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OctagonBooth2014

Bring On The Sales!

Here I am all smiles for so early in the morning. I couldn’t have asked for much more outta my last art fair of the season. The weather was stellar, sales were small but brisk and I got away without being hit by a truck.

I am always happy when the season is over and also sad. I really do enjoy doing art fairs (as long as you don’t ask me how much in the wee hours of a frosty morning or when I’m packing up in a heavy downpour.) I like meeting people, hearing their critter stories and well … making money. I usually come away feeling very motivated to create which is huge.

So thank you to all who purchased from me this past season. Not only does it help me keep myself and my critters fed, the lights on at home and the gallery but it also motivates me to continue to do what I love to do, make more critter art.

BTW

In case you’re wondering yes, I am wearing a fanny pack. I realize they are oh so trendy but I like to keep my cash on my body. I can make change easily and never have to worry about my cash box when taking a bathroom break.

Riverssance2014

The season is already about over for me (I’m not planning on doing any holiday events this year) and I didn’t really even mention them on the blog as I did them this year. This is in part because there has a bit of chaos keeping me rather preoccupied and partly because I’ve pretty much done all the same events I usually do and so there just wasn’t much to talk about about..

It’s All A Crapshoot

The above photo was from Riverssance held in the Quad-cities of Iowa and was where I was last weekend. As you can see by the photo there were just no people. This normally booming event usually boasts great crowds which like to buy. This year was slow. (mind numbingly soul sucking slow) I did half of my usual. Sadly, this meant I was one of the high earners among the artists I talked to. There were 101 talented artists, live music, wine tasting and fun foods. I don’t know why it was so poor this year. It threatened rain but for a small sprinkling Saturday morning, didn’t.

At any rate, events this year for the most part were better than expected, so on the whole I’d say things are looking up for the economy. Many of the events I did, I sold original work as well as prints which is certainly not the case most years. So I am rather optimistic about the art business.

The Last Hurrah.

This weekend I’ll be in Ames, Iowa doing the Octagon event. I wasn’t there last year as it conflicted with Riverssance. So hopefully that means good things sale-wise this year. Wish me luck and if you happen to be in the area come say “Hello” I am booth 109 which is somewhere in the center (sort of.)

ChrisCakes So recently the transmission went out on my art fair gallery van “again.” As in I just got it replaced … oh … about 9000 miles ago. And yes, it was out of warranty … just barely.

While the cost of the tranny alone is depressing the fact that it happened literally on the eve of me doing 4 events in 5 weeks was enough to put me in a tizzy. Loss of art fair income at a time when I need to pay for work on my gallery roof was not an option.

Note The Similarities Between My Gallery Building And The Truck. After calling half a dozen car rental places to no avail I tried someone with whom I’ve had business relations for, well … as long as I’ve been in business. Chris Cakes is no longer housed in my gallery building in Rolfe and even though I’ve owned the building for many many years, I just never quite got around to taking down the sign.

He was a doll and generously let me use the truck not once but twice keeping it set aside for me. I can’t express how much this meant to me. At any rate while cruisin’ this bad boy I learned two things about people.

  1. People love cake! And when I explained that Chris Cakes is actually “pancakes” well …
  2. People love pancakes! Pretty much the same reaction. Folks were following me around like the pied piper.

So thank you Gregg. You were truly a life saver. A big hug to you for being there when no one else was able to. You really saved my booty.

To learn more about some of the best damn pancakes anywhere visit the Chris Cakes website.

In Case You’re Wondering While I did get a discount on the new transmission it was minor and now it takes all my willpower not to mutter “Those bastards!” every time I think about it.

Longhorns

And it’s about time huh?

It took me awhile but I finally got a few more of my recent paintings added to the website. It is available in 3 sizes though I am pondering removing the middle size. It seems most people like either close to original sized or the much smaller version.

I am also offering it in canvas which can either be stretched traditionally for framing or down¬† in the deeper box wrap or gallery wrap style for that clean, sleek contemporary look. I am loving these panoramics in the gallery wrap and have done both my “Birds Of A Feather” as well as “Spotted.”

Check out the WFG website for more information.

So I have been spending my free time (because I have so much of that these days) saving my squidoo pages on my hard drive in case the big migration to Hub Pages goes all “tits up” on me. I have over 200 articles so it is slow progress.

I don’t actually know where everything will wind up yet. I will allow the transfer to Hub Pages but whether I’m a good fit and how many will remain there is yet to be seen. I am quite sure I’ll begin putting many that are art related on the blog here. Some will just be deleted. Some may branch out to Infobarrel or other platforms. Perhaps I’ll beef up my websites with some. All I know for sure it will be many weeks and months worth of effort to relocate stuff to my advantage. On the other hand if I do nothing I could lose over 5 years worth of writing, cataloging and correlating. And I’m just too stubborn for that.

For those interested in learning a little more about what some other of the veteran squidoo lensmasters think on the subject you can check out these posts. Both pose interesting questions as to the morality of this maneuver and can squidoo actually “sell” content that belongs to the writers.

Dave Stone’s Blog Post

RoseWrites Inforbarrel Post

NOTE: Seth Godin is made to look like a thief in the night and while I don’t share in the anger over this, I share in that opinion. For a man who boasts about integrity, he pidgeon holed this transfer, forcing it to be done in a ridiculous time frame so as to get as many on board and over to Hub Pages as smoothly as possible all while sending out a cheery email a couple of days before the death of squidoo telling us a “wonderful thing is about to happen.”

No One Ever Said Being An Artist Was Easy

So today has been a rather financially stressful day.

First after two months of harassing multiple roofing companies I got 3 to show up at the gallery this week. The first two didn’t even go up on the roof, and the third, who I met with this morning, quoted about 3 times what I was expecting. In theory one will be returning with a big enough ladder (because he failed to bring a tall enough ladder the first go round.) later so we’ll see what he has to say.

So then I log onto squidoo to see how many sales I had yesterday and low and behold they have been aquisitioned by hub pages. Aargh! Now at one time squidoo with my affiliate links was earning me around 1k a month. Last year major changes and traffic and sales tanked but I still was averaging $300-$500 a month. A nice little deposit in my bank account with not much of additional effort on my part. But now, they will automatically transfer all my pages unless I opt out to Hubpages. Time to figure it all out … is about a week and I believe the pages will be deleted by end of month if I haven’t moved them elsewhere.

And then this happened…

And so while reading through the mountains of information about the transition, about hub pages TOS and the general chaos and freaking out going on in the forums I see that Zujava (another online platform very similar to squidoo that I just received my first payout last month from) has had their amazon account cancelled. So no deniro coming from them anymore either. (Oh holy hell!)

Hard to say whether Hubpage will be a good fit for me. I know they don’t allow personal affiliate links and only 2 amazon links per page. The general consesus seems to be their payout is way less than Squidoo. I look back over the 5 years I’ve been on squidoo and they have made me a tidy sum collectively. (as by the way I did them) so I’m trying to have a ca sera sera attitude.

I’ll let you know how that works for me.

It’s A Circle Of Life Kinda Thing

I may try to figure out how to add a page or two to my blog here and move the content relative to artsy stuffs over here. After all my squidoo pages were initially built from some of my blog posts they may as well come back home to it.

FYI Squidoo is an online platfrom that allows people to write about thing they love and earn money while doing it. So of course the bulk of my pages are about art fairs, giclee printing, framing and products that fall into that industry like cross stitch patterns etc. There art art tutorials and art fair primers and just a whole lot of information and images that seems like a shame to lose.

 

ReceptionHaley1000

What? Too much of a teaser?

This photo has not been cropped or altered in any substantial way. The photographer shall remain anonymous (because … well I mean really) but I asked Haley to send me a copy because it totally cracks me up. And yes I am easily amused.

This was during our reception for “Cowgirls” a teaser showing of the much larger exhibition slated to happen September of next. Here’s a few photos of Carol Herden a world class (literally sells world wide) sculptor of the bovine form. Myself. Barb McGee a wonderful watercolorist with an enthusiasm for the Western and Rural way of life. And Haley who at this moment in the photo is introducing us for our presentation.

Okay … okay. Here’s a few “real” photos. The teaser runs through the end of August at A Piece Of Work in Spirit Lake, Iowa.

CarolBarbMeAPOW2014

HardenWorkAPOW

CarolBarbHaleyAPOW

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