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


Sue O'Kieffe said...

ive had the feeling recently that even though greeting cards might be a sort of bread and butter item, they might be better as a sort of business card than something i want to fuss with producing. then again, it might be something i want to return to in a couple of years. time will tell. at any rate, im grateful for the info you have provided on this subject.

Dennis Brady said...

I really had mixed emotions on shelving the small prints and the greeting card line. I've made tens of thousands of dollars selling them over the years but in order to "get to the next level" something had to go and so far, the decision is working out.