AS|ARTISTS STUDIOS is a filtered, online database of non-represented artists who live in New York City and Paris, France. Founded in September 2011 by Jill Conner and Megan M. Garwood, AS|Artists Studios currently features works by more than 100 artists. The AS|Archive provides visitors with information about each artist, updated images of artwork in the studio, and the ability to contact the artist directly. In-person studio visits are encouraged.
During the first year of the operation of AS Studios, the AS artists participated in 29 solo shows and 55 group shows that received ample coverage in The New York Times, ARTFORUM, The New Criterion, and other publications.
AS|Artist Mark Sengbusch’s work is currently included in “Intersections” at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
To be considered for inclusion in the Artists Studio database, you must have a body of completed work, live in New York City or the greater metropolitan region, and not be represented by any New York City gallery or currently enrolled in an academic program. Artists in residency programs are welcome to apply, and formal training or art education isn’t required.
Applicants should submit a brief bio, an artist statement, resume or curriculum vitae, a maximum of ten images of artwork, and a link to a website (if applicable). Full details on the Submission Guidelines can be found on the Artists Studios website.
CapturedGlobal.com is a new online gallery that sells fine photography from renowned international photographers working across all genres.
The gallery was started by Peter Johnson, who has been collecting art for 35 years. Instead of the multiple-size, multiple-edition, multiple-price model used by some online fine-art photography galleries, Captured Global respects the creative goals of each photographer by printing each image only at the size the photographer requests.
As a photographer who aspires to the level of talent of the artists he represents, Johnson understands that envisioning the size of a final print is actually part of a photographer’s creative process. Just like any other artist, a photographer starts with an idea in their mind’s eye of how a certain picture should be presented.
Photographers can choose to have their works reproduced in (1) an open edition; (2) a limited edition of 2 to 10 prints; or (3) an edition of one. Johnson believes this “Open-Ten-One” model gives photographers more control over their work in the marketplace, provides a platform from which photographers can build a fan base, and more closely aligns the collecting of photography with the rest of contemporary art.
“For many artists, it’s difficult to break into the gallery scene. For every one photographer picked up by a gallery, there are hundreds of others producing extraordinary, collectible pieces,” says Johnson. “So we present a very intriguing option to the typically higher-priced, limited editions that galleries establish in an effort to create and control demand.”
Open vs. Limited Editions
An open edition means that there won’t be a predetermined limit on how many images will be published. Rather, the images will only be available for a limited period of time. Open editions offered at reasonable prices can help photographers build a fan base of collectors-a critical mass of people who love the work, says Johnson.
He disagrees with those who question the merits of open editions. As a collector of fine photography himself, he says he never once thought: “Oh, I love that piece because there are only five of them in the world.”
“When you think about it, it shouldn’t matter how many prints are in circulation, because you should be buying work because you love it and will enjoy it every day,” Johnson explains. “While limited editions were created as a means to establish urgency and ‘future value,’ the strategy only works if the edition sells out and returns as a resale on the secondary market.” On the web, you can find limited editions that haven’t yet sold out even after 10, 20, or 30 years.
“Famous photographers such as Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Julius Shulman offered images as open editions, many of which hold tremendous monetary value today,” says Johnson. “At Captured Global, the images, the artists, and their stories are our centerpiece, and we deliver great value for nearly anyone’s pocketbook.”
“Our open/ten/one strategy helps our artists establish ‘real value’ for their work,” says Johnson. Once open editions have helped a photographer build a good, strong following, “We’ll work them on offering a limited-edition image (no more than 10) at a higher price. Then, as their reputation grows and their work becomes more sought after, we may offer an edition of one, creating real value and demand for a singular, exceptional image.”
Participation by Invitation Only
Johnson digs deep to find intelligent and culturally relevant work worthy of private and public collections. Each of the 18 photographers whose work is currently shown on CapturedGlobal.com has been invited to participate. These selected artists have been asked to invite others whose work they admire.
“This unique curatorial process ensures highly reputable work and lineage of talent,” explains Johnson. “Collectors will find the work of young, emerging photographers side by side with established masters whose work is found in private and public collections around the world, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Getty Museum, the Scottish Museum, and the National Gallery in Prague.”
“At Captured Global, we’re all about getting as many images as possible into the hands of as many collectors as possible,” says Johnson. “It’s a win-win for both artists and collectors.”
Instaprints is a new online marketplace for buying and selling Instagram photos as framed prints, canvas prints, greeting cards and posters. Instagram users can open a free account on Instaprints.com, import their photos, and begin selling print products in less than a minute.
Instaprints was founded by Sean Broihier, the same programmer/entrepreneur who started the Fine Art America online marketplace for fine artists and photographers. According to Broihier, Instaprints was designed for anyone who wants to turn their Instagram photos into an online business: “Instagram users love transforming their photos into stylized works of art. Our website allows those users to generate income by selling their photos as actual art products which you can hang on your wall.”
Instaprints sets a base price for each available product, to which you can add your own markup. When a sale is made, you keep their entire markup. For example, the base price of an 8 x 8-inch canvas print is $25. If you sell it for $100, you keep the $75. The base price of a 16 x 16 canvas print is $42.50; the base price of a 20 x 20 canvas print is $42.50.
For each photo you sell, Instaprints handles all of the processing, including: printing, framing, matting, packaging, shipping, collecting payments from the buyers (and sending the profits to you). Each print is manufactured at one of Instaprint’s three U.S. production facilities and delivered ready to hang with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
In addition to providing an online marketplace and order fulfillment service, Instaprints.com includes community features that allow buyers and sellers to follow their favorite photographers, participate in online discussions, advertise local events, chat live with other members, and comment on their favorite photos.
ARTISTS. If you don’t have the time or patience to determine which of the 200+ online art galleries would be the best place to sell your work, The Art Marketing Agency of Sarasota, Florida can help.
After a one-hour phone or Skype consultation with their team of objective experts, you will receive written recommendations of the five or ten galleries they believe will be most effective in generating sales for you. They can also help you set up your salon on each of the recommended galleries.
“We recognized that success in selling art online means knowing exactly what online galleries and their buyers are the best fit for specific styles and mediums. Our services are specifically designed to match the characteristics of the online gallery, and its audience, with the artwork,” says Tuck Tucker, director of the Art Marketing Agency.
Clients can also receive the agency’s new “Guide to Online Art and Photography Galleries” that analyzes the characteristics of more than 100 different galleries.
Your consultation will start with a critical, objective analysis of your portfolio, website, and current marketing efforts. You will get advice on the specific metatags and metawords you should insert in your website to attract more traffic. Plus, you’ll get tips to make it easier for sell art directly from your site.
You can learn how to capture the e-mail addresses of people who visit your site, so you can send them newsletters and invitations to events and shows in which you will be participating. The Art Marketing Agency can also teach you how to use different types of social media to showcase your art and connect with buyers.
In addition to assistance in developing a targeted online marketing strategy, you will also get advice on pricing your artwork and designing specialized advertising campaigns.
The director of the Art Marketing Agency Tuck Tucker has more than 20 years of experience in marketing art and photography. He was the chief curator of the ModernMastersPhotography.com collection and has worked with numerous online galleries and print and online media such as Art News, Art in America, Art Info, Art Net, AIPAD, and Aperture.
Photographer Karen T. in Arlington,Virginia, says that The Art Marketing Agency helped make her life and art marketing more successful: “The Agency suggested I shift from 2 pay galleries to 5 non-pay and I am making more sales and saving money. What I liked is that their services are ‘turnkey.’ They really did all the work to set me up with the online galleries after the consultation.”
Portrait artist Ron W. of Miami, Florida says he was relieved to find the Art Marketing Agency: “It was was just too time-consuming and frustrating to know what online galleries to work with. The team at the Agency has given me better online sales options.”
For details on different options and pricing levels for the consultants, visit The Art Marketing Agency website.
Foundmyself is a free, online art community that offers selling tools to artists of all skill levels. Unlike other art sites, it runs entirely on the honor system.
The honor system means you can sell your original art without paying the commissions or subscription fees that are common on other sites. Buyers know that 100 percent of their purchase goes directly toward supporting your creative endeavors.
Here’s the catch: Foundmyself expects you to contribute if you find the site useful or make a sale. The financial details of your transactions on the site aren’t tracked, so it really is a relationship of trust. You keep your earnings, then donate what you think is appropriate.
If you do choose to make a monetary contribution to the site, you will be compensated with “honor points,” which can be exchanged for benefits such as having your work show up on the front page of the site. You can also earn “honor points” by participating in the forum.
Designer Trevor Hunt started the site in 2003 as a small side project. It has since grown into a large, but familiar community.
The Foundmyself site recently underwent a major redesign. New tools offered include standalone artist websites, a drag-and-drop interface, and a “canvas” system in place of a traditional, static gallery page. The “canvas” serves as each artist’s online face to the world, and can be customized with different layouts and widgets. You can add slideshows, newsletter sign-up forms, and other features.
If you choose to set up a standalone website, you can opt for a free version or more full-featured, ad-free websites for a monthly or annual fee.
ARTISTS. As acceptance of online art sales expands, online galleries are adopting different business models. For example, some galleries make a big selection of a art available to the mass market; others offer small, curated selections to more discerning collectors.
One gallery succeeding with the curated approach is 5piecesgallery.com in Bern, Switzerland. They are taking a global approach to selling original works and small editions by contemporary artists.
The gallery currently offers more than 500 original artworks and 400 small print editions by 100 painters and 34 photographers from 38 countries. Prices range from $50 to $20,000. All pieces come with a certificate of authenticity.
Most artists featured on 5piecesgallery.com are under 40, and have already had exhibitions at important museums and galleries such as the MoMA, PS1, ICP, MOCA, CO2, and the Saatchi Gallery.
The goal is to reach out to the many people who are interested in contemporary art, but have little access to it, says Dennis Amman, the entrepreneur and art collector who founded 5piecesgallery.com in February 2011. The gallery treads the fine line between offering access to newcomers and exclusivity to veteran collectors.
As Ammann explains, “The gallery’s website is not only a place for art collectors and investors looking to find the ‘next big thing,’ but also affordable enough to encourage a new generation of collectors.”
One of Ammann’s goals is to connect contemporary artists from overlooked regions of the world with the growing number of new buyers from Asia, Russia, and the Middle East. At 5piecesgallery.com, art collectors from all over the world can see many different perspectives on life and society.
Unlike online art galleries that offer editions of 200 or even 500 prints per work, 5piecesgallery.com provides small print editions. Ammann also offers art consulting services to individual and corporate collectors.
“Besides the undeniable beauty of a handmade, originally created artwork, any art collector knows that the artworks with a real possibility of increasing in value are the unique, original ones and the small editions,” says Ammann.
Artists and Collectors Benefit
Ammann founded 5piecesgallery.com because he believes the time is ripe for digital innovation in the art world. The growth of social media and e-commerce combined with improved technology for viewing images on-screen have made collectors more comfortable about purchasing original art online.
He confirms that collectors are increasingly willing to spend large sums on art online, noting that works by artists such as Anthony Lister, Brett Amory, and Daniel Lumbini sell out within minutes.
According to Ammann, 5piecesgallery.com is establishing itself as an international meeting place for art collectors, art enthusiasts, and artists. Over the past year, traffic to the site has tripled and the website has become the second-most visited curated online art gallery in the world.
He attributes this success to using social media to build personal relationships between collectors, artists, and gallery employees and providing daily art news to art collectors and enthusiasts. The site’s round-the-clock customer service provides members with the details they need to make informed and confident purchasing decisions.
The lower fixed costs of running an online gallery benefit everyone, says Amman. Not only is it possible to offer buyers art works well below traditional market prices, but the artists also reap greater direct benefits from every purchase. According to the website, “It is our goal to deliver to our clients the artist’s message and work at transparent and fair prices, connecting and empowering collectors and artists alike.”
According to Ammann, monthly sales figures have quadrupled in 2012, compared to last year’s monthly averages. He says, “It’s a great feeling to support the best talented artists from around the globe and see the demand for their work growing.”
A recent report from IBISWorld estimates that the Online Art Sales industry in the U.S. was worth about $287.5 million in 2011. This figure includes the sale of original or limited-edition artwork through online galleries, online auctions, online art fairs, and online art dealing and trading. The sales figures included data from 716 businesses and covered the sale of paintings, drawings, sculpture, photographs, and other media. The sale of reproductions is not included in the report.
According to IBISWorld analysts, the market for online art sales has been growing in line with strong demand from overseas markets and increasing access to internet-based retail outlets. Even as brick-and-mortar art dealers experienced declines during the past five years, online-based art sales have stayed strong.
The growth in art sales through e-commerce and online auctions is expected to continue through 2016, fueled by global growth in consumer spending and increased access through more broadband connections. Mobile apps are anticipated to provide further room for innovation in online art sales.
One reason for the strength of the online art market stems from the nature of its customer base. The goods sold though the largest auction houses are targeted toward high-end consumers. As such, the demand tends to remain constant even during times of greater economic turmoil. Also, the trade-weighted index, which measures the value of the US dollar relative to foreign currencies, has driven export sales to newly industrialized countries. Consumers in those regions have recently found themselves with greater levels of disposable income that can be invested in “soft commodities” such as original works of art.
In addition, online art dealers operate within the larger realm of e-commerce which has shown double-digit growth over the past five years. IBIS analysts believe that art dealers who have an e-tailing or online auction presence are well-positioned to take advantage of consumers’ preference for online shopping.
The full report on Online Art Sales includes Industry trends, statistics, analysis, and market share information. The report can be purchased from IBISWorld for $825.