Thank you all for the wonderful responses! The only thing I get "paid" for writing this article is your glowing remarks, and knowing that I might be responsible for encouraging someone to do something that could change their life; that literally sends chills down my spine. So at this time I'd like to say, "no........thank you"!
JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT CLASS WAS OVER
Before I get to my replies to everyone, I'd like to continue the "lesson" on selling prints. (I just couldn't help myself.)
Actually, I saw an opportunity to provide you with a few examples of some things I mentioned in the article, as they're currently happening right in front of your very eyes.
At the end of the article, I mentioned about giving prints away for the purpose of exposure. A perfect example of this philosophy is the article itself. Think about it. It took me just as long to complete as one of my original drawings. (100 + hrs) And what did I do with it? I gave it away. I didn't give away the original; that's still on my hard drive. I didn't give away the rights; I continue to retain them. I gave away copies! And what is the result? Exposure. I've had more visits to my website in the past day than I've had in a long time; many more than I ever got when I did my foliage tutorials. And some of those visitors will ultimately share my site with their family & friends, and so on. (Go ahead, admit it. You went to my site, didn't you?)
But, in this case, the exposure doesn't stop with me; my article also promotes the Pen & Ink forum, as is evident by the unfamiliar faces who've already responded to this thread. I'm certain that this article is being mentioned throughout WetCanvas, and folks who hadn't visited our little forum are now doing so. (thanks guys!) And to think, all of this happened simply by giving something away.
So, does this mean I have a hidden agenda? No. At least, no more than anyone else who posts an example of their work on WC. After all, why do we post our work? Most of us do it to share, to get feedback, and to know that our work is being seen by others. The difference between this and anything else is "subject matter". I just mentioned that I had more hits on my website with this article than I did with my foliage tutorials. That's because I stumbled onto something that has more appeal to a broader audience. After just one day, I can see that this article's subject matter has "an edge" over my foliage lessons. This is exactly what you need to do with your prints.
On another note: as well as this article seems to be doing here at WetCanvs, it would be a complete flop if I posted it on a "computer tech" forum. Similarly, you'll need to match your specific work with the proper venue.
MY EXPERIENCES CONTINUE
When I started writing this last year, it began as an innocent little explanation about offset printing. I only began writing it because I was familiar with that particular printing process. But everytime I wrote about a topic, something else came along that needed explaning. I knew about some of them, but had to research the rest. Well... long story short... I learned just as much from this article as you did (or will). In fact, this whole experience has forced me to re-think some of my philosophies about prints and different printing processes. But more importantly, it's awakened my desire to revitalize my local marketing (which is long overdue). This leads me into a topic that needs mentioning:
STAY PRO-ACTIVE IN YOUR ENDEAVORS
Don't ever allow yourself to ever settle in. After a period of time, you may reach a point when you have a variety of prints at a few different locations. You'll be comfortable with the relationships you've developed with shop owners, and you'll be enjoying the print sales. When that happens, it'll be very easy to sit back and relax. Don't do that! Did you ever wonder why Coca-Cola spends millions and millions of dollars each year on commercials, when everyone on the globe already knows about it? They do that to maintain their presence to the consumer. If they didn't, we'd all wind up buying Pepsi, because they'd still be running their ads, and we'd forget about Coca-Cola.
I haven't had an order from my best-selling shop in almost three months. I took a walk through the store the other day only to find a diminished supply of my prints. There was hardly anything there. I immediately got angry and left the store before I showed it. All the way home, I kept thinking, "If they sell out of something, it only makes sense to re-order. Isn't that the point of having a store?" Blah, blah, blah! After an hour of blaming them for not re-ordering, I realized that it was my fault. They have dozens of artists' work in that shop, and I haven't made my presence known in quite some time. They simply forgot about me.
In light of this, I'm planning to become pro-active again. I've decided to update/re-vamp my price list, and make my presence known to my current shops, as well as approach some new shops that opened in the past year. Ive also decided to try pushing a few prints with different subject matter. As I pursue these new endeavors, I will gladly keep you updated with the outcome of my efforts.
Which brings me to this: It would be great if any of you would share your "print experiences" (successes or failures) throughout this thread, just as I will do. It will give folks the opportunity to see what works (and what doesn't) for other artists in different circumstances. Besides, you're going to need to tell someone about "your first order"... it may as well be us.
- Thanks so much! Your comments really made my day! I couldn't have asked for a better "first post" to this thread. I think the drawings of Kalk Bay are a great idea, and I wish you the best of luck with that. I hope you'll let us know how it works out.
(seejay) - I don't know if I've mentioned it yet, but it's great having you back. I've seen some of your recent posts, but haven't had the time to post. (as you can see why). As for reading this in one sitting, keep in mind that I read it about 15-20 times in the past week, going back over it, re-wording, editing, etc.
I'm sure you can get through it once!
(Jakeally) - Thank you! I appreciate your kind comments. And thanks for "tackin this to the top". To me, that's like a distinguishing honor!
- Oh, if we didn't have to work... the world would be a much better place! I'm going to compile this entire article into a single pdf to make it easier for folks to save to their pc. First, I have to convert all the images; they were optimized for web viewing which doesn't work well in a pdf. Thanks for the great response.
- If anybody around here knows anything about large format drawings... it would certainly be you! So... what about those Kinko printers? I've never been to a Kinkos in my life, therefore I have nothing to offer. If you have any experience with them, and you'd like to share it, then this is the place my friend!
- Thanks, buddy! Your comments, as always, are so appreciated! And I imagine that book of yours is gonna soon need a thicker binder. When I pasted this into MS Word, it came out to 35 pages!
And sleep easy??? i'M NOT SO SURE. Among other things, I've got a Christmas card to get started!
- Thank's so much for the gentle nudging and hint-dropping... over and over...throughout the year... again and again.
Ah yes, I couldn't have done this without you! btw - I listened mostly to Pink Floyd when I worked on this... that's why it rocks!
- Thank you for the thoughful remarks. I really appreciate them. And I also peeked into your website and I need to say, "WOW!" You call yourself a newbie? I think your work is excellent! I absolutely loved your water series. The drips are really cool.
They'd make awesome prints! (btw - my heart's in Ireland too)
- Thanks, bud! Always appreciated. And you know... your work is a perfect candidate for prints; that way you could destroy the lives of many newlyweds at once!
- You're welcome, you're welcome, you're welcome! And now it's my turn. I don't think you realize how much of a part you played in this article getting done. It was your thread that provoked me to get off of my butt and finally finish what I started. And since your thread, I doubled the content, and added the images. I had you in mind the whole time. So, thank you!!!
(everybody, let's have a round of applause for Smoki!
- Thanks for your nice comment. I certainly hope this information helps you.
- Thanks, buddy! You know, oddly enough, one of my favorite songs is "Time"
from Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon".
Lol! I feel your pain! However, it's my turn to remind you not to let life pass you by. Your work is way too good to not allow it to "find new places to take root". Of all people, you should be able to relate to that analogy.