How to become a Featured Artist on Bluethumb
Being a Bluethumb Featured Artist can be a nice boost for your confidence and potentially also your sales. We regularly change which artists we feature and are always on the lookout for fantastic artists with consistently great art. You don’t have to be an established artist to be featured; you just have to follow a few simple rules (and have amazing art).
If you’ve had some of your artwork chosen by us as a Staff Pick but are wondering why you haven’t been featured as an artist yet, check out the tips below. It may be that you have great artwork, but you’re not doing it justice.
- Take great photos. Take them in good light, front on to the artwork, and crop to the edges of the picture. I cannot stress this enough. If your photos are poor, we will not feature you, no matter how good your artwork is. Helene Hardy, for instance, takes beautiful photos of her work and crops them perfectly:
- Be consistent in style. Fair enough, every artist experiments with style, form and subject matter. But make sure you have your own artistic “voice”. If your artwork looks radically different from piece to piece, it gives the impression that you are just starting out as an artist and have not yet found your feet. Imagine that the work you are uploading to Bluethumb is a series of paintings hanging in a physical gallery – people would expect to be able to tell that your work is uniquely yours.
- Only put your best work up for sale. If you have uploaded three amazing pieces that you’ve done recently, and then decide to upload six from your student days that are pretty average, it lets down the rest of your work. Pay yourself the compliment of only displaying your absolute best.
- Price your artwork appropriately. Ultimately, you are the only person who can decide what your art is worth. But if you’re selling your work too cheaply, or conversely have priced yourself out of the market, we’ll think twice about featuring you. Do your homework, research other artists who are selling work that is of similar calibre to your own, and price yourself accordingly.
- Name the artwork well. The name of your work is crucial to creating interest. You could go with simple names – Abstract VII, for example – or you could go for something more philosophical like Tracy Dods’ work below, or you could just go with something descriptive – “Still life with poppies” – but don’t fall into the trap of appearing amateur by including spelling or grammatical errors. We also don’t recommend you include exclamation marks in your titles, or anything too cute (unless the artwork is kind of post-modern and self-referential – a great example of this is Still Loaf by Leon Loreaux).
- Describe the artwork well. It doesn’t have to be a long description; you could simply name your influences or inspiration. But make sure that your spelling is correct! For a good example of a detailed artwork description, check out Infinite Kittens Blue and Light Blue by Tim Andrew:
- Fill out your artist profile. Upload a picture of yourself (if you don’t have a professional headshot, a photograph of you in front of your art is perfectly fine), fill out your profile summary, education, influences, past exhibitions and prizes. Even if you are brand new to art, make your profile as professional as possible. This is your resume as an artist. Polish it into something that you are proud of.
- Have at least 5 artworks for sale. This is because if we choose to feature you, your latest five works will display on the Featured Artists page. If you have fewer than five works for sale, we probably won’t feature you, because it makes the Featured Artists page look ugly when one artist has less work uploaded.
- Categorise your artwork appropriately when you upload it. Pick 1-3 categories that match your influences and subject matter. Do not tick every category in the hopes of your work showing up in search results more often. It simply makes it appear that you do not know what type of art you are making. This is especially true for Indigenous art. If you do not identify as Indigenous, do not tick the Aboriginal Art category when you upload your work. If your subject matter is an Indigenous person but you are not Indigenous, tick the portrait category. If you are influenced by traditional Indigenous painting methods but do not identify as Indigenous, tick the Abstract or Landscape category. If you miscategorise your art as Aboriginal Art, it creates more work for us to manually go through and un-tick the category.
- Put up new work reasonably often. Don’t let your artworks languish or get stale. Put up new artwork at least every month, preferably every fortnight. This helps us find fabulous new art to feature in our Staff Picks and brings your work to the front page of the website more often.
I hope these tips have been useful to you. We love featuring new artists on Bluethumb, so don’t let yourself down with bad photographs or inconsistent quality of work. If you’ve followed all the tips, be patient. We’ll find you in good time.
Remember, if you are having trouble uploading your work or have questions for us, you can email me at [email protected] and I’ll do my best to help you out.