Power Painters Prints!
As Summer is winding to close, I’ve been gearing up to embark upon the task of another income strategy – The sincere selling of prints.
Now, since I have very limited experience in this realm, I’m simply going to be documenting the process as honestly and efficiently as I can.
What’s great is that there are thousands of artists making abundant sums selling their printed and original works, and I know that as long as I stick to immutable principles of marketing, I’ll eventually join those ranks.
I want to make sure I share that process with you so that you can follow along, learn from my mistakes, and share in the inevitable triumphs.
Can you really do well selling prints?
I suppose the foremost question is “Why prints?” and while there are a multitude of answers, I feel that the one that makes the most sense is that art prints are one of the most synergetic ways to scale your creative business.
Scale and leverage are much stronger factors for an artist who can sell a suitable amount of their work.
You see, it’s likely the case that you’re the sole creator of your works. From start to finish, you bring those pieces into being. When you’re performing art as a service like taking on commissions and working on OPP (Other people’s projects) then that means your time and income are heavily intertwined.
Whether you’re being paid a flat rate, a day rate, or an hourly rate, the simple fact is that you’re directly trading your time and energy for causes that may not resonate with you. This usually leads to burnout, but it’s a great way to get started if the pay is high enough.
Performing art as a service also means that you typically sign away a great deal of your rights to the work you’ve made, and without that precious ownership of the work, your chances of ascertaining opulence as an artist are…Very slim.
This is why it’s wise to separate your time and your income, thus opening up exciting new streams of revenue.
This bring us full circle, as one of the most tried and true ways to do that as a visual artist is prints!
So with that little bit of info out of the way, let me lay out my simple plan for making this a viable option.
VISUALS: The prints themselves number 6 in total, but I broke them into two groups. Both are fantastical in nature, but they vary in style and theme. Strataegis is more anime-oriented and geared toward people who like SRPG games, while the other three have no connection other than the painted style.
PRICING: Smaller sums for smaller prints. Pretty simple, right? As a basis, it’s wise to try and make at least 4X your cost when selling something physical that requires production. I priced my prints based on those calculations.
SHIPPING: I’m using USPS for now. They’re the cheapest and have been verified by other creative friends who have had good experiences.
MARKETING PLAN: Ah, this is my favorite part. A lot of artists tend to hate marketing, and that’s why a lot of artists are broke. My marketing plan is low-budget, and revolves around creating content, posting in high-traffic, high-targeted spaces, and running the social media gamut until I hit my niche. I take a shotgun approach in the beginning, and narrow my focus when I see the results I’m after, namely sales and leads.
PROCESS: Pre-sell prints through my personal site www.taypayart.com, test out the quality from local manufacturers, then form a business relationship with the best one. In a pinch, I can use FedEx office, as I’ve had decent results with them before.
GOAL: $5K per month net profit in 6 months or less.
Your Value as an Artist:
Before I bring this post to a close, I can imagine many artists are questioning whether anyone would want to buy their work or not. I want to offer some perspective on your value as an artist, and give some rationale for selling your work to those who connect with it.
First off, there’s only one you…a wonderful aggregate of experiences and a growing fount of creative power. There’s a uniqueness in that we often overlook. We’ve all been through our own trials, tribulations, and spent hours and hours shaping our aesthetics. There’s a lot of value in that we can bring into the work itself.
I don’t believe there’s a true destination when it comes to creative and personal development; however, I know that “touchstones” we leave along the way enable us to revisit pivotal points in our journey so that we can revise ourselves and our body of work.
If we’re smart, we’ll be sure we squeeze every iota of wisdom out of our experiences, as it tends to be the most costly teacher.
That experience plus the hours we spent honing our aesthetics, this is why we produce the art that we do. Of course, depending on your particular flavor of art, you’ll have to find the audience that resonates most with it and home in on your niche.
And that’s a good stopping point for now. My sincerest hope is that as my income grows I’ll have more time to produce artwork and prints in a fulfilling vein and keep scaling. We’ll see how things play out.
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Thank you for all the support!