Thursday, June 20, 2013

Spend it to make it?

I have  owned my own business and been self employed for most of my working life.  We have all heard the old adage that you have to spend money to make money, right?  well, here is my story on how I  "spent" on my new sandwich board in order to "make" money in my studio.  My studio is up a flight of stairs in a commercial building on busy downtown Water Street so  in order to get anyone interested in trekking up the stairs to view my art it seemed like a good idea to have a sandwich board on the sidewalk to generate a little interest and direct them in that direction.  The first order of business was to purchase a legal size board ($$).  Then I  have a graphic designer come up with an attractive design ($$) and take it to the sign shop and have it printed on waterproof and mar resistant aluminum panels and attached to both sides of the sign ($$$).......whew, but we are just beginning to stack up dollars.  Next, I decided to attach a  removable pallet with a personal message and a QR code linked to a short video that I had professionally done.  A few extra  ($$$) but it really adds to the appeal of the sign.  Now......we have to go talk to the city and acquire a permit... routine, right? well,.....we live in a little seaport town listed on the historical registry and everything must be proper which amounts to a plethora of rules and detailed paperwork. Time consuming but doable.  Now I just write the check for the permit ($$) and put out the sign............No, not quite yet.  The city official informs me that I need to have a liability insurance policy worth $1,000,000 with them listed in it. Seems like CYA overkill to me but a trip to my insurer and more ($$$!) gets the permit in my hand.    Finally!  I was running out of patience and  ($$$)  but I can, now legally place my sign on the sidewalk and start making money!  Was it worth it all?  Yes, I have had the sign out for about a month which has resulted in meeting many new friends and acquiring some great customers.  Sales jumped remarkably for the month and I attribute it solely to the new sandwich board.  So......I guess in this case the adage is true.  The challenge will be figuring out the best places to "spend it" in order to maximize the "make it"...........Good Luck!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A "real" painting

I like super realistic paintings although I do not try to paint them very often.  This orange was sitting on my studio table begging to be eaten or painted so I decided to see how realistic I could paint it with my fluid acrylics before I consumed it.  I had a little 6"x6" canvas handy that was primed with venetian red gesso so I drew it almost life size and filled the entire canvas with the subject.   I had so much fun that I went into the kitchen and borrowed a lemon and an avocado and painted them both in the same manner.   They turned out great and both sold before I got them photographed. 

It is great to paint outside of your comfort zone once in a while but now I look at this little 6x6 inch orange and think of how awesome it would look on a six foot by six foot or larger canvas!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The code of the Northwest

In order to maintain a lively business I feel that I must attempt to keep up and experiment a little with new technology.   So I decided to create a QR code for my sandwich board that I display at the entrance door to my upstairs studio here in Port Townsend.  These codes are nothing too new, you see them everywhere, but I rarely use them so I thought that I would try it and see if anyone would actually use one to retrieve information about my studio. You have to have a smart phone and an app (you can download one for free) to read the code.  Mine takes you to a short,  fun video that we put together.  So get your smartphone out and scan this code and give me your comments!

I have only had the board in place for a couple of days but I am pleasantly surprised by the response so far.  I think that this will be a successful endeavor and now I am kind of hooked on checking out other QR codes to see if  they have better ideas for using this "new" technology.
And......if you are ever in the neighborhood,  please do "come on up" and visit me in my studio!