Going virtual! Tips and tricks on how to sell art without a live event.

Originally I had planned an art exhibit of my work for June, and the organization of this live event was already initiated back in January, together with three other artists. But then the pandemic struck, and it became quite obvious that a live, on-site event was out of the question.

Luckily, through my previous job in business, I have experience in organizing remote events, so the decision to turn this “viral disaster” into a “virtual exhibit” was a relatively easy step to take. In the end, I managed to hand over a surprisingly high number of paintings and books through this approach. Perhaps you are interested in doing something similar, so let me share some tips and tricks on how to make this work.

Set the theme. I called my virtual event “the fundraiser against Corona” as my objective was to donate any proceeds to the WHO corona fund. This was the red tread through all communication.

Choose the timeframe. I took the month of May as the running time for the event.

Connect to your audience, I have a e-mail list with many subscribers, and emailing was centerpiece to the campaign. You can’t overwhelm people with continuous emails, so I designed just three emails: one for April with the general announcement, one for half of May, and a final closing email announcing that the event was almost over, with a final call to action.

Use a website as the central information resource. The link to that website should be simple so that it can be typed in by hand or communicated during a conversation, e.g. over the phone. Here’s mine: www.clemenssuter.com/papa.

Use all channels available. Not all people receive information through the same channel, as it turned out some customers heard about this campaign through Instagram, others through LinkedIn, and others through email. I pushed out the campaign through my website, email, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, tumblr, two sites on Facebook, YouTube… and a few others that I have in the meantime forgotten about ;-) Naturally you can also use any other way: even written letters or postcards.

Use a single, simple and unique hashtag across all social media. Check out my tag #cps_d2c. That hashtag allows all participants to find your work in their personal favorite channel, and it connects all channels.

Post and communicate continuously. Make sure to provide some piece of news every day, across many of the channels. Indicate which day it is: “today is the tenth day of the fundraiser” or “only five more days left for the fundraiser”. As an example, I shared details of a painting each day, or posted about one of my books every couple of days.

Use video. I made short movies that I posted on YouTube, telling why I was running the campaign. Even three weeks in, not all of the people that I had addressed understood what this was about, so you must keep on reiterating your goal. Vlogs are a great way to supplement blogs.

Talk about successes. If you sell your work, tell the audience about this right away. Also mention if you have successfully shipped a painting, or when it has arrived at the buyer. People will want to know that you can deliver. Also provide some guarantee that you will take the picture back if the buyer doesn’t like it. Naturally some buyers will want to look at the art too; so I organized live visits (in line with corona limitations).

Join forces with other artists. Actually, this is a call to action for YOU, if you create high quality art and literature. Imagine such a campaign with a number of artists, each with their own channels! That would lead to an impressive multiplication. If this approach interests you, contact me.

Goldfish. Painting offered during the fundraising campaign and delivered to the UK.

Find more info about my adventure books, which in 2010, predicted the corona pandemic: www.clemenssuter.com/books

Originally posted 2020-07-08 17:37:00.

Is there any sight in the world more beautiful? Sunset over the Mediterranean next to the isle of Capri

We traveled to the tip of the Amalfi coast, and just as we arrived, the sun hit the horizon. Isn’t this simply amazing ? And is that a green ray? The spot where I made this movie is a secret travel tip, but per your request I can provide the map coordinates to this very secluded spot and the excellent restaurant located there ;-) (do ignore the sounds of the jerk with the tractor that you can hear in the background ;-)

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Originally posted 2017-10-20 12:40:31.

The Wisdom of the Dakota Indians – how to Ride a Dead Horse

The Dakota Indians say that when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. However, in business, education, government, and in the home, a range of more advanced strategies are deployed. So, when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to:

  • Buy a stronger whip.
  • Change riders.
  • Threaten to fire the horse.
  • Harness several dead horses together to increase speed.
  • Appoint a committee to study the horse.
  • Throw money at the horse.
  • Develop a training session to improve riding ability.
  • Update the manual.
  • Lower the standards of what defines a living horse, so that dead horses are included.
  • State that the dead horse must remain in the team for “diversity reasons”
  • Reclassify the horse as “living-impaired.”
  • Get more experts to investigate the dead horse. Fire those that claim the horse is dead.
  • Proclaim that others ride exactly this type of horse successfully.
  • Proclaim that riders that refuse to ride the dead horse are lazy, have no ambition and are not “all-in” – then replace them.
  • Reminisce elaborately on all the good times you had while riding that horse.
  • Hire consultants, e.g. from another tribe (like the Sioux… sometimes misspelled Souix)
  • Increase funding to increase the dead horse’s performance.
  • Ride the dead horse “outside the box.”
  • Make the dead horse shareholder.
  • Threaten to cut the horse’s bonus.
  • Get the horse social media visibility.
  • Kill all the other horses so the dead one doesn’t stand out.
  • Pronounce that the dead horse doesn’t need food, water or care, carries lower overhead and is less costly, and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line than other horses.
  • Rewrite the performance requirements for all horses.
  • Name the dead horse, “paradigm shift” and keep riding it.
  • Ride the dead horse “smarter, not harder.”
  • Replace „riding a dead horse“ with “innovation” in all comms.
  • Point out that the dead horse produces less manure and thus fewer climate damaging gasses.
  • Declare “God told us to ride this horse.”

More exiting reading: Books.

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Originally posted 2017-10-14 10:04:38.

„Mountains“ (oil, sand, pigments – on canvas, 30 x 30 cm). A Buddhism-inspired #Mountainscape.

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Several years ago, I started, inspired by Buddhist art, to paint landscapes. Especially mountainscapes, I should emphasize: I saw a few paintings by an Indian artist in a documentary and liked the bright colors and tranquility of the depicted  scenes. I add a personal touch, in that I use very rich oil colors for the mountains, yet sand and pigments for the sky. Some of the paintings (not this one) you could theoretically view upside down as well. Concerning the process: creating the sky may take quite long, as the layers of paint and sand need to dry in between and the structure had to be „just right“… yet painting the mountains may take only an hour or so. If the mountains do not look good, I scrape off the oil paint completely, discard it and start again.

The frame of this painting is wood with black pigment (don’t touch the frame: you will get black hands :-)

Click on the tag „painting“ below for more of my work.

Originally posted 2017-10-11 04:35:26.

Strap on your seatbelt. Sneak peek of REBOUNCE, the third part of the TWO JOURNEYS trilogy.

Exciting news about my new book. In case you have been wondering why I have written only a few blog posts over the last months… first, I was very busy with my fundraisers, which managed to raise more than 2500€ for charity through my paintings and books. Then, I was giving several interviews to newspapers about my books, which took up some time time. And next to that I am now working on my FOURTH NOVEL… which will be the final book in the TWO JOURNEYS Trilogy – the grand finale!

TWO JOURNEYS (2010), and the second novel in this series FIELDS OF FIRE (2015) deal with the aftermath of a corona pandemic; high-rated post-apocalyptic adventure novels. The third and final installment has the provisional title REBOUNCE, and I hope it will hit the (e)book stores before the end of 2021. Research has been taking up considerable time; I had to study the geography of the areas where the novel is situated, spanning two continents, as well as new technological developments – the Internet-of-Things/IoT, Artificial Intelligence, space travel, robotics, and more. In 2010, TWO JOURNEYS made a prediction about the danger of pandemics and corona virus. My new novel tackles the risk of artificial intelligence for mankind. I don’t want to give away too much at this stage, also as the plot is still developing – let’s see where it will end.

For all of you that can’t wait until the book is available, below is the first chapter & prologue. Mind, it still has to go through several rounds of editing, this is the raw initial text.

Here we go… strap on your seatbelt.

REBOUNCE / Prologue

First draft. Copyright Clemens P. Suter 2021

Every beginning has its challenges. Every ending too, but at least good endings happen quickly. I stare at the paper in front of me, the handwriting contrasting black against white. A tear, which must have fallen out of my remaining eye, has deformed a written word, like a lens enlarging a crucial yet long forgotten detail. Five pages finished. If I continue writing at this speed, I will have died long before I reach the end.

Over the years I often toyed with the idea of writing down my story, which is exciting by any man’s standards. But there were numerous reasons not to do so. For one, my life left little time for scholarly work. More cynically: an author needs an audience, and is there any audience left? Who will ever read my notes?

The darkness surrounds me like a cloak, only disturbed by the flickering of the candle. I adjust the blanket around my shoulders. A fire roars in the woodburner, but it doesn’t help against the cold. Outside, a snowstorm tears at the walls of the cabin. I tilt my head to listen for sounds. It is deep in the night, early morning almost, hardly the time for any creature to be about. Did I hear something, a distant shout? I chose this hide-out on purpose, far away from any predator’s path. My many years of experience always keep me on full alert; I’ve had too many unhappy encounters with four- or two-legged hunters. I look at the dogs at my feet, but they seem unalarmed. I shrug off any fear and try to retrace the thoughts that passed through my head a few moments ago. Why did I survive so long, while so many died? All my friends and most of my enemies – long gone. The hand that holds the pen is gnarled and covered with the spots of age. I have lost weight and muscle and the hair on my scalp. My back is stooped, my joints hurt in the morning. But I am still here, going like an old clock.

The pandemic devoured humanity, the fallout sterilized the planet: but neither managed to kill me. Was I chosen? Or was I punished? I never was a religious or superstitious man, and deep inside I know that no miracle or lucky star is needed to explain my survival: it is just freak coincidence. I am like the single bacterium that has picked up resistance against an antibiotic, the last tree that remains standing after a forest fire.

For a few moments, my thoughts continue to wander, until they uncomfortably home in on the events of that singular winter, so many years ago. They always do. With all the drama of my past life, those events stick out like a sore thumb, impossible to ignore, blotting out many other memories of my eventful life.

I stand up from my chair, shrugging the blanket from my shoulders and the bad thoughts from my mind. The dogs raise their heads towards me, their eyes gleaming in the dark. Although I feel the need to write down my story, in the hope of expelling the bad taste that it leaves in my mouth, I cannot continue.

Restlessly I pace the cabin. I tilt my head to listen. Finally, I remove the bar open the door. The storm is astonishingly strong, and snow immediately sweeps in. I feel the sting of the cold as the air hits my face. Visibility is low; at the most a few meters. I cannot even sense the valley that lies in front of the cabin. The flame of the candle is blown out, and in the semi-darkness, I see how the papers from my desk are blown out of the cabin and into the white landscape. I laugh madly. The dogs cower close to my legs, tails between their legs. Together we stare into the darkness.

I listen. The wind blows loudly, but I am now convinced that I can hear a sound, far off, irregular and organic. Something is moving out there, something or someone is shouting. Friend or foe, I cannot tell. I grab for the rifle that stands against the wall and I check that is it is loaded.

I remain in the doorframe. Closing the door and putting the bar back on isn’t an option; it never is. The enemy doesn’t rest, they never give up the chase. They continuously circle, pounce, bite and kill without mercy. Likewise, friends are unceasingly in need of help, faltering and hopeless, they lose themselves in the darkness of the night. Fear or compassion; I’m forced to confront any obstacle, to handle any challenge, swiftly and if need be mercilessly.

I slip into my coat and I put on my moth-eaten woolhat and gloves. I stuff a torch into my pocket. The wind picks up speed. The darkness is now complete; no sign of a rising sun, stars nor moon.

The snow stings in my eyes as we step from the door into the wild white vortex, gun raised, dogs barking. I feel how my teeth bare themselves in a menacing grin. No matter how old I get, no matter how much these old bones hurt, by everything holy and unholy, throw it at me, life.

Do or die. I am ready.


More info about my books.

Originally posted 2021-01-30 20:56:00.

Now available: Excellent Voice Delivery of my Parable “The Naked Truth & the Dressed-up Lie”

Very honored indeed! Voice actor par excellence DANIEL WARD of SIRIUS VOICES turned one of my short stories into a beautiful narration. You can listen to it here.

I am particularly fond of the tale “The Naked Truth and the Lie Dressed-Up as the Truth”, as it is age-old, yet highly applicable to our times. In addition, as you listen to the story, you can well imagine the parable unfolding before your eyes, in an amazing, mythical forest.

You can find the story in my “Amazing Stories” bundle (eBook).

Daniel Ward, a professional voice-over talent who has been in the audio industry for over three decades, did a magnificent job capturing the spirit of this tale and adding some beautiful sound effects that add a distinctive, almost fairy-tale-like atmosphere.

SHORT STORIES

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Bonsai in the national botanical garden of Tokyo

When traveling to foreign countries I always attempt to find a few attractions off the beaten track. Botanical gardens are such a spot; as a biologist by I have visited gardens in places such as Paris, London, New Mexico, Hawaii … and now in Kyoto.

In a corner of the Kyoto Garden is an absolutely impressive collection of bonsais. In fact, it has inspired me to start growing a bonsai myself. I’m still in the information stage, so very little progress to report except that growing a bonsai  doesn’t seem to be trivial. I will keep you posted!

My eBooks on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/clemens-p.-suter/id581561439?mt=11

Originally posted 2019-11-16 20:12:00.