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.

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.