You may not know that there’s a team of experts here at Streamline who are available to help you with your marketing strategy by reaching thousands of potential buyers and relevant audiences. In this new mini-series, you’ll get to know each of the specialists who are here to help you gain exposure to collectors, galleries, museums, and more.
Today’s spotlight is on Senior Marketing Specialist Dave Bernard, who has decades of experience in various aspects of the art industry.
Dave Bernard, Senior Marketing Specialist
I have called Portland, Oregon my home for the past forty years. By the time I graduated from Lewis & Clark College with a degree in Fine Art with a Business emphasis, I had fallen in love with both the Pacific Northwest and my wife of now 33 years.
I spent much of my working career in retail art supply management while my wife, an Elementary Special Education Teacher, and I raised two incredible kids. In 2013, I moved from retail management into a Product Specialist position with Gamblin Artists Colors, a manufacturer of professional oil colors and printmaking inks.
For the next six-plus years, I provided technical assistance to oil painters around the world. I also developed and managed a workshop support program for oil painters teaching out of their studios and at other venues throughout North America getting to meet and work with some of the very artists who are now my clients at Streamline Publishing. It is a small world.
After a pandemic job loss, I happily began my career with Streamline Publishing in July of 2020 and have spent the past year working full time out of a home office. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning in depth about Streamline Publishing’s product line and applying that knowledge to help my clients gain valuable exposure to collectors, galleries, and museums.
As a Senior Marketing Specialist I serve as an account rep for several hundred clients of PleinAir and Fine Art Connoisseur magazines. My primary focus is the Western half of the U.S. although there are certainly some geographical exceptions.
Decades of working in retail art materials serving the creative community has allowed me to interact with many, many professional artists. My technical support position at Gamblin provided even more insight into the challenges, expectations, and desires of working creatives.
While I have an extensive knowledge of the different materials painters and sculptors use every day, it’s years of communication – discussions and just plain listening – that has shaped my ability to help artists define their marketing goals and determine the best tools for increasing their exposure to collectors, galleries, and museums.
From a Marketing Specialist standpoint, I feel a little spoiled. Fine Art Connoisseur and PleinAir Magazine both provide the highest quality reading experience and exceptional advertising opportunities. In fact, our print magazines combined with their affiliated digital newsletters (Fine Art Today, Realism Today, Plein Air Today, and American Watercolor Weekly) and websites (FineArtConnoisseur.com, OutdoorPainter.com, RealismToday.com, and AmericanWatercolor.net) offer the advantages of both print and digital advertising in reaching important audiences – collectors and students alike. That’s a lot to work with.
I give all Streamline brands equal weight until my clients determine their primary business goal(s). For example, if their goal is to reach more potential workshop students, then we are more likely to look at PleinAir Magazine and other related digital advertising platforms.
If the client’s goal is to get in front of more collectors, then the Fine Art Connoisseur brand is more likely to be their best opportunity. That said, it’s important to look at all aspects of the artist/client’s own brand. Sometimes there are cross-over opportunities between Streamline brands that may benefit a client.
My top three pieces of advice when it comes to marketing for artists:
- Determine your top two business goals as an artist. Always ask if your marketing choices feed these goals. At least 75% of all your marketing plans should address your #1 business goal.
- Budget and repetition matter. Determine a monthly marketing budget for a 1-2 year period that works for you – and advertise as consistently as your budget will allow. Repetition increases exposure, exposure creates opportunities, opportunities fulfill goals.
- Use social media to support your marketing plan. Post on a regular schedule, once or twice a week ideally on the same day of the week. (Topics: new work, work in progress, sold artwork, acceptance into shows, awards, editorials, advertisements, workshops taught, workshops taken, art-related travel)
On a Personal Note
I have always resisted talking about “favorite” artists – suffice to say, it would be a long list, both contemporary and historic. I would rather share that I gravitate toward art that retains some evidence of the artist’s hand at work without trying to copy the subject in exactitude.
I most admire artwork that somehow captures or speaks to the essence of the subject – be that a person, figure, landscape, or object. Art that has a “less is more” descriptive power wins the day for me. (Ok, I also love children’s art – I have a couple of paintings my daughter did at a little easel on the back patio one summer when she was very young. Her choice of color and brushwork energy is amazing!)