! So ask you clients for their reviews and be timely in adding testimonials to your website.

So what two tips can help turn your passive website into an active website? Summing it up below:

Two Tips to Get More Sales on Your Web Site

1) People like what other people like: Artists often forget this, but testimonials or reviews do sell art. Make sure and list comments or testimonials on your site and in your online store.

2) How tough is it to get to your shopping cart? After adding your shopping cart, make sure the experience of getting their is quick and easy. Add a buy-now (or collect now!) button under each art product you are selling. Make sure the buyer knows what the shipping and any other expense is BEFORE they put it in their cart.  We make it simple and include shipping in our sales.

Now, sleep peacefully!

And check out what we send in our newsletters to our clients.





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