Monday, June 8, 2009

A business decision

I've tried to accommodate anyone who wants to buy a piece of my art by offering many different sizes in order to fit within the budget they have for themselves. Offering small sized prints as well as a complete line of greeting cards insured that anyone wanting some of my art would be able to afford it.

The problem with this way of thinking is that, as I added new images to my mix as I created them, my limited space I set up in at the art festivals I sell at couldn't hold every thing I wanted to show. Now I could have stopped introducing new fractals but that would require me to stop creating them and as an artist, that would be an unacceptable option. Artists need to make art, period. If I stop making art, I stop being an artist and might as well get a job working for someone else, WRONG.

After contemplating what to do with my image size mix I've decided to do the following. Even though I've expounded the virtues of selling your art through a greeting card line (which I have successfully done for years making tens of thousands of dollars doing so) I will be discontinuing them. I've also decided to stop selling my 5"x 7" framed prints too. I was afraid that my total dollar sales would drop significantly based on looking over my records for these sizes for the past few years. But in order to keep a fresh look with new images I needed to cut out something and these were chosen.

I've not written about the out come of this decision yet even though I started this experiment nearly 3 months ago because I wanted some hard data to report and not just speculation on my part. So what happened?

My sales are up across the board from every show I did last year with the exception of one show that was rained out this year. I've had a handful of past customers ask about where my greeting cards were but not one person has inquired about the lack of my 5" x 7" prints. Everyone that inquired about the cards, with the exception of one customer purchased art from me. In most cases they bought the smallest size that I now offer (8"x 10" clip framed prints) and seemed happy doing.

The conclusion I take from this is I am now able to fill the space vacated by discontinuing greeting cards and the 5" x 7" prints with newly created art. This keeps me making art, gives my booth a fresh look and apparently has increased my sales. If you are an artist selling small sized prints or greeting cards, I'm not necessarily advising you to ditch your game plan, I'm just reporting what is working for me.

PS An artist friend of mine who owns the retail store Tye Dye Everything in Moscow, ID has become the new owner of thousands of my greeting cards I am no longer selling. If you are interested in still buying my cards you can purchased them here at Arlene's website Tye Dye Everything

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hey Bro

For the first time in as long as I can remember, I'll be spending my weekend traveling, NOT to an art festival but to visit my brother who will be in Sun Valley Idaho for business. He lives in my old home town of Santa Cruz, CA. which sadly to say, I don't get back to as much as I would like too.

He will be meeting a interior designer as well as the home owner of I'm sure a very swank home in this famous ski town. Mark, my brother, owns Brady Mountain Cabinets which handles high end cabinetry and other wooden projects in up scale homes in places like Pebble Beach, Carmel and Monteray CA. His client in Idaho (still a secret so far at least) is some famous movie star which Mark has done other work for in Pebble Beach but hasn't been introduced to yet. He has only worked with the designer and builder but this time the owner/movie star will be there to explain what he wants. Hopefully a photo opp will happen.

Because I had an off weekend from my show schedule, one of only 3 between now and Labor Day, I gingerly asked my wife if I could fly down to Boise to meet up with my brother. Macalea, our daughter has returned home from college so my wife will at least have her company which will be nice. A mother daughter hang time weekend.

After flying down Friday, Mark and I will get a chance to take in some of the local Boise food and music scene before heading to Sun Valley on Saturday. Even though I've been doing the Art in the Park art festival in Boise for years, I've yet been able to find the energy to go out and "play" after the long days spent selling my art so this time down there will be a real treat.

After I return I need to get ready for a 3 week tour of festivals that will take me from Seattle, then off to the Utah Arts Festival in Salt Lake City the very next weekend, two days hanging out with my son and his family that live close to that festival then off to Whitefish MT. the gateway to Glacier National Park for another show on 4th of July weekend. Man just typing that made me tired I can only imagine what the real deal will do to me.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Spokane ArtFest 2009

Afters years of begging and pleading with the promoters of the Spokane ArtFest to place my booth in a north facing, under the shade of the trees location, my perseverance finally paid off. I couldn't have asked for a better location for last weekends annual art festival that is located in the Brown's Addition of west Spokane WA.

First isle from the main entrance and smack dab under two wonderful oak trees made for the most pleasant and profitable show I've ever done in Spokane. For the first time in as long as I can remember, this 3 day event was blessed with warm sunny weather. Not a rain cloud to be seen. This made the patrons, as well as us artists very happy.

I can't tell whether it was because I've developed such a strong and loyal following in this region or because I introduced so many new fractal images that I haven't shown here before, or possibly a combination of the two but I had a record sales this year. Framed as well as matted prints flew out of my booth faster than I could keep my walls and bins stocked.

This in addition to the great artist amenities make for a very pleasant weekend. I hope that next year's jurors invite me back to this great show.