Please read all sections before going to the information
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
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.
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 $2,000.
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
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.
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
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
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 http://www.portraitartist.com/yourfirstnameyourlastname
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.
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.
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.
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
Your pages will be created with some standard hidden keywords
used by some search engines. If you want others, they can be included.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.