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Ted Hebbler

10 Years Ago

Nice Article On Faa

I just found this article on the net about Fineartamerica......interesting read..just wanted to share with members.


“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” — Albert Einstein



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Deal Radar 2010: FineArtAmerica.com
Comments (3) 1Mon, Mar 8, 2010
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FineArtAmerica.com is an online marketplace and social networking site for painters, photographers, and other visual artists. Artists can use to the site to connect with collectors and other buyers and, says founder Sean Broihier, put the business side of their career on “autopilot,” leaving them more time to create art.

FineArtAmerica.com (FAA) has more than 28,000 living artists who upload new images to the site each day, and 6,000 of these artists offer prints for sale. When an artist uploads an image, he or she can offer prints ranging in size from 8″ x 8″ up to 60″ x 108″. Artists specify which sizes they want to offer and exactly how much they want to charge for each size. Works of art range from greeting cards (starting at $1.50) to framed prints (from $25) to stretched canvas prints (from $30). The prints can be of art that was created in any medium: drawings, digital art, paintings, pastels, glass, mixed media, photographs, and so forth.

When a buyer purchases a print, FAA takes care of all aspects of the sale: printing, framing, matting, stretching, packaging, insuring, and shipping the image, as well as processing the buyer’s credit card and sending artists their profits each month. FAA does not take any commission. If artists use the company’s print-on-demand program, a $5 to $10 markup is added to the selling price of their work, but this is paid by the customer.

The company was founded in late 2007 by Broihier, who after college arrived in New York City with a few hundred dollars. He took a job as an engineer and taught himself how to program Web sites at night and on weekends. In 2005, he built a platform that allowed people to upload text and images to the Web. He used that platform to launch several businesses, including FineArtAmerica. Broihier got the idea for FAA after he built a Web site for his brother, who worked at an art gallery in Chicago.

Art dealers and galleries in the United States alone generate approximately $8 billion in revenue each year. FineArtAmerica is going after the art buyers who made those $8 billion in purchases and after artists and galleries to convince them to use FineArtAmerica.com as their “order fulfillment service.” Other target segments the company is pursuing in 2010 are casual home shoppers and interior design firms.

FAA penetrated the market by providing artists with an array of online tools at an attractive price (free to join; $30 a year to use the print-on-demand feature). The social aspect of the site caused it to grow quickly by word of mouth. As artists started to sell, they referred their friends to join, and so on.

Broihier was convinced that he had a unique idea when he launched FAA, but he quickly discovered that wasn’t so when two large competitors launched within a week of him: Imagekind.com and RedBubble.com. Imagekind had $2.6 million in venture backing, RedBubble had several million dollars, and both had reputable management teams. Broihier “was a one-man operation with absolutely no money, no connections in the art world, and no connections in the Internet world, whatsoever.”

FAA was entirely bootstrapped and Broihier remains its sole employee. He built the business through aggressive marketing and developing new features to help artists sell their work, for example, an e-mail campaign feature that allowed members to quickly create graphical, HTML e-mails. Another development was an IP-location algorithm that allowed FineArtAmerica.com to automatically detect the location of its visitors and then display upcoming art events and feature artists in that area on the welcome page. Broihier released two to three features a month for the first year in order to constantly attract new artists. These features include a shopping cart that can be embedded into the artist’s own Web site, previews at full resolution, watermarks to protect low-resolution images, and a Facebook application.

The range of marketing tools and features and FAA’s dynamic and social nature are what Broihier believes separates his site from others. He does not want a site where artists upload their images and then simply hope that someone finds their work and buys it. Rather, he wants to help artists become efficient businessmen and businesswomen through an “upload and promote” approach.

This community of artists interacting with buyers and each other is part of what Broihier believes will help him to build a site that commands brand awareness and loyalty. “When you think of buying books online, you think of Amazon.com. When you think of buying shoes, you think of Zappos. When you think of buying art online, who do you think of? No one. There is enormous potential to become the online destination for art,” he says. He points out that such brand awareness is often missing even from print-and-frame sites that make millions of dollars in annual sales, such as Art.com, which does offer work by emerging artists but mostly sells prints of works by masters who are dead, such as van Gogh, Picasso, and Monet.

FAA has been profitable since launch, thanks in part to its low overhead. Revenues were $175,000 in 2008 and $1 million in 2009, and the company projects revenues of $2.5 million for 2010.

Broihier says that FineArtAmerica.com currently attracts 175,000 unique visitors a day, and traffic is growing by 10%-15% a month. compete.com put unique monthly visitors in December 2009 at just over 385,700 and visits at just over 600,700. The site had 1,000 member artists at the end of 2008 and now has 28,000 artists who upload an average of 2,000 new images a day.

Broihier would consider working with an investor who is well-connected in the art and consumer-buying worlds with a proven ability to develop a national brand to help him continue to scale the business. He knows that eventually, he will have to sell one of his businesses but would find it difficult to part with FAA entirely. “A big payout would give me the same freedom [I have now] but without a purpose to each day and something to labor over. FAA is my life’s work,” he says.

I am impressed by the wisdom of his words. I have come to same conclusion myself, that once you have found something that gives meaning and passion to your daily life, that then becomes the platform for your life’s work. It is not a good idea to “sell out,” however much money is offered, because recreating such a platform from which to continue working is excruciatingly difficult.

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Mike Jeffries

10 Years Ago

Even though I've yet to sell anything on FAA [whereas I have had what might be called limited sucess on redbubble] I have faith in this site and its stated aims, their heart seems to be in the right place.

I would perhaps make one comment which might go down badly with some people and that is the tendency for photographers especially to post for sale almost anything as a work of art, a photo of the family dog/new baby/mom, dad and the kids might be of great interest to one's nearest and dearest but to the majority of us in the outside world it just produces a yawn. I appreciate that censorship is impractical and probably out of the question anyway and that nowadays the label art can be put on practically anything or that anyone can delude themselves into thinking they are an artist but this type of thing can crowd out the genuine artists among us and tends to lower the perceived standard of FAA to those lovely people, the potential buyers.

I have no idea of how to weed out the wheat from the chaff but if FAA is to prosper and be taken seriously by buyers and sellers of art I think some solution needs to be found to prevent Faa becoming another flickr or facebook.

 

Barbara Teller

10 Years Ago

Aha...Brians real name is Sean. Interesting article.

 

Ted Hebbler

10 Years Ago

What impresses me the most is how this site has grown from the early days when I joined. I can remember it being nice but very very quiet with maybe 200 members.......no discussions and hardly any comments on artwork. My intention here was to present this success story of one person's ideas and dreams to start out with a few dollars and create an artsite which is now the most popular one on the internet.

I appreciate your thoughts, Mike, on the issues you presented.....but what I think makes this site successful is the wide spectrum of artists here who are allowed to express their creativity no matter at what level another may percieve it to be. The buyers are smart enough to look for what they want to buy and there are probably many who come here to look at anything one wishes without any intention to buy. But maybe that one person will tell a friend who is a collector and voila...they are directed to FAA. It becomes a win win situation.

I do not rely on this site for sales at all as I have always been successful selling in galleries,restaurants,bars,Jackson Square,word of mouth,etc.
I like this site because it has allowed me to meet some very wonderful,intelligent and talented artists. some masters and some early in their journey to create..... it does not matter to me if someone throws in a picture of their dog or cat......i like that as it exposes the spirit and soul of an artist..to let me know that they love their pets..to give us a chance to see more of the character of the artist who is a person just like myself.

So i think FAA is a site that encompasses the entire spectrum of the artworld...and in this approach I find the genius of the person who created this site, Hats off to the owner !!! I admire all of the work he has put into this site and I feel lucky to be a part of it. For us who have been here on its inception,it has been wonderful to see the gradual growth and all of the hard work the owner went through to see it become so successful..its kind of like a beautiful painting......never knowing where it will take you...but when finished....a fine work of art. And this is what I see in FAA.

 

Sandra Bronstein

10 Years Ago

Interesting article Ted. Appreciate the post.

 

Darice Machel McGuire

10 Years Ago

Thank you for bringing this article to us Ted. I've been hooked on FAA for two years and love all the new features Brian comes up with. I joined when there were only a mere 15,000 artists ( or there abouts). Now there are 34,873 Artists Currently on FineArtAmerica.com. FAA was, is, exactly what I was looking for in a POD artist website.

I agree with your statement: "So i think FAA is a site that encompasses the entire spectrum of the artworld...and in this approach I find the genius of the person who created this site, Hats off to the owner !!! I admire all of the work he has put into this site and I feel lucky to be a part of it. For us who have been here on its inception,it has been wonderful to see the gradual growth and all of the hard work the owner went through to see it become so successful..its kind of like a beautiful painting......never knowing where it will take you...but when finished....a fine work of art. And this is what I see in FAA."

 

Angelina Tamez

10 Years Ago

So "Brian" is a pseudonym for Sean Broihier?

LOL....the truth is finally revealed!

 

Sandra Bronstein

10 Years Ago

Actually Angel - it has been on the internet for awhile and the pseudonym thread started, I belive, about the same time the article was released.
I just don't know how to pronounce the last name!! I guess McDunn would be easier! You can even see a picture of our esteemed leader if you search far enough!

 

Anne Norskog

10 Years Ago

I did find it: he is a brainiac to the nth degree! This man is SMART. He has an engineering website that looks much like Fine Art America.
Clear intelligence shines through his eyes...no wonder he runs the best art site going.

 

Abbie Shores

10 Years Ago

:) Great article :)

 

Marlene Burns

10 Years Ago

and you guys laughed when i used to typo his name as BRAIN. lol

 

Sandra Bronstein

10 Years Ago

How hard are you laughing Beth?

 

Abbie Shores

10 Years Ago

LOL Marlene you just spelled it right LOL

 

Angelina Tamez

10 Years Ago

Really? I didn't know that. I thought it was so funny he posted a thread about pseudonyms and then didn't say if he was using one. I guess he was challenging us to find out for himself.

I wish someone would post of pic of him here....does anyone have it?

He is very smart.

I was a little surprised at the article saying the profit was expected to hit 2.5 million...I really thought he was making more than that. It also stated he was the only employee. Does he do everything alone? And then Beth moderates? That's crazy....I thought he had a staff.

I loved the typo "brain".....=)

 

Abbie Shores

10 Years Ago

Just glad it is out at last :)

 

Sandra Bronstein

10 Years Ago

Hard to hide on the internet! I thought the same thing about the one employee...I have received emails from a girl at support. PLEASE don't tell me....never mind.

 

Angelina Tamez

10 Years Ago

Well, he is obviously brilliant.

I just really feel sorry for him now....knowing he does it by himself......God have mercy...

LOL.....Sandra! Oh my gosh!!!! I didn't think of that! MULTIPLE PSEUDONYMS!

 

Sandra Bronstein

10 Years Ago

http://localautomation.com/profiles/sean-broihier.html

This link will take you to the Axis, Inc. page where he is currently on display, so to speak.

 

Angelina Tamez

10 Years Ago

Thanks Sandra! Is he still working another full time job? Oh my gosh....again.

I like his eyes...they look like smiling irish eyes.

I don't know why but I pictured an older, sitting behind a desk kind of man. That isn't how he looks.

 

Marlene Burns

10 Years Ago

then it's settled, from now on, brain it is...the typo faerie will be using brian from now on!
ok, peeps, think back to the pseudonym thread he opened...it didn't even sound like it was the 'brian' we knew and loved......that should have been the major red flag!

 

Angelina Tamez

10 Years Ago

I know!

But Beth said she didn't open it! She said she couldn't even do that!
It was very different. It was missing the businesslike formality.

Think his wife did it? THAT would be funny.

 

Abbie Shores

10 Years Ago

Brian did it LOL Honestly

 

Sandra Bronstein

10 Years Ago

The timing was perfect and it was, though enjoyable to read, a major clue. Now what do we do? Brian or Sean? Will he come out and announce and officially change his name? Hmmmmm

 

Yury Yanin

10 Years Ago

Thank you, Ted. I copied the article for myselfe just for my weak old memory, and I apreciate every word in it. I loved FAA before, but I also feel good to know from that article that someone apreciates FAA as I do.

 

Angelina Tamez

10 Years Ago

Well....I am glad he mystery was revealed...even if it wasn't by Brain...
I doubt he will come out and change his name....if he decided he wanted a pseudonym in the first place I would think those reasons are still there...even if a few of us know his real name =).

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Angelina Tamez

10 Years Ago

This isn't a perfect thing...what is?

Since I joined FAA, I have gotten more exposure and made more money with my art than ever before. I couldn't be more pleased with how hard Brain works to make the site the best possible.

 

Angelina Tamez

10 Years Ago

It's in the article Patricia.

 

Patricia L Davidson

10 Years Ago

I couldn't access it will try again later:) Thanks.

 

Pauline Ross

10 Years Ago

So Brian McDunn is Sean Broihier (how do you say it? ).... Broiler without the L?..........are you changing your Avatar name too? Just when you get use to .... and what about email? If I write to Brian will Sean answer it? : ) ...................................... Ok next, Beth ? Is that your real name? lol
I'm glad the real deal is showing......the truth......... will set you free........ Got any nick names we should know about? This is great place BrianSean. OH we can give you a nickname..... BS!.or SB!...naaaaaa........I still like Brian because I like when Marlene B writes to Brain. You make us proud SeanBrian. Thankyou.

 

Abbie Shores

10 Years Ago

LOL My business name is Elizabeth Edwards

My real name is............

 

Marlene Burns

10 Years Ago

bethie eddie?

 

Abbie Shores

10 Years Ago

ROFLMAO!!!

 

Beth = Core i7 Version 2.1

 

Reb Frost

10 Years Ago

geez.. I thought his name was John H. then Brian..... but now I find out that Sean is CEO... too many aliases.. but why??? Makes me wonder who is real around here and who is not.. lol...Well Im' going to call myself Freda from now on.. just for the heck of it....

 

Abbie Shores

10 Years Ago

He has never been John... Someone else thought he was called John

LOL W

 

CAROLE SPANDAU

10 Years Ago

Freda makes a very good point...

 

Reb Frost

10 Years Ago

Yes.. I know Beth.. its due to the site registry .. under John .H. .. ????
I'm sticking with my new name Freda.. heheh (for this week.. ) :)
Freda over and out.. LOL..

 

CAROLE SPANDAU

10 Years Ago

How Kahlo of you, Freda... callow...that is

 

Marlene Burns

10 Years Ago

sean is an irish derivative of the name john.

 

CAROLE SPANDAU

10 Years Ago

And Haley is a Comet.

 

Diane Daigle

10 Years Ago

LMAO!

 

Here's a nice write-up on the original Beth v1.0, and I quote from the article "The researchers demonstrated with a robot made to look exactly like an attractive woman in her 20s with long dark hair." ;-P

 

Tim Allen

10 Years Ago

Glad to know the history to this site now. I had been wondering just how long this site had been around as I hadn't heard of it until a friend suggested I check it out almost a year and a half ago. I'm glad I did.

From the very start, what with the way I could set my OWN price per piece and have it available in sizes and styles of my own choosing as well as notecards and then seeing the amazing amount of traffic to view my images, as compared with other sites I've posted on, and so on and so forth, I knew I was getting into something special.

I'm just glad to be associated with such a site.

Brian/Sean, you are indeed an artist. Not just an artist but a Master in our eyes. My hats off to you. Thanks for a wonderful site.

 

Abbie Shores

10 Years Ago

LOL W!! I wish....

 

Michaelalonzo Kominsky

10 Years Ago

I don't know what to believe now...Sean/Brian/Beth(?)

Hildegard...Freda was already taken

 

David Dunham

10 Years Ago

AH HA! Thats all I have to say about it!

 

Rose Hill

10 Years Ago

Kudos to Sean for building an empire on a shoe string, with committment, vision and passion. Thank you!
I'm so new here that Brian or Sean works fine for me:) and I positively love how easy it is to find your way around this site. The features are awesome.

 

Terri Mills

10 Years Ago

WoW ... this is all great to know about the history of FAA and now our very dear Brian/Sean ... and of course our very own sweet 1st Angel, Beth! ♥ (thank you for pointing me to this article!)
Great articles ... Great website ... Great people!!!!! Love you all!!!!

 

Kendall Kessler

9 Years Ago

I thought Sean was Brian's brother and figured he turned the site over to him. I guess I was wrong.

 

Dindin Coscolluela

9 Years Ago

Now I get it. :D

I've been away for quite some time popping in once in awhile, getting confused with new personalities around ...... I thought Sean McDunn is another person.

Thanks for the info, Ted :)

 

Mary Sedici

9 Years Ago

You people like to dig. Curiosity killed the cat:)) I am glad I saw Sean, however when I saw the photo, it was like knowing him already; I always imagined him as a young handsome man :))

 

Larry Whiting

9 Years Ago

Have a look at a site called http://perfect-distribution.com/

 

Larry, that "Perfect Distribution" software seems a godsend, though I need training to understand the benefits to FAA..it obviously helps get company info out there, better than google search.....someone smart please go read it and see....thanks for the link. Curiosity will certainly kill this cat, lol.....

 

This discussion is closed.