How long have you ….?

AndyKnillArt, as regular readers will know started as a going concern in late January 2017. Before then I had drawn pieces but never actually tried to sell any of my art. When my Open Studio is available to the public in Purbeck Art Weeks for 16 days visitors can see the snow range of my portfolio. Often the comment is made that I have been prolific in the work produced.

One of the items friends said I should consider from the start of seeking sales was to produce greeting cards. I chose early on to go with a product that was professional quality and in appearance and selected to use he services of Art2Card in Upwey, Dorset who were recommended by several other PAW artists.

As I reduce original prices of art I ask myself if the piece might have a wider appeal than a one off piece for sale. If I think this is the case I will consider whether to have giclée prints made (again a long term quality product) and cards printed. The minimum order I can have is 36 cards and when I started this was often the size of orders or updates. Now in my third year I find myself ordering stock in 50s, 100 or even 200 of particular designs that sell well. This identifying of patterns does take time to establish especially if like me you only sell your cards personally and maybe one outlet likeI do how with thePurbeck Artisan Yard in Wareham.

The list below is the range of cards I have now developed – most remain on sale and some have been very successful very quickly.

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.

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.

Enthusiasm abounds

Today I went for a walk and then lunch at Studland Bay on the Purbeck Coast with Anne. We walked through the dunes, heathers and gorse and then returned along the beach to the National Trust Knoll beach cafe. This is often the place where I have left items of napkin art previously with most pictures being of Old Harry rocks.

A good lunch and then yes, a napkin piece of Old Harry was left on the raised table by the window. I later posted about leaving it on Instagram and received a response that it was found by one of the National Trust staff, this is the second person on their team who has enjoyed finding one of these pieces.

This is the Instagram edited version, the full picture is a panorama.

So an art achievement, enough then?? No, as I had gone on an early walk this morning taking photos of drystone walls and frosted area pieces to use as inspiration. Also, this afternoon I have paid my PAW membership for 2019 and completed my Open Studio application and emailed my chosen brochure image.

PAW studio in the snow – March 2018.

I have also upgraded my Flickr membership to allow more cloud storage of images as they have become important as a way to keep a record of my art portfolio but also images that inspire or help me to develop pieces of art work.

A busy day and now some rest is warranted.

December 10th and 11th – away from the beach.

Monday – duty day at the yard and far busier than I had expected. I spent the morning resolving an accounting issue from Saturday’s busy duty. Jobs for myself included updating my card stock listing and framing three new print copies – two for the yard and one for the beach. I also added d-rings and hanging cord to another framed print. Some pen tray resorting and that was about all I found time for.

Tuesday – collected new stock items of Santa over Wareham Quay cards. We then travelled into Weymouth and visited Acutts a workwear specialists where I bought a white boiler-suit for my next art on clothing challenge.

Conversations while travelling include ideas on extending the “Santa over …” range in 2019. Also I am going to get organised with Etsy and online sales for 2019 and see how this goes after several requests lately to look at my online catalogue of my work for potential customers.

Sorting my garage out as it is being used for a filming project on Friday and last chance really for me to prepare it, I will miss this as I will be at the hut.

So from Wednesday 12th I will be at hut 54 from 10 to 4 pm each day and until 7 pm on Saturdays subject to customers. This is the longest stint for 2018. I also get a chance to do more drawing and work creation and enjoy watching the sea.

Day six, Saturday December 8th..

Today was the Rotary Christmas event in the centre of Swanage. You had to feel sorry for them based in the wind tunnel of Station Road while we were sheltered from the wind. We had a busy day at the huts and I shared my hand drawn suit. This was an idea I had last year but only recently found a suitable test suit – a decorating overall from a major diy company for £2. I have been adding to this gradually and it has ended the day as an exhibition bit in my hut.

Issues with said costume – limited movement so from 08:30 to 18:30 I was unable to sit down without a possible tear. This would have been easier had I not been out dancing last night. The colour work has weakened some of the surface so some internal parcel tape repairing. I have strong shoulders from rowing, getting the suit on and off proved difficult and needed assistance.

Best of all it was fun,I got noticed, I advertised my artwork and now. Want a more practical and longer lasting solutions l

Some pics

December 4 – a non artisaning day, well …

I have allocated two days at the start of this season of Artisans on the Beach to have days with Anne, my wife. So no artisan tasks, well not exactly.

Today I posted on our accounts which huts would be open and when. We shopped for additional fitments for the hut – battery lights, a rod to suspend them in the porch, suction hooks to hold up my AndyKnillArt banner. Then I have added information on opening hours to template and printed and laminated these for all huts I have information for. These will be fixed on tomorrow.

I took various items from the Purbeck Artisan Yard yesterday which I will display at the hut, although tomorrow’s forecast is wet to wetter, but I shall be there all the same. Some art time including working on my second new fancy dress outfit for this year whichI want to use this weekend.

Some down time too so not all work based.

Tomorrow hut news…

December 3rd – Artisan-ing elsewhere

So as a member of the Purbeck Artisan Yard I do duties each month. My December duties have been fitted around my Artisans on the Beach commitments. I started this morning by posting for the Beach about whose huts would be open today. One of our aims this year is to be mindful that visitors wanting to know which hut is open and when so that they do not have a wasted journey. So we are addressing this in two ways.

Each artisan has completed a schedule of their opening times and I am producing a neat version of each which will be printed and laminated, then stuck outside every hut. Not all of our customers are on social media so we need a more immediate way to check too.

On our social media accounts I am then going to post daily about which huts are open or are weekends if any huts will not be open. We have already had feedback to some of the Artisans about the event pre publicity and how the profiles on Facebook and Instagram have attracted them to visit as there are products they are interested in. The profiles that we have run already will be added to across the event too.

I am going to share my profile as an example.

So each profile follows a common format. It would identifies the artisan, their hut and then I have used the text from their application and edited it into the third person. For some profiles as contacted people to add some additional information. The text is accompanied by photos submitted and in some cases images I found researching them online.

My profile includes pictures of me from previous event as my outfits are part of how I attract attention to my own work but to the event as well.

In the weeks running upto the event I produced a profile daily for 36 Artisans so it has been a big commitment to follow through on.

My day at the Artisan Yard was reasonably quiet, but I worked on admin for the beach event and also did more work on wooden boxes which I will feature in a separate post showing the range of items I am producing to try and get original artwork out there in the community.

Tomorrow is also a day off for the first two weeks and officially is a non artisan day but will also include buying more frames,preparing items for Wednesday when I shall be back on the seafront.