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Why Don't I Have Any Sales?

Posted by: Megan Dirsa-DuBois on 02/14/2013 - 1:51 PM

Open to advice and suggestions. Thank you.


Oldest Reply

Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 02/14/2013 - 2:13 PM

As an artist, half of the work is marketing yourself.

Here are some good links to discussions in our forum and elsewhere about marketing your work Dan Turner's 7 Keys To Selling Art Online The Art Of Social-network Marketing Available Online For Free How to critique and edit your own work for better sales Tagging, or Keywords and Descriptions Marketing Yourself Innovative Marketing for Artists - Challenge! Niche Marketing? How Do I Launch A Local Art Show?? PRESS RELEASES what are they and how to use them YOUR Print Quality - Please Read One of the newsletters with some good info on

Be sure to stay active on Fine Art America: join discussion, contests, etc.

We have an entire Marketing section for you to utilise to help sell your work. Try using those tools to help you.

But the best place to start is telling your friends and family.


Posted by: Megan Dirsa-DuBois on 02/14/2013 - 2:23 PM

Thanks Elizabeth.
Unfortunately, no family left. All deceased, cept for two grown kids who have no interest in buying mom's stuff. (warm smile).
Most friends are more-or-less quasi-facebook types who don't seem interested either.

However, I am here to learn, to ask and to get better -- and I'm sure nothing that I do is "perfect" so surely there must be
some more specific or something! I am going to get out of the way and
ask others to be very forthright and honest and hopefully helpful in whatever remarks or comments made.

Thank you for all those links. I believe I have read most of them before, but maybe I missed something.
And thank you to anyone is advance who takes the time to comment.
I must need a lot of help - evidently.


Posted by: Mike Savad on 02/14/2013 - 2:28 PM

you asked for suggestions, but i'm considering this a critique since it's a part of selling.

as pointed out in other threads many of your photos are a bit blurry, and they are oversized. if a buyer can see they look soft as a small image, they won't get it. ideally you need interesting pictures that the common user won't be able to take themselves, each one should have a story of some kind - the reason why you took the picture in the first place - where others can tell why.

to be honest a lot of your is kind of bland.

Sell Art Online
for example - this is not in focus, it's cluttered with other trees, it's dark and i don't see the reason why it was taken. if you think it's a sunset, there isn't any. a faint hue won't impress many and even if it was a striking color - there are so many you have all of us to compete against.

you don't have that many images, so you'll have a small footprint in the marketplace, further if someone finds you accidentally, and they see that image above - this image represents your whole body of work. they may not go any further judging it on that one.

Photography Prints
this one has all the wrong keywords - mangrove and grass and such won't attract like seahorse and sealife would. a description would help.

Sell Art Online
why do you have a picture of a sign? besides being someone else's art, who would buy and hang this? on top of that there are serious quality issues, this would never print in a million years.

Art Prints
you have to ask yourself - who am i making this for? who will this target? i see dark birds surrounded by dark stuff. they can't just be random shots you see anywhere, they have to be different than a snap shot. but mostly you have to have a target audience in mind. and again you can't increase the size - it's very blurry up close.

overall many of your images have that snap shot feel. i would suggest more practice, try to get something different. it might mean waking up at an odd time, taking it in strange places, etc. yeah it's hard. after that you have to advertise it yourself. i suggest a better avatar, you look really depressed in that - not just facially but colorwise. that alone can turn off a buyer.

anyway those are my thoughts.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Mike Savad on 02/14/2013 - 2:28 PM

oh and put everything in galleries, it's one big hodge podge of mixed stuff. not many will go beyond page 2, everything should be in a category.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: JC Findley on 02/14/2013 - 2:33 PM

Pictures of signs sell all the time on here BTW....

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Posted by: Glenn McCarthy Art and Photography on 02/14/2013 - 2:46 PM

Yes they do JC...

Big points you must ask yourself are "What makes me stand out, what kind of quality am I peddling, and who am I showing it too?"

Just an observation... are you pushing out of your shelter and getting out into the uncomfortable zone to show your work? Success always seems to come by stepping outside our sphere where nobody but we abide. Business Cards, e-mails, going into galleries and talking with the owners, etc.etc.etc. It takes just one big fan to spread good word of mouth to the next. But if you are under a rock nobody will see or know.

Sold a couple of these because people like Malibu Pier...

Sell Art Online

P.S. I would crop some of the sky out of your sign photo. My eye hits it rather than the sign....


Posted by: Mike Savad on 02/14/2013 - 2:53 PM

of course the other thing is megan is to look at your own favorites (not your own stuff), but other people's ask yourself why you liked their stuff, is there a color issue? or did it evoke a memory? once you figure that out your own images will start to improve. you have to be able to critique your own work.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Megan Dirsa-DuBois on 02/14/2013 - 3:12 PM

Thank you all for your comments. Thank you for looking at my work.

The Island Sunset was a photograph that my daughter wanted me to put up... I'm learning more about keywords all the time. I'll take another look at the Seahorse keywords, thank you.
I thought that my profile picture took years off and another person told me they liked it more, but...(shrug).... I wasn't depressed. I was just looking down and took it with the simple photo-booth MAC program then played with the colors.. Yes, my photography needs improving. My history was pure black and white and pure newspaper work so hopefully with time my skills will develop more. Should I re-do the sign black and white? I think there are many tourists who travel here..who might want to take back an image, but evidently none look online! (warm smile). I don't go into any gallery because the nearest one only offers "Florida Highwaymen" type work besides the local famous guy named Baccus - ONLY. And, well, because I'm only in my second year of college...I have not yet invested in business cards because ... I suppose I'm waiting to graduate first yet. This is a very poor low-income part of Florida, except for vacationers, so, I really don't expect that anyone at all around this immediate area would ever spend a dime -- unless it's for their own food. What type of Galleries do you suggest? I have thought about that, but it feels like my work is still so much "all-over" that I don't know what pigeon-holes yet would be best to set up. I don't want galleries to annoy people more then they might help.


Posted by: Jeffrey Campbell on 02/14/2013 - 3:32 PM


I do not know your background experience with artwork; however, I would like to say that everyone pays their dues, so to speak. A ball player, for example, does not begin his career in the major leagues. He has to work his way up from the high school ranks, through college, etc. You understand.

With that said, try not to worry about sales and continue to refine your skills. There are a plethora of free videos on You Tube regarding photography and post-processing. Editing artwork can be difficult, and I find many who struggle with it.

Think about subject matter choices and tools that may be required. For example; I shoot 100 percent of my artwork from a tripod, and I began back in the day using a $10 one that I found at a garage sale. As a 14-year old I had to mow a few lawns to buy that thing! Point being: by using the tripod and in-camera timer, I took the blurriness out of my artwork pretty fast.

Best of all, just have fun, and in time you should begin picking up some sales.


Posted by: Mike Savad on 02/14/2013 - 3:36 PM

redoing the sign won't help much, partly because there is no setting where it is, but partly because it's so blurry it won't print anyway.

while you say you weren't depressed, it looks it, coupled with the color might make the buyer feel down as well... you want happy customers.

anyway if you did newpaper work then you should be able to recognize the story, so try it at that angle. the galleries i meant were the one on here - the directories to categorize your work.

in either case go over images you like - of other people's work and see if you can figure out why your eyes went to that image over others. you'll find a pattern as you look at them.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Chuck De La Rosa on 02/14/2013 - 4:15 PM

In addition to some of the things already pointed out, many of your photos have crooked horizons. Occasionally that can work in the right circumstance, but its usually just viewed as being the mark of snapshots and not art. Its easy enough to fix them in pretty much any photo editor, even the free ones.


Posted by: Megan Dirsa-DuBois on 02/14/2013 - 5:33 PM

Thank you for the additional comments. I'm listening and trying to take it in and learn. (The only thing I'm depressed about is no sales) (warm smile). I'll try to come up with yet another profile image. Appreciate all your help.


Posted by: Bradford Martin on 02/14/2013 - 6:07 PM

The "sea horse kind of grabbed me so iilooked at that. As mentioned it , you need the keyword Seahorse. Someone might type sea horse but the main keyword there is seahorse. And add "fish". And "sea life" , and "sealife." Take out amphibian because it is a fish. As for signs, there seems to be some local demand for them, so why not. But they need to be tack sharp. Anti-body cocktails does not have cocktails as a keyword. I think you need to revisit your keywords on everything. Good luck. I like your art and i am sure you will do well.


Posted by: Bold Coast Photography on 02/14/2013 - 6:12 PM

Mike Savad has a real good document on how to critique your own work. He could probably point you to it.


Posted by: Mike Savad on 02/14/2013 - 6:16 PM

i think it floated to the top, but it's mixed in with beth's post How to critique and edit your own work for better sales

here it is.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Shawn Dall on 02/14/2013 - 6:19 PM

yeah I just posted in it that's why hahaha..


Posted by: Tom Gari Gallery-Three-Photography on 02/14/2013 - 8:14 PM

The keys are sharp detail, getting votes (join groups and discussions), look at what is not here you have a better chance of being seen. Remember it takes time to get your name out there it took almost a year before my first sale, then maybe six months before the next one. Now I have a few every month but you have to promote yourself on here and out in the physical world. handing out business cards, art shows, clubs etc. build a following word of mouth generates a lot


Posted by: Megan Dirsa-DuBois on 02/17/2013 - 1:26 AM

Thank you all again!


Posted by: Debra Forand on 02/17/2013 - 1:35 AM

Megan, I have followed a lot of the advice on here and though I have yet to sell anything, I have learned a lot and have seen a great improvement in my photos. Keep moving forward!!!


Posted by: Megan Dirsa-DuBois on 02/17/2013 - 2:19 AM

Thanks Debra. By the way, I'm really surprised to learn that you haven't sold anything! That surprises me.


Posted by: Benjamin Yeager on 02/17/2013 - 4:35 AM


Your digital art is eye-catching. I would focus on that as much as possible. Landscape photography is the most competitive offering on this site: no barrier to entry other than a digital camera and being outside. I recommend making at least 2 galleries; one with the digital art and one with your photos. Also, you can pick your favorite digital creation and use that as your profile picture. That will set the mood for the buyer when they are looking at your images. Also, think of all the keywords you can when tagging.

Best wishes,


Posted by: Bradley Clay on 02/17/2013 - 10:14 AM

Hi Megan,

I thought you made a sale last week? did I miss something?



Posted by: Puzzles Shum on 02/17/2013 - 10:30 AM

every thing in life takes time. so best of luck and not everything is meant for every one


Posted by: Martha Harrell on 02/17/2013 - 4:41 PM

Hello Megan,

I am a painter but lots of the same theories apply. The advice of the people above is good. I can sympathize about the deceased family, I am in the same boat. By the way, for some reason, your photo of yourself reminds me of the Mona Lisa.


Posted by: Gregory Scott on 02/17/2013 - 4:52 PM

Your smile is too big a grin for you to be the Mona Lisa. You should work on your enigmatic smile.


Posted by: Ginny Schmidt on 02/17/2013 - 4:57 PM

I like the new avatar - I also like your digital pieces a lot, orange fish mobile in particular.


Posted by: Janine Riley on 02/17/2013 - 9:49 PM

This hasn't sold ? This is sharp.
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This discussion is closed.