Thursday, March 31, 2016

This is the Story...

Framed Fine Art Print of "Night Dreams" as Shown on Society6

...Of how Nichole got carried away...again.  If only Luis (Michael Pena) from Ant-Man could explain this in his very special way...sigh...

It all started because I was trying to find a solution for my Fine Art Print problem...

wait, no...

It actually started back when I was finally accepted into the Cary Spring Daze this year.  That prompted the problem of affordable Art Prints. 

A little back story to catch you up first:

I tried out a local print shop for giclee fine art prints last year for the Durham Spring Market.  There were some caveats.  If you didn't provide them with a perfectly edited image for printing, then they could scan and color correct in house...for a fee...per hour.  

They couldn't work with anything larger than 11" x 17" to scan in house (of which my artwork maxed out at anyway...thank blueberries for that small mercy) and you had to order a minimum amount of prints for them to even consider the job.  

So a week, several hundred dollars and 25 prints later (yep, only 25) I walked away with my first fine art prints.  For all of that trouble, they did look great.  The benefit was having the ability to approve the proofs and discuss minor changes to the in-house color corrections in-person along with fast turnaround.  But was it really worth the price tag?

For me, as an "emerging artist", I don't have the capital to back that kind of process every time I want to provide prints of anything new I complete.  And let's be honest for a second, not everyone is in the market for an original painting that is listed for several hundred dollars.

Then I had that proverbial "light bulb" moment.  I think it was more of a flood light, honestly.  

I had ordered Mike some fine art prints over the holidays last year as a gift - he had been wanting the set for a while to fill the walls of his office.  They were listed through Society6.  When they came in the mail, I was impressed by the quality.  I was intrigued by their platform for artists and made a mental note to do a little more research when I had time.  

That mental sticky note obviously got stuck underneath some other junk for a while. 

When I remembered them this week, I finally did that research.  When I was done, somehow I had a fully loaded up shop...well pretty dang close to it, at least.

The benefit I see with Society6 is that they will print, package and ship directly themselves - I'm not responsible for any cost.  I can set my profit margin on fine art print prices and based on the quality of the images that I upload, there are several print sizes to choose from. However, that is the only section I can manipulate the pricing to adjust my profit margin.  Anything else is set at a flat amount I receive (outside of framed and unframed prints).  To make the account, add listings, etc costs me nothing.  It's free (aside form the $1 one time verification they do at the beginning).  The coolest thing, aside from seeing the pictures of my artwork framed or stretched on canvas, is the option to choose other products with my artwork on them to sell in my shop.  

A few are listed to the right, but there are so many more options.  Not all of my work will be available for product options because I would have to compromise too much integrity on my work to make them fit.  But I still have quite a few choices!

I think one of my favorites are the carry all pouches.

Carry All Pouches with "Pink Lilies" Printed on them as Shown on Society6

While my display will stay strictly fine art oriented, only showing my originals, I can confidently direct any interested party to my society6 shop for fine art prints among other novelty items.  This way I feel like I haven't compromised myself and can focus on showing my work in person without having stuff set out that detracts from that. 

Now that this one is solved, I can focus on producing a few more pieces before the show and work on fine tuning my display for the event! 

I can't believe it's already April...

Happy Creating!


Monday, March 14, 2016

The Decisions...

...I make are not easy ones.  

I'm bad about actually making the decisions sometimes.  Bad, like, I will ignore my entire studio for a length of time, pretending I don't have a gaping jaw looming over my shoulder dripping hot drool down my back.  


Ah, the jaws of responsibility. (see what I did there?)

Unfortunately, those decisions need to be made.  No amount of ignoring them will actually make them go away.  

Believe me, I have tried.

The problem for me isn't the decision itself, it's the "what ifs" that plague each choice...  

"What if it's too big?"
"What if that color isn't the right one to convey that feeling?"
"What if it's too small?"

Each color on a piece is a choice.  Each line is a choice, a decision, a "what if".  

You get it. 

An artist has to carefully consider each element to ensure everything works together and also convey the vision they hold.  Even abstract artists must consider their design choices prior to execution.  

Yes, they also have decisions to make regarding their paintings.  

Yes.  Their paintings are just as complex as a still life contemporary painting.  If you don't believe me, you should take a class on color theory - that alone should give you some insight and you're only scraping the very tip of that iceberg.  

Another discussion for another time, though.

My point here, is that I have trouble not being bogged down by all the possibilities.  Sometimes I don't even realize it.  Well...I realized it this morning that I was playing the avoidance game again but only after the fact.  

Sometimes I'm slow.  

Apparently this is my pattern though and, for me, it's kind of disturbing.  A culmination of fear, perfectionist nature and self doubt.  Quite the cocktail.  

But, we've already spoken of some of these things before.  What I love about this journey of discovery with my artwork is that I learn a little more about myself along the way and grow a little bit more as an artist and person. 

With that in mind I tell myself:

"It's okay if you make a mistake, you don't have to make a perfect specimen in the first go."
"Trust your gut, make a decision and stick with it."
"You're a damn good Artist and will only get better."
This applies to real life too...well, perhaps not the last one unless that was your career choice too ;)

Now that the pep-talk is complete, it's time for another round of coffee and some work. 

Enjoy this gorgeous Monday :)