Friday, September 15, 2006

Website stuff

Jane's Guide (janesguide.com) reviewed my site and named me a Vamp pick! Cool. Their one complaint was that I never actually say how people can buy prints. Which brings me to my next bit.

My fabulous webmistress and I are in the middle of doing some moderate revamping of the site. Nothing major, but now that I feel like I have a better idea of what kinds of pictures I'm taking, I can better categorize my pictures, so a lot of shots will be moved around. I also have some things to add to my resume, and I will be adding a price list. Because you know, genius that I am, I forgot to put one in the first time around....

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ever heard of cafepress or lulu?
Thare are also whole bunch of other self publishing websites and websites helping artists to sell art.
You could have stores there and link them to your site or you can "roll your own" internet store

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay! I'd been hoping such a thing would come about eventually.

5:31 PM  
Blogger Samantha Wolov said...

i've heard of cafepress, not lulu. i've been toying with something like this for a while. i always thought it was implied the prints were for sale, but i guess no one got the hint...

so what were you hoping would eventually come about?

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, go check them out. CafePress does kind of basic stuff, but have postcards, calendars ,posters and framed prints. Books are only B&W. Lulu doesn't do framed prints and posters, but does color books.
There are also art galleries like
www.gallery-worldwide.com and others like that and of course fotki.com heres link to help article about selling of photos:
selling photos

and I don't know what the other person was hoping for.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Samantha Wolov said...

thanks, i'll definitely check them out! i'm just weighing my options now, but i'm not against making money....

i didn't see the lapse in time between the two posts, and thought it was the same "anonymous" person who posted both comments. sorry!

6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with making money. And most defenitley you need to check all posible options and cost effectivness. Also, it depends how much control over final product you want to have. These pulishing places have standard products, but take care of headache of production, order handling etc. The more conrol you have to more headache, of course!
Also, if I may suggest. You could also think about calendars and postcards and photo books and such. Since some of it "renewable" like calendars-it will create opportunity of repeat customers, I mean how many prints can someone have? Unless they gallery or musium.
And BTW, what about this gopnik from earlier post?

6:30 PM  
Blogger Samantha Wolov said...

first, gopnik: a few days ago, washington post art critic blake gopnik made a collection of very quick (blurb-sized) reviews of new works in the corcoran museum of art. in regards to one piece, he said:

"One of the things that drive me crazy is that there's this notion, especially among younger artists, that to make serious art some woman has to get naked. I see it in performance art all the time."

i get a little hot-headed sometimes. i try to be even tempered, listen to all opinions, gather all the info, marinate, etc. i'm usually really, really careful when i talk about art. but when someone makes declarative statements about anything, i get incredibly uncomfortable. and when someone makes declarative statements about something i'm incredibly passionate about, something i've spent years contemplating, i get livid. on the one hand, he's right: there are a lot of artists who depend on nudity, especially a woman's nudity, to somehow validate their work, give themselves credibility, or otherwise fake talent. it's annoying and misogynistic, but it happens. in all fairness, some people may say that of me, i don't know. but while there's truth in that statement, in making it the way he did, as his first impression of a work in a quarter-page review, he was denying credibility to anyone who used female nudity in art but DIDN'T use it as a crutch. he just grouped us all together. the same goes for the youth element. i'd be the first person to tell you most young people exhibit a degree of immaturity and inexperience, but there are many who are older and wiser than expected. i work really hard on my photos, making sure i get to know the people i work with, capture their personality, take the picture, and know how to make them look good, but i work even harder to make sure i have a clear thought process behind them, and to make those ideas known and accessible to anyone who's interested. i'd like to think i'm one of those "young people" who is actually mature and intelligent, and when gopnik turned around and made that flippant remark about young artists and the female form (essentially, the basis of my artistic career as of right now), i took it incredibly true to heart, and i was incredibly offended. yes, the statement itself probably wasn't as bad as i made it seem, and there are a lot of people who have been reacting to it more strongly than i have, but i just get so, so mad with declarative statements, especially when they pertain to me, or somehow discredit my abilities or intellect.

whew, that was a lot.

ok, money stuff: as much as this may not be "good business", i have a clear idea in my head of how i'd like to sell prints. first, i absolutely refuse to crop my images just so they fit a standard paper size, so i'm fairly limited right off the bat. meaning, the ratio of each image is 1:1.5, which is why print-outs are on 4x6 paper. the next full frame size up is 8"x12--the size is usually choose when i make my prints. second, if someone is going to give me money for a print, i want them to get the best print possible. i've attempted to make my own prints on my own printer, and i've gone to more inexpensive printers to keep overhead down, but the quality was never the same. yes, this may be more expensive, but the prints are flawless. i love them. ive got six around my apartment right now.

i've definitely thought about postcards and books and whatnot. one problem is that my work is so graphic, there's not much of a market outside the hardcore erotica niche. the other problem is that i don't think i have much name recognition, and thus i may not be seen as a worthwhile investment. that's not to say i don't have ANY, but in the grand scheme, i don't have much. so a book publisher would be remiss to dedicate time and money to make a book about an artist few have heard of. but i'm working on it. i'm working on trying to get a solo show, or at least more gallery work, then see what else i can do from there. in the meantime, i'm working on other venues, photo illustrations for publications, magazine exposure, etc.

7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somehow I though that this particular statement made you go off.(on the gopnik subject).
As far as name recognition and specific niche are concerned: how many people, in your estimation, are brave enough or otherwise motiviated to hang your prints in their living room? Out of people who can afford them($125 a print?).Whereas coffee table book or set of cards are much more discreet. Besides, they are cheapper, sorry, least expensive and thus will provide broader fan base, I mean paying fan base, not like us getting it free on the net. :)

7:25 PM  
Blogger Samantha Wolov said...

i do make smaller (and thus less expensive) prints, but they're really small--4x6. as for the coffee table book, do you mean self-publishing? i'm open to the idea, but i have this funny notion where i might want to "save myself" for a real publisher. but i'm not saying "no" to anything just yet.

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In any event you need to promote your self.There are whole lot of references to your website and blog on google, you may want to utilize that. Site tracker or StatCounter may help to get idea about the traffic and how people get to you. They are very simple to use.

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Tracy said...

Lenny sent me some info a long time ago with guidelines for pricing artwork and suggestions for how to handle limited editions and numbering of prints (and then the pricing structure for those as well) -if he hasn't already seen your post and sent you something I'd say go poke him for advice. It was very helpful.

One thing that I found interesting and that I hadn't thought of: galleries are not going to want to hang your work if you are listing it for $400 in a show but selling it online for $100. No one will bother to buy it from the gallery, they'll just buy it from you directly. Which cuts out the gallery and their percentage = why would we show this person if we can't sell the work and make our rent for this month from it?" Makes gallery people mad. Mad gallery people don't show artists that make them mad.

Want to know something weird? I only started selling prints after I raised my prices. I was thinking that I needed to keep lowering them to increase sales but apparently people see that you are charging xxx and assume for THAT price you must be something special. I wouldn't have believed it myself until I got the check in my hand. So keep that in mind.

fwiw - Cafe Press - I doubt they would allow you photos to be reproduced given the subject matter and 2) I wouldn't trust them to make decent prints, not photo quality.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Samantha Wolov said...

yeah, i'm wary of cafepress, snapfish, etc. i like my prints.

interesting point about the galleries and prices. seems like an obvious point, yet i hadn't thought of it. so now i'm really confused. but the content is a bigger issue than most people understand--i've been kicked off of sites where i attempted to sell work because it was too graphic.

self-publishing is probably a viable alternative, but given that i have other time restraints and responsibilities in my life (i don't take pictures full-time), i'd like to focus on one or two goals at a time--put more effort into a few and do a good job than do a half-assed job on a bunch. right now, my biggest goal is to get gallery exposure.

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sam - Congrats on the Vamp pick! And thanks for the suggestion to check out Jane's Guide. I submitted my site to them. I'm clueless on turn around time though?
Re. Gopnik's comment: While everyone is entitled to his opinion, I have little to no tolerance for generalizations which is what I took his words to be. You're WELL BEYOND your years in numerous capacities. This you know and I was happy to read your acknowledgement of it in your comments. Understandably you personalized it a bit since like you said, the crux of your work at the moment as a young artist focuses on the female form. You're insanely gifted though so this one man's remark will do you no harm.
I dig your idea of publicizing yourself first via gallery exposure, then following with maybe books, postcards, calendars. I'd love and would pay a pretty penny for a calendar of our pics from last weekend. Screw anyone else who doesn't want it on their coffee table...
Hang in there. It will all come in time. Your work is amazing and you can back it up personally. That's a lethal(positively speaking) combination.

10:00 PM  

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