Today I am learning all about what goes into selling artwork to someone over on the other side of the country. Someone in California wants to buy one of my paintings - yay! This will be my first sale not through in-person contact or through a gallery. So much to learn! But all very welcome and needed. I know I need to know this stuff. As of yet I have not included prices on any of my artwork on this site quite simply because I haven't been prepared to process any long-distance sales myself. After I get through this sale I hope that will change.
Fortunately, I belong to a few online groups that are helping me sort through the options and answer my questions, informing me of potential pitfalls, things to be aware of, etc.
I quickly decided to use my personal PayPal account - no need for a business account at this time - and use the invoicing feature. This allows me to send an invoice to the customer with shipping costs included and makes it easy for them to send payment.
To arrive at shipping cost ... that's taking a bit more time. The painting, which is similar in size to many of my pieces, will not fit in any USPS standard flat-rate boxes. That would have been too easy. So I went on a box shopping tangent and ended up finding what I need at uline.com. A set of 25 boxes (the smallest quantity available), sized 24" x 18" 5", plus postage cost comes to $2.27 per box which is less expensive than that what I can buy locally. But I will buy bubble wrap locally even though the unit cost is slightly higher since the smallest roll at uline is way more than i need and I don't really have room to store it.
So the next thing will be figuring out the postage cost. Since I couldn't go with a USPS flat-rate box I will have to take the package to the post office and have it weighed and priced. Which means I can't complete the shipping cost calculation until the boxes arrive from uline, hopefully tomorrow. And I can't send the customer an invoice yet.
But I feel so much more informed and prepared to handle sales than when I woke up this morning! I will count today as a WIN.
A while back my daughter told me about an art event being planned by one of her friends at the Crofoot in Pontiac, called Abstract Attractions. She asked if I would like to display a couple of my pieces. Although details were vague at first (was it a one-day thing or will the art be up for a while? A concert with art, or an art show with music? etc) and slow to come together, I said yes. Once the facebook page was created about two weeks before the event it became clear that it was more geared toward a younger concert-going crowd than middle-aged moms. So I decided not to attend, but asked Angela if my art ends up being displayed somewhere would she please take a picture or two? She did, and here they are. Her art is on the easel, my 3 pieces on the ledge behind it.
The new exhibit at Gallery 194 commemorates the 10 year anniversary of the gallery. Wow, 10 years! The doors first opened in October 2005 with the Lapeer Art Association's wonderful Holiday exhibit, then in January 2006 we began the varied exhibit offerings that have continued through the years.
To celebrate this important milestone, we invited back the featured artists from over the years that we were able to track down and contact. Twenty came through and submitted artwork for the exhibit. The Lapeer Area View newspaper ran a nice article last week about the exhibit and upcoming reception. I was a late addition to the show (never really a "featured artist" but was part of a couple group shows, most notably the JKPP show in June 2014 which I also coordinated), so my name is not in the article, but I am very happy to have three of my JKPP portraits included in the exhibit.
I'd like to write more about on-line art groups but I need to get this post done first.
There are so many ideas and plans and goals rolling around in my mind for the year ahead ... time to put them in writing and start setting a course of action.
I may add to this list in time but that's all for now.
In my last post, a 2015 retrospective, I mentioned starting 2016 with a non-resolution-y list of my intentions and plans for 2016. But first I must digress for a bit.
A few months ago I wrote about some of the people and experiences that led me to developing and sharing my arty side. This includes on-line art groups; most notable is the Julia Kay's Portrait Party group on flickr, which requires a post of its own. But more recently I started interacting with a group on facebook called Photos for Artists, or PFA for short.
Photos for Artists is a well-organized group run by U.K artist Jan Szymczuk where photographers share their photos for artists within the group to use royalty free without license or restrictions. In today's image-sharing world where art copyright issues have become a "thing," this is a great resource. And for an added bit of fun there is a monthly challenge on a specified topic. I've been a member for a while but hadn't participated until the December challenge - the topic was Portraits, using any photo of a person in any of the albums in the group. And since I love doing portraits, I had to get in on this.
I found so many great photos in the group albums and finally decided on this black and white photo by Keith Saint. I knew the beard would be a challenge but liked the idea of being able to interpret the photo in colors of my choosing. So off I went.
There were so many wonderful portraits entered into the challenge. I certainly wasn't expecting anything, but lo and behold, my painting won second place! I know it's just an internet for-fun competition, but still. I haven't won an art "prize" since a 9th grade honorable mention in a high school art show. I'm looking forward to learning what the topic is for January and hopefully participating again.