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« The Productive Artist: Are You Ready to Attract Art Professionals? | Main | Print Promotional Tools: Getting It All Packaged And Mailed »

Print Promotional Tools: Note Cards

If you are on a tight budget, our series of practical tips will help you use effective low-cost marketing tools to promote your art with class. So far we have covered:
  • Your Promotional Identity
  • Business Cards and Cover Letters to introduce yourself and your art
  • Postcards, Rack Cards, Flyers, Brochures and Catalogues, Portfolios and Packets and Press Kits to broadcast information about yourself and your art


    Note cards are a triple win to spread your art and your good name:

    ~ You can send them.

    ~ You can sell them.

    ~ People who own them can send them.

    Why send note cards:

    Note cards show that you care to take a little more time to stay in touch. E-mails are easy to ignore. Note cards say "Open me first!"

    You can use your art note cards to:

    • acknowledge birthdays, holidays and special events; 
    • invite collectors, art professionals and artists to a special preview of new work; 
    • announce a special award; 
    • share an article that features your work;
    • thank viewers for attending your gallery reception or open studio;
    • thank gallery dealers for hosting an exhibit;
    • thank collectors for purchasing a piece of art

    You can sell note cards, either as originals or reproductions, at events and on your web site. Note cards are affordable art in any economy.

    What to include on your note card:

    The front of the note card is the easiest for artists:

    •  create a mini-original work of art or use pieces of larger originals that did not make it to prime time;
    • use a high quality photograph of your work;
    • wow collectors by going the extra mile when they purchase a piece of your art. Make them a set of personalized note cards using the piece they bought for the image. Since they aren't expecting it, you will be giving them a nice surprise. Most collectors will brag that they own this piece of art, so they become part of your sales force when they send the cards out.

    Think about why you are sending the cards, to decide what to include on the inside:

    • blank, for a personal handwritten message;
    • a typed message or quotation;
    • a personalized message for a collector.


    The back of the note card is very important marketing real estate. If you want your cards to work for you beyond the message, make sure to include all of these items:

    • title of the work
    • dimensions of the original (height x width x depth)
    • © <date> <your name>
    • story about the image
    • picture of you
    • your bio
    • your full contact information

    Here is an image of a terrific card that watercolor artist Patrice Federspiel sent to me after my recent visit to her studio in Hawaii:

    Jamie Gillmore Note Card
    © 2008 Jamie Lynn Gilmore. All rights reserved. Photo credit AGK.

    Patrice hand wrote the envelope and inside the card, her message included: "This card is by a Big Island artist, Jamie Gilmore. I love her work and had to think long and hard before sharing this card. (I only have a few, but then this is what they are for!) I hope you enjoy it."


    When I contacted Jamie for permission to use her card, she was very professional and sent me a contract for the loan of the image. Now that's extra proof she's in business!


    Post your success stories and questions about promotional tools below in the comment area. 


    Get Help When It Gets Frustrating

    Remember, if the process eats up your precious studio time, is technically beyond you, or frustrating, please let Robin help. It's not a big investment and you'll end up looking ever so splendid! Her dedicated support has helped me, and can help you, make a better living making art. Robin is located in Los Angeles, and serves artists world-wide. For more info on how she can help free up your time so you can focus on what you do best, email her at The first 15 minutes is on us.



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