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Kitty Wallis
08-16-2004, 10:16 PM
I have gone to those who support and buy my art and proposed this:
I want to travel to ____ .
Would you be willing to pay me now, at half price, for the pick of the show when I get back?

This has worked for me. I've gone to the Virgin Isles, China, Giverny (twice) using this marketing idea. Not only do you get trip $ but you have an audience of people, who are happy to be patrons, waiting for your return and the ensuing show. I gave first pick of the show to the first on board, and so on.

Khadres
08-17-2004, 12:00 AM
Yes, cool idea! Of course....well....this will only work if you have patrons who already like your work! I might....MIGHT be able to raise fifty cents right now. :D

Would be a GREAT way to travel, tho!

SweetBabyJ
08-17-2004, 12:18 AM
Dear Kitty,

Wanna buy a painting? Special rates- double-coupons on Wednesdays. And then, let's talk about Jamaica.... Or Mazatlan. Or maybe Cabo....

Sounds a very good idea, really, but Sooz is right- first, you need the kind of patrons who have that kind of money....



hmmm- I need a better class of patrons....

Kitty Wallis
08-17-2004, 04:06 AM
The first time I did this, in 1977, 8 friends put up $100 each. They all felt charmed to be patrons of the arts. I went to the Virgin Islands to stay with my sister while I painted portraits of the folks who live there and scenes of beaches.

Cheena K
08-17-2004, 05:19 AM
I would like to attend Jackie's workshop in Greece next year ;) Any patrons?? :angel:

It's a great idea, but one needs such great friends too to start off!!!

duplicate post

Ruth Grinstead
08-17-2004, 07:09 AM
Great idea, Kitty. I will note it in my book of suggestions for the future. Now I just need the initial steps of how to start marketing my work, as I am developing a pile and don't have a clue as to what to do with it to get started. Not knowing anyone arty locally I don't know where to start.

Ruth

MarshaSavage
08-17-2004, 07:21 AM
Kitty,

Great idea! I have another artist friend here in Georgia that does this. Last year he went to Italy with two of the couples that paid his way for the first picks of his work from there.

They have been collecting my work, and asked me why I don't do something similar. I had not really ever heard of this until then -- hopefully, I can do something similar.

Do you have any downsides you have run into with this? Any other insights for things to plan regarding the arrangements?

Marsha

Kitty Wallis
08-17-2004, 03:38 PM
The only downside I've found is, the work is promised, no one can buy it off the easel or in your destination place. Maybe your original agreement can be worded so you can pick up some $$ or trade for whatever while you are there.

Kitty,

Great idea! I have another artist friend here in Georgia that does this. Last year he went to Italy with two of the couples that paid his way for the first picks of his work from there.

They have been collecting my work, and asked me why I don't do something similar. I had not really ever heard of this until then -- hopefully, I can do something similar.

Do you have any downsides you have run into with this? Any other insights for things to plan regarding the arrangements?

Marsha

Lisa Olivarez
08-17-2004, 07:04 PM
OK, I'll bite. :D

I'd like to make a trip to Santa Fe to do some painting at the end of August, say, the 25th through the 31st. Oh, gee, that just happens to coincide with the Conference everyone is talking about! :clap: Hmmmm. Anybody want to sponser me for a trip plus workshop tuition in exchange for the pick of the show I generate? The paintings might even possibly be critiqued by the likes of Deborah Christianson Secor, Kitty Wallis and other pastel luminaries! Heck, I'll give you the painting! In fact, you can have all of the paintings! LOL Any takers????LOL

Kitty, I'm just goofing around! Sounds like a great idea, maybe in a few years...wishful sighLisa

Deborah Secor
08-18-2004, 01:48 PM
Angela Manno does this too. She presells paintings of the lavender fields in Provence for discount rates and paints multiples on her easel at one time. Now don't get the wrong idea--they're credible and interesting paintings. She just maximizes time at the easel this way!

Here's what I wrote about her method:
In 1997 Angela finally realized the dream. It took some creative thinking and planning but she was determined to return to France to paint. She had learned about community-supported agriculture, where the consumer puts up money so that the farmer may buy seeds and plants. As he harvests, the investors receive produce in exchange for their initial investment. She decided to ask her friends and collectors if they would be interested in community-supported art, investing in a painting ahead of time so that Angela could fly to France, paint for a time and return with paintings from which they could choose. In the tradition of the farmer, to motivate her investors she offered them a special price on a painting, in exchange for the up-front capital, so that she could go.

“The first time I went I had commissions for ten paintings and came home two or three weeks later with about twenty-four paintings,” remembers Angela, flashing a brilliant smile at the thought.

Fired by her success and the realization of her dream, Angela continued to make trips to paint the fields in Provence and other locations in France, selling paintings to smart investors to fund her yearly trips. She has now completed five trips in as many years and plans to return again this year.
Since that first experimental journey Angela has refined her idea, sending out an invitation to prospective customers to explain her destination and invite them to join her. “I plan a trip to Provence and contact those who might be interested. My customers come by word of mouth now. They know where I’m going and generally what I’ll be painting and they can’t wait to see the pictures.”

“Then I make the trip and paint many small ones,” she explains. Each painting is eighty square inches, though the length and width vary, which allows her to easily transport the needed paper and finished pieces. “Sometimes I work on two at a time. I guess I get greedy to paint more. I put one above the other on my easel and work on both with the same colors. I find locations that have a lot of possibilities, many good views that I can make into interesting compositions.”

“When I get home I make color copies of each painting and send them on to all my customers. They make their first, second and third choices, and let me know. Usually they get their first choice, which is sort of a miracle. It’s interesting because it gets the people involved with the process.”

Maybe someday!!!

Deborah

Kitty Wallis
08-18-2004, 07:15 PM
Thanks Deborah,
Exactly what I meant. She had a very similar idea, put on her own creative spin and furthered her career, making a lot of art and selling it. She might even say that she advanced down her own path more rapidly. I do say that.

I thought I was offering a valuable gift, one that I suggest to very few.

Could it be that those who have scoffed at this idea don't realize the support they can generate among their friends and aqaintances. Or perhaps they don't cultivate friendships among people who care about art.

Deborah Secor
08-18-2004, 07:45 PM
It takes a lot of organization, some very creative thinking, and some willingness to take a risk at somepoint--but I love this idea. It takes a gift to make it real, to sell yourself to others--even your friends--and to deliver excellent paintings.

I've thought we should do a group thing somewhat like this, which would take a bit of the risk out. We should arrange to go to some spectacuarly scenic and salable location (Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, whatever) with three or four talented and compatible painters (personally compatible--not similar artistically) and presell paintings done as a group. Then we can invite the buyers to an opening reception and have the rest of the work done at the location available for sale. What do you think? That way you can go to a good location, pay for that leg of the trip with subscriptions, and still have a show...which would give more income and serve to interest others for the next trip!

I may try this one day soon. But if any of you want to run with it, go ahead.

Deborah

SweetBabyJ
08-18-2004, 07:58 PM
I consider the idea an extremely good one, and of a form I'm used to using, anyway. I'm trained as a Recreational Therapist, specializing in Alzheimer's and related dementias, and worked in Skilled Nursing Facilities- usually secure facilities. While my Department is State-mandated, it is woefully underfunded; if funds are tight, do you spend money on a few more nurses to cover shifts, or maybe make sure the Residents have someone around to play piano once a week? The answer is NEVER "play piano". So I'm very much at ease with this kind of barter, as my department is the only department told to seek volunteers to fill staffing needs, or donations to fill equipment needs.

However, when I apply this to my work, firstly, as I said- I need a better class of clientele. Right now, I've a few people who SAY they'll pay $350.00 for a painting, but none have pressed any cash into my hand. Plus, I'd have to get a whole lot faster, be better on location, and learn to do a credible land-sea-city scape rather than my current near macro look at a thing or group of things. However....

That surely doesn't mean the idea isn't firmly in mind for when I've improved enough to have and do those two things. I'm planning on using it just as soon as possible, and for as long as I can hop a plane.

Kitty Wallis
08-18-2004, 08:02 PM
Have you thought of a trip to photograph the silver and crystal collection at the Kremlin? It's Humongous!

I don't advocate changing your path to make this work. But you can change the idea. :)

I consider the idea an extremely good one, and of a form I'm used to using, anyway. I'm trained as a Recreational Therapist, specializing in Alzheimer's and related dementias, and worked in Skilled Nursing Facilities- usually secure facilities. While my Department is State-mandated, it is woefully underfunded; if funds are tight, do you spend money on a few more nurses to cover shifts, or maybe make sure the Residents have someone around to play piano once a week? The answer is NEVER "play piano". So I'm very much at ease with this kind of barter, as my department is the only department told to seek volunteers to fill staffing needs, or donations to fill equipment needs.

However, when I apply this to my work, firstly, as I said- I need a better class of clientele. Right now, I've a few people who SAY they'll pay $350.00 for a painting, but none have pressed any cash into my hand. Plus, I'd have to get a whole lot faster, be better on location, and learn to do a credible land-sea-city scape rather than my current near macro look at a thing or group of things. However....

That surely doesn't mean the idea isn't firmly in mind for when I've improved enough to have and do those two things. I'm planning on using it just as soon as possible, and for as long as I can hop a plane.

Khadres
08-18-2004, 08:04 PM
I didn't for a moment mean to be understood as scoffing at your idea! It's a great way of generating the cash you need for a trip project, but you hit the nail on the head in my case in your later comments...I know next to nobody other than the people here on WC! who care one whit about my art and wouldn't know an original piece of art if it bit them...I did once, but all have since died, moved away, I've moved and lost contact, etc. I barely even have any relatives left to seek support from and those I do have are primarily retired, limited income types without a lot of resources for the stuff they HAVE to buy! And while I might dig up a couple of enthusiastic supporters for my work if I went out checking on past co-workers, etc., they wouldn't be apt to have the money right now in a local economy where a large share of folks are still out of work via the recession.

All that blather being said, you can bet that when/if I eventually find an opportunity to try this out, I'll certainly give it a shot! As you say, nothing ventured, nothing gained and everybody SHOULD come out a winner with a plan like this! I'd encourage anyone with enough acquaintances who would love to own good art to try this out, maybe tailoring the particulars to fit their situations. Sounds like a lot fun and productive to boot! And just think how motivated one would be by knowing they had so many works due at the end of the trip! No putting off til tomorrow what ya could paint today!

In short, thanks for the tip and I'm filing it away for a time when I might get to use it...I wonder if one could use the same sort of thing to finance trips to workshops, too?

SweetBabyJ
08-18-2004, 08:18 PM
Boy! You dream big doncha?!?

I hadn't, really- and I've been to Europe, so should've considered it. Love to go back to St Peter's, too- there's so many wonderful shiny things there- not to mention Trevi and The Spanish Steps and other neato-keeno scenes. I also remember the markets along the Costa Brava, and in Florence, too.

What I wish I still had from Germany was the HUNDREDS of photos of old tumbled down "burgs"- seems just about every village had a "burg" (castle/fortification) close-by, and I loved getting dramatically lit shots of the ruins. One of my faves was actually an old nunnery- the tower still had timbers inside, and the outer wall rose in tiers up the hillside. Then, too, the autumn scenery along the Mosel River isn't to be sneezed at- especially if you visit the weine kellars and get pics of all the weine-making process- make some spendid arrangements like that. "Zieguener schnitzel mit Pommes und '76er Spatlese"....

I could get pretty cheap airfare and accomodations, too, due to being retired military spouse- have to check the travel center and see what's happening with that bennie lately.

Thanks- I'm going to toss this idea around a bit, see what I come up with....


PS:
Oh- and anyone truly wishing a group (Caribbean) trip, ummm... the group thing is very affordable for me in certain areas- again, Armed Forces Travel Club allows me to rent a condo for $240.00 a week or so, pretty much anywhere they have an arrangement made. LOTS of places Conus, and quite a few in soem nice exotic vacation spots- Cabo, Bahamas, Jamaica.... I've looked and dreamed A LOT- problem is, my husband doesn't think he should use a passport without an M-16.... He went to Vancouver, and Victoria BC, Canada ONCE- that's as far as I've gotten him out of the country when not in uniform. :eek:

Kitty Wallis
08-18-2004, 08:35 PM
Good thinking you guys, my work here is done. I'll stop whining now.

Cheena K
08-19-2004, 06:38 AM
I hope I am not being pointed at...as the "scoffer" :crying: :crying:

Kitty, it's a wonderful idea, but seems quite distant for a person like me. I know I am still a beginner, but would love to attend workshops and learn one on one. I joned WC sometime last year and that was the time when I really started painting, I think I have improved a lot and my confidence has gone up quite a bit...think what will happen if I really really get to meet some of you special people....it'll be like a dream come true :) But in a land where I don't get the art material I want to work with how can I expect people to sponsor my art. Well, as of now I am concentrating on improving and learning as much as I can...this reminds me of something Richard Bach had written in one of his books:illusion, "You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true....you may have to work for it, however!!"

Kitty Wallis
08-19-2004, 09:04 PM
No, I didn't think you scoffed.

Great reference, I loved reading all of Bach's books.

You won't know until you try, I can imagine a show of 50-100 small works; some done on site and some when you got home. You make beautiful, bright, colorful pieces that anyone would enjoy in their homes.

How many, at what price, would you have to pre-sell to raise enough money for a painting trip? Where would you like to go? Maybe you could go somewhere to paint and buy materials? Or maybe I'm dreaming and there is no way at all for you to arrange this in your land.

I hope I am not being pointed at...as the "scoffer" :crying: :crying:

Kitty, it's a wonderful idea, but seems quite distant for a person like me. I know I am still a beginner, but would love to attend workshops and learn one on one. I joned WC sometime last year and that was the time when I really started painting, I think I have improved a lot and my confidence has gone up quite a bit...think what will happen if I really really get to meet some of you special people....it'll be like a dream come true :) But in a land where I don't get the art material I want to work with how can I expect people to sponsor my art. Well, as of now I am concentrating on improving and learning as much as I can...this reminds me of something Richard Bach had written in one of his books:illusion, "You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true....you may have to work for it, however!!"

artist_pw
08-19-2004, 09:29 PM
Hi:

This sounds like a good idea to me. I don't have enough patrons yet to make this a good proposal yet, but maybe sometime. :)

Cheena K
08-20-2004, 04:04 AM
Yes, Kitty you are right...I haven't tried...it maybe possible. But as of now, I really need to work extremely hard and prepare a good number of pieces :)
It will take me a while...A trip from India to any place in europe will cost about 3000 USD...I am not sure though...I need to sell atleast 250 pieces to achieve that I guess...maybe more!

I hope to achieve that sometime!!! Pray for me :) coz I get to paint only on weekends, at that rate it will take a LOT OF TIME!! God bless me!!



No, I didn't think you scoffed.

Great reference, I loved reading all of Bach's books.

You won't know until you try, I can imagine a show of 50-100 small works; some done on site and some when you got home. You make beautiful, bright, colorful pieces that anyone would enjoy in their homes.

How many, at what price, would you have to pre-sell to raise enough money for a painting trip? Where would you like to go? Maybe you could go somewhere to paint and buy materials? Or maybe I'm dreaming and there is no way at all for you to arrange this in your land.

Khadres
08-21-2004, 06:25 PM
Oh- and anyone truly wishing a group (Caribbean) trip, ummm... the group thing is very affordable for me in certain areas- again, Armed Forces Travel Club allows me to rent a condo for $240.00 a week or so, pretty much anywhere they have an arrangement made. LOTS of places Conus, and quite a few in soem nice exotic vacation spots-

Hey, that could be cool! We'll have to think about that one sometime! I've also thought what fun it would be to rent a "self-catering" farm house or such in the UK...they're not that bad split a half dozen ways or so and they're scattered throughout the countryside. We stayed in one in Wiltshire and had a blast...I just wish I'd known about pastels back then! Of course, there's always the issue of plane fares, but...there's also similar set-ups in picturesque places stateside that people could even drive to if they wanted. Would be a blast having a paint-out with a bunch of you idjuts!

MChesleyJohnson
08-28-2004, 05:32 PM
One question -- and forgive me if the answer is buried in here somewhere and I missed it, as I am a latecomer to this thread -- if the buyers get the "pick" of what is painted, how do you avoid fights between them? What if the buyers all want the same painting? Lottery? Person who pays most gets first pick?

Kitty Wallis
08-31-2004, 02:43 AM
One question -- and forgive me if the answer is buried in here somewhere and I missed it, as I am a latecomer to this thread -- if the buyers get the "pick" of what is painted, how do you avoid fights between them? What if the buyers all want the same painting? Lottery? Person who pays most gets first pick?

I keep track of who subscribed first, second, etc. and let them pick in that order.

MChesleyJohnson
08-31-2004, 07:29 AM
Sounds reasonable.

Okay, I'm off to try to fund my trip to Scotland in '06.

jackiesimmonds
08-31-2004, 07:52 AM
This sounds a wonderful idea, if one has sufficient patrons to call upon. I have been selling my work for a long time now, and all my friends who have wanted one of my pics, have either one, or two, or more. Most of my other works have been sold by galleries, and there is no way I can access the lists of their buyers, it doesn't work that way over here. I cannot imagine for a moment that any of my friends would go for this idea, they do not "collect" anyone's work, they simply buy what they like, when they have sufficient funds to buy.

I don't think that I have any "collectors", although I do know that some people make a point of coming along to my shows. They do not often buy every time tho. Far from it.

I think it is a great idea for someone whose work is in great demand. I wish I was one of those artists!

J

Kitty Wallis
08-31-2004, 03:20 PM
It is not good marketing to prequalify your buyers. It's true you want to target your efforts, but it's not good to eliminate anyone merely to avoid rejection.

Here's how you start. Get an idea together that will Feed your Work, not just a way to make a lot of saleable items. If that means you need to travel then the idea is born.

Write it up, describing your process, your hopes, your present challenges, anything that will make this idea come to life in the reader's mind. Make them understand what an opportunity to the evolution of your quest this trip will be. Make them want to support your development. This is how you create patrons.

Send it to all who might respond to it. Not just those who would buy a painting. It doesn't matter if they already have a few of your works, or if their funds are tight or whatever your objections to calling on your circle may be. They are your circle.

You may want to do something that will be a departure, that excites people. You may have an idea that you can't implement because it won't be sure to create instant sales. Patron types understand this. Let them fulfill their dreams of creativity. Let them participate in your artistic growth.

jackiesimmonds
09-01-2004, 07:58 AM
Make them understand what an opportunity to the evolution of your quest this trip will be.

You may want to do something that will be a departure, that excites people. You may have an idea that you can't implement because it won't be sure to create instant sales. Patron types understand this. Let them fulfill their dreams of creativity. .


Some while ago, we were approached by a cousin, who asked us to participate in his evolution as a musician by helping him to purchase a stradivarius, or similar, violin.

My husband did so, not because he wanted to fulfil any dream of creativity, but because he felt obliged to do so - the request came from a family member.

Also, we were asked to support a young Israeli artist in his quest to fulfil himself creatively ...we did not do so physically, but did our best to help by offering him some contacts to try for himself....and only then, because we knew his parents.

Both of these young people were starting out. Perhaps it is very British of me, but I simply cannot imagine how this works unless you are at the beginning of your career. I really would not have the chutzpah to ask anyone to support my creative growth at this stage of my life - 30 years into my career as a painter.

I would be absolutely terrified of letting them down, too. What if they disliked everything I produced? I couldn't stand the pressure.

You must have had a lot of self-belief when you organised this idea for yourself. Good for you,the more I think about it, the more I am impressed.

Jackie

Kathryn Wilson
09-01-2004, 09:51 AM
Lots of great ideas here Kitty - really pushes me into thinking how this would work for me in the future (certainly not at this point, but it's do-able).

One question, would an artist want to fund a first trip to an area to paint a body of work, and when they are shown in a gallery or show upon return, gather names in a Guestbook for people who would be interested in your next trip and the possibility of buying paintings of the same area. Say a trip to France (Provence), and your show is sold out and some buyers miss buying a painting they love, this would generate a list of people interested in the next trip. This might work for someone who does not have a huge following yet, but could be built on.

Thanks for putting this thread up, Kitty.

Deborah Secor
09-01-2004, 10:16 AM
Jackie--think about selling such an idea to Americans, instead of the British! I think with your credibility, all your books and videos, and the fact that you're nearer to the 'exotic' locales (think Venice!) than we, you could easily pre-sell paintings to folks over here. All you would have to do is ship the work--unframed (as part of the deal)--and you could be very successful! At this point the hardest part is finding patrons but even that isn't impossible if you pre-plan far enough ahead. How about a flyer you send out with every video and book telling where and when you'll go? Maybe Greece!

Your examples were of people who needed a hand up (or a handout) but this is different. This is only an alternative way of promoting and selling your work, as a credible and successful artist.

My brain is working overtime now...stay tuned, all of you! Kitty, you are great to open this discussion. Good one!

Deborah

jackiesimmonds
09-01-2004, 10:47 AM
Jackie--think about selling such an idea to Americans, instead of the British! I think with your credibility, all your books and videos, and the fact that you're nearer to the 'exotic' locales (think Venice!) than we, you could easily pre-sell paintings to folks over here. All you would have to do is ship the work--unframed (as part of the deal)--and you could be very successful! At this point the hardest part is finding patrons but even that isn't impossible if you pre-plan far enough ahead. How about a flyer you send out with every video and book telling where and when you'll go? Maybe Greece!

Your examples were of people who needed a hand up (or a handout) but this is different. This is only an alternative way of promoting and selling your work, as a credible and successful artist.


Deborah

Credible, maybe. Successful, occasionally. I cannot help but be painfully aware, for instance, that of the 5 pics I recently gave to a new UK gallery, who were trying me out, he has only sold one to date. Therefore, he might even now have doubts about my credibility!

Sorry, but I just cannot see how this would work at all for me. I do not "send out" books, except to the occasional WC-er, this is all done by the publishing company and I have no input on sales. I occasionally provide the odd person with a video...but again, have no control over sales in general. I have to buy them in from the supplier!!! I have no mailing list in the USA at all and would not know where to begin with that. I really dont think I could "pre-sell" pics to the folks in the USA when I am only known - and at that, only vaguely, as a tutor - via my books and vids - than as a successful selling painter. That is completely untested.

There was a moment in time, quite a while ago, when the market was bouyant, ad I sold loads. Those days are long gone, and I feel I am in a whole different market these days, a market which relies solely upon "whim purchasing". People do not care about my track record, that's old news, they only care about whether they fancy buying a particular picture.

I do know of artists whose work sells well. One chap I know, sells almost everything he paints, and appears to have queues of people at every exhibition. Now I can see that HE would have no trouble pre-selling his work, because the demand is there. But he doesn't need to do it, does he, because the demand is there!!!!!!!!!

As you know, Dee, there was that chap in the gallery in Taos (cannot find his card, wretched packing, I am still looking for it) who appeared to like my work, thanks to your article in Pastel Journal, and said I should get in touch. I could see that they might accept, say, a few Venice paintings, for instance ... but until they sold some, they would not have any faith in me at all, and if they sold none, they would lose faith pretty quickly.

I think most artists are only as good (in a gallery's eyes, anyway) as the amount of work they sell. If the work sells generally quite well, then the artist, and the gallery, can feel confident of future sales, and the artist's reputation goes before them, and then I can see then that people might feel inclined to "put their name down" for a chance of a half-price bargain. But without the reputation, or the following, I just do NOT understand why anyone would want to give money for a painting, unseen, and in advance.

I don't know why I cannot get my head around this...but I just cannot.

I would love to be proved wrong. I would love to think that I could "easily pre-sell paintings" to folks in the USA. I really don't believe I could. Anyone like to prove me wrong by offering to buy one of my pics half-price, in advance? I'd be happy go to Venice to paint some pictures, just to see if the idea works!

Jackie

Deborah Secor
09-01-2004, 11:56 AM
Yikes, Jackie--I just might be one of the ones to take you up on that idea! :D Does that include shipping? :wink2:

At any rate, we all have our own style, the way that works for us, and this seems not to be for you. I'd love to be one of those to prove you wrong on this--but most of it would depend on your attitude, don't you think? You do such beautiful work and I know there would be a market in the US, but again you have to desire it to become so before it will happen. Twas ever thus... ;) We all have very busy lives already!

Deborah

jackiesimmonds
09-01-2004, 12:20 PM
Yikes, Jackie--I just might be one of the ones to take you up on that idea! :D Does that include shipping? :wink2:

Of course it would!

At any rate, we all have our own style, the way that works for us, and this seems not to be for you. I'd love to be one of those to prove you wrong on this--but most of it would depend on your attitude, don't you think? You do such beautiful work and I know there would be a market in the US, but again you have to desire it to become so before it will happen.

well, I certainly desire it to be so! ... but it seems to me that desiring, and getting one's heart's desires, are two different things!


Deborah

jackiesimmonds
09-01-2004, 12:38 PM
Here is a marketing idea, which has worked for someone I know.

He decided to have total faith in himself, and to invest in himself, and did this by spending a LOT of money on a beautiful catalogue of his work, and then he purchased a mailing list - these are available from companies who specialise in mailing lists, you simply choose the category of people you want to reach, and you buy quantities of names. I think he bought about 5000 names to begin with ... (which he could only use once, incidentally.)

He sent this catalogue out, pricing his work quite high, with at least one of the images priced high enough to cover all printing and postage costs.

He attached a smart letter, and a self-addressed reply card which said something along the lines of "please add my name to your mailing list" which, if returned, meant that he could contact that person again without needing to pay again.

the letter appeared to be from a gallery...for instance, you could call yourself "Art of Provence", and then he wrote about himself in the third person "John has travelled to Provence many times, to capture images of the lavendar fields. and his work has been sold world-wide" etc etc. He would offer to take work TO the client, if they were unable to attend the exhibition which would follow shortly, in a gallery (self-hire) in central London.

He found that he did not sell many works via the gallery, but he sold a great many paintings from the catalogue, which was a large, 8x10 glossy catalogue, with lots of pages, one large pic on each page. He said that oils sold best of all, and he is careful to paint only images which he knows appeal in general terms...images with water; ladies in pretty dresses picnicking on sunlit lawns; etc etc, you know the sort of thing, I am sure.

He makes a living in this way. It's an interesting marketing concept.

The snag is ... the cost of the catalogue. I believe he spent about £8000 on the photography/catalogue/lists/postage, which is about $13,500. However, quite a few of the paintings were listed at about $7000 and he sold those - large, impressionist oils; the lists he chose were "rich people" lists, and he sold rather well in fact, particularly to people who lived outside of London and who could not be bothered to come into town to buy.

Given the capital investment, it is certainly a risky way to market oneself...........but he worked at it, and went for it, and deserves his success, I reckon. I dont have his guts.

Jackie

Deborah Secor
09-01-2004, 12:43 PM
but it seems to me that desiring, and getting one's heart's desires, are two different things!

Well, that's always true. However, the desires of our heart are undeniably the things that set us in motion, are they not? And we learn to be realists over time. My desires were much different when I was 25 than they are now that I'm twice that... yet I find that sometimes I need to step out in faith and try things I've never tried before. That's one thing I admire in you, Jackie--you've tried so many different ways, painting so many different subjects, worked with different tutors, workshops, tried new papers, new techniques, new styles, etc. Kitty is another wonderful example of this--or none of us would be working on Wallis paper now, would we? When we stop moving forward we're losing ground.

Okay, now somebody can just point that same finger at me... <ducking>

Deborah

jackiesimmonds
09-01-2004, 01:03 PM
oops, we cross-posted, sorry about that!

Jackie

SweetBabyJ
09-01-2004, 01:05 PM
Actually, Jackie, that catalogue idea isn't as expensive as you might think if one is willing to do the work themselves. See, using the computer, and a good publishing program, even if one doesn't have a great printer, the project can be saved to CD, and then taken to a printer (Kinkos, here, or some such) and printed and bound up fairly cheaply. The mailing list would be an expense, but there's ways around that, too- charities like to put big $ donor names somewhere prominent, and so those names are out there. Like I said, my department was told at least monthly to seek donations, so I've learned to look for the money- and there's always, always more'n one way to skin a cat. Realtors are an amazing source of "money" people- they know where $$ live- and that's a good bit of info, there.


I rated this thread a few weeks ago, hope others do so, too.

jackiesimmonds
09-01-2004, 01:34 PM
hmmm ... over here, I do not think that Charities put big donor names "out there" - they rather cherish their lists and it is hard to access them - but there might be some mileage in approaching a charity to ask if they might like to share in the idea, in exchange for access to their list .... and then one could give a proportion of any sales to the charity. I might look at that, thanks for the thought, SBJ.

I tried this after doing my ballet series. I approached every major ballet company in the UK, offering to do a ballet exhibition for them, at no expense to them, all they would have to do would be to allow me to sit in on classes and rehearsals to get the images, and offering them a proportion of the proceeds. Do you know, not one of them even was polite enough to write back to say no thanks. I got quite disheartened.

In fact, I do try all sorts of things of this nature. For my show this coming week, I am having an evening dedicated to a charity, and they are inviting at least 400 of their supporters, and I will give 50% of all proceeds to their charity. I have done this twice before. Itworked once - but the second time I did it, the charity I chose did not put in enough effort,not many people came along, and the people who did come, did not put their hands in their pockets. I also remember a time when my gallery put on a show for a charity based in Glasgow, and all the big guns from the charity came along, ate all the nibbles, drank all the champagne, and spent not one penny!!!!

I will look at the catalogue costs again, but suspect that even if I do all the grunt work ... which I did for the catalogue for my show next week... I am still looking at several thousand pounds for the sort of catalogue I am talking about, which is a big glossy number. It has to be so, or the people wont bite at all.
As Dee says, I am prepared to try just about everything! Well, most things, anyway!
J

SweetBabyJ
09-01-2004, 02:06 PM
In marketing, Jackie, we're taught the rule of ten: Out of ten contacts, one will show interest, and out of ten who show interest, one will buy. It sounds disheartening, I know, but marketing has ALWAYS been the downside of reality for artists- we're very good at producing our vision, at baring ourselves and saying "This is what I see!", but not so good at self-promotion.

Odd, but there it is.

Kitty Wallis
09-01-2004, 03:54 PM
Perhaps my obvious poverty helped make this idea palatable to my supporters. I had no family money, no husband (after 1969), no job after 1970 because I realized I couldn't do both, job and develop my work. And I was raising a child. I lived hand to mouth, from portrait commission to occasional painting sales. Sometimes having to visit friends since I ran out of funds to pay the rent.

My first pre-paid painting trip was in 1977, to the Virgin Islands as I said above. The next one, 1980 was to my home town in Pennsylvania. I wanted to revisit all the water scenes I knew intimately from childhood and incorporate that close personal experience into my new waterscape series. Both of these trips were financed by friends, aquaintances and patrons. We had a party when I returned, with full ritual around the moment of each patron choosing their piece in turn.

The gallery I was showing with in Dallas, Nimbus Gallery, sponsored two trips. First they took me to Mexico, paying for the trip and repaying themselves with proceeds from the show. Then they sent me to China in 1985 by pre-buying part of the show I produced.

The Gallery in Houston, Harris Gallery, pre-bought part of the ensuing show to send me to Giverny, to paint the waterlilies. They did this twice, in 1986 and 1990.

All these trips worked great. No hassels as a result of taking risks, on my part or theirs.

jackiesimmonds
09-01-2004, 04:11 PM
that sounds wonderful Kitty - but I have absolutely no doubt that the galleries had total faith in you (as did your brilliantly supportive friends) and total faith in their ability to sell your work. They would not do this with an untried artist.

You are talking about the late 70's, and the 80's. Throughout those years, galleries (over here anyway, were having a ball.) They sold everything they could get their hands on. I sold just about everything I painted.

Many, many galleries in the UK today are really struggling. Since 9/11, the entire market has changed for the worse. Tourists are not flying around the way they were, airlines everywhere are in receivership to prove the point, and galleries in the UK are closing down rather than expanding. Interest rates are at their lowest, and people's savings are not earning them the extra that they were earning in the 70's and 80's. Dee said that as artists, we have to be realistic, and I honestly think it would be unrealistic to imagine that today's marketplace is the same as it was 10 years ago.

10 years ago, I feel confident I could have found a gallery to support me, and pre-buy half a show, without any trouble. But today - no way. Not unless I was showing, and selling, everything I produced, on a regular basis.

J

Kitty Wallis
09-01-2004, 04:22 PM
All that you say is true, Jackie and I didn't take it into proper consideration. However, when I first proposed this idea, I was untried, doing portrait commissions by word of mouth, Just starting on land/waterscapes. With No gallery reputation at all.

I did have a number of happy portrait customers, but usually those folks are not naturally patrons or interested in other kinds of art. I was surprised to find support among them.

jackiesimmonds
09-01-2004, 04:51 PM
which makes your success all the more credit-worthy, and makes the galleries very far-sighted.

I think galleries were confident, at that time, about selling art generally. I remember my gallery owner being so excited at that time, she could hardly put a foot wrong. Buyers poured thro the doors, paintings walked off the walls. I had people QUEUEING for my work, for goodness sake!

I am not trying to undervalue your work in any way, please dont get me wrong. I have absolutely no doubt, having seen your paintings, that any gallery would be pleased as punch to be offered the chance, even in today's lousy market, to have a Kitty Wallis show to offer their clients. I am sure you could pull the same scheme off today.

And if and when you do, I want to know, cos I am going to come along and paint beside you. You just try to stop me.

Jackie

Kitty Wallis
09-03-2004, 02:10 AM
I wouldn't think of trying, Jackie. Your company would be a delight.

llis
09-07-2004, 05:33 PM
If you have been following this thread and notice that it keeps moving around the pastel forum.... and you found it again.... you are one smart cookie! LOL

My apologies to Kitty for moving this thread into her personal forum. I totally misread her first post and did not realize that she meant this to be an idea for everyone to try. Silly me... I thought she meant she was trying this idea for her business and wanted to get the opinions of others.

So, here is the thread again.... back for all to discuss. I think it's a smart idea and one that many people could reap benefits.

Phyllis

Kitty Wallis
09-07-2004, 05:50 PM
If you have been following this thread and notice that it keeps moving around the pastel forum.... and you found it again.... you are one smart cookie! LOL

My apologies to Kitty for moving this thread into her personal forum. I totally misread her first post and did not realize that she meant this to be an idea for everyone to try. Silly me... I thought she meant she was trying this idea for her business and wanted to get the opinions of others.

So, here is the thread again.... back for all to discuss. I think it's a smart idea and one that many people could reap benefits.

Phyllis

Thanks Phyllis, I wondered what happened. Sometimes I feel sorry I'm a manufacturer instead of just one of the gang.

SweetBabyJ
09-07-2004, 06:16 PM
Who said you weren't one of the Gang?!? Lemme at 'im- I'll make 'im sorry!

"NO LITTLE QUICHE THINGIES FOR YOU!!"

There! That'll larn 'im.

Y'all quit pickin on Kitty, she said, drawing herself up to her full 60" (minus a few vertebrael spaces) height....

:D

Deborah Secor
09-07-2004, 07:55 PM
<giggle @ Julie> Good grief, Kitty, YOU ARE a part of the gang, wether you have that manufacturer tag next to your name or not. We're not that easily impressed... ;) We're glad you ARE a manufacturer--otherwise most of us would be up a creek without our Wallis paper!!!!! Yikes--banish the thought! Purple panic... Not to mention the fact that if you were here without the tag we'd be weird about always asking you those pesky 'how-to' questions.

Deborah

Kitty Wallis
09-07-2004, 11:31 PM
Happier now :)

MarshaSavage
06-13-2005, 11:04 AM
I'm replying to this thread to bring it back into conversation.

I want everyone's thoughts a year later about this idea Kitty and all talked about. I am planning a trip to France for the first time in July, 2006 and taking about 4-6 students with me. I really cannot afford to go, and had a friend talk about doing this for me a couple of years ago -- the idea of helping pay the way for a painting choice at the end of the trip.

I have maybe 6 patrons that have bought many paintings over the last 10 - 20 years -- several of them in only the past 3-4 years. As many as 12 to 15 paintings by about 4 or 5 of the patrons. They are always waiting for the next new thing I do -- so I am thinking why can't this work?

The trip is for two weeks and most likely will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $3000 - 3500. Hope I am not guestimating too low. The accomodations I know the cost off, but the airfare and half of my meals are not included in the accomodation cost.

Any of you got ideas -- new ones? Any of you try Kitty's idea after reading this post last year?

Bringer
06-13-2005, 12:02 PM
Hi,

In 10 years or so I could be the first pastelist on the Moon...until then keep putting your pennies aside to be my patron :-)

Regards,

José (future pastelist astronaut) :-)

Deborah Secor
06-13-2005, 12:06 PM
I haven't tried it...but would love to! Look at Angela Manno (http://www.angelamanno.com/plein_air/Provence/index.html). She also takes subscriptions and makes yearly trips to Provence to paint. Then she photographs the work, makes digital prints, does a mass mailing and it's first come, first served. The paintings sell for somewhere in the $600-$1000 range (or used to) and she gives her subscribers a pre-paid discount price. (Hmmm, I may have mentioned all this in this thread but I didn't re-read it, so if it's a repeat, sorry!) I'm sticking one of her paintings in for you to see.

Hope you give this a try, Marsha! I think it's a dandy idea and may do it myself one of these days.

Deborah

MarshaSavage
06-15-2005, 07:26 AM
Well, I have created a draft letter to send to clients, friends and family! I have shown it to my husband, daughter and some of my students (very close friends now). They liked what they read and can't wait to see if it works.

When I come up with the final version, I'll let you see what I have and get your thoughts. And . . . we'll see what kind of response I get. My trip is not until July 2006 and my one question would be -- how soon should I send the letter? What do you think?

angecald
06-15-2005, 12:23 PM
Marsha, have you thought of asking the airline for free air fare for yourself, since you are the organizer of a "tour group"? I know people who have done that. There might be a minimum number, like 10, so you might have to drum up a few more travellers, but that would be a big chunk off the cost of the trip for you, and less that you would have to raise from your collectors. Also, it might be possible to do the same thing at hotels. Just a thought.

Kitty Wallis
06-15-2005, 10:50 PM
HI Agnes, The idea wasn't to organize a class/tour, but a solo painting trip supported by patrons.

angecald
06-15-2005, 11:41 PM
Hi, Kitty, yes, I realize the original idea had nothing to do with a group tour. It's just that Marsha said she's bringing 4-6 students with her anyway, so she's practically already got a tour group, and I thought the idea might have some appeal.

For myself, I wouldn't want the aggravation of making arrangements for a group. :) It would definitely cut into the painting time, and I would be too frazzled to be creative when I did get to it. Also, the airlines might not even be doing that anymore.

I was just pointing out the possibility of another source of "subsidy". When you took your first trip, you stayed with your sister, so that kept your costs down and limited what you had to get from patrons. Getting free airfare by some means would be another way to achieve that. But I don't think it's worth compromising the painting time.

Kitty Wallis
06-16-2005, 12:03 AM
I'm mistaken, I missed that part of Masha's post. and I agree with you. Either a class or a painting trip, not both.

MarshaSavage
06-16-2005, 06:57 AM
Hi Kitty, Enjoyed meeting you at the IAPS convention. I was working in Maggie's booth across from you with the Girault pastels -- short lady, older with silver/blonde hair.

Hi Agnes, and thanks for your thoughts - but this is really a painting trip that some of my more advanced students have decided to take with me -- not really a teaching trip. So . . . that is why I am talking to my patrons about sponsoring me for a painting upon return.

I paint fairly fast and expect to have a couple of paintings per day (sometimes more). And in my draft letter, I am also talking about the many photographs that I will return with to do "studio" paintings (and from my plein air pieces) -- larger paintings.

And Dee -- can't wait to see how this comes out. I e-mailed one of my best friends and patrons the draft letter for their opinion. She is a wonderful person and will really give me some well-thought ideas or opinions on this opportunity/adventure!

Kitty -- any idea how far in advance I need to let my patrons have the information? What did you do?

Kitty Wallis
06-16-2005, 12:57 PM
Kitty -- any idea how far in advance I need to let my patrons have the information? What did you do?

I was casual about it, since I was in easy contact with the folks that supported me. I talked it over with some of them during my brainstorming phase.

They had about 6 weeks to 2 months to make up their mind, pushed a bit by my policy of 'first on board, first pick of the show'. About 8 signed on for the first trip.

Bill Foehringer
06-18-2005, 12:30 AM
I just contacted our local library. The new library was built for about 30 million dollars, yes celestia can you imagine 30 mil spent in Elgin? (City spent about 20 mil on a huge Rec center.) They continuously have artist's works hung in very fine viewing areas. I'm going to find a way to hang my stuff. They normally have at least a 3 month wait. They will have a dinosaur exhibit this later this summer and fall so things won't open up until after December.
This fall I might just have an open house. Put up flyers around town and signs in the neighborhood. Have to start somewhere. Plus find a way to make some cards to have on hand when I paint plein air. Bill