Advice for artists: Interview with Dorit Fuhg

How did you get started selling your art online?

I started uploading my work to Imagekind in 2008. Mainly to see if it was any good. Until then only friends and family have seen my photos and naturally, they liked them. But to get an unbiased opinion, I thought I’d combine the art sharing and commenting option with the option to sell.

Back in 2008 Imagekind was a wonderful community and one of the best print on demand sites. I was quite stunned when I sold my first two large prints in one go shortly after uploading them. It made me truly happy to know that someone appreciated my work.

Later that year I also joined RedBubble. It had a different feel, a different community and offered different products. I sold some images there too. That encouraged me to publish new artwork on a regular basis.

In 2012 I joined Society6 and found it a wonderful and inspiring site. It took a while to sell artwork there but once it started, it didn’t stop. Since last year my work is being featured on interior blogs, Twitter, Pinterest and I receive emails from people who want to purchase from me directly. Society6 is obviously the right print on demand site to be on right now.

I must say that I’m totally grateful that this all happened the way it happened. Just to know that my images are on displayed on walls, makes me very happy. When I started with photography I could only dream of this.

How do you find inspiration for your art?

I get inspired by nature, conversations, dreams (day dreams too) music and books. I’m quite an emotional photographer and take pictures of anything that touches me. I enjoy bringing out the personality and uniqueness of what I see.

When shooting outdoors I’m attracted to the calmness of scenes and I try to capture and convey that. I’m interested in anything naturally beautiful, recording moments and documenting our surroundings. It satisfies me to get a picture that is just the way I’ve seen it in real and through the viewfinder.

I also find it helpful to just let go and see an exhibition or have a chat with friends. Sometimes you get new ideas out of that or you just had a good time J

What's one piece of advice for people just getting started selling their art?

1. Less is more. Keep your portfolio clean. Publish only your very best... Only the work you believe in yourself and your totally happy with at the time. It helps to clean up your portfolio occasionally. What you liked a year ago, might not be to your standards today, as you evolve or might not fit into your portfolio anymore. A wonderful sentence I read and that sticks with me is: “Your portfolio is only as good as your weakest image.”

2. Quite important are image titles, whether funny, descriptive or poetic and a good description of the image. So if there is a back story or a bit of info about the process or inspiration, tell people about it in a brief statement.

3. Write an Artist Statement. People buy from people and if they like you as a person, they might be more inclined to buy.

4. Get to know fellow artists and keep in touch. Their work might inspire and encourage you to keep going. You can also exchange your experience in selling online.

5. Don’t expect instant sales and don’t take it personal if your artwork doesn’t sell. The internet is full of awesome images. In order to get noticed you can promote your work on social media too, offer interesting background info about the creation of your work. This is something I don’t do often because I don’t like writing about my stuff. But other artists are quite successful using this method. 

What are your 3 favorite books?

My favorite books right now are Scandinavian crime novels; Berättelse om herr Roos by Håkan Nesser, and all books by Henning Mankell and Arne Dahl.

Who are your 3 favorite artists right now?

I cannot just name 3 favorite artists. I admire great classical photographers, which, just to name a few, are Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sibylle Bergemann, Harald Hauswald, Max Juhasz, Eamonn Doyle, Sid Grossman and Eikoh Hosoe.

Classic current artists, which work I admire are: Iris Lehnhardt, Wayne Edson Bryan and Erin Ashley.