|Me in my studio|
I want to make art! All I want to do is make art. I want to stay home and create. I have enough ideas to keep me busy for the rest of my life... no matter how long that is. I would love to be a resident artist or have a rich patron. But... this is the real world... and I must work as a part-time retail cashier and rely on occasional sales of my artwork. If I make any sales, it is usually just enough to buy more art supplies.
I have been spending the last couple of years trying to establish a successful internet presence. To some degree I have succeeded. I have a website, blog, LinkedIn, and Facebook. I have shops on Deviant Art, Etsy and FineArt America. I recently took on Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr. Bottom line... I AM OVERWHELMED! I spend a lot of time stumbling around in the dark and making mistakes. Google is my best friend. The worst part is I am spending more time dealing with social media and I would rather be painting!
So... I am going to present here links to my sites with notes from me. Many of you know way more about some of them than I do. I am open to advice and help. I already have some great tools and resources at hand, but not the time to go through them all. With writing, and reading, and posting, and photos, and sharing... so much to do! I still have to learn to tag photos for SEOs... and more...
Pre-emptive note: Since I am low income, most of my networking is by using the free services (of which I appreciate very much). I use a prepay 'not-so-smart' phone so mobile apps are not an option.
#1. My website: KmBennett Art
Previously Dezyne Kween Artwork. (I changed it because most people didn't 'get' the misspelling of 'Design Queen Artwork.') Originally, I made such a mess of my website that my computer genius brother graciously sorted it out. (Now I know why web masters make big money.) I want to spruce it up and make it a little more professional, but that will take some time and I am a little afraid of botching it again. I pay Yola for this site along with my custom domain of www.kmbennett.com
#2. Blog: Touching the Canvas
I use Blogger. I have had a lot of advice to use WordPress and I have gone as far as opening an account (with the same blog name). I played around with it but left it unpublished. The reason I have stayed with Blogger is that I like the template I use and found a cool tool to make a custom background. I may yet move to WordPress when I feel ready.
I use my blog to show off my artwork and discuss processes. It is a creative outlet.
#3. LinkedIn: Kathryn M Bennett
I set this up a few years ago while at university. We were told that it was important to have an account. Problem is... I don't use it to optimum advantage. In fact, I don't use it much at all. I look at it once in a while and feel completely lost. So it sits.
#4. Facebook: KMBennett Art
I have a personal profile and an art page, which I will discuss here. I have been active with FB since 2008 and feel quite comfortable with it. It is another creative outlet and a nice place for networking with other artists. My art page has links to my shops on Etsy and FineArtAmerica. I don't have a ton of likes on my page, but enough to make it worth the trouble. One of these days, when I get the logistics figured out, I will have a contest for some artwork or something.
I would love it if you would visit and 'Like' if you don't already. Also... 'Share'-ing is a great feature!
#5. Deviant Art: KMBennettArt
I opened this account a few years ago and listed some of my 'weird' doll scans. It got a little bit of attention at first, but I confess I neglected it and... it too... sits.
I have two shops on Etsy. A few months ago I thought I would separate my mixed media creations from my fine art. I am not sure that was such a great idea. They are too separate and I rarely visit the new one.
I have been having my doubts about Etsy. When I first began, it was a great venue specifically for artisans, craftspersons, and artists. The stipulation was that everything had to be handmade. And then they began to allow 'vintage' items and the place turned into a giant yard sale. Then... it got worse... they got greedy. Now people are allowed to sell mass marketed junk from corporate warehouses and Etsy is getting filthy rich. It is no longer 'cool' to have an Etsy shop. I admit, their listing rates and low commissions make it very affordable but... so far this calendar year I have made a whopping $20 (actually less because a print arrived damaged and I replaced it). So... very 'on the fence' with this site at the moment.
#7. FineArtAmerica: Kathryn M Bennett
A great site to sell art prints (and merchandise) of my artwork and still retain the actual artwork and copyrights. I determine the rate I want and they add what they charge on top of it (all up front from the beginning). I use the free version that allows up to 25 images and can switch them out if I want to. I have made only a few sales through the last few years, but considering my investment of $0, it is worth it. The only drawback is that a sale doesn't pay off for usually at least a month, so patience is key.
#8 Pinterest: Kathryn M. Bennett
I have been on Pinterest for several years and in all honesty... I pinned a few things and got bored. I have been a little more active lately because I have been in a blogging challenge group (more about that later) and we share each other's FB pages and blog posts on other platforms. I must admit that it is handy to pin things (like recipes) to return to later. One big issue I have here is that so many ideas are difficult to trace to their sources. That is one of the reasons I put my name on pictures I post online.
#9. Google +: Kathryn M Bennett
Another site I joined a few years ago just in case it turned out to be useful. So far, not all that much. I rarely go there because most of my messaging is on FB.
Now for the newer ones...
#10. Twitter: @kmbennettart
I had an account around 2004 and got bored with it (keep in mind I do not have a 'smart' phone). I decided I was enough of a Twit without any extra help and shut it down. This was another platform highly recommended at school... but I resisted. Well... last month I caved to peer pressure. Everyone was doing it so why shouldn't I? And besides... I know a lot more about the internet now than I did then... right? It might be a useful tool to market my artwork. In fact, the deciding point was when I read on a blog how an artist was actually making money selling work with Twitter.
I have only posted a few times and hope to gather speed with experience. BUT... I still hate it! When I am on the site, it just feels like a lot of 'noise'! It really is aptly named... tweets! Imagine being in a huge flock of noisy birds of all kinds going off all at once. If Twitter had sound, it would be deafening!
I only read a few tweets when I can... there are so many I have neither the time nor the interest to work my way through them. Am I staying with it? I will give more time, but the jury is still out.
#11. Tumblr: KmBennett Art
I am trying to find a nice and easy way to 'socialize' my artwork. I opened a Tumblr account this morning. Not so sure how that is going to go. It seems to be somewhat of a cross between Twitting and blogging. Nice idea, but I already have a blog... and I am already a Twit. It also has some compatibility issues with my laptop screen. Not sure I need this one. (Note: I read all their terms and enjoyed the way they write... chuckled a few times)
#12 Flickr: Kathryn M Bennett kmbennettart
Another one I joined just today and I really like it. It has beautiful presentation and is user friendly. I like that I can set privacy for each album. I hope to find an easy way to upload my images on Flickr and just pull them from there on Blogger. This would be nice because then I wouldn't need to put copyright stamps on everything (I think). But... what if an imaged is 'pinned'? Issues to figure out and work out in the future.
Update (2015-04-23): I could not find a tool on Flickr to block people from downloading the images. So I removed what I had uploaded and replaced them with imprinted images.
#13 MySpace unknown