Friday, January 25, 2008

feedback needed

Warning! Boring business post. I may not be feeling inspired to paint but that doesn't mean I've just been sitting around on my lard arse, eating bonbons. I need feedback. I promised myself that I wouldn't get bogged down with the business of art this year, but it did dawn on me while contemplating this creative bald spot that an experiment I took on in November, when I picked up the scattered and neglected pieces of my Etsy shop, has not played out as I'd hoped.

Like a determined but not-too-bright marketing student I eventually realized that 'branding' was the key to success in such a venue, but I didn't know which way to go with it. So I thought I'd experiment: throw everything at the wall to see what would stick, then take my cues from that. The thing is, I've been tossing a smorgasbord of subject matter, size, medium, style and 'delivery' at my shop and though sales have been fairly steady, they've been across the spectrum with no star players to give me direction.

Truthfully, I just want to hide in my basement and paint, but I need to finance my obsession, so what I want to know is (and this may be just as academic an exercise): if you were alone on a desert island and needed to decorate the walls of your hut, and your only choice was on these three pages, what would you choose?

40 Comments:

Blogger Heather said...

Oh boy, that's a tough choice. I'm gonna go with Bloom or Dance, but there are lots on there that I like. My favourite of yours are the really colourful abstracts (if that's the right term). Like my lovely penguin painting that hangs in my entranceway - the first thing people see when they enter my house. I get lost in those layers of colour and symbols.

25/1/08 6:24 PM  
Blogger Within Without said...

I'd go with page 1, Andrea, but I agree with Heather that the pieces I like most by you are the super colourful, bright ones.

And there's some beautiful ones on page 2, but there's more on page 1, so I go with page 1.

:-)

25/1/08 7:29 PM  
Blogger catboxartstudio said...

I only chose three: Birdland, Bloom and Station. I'm a sucker for color.

25/1/08 9:42 PM  
Blogger daisies said...

i am really enjoying the tree series a lot but i also really like the segmented colour abstracts/symbols like the one i purchased which hangs in my living room, i especially enjoy bloom and cultivate ...

25/1/08 9:54 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

if i had to choose one, it would be birdland. i love it!

25/1/08 10:35 PM  
Blogger Within Without said...

Duh. I somehow read your post to mean if you had to pick from the works on one of these three pages...

I cannot choose between Birdland and Epoch...it would be between those two.

25/1/08 11:04 PM  
Blogger chocolate covered musings said...

i'd have to choose birdland. i love the colours in it

:)

26/1/08 12:45 AM  
Blogger Caroline said...

In general I'd take your most vibrant ones - In particular I'd want Desert, Tide, Epoch, Dance

But really and truly I think you need to paint what you want to paint. Does your muse like painting for money???

26/1/08 1:17 AM  
Blogger Janvangogh said...

Hi Andrea.

Yeah, I have been thinking about that branding thing too.

How do you choose when you love to do it all?

I would suggest renewing by color/brightness. For instance, you have Stations way back on the last page. I would make sure it was listed in the Desert/birdland grouping. Same with the robot/monster and peppers/garlic.

When I look at your shop page, I can see two rows and a partial at a time. So I would try to at least have 6 in a row that were similar.

26/1/08 5:47 AM  
Blogger Iggi Art said...

Well, I like your stuff! Brilliant, estrange, of exquisite facture... I’m from South America, my work is some dark and funny (it´s rare mixing) if you have time, please visit my gallery on...

www.iggiart.blogspot.com

26/1/08 6:48 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

Heather: I enjoy doing everything but those are the most rewarding ... so thanks.

WW: I thought you were being funny!

Catbox: Me too. No matter how I try and make my palette more sophisticated I always come back to colour!

Daisies: I did a forum question last night that was pretty much the same as this post and the feedback from Etsy was that the landscapes were the favourites.

Leah and Chocolate Covered Musings: The original sold immediately. That one seems to have hit a chord.

Caroline: I have no idea. My muse has f***ed off with a barmaid :). But I like doing everything, hence this post and my question. But as for the money thing, it would be a moot point if I had some sort of guaranteed income, but I don't, and even if I did, I'd be curious (nature of the beast), so no doubt still asking the same question.

Jan: "How do you choose when you love to do it all?" Perfect way to put it! I have tried grouping together to some extent (as you can see) but unless I renew like a maniac, the prints that sell leave a gap so there's not a lot I can do when I re-list them. But since renewing and re-listing is only .20 I should see what I can do to neaten things up a bit as you suggested.

Iggi: thanks for visiting. I'll pop by.

26/1/08 8:07 AM  
Blogger girl work studios said...

What colour is the sofa in my hut?:)

My favorites are Dance, Epoch and Stations, along with the others in your primal landscape series. But, I really like your interpretation of the west coast landscape, so the tree series is really appealing, but for those I'd love to have them as originals to see all the brush marks and juicyness of the paint.

Love, love the "Rooftops" photo, it's like a residential Edward Burtynsky image, it's speaking to me at the moment, so I think I'll just have to go buy that right now.

26/1/08 8:55 AM  
Blogger zooms said...

It would have to be 'stations', wishing you lots of financial success and if I ever had any I would buy this.

26/1/08 1:01 PM  
Blogger Melody said...

i love Early Winter........

26/1/08 2:21 PM  
Blogger CS said...

Well you know my asnwer since I already did by Stations. But apart from that, I'd go with Tide or Blooom.

26/1/08 2:43 PM  
Blogger Ian Lidster said...

You don't make it easy, do you? Love virtually all that you do, my gifted friend. But, if I had to opt, I'd go to Page 2.

26/1/08 4:42 PM  
Blogger Ian Lidster said...

Oh, and as I mentioned before, it would be one of your Vancouver house renderings.

26/1/08 4:43 PM  
Blogger Janvangogh said...

Yeah, either eat the 20 cent fee or bump price up a bit to cover moving things around.

26/1/08 6:23 PM  
Blogger Jana Bouc said...

I'm not exactly sure of your question, but my favorites of your work are the ones in the series bloom/dance, and like those and the landscapes also on page 1. Your color and design sense is expressed so strongly in those, and the style is very rich and uniquely yours.

26/1/08 11:15 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I really like November Mist. Hope that helps!! Good luck.

27/1/08 1:08 AM  
Blogger Detlef said...

I'm with Michelle, November Mist is #1, Cultivation #2, and Birdland #3.

27/1/08 4:51 AM  
Blogger HMBT said...

I would go for the archival mounted prints (so freaking cool how you do that), Epoch, Birdland, and Stations. I love all of your work but these really stand out in the style and symbolizim that I enjoy in your work. It's unlike anything else in the world that I have seen and therefore my Island would be wall to wall with these types of your work. Hope that helps!

27/1/08 6:53 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I love the small muted landscapes, but that is because that is closer to what I paint. But I gravatate towards your colorful/symbolic abstracts because I can 'feel' how much of you you put into these. I think many artists find themselves in this situation, they create art, people love it, they build their reputation on it and then that is the only thing people want from them. As artists we keep growing and expanding, but if you want to see yourself as 'sucessful' you keep creating what other people want to buy...it s a cycle that captures many.I love doing my landscapes, but my soul sings with abstract. Maybe you can do what writes do and create a 'brand' for different personalaties of you. A. Pratt, Andrea Pratt, A.P..... each one with their own distincive style..

27/1/08 7:15 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

Ellen: Such a huge no-no but I've been guilty of doing just that! (The sofa matching I mean.)

Zooms: That print seems to have reached saturation point. I sold 9 and now the 10th is languishing!

Melody: That's a scene from one of my local parks.

CS: Thanks -- I think there's definotely a theme here...

Ian: Those are fun so I'm glad they're liked.

Jana: Thanks -- that really does help. Actually, I'm glad i did this post because the feedback has been really useful!

Michelle: That's my favourite of the landscapes.

Detlef: If you see this: I've lost your URL. I keep trying to visit but your Blogger profile has no info.

Heather: It helps immensely! I think I need to think carefully about the uniqueness of this work and exploit that, even if it doesn't appeal to everybody.

27/1/08 7:20 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

Michelle: Wow -- excellent advice about the branding. It's a great idea! But this sentence is what really hit home: "I think many artists find themselves in this situation, they create art, people love it, they build their reputation on it and then that is the only thing people want from them." I know that if I was to hit on something that took off like wildfire and I didn't get much out of it, I'd still do it just to make the sales! Best to follow one's heart in (almost) all situations.

27/1/08 7:23 AM  
Blogger Leah said...

regarding your last comment, i have found this to be true in the past. it's an odd feeling when a series of work become popular and you're ready to move on. i agree that it's a balance of making sales and allowing time and freedom to continue to grow, play and experiment.

as for the muse taking off with the barmaid, i lure her/him back by allowing myself to make utter crap that i can throw away if i want to and that permission often helps me to loosen up and get the ideas flowing again. at the same time, sometimes the muse needs a vacation! :-)

27/1/08 3:22 PM  
Blogger this chicken said...

It has to be JUNCO, though it was a tough decision. I have a weakness for birds and this little one looks young still with his fluffed up chick feathers. Nice work.

28/1/08 5:57 AM  
Blogger budanART said...

Ooh I love love love your colourful abstracts, I can see you love colour and pattern as much as I do :-)

I also love your grey, white and gold works. I don't see why they can't co-exist? I think your style is recognizable in both.

The house portraits and the more traditional landscapes are not as instantly recognizable as you, so if you had to drop something, maybe them?

But I think you have to paint what you love and if that means moving away from some collectors as your work changes, at least know you will be moving towards new ones :-)

28/1/08 8:02 AM  
Blogger ValGalArt said...

I love all your art and think in a way that we have no choice, we have to do different mediums and extensions of our style to explore ourselves and to keep from getting bored. Sometimes I need to work on three different types of work at the same time because I have been doing it so long I need the stimulation. I don't mean all at once but rather while one is drying I move on to another type etc. You have to love what you paint and paint what you love!

28/1/08 10:42 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

Leah: In the past I have found that just putting my nose to the grindstone works. I don't lack ideas I just lack a way to make them gel right now. Inertia is a powerful force!

This Chicken: Yay! One that hasn't been chosen before.

Mandy: Great feedback! I think you're right, though there is more demand for the others which makes it hard. But to make progress I really need to follow my passion.

Val: Stimulation -- that's the perfect word. Aren't you getting tired of my "what should I do?" posts after all this time? :)

28/1/08 12:45 PM  
Blogger ysartist said...

I would go with page 1, the colours are sumptuous and the images delight me.
jafabrit

28/1/08 3:27 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I love every bit of your work--you shouldnt ahve to choose, because they are ALL representative of your style; they all are similar in some way and all ahve your voice.

That said, my favorite peices on those pages--the peices I would chose to be stranded with--are those in the style of Desert, Birdland, and Bloom. I think thsoe are your most vibrant and exciting peices.

28/1/08 5:42 PM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

Primal Landscapes!

29/1/08 10:48 AM  
Blogger Paula Manning-Lewis said...

It would be hard for me to choose just three, I think I would choose one from each series/style. Home again, Desert and Solid Gold if I have to choose. I just love it all!

29/1/08 9:58 PM  
Blogger Detlef said...

Andrea: www.detlefjumpertz.com gets me, I only use the "blogger account" when it is the only way to leave a comment on someone's blog. Cheers.

29/1/08 11:29 PM  
Blogger Caty said...

very difficult to choose ONLY one Andrea; I could have a lot of them without getting tired of. Some others I still will not get tired of but I don't prefer them even if I love ALL;

So, the choice that would show better the "style and colours" than I prefer from your works is:

BIRDLAND

:)

Great work. All of them!

30/1/08 3:33 AM  
Blogger malamik said...

Tide, Dance, Anyone Home and any of your landscapes... You are an expert with the use of color, very inspiring...But if I were in a hut I'd no doubt go crazy without making my own masterpieces out of twigs and dirt...lol!

Bew well!

30/1/08 1:09 PM  
Blogger malamik said...

Need a description of "Bew"?

30/1/08 1:10 PM  
Blogger Alda said...

Sorry I'm a bit late to this - but I really *really* love your Canadian landscapes. Summer Romance, November Mist, Group Dynamics, Late Winter Beach. I'd seen them before and instantly felt a pang of recognition. Maybe I'm so partial to them because they remind me how much I miss Canada - but that's not all. They're just so beautiful. So I pick those.

And that's not to suggest your other work isn't gorgeous - it is.

31/1/08 2:27 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I adore your bright, collage-y paintings. The landscapes are beautiful too, but the others are more unique.

6/2/08 8:12 AM  

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