Hello, my name is Christine and I'm a Twitter-holic.
Seriously, I AM! If you want to advertise, and can't afford ad space during the SuperBowl or a satelitte broadcast then Twitter is the next best thing. I have my self listed as cwinship (if you're intersted) and follow a few - mostly bands I like and friends and other artists, but it's what I post that's getting attention. And I love the search feature.
I posted a link to my cafepress store, same day got a sale. Posted a link to my email website letter list, 50 + more visitors that day alone! I follow things that happen in Boston & Cambridge. I follow "shitmydadsays" because, well, it's pretty freakin' funny! I often type my own last name in the "search" catagory and have found out a beer that is a Winship ale and there's a very intellingent reporter over at Bill Moyers named Michael Winship and have started reading his articles on weekly basis. In fact, there are a lot of creative Winships out there. Muscians, photographers and such. Finding the Winship connection doesn't boost my sales but I'm always interested in making a connection and building a relationship. ( you never know where they'll take you!) I try to tweet daily and find new artists daily. I love it.
Regarding Facebook, there's a lot of crap on it for sure. I don't care about "Mafia Wars" or "Who Started a Food Fight" and there's always that one person in your group that posting "inspiring quotes" that makes me think that they missed their calling working in the fortune cookie industry. But what I do like about it is that there are places where artists can connect and post work. Just this week, I recieved a message on Facebook from a woman who I did a pet portrait for back in 2004. She is a friend of my friend and found me through her and we messaged and talked about getting another portrait done of her current dog. (She still has the last portrait by her previous dog's urn). By this communication I was able to link her to my current website and pics on Facebook so she could take a look at the most current work and we discussed the project furtner. Awesome awesome Awesome.
I got out of college in 1993. At that time there was a computer surge taking over the planet. At first, I was miffed becuase I was a traditional artist and knew how to use a ruling pen and pica marks and all that - only to be replaced by Quark. And I could NOT get the hang of it. Since then - God love the internet! I would not have been able to take my work where it is today.
So I got a letter in the mail the other day from the Brush Art Gallery in Lowell MA. I had applied to be in their "Herding Cats" exhibit and was denied entry. My biggest beef, besides not being let in, was that it's cost me $25 just to enter and then only to get a rejection letter... it's like putting salt in the wound. But back to the letter.. It had thanked me for my $25 "donation" towards the gallery and also had said that I was now a member of the gallery for one year. This includes entry to some events as well as posting of my work on their website. So Let me eat some crow pie for a minute.
I believe it's common practice for galleries to charge a fee to submit art work for group shows. I never looked at it as a donation thinking that if they do sell a painting of yours that they keep 40 to 50% of the price anyway. But I did think that this was a nice way of letting your $25 get you at least something. I hope more galleries practice this way. I must admit I don't have a whole lot of experience with galleries and only go to them when I'm on vacation. I want to start researching them and submitting work, but at the same time.... well, I guess it's a self confidence thing. Me sending my work in.. but no one taking me seriously because I paint puppies and kittens. There's got to be some dog galleries out there that will show things besides William Wegman and Yellow Dog..... but where? I think it's time to put the research cap on.
Which brings me to my next thought.. I get an email from Fine Art News on a frequent basis and there was one article that was about "If your art isn't selling, it's time to change you're approach". So next weekend is the Jamaica Plain Open Studio. I hope this turns out to be a real inexpensive way to show my work. I won't be there in person (going for another VT vacation) but I'm very curious to see how this works out. I really have to start doing something different because the commissions are practically at a standstill. I really want to start posting acrylics too. I don't have a digital. I think I'll just go home and take photos with my regular film camera.