for artists  »  getting listed
Please read all sections before going to the information request form.

What are the costs?

There is a fee paid either quarterly or annually for being featured on Stroke of Genius. Annual payments receive a 10% discount.

Either way, a minimum one-year commitment is required. The first year, there is also a nominal 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 page.

What if I decide to discontinue?

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 needlessly.

Is there an approval process?

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 or

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 $2,000.

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 web space.

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 can see the change in your traffic.

Do you take a commission?

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

Your Stroke of Genius pages will typically have the address of

The only exception to this format is if two artists on the site have the same last name in which case the address might be

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

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.

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 be included.

What about submitting portrait images?

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

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 cost?

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 artist individually.

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 you provide.

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 Portrait Society of America and more or news about the site. These come only from Stroke of Genius.

Do you provide statistics?

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 your site.

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