The Finest Selection of Portrait Artists
for artists »
read all sections before going to the information request form.
are the costs?
There is a monthly fee for being featured on Stroke of
Genius. For those with an existing site, the fee is billed
annually, Those who need us to design their site and are hosted
within PortraitArtist.com billing can be paid quarterly, however,
there is a discount for annual payment.
Either way, a minimum one-year commitment is required.
The first year, there is also a one-time startup fee. All
design fees are included if we are creating your site. For
complete details, simply fill out our information
request form. Upon submitting the form, you will be
taken to our online instructions and forms in printable pdf
format. If you're unsuccessful in accessing these forms, then
you may not have Adobe's free Acrobat Reader on your system.
Simply email us and we will send them to you.
Please note that you will generally not receive a reponse
from us by filling out this form. It simply allows you to
access the relevant document. If you would like communicate
further before using the information request form, please
use our General Contact
What if I decide
If you are listed on the
site and want to discontinue, YOU MUST notify us. We don't
automatically remove your listings. If we removed everyone
who paid late, we'd be constantly adding and removng artists
Is there an approval
Artists interested in joining the gallery are asked to show
at least four samples of their work. These can either be emailed
or uploaded to a free account at DropBox.com
Please send jpg files rather than tif or bmp files.
Generally speaking, this site is not for the beginner. There
are exceptions, so if you feel your quality is especially
high, please submit your work.
Portraits painted from celebrity photos are discouraged unless
it was an actual commission.
We do look for the majority of the portrait fees to be above
Can I be listed
if I already have my own site?
Most certainly. Just send your website address for us to
review. In this case, both your art and your web site must
be approved. The key is to present a professional look.
Some of the things we look for:
1. If other types of paintings are featured besides portraits,
there should be a separate portraits section that we can link
to unless it's just a matter of only 2-4 other types of work.
2. No unrelated advertising of the type that comes with free
3. A consistent look throughout site
4. Easy navigation and easy to find contact information
5. Professional looking layout and appearance
6. Good quality portrait scans
IMPORTANT: Before you are listed on Stroke of Genius,
please have your hosting company set up statistics for your
web site so you an see the change in your traffic.
Do you take a
The only time we
take a commission is if we are asked by a prospect to help in
selecting an artist. In this case, the fee is currently 15%.
What pages do
I get and what is my web address?
The basic package features 12 portraits. A duplicate set
of your pages is also provided for your own marketing use
and for passing out to clients and prospects. The duplicate
set has no links to this site so prospects don't see the other
artists on the site.
Your duplicate or "stand-alone" pages will typically
have a web address of http://www.portraitartist.com/yourlastname.
Your Stroke of Genius pages will typically have the
address of http://www.portraitartist.com/yourlastname/yourlastname.htm.
The only exception to this format is if two artists on the
site have the same last name in which case the address might
Can I have my
own domain name?
Yes, you can register your domain name anywhere and a transparent
forward can be set up to forward to your second set of
Stroke of Genius pages. This set will have no links back
to the main Stroke of Genius site.
How long does
it take to get my pages up?
Normally, from two to eight weeks, depending on what other
work is ahead of yours. As new work comes in, it is executed
in the order received. In some cases, it could be longer if
your work comes in during or close to the time of one of the
annual portrait conferences which I attend. Also, if your
materials are incomplete, the time could be lengthened.
What can I include
on my pages?
Besides portrait images, fees and procedure and bio, you
can also include information on your site regarding books
you've written, workshops and videos. Up to four of your images
in the basic package can be other paintings such as landscapes
or still-life. If you'd like to feature more than four other
types of works, then we suggest you purchase another set of
12 images. After the 2nd set of 12, you can have as many as
you like with no additional recurring fee only the
fee to put them up.
PR shots of you presenting an official portrait is encouraged.
A PR photo is often featured on the home page, but sometimes
on the bio page. If you have a particular theme, font or logo
you'd like to incorporate into your pages, let us know.
You can also feature paintings on our Works
for Sale page. If something sells from this page,
there is a 20% commission fee to Stroke of Genius.
What should I
do to prepare my written materials for the web?
Captions are important to include on paintings for the search
engines since they only search on words. Include as much information
in the caption as possible.
You should also review your bio for search engine "friendliness."
Try to work in the words "portrait artist" and "portrait
painting." Consider other terms such as "fine art,"
oil portraits" etc. You never know how someone will be
searching, so the richer your bio is in meaningful words,
the better. Given the choice of saying ". . . paints
corporate and family portraits", choose "paints
corporate portraits and family portraits." Perhaps not
the best writing style, but better for the search engines.
Your pages will be created with some standard hidden keywords
used by some search engines. If you want others, they can
What about submitting
Today, most artists submit their work already in digital
form. Ideally, these would already be color / contrast / saturation
corrected and any extraneous edges cropped. However, if you
are not experienced in correcting images, we will correct
according to our settings here unless told not to do so.
Be aware that images on a MAC tend to display lighter than
on a PC. If you are on a MAC, try to view your images also
on a PC and reach a happy medium on the light / dark setting.
Be sure to tell me you are on a MAC.
The easiest way to provide images for your site is to upload
them to a free account at DropBox.com.
Is there a difference
in your image correction?
Seven years of scanning images and adjusting them has fine-honed
our skills. Following are some examples of portraits by Bart
Lindstrom portrait "before" and "after"
a Stroke of Genius scan. Note that even more differences
are visible in a larger version of these images. If you happen
to already have high-resolution scans, but are not happy with
the color, saturation and/or contrast, these things can be
adjusted from the original. In the Jonathan Linton samples
below, I did not rescan to achieve a better result.
Before - image too dark, coloration
in face is too intense, overall too red
After - colors much closer to original,
gentle coloration in face is captured
What do changes
There is a nominal fee for future changes to your site. Right
now, swapping out or adding new images is $15. There is no
charge for updating your prices, email address, phone number,
minor changes to bio, etc. Custom design is billed at the
hourly rate of $65/hour.
What kind of traffic
do you get?
Traffic to Stroke of Genius is currently running between
50,000 - 80,000 unique visitors per month. We do monitor
our visibility and part of the benefit of being associated
with us is the volume of traffic.
However, you are responsible for any marketing, online or
off-line, of your second (personal) set of pages. Though we
would like to be able to help everyone achieve good visibility
for their stand-alone pages, it is simply not feasible to
service everyone properly, get good visibility for Stroke
of Genius overall and also do online promotion for every
In fact, online promotion has become a specialty and there
are many businesses on the web who offer these services. A
couple are mentioned in the Business
Center. Search for the term SEO, which means search
engine optimization. I'd happy to add any code to your
site provided by a 3rd party and I can also add any keywords
What can I expect
in terms of commissions?
Don't expect your phone to ring off the hook. I strongly
encourage all artists to view their web pages as their electronic
portfolio, which means it is to be used just like you use
your regular portfolio. If you're alert and "think with
your online portfolio", you will find benefit beyond
getting commissions. However, there are commissions occurring.
Some artists have had to wait over a year and others have
gotten something within a few weeks. Any way you look at it,
the web is the least expensive means of getting your work
out there to be seen and probably the easiest method of keeping
an up-to-date portfolio.
Some artists use their e-portfolio as a PR tool
and get clients excited about having their portrait put on
the web. Once the client's portrait is up, they will typically
tell relatives, friends and neighbors resulting in a lot of
people viewing the pages.
If you already have your own web site, it's important that
you arrange statistics with your hosting company so you can
see the increase in traffic after being listed with SOG.
Do you share my
email address with others?
Absolutely not. As a member of Stroke of
Genius, you will sometimes receive announcements and tips
from us that we feel could be of interest to portrait artists.
These announcements could be about our artists who are finalists
in a major portrait competition or actual winners, new art
books, computer tips, alerts about viruses or worms, workshop
announcements, a newsletter or dates for events by the American
Society of Portrait Artists and Portrait Society of America
and more or news about the site. These come only from Stroke
Do you provide
These are provided by the Internet Service Provider that
hosts Stroke of Genius. We've arranged with them so
that each artist has their own statistics. They are accessible
any time online. If you already have your own site, you will
have to arrange statistics through the company that hosts