Thursday, August 13, 2009

Making Money with your Art! - Be Unique

Making money with your art! People ask me all the time...can you help me? What do I need to do???

Being deep into writing and designing projects for my next book, this subject again popped into my mind. And over the next few blog posts I will talk about my personal experiences in that at a time....

I am fortunate to make money with my art. But, let me tell you....this is an 18 year long process. It does not come quick, it does not come easy, it does not come cheap! But what it does come with is alot of satisfaction despite endless hours of hard work.

You must be willing to handle alot...and I mean alot of rejection. You will definately learn the meaning to the term "Starving Artists"! You must be confident in yourself and your work.... if you're not confident in yourself.....why would you expect anyone else to be?

Now I could go on and on with this subject....but let me first just focus on the most basic of basics... BE UNIQUE

What is it that you are creating? Primarily I am talking to creative crafts people who want to sell what they make .

Ask yourself...what sets my work apart from others? This is particularly important for those of you who sell your work at craft shows, art shows and online venues such as etsy or ebay.

At the beginning of my art career, I chose to market my work through craft shows. Common sense tells you that if you are will do was suprizing to me just how many vendors set up a booth and sold the same things everyone else was....

Basically here's how the show went....Booth one - Soft fuzzy snowmen, country dolls, Booth two - basic jewelry, necklaces, bracelets etc... Booth three - polymer clay characters...Booth four...the same type of fuzzy snowmen and country dolls as booth one because they all used the same pattern and repeat....

It seemed like every 20 feet the booths were repeating themselves. What did this result in? Vendors complaining of no sales and Customers frustrated over the same thing.

Now...Im the beginning, we all created from patterns and books that we get at the craft store...but there does come a point in time when you really need to put your own twist on it....for your own sake. Seriously....are you viewing this as a hobby? or a business? If you view this as a hobby...let me tell are working way too hard for this to be a hobby...hobbies should be enjoyable...not stressful! Find a new hobby!

My first shows featured wearable art. This was back in 1991 and I took the last $500 I had to my name, purchased baby jumpers and decorated them. I had two designs for girls: Roses or watermelons and one for boys - TRAINS...that's it. I made $1500. But I was unique - no one else had wearable art for babies.

But as time went by I started to see the shows inundated with wearable art...I made the switch to polymer clay characters. I got in before the wearable art fad....stayed in the fad and got out just when it began to die..... I made the right choice. My polymer clay work was unique and even if there was another polyclay artist two booths down, our work was so uniquely individual that we actually helped each other rather than hindered....

In order for me to have a bad show....there had to be hardly any attendance or poor show promotion....or my lack of product.

So ...moral of the story.... BE UNIQUE! Remember at craft shows you are competing for the same $$$ everyone else is....and you must be unique - not to mention order to put that almighty dollar in your pocket and not let it get into someone elses....

Why not try to put a twist on a design that you saw in a book? Here's how to do it: pick out three designs in the book. Now pick out one thing you like about each one and incorporeting that into your next piece. You are one your way to creating your own Twist of uniquness!

Of course you can be as unique and great as you want....but if there is no one knows about it your success is down the tubes. So in the next post I'll discuss some cheap and effective ways to promote yourself shameless...


~~~ M ~~~ said...

All I can say is "RIGHT ON!" I've done shows for 20+ years. Everything you've said is exactly right and true. I could go on at length about it all, but you said it so much better, and so much more succinctly! Great topic!


bijouxartcreation said...

I quite agree with Linda
We must invent and create models for the other post.
I did not need books when I started the friendly plastic.
I just need to feel the material in my hands!
I created so I did not know qoui to do with my necklace.
I decide to sell them little by little and I still it works well and it allows me to pay for my supplies.
Greetings from the French!!

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