The Art of Marketing

Yesterday, a package arrived for me... and inside was a bundle of notecards, featuring the amazing artwork of my friend Ann Rea. I met Ann at last August's San Francisco gift show, where she was exhibiting her work for the first time. We talked for an hour and it felt like we had known each other for years. Whenever we have spoken on the phone, it's been a lengthy conversation that covers subjects as vast as marketing, business, art, travel, home decor, and the 'faith vs. religion' issue. And all that was just in our last phone call!

Ann is an en plein air painter, meaning that she works on location, outdoors, on site. No photographing and going back to a warm or air-conditioned studio for her. Nope, she's right out there in the vineyards she paints - up to her knees in mud in the spring and melting in summer.

I love this print... I can picture the vineyards of Napa, the vines just at budbreak, and the valley floor scattered with yellow mustard flowers. And a daffodil or two, poking up here and there. OK, no, all that is NOT in the picture - but the thing about Ann's work is that it transports you to a place so you can experience it yourself. (She actually painted the vineyard in late fall here, but I see it as spring, and I'm a Diva so I can do that!) The way she captures sunlight enthralls me. I'm in dire need of some good old California sunshine right now, so this scene does more for me than you can imagine!

Along with the cards, Ann included pre-stamped envelopes. And the stamp features her artwork, as well. This woman is a Diva of Details!

This is a shot of the back of the notecards. Included is a photo of Ann painting (in the vineyards, of course!), her bio, plus her contact info. Then she's personalized these for me by adding my business info.

The idea is that I send these out to use as thank you cards, contact cards within the wine industry, whatever, and in doing so I am helping her to market her artwork to a diverse market. Ann has also provided these to real estate agents, builders of wine cellars, gallery owners, etc. They send them out, and more people learn about her - and she sells more prints, paintings, and commissions. To see and purchase Ann's beautiful work, visit

Like I said, a Diva of Details. She is creative and proactive in her marketing, never missing an opportunity to reach new segments of the retail world. I have enormous respect for her fearless out of the box thinking! We all need to do more of this. This idea is workable for anyone - VistaPrint is an affordable way to get custom printing done on postcards or notecards, you know.

She has her own tagline ("the wine country it girl"), but my tagline for her would be:
'Ann artist who is truly out standing in the field.' In many ways, not just in muddy boots.

NOTE: Artwork images provided by and used by permission of the artist. Any saving, copying, printing, or other use of this photo and/or artwork image is prohibited by the artist Ann Rea.

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