The song by The Cure, Friday I'm in Love, is what I wake up to each day.
I don't care if Monday's blueFollowed by Phil Collins' Son of Man (from Tarzan) and then by Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard. With that playlist as my alarm clock, every day is fabulous :)
Tuesday's gray and Wednesday too...
Today was a particularly good day. If you recall the search engine that I was building for work, today was the day that we indexed the files for the beta site. Most awesome.
My body is responding to the daily bike ride to and from work. The great thing about muscles is that they remember and come back quickly. God blessed me with very strong legs, so my legs are singing on the ride. I hope that I'm able to ride a bike until the day I die. It's the best.
Picked up the boys from school and we went to a local game spot and got a SpongeBob game for the XBox. Then to Barnes & Noble where Austin loves to listen to music. Jacob and I played tug of Dad while Austin was jamming out. And then we all went upsatirs upstairs for Jacob to play with the Thomas train set. I picked up Red Scarf Girl, which was mentioned by Kris recently. And then home.
I got home to find that red fish mentioned another painter's site. Duane Keiser paints a postcard-sized painting each day and then sells it for $100. He does very nice work, and he sells the work.
Which leads to a question I've asked myself lately: what am I doing with my art?
I'm new to painting, but I know that I can paint (see my gallery if you're unfamiliar with my work). At the moment, I'm in a period of wax on/wax off. I'm trying a lot of things and reading a lot to get an education in art that I never received. But once I'm done with that, yes, I intend to sell my work.
So how will I sell it?
Most likely through PayPal. They take credit cards now and you don't need to sign up for PayPal to use the service. Works for me. In the past, I've had Internet merchant accounts for software that I sold through my business web site. I think the PayPal method will work just as well for this.
About 1/4 of the books in my library here at home are business-y books. And about half of those are marketing. I broke out Thinkertoys yesterday to begin re-reading that.
One concept is the Idea Box. The blueprint for the concept is to:
It's something like scenario planning, where you pick scenarios to posit different problems and then see which approaches most uniformally provide a resolution.
- Specify the challenge (selling my art)
- Identify the parameters that determine the success of the challenge (such as the quality of my work, the media I use to generate buzz, the price point, and the distance I have from the buyer - more about this in a minute, etc)
- List the variations
- Finally, try different combinations
So what appeals to me? As Bella might say, how do I best follow my bliss?
The quality of my work is driven by the time I put into it. With my five kids, three of whom live with me, and other factors, I can probably put out a larger painting once a week. Or I can go for smaller work and finish it in about 1 to 3 days. I don't want to scrimp on the quality though for volume's sake. I need to like it before I expect anyone else to like it...
The media to generate buzz - when I'm ready, I'd like to crack open my guerilla marketing books and see what I can do. Certainly having a blog helps because I can be googled or yahoo'd. (I'm currently the number #1 hit on Yahoo for "watercolor painting blog," for example.) But I can't rely only on good search engine placement. "If I build it, they will come" is an Internet myth that popped 4 years ago. So the buzz will have to come from elsewhere, in addition to blogs (and thank you to those who link to me :)
Price point... this is tough for me. I don't like $100 art. It's out of the reach of the average person. I mean no disrespect to Duane or others who do this, but I have a hard time limiting good art to just a few. (It ain't my bliss, although if that's the better way, I can be educated if it's the difference between success and no success.) What I would like to see is for people to be able to get prints of my work for around $20. Anyone can afford $20. But at that price, I need volume, and I'll also need a large gallery of work.
So I don't know about price point... you have an opinion you'd like to share?
And then there is the distance I have from the buyer - or, how personal is the art? Do I just paint whatever I feel like painting, or do I paint by request, as some artists do? I suppose if a commission came in, I'd take it as a good challenge and get right to it.
So, I have some questions in front of me, variations to consider, and some labor in marketing in addition to building up a gallery of work.
I love all of this.
I'll leave you with a haiku by Evelyn Lang:
perfect summer sky -
one blue crayon
missing from the box