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Posts Tagged ‘art marketing’

SiouxCenterHospitalMe1000

So they have been hanging at the new hospital in Sioux Center Iowa in the cafeteria for the past 3 months and yesterday Barb and I ran down to pick them up. Hospitals are often looking for new art exhibitions but I rarely partake of them. Most showings in hospitals (for me at least) don’t have sales though striking up a relationship isn’t a bad plan of action. Sometimes when they do go out for permanent art you might be one of them that they call.  I had a showing at the Mayo clinic like a decade ago which was excellent and did sell multiple works as well as resulted in people coming to the gallery to buy. But none the less, on the whole I usually avoid them.

On the other hand…

It beats having them sitting in the gallery in the middle of an Iowa winter too. The liaison was a delight which is no surprise as she was an artist too and I do like how they look on the green wall. We over packed the space just a little though.

I wonder what everyone thought about being watched by a couple dozen cows as they ate their roast beef lunches. Which BTW is why I have such a Buddha belly in the photo. I just has some a big lunch of roast beef with taters and salads. Yum.

Okay soon I’ll carry on with my diatribe on diabetes. Next post probably.

 

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Updated: Once again my poll seems to have gone missing. I’ve tried uploading again but it still isn’t showing. So here’s hoping the problem will resolve itself. I apologize if you came to vote and it’s gone. Dang it!

 

It’s been pretty quiet around here lately on my blog so launching a poll right now may not be the best timing, but since this is something I’m pondering right now regarding my own work … well … the timing is right for that. So here it goes …

Over the past decade or so I usually get asked multiple times a year (particularly when I’m doing an art fair) by various art centers and galleries if I’d like to exhibit with them. Up until recently I’ve always said no. My reason being

  • I don’t want to create a body of work I can’t sell for a year or longer. Sell now over sell later.
  • I sell my work easily enough at art fairs, most of the time I don’t have enough left over. Let alone for a themed exhibit.
  • I was doubtful it would be profitable.
  • Gallery folk quite often just aren’t “my tribe.”

But as you know I did begin accepting exhibition opportunities albeit turning them to themed group showings. I figured it wasn’t something I’d explored much, and since my art is my livelihood it seemed stubborn of me to assume it just wasn’t a venue in which I could make money. And thus “cowgirls” and now “Down On The Farm” were born.

I’d guess I’ve spent around $1500 on Cowgirls so far for framing.(and that’s cost since I have a frame shop)  Now it’s not like that money is lost. Truthfully any art I create I frame, but again … it’s money spent with no potential return on until the exhibit is over. There are other costs like the time and gas it takes for installation, receptions and tear down after the event which also need to be looked at.

In the end the “Cowgirls” show has been profitable but only because I’ve been selling prints and note cards of the new art at my usual venues. The two exhibits thus far have produced gas money at best. It doesn’t mean I’m quitting the idea. 2 exhibitions does not an informed decision make and that’s why I thought I’d ask you all.

BTW: The results of my last  poll were quite interesting. In the end it was almost a 50/50 split between the orange frame and the yellow frame with a handful of comments suggesting other color like green. Judging by my prints sales of that image with matting … yellow way out sells orange and green. In fact the only time I sell a different color is when the yellow is sold out. There was a total of 54 votes with 51.85% yellow and 48.15% for orange.

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snapshot4

My goal was to reach 100 items by the end of last year but … well that didn’t happen. It’s harder than you think. Or perhaps I should say it was harder than I thought. I opened my Etsy store in 2008 and sold an item or two but found that Ebay was a veritable feeding frenzy of sales, so I went that way.

But by the Fall of last year, when squidoo went belly up and I lost the hefty revenue stream that came from them, I began to once again explore online options. So I took my SEO skills I learned from Squidoo and began listing on Etsy again. I sold a print within 4 days and that was just enough motivation to keep me going.

So why didn’t I do the Ebay thing again you ask?

Good question you. Well for multiple reasons.

  • Making quality listings takes time. Fast and furious sales are awesome but it means I would spend many more hours creating listings than I wanted to. When I did ebay I sold around 1K in 6 weeks but it was kinda a full time job. And I have a full time job selling my art already so…
  • Etsy listings last much longer  4 months as opposed to a week or so of ebay.
  • Etsy listing are much cheaper only .20 cents per plus a small % when an item sells.
  • Etsy doesn’t have the bargain basement rummage sale mentality that ebay does. I can sell my art for what it’s worth. I do offer special pricings on some of my listings but mostly that’s because they are different from my website in one way or the other.

I am averaging a sale or two a week at the moment. That’s with minimal game playing (meaning team interactions for promoting within etsy.) I would guess ebay would make me more, but I like the stress free environment as well as the more artisan like setting.

Never Heard Of Etsy?

I’m not surprised though it’s far more common knowledge now than when I opened my doors in 2008. But I am pretty sure etsy is about to become more of a household name as it’s going public. I think this will be both good and bad for the site. But my hope is, more awareness equals more sales. We shall see.

Etsy is a peer-to-peer e-commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items and supplies, as well as unique factory-manufactured items under Etsy’s new guidelines.

Future Goals For Etsy

Short term: Bring 1-2 sales a week to 1-2 a day. 150 items in shop.

Long Term: 10+ sales a day. I have organized my product so the shipping end is easy. Either in a tube or flat rate envelope with the exception of a couple of framed items. I am pretty confident that I can do 10 sales a day without it interfering with the time needed to run the gallery etc. I think the max amount of items I can foresee handling in my etsy shop would be 200-250. But I won’t know until I get there.

So … now on to 150!

Shameless Self Promotion  My Etsy Shop

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