I haven’t done much artwork lately as I’ve been busy with end of the year activities for my kids. This year in addition to performances, graduations, parties, etc I also volunteered to make a quilt for my daughter’s teacher. As you may recall I made a quilt for the school’s silent auction back in April and the teacher’s quilt looks very similar to the sailboat auction quilt. I used commercial batik fabrics for the teacher’s quilt so it’s not quite as bright but same layout and size.
Above is a picture of the back of the quilt. This is typically what the backs of my quilts look like. At least the very few bed quilts I make. I never buy large pieces of fabric so I always have to piece the backs together, which I sometime think looks better than the front.
I occasionally do this for my contemporary work but not as often as I will dye large pieces of fabric for the backs of my artwork.
I took inventory on how I’m doing on my goals for the amount of artwork I’d like to complete in 2007 and honestly – it’s not looking good. At the end of March I was on track with 9 completed pieces and things looked great but I completed only 1 large quilt in April and no pieces finished in May. So I’m a bit panicked about June. Can I catch up? Well no – I can’t finish 8 quilts this month but next monday the kids are off to camp or their dad’s house for 2 weeks so I’m planning on really buckling down and my goal is to complete 5 pieces in June. Not the 18 quilts I’d like to have finished by end of June but not bad.
I have been doing okay on my business goals, I’m still behind but I’ve definitely focused on the business side of art more this year than any other so that feels great. I have a couple big items, a press release and my first studio newsletter, that I hope to get out within the next 2 weeks and then I’ll feel pretty good about things.
[If you haven’t signed up yet and are interested check out the info on my studio newsletter.]
As this is the first year I’ve tried to sell my artwork I’ve tried out a variety of plans. The last few days I’ve been thinking about my etsy shop and wondering if it’s really worth the effort. The only piece I’ve sold on etsy so far was to a friend of mine. After thinking I’ve decided that I really didn’t put much effort into it and I should give it a real shot. So I’m going to try. If after 6 months of honest effort it doesn’t work I’ll bail out, but I have to first really put in my best effort before declaring it a failure.
Reading a post on Seth Godin’s blog from a few days ago about different types of marketing. It’s pretty clear that I’m marketing to a few. He claims this is mostly about being exceptional and standing out, which is definitely part of the equation.
I certainly believe my work is exceptional. My work is interesting original designs, meticulously made with top quality materials and precision techniques that I have perfected over the last 25 years. So the thing I will need to figure out is how to stand out as exceptional in the sea of etsy, where there are 200,000 artists and craftfolks looking to sell their work. I definitely have my work cut out for me.
If I thought I could get away with it I’d probably just say “I’d rather be in my studio“, but that is just an excuse. Time to step up to the marketing thing because someday I’d sure like to stop being a software engineer in addition to a full time artist.