Marketing Your Art Teleseminar with The Grove

Artists take on a lot when they take on the title “Artist.” Whether the title logistically means as an artist that I “day-job” by day and “art-job” by night, when an artist endeavors to sell their work they add an entire set of skills to their existing artistic responsibilities, and one of the most important skills is marketing. The starting point for marketing your art is of course, the art. That said, there is art created just for the sake of saying something, and perhaps you don’t even want to sell that art. But then there is also art created to be seen, enjoyed, and sold. The art that needs marketing is the latter, even if the art that supports the artist is only a small percentage of their work.

I’ve been marketing my art, my clients’ art, and my husband’s art ( for several years, so I was honored and pleased to be invited to share my experience and expertise in an online Grove Class. On September 19th Joey O’Connor hosted the online class titled “Marketing your Art with Margot Rogers.”  We had a lot of great insights discussing everything from the basics of starting  your marketing plan to more specific difficulties that artists face in marketing their work, and current tools that I use to market art for clients and myself.

As an illustrator/muralist I have encountered the challenges of refining a portfolio, following trends, narrowing my work to a niche, and identifying the target audience who will be interested in my work. Our conversation started with a general but very important topic, the mind-shift that all artists must make to market their work: start thinking of your art as a product.

Join the Online Class
I invite you to enter into the conversation by watching the “Marketing  Your Art” Teleseminar. You can view the online class at The Grove Center’s website. A little caveat for when you do watch the class: my slides are a little crowded by design. I intended each one to have enough information to look at for a second or third viewing. Don’t you love those movies that hide something in the background so that on first viewing you can hardly see everything in frame, so you are compelled to go back and take a second look? I was kind of going for that with lots of practical tips, illustrative images and quotes by marketing geniuses at the bottom of the slides. I just had so many inspiring people’s voices come into my head when I was preparing for this important topic that I just had to include them.

Here is just a slice of all the great marketing strategies and concepts that Joey and I discussed during the class:

Mapping your Marketing Plan
When you map out your marketing plan, your map should include these things: Product, Placement and Promotion.  My favorite story that illustrates these marketing principles in action is the illustration project I did for Tim Ferriss, author of the Four Hour workweek, body and chef. How did I get such a gig? Well I had been following Tim Ferriss for a while and waiting for his new cookbook to come out. I was following him on twitter when he tweeted a call for art, which I responded to, and was hired.
How does my Marketing Plan apply to this? The Product was illustrative drawings; published on my online portfolio. The Promotion:  via free social networking tools. The Placement was the most interesting. I was directly commissioned by Tim Ferriss to illustrate certain concepts for the book, but he had hired an intermediary publishing group to help him manage the project, who sent my drawings to the author and then sent them back to me with his edits and comments.

Main point: be sure that you understand the channels that get your art seen and sold. This model of intermediaries is pretty common all over the art world in galleries, museums, publishers, agents, and more. There is definitely a way to play the game, while at the same time recognizing that we are moving into a business space where the artist can connect directly with their collectors, or the illustrators with their authors, so your story will be more important than ever to reach your target audience.

Creative Marketing
One of the most important things to keep in mind as you wade into the marketing space is to “be yourself” aka: “be creative.” Take the creativity that you have honed with your art experience and apply it to the business of sharing your art.  If we (artists) apply our creativity to business and marketing problems, developing a marketing plan will be easier, more successful, and more fun. More on that in a later post. Sharing my experience with other artists who are looking for creative ways to market their work has been very rewarding. Next week I will share more useful tips and practical advice to help you as you start developing your marketing plan.

7 Business Card Tips

So excited for Spring! As a business spring cleaning gesture I ordered new business cards. After much deliberation and professional advice, I bit the bullet and ordered from Vistaprint using a Groupon. Yesterday my double sided Business cards came in, with an illustration on the front and a mural on the back. I’m thrilled with the result!

Most of my favorite illustrations are painted as murals on the sides of buildings, which is how I came to explore the wide world of illustration and mural painting all at the same time. Whether I am working on an editorial illustration, a how-to/DIY piece or illustrating a children’s book,  I am always thinking of how it could operate on a larger scale. I love the conversation between small and large, painted and digital that is going on in the art world right now.
My favorite part of making this business card was orchestrating the design so that the front (digital illustration) and back (photograph of a 40 foot floor mural) could play off each other in terms of color and style, and yet still be speaking the same language.
Here are my 7 tips for ordering business cards from personal experience:
1. I searched for a Groupon. However you do it, try to find a deal on a bulk order of cards so you don’t have to keep re-ordering.
2. Don’t be a penny pincher; be sure to get double sided cards.
3. Create a design that integrates the front and back sides, make sure that the colors coordinate.
4. Be sure to sit with the design for a while and make sure it “says” what you want it to. Get feedback on the design and message.
5. Using symbols for different modes of communication really helps. Many people benefit from making professional connections on Twitter, so it is a smart move to include your user name on the cards. However, you should clarify with a symbol that @margotdesign is your twitter name, or else some people who don’t tweet may confuse your twitter name for your email.
6. Avoid writing too much on the card, less is more in elevator pitches and business cards alike.
7. Make sure you use 2 fonts or less. Visually setting your name or business name apart with its own font is a good idea, but 3 fonts kills the simplicity of the card.

Do you have a space where the digital elements and the tangible are overlapping? Where they are in dialogue or discord? Let me know your experience in the comments below, I’d love to hear your perspective!

Event Poster Design

Project: Event Poster Design Art Director: Andrew Beckwith This event poster design is a line drawing with a color wash that captures the essence of the “Roe v Wade Anniversary” event in a single panel. The hand drawn style of this representational informational graphic can be created for any type of project, be it a logo, spot illustration, an editorial piece, background design, pattern or you can purchase a print for your home or office. I enjoy developing event poster designs that communicate a clear message for events, digital publications, campaigns and branding identity. Creating Event Poster Designs for political campaigns is a creative challenge because of the delicacy of the subject matter, and the importance of sending a clear message with bold imagery. My client, is a fantastic organization campaigning for traditional values and working to protect rights of Americans that are being rapidly diminished unbeknownst to the general voting public. My task was to design a event poster design for the “Roe v Wade Anniversary” event. The image was needed to help spread awareness of the 40th anniversary of the legalization of abortion. This custom Event Poster Design clearly shows an image of the fetus as victim on a red background, implying that the event will discuss the human rights violations of the murder of more than 56 million American babies aborted since 1973. For this Event Poster Design I established a clear and colorfully engaging aesthetic. I used an organic representational style with red and black to emphasize the serious nature of the campaign. This event poster design is clear, memorable and gives the organization the flexibility to use it in a wide range of applications. It will be printed as a poster, sticker, a shirt emblem as well as digital graphic promotion. For more work created for, see designs for Privacy for All, March for Marriage  and  Roe v Wade Anniversary. For the full back story on this design and to walk through the entire creative process visit Event poster design for Custom designs draw customers, tell a story, and energize print and digital publications. Contact us for a free quote.

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Bamboo Fine Art Painting

Project: Oil on Canvas from Bamboo Series                                                                                                                                                                      

Size: 24 inches x 12 inches                                                                                                                                                                                                                Client: Private Client                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Style: Contemporary, Expressionistic, Representational

What do people see when they walk in your office? Custom fine art paintings are the perfect way to make a statement in a commercial or private setting. Custom artwork can draw customers to your business, tell a story, set a mood, energize your office or make your home feel like a palace. This original bamboo painting can be considered expressionistic, contemporary, and representational. A unique combination of the abstract and the representational, this fine art painting brings a bold combination of yellows, greens and blues. The floor was commissioned by a client as part of a Bamboo Series.

Painting sessions are available at the artist’s studio. Anyone who is interested to learn painting or drawing on any level with the artist can register for painting or drawing lessons. Small group session and one-on-one private session are available.

For the full back story on this custom painting and to walk through the entire creative process visit Interested in our large scale Custom Painted Murals? Click here to read about our latest projects.

Contact for a free quote on a custom painting for your home or office.