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.

„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.

Boy (oil, sand on canvas, 50 x 40 cm)

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The photo doesn’t do the actual painting justice, some day I should put the painting outside in the day light and snap a real good exposure.

In any case, I love this little portrait. It calls up strong associations although I won’t say which ones for me personally, since I have noticed that every viewer interprets the motive slightly differently. It is a mysterious piece of work.

Click on the tag “painting” below to find more!

Originally posted 2017-09-20 14:32:45.

Bird (oil, paper, sand on canvas, 120 x 100 cm)

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This painting I created in 1992 – it currently hangs on the wall of our bathroom, so we look at it each day. It was on loan for a few years to a very special friend, I have never sold it though: this bird, as it glides over a wintry landscape, is very dear to me and hard to part from. IMG_1599

Originally posted 2017-09-13 14:31:57.

A painting of a Camel (oil, sand on canvas, 30 x 40 cm). And thoughts about Purgatory.

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Before turning to PURGATORY, below a painting of a camel, created in the nineties. The background is acrylic paint, enriched with natural pigments and desert sand, the camel itself is in oil. The motive suggest heat, and a pyramid is visible in the hump. I painted this shortly after our trip through the Libyan Desert.

Talking about heat: lately I have been thinking about the principal of purgatory. Although this concept has come out of fashion in both the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches, it is high on my radar. Purgatory: I remember books from my youth in which, in graphic detail, naked sinners sat in metal cauldrons, faces distorted by pain. No wonder: flames flickered around their bodies, and a red devil (carrying a three-pronged spear, see my novel Celeterra) tested their flesh.

Wouldn’t purgatory be a suitable, after-death punishment for some unsocial fellow human beings? I am not religious, so the argument is moot, but in my mind I sometimes assign a few days of purgatory to people who behave anti-socially:

  • Four days of purgatory for people that hit a neighboring parked car with their car door.
  • One day of purgatory for the couple that pushed past 25 fellow passengers in an attempt to get out of the plane first.
  • One day for each person that borrowed but didn’t return a smart phone cable
  • One day in a cauldron with melted led for all drivers that blocked our driveway with their parked car, being too lazy to walk a few extra  meters.
  • One day of purgatory for all hotel guests that have loud conversations in the hotel floor between 11 pm and 7 am.
  • Half a day of purgatory for restaurant guests that have a dispute with the waiter, and try to pull other guests (me) into the argument. I don’t care about your problems, live with it. One day of hot cauldron, if this happens in a train or plane.
  • Two days for expressing an opinion about blogposts, without having read the entire text.

Suggestions for appropriate punishment welcome.

Originally posted 2017-09-06 14:30:24.

CAMEL (30 x 40 cm, oil on canvas). Inspired by a visit to Egypt. (Sold)

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Like with many of my paintings, I have used a combination of oil paint and pigments plus sand for this one. I created it shortly after a visit to Egypt, and the colors were selected on the basis of colors that you often see in Northern Africa. The background (as you will notice) shows the structure of the canvas, as the paint was applied very superficially, as if it is the wall of a neglected building. The camel appears more like a silhouette, suggesting deformation of the image by hot desert air.IMG_2239

This painting has found a new owner. If you are interested in any of my work, simply contact me (also for a free tour – no obligations) or visit www.clemenssuter.com/art.

Originally posted 2017-08-15 14:28:10.

Seescape / seascape, inspired by the Ile de Ré (oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm)

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March2008 156 The motive of this painting comes from the Ile de Ré, a beautiful island in the Atlantic Ocean, in front of the French coast, very close to the town of La Rochelle. We have spent many beautiful summers there. The island is dominated by both the sea and the sky, both of which constantly change in color depending on the time of day and the ever changing climate conditions.

Sold – privately owned.

Originally posted 2017-07-25 14:24:39.