The Importance of Quality Images to Market Your Art

This week I am on a campaign to explain why images are vital to online communication, and especially to marketing.

“Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak.” Dr. Lynell Burmark, Ph.D. Associate at the Thornburg Center for Professional Development and writer of several books and papers on visual literacy, said, “…unless our words, concepts, ideas are hooked onto an image, they will go in one ear, sail through the brain, and go out the other ear.”

Allow me to share an experiment with you. I dare say that every American is familiar with the old Uncle Sam Poster, with the Uncle pointing his finger, saying I Want You. That is an excellent example of how the use of an outstanding image has communicated volumes of information to millions–perhaps to billions of people

“Originally published as the cover for the July 6, 1916, issue of Leslie’s Weekly with the title “What Are You Doing for Preparedness?” this portrait of ‘Uncle Sam’ went on to become–according to its creator, James Montgomery Flagg–“the most famous poster in the world.” Over four million copies were printed between 1917 and 1918, as the United States entered World War I and began sending troops and matériel into war zones” – .

“As early as the late nineteenth century, advertisers, based on their collective experience, were convinced that illustrations sold goods.” –


Clearly, we are more drawn to the poster with Uncle Sam’s image on it than we are to the above poster without the image. The famous Uncle Sam poster was created 100 years ago, as propaganda to encourage people to enlist in the World War I effort. In no time, that poster became the most famous poster of all time, and its value is still recognized. If people, 100 years ago, responded better to images than to text, imagine how much greater the need for images is now–in the 21st Century– in a culture that is inundated with the dynamics of texting, multitasking, tweeting, Instagram, Pinterest, and other hurried efforts to communicate.

“Studies have proven that graphics have immense influence over the audience’s perception of the subject matter and, by association, the presenter (the person, place, or thing most associated with the graphic) because of these neurological and evolutionary factors. The audience’s understanding of the presented material, opinion of the presented material and the presenter, and their emotional state are crucial factors in any decision they will make. Without a doubt, graphics greatly
influence an audience’s decisions. Whoever properly wields this intelligence has a powerful advantage over their competition.”

Night Lilly – Jacki Kellum Watercolor Painting

When I upload a painting to Fine Art America, I create all kinds of visuals, using Photoshop, and I post my graphics to Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. It is amazing how much more successful my Tweets with my graphics are than the tweets with the standardized graphics from Fine Art America.  Some of the social media sites automatically tweet for me, but they don’t use any image at all, and those tweets are virtually ignored.











Fine Art America is a wonderful resource for artists who need to reach a large audience, but it is a little difficult to navigate for customers. I have created graphics to explain exactly what is available, should they want any of several accessories that can be printed with my art. I post these images on facebook and twitter, and I also have them in galleries–or boards on my Pinterest page.

Jacki Kellum Paintings on Pinterest

When you consider that I have only used Pinterest for my art 7 days of the past month, my statistics are great.

When any of my art sells, I post graphics about the sales all over social media.

All-in-all, images must be helping me promote my art at Fine Art America. A week ago today, Jacki Kellum Studios opened a Shop at Fine Art America, and we have had a Banner Week. In 1 week, our shop was viewed 6,464 times, and we have made 24 Sales — including 3 Original Paintings.


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