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When is "enough" too much?

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Old 06-09-2002, 12:55 PM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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When is "ecough" too much?

Blacknight is considering making digital art from photos as a business venture. He is also considering art/craft fairs as a place to sell from. This brings up a question. If someone were to do that, how many different styles of digital art would be a good number to offer? It seems to reason that if the customer walks away from his space without buying, he can probably not expect to sell that person anything. So do you offer only watercolors? Watercolors and oils? Watercolors, oils, and charcoal sketches? How many options are too many (or is there such a thing)? Do we give them something to think about? Maybe a man and his wife have something different they like, but would both buy what the other likes if their option wasn't available. Would too many art related options cause lost sales?

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Old 06-09-2002, 02:17 PM
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I think,( and this is just my opinion so dont take it too seriously), the number to offer would be the number that the individual doing them is competent at and/or comfortable with. The more styles, the greater the prospective client pool will be. I suspect that there would be a few folks who might be confused by having several choices, but most people are going to see a style or two they like and then either "go for it" or get contact info and call back when they decide which style they want...
One thing I have noticed is that by giving out handouts with contact info, I get a pretty good response from people who initially just take them and leave without saying or buying anything, then a month or so later, they will call or show up with a photo or two....
I suspect that most people like to look, examine at their leisure, then commit to a course of action...could be wrong though... Tom
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Old 06-09-2002, 02:49 PM
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Jakaleena Jakaleena is offline
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IMHO, art is not a marketing thing, it is a soul thing.

I had a friend who sold photographs at a Portland, OR craft market every weekend. He did really well at it, and his specialty was nature/landscape types of things. His inventory seemed enormous, but they were all nature/landscape photographs. The thing was, it was a subject that he was passionate about, and he had a seemingly endless variety of ways to look at that one subject.

I think to be succesful selling art, you primarily have to have an artist's soul with a good amount of marketing/business sense thrown in. And you have to be true to that artist's soul - doing what YOU find beautiful and then trusting that others will agree. What if you love doing pastels and watercolors. And what if you dislike doing oils? Do you bite the bullet and make oils just because you think there need to be some oils in your inventory? I wouldn't. I'd do what I enjoy, and hope that there were people out there who could see that it was a labor of love instead of a marketing strategy.

I think a more important part of the marketing strategy to consider might be the final print itself - size, paper, canvas backing, etc. Although portraits of people and families rarely go larger than 8x10 to 11x14, art rarely goes smaller than 8x10 or 11x14.

The thing BK seems to be looking at is more than to merely take other peoples photos and fancy them up into fauxpaintings. Which is not really art - more like assembly line stuff. You have to be a bit creative, but your original material is pre-provided.

BK's idea would require original photographs to turn into art. And I would think that being a photographer as well as a digital artist would be a requirement for that kind of venture. As a photographer, I know I have things that I enjoy shooting. And those are the things I do the best job of shooting. That's what I would base any digital art inventory on.

It's funny. I just went to my PO Box today and found inside it the latest art magazine with a couple of my art photographs in it. My art pieces are like my children. I labored over their birth, struggled through their realization, and my heart has ached as I sent them out into the world. I believe that for people to love and want to display your art, you have to have been completely in love with it yourself first...
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Old 06-09-2002, 04:47 PM
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My thinking is very similar to Jak's. (This seems to be a recurring theme... ) I think of art as an expression of self. The subject matter, the style, the presentation, etc. all reflect the artist in some way. I don't think you can create something that everyone will like. And my personal feeling is that if one tries to produce something that will be "acceptable" to the lowest common demoninator (i.e., the greatest number of people), then art is no longer an expression of self, but yet another mass market commodity. I personally would find this terribly depressing.

Bottom line is that I would create images that are an "extension" of myself - either my thoughts, my feelings, something that conveys beauty to me, something that has meaning for me, etc. And then (or perhaps in parallel), I would try to identify the market segment of people who might be interested in my art and figure out the best way to market to them. That may or may not be craft fairs. And it may not even be that simple. For example, a craft fair in New England likely has a very different clientele (and vendors) than a craft fair in Southern CA.

In any case, in a setting such as a craft fair or other people-contact intensive environment, having literature of some sort that people can take, read and respond later is really, really important. There are often so many different booths that having something informational that people can take with them is often a good way to keep their interest even after the event is over.

My opinion only - based on little actual experience, so take it for what it's worth.

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