Daily painting – Fox

IMG_2637.JPG I’ve put a lot of the things I’ve learned painting ACEO into this one. It’s not too bad

Interestingly I started doing all the messy stuff I normally do then realized I wasn’t applying what I’d learned. The second half of the picture went much quicker and looks better. I’ve done my standard thing on making the face fatter than it actually is with the basic drawing but hey he still looks ok.

So the question I ask myself is “is it helpful to post the areas of learning or does it make people feel less confidence in my ability?” I don’t know, but for me this is part of the process of daily painting.

Cat eye

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This is today’s daily painting. I didn’t quite manage one yesterday. Life kinda got in the way. So this is a colored pencil cat. I’m still learning how to use them and there are techniques I didn’t use this time. Odourless spirit is something I did not want around the girls

Practicing Fur

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I painted a tiger for my cousin for Christmas. The tiger was so much better than previous images. I can really see my 100 faces challenge is improving my drawing. Unfortunately I could see the fur needed work. This is my daily painting attempt in Christmas Day when I was practicing fur. Getting there I think

A little foxy

fox in snow 28/12/14Today I revisited my fox in the snow as a daily painting.

Some days I feel overwhelmed by what life throws at me and I hoped that completing this little fox slightly bigger would help me feel calmer.  Unfortunately I struggled with this one today.

He was meant to be 5×5 inches… hes actually a bit smaller, I put a border on him and ruined it so got rid of it.

Having said all that, as I look at it feeling calmer I actually really quite like him.

What we can learn about marketing from owls

Barn OwlOwls are wise and are known for being able to clearly see things.  This isn’t the only thing that we can learn from owls when it comes to marketing our art work.

As one of the artists I interviewed for my book said, having an owl on an object is short hand for saying “buy me”.  Whilst being beautiful animals they are also very familiar in craft circles, as are butterflies,

But why is this important?.  Our brains are programmed to like things which are familiar to us.  Owls are familiar, owls sell.  If you decided to sell hedgehogs, you would probably have to put far more time into making your name and your idea known.  To make your hedgehogs familiar.

The advantage of selling owls is that you are selling on a trend.  The disadvantage is that you are selling on a trend and if the trend changes and you do not, you have lost your business model.

If you have to create your own stream for your hedgehogs this takes more work, more rejection and more time as you have to get hedgehogs familiar but there will be a tipping point if you work hard enough.  You will now be leading the trend and will be able to ride that wave further.  You are likely to be more authentic to you and be able to authentically tell your story.

So when it comes to our art work we have a number of options

  • sell on trend but risk getting lost with everyone else and losing our market when the wave ends
  • sell our own trend but have to work on getting our name and style known.  You will need to do promotions, guest blog, maybe do press releases.  You need to be making the noise and the waves.
  • sell a combination of the two.  Look to see what is popular and work out how much matches your personal style.  If you find something that is popular but authentic to you put your own name and twist on it.  Get your name known but be different.

Stubbornness

Little Miss Stubborn

Little Miss Stubborn

Just to say…. wooohooo…. number 1 best seller!!!!!!

One of the key things for successful artisans seems to be the capacity to be stubborn. Something I had in abundance as a child, but being a good girl learned to let others have their say and put their own point of view across.

It got me thinking in being the respectable selfless woman that I am expected to be, do I loose some of the edge and that I need in business. Does the polite and gentle woman that others want me to be, stop me from being myself and get in the way of me promoting myself. And the answer for me is probably it does.

Now the truth is sticking your heals in and now moving an inch is not a good thing as I have discovered that I’m not always right. Sarcasm really doesn’t work when your typing hey.

Listening to other people when the say what you are doing is wrong when you know it is right means you loose a little part of yourself. Each part of you that you loose means its harder to stick your heels in and keep going when times get hard with your business.

Stubbornness and the refusal to give up when things are tough is so very important to making your business work.

I spoke about using the blog and the things I have learnt in the book to launch Oliopix ( www.oliopix.co.uk , www.etsy.com/shop/oliopix ). So the lesson Andy and I are having to learn this week is stubbornness.

Firstly because Etsy for some reason keeps removing the ability to pay for the digital download sheets by PayPal. We are working with them to try and work out what is happening but when your product only costs £2.50 no one will use a credit card to buy it.

Secondly we have only had one response to the survey we have put out to work out what other people want from our product. Even with the incentive of 90% off our digital download sheets for those who respond.( https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BMW2MTC ) It would be really easy to see this as a bit of a failure. But what about the positives? We have had people follow the Facebook page who are not personal friends. We have seen a constant stream of people visiting the Etsy page.

So what do we need to do now?

I recon we need to find some other places where our ideal customers hang out so we can ask them what they think. We need to show our products in finished items and get those seen and we need to see what our competitors are doing. After all if they are selling they are doing something right which we are not doing.

Stubbornness at this stage says we don’t give up on the project. This is primarily Andy’s project after all and something he is really enjoying doing which I love seeing. Stubbornness says we find other options to discover what our customers want. Stubbornness says although we’ve had limited sales, part of this is about needing to create a damn good reputation for ourselves.

Best Seller

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Thank you so much guys, my little book has made it into the top 10 of its category. You have officially made me a best seller, thank you so much

Bank Holiday Monday Musings

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My husband and I launched a digital download company Oliopix at the beginning of June. To be fair sales are slow, there was a technical hiccup that made this worse and the initial shine of a new project has worn off. That along with the pressure we feel going the the final stages of an adoption and the official launch of the book on Wednesday my little head is screaming drop it, that’s the thing that has to give.

So I got to thinking, if I was coaching Oliopix what would we be looking at. The answer is the chapter in my book Cut The Rope, help my work isn’t selling!

There are so many questions in there which we haven’t answered, and I guess we really ought to. The key to it is knowing your product and knowing your audience, or research! Research! Research!

With decorating rooms, buying car seats, meeting foster carers and trying to find a new home for my crafty stash this is not the answer I was looking for. I wanted a magic wand to suddenly appear from below the pile of fabric I’ve had stashed in the bedroom we’ve been sorting. No luck I’m afraid.

The idea of research and asking people what they think of my ideas when I don’t yet have a connection to them feels challenging. Yet how will I have a connection to them if I don’t engage them in conversation?

So with that in mind I will be taking my own advice and ignore the short term discomfort of reaching out to strangers. Instead I will be focusing on the consequence of having income from something my husband and I have made together and the potential of reaching many new friends who I am yet to meet.

2 days and Counting

Cut the Rope: Sell Your Art Not Your Soul

In two days my book Cut the Rope: How to sell your art not your soul will be launched. I will explore the journey of creativity to launch an authentic business you love. The secrets shared in this book have been generously shared by 9 full time creatives who thrive from their artwork. Join me as we discover those secrets together