Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Art as marketing...

Catalogue done, sent in.  Prints ordered.  Layout for show done.

Finally thinking I can have some time to paint when I received an email from a place that sells prints to interior designers, hospitals, businesses, etc.   They like my color studies and seascapes and want to talk to me about printing them and distributing them.  They need excellent scans of them by next week.  The pieces are all framed so that will involve a LOT of work unframing them, taking them to get them scanned, then re-framing them.  Ugh.  Oh well.  Interestingly, they don't give the artists credit for the work, unless the work happens to be signed.  Instead they're the prints you find at Macy's or Crate and Barrel, some place like that.  I'm flattered that they like my work and want it.  I'm a bit perturbed that I wouldn't get any credit for them.  That seems weird.  I'd get between $3 and $5/print they sell.  That could add up if they sell a lot.  I assume they get about $125-$300/framed print, so it's a pretty good mark-up for them.  Still, all I have to do is the initial work of getting the work scanned then sit back and hope the work sells like crazy.  I still have the copyright and can sell the original.

I'm planning to check into it further.  It could be a way to be able to work full time at my art, so I'm certainly interested! 

I read a book about Art Marketing about 8 years ago.  It said you have to spend as much time marketing your work as you do making it.  I certainly find that to be true.  Between the show and these prints, I won't have time to paint this week at all.  Hopefully I'll have some time next week and can get back into the studio.  I get a bit grumpy when I don't get to paint for a long time.

Oh, one interesting thing about the images they really like - mostly the seascapes - I did those pieces when Chris and I went to the Outer Banks several years ago.  Chris had been unemployed for about 4 months when I gave him a Christmas present of a week at the beach in March.  He was still unemployed then, and I was having trouble coping.  I was so thankful to go on vacation.  I was so drained and exhausted from worry that I could barely talk the first few days.  Instead I sat on the deck at a picnic table and drew what I saw.  I drew 8-10 different pictures over the course of the week, paying attention to the different colors of the sand, sea, and sky.  The pictures have a great deal of emotion to them because I was feeling so much at the time.

I find they are a true testimony to faith and trust.  In choosing to rent the cottage for a week even though Chris was unemployed, I was trusting he would find a job.  I trusted my art to help me find a way through my anxiety and upset. 

The third day we were there, Chris got a phone call from a company offering him a well-paying temporary job.  We were able to relax and revel in the vacation the rest of the time.  Such a relief, such a joy, such a pleasure.

This was also the trip when I found a gallery in OBX to sell my work.  The gallery no longer exists, but it was these pieces she saw and liked.  They fed me spiritually when I did them, and perhaps they'll feed me literally in the years to come if the sales happen!  I feel truly blessed.

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