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Tips: Price Your Art to Sell

2 Jun

Price Your Art to Sell

(Don’t miss other tips on rocking your art life; sign up for the monthly Femme Cartel newsletter!)

Femme Cartel has promoted and priced hundreds of works of art to sell in cafe shows, gallery shows, and directly to art collectors. We’ve also chatted with a handful of our top-selling artists to hear what what works best for them. Here are some solid tips on what really works. Happy art-selling!

You have three good options for setting the price:

  1. Base your prices on your recent sales history. Pricing art is like being awarded a higher wage in a new job. Both are mostly based on what you earned last time. Every time you have a successful period of sales, raise those prices!
  2. Or, base it on an hourly wage + supply costs. If you are super-new to the art-selling scene or have switched mediums and don’t have much “history” selling that kind of art, you may want to calculate your prices based on an hourly wage (you pick it!) and the cost of your supplies.
  3. Ask the curator or gallery owner. “I didn’t know how to price my art, so I just asked the curator/gallery owner. She must have set good prices, because all 15 pieces sold and I got a great check.” -Artist Renee Castro, aka Ladi Reni

What not to do:

  • Don’t base it on the wrong stuff: Try not to think about how much emotion you poured into it. Or how attached to the art you are. So…see #2 for what to do. Art sales is about commerce in the real world. Save the heart-felt stuff for your artist talk!
  • Don’t devalue your work, lady! Historically, we women undervalue our work (in every field!). So…if you’re wavering between two possible sticker prices, pick the higher one. Boom!

And some savvy sales tips from artist Laura Gonzalez:

  • Make written transfer of sale documents to let your buyer know they are purchasing an original—it gives the sale a little extra touch.
  • I normally up the prices when showing at a gallery—if it takes a percentage.
  • Stay calm, selling (or lack of) can be very stressful, but try and have fun with it. Stay friendly!

(Don’t miss other tips on rocking your art life; sign up for the monthly Femme Cartel newsletter!)

Tips: Balancing Art and Life

8 May

Quotations from from Real, Working Artists:


“Sixteen months ago I left my full time job to run my own photography business. It was simultaneously the most terrifying and the most empowering experience of my life. 

I have keep reminding myself of the many years of school, bad jobs, and other prep that went into getting me to this stage. Success or no, I never stop working.”

–Photographer Flee Kieselhorst


“I often get asked how I balance working full time and painting full time and I tell them that I might not sleep much, but I am happy.

My art is my reason for living, so I HAVE to do it.

The whole point is, JUST DO IT. Don’t let a little thing like working for the man hold you back from being an artist.”

–Artist Leanne “Elrod” Rodriguez



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Artists selected for Instagram show!

7 May

Femme Cartel is thrilled to announce the artists selected for our next art show, “Beyond Breakfast & Selfies: Instagram Fine Art Photography.”

The show will take place in August 2014 at Rock Paper Scissors Collective gallery in conjunction with Social Print Studio. To make sure you get the details about the art opening, sign up for the Femme Cartel newsletter.

Selected Artists

AJ Sharkstar  |  @ajsharkstar
Alexandra Nazari  |  @AlexandraNazari
Alicia Dornadic | @adorndesign
Alison Millar  |  @Slightlysurly
Amber Schadewald  |  @aschadewald
Antonette Streeter  |  @Scenebystreeter
Brittany Ko  |  @savethelizards
Brittany Luby  |  @technicolorbrit
Brook Vanderford  |  @brook_v
Carmina Eliason  |  @carminaeliason
Caroline Egan  |  @coeurdela
Christopher Byrne  |  @atrophybeauty
Ciara Sudjian  |  @tacorosey
Courtney Cerruti  |  @ccerruti
Cristal Veronica  |  @cisforcristal
Dane Pollok  |  @danepollok
Ebony Haight  |  @ebonyh
Elena A. Harper  |  @elenaarielle
Erin Fenley  |  @erinwithan_e
Eyra  |  @oeyra
Jane C. Allen  |  @janecallen
Jen Firlik  |  @jenfir3000
Jes Espinoza  |  @Jespi78
Jessica Davies  |  @jdmetalworks_
Jose Vaca |  @mav_rik
Juli Elin Toro  |  @Sunfunnels
Juliette Spirson  |  @spirson
Kaitlin Trataris  |  @kaitlintrataris
Kato Lawton  |  @KatoPopStudio
Keelan Sunglao-Valdez  |  @premiumkeek
Kenny Robinson  |  @notkendra
Kris Austin  |  @kristellaface
Lauren Crew  |  @laurencrew
Leah Korbin  |  @wrinklywrink
Lila Kahn  |  @lilakahn
Madeline Wilson  |  @machiavelcro
Maija Burnett  |  @maijabeee
Maria Fatima Urbi  |  @Paloma_in_black
Marie Metran  |  @mcm1216
Michelle San Agustin  |  @quichemeesh
Mollie Ito Roark  |  @mollitoroar
Monica Palos  |  @monicamarie5
Nam Black  |  @handxfire
Naomi Thompson  |  @NaomiStrange
Natasha Wilder  |  @Tashiworld
Nicole Dargahi (NDar)  |  @ndargahi
Nicole Gervacio  |  @nicolegervacio
Rachel Escoto  |  @pixelina
Rachel Welles  |  @rule_of_red
Roselly Monegro  |  @RoxieMo
Sara Diamond  |  @saramyrupdiamond
Sarah Deragon  |  @sarahderagon
Sharlynn Vee  |  @sv1
Sherese Elsey  |  @sherese_romo
Sierra Hawthorne  |  @srhawtho
Simone Blakeney  |  @ifwenever
Stephanie A Lindsey  |  @steph_lindsey
Theresa Bruckner  |  @tea_bea
Tina Noren  |  @tinaisrad
Vivian Chen  |  @vivianchenphoto

Congratulations, artists!

High five, especially to those artists showing art for the first time!

See the list of all artists who have shown work with Femme Cartel.


First 50 photographers submit work for August Instagram show

21 Feb

Since the Call for Art went up on February 3, 50 instagrammers have submitted a total of 476 pieces for consideration in the Femme Cartel instagram show, “Beyond Breakfast and Selfies.”

While taking place at the Rock Paper Scissors Collective in Oakland, CA, the show is open to the entire globe, and submissions have come from most Bay Area cities and neighborhoods as well as urban areas like Bergen, Norway; Asheville, NC; and Los Angeles, CA.

The Femme Cartel curators are still accepting submissions through April 15th. (To get the announcement for the show sign up for our exclusive, advance-peek newsletter. To submit work for the show, submit here.)


Buy art from FLAUNT Oakland fashion photography show

14 Oct

price sheet 2    price sheet

SF Chronicle highlights Femme Cartel

11 Oct

Beautiful Coverage by the San Francisco Chronicle. Read it and see the gorgeous photography on the SFChron site.

“Even after the show comes down…[Femme Cartel] keeps pumping up the artists who show with Femme Cartel.”

The women artists of Oakland whom Emily Howe surrounds herself with these days were just ghosts to her when she first moved to California five years ago.

“I had solo shows, then I was in some group shows, and it hit me – where are the ladies? How are there no ladies here?” Howe said. “I felt that in a diverse culture like San Francisco or Oakland, it was embarrassing … like did you overlook these women? Do you not know any?”

Howe, 34, decided to seek out the women herself. Her first show featuring women artists went up in Oakland in mid-2011, and Femme Cartel – the name for the loose network she’s built – has been growing ever since.

“The ladies were so excited about it, saying it was so necessary, that they’d been looking, too,” Howe said. “It was almost in motion energetically before I put it on the page.”

That energetic motion will plaster the walls of Classic Cars West through October as part of “Flaunt,” Femme Cartel’s seventh show and its second focusing on photography.

Oakland women and their glamorous, genuine style take center stage in the photographs – and in person, during the fashion show that strutted through the middle of the gallery at the exhibit’s opening Oct. 5.

Femme Cartel’s shows often turn away repeat artists in favor of emerging talents, and Howe has a soft spot for the newcomers.

“I love working with emerging artists,” she said. “They’re so lovely and thankful and full of gratitude, and they invite their friends and neighbors and their piano teacher. It’s so earnest and loving.”

Oakland photographer Felicia Kieselhorst, 26, said Femme Cartel was a big change from her experiences with Oakland’s art scene, which she called “a lot of chaos.”

“In general, besides showing with Femme Cartel, it’s really male dominated,” she said. “It was refreshing to find something so lady-positive.”

The photographs in the show use portraits and street-style photos to examine Oakland’s many faces. Kieselhorst’s contribution is a snapshot of an A’s fan decked out in green shirt, yellow bowtie and wire-thin mustache tips, grinning as the Coliseum clears out after a June game.

“As soon as I saw him, I was like, ‘Oh man, I gotta photograph this guy,’ ” she said. “He was totally into it. My standard practice is to give people a card, but he never contacted me. He doesn’t even know it’s hanging in the show.”

In another of the show’s photographs, four girls stare out from inside a car, sporting streaked hair and tattoos. Photographer Amanda Lopez, whose sister is one of the girls in the photo and knows several of the others, said her goal is always to create an honest photo, “something someone can look at and relate in my way, or just believe the photo.”

Even after the show comes down at the end of October, Howe said she keeps pumping up the artists who show with Femme Cartel.

“I’ll say to people, ‘I see your space, it’s a bar, cafe, pizzeria, and I have an endless supply of artists who want to show their work,’ ” she said. “I’m a reliable person who can produce art, and they need art right now. Usually when people need art right now, they pull on people they know, but I can change that.”

Flaunt: Oakland Style: Open noon to dusk on Saturdays. Classic Cars West, 411 26th St., Oakland. Free. Through Oct. 31.

Ellen Huet is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: ehuet@sfchronicle.comTwitter: @ellenhuet

Flaunt: Oakland-style Fashion Photography

3 Sep


“FLAUNT: an Oakland fashion photography show. October 2013. Oakland, CA.
Curated by Femme Cartel.

ART OPENING: An  Oakland art party (by Femme Cartel), beer garden (by Commonwealth), and local fashion show (by GG Page).  Saturday, October 5, 2013. 12-7pm. At Classic Cars West, 411 26th St  Oakland, CA 94612

  • 12-7pm: Gallery open with beer garden & art viewing/sales.

  • 3-7pm Official Femme Cartel ‘Flaunt’ Art Opening with 5pm Fashion show.

FREE | Bring cash/checks for art & cash for eats, sips, and photo booth.

Facebook event:
Femme Cartel online:
Femme Cartel on FB:


O A K L A N D   F A S H I O N : a photography show by Femme Cartel

Oakland, California

Oakland-based art curator duo “Femme Cartel” has assembled a photographic love letter to Oakland’s vibrant, diverse, creative nature. This photography show, at Classic Cars West through all of October,  flaunts Oakland in all of it’s confidence, diversity, hotness, risk-taking, soulfulness, beauty, complexity, and cutting edge creative rebellion.

The photos showcase the personal styles of Oakland’s finest exploring/honoring their identities through what they’re wearing and how they’re wearing it.  Rocking their own self-made fashions, or expressing their personalities through individualized and unique definitions of style and fashion. Highlighting the subversive power of self-styling, the show explores tensions between feminism and fashion, consumerism and fashion, and presents a colorful, creative challenge to the narrow world of fashion “do’s and don’ts” dictated by the mainstream media.

“We specifically sought out photography that celebrated confident, positive, zesty folks who are rocking their own version of personal style and flair, said Christina Bohn, one half of the Femme Cartel curatorial duo.

The art show, featuring work by a set of Oakland’s most loved photographers, will be open for a preview during Oakland’s First Friday event (5-9pm, Friday, October 4th). The official art opening party on Saturday, October 5th from 12-7pm will celebrate all things Oakland-style and includes a craft beer garden by Commonwealth, local vegan and meat eats, a sunny/outdoor ping pong table, a costume photo booth, and a hometown fashion show by GG Page.

Femme Cartel art openings are known as upbeat, diverse, bustling events.  

“It really doesn’t get any better than a Femme Cartel art party,” says Leanne “Elrod” Rodriguez, an artist who has shown frequently with Femme Cartel, “Our audience range is massive and the vibes are sensational. I can’t get enough of it.”

Themes have included “girly graffiti” paintings, “Naked lady” portraits, hip hop feminist collage, fashion illustration, and, most recently, a photographic love letter to the San Francisco foodie/cocktail culture(s).

While the quality of the art always comes first, Femme Cartel highlights female artists front and center. In June 2011, Femme Cartel formed to celebrate female artists, diversity, and contemporary urban art.

“In the mainstream art world, male artists are given a disproportionate share of the press attention, financial backing, and art shows,” explains Emily “Femily” Howe, the founder and co-curator of Femme Cartel, “we’re changing that—and much, much faster than anyone could have imagined.”

Since their beginnings, Femme Cartel has highlighted the work of over 90 female artists (plus youth artists as well as a few male artists with strong, relevant work.).

“Think about it,” says artist Leanne “Elrod” Rodriguez, “ If you’ve got some courageous female masterminds always bringing together a beautiful and insanely talented group of female artists, that is going to constantly produce some of the best art parties in the bay area, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”


  • Abby Wilcox

  • Amanda Lopez

  • Bousa Concepts + GG Page

  • Caroline Egan Dahlberg

  • Chun-Mui Miller of OAK STREET STYLE

  • Flee Kieselhorst

  • Jamie Thrower

  • Kevin Brown

  • Meg Allen

  • Sarah Cross

  • Thomas Victor

See the list of all artists who have shown work with Femme Cartel.


Femme Cartel’s Emily “Femily” Howe & Christina Bohn:

New Artists Announced

19 Jul

Femme Cartel is excited to announce the artists who were selected to participate in the “Oakland Style” contemporary urban art photography show in October 2013.

The show will question, explore, and celebrate personal style, independence, fashion, and identity…in our vibrant, resilient, diverse, creative, stylin city of Oakland.

The photography highlights individuals living, working, playing, activating, flirting, and makin it happen in Downtown/Oakland Metro, Uptown, East Oakland, West Oakland, Jack London Square, Port of Oakland, North Oakland, Peralta Junction, Lake Merritt, China Hill and Temescal.

Congratulations, artists:

See the list of all artists who have shown work with Femme Cartel.

Jan 4. Art Party.

29 Dec

Femme Cartel’s show “Naked Ladies: Sexy. Raw. Owning it” closes with an Art Murmur party on Friday, January 4, 2013. Artists will be on site to speak about their work. Invitation and details on Facebook.