Many respected artists are expanding their art brand by using social media and other online sites. Some are selling small works online at very affordable prices, but does this hurt the integrity of their art brand?

Selling art on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, eBay, and Pinterest is now commonplace. However, with this comes temptation. Temptation to mass-produce what sells, temptation to copy, temptation to drastically reduce prices, and even temptation to settle.

Building an art brand online with integrity is key.

The late Thomas Kinkade, The Painter of Light, was the most profitable artist of all time. He was beloved by his fans, yet sadly Kinkade did not have the respect of his artistic peers. Why, was it jealousy? Possibly, but more importantly it was because many artists believe that Kinkade expanded his brand without integrity.

Thomas Kinkade, Candlelight Cottage, 1996.

A marketing genius, Kinkade chose to be driven by the market rather than by his talent. Kinkade donated to charities and received many awards for his art. But in the end, Kinkade is also remembered for his public relation problems that eventually lead to bankruptcy.  Much like Tiger Woods, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Thomas Kinkade trademark and brand is tarnished in the minds of many.

A while back I read in Sky Magazine about a young artist, Jason Wu who is fashioning one of America’s hottest brands with integrity.

jason wu sketch Jason, a Taiwanese-born designer who became a fast phenom when he created First Lady Michelle Obama’s inaugural gown.

Since then, Jason skyrocketed to international fame and is completely surprised by it all – but not unprepared. Jason is known for his high-end couture dresses, and now he is selling through Target at seriously affordable prices (less than $60). His collection for Target practically sold out before his commercial aired.

With brand integrity, Jason has chosen to design a new collection for the everyday-woman, one that has his aesthetic touch, and is unique without translating literally.

Jason is a great example of brilliant branding for the fine artist who wants to translate this strategy into their own art business.

Now Jason has clients who buy $10,000 dollar dresses, and clients who buy $60!

I’m not suggesting that you lower your small painting prices to $60 dollars. However, for artists who want to reach a larger audience, why not consider creating a line that is affordable to an ‘entry-level’ collector?

Just like with home building, brand building takes hard work, and it doesn’t usually happen overnight. Build your brand with integrity, and don’t sacrifice quality.

If you build it that way, they will come!



PS. Let’s meet on Twitterand on  Pinterestand join Fine Art Tips Facebook Fan Page! Please checkout my art too, or find me on Instagram @lorimcneeartist.

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