Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Holiday Shows Are Coming!

by Kate Dardine
The Holiday Shows are coming! The Holiday Shows are coming! And it is not too early to start getting ready…

Most Holiday shows start right after Thanksgiving, which only gives you EIGHT weeks to get everything ready. Ten weeks might sound like a long time, but even if this isn’t your first rodeo, you’ll want to allow ample time to order prints (and frames if needed), gather together everything you’ll need to display your art, order postcards (to send out to tell people about your upcoming shows), mount and wrap your bin prints, frame the prints and originals you’ll hang… See? There is lots to do!

Here are some things to think about and act upon:

  • If you plan on selling prints, now is the time to get your originals scanned and ready (and, until September 30, take advantage of our buy two, get one free scanning special.).

  • Small framed prints sell best at the holiday shows – people are looking for items that they can just wrap and give.  During October we run our mini-giclĂ©e special, which is a perfect time to order small prints. 
  •  Greeting cards are good low-priced items to sell. Overnight Prints is a good resource for reasonably priced cards and low minimums.

  • You may want to take advantage of Colorado Frames’ small frame bundles – 10 ready-made frames for $10. They also have a great deal on bundles of glass/foam board backing to fit the small frames. And if you need standard size frames, they’ve got a good selection of ready-made frames at 50% off the regular price. Give them a call 970-493-5699 to find out what is available. If you need custom sizes, you can order on-line and choose from a selection of in-stock mouldings at very reasonable prices.

  • Consider designing a postcard with one strong or 3-4 related images on the front and the dates, times, places of all the Holiday shows you’ll be in on the back. Let people know you’ll have framed prints perfect for gift giving at the shows. Send these out to your mailing list about 1-1/2 weeks before your first show. Two online resources for postcards are PSPrint.com and Overnight Prints.

Don’t know how to design a postcard? Contact kate@fineprintimaging.com. For a small fee, I can design and order postcards for you.

  • Think about how you are going to display your art. Small framed pieces can be displayed in a rectangular basket or pretty box on a table. Larger framed pieces can be hung on a grid panel (available from http://www.graphicdisplaysystems.com) or, if you are handy, you can make panels using chicken wire and 1x 2s.

  • If you need help figuring out images, sizes or pricing, give me a call at 800.777.1141. I am available by appointment for consultations and the first 15 minutes are free.

Remember to give yourself plenty of time to get everything ready – you don’t want to be stressing the week before your first show! Eight weeks may seem like a long time, but believe me, they go by quickly!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The War of Art - What is it You Fight the Most?

by Moshe Mikanovsky

When you say that you don’t have the muse to sit down and paint, what do you really mean? [...]

Read the rest of this article at:

This excerpt appears courtesy of FineArtViews Art Marketing Newsletter by FASO,
a free email newsletter about art, marketing, inspiration and fine living for artists,
collectors and galleries (and anyone else who loves art).

For a complimentary subscription, visit: http://www.fineartviews.com

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Glass Choices Demystified

Deciding what kind of glass to use to protect your framed art can be a bit like choosing the right wine to compliment your dinner. A little knowledge goes a long way.

When choosing glass, a number of factors must be considered: where the piece will hang, whether it needs to be protected from UV rays and, of course, price.Our sister company, Colorado Frames, offers six glass choices: Museum, Anti-Reflection (AR), Conservation Non-glare, Non-glare, Conservation Clear and Regular Clear.

Museum Glass® is considered the best option for all framed works of art. Museum Glass is the highest quality anti-reflective picture framing glass available in the industry. Made with a proprietary manufacturing process called Magnetron Sputtering, Museum Glass is nearly invisible. It protects against harmful UV light and has the highest light transmission along with the lowest reflection rating. Pastel artists who frame their work without matting especially benefit from using Museum Glass.

AR Glass is best for situations where UV light is not a consideration, like an interior room, but you want the benefit of anti-reflection with a crystal clear glass.

Conservation Non-glare glass has UV protection and is chemically etched on one side, scattering light as it strikes the glass. This glass is recommended for matte finish photographs and posters.

Regular Non-glare glass has the same properties as Conservation non-glare, without the UV protection.

Conservation Clear glass is a great choice for framing original art, limited edition prints and other valued works of art. A proprietary coating of microscopic, silica-based UV blocking agents are cured onto the surface of the glass to produce an ultra protective glass that enhances true colors. Conservation Clear blocks 98% of harmful UV light rays without glare protection.

Regular Clear glass is made from the highest quality glass available. Durable and very affordable, Regular Clear is the perfect choice for controlled lighting situations and when trying to keep costs as low as possible.

Feel free to give us a call to discuss your needs and for a price quote.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Keeping It Legal

Here is the situation – I submitted some images to be juried into a national art show a couple of years ago – and did it electronically. I expected to receive some e-mails about the status of my application and information on where to send my images that were accepted into the show – what I didn’t expect to get was to be put onto their e-mail marketing list – and be sent e-mails about things that I don’t want to know about. Keep in mind I’m a big fan of the organization they do good work in our local community to support local artists – but they are also violating federal law.

The law in question is the CAN-SPAM Act - and violating this can lead to you losing your ability to send out your e-newsletter and other promotional materials about your art. Not only is it a good business practice to make sure you aren’t spamming people who haven’t signed up for your e-newsletter – it also makes you a decent human being.

So what are the rules to the CAN-SPAM Act – and what do you need to do to make sure you are following them?

  1. Don’t use false or misleading header information – So state clearly who the E-mail is really from – I would put “Maria Montano Photography” - that way people know immediately that it is from me.

  2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines – State what the e-mail is actually going to be about – “New Images Available from Maria Montano Photography” is a good example.

  3. Identify the message as an ad – If you are selling something, be up front about that – the example above meets the standard for this.

  4. Tell recipients where you’re located. – You must include your physical address for your business. For those of us who work out of our homes – and feel funny about putting your actual home address on the e-mail – open up a post office box and use that for your e-mail marketing.

  5. Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you – This is the biggest and most important step for you to make sure that you are compliant on. If people can’t find out how to unsubscribe from your newsletter – they are more likely to report you for violating the CAN-SPAM Act. Simply add this statement to the end of every e-mail you send out:
    “You are receiving this email because you signed up for my newsletter list.

    Unsubscribe from this list – click here.”

  6. Honor opt-out requests promptly – If someone clicks the unsubscribe link in your e-mail – you must remove them within 10 days of that request. If you use a service like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp – this is handled for you automatically.

  7. Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. – Having someone else do your marketing for you? You are personally responsible to make sure that they are not violating the CAN-SPAM Act.

So be a good business person – and a decent human being – don’t send e-mails to people who haven’t signed up for your newsletter or other announcements. It isn’t only the right thing to do – it’s the law.

For more information on the CAN-SPAM Act, visit : http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business

Maria Montano is the webmaster for Fine Print Imaging as well as a photographer.

She is passionate about using her images to create social change, be it conserving our natural resources or raising awareness about social justice issues.

Learn more about Maria - and her work - click here