Monday, June 13, 2016

Collecting Fine Art - Part 2

Yesterday I wrote about different places you can go to see art in person. Today I'll go over how to search for art online. As I am sure many of you know, searching the web can be difficult in that you get too many results, unless you know the name of a particular artist you already know and like. So, as an artist, where do I put my artwork?

For me, my primary web presence is my website. I also have this blog (which I need to update more regularly), and Facebook is an increasing resource for me. I have sold pieces by posting them on my Facebook page, even though I don't list my prices there or push for sales. Many other fine artists use Etsy, Instagram, Pinterest, and even eBay to show or sell their work.

Of course, the trick is finding the right artists' websites, blogs, social media pages, or Etsy shops in the first place. Here, it helps to narrow your focus. Take, for example, wildlife art. When I Google "wildlife art," I get 14.9 million results. No one is going to sift through all of that (though I am proud to say that, as of this writing, my website is on page 6!). On the first page of results, after the ads, I find the National Museum of Wildlife Art, Artists for Conservation, Fine Art America, Wikipedia, Wildlife Art Magazine, John Banovich, eBay, and Art Saving Wildlife. The National Museum of Wildlife Art is a physical building, so you'll get all the museum's goings-on in addition to images of artwork. Artists for Conservation is a collection of many artists who donate a portion of their sales to wildlife conservation, something which may or may not be of importance to you. Fine Art America is a non-juried collection of artists from all over the world, including myself. This Google link takes you to the results of a "wildlife" search on their site. From FAA, you can buy prints online, or contact individual artists for original works of art. Wikipedia is just an article defining wildlife art, and so on. Several of these are great places to start looking, while others may be interesting but won't get you anywhere.

If there is a particular medium or style you like, you can look up organizations such as the International Society of Scratchboard Artists, the Colored Pencil Society of America, or the Art Renewal Center for realist art. Most of these organizations will have an online gallery, or at least a list, of their members that you can view. In fact, part of the membership fees of these organizations typically goes toward setting up an online listing for the artists - we are paying for that exposure.

Searching for art online has its own advantages and disadvantages. It's easy to do from your own home, or on your phone while waiting at the airport. But it truly is overwhelming unless you know what you want. So take a look at a large, searchable collection like Fine Art America, Red Bubble, Etsy, and the like to see what sparks your interest, and refine your web searches. You can also search for galleries, online auctions, and other kinds of art dealers.

For some other tips on collecting fine art, take a look at this post:

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