Questions (Open Studio; Red in Compositions; Postcard Prints)

  • Hey forum rabbits! I have a few questions and wanted some advice.

    • I want to host a holiday open house tour of my art studio, and I've never had a meet-the-artist thing like that; anyone with experience and tips for how to do that? I'll invite people through Facebook and in person, I'm curious about what happens when they show up / what I should prepare for or wisdom you have to share?

    • A recent SVS podcast was VERY accurate when they said greeting cards make prints not sell because people won't buy the larger more expensive print of the design they want; they'll buy the card and frame it, which is what happens to me often. A work around! My pro printer makes postcards which are larger and cheaper than greeting cards; I'm thinking about offering these for sale at the same price as a greeting card so people who want to frame the card can buy the print and think they're getting a bargain but actually I'll earn a bit more profit (as much as 50% more). Think it's a good idea or not?

    • For licensing, I need to create a 10 design Christmas boxed set, and that holiday uses a lot of red objects. I know SVS teaches us to use red as a guide for the eye to the focus of the scene, but I'm wondering if it's still ok to use cardinals, candy canes, poinsetta flowers, holly berries etc EVEN WHEN these items are not the central focus, because maybe a greeting card composition is designed to make the eye linger around the entire image (realistic still life) rather than focus on a main character or action?

    Thanks a million!

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @Amanda-Bancroft I can't really answer the first two or even the third LOL but I will say for the third part, I think if those objects were not very saturated that it would be ok. Keeping it on the pale red side I think might work out.

  • @Chip-Valecek thank you! That's helpful, actually. If they're in the background I can make them paler than the "key" foreground object. I was also hoping that in each card, there would be only one or at most two red objects, maybe if I'm lucky. I'll see how the 10 compositions go! Perfect time to work on them over the holidays.

  • @Amanda-Bancroft I had a couple of thoughts.

    • In our town we have an annual "Art Wander" that artists open their studios for people to come to. Usually, there is a fair amount of selling that goes on. But a lot of people just wander through. Many of the studios have multiple artists. Many also offer free wine or pop or coffee. If you are doing this on your own and would like more people and new people to meet your art I would recommend you find a couple of other local artists and have them bring their work to your studio too. Then you will get exposure to their group of friends and visa-versa.
    • What you should compare when doing this is what is your take away amount. If it costs you $15 to do a 11x14 print and get it matted and you sell it for $30 you walk away with $15. If it costs you $1.50 for the card and sell it for $15 your take away is $13.50 which about the same which would be fine. The problem happens when it costs you $7.50 for the card you sell at $9 and people are buying that instead of the print. It is okay to give people what they want as long as you are not cannibalizing your sales.
    • @Chip-Valecek has good advice on desaturating, another tack you can take is a lot of things in your work warm colors and make the focal point a cool color.

  • @theprairiefox Wow those are fantastic ideas thank you for responding! Art Wander sounds cool! I would be hosting my open studio in our 24 ft x 8 ft tiny house in a rural area so not many may come, or fit, but my goal is to connect with people who've been following my art, and maybe make a sale or two but mostly just connection.

    Yes, for the postcards, the podcast talking about cannibalizing is what gave me the prints idea. I know I could save money on it and stop cannibalizing my sales that way, but only if customers want to frame the prints and not the cards or if some psychological block doesn't stop them buying the prints. The quality will be the same for cards/prints, and the new prints will be larger than cards, but cost the same while earning me higher profits. So I hope they appeal to people.

    I will absolutely apply that advice about using a cool color for the focus! Thank you! I think I also need to learn what my focus is on these cards. I look at the big names in my competition and actually don't even know what THEIR focus is LOL. lots to learn. At SVS looking at illustrations, it's much easier to instantly see the focus than on greeting cards.

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