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Sharing Success – Cedarbank Studio

What makes art sell?

In short; you have to work it to win!

 Being an artist can be difficult.  The tricky balance of creating ‘in the zone’ and then putting your tools down as you focus with your business head.

ArtMarketDirect.com only works for artists who work at developing their business and brand.

To help our members succeed, from time to time a case study will be compiled about successful artists who also use ArtMarketDirect.com

When an artist is featured, it is not to suggest they are doing everything right.  It is to help give others ideas on their business model and maybe a better chance of selling work.

Case Study – Cedarbank Studio

An example of success is Cederbank Studio owned by the British fine artist Bonita Ellmore.

Bonita is best known for her seascapes in oil and watercolours of ‘everything sea’.

Why is Cedarbank Studio such a success?

“Painting and it’s associated ‘business’ can be very intrusive on time. My family and work life balance are of the upmost importance to me and so I have developed a pattern of working which works for me and allows me to enjoy each aspect of my life.”

— Bonita Ellmore, Cedarbank Studio, 2017


Be prolific

It does not matter how great you are, if you don’t do enough finished pieces of work and then sell them; before moving onto the next, your bills will not get paid.

It’s that simple.

Bonita is prolific in her output and despite investing emotionally in the process of creating, she is not precious about the work when its complete.

“Just paint. Discover what you love. Just paint what you love.”

— Bonita Ellmore, Cedarbank Studio, 2017


Cedarbank Studio has its own website using Squarespace and commercialises that with products using links to ArtMarketDirect.com.

In this way only the lowest cost is paid for the advantages of the Squarespace platform.

 “If the sun is out and the wind is perfect then I’m afraid the boat wins!”

— Bonita Ellmore, Cedarbank Studio, 2017


Business Cards

It seems so ‘last century’ but business cards remain a really pragmatic and cost effective way of passing contact details to a collector in a way they might just hang on to and use at a later date.

As soon as she had a website, email and unique gallery URL from ArtMarketDirect.com, Bonita used VistaPrint.co.uk for some standard business cards.

Bonita was consistent with her brand design including colours, fonts and layouts.

The business cards for Cedarbank Studio look really professional.

Social Media

It’s social media where Cedarbank Studio is winning by working their Twitter account to the point they now has in excess of 25k followers!  This has taken daily effort over more than two years.  Routinely @CedarbankStudio tweets using Bonita’s unique ArtMarketDirect.com gallery URL and also URL’s of pieces she has uploaded to ArtMarketDirect.com.

Bonita says she will be focusing on Facebook over the next 12 months.  We eagerly await seeing her progress.



Mailing List

Cedarbank Studio has a mailing list linked to Mailchimpvia button on every page of the website.

The mailing list is used to communicate to collectors every quarter.

“I do this whenever I remember. It’s on my ‘to-do’ list, my other ‘to-do’ list, written on my year-planner and also set as an alarm on my phone. Do I always forget and paint something instead?….and I am not going to kick myself about it either. I will do it. I just keep putting it off.”

— Bonita Ellmore, Cedarbank Studio. 2017

Affordable Collectors Subscriptions

Cedarbank Studio is unpretentious about the work.  Bonita believes in the value of art for all and so has incorporated PayWhirl into her site to offer collectors an affordable means of buying the art they like.

In this way collectors can receive a range of works produced by Bonita in the Cedarbank Studio

“It’s all about loving each aspect of your life and spending time working out prices based on a square centimetre basis just isn’t me. Life is too short to be distracted by nonsense.”

— Bonita Ellmore, Cedarbank Studio, 2017

Standardised price points

Bonita understands that not everyone who wants to own or collect her art has the money, the space at home or the space in their luggage to do so, so she has set about making something for everyone.  Here her standard retail price points are laid out as:

  • £8
  • £20
  • £40
  • £60
  • £220
  • £320
  • £420

Bonita is keen that even with a ‘pocket-money budget’ people can become collectors of her works.

“I don’t have time mucking about with different size frames for each piece.

I don’t think my collectors do either. Some of them of course will take the piece out of the IKEA frame and get a bespoke one made up; great. I am happy for them.

On weekdays during term time I normally get five hours alone each morning painting, the evenings I keep for studio administration which fits in and around family life.”

— Bonita Ellmore, Cedarbank Studio, 2017

Standardised dimensions

Cedarbank Studio only creates work which fits into standard IKEA frames.

This helps in marketing to average people who might want to own some of her art, but where he idea of buying something beautiful and then having to spend the same amount again to have it framed, can be off-putting.

All the larger original works sold are framed using IKEA frames.

“Although I love to paint, taking those paintings out of my studio and into a gallery took a few months of building up my confidence. Out of the blue I found the confidence and in that moment seized the day and went to the gallery and introduced myself. After the first one, introducing yourself gets easier. You have to believe in yourself.”

— Bonita Ellmore, Cedarbank Studio, 2017

Finding sales outlets

Bonita started visiting various outlets ‘on the doorstep’ to see if they would help her sell her work.

Overcoming apprehension was a big step and focussing on the reality that the outlets are equally being interviewed by her as much as they are judging her work helped a lot.

Work created within the Cedarbank Studio now sells from galleries, cafes, restaurants, gift shops and a local botanical garden shop.  Each outlet has to justify itself, if work does not sell, they are put on notice and if still there is no movement the stock is ‘pulled’ and allocated to outlets now on Bonita’s waiting list.

To help with the marketing and point of sale, Bonita branded some simple IKEA apple boxes.

We think they look cool.

“The majority of gallery owners are great but if you find one who you don’t get on with then pick another. ”

— Bonita Ellmore, Cedarbank Studio, 2017


Online map of available work in the real-world

Cedarbank Studio work is hung in a number of local real-world businesses which Bonita visits on average once a month to change things around and reinforce the relationship.

Once a year Bonita tries to schedule a private view in the different venues where her collectors can meet her and see new work.

To help potential collectors see her work, Bonita uses Multiplottr.com to map where her work is for sale.

“Taking part in the Cowal Open Studios this year and the Festival of the Sea at the The Briggait, a beautiful Grade A listed building in Glasgow’s Merchant City in September. I’ve a number of watercolour boxes but it seems I always go back to my old favourite. ”

— Bonita Ellmore, Cedarbank Studio, 2017

Out there

Bonita also says ‘Yes’ to every Open Studio event, festival, private view and exhibition offered.  Each opens her to new markets and ensures she has a reason to create new work people have not seen before.



Being ‘out there’ is one thing, being noticed and then remembered in all the hullabaloo is something else.

Bonita went back to VistaPrint.co.uk and got them to make her a banner.

The banner is consistent with the overall design constraints Bonita has applied to everything at Cedarbank Studio including colours, fonts and layout.

The banner is pretty inexpensive and very effective.


Mobile Payment

When Bonita is out and about she has opted for the Paypal Mobile Card Reader to help her sell.

It’s small and easy to use, offering her all the security and flexibility of Paypal in her pocket.

This is a really clever idea.  Collectors never have a delay between the impulse to buy and the payment being taken.  No delays going to the ATM or hunting around for cash.

“I bought mine 2nd-hand on eBay. Excellent. It works really well and means there is no mucking about people.  Either buy it with cash, buy with my ‘little piece of the future’ or they don’t want it after all.

It quickly deals with time wasters who ask for things to be ‘put aside’ so they can go to the ATM and then never come back. Those people used to really annoy me.”

— Bonita Ellmore, Cedarbank Studio, 2017


Bonita also recognises the value of collaboration getting in touch with ArtMarketDirect.com and offering to blog about our work in return for us promoting the studio and her work which we are of course happy to do.  We assume she does this with lots of folk.



The blog of Cedarbank Studio is very cool.  It celebrates everything there is to see in Bonita’s local area in Western Scotland.

It talks about art, gardening, cooking and chickens, the seasons, and various other random stuff which makes it all the more readable.



Cedarbank Studio recognises friendship by adding links to those who have helped along the way.

These are reciprocal links whereby those listed ‘on the whole’ will add links to CedarbankStudio.co.uk

“Life is good and you want only friends on your side.”

— Bonita Ellmore, Cedarbank Studio, 2017

“I look at my little spinning world quite often. Ok, not that often but, certainly more than I pour over the google graphs which can be very detailed indeed.

I like seeing where the little green dots are. I find it amazing that people in the middle of god-knows-where click on and then tour my little website. It’s quite wonderful.”

— Bonita Ellmore, Cedarbank Studio, 2017


Google analytics and hits map

Cedarbank Studio uses Google Analytics and has three different live feeds on its Home page displaying where folk are who have visited the site.

For this Bonita uses ClusterMaps.com & Feedjit.com

The Geese

Chatting to Bonita was great.

An article would however never be complete without at least a tacit nod to ‘the Geese’.  Bonita has a small menagerie with Fin the dog, chickens, fish and two Geese.

Here they are!

“Our pair of geese named Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemmingway, ‘Gertie and Hemmy’ for short. Gertie and Hemmy cutting the grass.”

— Bonita Ellmore, Cedarbank Studio, 2017


If any of the information in this case study have been useful, we have listed the links referred to in it.  Some or all of them might help you sell more of your work.

  1. ArtMarketDirect.com – https://amd.brnstudio.com/
  2. Cedarbank Studio –  http://www.cedarbank.co.uk/
  3. Squarespace – https://www.squarespace.com/
  4. Vistaprint – www.vistaprint.co.uk/
  5. Twitter – https://twitter.com/?lang=en
  6. @cedarbankstudio – https://twitter.com/cedarbankstudio?lang=en
  7. Unique ArtMarketDirect.com Gallery – https://amd.brnstudio.com/en/cedarbank
  8. Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/
  9. Mailchimp – https://mailchimp.com/
  10. IKEA – http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/
  11. Paywhirl – https://app.paywhirl.com/
  12. Multiplotter – https://multiplottr.com/
  13. Paypal Mobile Card Reader – https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/credit-card-reader
  14. Blog – http://www.cedarbank.co.uk/blog/
  15. Cedarbank Studio Friends – http://www.cedarbank.co.uk/our-friends
  16. Google analytics – https://analytics.google.com/
  17. ClusterMaps.com – https://clustrmaps.com
  18. Feedjit.com – http://feedjit.com/

Would you like your work featured in a case study for other artists to draw inspiration from?

Get in touch by emailing: admin@amd.brnstudio.com

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