Eric is the Chairman, Publisher, and CEO of Streamline Publishing, Inc. which publishes Fine Art Connoisseur and PleinAir Magazine. A career entrepreneur, Eric has 30 years’ experience launching companies and media brands, as well as a decade in the art industry, working with collectors and organizing art conventions. In this episode, Eric discusses the difference between digital and analogue consumption of art, how to meet the needs of the market while staying true to your vision, and advice for artists navigating the gallery world. Here are a few highlights:
On weathering art market changes:
- “I believe that the Masters of today who are still relatively young—the Jacob Collins’ and Grayden Parrish’s and people of that ilk—they’ll see a surge in pricing in their paintings. Younger people following in their footsteps will have thriving careers in their lifetime. This movement is driven by doing something different and not being part of the mainstream.”
- “We’re getting a sense of something from young folks who say ‘I don’t get this modern or abstract stuff’—to them, this resurgence of Old Masters style has become new and fresh. They are criticized for doing something considered avant garde and almost wrong, yet it’s the exact thing that happened when representational painting came out.”
- “The rise of ateliers—and the resurgence of Figurative Art—shows that these people needed a home and chance to be together, to realize that people all over the world were interested in this.”
The strengths of digital and analog:
- “When you look at a digital picture of a piece of art on your Instagram feed, it looks good, but it doesn’t look nearly as good as when you see it in print, which of course doesn’t look nearly as good as when you see it in person. This is one of the big challenges, because we need to get people out there looking at art in person.”
- “I can do things with digital that I can’t do with print—in our digital edition we have 15-20 additional pages that we don’t do in print, because it’s very expensive. So we give digital subscribers more content, and it’s a beautiful thing to be able to do that.”
- “Everything we’re doing today digitally will be old tomorrow. There will be something completely different and new in two, five, or ten—someone will invent something to completely disrupt things, and as an artist, you have to play all the angles.”
- “I have a friend who buys all his art on an auction site—I don’t know if he’s ever set foot in an art gallery. But I also know people who will not buy a piece of art until they can see it in person.”
- “Buyers today wants to be able to research, they want to read about the artist online—so I don’t want anybody else in charge of my brand.”
On marketing and business management:
- “My motto when we started the businesses, is that I would never do anything that I didn’t love.”
- “The galleries that are failing are the ones that aren’t being contemporary in how to operate businesses.”
- “I think the slippery slope with marketing is it can accomplish anything except for good painting—we’ve all seen artists who make so much money and we don’t understand why they’re succeeding because we don’t respect the art that they’re making. Marketing can in fact accomplish selling bad stuff.”
- “The problem is there’s this belief that if you put it online, you’ll sell a lot of art, but it’s not true. You can’t put everything on a single pillar.”
- “One has to focus on strategy instead of tactic: tactic is the thing you’re going to do, strategy is the plan of how you’ll get respect, get well-known and get people to buy your work.”
- “People want to do things the way they used to do them, and are not doing the things that got them success in the first place. In hard times, people cut back, and sometimes cutting back hurts them more.”
To continue receiving more critical educational material like this:
- Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, and write a review letting others know why it’s valuable. Reviews improve the listing placement, making it easier for others to find the podcast.
- Express your thanks with a gift to the Clark Hulings Fund, and help artists grow self-sustaining businesses that contribute to our economy and fill our world with art.
- Sign up (it takes less than a minute) for periodic updates on our courses and content.
- Visit our Podcast Courses page. You’ll gain direct access to incredibly valuable insights and information from artists, collectors, and art-industry experts.
- Engage New Sales Avenues to Increase Art Income - February 4, 2018
- The Learned Skills of Successful Entrepreneurs – Interview with CEO Consultant John Furth - December 22, 2017
- Cook Better Sales Letters And You’ll Bring More People to the Table - December 7, 2017
- What Independent Publishing Can Teach Visual Artists – Eric Rhoads - December 11, 2017
- Why Are You Working for Free? Examining arts labor with Alexis Clements - November 9, 2017
- Best Practices to Engage With Curators – Dr. Catherine Futter - October 2, 2017
- How to Collaborate with Museums – The Booth Example - October 27, 2017
- How to Meet Stakeholder Demands – Holly Van Hart - September 8, 2017
- Making Your Art Economically Viable – Elizabeth Corkery - September 27, 2016
- Project Management: An Impressionistic Art Form – Ghost of a Dream - September 23, 2016