Brand Behavior: Samsung and Thrift Shops

Looking around my living room, a brand that sticks out in my mind is my 65” Samsung SmartTV. My husband and I had been looking for the right Smart TV to replace our old 47” Vizio 1080p tv. I began interacting with the Samsung brand through work, as Verizon had a co-branding partnership with Samsung. Because of this, I used only Samsung tablets, cellphones and TVs on the job. Normally, I am brand loyal to Apple for everything and I wouldn’t go about buying Samsung for personal use (and not just because I was provided all the tech free through work!) On the job, I relied on the Samsung products to perform “under pressure” — in hot, cold or rainy environments for very long hours, and I would need it to have crystal clear picture to avoid any comments that could lead a consumer to think for any reason that Verizon Fios had less than perfect picture or speed quality. However, I have used several other brands leading up to this partnership enough to know that the disadvantages of going with a lesser brand is not worth the headache. There is nothing more stressful about having a client show up on site and having a TV not work for no apparent reason! Even though I would be using their products at home without any pressure for the devices to perform, I would still want a product that operates quickly, efficiently, and beautifully. The remote is sleek and has a voice control option- once you have access to that feature, it’s very hard to turn back. A few months after having the Samsung SmartTV in our living room, we purchased a Toshiba Amazon Fire TV for my art studio/office space. In comparison, the sound quality is muffled, the picture isn’t as sharp, and the remote features are clunky. It’s a slow TV overall, and not great quality, but it was a budget item that won’t get much use so we kept it anyway.

Overall, I’d consider myself someone who uses brands not only for utility, but also for quality. I don’t mind spending 20% more (or even more) on something that I know is going to have better longevity, and is going to save me the headache of replacing it prematurely or worrying about poor performance. In fact, the laptop I’m typing on is an 8 year old MacBook pro, whereas my husband has gone through 3 cheaper PC laptops in the same amount of time that I’ve had mine. There are certain brands in my life that I consider my trusty workhorses — my 2007 Toyota that’s never broken down, my refurbished 2013 MacBook Pro, the iPhone 6 I had for 5 years until just recently, even my  late 1800s Philadelphia “Workingmen’s Home.”

Alternately, I’ll have to admit that the one category I absolutely will not spend money on is clothing. The reason why I don’t spend money on clothes is because my experience is that there is never a clear difference in quality that’s worth putting out the extra cash. I frequent thrift shops on a monthly basis, and I browse my PoshMark app waiting for clothing I’ve liked to go on sale. I won’t hesitate to buy generic clothing brands through Amazon or eBay, either. My son’s entire wardrobe is secondhand, and no one would ever know! (He looks cute in anything of course!) Other than shoes and outerwear, my experience has been that the off-brand or private label is perfectly fine.

What is your brand behavior? Do you find yourself brand loyal in one category, yet break all your rules in another?

New Fairfield Thrift Shop
My Favorite Thrift Shop of ALL TIME


Pro Talk: Shipping Artwork with Dan and Stu

Packing and shipping artwork can be confusing, frustrating and expensive to deal with. Thankfully, the guys at my local shipping store, Dan and Stu from Liberties Parcel in Northern Liberties Philadelphia, took some time to shed some light on the business of transporting art.


Dan and Stu help Lentil ship Chris P. Bacon a birthday gift.

What is the biggest misconception most customers have about shipping?
Dan and Stu: Fragile and Do Not Bend stickers and labels. They help, but if you think something poorly packaged won’t break simply by writing ‘fragile’ on the box, you are mistaken. First, take the time to package an item properly for shipping. Then, place a few stickers as an additional alert.  

Don't rely on stickers to protect your precious cargo on the journey to it's final destination!

Don’t rely solely on stickers to protect your precious cargo on the journey to it’s final destination!

Tell us some of the whackiest items you have ever had to ship.
Dan and Stu: Taxidermy by far: mounted rams heads, bobcats, and the occasional trophy fish. The more delicate items have been chandeliers, antiques, and doll houses. We have also custom packed and shipped a park bench, along with a vintage hotel bell hop cart, for a freight shipment. On a daily basis, we see some strange things come through the door. 
What’s the toughest part about shipping paintings, glass objects or a fragile items such as pottery? Any tricks to packing these?
Dan and Stu: It all depends on the materials you have.  The easiest guidelines for packaging anything fragile are listed below:
1. Securely and generously wrap the item in bubble wrap
2. Find a carton that will allow that item to have a minimum of 2" of space surrounding it.
3. Surround the wrapped item in packing peanuts (DO NOT USE CRUMPLED PAPER) on all sides tightly.
4. Tape all exposed seams of the carton.
What is the worst way an artist could send a piece of art where it would almost certainly arrive broken?
Dan and Stu: Allowing any fragile item to bounce around inside the packaging or without ample padding surrounding it will almost certainly arrive damaged or broken.
how can artists accurately price out the cost of shipping and handling for their work?
Dan and Stu: There are 4 factors that will determine the cost of shipping an item:
You can call your local shipping stores with these 4 factors and they will be able to give you an accurate shipping quote, and if needed, a packaging quote (that would include materials such as bubble wrap and boxes).
Do you recommend a specific carrier? what are the pros and cons of each?
Dan and Stu: They are benefits to using USPS vs. FedEx/UPS:
-USPS will be the least expensive when shipping smaller and/or non-time sensitive shipments.
-FedEx/UPS will be less expensive when shipping larger and/or time sensitive shipments. FedEx and UPS will often times discount shipping to a commercial or business address, so make sure to clarify that in order to cut costs when possible.

Enzo helps out at the store by licking stamps.

Enzo helps out at the store by licking stamps.

Can you share any resources (links, guides) for readers who plan on packing their original artwork themselves?
Dan and Stu:
Packing paintings and framed photos for shipping by Agora Gallery:

A fun video packing pottery and putting it to the test with Sheila Corbitt:

What are the benefits of insuring artwork? How does it work?
Dan and Stu: Insuring artwork is almost a no-brainer; however, there are several variables to consider. FedEx and UPS offer $100 insurance with every shipment automatically where the USPS offers $50 protection with Priority Mail.  Adding insurance is available from all carriers; however, certain carriers have exception lists.  These lists are posted on the carrier websites. Important note: Only artwork that has been sold or professionally appraised can be insured for the invoiced amount if it fits within the carriers guidelines.

If you decide packing and shipping items yourself is way over your head, contact Stu and Dan at Liberties Parcel, which is located at 2nd and Brown in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia, PA.

Why yes, that is moi painting the winter window scene at Liberties Parcel a few years back!

Carol McDonough and the Journey of the Green Man

As a kid, I loved rolling out clay on the oversized wooden tables of my Aunt Carol’s light-filled art studio. From the Swamp Studio of Columbus to the spacious countryside of Rutland, Ohio, Carol McDonough’s ceramic and glass pieces are absolutely breathtaking.

Tell us how you got started in art. What made you pursue ceramics?

Carol: I became fascinated with astronomy pictures in high school, and I convinced my Dad to build me a darkroom in the basement- I spent many happy hours in there. That’s also when I started selling my work- my Mom was one of my first customers. I sold her pictures of my baby brother Mark for $5!

A young Carol works diligently in clay.

A young Carol works diligently in her clay studio.

I dropped out of photography school at Ohio University to get married. Eventually, we pursued my husband’s life long dream of living in the country. I thought about how an artist could make it in the middle of nowhere; before I had ever laid my hands on a piece of clay, I picked pottery! Six weeks into throwing 101 I still couldn’t center the clay– uh oh! It all worked out OK though, and I learned the importance of hard work and putting in the time to improve skills.

How has living in the countryside of Southern Ohio impacted your work?

Carol: Prior to living in Rutland, my work had an “Art Deco” feel, and my business name was “Swamp Studio” because whenever it rained, water seeped up through the floor of my basement studio!


Carol’s Art Deco pieces, prior to moving to the farm

Carol's Art Deco pieces, prior to moving to the country. Please write her for details!

A promotional postcard from the Swamp Studio days. Please write her for details!

Once we moved to the countryside, my business name changed to “C McDonough Designs,” and my work got more organic as I was inspired by the rolling hills, woodlands and lush green pastures of the countryside. I am an avid gardener and I have developed a line of garden pottery for my own needs including bird feeders, bird houses and planters. I learned how to make and install tile for our 100-year old farmhouse, using my kitchen and bathroom as a testing ground. Have you noticed this pattern? I was selling pics to my Mom, now I’m selling tile to my husband!

This little bird helps out with Research and Development for Carol’s handmade feeders!

The cats on the farm “testing” Carol’s kittie food bowls

Tell us a little bit about your Green Man.

Carol: The Green Man is an ancient symbol of man’s connection to nature. The process for making my green men and women are basic hand building techniques. Each face is individually hand formed and up to 36 real leaves (Sacred Oak, Bacchus, Paw Paw Sun) are pressed into clay slabs, cut out and attached.

Carol’s “Green Man”

Any secrets you’d like to share with us on your process?

Carol: Check out how I make a Green Man on my blog.

Describe your dream art studio.

Carol: My dream art studio is mine now with free heat and more windows! I might get an upgrade when Jay (my husband) retires.

The Perfect Art Studio: Mother Nature’s finest leaves included!

What advice do you have for artists that want to take their storefront online?

Carol: One of the first things I did on Etsy was check out page 12,346 to see what was there. Some of the most atrocious photos ever seen, out of focus, busy backgrounds, dark, yikes!!! You have a sixteenth of the screen and about a nano second to grab the attention of your potential customer. Once they click on your item you need four more good photos with close ups, the backside of the piece, and a great description and background story. Give it some time, work on it regularly, look at what others are doing.

Natural lighting and attention to detail make this closeup of “Bacchus” a great example of The Perfect Shot; you can practically taste the grapes!

Are You involved with any online storefronts besides Etsy?

Carol: I have another online store with Storenvy. The site is like Etsy but San Francisco based. It is a little more edgy and you can have a custom store for free, but I have had many more Etsy sales.

A more esoteric work, Carol’s Silica-based life-form fish has been making the rounds in the Ohio art loop

Is any of your art currently on display? If so, where, when and for how long?

Carol: I currently have a sculpture in the Athens Voices show at the Dairy Barn Art Center and five sculptures at the Multicultural Center at Ohio University as part of the Women of Appalachia Show. I am waiting to hear if this is my year to get into the Ohio Designer Craftsmen Best of 2015 Show!!

Can’t make it to Ohio for either event? Check out Carol’s Etsy shop from the comfort of, well, wherever you are right now. Want more info on how to run your Etsy page? Check out my breakdown of Etsy analytics and how it can help you reach your customer base. Psst! There are Etsy coupons at the bottom of that blog 🙂

Click the menu button on the top right (3 horizontal lines) and scroll down to Follow Blog Via Email.

Inspire, Connect, Promote Your Art Through Blogging and Twitter

When I went to art school, we were taught that our artist websites should include samples of our work, contact info, a bio, CV, and perhaps a blog. Back in those days, spam comments were rampant so we learned to disable them, reinforcing the fear of allowing the public to connect with us, the creators. Nowadays, the idea of providing blog content that consistently reads like a press release is stuffy and outdated. When it comes to using social media to talk about your art, it’s important to create compelling blog and Twitter posts that energize your readers in order to elevate your brand.

show your process. What are you working on?

Be transparent. Share an industry or trade secret. You’re an artist and people are fascinated by you. They also usually have NO IDEA how you do what you do, and sharing that process with your readers is an incredibly intimate peek into who you are. Are you a jewelry maker? Show us how you use resin and original photography to make a necklace. Don’t worry too much about someone stealing your process; you’re an artist because you’ve got talent, and most people will readily admit that they could never do what you do, even if you provide a step by step guide! This may also help them understand your pricing, and why your work is so unique and valuable.

Not to worry! Your fine-tuned photography talents, lighting knowledge, and photo editing abilities will never be reproduced by an iPhone user and a crying baby! [via]

image via []

Your fans want to hear from you!

While strong blog content should be the base of your social media tactic, it can be tempting for artists to think of the blog solely as a way to document their art instead of using it as a way of engaging with their readers. Maybe you’re a creator, but not much of a conversationalist. This type of blogging doesn’t encourage a two-way dialogue with your readers, or sharing amongst your readers through other social media outlets. The best way to get connected is to include other industry leaders into your social media tactics. Starring a tweet, mentioning a person back who mentions you in their tweets, following people back who are enthusiastic about your brand are all ways you can generate enthusiasm within your blog and Twitter posts. Some helpful tips: –Reply to your followers when they comment on your blog. This lets them know that you care about what they are saying, even if it’s just a simple “thank you.” It also helps to keep the blog alive for a longer period of time after you initially post it. -When you mention other artists in your blog post, hyperlink their name so that readers can check that person out. -When you tweet the link to your blog, make sure you @ mention the artists you’ve highlighted in your blog and any industry thought leaders to a) grab their attention b) show them that you think they’re awesome. If they love your post, they’ll star, retweet or both, which helps you gain targeted, quality followers (and is also fun and gratifying when they acknowledge you):


I @ mentioned the artists from my “3 Philly Artists who Rock Instagram” post on Twitter, and all three of them starred and/or retweeted my post to thousands of followers!


Address your fear of being over-connected, annoying, and spammy Because no one wants to be coined the “look-at-me” generation, some artists have a knee-jerk reaction to sharing about themselves and their work, and may feel discouraged from participating. Stick to the virtues of offering genuine helpfulness, and ensure your posts contain meaningful, interesting, and entertaining content and you’ll have nothing to worry about! Figure out a creative way to link to your storefront as a part of your Call to Action (CTA) as you wrap up your blog post. For instance, in my blog post demystifying the Sell on Etsy app, I highlight my own store for readers to check out–now that I’ve shared the stats from my items for sale, they’re probably wondering what those “Nora Nude Coasters” look like, and they’ll be more inclined to visit the link. I also offer a link for 40 free listings for readers wanting to get started on Etsy, and a $5 coupon for those who love shopping handmade at the bottom of that same article. What’s that called again? Authentic helpfulness! What did I just do? Link you to my original content! *          *          *           *           *             *           *            *            *             *            * This is my final post for my Social Media Marketing class through Southern New Hampshire University. After this, I’m into the wild on my own! I would like to thank my professor, Dr. Jessica Rogers, for an awesome and intriguing semester!

Why Artists Are Afraid to Join Social Media

There are an alarming number of artists who are dragging their feet when it comes to joining in on the conversation through social media; does this sound like you? Perhaps you want the world to see your work, but you are struggling to understand how to use Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook to your advantage. Maybe you have a fear of becoming a social media zombie, or you’re afraid to leave your comfort zone of simply blogging or having a website for people to view your work. Being able to interact with other artists and art lovers might seem intimidating, but it is detrimental to the growth of your personal brand. Social media isn’t going to disappear, so if you choose to be a laggard on adopting this medium you’re only going to slow yourself down. Here are three concerns most artists have about entering the social media stratosphere, and solutions on how to overcome such obstacles.


Copyright infringement; manufacturers stealing original designs and mass producing them; fraudulent downloading and printing of original material



-Register for Pixsy. You can synch your original photos and Pixsy will scan the internet for replicas, even “checking under the couch.” This is especially helpful for photographers. This is currently in private beta mode, so pre-register now in anticipation of when the site goes live.

-It never hurts to conduct a Google search using keywords that would describe your items every now and again to monitor the results.

-Watermark your photos close to the center to avoid being cropped out, and upload smaller, more compressed files. Watermarks are annoying and ugly, but a necessity for photographers. Document work at an angle instead of straight on to make it harder to copy.

This painting is considered public domain today, but if Manet had internet in 1863 he might want to watermark his image

The original “Olympia” is considered public domain today, but if Manet had internet in 1863 he might have watermarked his image like so (This is actually a “master copy” I painted in art school)


Challenge- which Apps to use

Figuring out which social media platforms to use or bypass; updating on a regular basis; making timely and relevant updates


-Instagram and a Facebook page are a must for artists. Check out my previous blog post on how to rock Instagram here. Posting your work on Pinterest is great for weavers, ceramicists and craftspeople. Twitter is perfect if you’re involved in a lot of art shows and events. Plus, Yoko Ono is on Twitter and she’s really fun to follow.

-Set up a HootSuite account for your social media accounts. This allows you to schedule in advance, and saves the trouble of posting similar updates on different SM platforms. With the free version, you can link up to 3 accounts at once to HootSuite. You can also schedule reoccurring material if there is something important that should be shared more than once.

-You can also use ScheduGram or other apps that are designed to schedule specifically for Instagram instead of bombarding your viewers with a ton of photos at once. For instance, I made the decision to unfollow Ai Weiwei after my Instagram feed was taken over with his “leg as a gun” campaign for weeks on end–the frequent posts became too much. Your followers will become bored or annoyed, and may decide to unfollow or tune you out if you overdo it.

Challenge: fear of using Hashtags

How to use them; what’s appropriate; what not to hashtag


-Hint: There is no need to hashtag your own name. You are searchable by your name and username on Twitter and Instagram.

-Find and follow artists and peers whom you respect and admire before you post to see how others are talking about the same subject as you.

-If you can find specific hashtags that are popular or trending amongst your community, use them when it is appropriate. For instance, I used #pancakeart and #discgolf for this Instagram post:

This lead to the post going slightly viral by the time I woke up on Monday morning. Not only did I receive a shout out from master Pancake Artist Kevin Blankenship, but my disc golf pancake was also featured as the cover image in a “best of Instagram” blog on All Things Disc Golf. Instagram gets very exciting once people you don’t know start liking your posts and following you.

Conclusion: Unless your name is Lisa Yuskavage and you’re selling your work for millions of dollars in a New York gallery, you’ll want to get online so that people can discover you. Though there are risks and challenges, it is also a very fun and rewarding medium that you should get to know and embrace.

Want to keep learning more about harnessing the power of social media as an artist? Follow my blog!

Demystifying the Sell on Etsy App

A few weeks ago, I suggested to my friend that she list her beautiful photography on Etsy after she knocked it out of the park at a recent art show. Her response was, “Why shouldn’t I just list them on eBay?”  That’s a legitimate concern, and a question that deserves to be demystified for all artists. There are some key advantages to participating in a socially-based e-commerce community website that only allows (or, is supposed to only allow) handmade arts and crafts that artists should consider once they decide that setting up an online storefront is right for them. First, your listing will stand out easier on Etsy than on a huge e-commerce site like eBay. Think of it as the difference between having a canoe on a small pond instead of a giant ocean. While eBay might draw from a larger pool of shoppers, Etsy hones in on just one type of shopper- the person who is specifically looking to buy handmade items (insert corny joke about sailing in the “Specific Ocean” here). It’s by no means an intimately-sized online marketplace, though: as of 2013, the Etsy community hit a cool 30 million members.

Disc Golf Love shirts printed by my husband. Will he be the next Etsy superstar? Not without me setting up an account for him!

Disc Golf Love shirts printed by my husband, Stu Kaplan. Will he be the next Etsy superstar? Not without me setting up an account for him!

track your inventory

Most artists and craftspeople are constantly setting up at art shows and craft fairs, selling their work, packing it up, creating more inventory and preparing for the next endeavor. Like any business, you’ll need to keep track of what sells, what doesn’t, and how many items you have in stock for the next event. This is the #1 reason why the “Sell Now” feature on the Sell on Etsy App is going to be your best friend if you are an on-the-go artist or craftswoman with work listed on Etsy. Are you going to hand write each and every sale in a ledger book at your event or type it into an Excel document in between customers? Doubtful, and if you are, you’re wasting valuable face time with potential customers.

“Sell Now” Feature

Art shows can get hectic and it seems like everyone wants to buy something all at once. “Sell Now” through Sell on Etsy is awesome for this reason, because it allows you to track your inventory on a real-time basis as you complete the sale, whether cash or credit. Screen shots below illustrate the simple, beautiful and easy to navigate app:

Menu for "Sell Now" feature on Sell on Etsy App for iPhone

Menu for “Sell Now” feature on Sell on Etsy App for iPhone

Screenshot from Quick Sale mode

Screenshot from Quick Sale mode


Adding new sale items

If you’re on the road often or in between functioning computers, adding new sale items through the Sell on Etsy App is even faster and easier to use than listing through the website on a desktop computer. I often shoot photos of my work during the daytime, edit them later, and then can’t contain my excitement long enough to open my laptop…so I start adding my items on the phone app in between checking my Instagram and Pinterest feeds before I fall asleep.


It’s like Christmas morning when you can wake up and check your Sell on Etsy app for your website’s analytics. While you’ll need to check the website from a computer for detailed analytics such as breakdown of web traffic visitors and search terms that landed shoppers on your page, you can view daily, weekly, and monthly visits, listing and shop favorites, reviews, and sale information on the Sell on Etsy app.

Etsy shop history screenshot from my shop

Etsy shop history screenshot from my shop

Screenshot of my shop. I sure would like to get these numbers higher

Screenshot of my shop traffic for last week

Growth of Mobile App Usage amongst shoppers

One of the reasons it is so important to choose a social media-based e-commerce site that offers a great user experience with their mobile app is because the use of apps on smartphones and tablets is exploding. 80% of the time consumers spend visiting a retail site on mobile is through an app, according to ComScore’s Gian Fulgoni. A September 2013 study proves that Etsy is hanging with the big boys in this category, with 29% of its 20 million unique visits coming from the mobile app. Etsy does a great job of providing visitor origin information and includes the mobile app data as well. Screen shots from my shop highlighting traffic from the Etsy app:



Screenshot of traffic for a specific listing from last week, including 13 of 36 visits coming from the Etsy app.


Traffic sources to my Etsy page, ranked.

Etsy isn’t for everybody, but it’s definitely right for me, my cousin, my aunt, and Snooki!

Want to set up your own Etsy shop? Here are 40 free product listings, from me to you!

If you’d hurt yourself with a glue gun but love to shop arts and crafts, here is $5 to spend on Etsy!

3 Philly Artists Who Rock Instagram

There are many social media outlets through which artists can showcase their work, but it is mind boggling for many to pick and choose which to use and which to forego. For instance, I keep bugging my amazingly talented graphic designer sister, Julie Rado, to get on Instagram. “I don’t want to have another reason to have my nose buried in my phone!” she said. Point taken. No one wants to be “that guy” who is so engulfed in posting, pinning, poking and tweeting that we lose touch with reality. However, social media is a powerful tool for artists that can help develop and show off your own personal style, as well as keeping abreast of what others in your field are doing.

Philly is home to a great number of artists, and many of them use social media to get their work out there. There are a few Philly artist Instagrammers who not only use the program exceptionally well, but are also trendsetters and totally ahead of the game. Here are 3 of my favorite Philly art peeps to follow (all profile descriptions are directly from their pages):

@StreetsDept : Conrad Benner

Born and raised in Fishtown, Philadelphia. Photojournalist. Lover of street art, graffiti, and urban exploration.

All you have to do is look at the number of followers that StreetsDept has on Instagram (a quaint 93 thousand) to realize one thing: This guy KNOWS street art. You’ll also notice that Benner makes it a point to interact with his followers who comment, which has to be a challenge given his number of followers; he is genuinely interested in what you have to say and you will be noticed. I’ve picked up a few other important cues from Mr. Benner that I feel help me stay current as an artist, Instagrammer, and lover of all things Philadelphia. First off, he uses VSCO Cam with his pictures. According to Ellis Hamberger, “Instagram set[s] out to make your mobile photos look good, VSCO hopes to make them look real.” It’s the photographer’s photo app, so if you’re a film enthusiast, check out the VSCOCam app.

Another really cool thing that sets StreetsDept above the pack is that he often takes over the feed of Visit Philly as a “guest Instagrammer” (see below). This is a fascinating and lucrative career for an artist—if you have thousands of followers, that is!

@adam_wallacavage : Adam Wallacavage 

Photographer, Chandelier maker, Militant Ornamentalist. For chandelier inquiries, contact or awallacavage@gmail http://WWW.ADAMWALLACAVAGE.COM

View this post on Instagram

It looks weird in here but sounds normal.

A post shared by Adam Wallacavage (@adam_wallacavage) on

Adam’s original inspiration for creating these Octopus chandeliers was from the octopus on Wednesday’s bed (Addams Family comic books). He is also a photographer, which explains the amazing photo editing skills documenting his work, unbelievable travel adventures/parties, and his love of the Philly skateboarding scene. Not to mention all of the super creepy and fascinating details of his house, which I really have to see in person someday. Adam has totally mastered the video capability of Instagram, which not many people can say. Notice the underuse of hashtags and tagging other people, which is refreshing- but when you already have 48 thousand followers, using these sparingly is A-OK. Scrolling through his comments you can see how many people are interested in buying one of his chandeliers–he wisely provides that information right in his profile description.

Adam is a great example of a Philly artist who has mastered the art of documenting his work on Instagram.

@getupart : Get Up Art 

Owner/curator of @getitgallery For shirts and other clothing visit Email/booking:

There are a ton of street artists in Philly, but not all of them capitalize on their catchy spray-painted or wheat-pasted art. Get Up Art does just that, and he does it in a creative way. He first takes a spin on Philadelphia icons (Ben Franklin with a boombox, the Phillie Phanatic spray painting a wall) and creates a really cool multi-layer stencil:

View this post on Instagram

Thanks to @tmoms for letting me paint

A post shared by Get Up (@getupart) on

and makes them into stuff you can buy, which is even cooler- and posts it on Instagram, referring you back to his storefront where you can purchase it.

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Get Up (@getupart) on

Street art has a history of being controversial, as it can be considered illegal and under the same umbrella as graffiti, vandalism, and defacing property. That’s why it’s so interesting and ballsy to see it being sold, as sometimes the artists prefer to stay anonymous. Well-known street artists like Shepard Fairey do have merchandise for fans, although that is sometimes controversial too…but if that jawn wasn’t making people mad, it wouldn’t be any fun, now would it?

The Zero Dollar Art Show: Utilizing Social Media and Alternative Space to Sell Your Work

Curating your own DIY art show doesn’t have to be complicated OR expensive. In fact, you might be surprised at how easy it is display and sell your artwork for no cost to a solid audience of art lovers. Finding an alternative space to display and sell your work (and your friends’ work!) and using social media to promote the event are the two key ingredients you need to maximize profit at your Zero Dollar Art Show. 


Do you have a friend that works at an independent coffee shop, restaurant or bar? Talk to them about hanging your work and having a have a show opening. You can also check with the owners of businesses you are a patron of. For example, I had already built a mutually beneficial relationship with the owners of the nearby bar by painting seasonal artwork onto their windows in exchange for some of their goods (ok, ok, a few free beers). They were happy to host my event and run drink specials for the evening! Whether you can offer graphic design or photography, your artistic talent is sure to be a valuable resource for your business partner.


Create a Facebook Event. This is what really gets the bodies through the door. You’ll want to do this about 2-3 weeks in advance. Make sure the event is public, and that the page has an attractive custom photo for the background. Be sure to include links to the artists’ websites and online storefronts. Be specific about the date, time, location; food or drink specials; anything that makes the night unique. All participants should invite their friends and share the event on Facebook. You can make sure the invitees see your event pop up in their feed after the initial invitation is sent by having the participating artists post photos of their works in progress onto the event page. This generates excitement in the days leading up to the show. Unless someone has turned off notifications for the event, this will pop up in the feed of everyone who has been invited so they don’t forget. Check back every day, and you’ll see that RSVP YES number inch upwards every time someone posts!

photo 1(1)

Encourage your participants to post pictures of what they’re working on to the Facebook event in the days leading up to the event. This generates excitement and reminds people of the show

Post on Instagram. Because art shows rely heavily on visuals, this is super important for artists to use to pre-promote the show. Pick a short, memorable, yet unique hashtag for your event that you and your fellow participants can use when they put up pictures of projects they are working on or of artwork they are going to display. People will be able to find your event easier before, during, and after the show with this. Make sure to include it on any graphics promoting the show info as the “official” hashtag, and include it in your Facebook event and/or blog post. Tag people on these photos that you think would enjoy your show, and tag the artists participating as well. Not everyone is going to comment or like, but just know that they are definitely looking.

Post on Twitter. Use the same hashtag across social media sites for continuity, and use it every time you talk about the event. You can tweet links to your artist’s websites, and pictures before and during the event to ramp up interest with your followers. You will also want to “mention” (@) local community, news, or art accounts. If they think your event is cool, chances are they’ll retweet it for you. Share the Facebook event link on Twitter and watch your “going” number grow even higher.


-Try a group show first. This will maximize your number of visitors.
-Partner with a local print shop. Ask them to print posters and postcards for free in exchange for their logo or a coupon on the flyer, and mentions on your social media accounts.
-Get your friends involved. A friend in the beginning stages of a food or music career might want to set up at your event as well. They can entertain or feed people, and make a few bucks too. Anything that adds spice to the event is always a plus!
-Have realistic price points. It’s great to have some bigger pieces to showcase your talent, but smaller, functional, less expensive work tends to sell easier depending on your audience.

Let the Bodies Fill the Room!

Let the Bodies Fill the Room! #artistsofthekeep

Need help planning your art event? Feel free to reach out to me!

Artists of the Keep: First Friday NoLibs, 12/5/2014

Date: Friday December 5, 2014
Location: Druid’s Keep (upstairs), 149 Brown Street (Brown and Hancock), Northern Liberties 19123


Come upstairs at the Druid’s Keep for works made by Philly’s finest artists and craftspeople. Painters, photographers, illustrators, weavers, and ceramicists will have lots of awesome gifts available for purchase. Everything is under $50 and we will accept cash or credit!! There will be beer specials and receive $1 off a sandwich from PB and U food truck on site during the event!
For more information, visit
Twitter/Instagram: @Rado_Tornado, #artistsofthekeep
Alicia Arcidiacono (photographer, wildlife biologist)

Dan Lisowski (illustrator)
Delia King (reverse glass painter)
Janell Wysock (weaver)
Jess Keene (weaver, ceramicist)
Kofi and Najee Lewis (painters)
Lisa Sternberg (cork artist)
Malachy Egan (illustrator)
Otto Brown (ceramicist, painter)
Sarah Rado (painter, photographer)
Stu Kaplan (screenprinter)