Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

August 31, 2007

ArtBiz101 – Marketing Promotion

Filed under: Art Market, Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 7:11 pm

Hotel signs

Hotel Signs (from the series Insomnia: Hotel Noir)

In discussing the marketing of your fine art, the Promotion is basically all those activities that take place to help sell your artwork. In a sense, every thing that you do to make a name for yourself or let potential buyers know about your art is promotion. Promotion is further refined into two types, Indirect Promotion and Direct Promotion.

Direct Promotion is probably the easiest to understand as we are constant bombarded in our daily lives with direction promotional activities, called advertising. Direction promotion includes billboards, television commercials, signs and the advertisements in newspapers and magazines. If you are paying for anything that promotes you or your artwork, that is direct promotion.

Indirect Promotion on the other hand is those events that occur that promote you that you are not paying for. There are some subtitles to the indirect promotion that you should be paying attention to, which I will discuss shortly.

A full page advertisement with your artwork displayed, perhaps a photo of you and your contact information in an art magazine is Direct promotion. You paid for it, you probably had a big say in the layout and the copy of this advertisement. You controlled this promotion. If that same magazine ran an article about your artwork, such as a gallery review or an editorial piece, also included your artwork, perhaps a photo of you and your contact information, that would be considered Indirect promotion. You may not have any say in what was finally written about you, even if you were interviewed by the writer. But your cost for the indirect promotion may be absolutely nothing (zip, zero, nada, nothing, something for nothing) other than taking time for the interview and preparation and sending digital files of the artwork that was illustrated in the article.

Both forms of promotion are important to an artist and their career. As a rule of thumb, you control the Direct Promotion, deciding who, what, where, how and when. For Indirect promotion, a lot more chance is involved in being written or discussed.

For your career, you need to keep a certain amount of visibility ongoing, and that you control with the Direct promotion, sometimes called an advertising campaign. This would include the simple things such as a web site, business cards, stationary, and if you have brick and mortar gallery, the signs out front and the phone directory  advertisements. To what extent you can maintain a direction promotion program depends on your budget to pay for this expense. If you are represented by a gallery, they may be coordinating a direct promotion program that might include you in the listing of artist or perhaps an image of your artwork. You may find that they may want to co-promote you where you buy an advertisement and you list your represented gallery(s) and they have pay for part of the expense. A lot of variations on this theme.

If you are on a tight budget (or even have a budget) then the Indirect promotion can look very appealing. Just as the song goes, it seems like you are getting something for nothing. There are also some very attractive aspects of Indirect promotion. It is one thing for your paid advertisement to state that you are the Great New Art Wonder, but it takes on a whole new meaning if one of the leading art critics in New York claims you are the Great New Art Wonder. This is called third party validation. You can’t pay an art critic to say good things about you or stop them from trashing you either. So collectors listen to the critic’s, editors, curators and others to see what they think.

Now that being said, there are also individuals and companies that can help you with Indirect promotion, call Public Relation (PR) firms. You pay for the services from the PR to help you with Indirect promotion and as they say, the results very. Good PR firms that work with artist know a lot of the editors, writers and others who are involved with art markets. They can help write the copy for an article about you, discuss it with various editors and help the article get placed. They are not responsible for how a magazine or newspaper will finally do with the information. PR firms can help you with connections that would take you a long time to make on your own, thus freeing you to work on your creative projects.

Last you are now reading my blog, which is free and it has my images and contact information. This blog is considered Indirect promotion. I am not advertising anything for sale, but providing some hopefully useful information. But I also hope that you look at the rest of this blog and get to know my art projects. And perhaps someday, you may want to add my artwork to your collection.

Finally, you do need a promotional program and you do need to spend some time thinking about how you are going to become known. I was always amazed that after having an art supply store in a mid size community, that after ten years of direct and indirect promotion, we would still have customers come in the door, claiming to have lived here almost all their lives and that they did not know we were here in town. It seems like you can never do enough.

Best regards, Doug

Photo of the day: Stop

Filed under: Art, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 4:12 am


August 30, 2007

A Sideways Glance: a short story

Filed under: Art, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 4:15 pm

Riverside Couny

Nice morning today, the lighting again had a little more warmth to it due to the monsoon humidity that we sometimes have during the Summer. Today I not only had to dodge cars and trucks to frame my exposures on the Inland Empire Freeway, I had to work with a fugitive sunshine with pesky clouds. As the cloud cover was not very dense, getting a good use of the sunrise light was just another issue to deal with.

So I have continued to think about my images being used to frame the context of my fictional (short?) novel, so then do my images then become “illustrations” for the story? I would think that the images do take on a new meaning nevertheless. And what if my images were great, but the novel pure crap, how would that effect the preception of the images? And if the novel was captivating, would that add anything to the images? Do I even have time to consider a fictional novel that interweave with my images….

“The young dectective was already on his way into the office, when he received the call.

Cell phones, he thought, not a moments peace. Although he had to admit, the text messages from Cindy were fun and a delight. Those quirky messages helped bring some humanity into this dreary job.

The Inland Empire he had quickly learned was the dumping ground for what ever bad that happened in the Coastal Empire. There was a lot of empty space out here. Places where things could happen and remain out of sight. And it seems that this bad news this morning was coming in pairs, as two vicitums were just found in a car.

He was only going to need to take a small detour this morning, as the location was just off the freeway….”

 So also apparent that I like mysteries and spy thrillers and find myself making time to watch CSI and NCIS. I also have read most if not all of Michael Crichton’s novels. As an engineer, part of my career has been a problem solver. I enjoy figuring out what has occured and understanding the “real” cause. So that investigational aspect apeals to me.

So if the photographs that I take and the resulting images that I select to create are in a greater sense autobiographical, why not include what I know and what I am interested in my story?

Best regards, Doug

Every Picture tells a story

Filed under: Art, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 5:14 am


Yes, with a nod to Rod Stwart, “Every picture tells a story, don’t it” and sometimes that is what puzzles me and I am not sure about that aspect with regard to this blog. There is my story and then there are your stories.

 So does a caption help or hinder, can you still have your story if I add caption, titles, and my version of story? My part of the story could end with presenting the image, yes? This is was my wondering when I provided some of my “story” for yesterday’s photo. Should I have just plopped in on the blog and be done with it? Many have done just that. “Let the photo speak for itself, my friend…”

So that had me thinking, is my story then speculation? Was it an observation of a brief period of time, as is the image? My version of reality? or could I use my image to set the stage for a short story, pure fiction?? and so what might today’s fictional story be about?

“they paused in the car, needing to let the car run to keep the air cool in this blasted oaisis.  The sun was burning with an unusal intensity.  Yes, this was the planned meeting place, but would they show?  It was a safe place, clearly visible from the drone of the rush hour traffic, no one would be foolish to try something here.  if only they had known…..”

Perhaps it was today’s heat that has softened my mind, as the temperature hit 112F while driving up the Inland Empire’s I-15 freeway this afternoon. And it was very humid and that is very unusual for Southern California (even clouds!).

But this mornng was very mellow with a golden sun rise due to the increased humidity. That provided a very nice warm front light to my landscape. That nice light is going to linger a little longer as we enter late Summer and then the light will slowly dim until I have to drive in the dark for my morning commute. So I shall make the most of that nice light while I can.

Best regards, Doug

August 29, 2007

Blogroll rebound

Filed under: Art, Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 4:57 pm

After thinning down my blogroll, a couple of blogs that I have been reading  and looking at for a while are now being added to my blogroll. Both have some very unique viewpoints (you gotta luv the puns) and interests.

Doug Plummer’s blog Dispatches follows his interest in dancing and he discusses it best there. But it has taken me a while to warm up to his blog, first is the dancing (I don’t dance and don’t go out to dance) so a little trouble relating. Second was the photographic images of the dancing itself, but I have come to really like that best. I believe that my interest in the Doug’s work is a result of a better understanding of what I think that he is trying to convey. Doug hails from Seattle, Washington.

The second blog is Walking Turlott Yards aka Neath which has become very interesting to me due to my current freeway series (I guess I need clarification as how he wants this blog identified, I kinda like Neath for its broader context). This blog focuses on a very interesting aspect of our economic and urban landscape. Neath’s blog originates out of Montreal, Canada. Nice, eh?

Both are recommended!

Best regards, Doug

Update; I just added Jorg Colberg’s blog Conscientious, which as been about for a while and probably needs no introduction.

Morning coffee chats

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 3:56 pm

One of the nice aspects of my professional career as a business consultant, is that I often move about, but usually end up on some long term assignments. After hunkering down at a client’s facility and engaging in some nice morning conversations, I soon find some folks with similar interests in art and photography. And some great friendships subsequently develop.

But then the tranistion to a new client, such as now, and I miss my old morning coffee chats. Such as I had with Paul and Wes, although I’m in touch with Paul via email, but it is not the same.  On this new assignment, I have not made the artistic connections and I know that it will come with time, but I still miss the B.S. sessions over morning coffee. So I write this while drinking my coffee. Sorry, it’s just not the same. So I will soon hang an image at my cubical and see who’s attention I get ;- )

Best regards, Doug

Freeway Series: backyard landscape

Filed under: Art, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 4:15 am

Backyard landscape

This is a backyard that I have been watching for the for the last couple of months as I drive this section of the I-15 freeway. Not a lot has happen here, maybe the 1950’s Ford pick up has moved a tad bit. Still your basic dirt yard landscaping. Another difference with the Coastal Freeway, if a brick wall is to provide some visual/noise seperation between the adjacent houses and the freeway, it would actually block the view of the freeway. As you can see, that is not a requirement for the Inland Empire. Actually I am not sure what this block wall is providing. The freeway noise must be really loud, which is probably why I have seen anyone actually in this back yard.

Best regards, Doug

August 28, 2007

Do you see what I see?

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 3:42 pm

In following up on yesterdays discussion about “seeing” and perhaps to answer my own question as to what do I contribute to the on going dialog about the landscape, I bring my own unique version of “seeing”. I will see things different that anyone else, because I bring with my vision/perception all of my past experiences, which no one had but me.

Likewise, I have an idea that may in and of itself be nothing “new”, but I bring my own self into the picture, pardon my pun. Whereas my ideas may not be new, but how I decide to act on it, to what extent I fully understand the concept, my ability to capture the essence of my idea and present my creative endevors will probably be very unique.

I might actually fail to get my ideas across to anyone. But again, I might make some connections as I know that I did from the feedback from my series Bad Trip – Sad Trip. I do know that if I do not try or attempt this creative task, then for sure I will fail. So I will step forward and continue on.

BTW, the photo of the day from yesterday is another lesson for myself, as I have photographed this old house that is facing the Inland freeway a number of times now. I could have chosen the image that I made that has the front fence literially fallen down and laying on the freeway boundary. Perhaps that image is a little overkill on the idea of the sad disrepair of the homes that front this busy freeway. I decided that the image that I posted to be a little more subtle, but if you look close, you can see the disrepair and the clothes appearing to be drying on a fence, not even a clothes line. But then there are the two tv satalite dishes directly adjacent to these clothes. So, did you see what I saw?

Best regards, Doug

Photo of the Day – Frontage Road

Filed under: Art, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 4:29 am

I-15 Frontage Road

August 27, 2007

My Blogroll is momentarily shorter

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 8:18 pm

I just shorten my blogroll as I am finding that there are some that I no longer read, nor did I notice many folks clicking on to follow. So goodbye for now Jen and George. I am also losing some patience with dead-end blogs, e.g. those that do not provide links to other blogs, thus not wanting to be part of the community.

Best regards, Doug

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