Discover How Framed Art Will Make You More Money

Framed art enhances most art.

framed art sells more art

You will sell more art to direct buying collectors with framed art.

If you are selling direct to collectors, you should offer framed art for many reasons.  (See my book Guerrilla Marketing for Artists: How 100 Collectors Can Bulletproof Your Career to learn how and why selling direct to competitors is important.) You kill sales if you don’t show and ship your art as a finished ready-to-hang piece.

Leaving it up to the art buyer to have to go the effort and expense of finding a framer, selecting suitable framing is usually a bad idea. Your odds of making a sale get dramatically reduced when your buyer has to factor in the expense and often frustrating and exhaustive chore of selecting the right frame.

If you work with galleries you know most require framed, ready-to-hang art.

Although generally true, depending on your work, this may not be accurate. Some galleries want to do the framing, but not many. Some will have your work framed locally at your expense.

One of the galleries where I worked did lots of custom framing for the interior design and ordinary buyers. With hundreds of choices to start, just getting down to a few corner samples that seemed most appropriate was a time-consuming task. With indecisive customers, it was worse. There were times when they would leave a piece with us to come back another day to work on the frame…YIKES!

Jason Horejs, my good friend and co-broadcasting partner on our monthly Art2Market Sessions, wrote this incisive blog post about framing, The Challenges of Framing Art. He gives readers useful insights from the mind of a successful gallery owner. Like me, he believes you will sell more art with framing.

Spend all you can afford on clothes, but make sure they’re quality, not flashy since clothes make the man. – Shakespeare

I liken framing to clothes and would paraphrase the great Shakespeare to say “Framing completes the art.” Not to be outdone by the like of Shakespeare, Mark Twain said, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” You get the point. Framing adds a finished quality to art. It is also functional in providing protection to the art and adds ease in hanging options.

Here are just a few of the reasons to frame your art:

  • Frames add value to the piece
  • Framed art looks more expensive
  • Frames make your art easier to sell
  • Frames protect your art
  • Frames facilitate hanging your art

It is my belief that the success of art sales and fulfillment sites such as is due in part to offering a framed art finished product for buyers. They give options for framing and substrates, but they do not overwhelm the customer as a giant wall of corner samples does in many frame shops.

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Custom picture frame shops add value and fill a need.

I am not saying the experience in a custom picture framing shop should be avoided. It often is the best solution for higher priced art, things that are difficult to frame, and for those who want the most advanced art conservation techniques used in the framing process. You will only find those services in a professional picture frame shop.

Keith Bond, a regular columnist for the Fine Art Views blog published by, penned an incisive post titled, Don’t Skimp on the Frame. He suggests spending about 10% of the retail price of your art on your framing, although he spends 15% on his because he feels it is that important. His range is in-line with Jason Horjes’ research in the above mentioned post. He found a range of 7% – 15% was the average spread on picture framing.

Make your framing work for you in multiple ways.

I have known Kim Klatt for decades. He and I were once friendly competitors and ultimately worked together selling magazine advertising and tradeshow space in properties such as Decor and Art Business News magazines, and the Decor Expo and ArtExpo tradeshows.

Kim and his wife, Tracey, are the proud owners of Picture Perfect Framing. They are salt of the earth kind of folks who go out of their way to help friends and customers. The type of people, you are happy to call a friend, and can say it with conviction.

Float frames are a terrific option for many artists.

Picture Perfect Frames - black gallery float frameThey have a versatile product for artists that will help them sell more work and save them money in several ways. Check out their site. They offer a very affordable selection of float frames. Artists can purchase completed float frames in a wide variety of sizes, styles and colors.

Additionally, they can accommodate custom sizes and still keep their prices affordable. They are able to do this because their frames are assembled in a just-in-time method. That means they are not carrying a large inventory and overhead of pre-built frames. Their buyers gain from this economical way of managing their orders. It allows them to pass savings along to their customers.

Reusable double-boxed shipping packaging rules!

Besides Perfect Picture Frame’s wide selection and low prices, their frames are double-boxed. The advantage to the artist is once your art is framed, you can reuse it to ship or store your art. You save on shipping costs because you are not paying for shipping materials. If you pack a lot of framed art for shows, this is an excellent way to get the work safely to the show – and  back if it doesn’t sell. Or, out the door with a happy customer who is not faced with getting a fragile exposed frame home securely.

Here is what customers have said about the shipping boxes:

Framed Images for PPF

“Hi Tracey,
Just wanted to send you a quick picture of some of my work in the float frames I get from you. These are wonderful in the gallery and the buyers love them. I must say that these frames are much nicer than any other float frames I’ve examined and seem much more substantial and of a higher quality. Considering these frames are also the best price on the market I consider it a doubly good thing! Also, the way you package them is genius and I appreciate the fact they each ship in their own box with a fabulous extra piece that holds them and can be adjusted to various sizes. The gallery actually uses that piece to ship other art since it holds it so nicely. Overall you do a wonderful job and I really appreciate all your extra attention to detail. Thanks very much!” – Gail

“The way you package them is genius and I appreciate the fact  they each ship in their own box with a fabulous extra piece that holds them and can be adjusted to various sizes.  The gallery actually uses that piece to ship other art since it holds it so nicely.” – Fred

If float frames are a solution that will work for you, then you owe it to yourself to give them a call, or order online.. I have no financial interest in giving you this recommendation. I am doing this because I believe the whole concept of float frames and double-boxing with multiple use shipping makes sense. I can also attest to the quality of the customer service I know you will receive from working with my friends.

You research the 600+ blog posts on this site, and you will find a handful at best over the past ten years where I give this kind of recommendation. Try working with Kim and Tracey. They want you to be happy with your results and promise to work with you to achieve them.

Art2Market Sessions Barney Davey
Click the banner above to watch the latest free Art 2 Market broadcast with Jason Horejs and me.

Some links in the post may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Marketing Art on Facebook Replay | Open Letter to Art Marketing Mastery Grads

Open letter to art marketing masters

Marketing Art on Facebook Replay.

In case you missed the live broadcast with Jason Horejs and me where we discussed the merits and how-tos of marketing art on Facebook, you can view by clicking this link: Art 2 Market Sessions.


Art Marketing Mastery Workshop – Final Recap

Many of you know I have been conducting a multi-session art marketing mastery workshop with artists. It is designed to help them take control of their careers and sell more art. In a progressive series of lessons, we covered:

  • How to identify and network with potential collectors
  • How to setup a marketing program designed to grow awareness for artists and their art
  • How to build viable email subscriber lists
  • How to pick from among the most suitable traditional marketing tools, such as direct mail and more
  • How to use digital marketing tools from websites and blogs to email marketing and social media to reinforce their message
  • And, much more (See below)

Free Art Marketing Mastery Webinar

With 5 recorded webinars totalling 8.5 hours of instruction, dozens of links and resources in private online folder, hundreds of posts on a private Facebook group, and more, the workshop participants received a vast amount of information. Here is a letter I sent to them to recap what we covered.

You Will Find This Useful, Too.

As a visual artist seeking useful information to help grow your business, I believe you will gain value by reading this letter, as well.


Dear Art Marketing Masters,

In a matter of a few short weeks, you have come a long way and covered a ton of topics and information. Without question, you have more ideas and actions than you can chew at one time. I know that, and so do you, instinctively.

Lifetime System – Lifetime Success.

My goal with the workshop is to give you the tools to help you succeed in your career for a lifetime. The plan was to start at the beginning with goals and layer in everything else that can help you achieve them. I freely admit to using the template of the first three habits in Stephen Covey’s seminal self-help book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. When you have a good model, you use it.

Artists don’t waste time trying to learn a new way to draw with perspective because what they already have works. The same goes for me with building a course for artists to learn how they can harness available tools and resources and use them efficiently to grow a successful art career. There are no quick fixes; there are just smart actions that help you achieve your goals in the fastest way possible.

Seven Habits of Highly Successful People

Covey’s first three habits are:

  1. Be proactive
  2. Begin with the end in mind
  3. First things first

Be proactive – By being proactive, you take responsibility for your actions and attitudes. You were proactive when you decided to take this course. To keep on track, you need to find those things you learned that resonate, that you know will work. Then commit to your success until you achieve them. Being an artist is mostly a solitary occupation. As such, you can’t expect someone to come along and make things happen for you. It’s up to you. Choose to have a positive, can-do attitude and to taking your career to new, higher levels.

The truth is, nearly everything worth having is up to you to shepherd the idea and make it happen. I have gently suggested finding an accountability partner to help you get things done, and to help you keep your commitments to yourself.

You say you don’t have a clue how to find an accountability partner? No problem, as always, Google is the “Oracle.” I found this useful article by querying “How to find an accountability partner.” Do your own searches, and you will find the right article or post that will clue you in on what to do to find one. A good accountability partner will help you stay proactive. Spouses and life partners are not good accountability partners. You are already accountable too much to them.

Begin with the end in mind – The reason I emphasize goals so much throughout the course is they are foundational. They give you a touchstone to help you make the correct and often fast decisions about what to do with your career. Whether you realize it or not, daily you make many career decisions.

  • Should I enter this juried contest?
  • Should I start blogging?
  • Should I boost my post on Facebook?
  • Should I donate work to this charitable function?
  • Should I look for a studio, or keep using this space in my home?
  • Should I market reproductions of my work?
  • Should I look for licensing deals with my art?
  • And, the list goes on and on

When you have written, clear, concise goals, you can refer to them to help you decide to take action, take a pass or schedule for a later date. By quickly making decisions and getting them off your brain and your agenda, you free up time and brain power for more productive activities.

Goals Drive Decisions — Good Ones!

Here’s the deal. If you are aware of goals and believe they are important, but still haven’t set them, then you need to go back and ask yourself why. What is stopping you? Is it fear you will fail? The real answer is you if you haven’t fully grasped the power of having goals, and how acting on and completing them is the key to your art marketing success.

Nearly everything we covered in this course is something that will allow you to start small and grow into what you are doing. The only rush is coming from your anxiety or expectations. I have previously mentioned that making art is mostly a solitary activity. Well, that means you most likely you are the only one responsible for getting things done.

You don’t have to start on overwhelm, even with goals. Try setting one big goal you will achieve in the next year. As you become more comfortable with all these new tasks you have learned, it will be easier to add more into the equation.

My Story.

firetruck pump panelIn my twenties, I was a firefighter for nearly five years. Thinking back, it seems like something that happened in another lifetime.

As I was studying to become an Engineer – the guy who drives the truck – I was initially overwhelmed. For example, there was a mass of confusing dials and meters I needed to set correctly once I parked the firetruck, and the lines were laid out to the fire.

As the Engineer, you have to calculate the how much hose is laid out and any elevation. It is critical because you have to adjust the pressure manually.

Provide too much, and you may throw someone off a ladder, or cause a 50-pound nozzle on a 3-inch hose to start thrashing around in a deadly fashion. Not enough pressure and you endanger the firefighters using it by not giving enough protection. You have to learn to do all this, and be aware of a lot more, in what is often a chaotic environment.

The engineer teaching me how to read the dials, and compute the pressure and everything else assured me. He told me by the time I was doing the job; I would be able to relax, focus on what was most important, get it done and the process through to the next task.

He calmly told me is was going to happen, and I would learn to cope without panicking. I believed him, but at the time I just did not see how it was possible. Eventually, I got the job and realized he was 100% correct. I even trained a few rookies myself before wanderlust and California lured me away from my Midwest roots.

I relate this story to you because I want you to know whatever you are feeling today, like having too much to do and not enough time to do it, that I have been there, too. If you focus on what is important, rather than what is urgent (More Coveyisms), eventually you will master all the things you have learned from me over the past few weeks. It’s a process, not a race, not even a marathon.

Put first things first – If you prioritize your goals, then you always know what to do next. It’s just that simple. Knowing what to do next relieves you of wasting time worrying and thinking about what to do next. During the workshop, I mentioned the book, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. He believes in committing to goals and breaking them down into their smallest components. Then get them on a reminder system, like Knowing you have it ready to address when you need to address it is what takes away worry about your future and whether you are being as productive as you want and need to be. I completely agree.

An Ambitious Agenda.

We have gone through a whole lot of material. I have given you many resources on the G Drive folder , in the Facebook group and bonus e-books on selling and pricing art. Some of you have kindly shared even more resources in the Facebook group. I thank all who have offered help, resources, links or ideas to the group.

To give you an idea how full your brain is now, here are the main topics from all the webinars:

  • Goal Setting
  • Resource Assessment
  • Branding
  • Self-promotion
  • Local Marketing
  • Networking
  • Identifying Prospects
  • Connecting with Prospects
  • Blogging
  • Website
  • Ecommerce
  • Email Marketing
  • Distribution channels
  • Affinity Markets
  • Alternative Markets
  • Traditional media
  • Social media
  • Customer hunting
  • Project planning

I added up the total number of minutes of all the webinars. It came out to 510, which works out to 8.5 hours of training. Well beyond the six hours, I originally had planned. That’s a lot of talking, and brain dumping from me and a lot of intensive listening and absorbing and note taking from you.

When you look at this information in a macro fashion, you must come to realize getting through it is like the proverbial eating of an elephant, which said to be done one bite at a time, (I have never eaten an elephant, but it sounds right to me.)

You can get everything you have learned done, just not all at once. So, relax and work on getting something done every day. Soon, you will whittle down your list until you are just working on maintaining and improving rather than continuously implementing more things into your marketing schedule.

Customer Hunting.

I am sure no one else is teaching artists to find art collectors the way I showed you in the week five webinar. You can begin with an avatar or ideal customer, and then go about finding where they hang out. You can do this equally well in your local and warm market, and you can do it online. It is the same process.

As you know, people are most likely to buy from people they know and like. Therefore, if all your marketing is to strangers and hopes they will magically want to get to know you, you are wasting your time and money. In the golden days when there were almost enough galleries to support most excellent artists, the gallery did the job of finding collectors and nourishing relationships with them. You cannot rely on that model anymore.

Galleries Are Still Viable — Your Solidified Success Comes from Connecting to Collectors

The gallery system is still relevant, but it is not a distribution channel to build on, solely. For that matter, there are no other distribution channels where you should entrust all your marketing. That’s a bad gamble with your future.

In our last webinar, I showed you how to use social media, and other information freely available to learn the names of potential collectors. Using that information, you can incorporate the other ideas I gave you in that webinar, and the one in week two on networking, to find ways to get known by potential buyers. This will take some work, but you can do it a little at a time. Just remember, it’s worth doing. So, start small.

As you get proficient, it will become just as natural for you to accomplish as it was for me to read those dials, set correct pump pressure, and keep the firetruck’s engine running smoothly all at the same time.

Project Planning.

I likened project planning to putting your marketing on steroids. Instead of doing a little of this and little of that and taking occasional shots at one-off marketing opportunities, you learned that tightly focusing your marketing is the way to go. You discovered how brand recognition comes into play. You realized you don’t want just to send a single message. You want to send a whole bunch of similar messages to highly targeted audience with a unique goal in mind.

I showed you it was possible to use the right tools to get organized to push out more than 40 messages in a few weeks’ time to help you engage your audience. Since you understand your messages never reach 100% of your audience, you now know the importance of layering in multiple opportunities so your prospects have many chances to receive your communications.

The Path Is through the Math.

When it comes down to selling artwork the only way to be successful is to show your art to enough qualified buyers on a consistent basis. It will never sell itself. It will sell if you give best potential prospects enough chances to buy it. If you want to set yourself up to make steady sales, you have to have enough potential buyers to purchase it. Moreover, you have to keep marketing to them.

You have to be persistent. That is, far more persistent than you are now. Why is it you can recognize and know the lines of the funny Hump Day commercials from Geico? (Mike, Mike, Mike) Because Geico has paid millions of dollars to give you repeat exposure to its message. On a smaller scale, you have to keep pounding in your message. The dynamic and reason behind it is exactly the same.

You Do Not Message Enough.

You are not Following up Enough with Your Clients – this is the subject line of a recent blog post by Jason Horejs, my monthly Art 2 Market Sessions broadcasting partner. He is the owner of Xanadu Gallery and has sold millions in art in his 20+ years working in the art gallery business. Now, you don’t keep pounding with “Buy my art” to prospects on your mailing lists. You keep sending those folks a steady stream of useful, informative messages until they step up and show interest in a particular piece of art.

Your Prospects Get It – It’s You Who Doesn’t.

Once you have interest in a particular piece, then you go to work with a series of emails, and possibly phone calls to the prospect. The point is to keep that prospect pleasantly informed about that work and other works that are similar. Read Jason’s article. He will tell you he keeps in touch until he has a sale or is asked to stop contacting the party about the work. He will also tell you that if you do this in a persistent, pleasant and professional manner that you rarely get any negative pushback from prospects.

Your prospects get it. Just like they get it that McDonald’s, Coke and Geico need to send them the exact same messages regularly. Let this be a lesson to you. You worked too hard to make your art, and you worked too hard to market your art so a potential buyer would show interest in it for you to let someone off the hook with a one-time effort. If you step back and think about it, that is a prescription for failure of marketing anything, not just art.

Learning how to get out of your head and out of your way is hugely critical to your success. Keep doing enough of the right things and good things will come your way.

It’s a Lifetime Thing.

What you have learned over the last few weeks are things that can last you a lifetime. Sure, you are going to modify what you learned. Nevertheless, the basics are there. You now have a complete system that you can put into place bit-by-bit until you have gone from a single locomotive to one that is carrying a huge load with many, many cars behind it.

The cool thing about building up steam and adding more cars behind your locomotive is that momentum comes into play. The darn thing nearly runs on its own with very little push from the engine. You will find as your marketing improves that instead of getting harder and more complicated to make more sales, it becomes easier. You also will find you are working less and stressing hardly at all about your marketing because it is producing for you steadily.

Even with momentum, you have to keep your eye on the ball. Commit to yourself that you will stay up with what’s happening in the art business. Be inquisitive. Don’t stop learning. There will always be new opportunities just as you find some old reliable ones are now just old. Don’t be afraid to try new things. It will energize you and your business when you find there are new things you can use to help you get connected with collectors.

Get Connected.

If there were only two words I could give you that I believe would be most important about how to build an insanely successful art career, it would be GET CONNECTED! Work on making getting connected with collectors, galleries and distribution channels a daily priority and you will be successful.

Thanks for taking this art-marketing journey with me. I can’t wait to hear back from you about the success I know you are capable of creating for yourself.

 You Can Access the Art Marketing Mastery Workshop Now.

It’s possible, I may do a live version of this workshop in the future. Because I have other commitments and plans, I cannot say for sure if or when a live version might be offered again. The good news is you don’t have to wait. Because many artists continue to show interest in the workshop, I have left the registration open.

You get access to the exact same information as those who participated in the live sessions. Your benefits include lifetime access to the recordings, PDFs of the slides from the webinar recordings, a 30-minute private consultation with me at your convenience, the e-books, the Facebook private group, and the many other benefits of the program.

Not a Static Deal.

I intend to keep adding value by including new information as I develop it, or it becomes available. Your one-time fee will continue to grow in value as more useful tools, resources, videos and information are added to the program.

Watch a 99-minute FREE Webinar on the 8-Steps to Art Marketing Mastery Workshop.

If you want a deep insight of what you will learn from the workshop, you are invited to register and watch a free 90-minute webinar that goes in-depth on the 8-Steps to Art Marketing Mastery Workshop. CLICK HERE to register for the webinar.

Register to watch free Art Marketing Mastery webinar

 Would You Rather Jump In and Get Started Now?

To skip right to all the details and get started now, CLICK HERE to sign up for the 8-Steps to Art Marketing Mastery Workshop. Your future is waiting for you. How it looks is up to you. This program will help you shape it to your liking. Join Today.

Commit to your career! Join my 8-Steps to Art Marketing Mastery program today.


Some links in the post may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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