Reviewing sales record

It is April and for the second year I have placed my order for the run up to Purbeck Art Weeks on the 26th. I visited the Artisan Yard yesterday to update my stock records and look at what is selling and deciding on my order.

As part of the process of organising my order I decided to compile a top 10 sales list for both greetings cards and giclée prints to date. These are my findings;

Greeting cards top 10 sellers

1. Swanage Beach Huts* 184

2. Santa over Swanage 138

3. Santa over Corfe Castle 137

4. Looking East* 129

5. Santa over Wareham Quay 97

6. From Prince Albert Gardens,

North across Swanage Bay 57

7. Santa over Chapmans Pool 52

8. Prince Albert Gardens and Bay 48

8. Spa Beach Huts* 48

10. Corfe Castle from GPS surgery 39

Here we have the first card I drew and sold cards to Swanage TiC along with Looking East and Spa Beach Huts which were commissioned designs by them too. In joint 8th place is my original design for TiC which I then edited for their card version. These were amongst my first cards available to buy in 2017.

All four Christmas card designs feature. Swanage and Chapmans Pool were available for 2017 and 2018. Corfe Castle and Wareham Quay went on sale from June 2018. So the new 2019 additions Kimmeridge and Studland will be available from Purbeck Art Weeks 2019.

Giclée prints top 10 sellers

1. “Hungry Hare” photo 8 Original not applicable

2. Swanage Beach Huts 7 Original sold

3. Year 3 sketching trip 5 Original donated to Swanage Primary

4. PAW studio in the snow 4 Original sold

4. Looking up at wintery sky 4 Original sold

4. From Prince Albert Gardens

North across Swanage Bay 4

7. Looking East 2

8. Winter sunset 2 Original sold

8. Sailing from Chapmans Pool 2 Original sold

8. North from Purbeck Ridge 2 Original sold

The encouraging aspect here is that only two of the originals remain available from this list. My printer James thought that Year 3 sketching trip was possibly not the wisest name but I stuck with it and it tells a tale of its own.

It will be interesting with time to repeat this exercise annually to see which remain the favourite designs.

New posts coming soon …

So here are a short selection of images that will feature either on this blog or my personal blog mishmashlearning.wordpress.com over the coming weeks.

Testing Gellyroll white pens work, draw a piece and had it to artshop assistant for fun in downtown Vancouver.

Sketching my view while having lunch at “Edible Canada” on Granville Island, False Creek, Vancouver.

Public art around Coal Harbour (this half scale hut is cast in Aluminium) and Vancouver International Airport.

A variety of art seen in many forms. I will be blogging a lot about the variety of First Nation art seen in Vancouver, Squamish and Whistler.

So yes a strong canadian element after a fabulous two week break.

Where I shall be appearing in the run up to Purbeck Art Weeks 2019;

Good Friday and Easter Monday – Bay H on upper floor of Purbeck Artisan Yard, Church Street, Wareham. We are hosting our Easter event. I shall be there with the full colour range of Windsor and Newton Promarkers to encourage people to have a go (I am not selling the pens, this is my artist toolset).

I am working on boat duties but willing to talk art in between bookings at WarehamBoat Hire,Abbott’s Quay,Wareham on Tuesdays and Sundays.

Friday May 10 from 2.30 to 4.30 p.m. I am leading an adult – Art is Fun session at Swanage Library. A similar idea to the one I offer when on duty at theArtisan Yard. Places are limited, it is free, please book with Swanage library.

Saturday May 25 to Sunday June 9 from 10 to 5 for 16 consecutive days my art studio will be open as Open Studio 22 in Purbeck Art Weeks 2019. If unable to find a PAW brochurecontactmedordirctions on Houns Tout footpath from Kingston, Dorset.

Hand coloured cards and having fun

Yesterday while on duty at Purbeck Artisan Yard I took my materials to do some art. I was conscious that I had very little themed cards linked to seasonal events so I set about adding a; spring, Mother’s Day, Easter and flying Scotsman visit to Purbeck versions of my Studland bay land-rover defender card.

It will be interesting to see how many of these go by the end of April. This has been a great fun way to work on one picture and produce a series of one off pieces.

Spring

The idea of adding daffodils to the beach and a tree in blossom. It has been interesting how Instagram Defender groups have reacted to my frivolous designs.

Mother’s’ Day

Going with the flowers theme again and how lots of flowers are bought on the morning itself.

Easter

I admit the Easter bunny possibly looks more like a puppy. I loved the Defender design and an egg shaped sun.

Finally, the Flying Scotsman which is running steam trips on Swanage Heritage railway currently and bringing many visitors to Purbeck.

None of these ideas were planned before my deputy but they represent the chance to be creative and I love the idea of individual designs being out there and being enjoyed.

The final photo is of these cards, the original pen and ink card, still for sale too and a recent desert theme. I love the idea that people might buy my cards and add to them, I used to do this to others designs. Personalisation is great.

I was also happy and could be spotted doing a happy sales dance (the joy of the small business) when I also sold a framed copy of my giclee print of North across Swanage Bay that shows a range of boating types.

Feedback welcomed.

All of these are currently for sale in the Purbeck Artisan Yard, Church Street, Wareham – Open 7 days every week from 10 am to 5pm. The Spring, Easter and Mothers Fay cards are on the shelves inside the entrance at £3 each or £5 for 2 hand coloured cards. The Flying Scotsman, Desert and original card are in bay H with the remainder of my work. The original card sells for £2 or 3 for £5 with other printed cards.

I will be adding another print of the above picture when on duty on Tuesday 26th March.

Thanks

Andy

Taking steps…

It’s March and the next event I shall spend a lot of time at will be the Easter Weekender – Meet the Artists at the Purbeck Artisan Yard.

I have posted events on the Facebook page for Good Friday, and Easter Monday ( post edited after shift change for boat job) when I will be based in bay H upstairs at the yard offering the usual chance to have a go with the Promarker range of 148 colours to produce an art card or greetings card. All for free. The activity will target all ages who would like to have a go.

I will be in the yard from 10 until 5 on Good Friday and Easter a Monday. On Easter Saturday AND Sunday I shall be at duty at Wareham Boat Hire and openly invite people to come and draw while boating, or draw others boating. I won’t be providing materials as I shall be wearing my boating “hat” / shorts – delete as applicable.

Between Easter and Purbeck Art Weeks 2019 when I am opening my studio as Studio 22 on the trail I hope to be doing an afternoon’s free art session in Swanage, details to be confirmed before I say anymore.

Then from May 25 to June 9 it will be my third Purbeck Art Weeks as an Open Studio based artist. As usual I shall be open for 16 / 16 days from 10 am to 5 pm. Today saw some preparation for PAW with the design of my new flier for this year’s event which is now off to the printers. I have also had electrical work done in the outbuilding, which now has working sockets and double the lighting of the last two years, so the art will be easier to see on any dimmer / wetter days.

Publicity is an ongoing skill that I hope I am pitching ok. It is great each time to have a range of newer images to include. This year there may be two spaces showing the art. Refreshments will be available again. Dogs as always are always welcome in my studio.

The new profile pic is one I tried for my first foray into using Procreate on my new iPad with an Apple Pencil – not an iPad Pro. New mentions this year also to some of my work being available on Etsy and Red Bubble under the name – AndyKnillArt.

Don’t forget feedback always welcomed.

Thanks

Andy

Merchandising and my art / photography

So far in the first two years I have sold original artwork in a number of formats from small easel style canvases, to pieces of work in a mount with backboard and cellophane wrapper to framed pieces. I have also sold wooden boxes had decorated in original art. Greetings cards and giclee prints printed for me by Art2card. Also original greetings cards and hand coloured versions of my pen and ink cards.

Apart from my first Purbeck Art Weeks in 2017 when I ordered a sample pack of merchandise and sold the fridge magnet, and key ring I have looked at but avoided introducing art based merchandise as the up-front costs present potentially a large financial outlay.

This week I have been reading about companies that “Print on Demand” from single items or more, I decided that as there is no upfront cost this would be a way to see if there is a market for AndyKnillArt merchandise. I have gone with “Red Bubble” and posted some artwork and photography, I will be adding more pieces to my portfolio. The system works by each product having a cost price, as the artist I then set the % markup for the public price and this is where I earn some income.

So I will be trying this method, plus Etsy and promoting sales in Facebook, Instagram and this blog /website too for 2019 at least and seeing what sales we can generate. Advice from others who have gone down this route before me your pointers would be gratefully received.

Weymouth – a non Purbeck subject

A friend posts pictures often of his travels. He recently visited Weymouth, a Dorset coastal resort we have visited several times and taken photos to use later. I decided to try one of his photos as it would give me a chance to practise my use of perspective, a skill that I am far better at now than I was previously. Like the wall styles post I now try to keep a set of progress picture to show how my work has evolved. Feedback is welcome.

So the original photo.

Some of the colours of buildings might change slightly and although the fishing boats are a common feature along the near bank here I decided to leave it out. I prefer pictures of boats to focus on the boat as the main subject.

My first task the fineliner pen and ink drawing. This is freehand and drawn straight into pen, this stage went well.

I started the colour layers on my first sitting while on duty at the Purbeck Artisan Yard, Church Street, Wareham, Dorset where I have a sample of my work in Bay H upstairs.

This was the end of my work on Wednesday’s duty. I was covering a duty for a fellow artisan who had covered for me at the last minute when ill post beach huts event. I hoped that I would get time to continue with the piece on Friday and maybe complete it.

Once adding colour to the vegetation I shared the piece thinking had finished. However I had left a tree in front of the top row of houses. I added this and improved (in my opinion) the main bank of shrubs. The second picture below is the completed piece which has had very positive response from friends. I was pleased with the additional work on shadows and lighting, something I need to use more now.

Drystone Wall Styles

Contrasting styles

Having completed my drystone wall piece in pen and ink on kraft paper I decided  to produce a second canvas piece at 80 x 30 cm. This time my focus was the two walling  styles adjacent to the drive to The English Stamp Company from the Langton – Kingston top road between Swanage and Corfe Castle. Only recently a local waller has rebuilt the wall adjacent to the road in the diagonal style particular to Langton Matravers.

My work was based on photos taken and then zoomed into particular sections. The pictures were taken earlier this month when we had snow in Purbeck.

The work started as a pen and ink drawing and may have stayed that way, in this project however, I found my idea about presentation changing as I developed the work. Now that I am more patient in producing pieces, specially these larger ones there is more time to think.

The surface of the canvas is rougher than the kraft paper I used on the previous piece which didn’t suit the Sakura Pigma Micron fineliners as well. I found the Copic fineliners worked better on this surface.

37896603-CBF7-4461-919A-05EF5ECA8C8C

At first I was notable to focus on a small section, then came an evening where I was very motivated and completed the older wall section and drew the entire diagonally laid piece in one session. At this point I was very pleased with the pen and ink work but couldn’t see how pen and ink would work at this scale with the landscape features behind the wall.

DB98B863-2AF3-4B3C-AE3E-272211A822B5

The lines needed to be thicker so I went over the work in a thicker nib next.

FA205475-A0FE-4BE0-B782-4F52F196AB91

At this point the details of the tree in the field were developed, the addition of the two bus stops, the telegraph pole and tree to the right of the picture. The grass was done in several layers allowing different colour grasses and the snow areas being left blank. Having being so bold with the stone borders I decided that this would need to include colour in both walls to make sense.

E06BB5DB-F14A-42C2-8244-53EFB1FE991020596344-6EDE-4543-BB07-6BC2692D0DD3A08DA184-3AA4-4262-B3CD-4DB668CF608E

These images show how I added colour which was then given a second and in some cases third layer of marker. The last picture showed my companion the ladybird who kept appearing as I worked.

I was pleased at this point but was unsure how to show the shrubby tree/ bushes behind. This section started as fineliners branches, then the addition of marker pen. Eventually I coloured over the branches for the sky then returned to redo the branch and twig patterns – I was uncertain by now if this was just going to end up as a learning exercise and found this difficult to deal with initially, but know it is a skill I will need to take on board.

ADC93FE0-9D41-4194-B6B7-636D458196492E1DA432-2BB4-4C9F-B6B0-CED0A497EA6A

The piece has now been completed and the sky is not as smooth as I would like but I need to look at using other media possibly for skies behind strong marker pieces – admitting I need to do some art that is not just pen based, possibly.

C1C4154B-8AB8-4DF2-B177-EB12F248DA49

Into February

Today I covered a fellow artisan’s duty at Purbeck Artisan Yard. A few visitors helped by the improved weather and a few interesting chats with ideas to follow up for me. I spent my day working on some new pieces.

I have now completed my two 2019 designs for this year’s additions to the #SantaOverPurbeck series of cards. In discussion with people at events since last Purbeck Art Weeks I have decided that Santa May venture further afield for a second series of cards that I will start producing from 2019 to 2021 initially. Once the proofs of these cards are ready I will release pictures of the designs especially as it is still only February.

I also started work on a pair of bib and braces as my third piece of original artwork on an item of clothing. Today at the yard I also wore my Artisans on the Beach boiler suit which was a good conversation starter.

The photos below show me working on the initial pen work and then coloured area completed so far. I am very pleased with the the detail of work achieved.

Happy birthday to AndyKnillArt

Today has marked the second birthday of AndyKnillArt. Reading an article online last week about keeping accounts for your artwork especially if selling and what the trigger point is to be called a self-employed artist (£1000+ in sales apparently).

I have utilised my IT skills gained when teaching to have two main art spreadsheets; my accounts and my stock. These have made life far easier to track and reduced ordering new card stock or prints until the figures say more are needed depending how sales are going. The stock sheet will be especially useful when I have my 2019 Open Studio for Purbeck Art Weeks (PAW) as I will know where copies of prints in mounts and / or frames can be found as these days I have stock at home in the studio, at Rollington Barn and in the bay at Purbeck Artisan Yard.

So two years as a self employed artist ( yes I pass the threshold income). Each year I am reducing outgoings as I develop a stock of tools and materials. My main costs become printing of cards, fine art print copies and frames, these are now better attuned to sales than when I started. The income has also increased and in Year 2 I have earnt 67% more from selling my work than in Year 1.

In Year 3 I aspire to record a profit for the year. Each of the three tax years have seen the gap between income and expenditure narrow.

Thank you to all my customers and supporters, two years in and many many more to come.