What’s Your Take: One or Many? – Part II

   Posted by: BJ Johnson in marketing
Yesterday's article was from the collectors' point of view; what you think artists like ourselves should do. We're weird, so a lot of that doesn't apply. Today's article is about what you, as an artist, are doing or are considering. Both of these articles are inspired by Alyson B. Stanfield, whom we met and follow on Twitter, in her ArtBizCoach Blog. The Amazing Race:
Go for it! or Wait and see....
Art isn't what some would call an "essential". It is, but when it comes down to spending on food, or something that lifts one's spirits, food most often wins out. Once you fill your stomach, you can then think about making your head, heart and soul feel better. Art is one of the first things to go when budgets get cut, which lands the artist in a precarious place, as far as what they spend their energies doing to fill their stomachs. <p.Often, artists hear from parents and sometimes friends:
"When are you going to get a real job?"
Not great, especially from those you look to for understanding and encouragement. We know we're not "normal". If artists were normal, we couldn't do what we do. I often prayed:
"God, please don't let me be normal."
This isn't a slam against anyone. It is the realization that I'm not "normal" and it would just about kill me if I was forced to abandon and ignore my talents. is what you want to do, yes? IF you stick it out, you will be rewarded. If you knuckle under, well, you didn't want it all that bad enough. Good things, things worthwhile, don't come easy. <p.So, here's your question for the day. Are you:
  • Branching out into new fields and breaking new ground?
  • Consolidating and concentrating on your strong sellers and markets?
  • Increasing your visibility to established collectors?
  • Spending more or less on promotion?
  • In which areas: mailings, advertising, etc. ?
  • Increasing your social networking?
  • Thinking about finding a "real job" (less and less of those every day)?
  • Working longer hours and pulling all-nighters to stay ahead of it?
  • Finally getting to those ideas that have been on the back burner?
  • Running around in circles screaming?
  • In bed with the covers pulled over your head?
  • Tryin' to think but nothin' happens? (Curly - 3 Stooges)
Tell your fellow artists out there how you are attacking and handling the current climate. Please post a comment, below, and discuss your approach. We want to hear your thoughts.

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5 Responses to What’s Your Take: One or Many? – Part II


    Well stated. I believe it is important to get clear about our purpose and stay focused on our intended outcome. Without that, we never get anywhere-literally. Ever try driving while looking at the hood? Ride a bike while watching the pedals? Let's get clear and go for it!

    March 3, 2009 at 11:09 pm
  • BJ

    Thank You, Karen.Your metaphors are well taken.We have a vote for "Go for it!"All should really check out Karen's plein air paintings. Recently, she had been capturing the Budweiser Clydesdales on canvas.

    March 4, 2009 at 4:57 am

    Since being downsized from an IT role in early 2005, I've done two years as an ebay seller and the last year or so as a webmaster and affiliate marketer.

    I'm constantly battling with the "do I want this bad enough or am I really supposed to be doing this?" voice.

    Don't get me wrong...I really enjoy what I do and I think I get better at it all the time. I think my biggest problem is the financial part and the fact that the ebay selling went so much better than this very quickly.

    Still, I'm not at the end of my rope because I DO believe I'm on the cusp of really breaking through. Not a million dollars a day but consistent daily and weekly income.


    May 17, 2009 at 9:51 am

    I wish we could get more activity on eBay and our affiliate program. The latter has just gotten started and we haven’t gotten it up to speed. There’s only two of us to do all of this. Of course, our product doesn’t have as wide a market. Still seems like we could get an eBay program going that would tick along and make the monthy nut easier to cover. It just takes so much time to sell one item. I know that there are a multitude of seller interfaces to make posting new items available, and that works for things that are mass produced. All of our stuff is handmade, unique and medium to high end. So, they need more sizzle, individual descriptions and matching images. I’ve even gone to producing 56 frame movies of the wine stoppers rotating, so you can better see the structure within; which just doesn’t translate in a static 2D shot. Just seems like we can’t find a sweet spot.

    May 17, 2009 at 4:00 pm


    If you would send me some URLs and a little about your product and affiliate program I would be happy to look them over and give you my thoughts.

    The help@birdoculars.com address is fine.


    May 19, 2009 at 8:21 am
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