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Answers to our most commonly asked questions.
Can't find the question you're after?  Email us, and if we don't know the answer we will try our hardest to find it.

Portfolio questions:

Mrs. Brown's Beauty, mixed media artist

Website Creation
June 2007

JoJo is a pleasure to work with. She has a wealth of knowledge about cutting edge technologies in website design. She is professional, has a great sense of humor and, even if you are a novice like me, she draws you into the entire process of designing your website. When I felt overwhelmed by the scope of the project, JoJo would patiently lead me through whatever needed to get done. Working collaboratively, we were able to incorporate my ideas along with her creative touches to design a truly beautiful website.

Thanks JoJo. You did a great job!

Nancy Thompson

I am starting to look at the duplicating process now "for real" as I will have enough good slides. When they talk about "imprinting" what are they talking about?
They imprint your information (anything you want, title, medium, year, your name, address, phone number) on the sides of the cardboard/plastic film holder. This is imprinted in black/grey and doesn't fall off like a slide label can. It is a bit expensive (I personally like labels better-I think they look cleaner and are easier to read but some exhibition calls will ask for slides with no labels-they sometimes get caught in the slide projector- in which you would have to then write on them). If you have them imprinted then they can be sent anywhere, but costs $$.
Do you review photos intended for exhibitions?

I will review photos if they are on-line or sent by jpgs or snail mail (I don't want you to send me the physical full size images because of the fragility, liability and expense). If you have found an exhibition you want to apply to and are unsure which images to send, please send me that information along with your portfolio. Getting selected for an exhibition, in reality, is making a match from both sides. The exhibition information can be a key to what they are looking for and what it is that you need to send.

I can't afford the $50, will you look at my art?
This artist sent me three images of their art which were very good. You need more images along with some written material, I wrote back (sometimes you get more than what you pay for). I personally know many galleries and curators who would not spend the time to help educate the artist in becoming professional (they say school or experience should do it). I don't recommend sending a few jpgs of your work to a gallery without being prepared to meet them with a professional portfolio.
I need suggestions on where I can display and sell my art. I am a mixed media artist...I have run out of ideas...BRAIN FREEZE. I can e-mail pictures if you can help. Thanks.
Galleries are a good place to show considering that is where a lot of art buyers look for art. Art buyers also go to art auctions (get rid of any old art you are not showing in those auctions). And don't forget, they also eat in restaurants so don't disregard these spaces. Check out my opportunities page and the links page (you can also subscribe to monthly opportunity lists).
I hate writing and need help with my statment. Where do I start?
A statement should be your art in the printed word, and should encourage the reader to want to see more of your art. I have a great PDF article as a jumping off place to start the process of writing your statement. Email me and I will send you the copy.

A narrative bio (or about the artist ) is about the artist as an artist and your art making history.

The resume or cv is a list of information about where your art has been, what it has done and where it has taken you as an artist. Many galleries use this bio page as a quick reference to see what you have done. They can scan it very quickly, less than a few seconds and get an overall idea of your career.
What does a professionally produced artist's CD look like?
Here is one that I created for one of my clients. You could create this using your own computer. The cd should contain jpgs of your art, and pdfs of your written materials.

The packets that I have been creating for my clients include the cd, some paper prints and their written materials. It can all be tossed away if need be (I hate burdening the gallery with having them send things back to me).

do like the old days of slides where I could just hold them up and see the images. I find myself sometimes resisting putting that cd into my computer because it takes time to get into the files and image programs. That is why I still send throwaway prints, and written materials because that is just as instant to view as slides.
I tried just sending out a few emails with an image and I did get one response from a really great gallery (the rest never answered them). She was really, really interested in the painting I sent her and thought she might have a client for it. I referred her to my website and sent her a book and a price list. I followed up with an email the day before yesterday and now I'm concerned I won't hear from her again. She hasn't responded. She spoke about carrying a couple of pieces first before giving me a show, so she sounded really interested. This is that weird zone where you think you have something going and then you think it might be going away and you want to maintain the connection with out being a pest. She did ask for a CD at one point so perhaps she is used to using them in her gallery in some way.
I am sure people are trying to get caught up from the holiday. And, galleries are usually out or closed in August (this is sort of a international time when most galleries are closed, or the owners, curators are on vacation). Things will begin to pick up this month so hang in there. By October the galleries will be smoking! In the meantime, send her a CD!

I have also noticed that galleries are sometimes not inclined to go to an artist's website for some reason.

Are you providing a clickable link? This is what you should have in your email.
When you type it out it will just look normal. But as soon as it goes through the email process it will change color and show up as a link on the received email. Try creating one and send it to yourself. And once you receive it check the link to make sure it works.


So, it seems that a multi pronged approach is the best strategy for communicating with galleries.
1. email

Should always include an image. Not too big and not too small.
2. send website (JOJO note: I know this is unbelievable but I don't know how to give someone my site as a link. How do I do that?)
See my answer two above. You should be sending them out from your domain name and not from sbcglobal.net like my email jojorazor@jojorazor.com
3. CD
CDs work. Emails may not always get through. Sending a packet is actually physical. I highly recommend calling the gallery to see how they like their submissions. If you hear CD, go that route.
4. Book
Nice, but expensive. I see your book in every art school library (we got a lot of them when I worked at the art libraries) where they get categorized and stay in the school system. But that is not going to get you shows. Also, you should have some sort of resume. You could start getting some pieces into group exhibitions. There are a lot of them here:
5. Regular emails with new work and an opt out option.
Email announcement postcards work but you need to build your mailing list with people who want to be on your list. Start collecting email addresses. Don't spam the galleries unless you absolutely know your art is a fit (this may take months to really figure out the voice of the gallery and if you are a match which is the galleries biggest complaint when you aren't).
I suppose a blog might be nice but maybe later.
This will take away from your studio time. If you are a heavy writer then I think blogs work. But it always makes the whole site look dated if your last entry was 5 months ago. Most bloggers write daily or post images weekly. That is what keeps people coming back. If you are blogging twice a year, I won't remember to come back unless you send me an email. Could be a lot of time wasted and possibly become a burden because you haven't posted.

E-gallery questions:
Does anyone have any experience with the artist e-galleries on line, sites you pay for?
An artist with experience writes and says: They charge way too much money for too little in return, and have no real track record. I would not use them unless you personally knew someone who had and they had nothing but glowing reviews for them.

Another writes: I also had a weird experience with them. Crazy lady giving me the hard sell. They had some crazy policy where you were responsible for any virus downloads customers got or something like that. But on the other hand, they could be harmless 99% of the time.

And another: They've approached me twice, and basically make money off artist's subscriptions not sales. You would get lost among the multitude of other artists showing on their site, and refer to you as the customer, not the people who buy art. Their focus is on revenue from you not for you.


Website questions:
How many images on site, is there a limit?
  Web sites do have a limit of how much space you can use, but in all my time on the web I have never been able to come close to the limit with a personal site (business sites are a different beast).
I have scans from 4x5, 35mm.? have some jpegs but not of everything. Can I use these on my site?
Yes, but all images need to be in a digital format. You can take them to a photo lab and have them scanned onto a CD.
How much does it cost to have my site maintained after it is built ?
Hosting (paid to hosting company): You will need to pay someone to host the site for you (they are your space provider on the web, for example; sbcglobal.net) which is about $19.00-$25.00/month (this also includes your email). I can walk you through this (easy). You would need a credit card to automatically deduct this monthly fee.

Maintaining (paid to Portfolio Reviewer): This depends on your exhibitions and new work. To update information such as new exhibitions or anything that deals with text (like links) usually takes less than a half an hour to do ( there is a charge a minimum fee of $40 for anything less than an hour). One of my clients has her site updated about every 2-3 months and it costs her $40. Cheap.
What do you mean by URL?
URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator, which means your site address (domain name).
How do I go about setting up links ? Any limit as to a number of links?
You should have as many links as you can. It connects you more in the web of the internet and puts your name higher in the search engines such as Google. Links take minutes to add to your website.
How much to get a site up and on-going (approx).
Get a hosting company ($19.00-$25.00 this should include free domain name). Takes up to 48 hours for domain name to be activated. Once it is registered a page will show that your site is under construction. To build your site can cost anywhere from $600-$2500.00. What I suggest is finding about 5 sites you like and send the addresses to me. That helps reduce our hours with creating your site. The more you can do will reduce the hours it takes us which means a better deal for you in the end.
Do I have to live in the Bay Area to have you build my website?
No. All images can be sent using email or you can send a disc through snail mail. Most communication happens by email and occasionally by phone. There are a few clients that I have never met but are extremely happy with the service (which is very beneficial due to their heavy schedules). They just send an email with requested changes and images. Easy.
I need to get a photo and a narrative, can you help me with the latter?
Yes. Since leaving Taking the Leap I have much more time to devote to helping my clients. Narrative is information about you, not the art. If you decide not to do the website right now I want to let you know that I am available for all sorts of things including: a working data base for mailings, label making, postcard layouts, etc.
I have looked though the selection of websites you have created and would love to have you create my site. What is the next step to take?

1. Purchase your domain name, preferably your full art name as in the example: www.jojorazor.com. Try not to use cute names. You want the professional world to find you online easily. If someone tells me of an artist that I just have to see I will first type in their name without going to Google or another search engine. Domain names are cheap and Godaddy is becoming a decent place to buy one.
2. Get your web hosting set up. You can either use Godaddy to host your site or call the company that you get email from and ask them to set you up for web hosting. This is an additional monthly cost, up to $25.00/month.
3. Your new domain hosting company will send you a welcome email with your information on it. When you receive it, forward it to me. (I need the ftp address, login and password to get into the web site).
4. Send me 4-5 websites you like.
5. Begin sending me your digital images. I do the initial design in photoshop before I build the site so that you can look at it and make any changes you need. Also, if you have postcards, letterhead stationery, anything where I can get a sense of your esthetics, send that also. It will really give me an idea on how to design your custom site. The images should be 96dpi around 5 inches either width or height.