Friday, July 29, 2016

5 Things to Consider When Pricing your Artwork




Part 1 Pricing for Art Shows & Craft Fairs

Admittedly, there are many more than 5 things to consider when pricing your work. This is a huge and important subject. How seriously you approach pricing is critical to your success as a working professional. 

Art show and craft fair season will be here before we know it. The key to any fruitful show season is pricing your work to sell and make a profit. Easier said than done, I know. But here are some solid tips to get you moving in the right direction. 

1 Buying Power. First and foremost, the best thing you can do for your business is buy in bulk or wholesale to reduce your cost of doing business. It’s by far the best way to be competitive with fellow artisans and increase your bottom line. This applies to all of your business related purchases including everything you need to make your art, as well as packing materials and office supplies.  

2 Production Time. The second most important aspect of marketing hand crafted goods is production time. You’ll want to streamline the fabrication process of your product line to fit specific, popular price points. You’ll want to have some small, flashy pieces, that are fast and easy to make. These are the pieces you price low so they move and ensure you have steady cash flow. Often these pieces cover show expenses while the larger ticket item sales are the ones that line your pocket. 

3 Perceived Value. This term refers to meeting buyer expectation for worth, while keeping the actual production cost low. The goal is to increase the perceived value so you can sell the piece at a higher price, while satisfying the buyers desire to get their money’s worth. In other words, the piece has to look like it’s worth more than what you’re charging; but in reality it costs less than you’re charging to produce. This is marketing in a nutshell. Think about diamond earrings. Small package, big price. But you buy them anyway because of your perceived value of the glittery studs. 

Here are some easy and inexpensive ways to increase perceived value.

Add a card that reads, hand-made-by, along with interesting information about the artist. Take it a step further and have care instructions on the back. Add a ribbon, people are suckers for a neatly tied ribbon. Include the candle, include the soap, tie a spoon to the spoon rest, with a ribbon of course. 

Make it easy for the buyer. Get creative with your display and make sure your artwork has a clear purpose. If you’re selling bottle stoppers, have a few displayed in wine bottles. If your selling cheese trays include a small knife. Yes, tied with a ribbon. Display the tray on a place mat or table cloth. If it’s wall art, hang it. Items that need no explanation always sell better than those that require directions.  


4 Popular Price Points. Show goers want to buy something, a memento to take home to commemorate their outing. Twenty dollars is pocket change. People will part with it easily. They actually go to the fair hoping to spend it on something artsy and unusual rather than on food or hand-squeezed lemonade. Think of these inexpensive items as ice breakers. You have to engage with the shoppers before you can sell the bigger pieces. 

Popular price points for show souvenirs are $9.95, $19.95 and $24.95.
Popular price points for mid-range artwork sales would be $29.95, $34.95, $49.95, $75.00 up to $125.00.
Price points for serious art collectors are $125.00, $175.00, $225.00, $300.00, $500.00 and above. Of course, you can price things anywhere in between if your confident you have the best number for that piece. Collectors are less concerned about the dollar amount and more interested in owning something that moves them.

Remember, whichever price point you choose, the artwork must be designed, fabricated, presented and displayed in such a way that it gives the impression that it has greater value than your asking price.

Optimally, you’d have pieces on display in all of the above price ranges. It might be wise to calculate the total cost of doing the art show. Then bring enough souvenirs and mid-range items to cover the cost. The collector priced item sales are then a welcome bonus.  


5 Show Stoppers. These are your ego pieces, the ones you make and display to show off your incredible vision and supreme artistic talent. These are the pieces that people talk about after the show, the ones that get you noticed during the show and bring people flocking to your booth. Every booth should have a least one. It should be big, flashy and in keeping with the rest of your product line’s theme. For example, if your product line features beach themes then your show stopper should as well.  


A note about your presentation.  

Show focus. A booth display is much stronger and more inviting to shoppers if the artwork exhibited shares a common style and has an obvious theme. This shows that the artist is enthusiastic and confident about her work which builds trust in buyers. I’m sure you’ve seen the booths that have fifty totally different pieces of art for sale. You wonder if that crafter just emptied their closet of seconds or unloaded their garage of unsold left overs just to come to the art festival. Don’t be that amateur! 

As mentioned in the beginning, pricing hand-made products is complicated. It’s a multi-faceted endeavor. It begins with developing your product line to meet buyer expectation for a particular venue whether it’s a county fair or big city art show. The secret to success is getting organized. Make lists, as many as it takes to clear your head, and then steadily tackle those items. You will then be well on your way to a profitable show season.  

You got this!  

Good luck!
Lisa



NOW Registering!
Advanced Glass Fusing with Lisa Vogt
October 18-21, 2016
Personalized Instruction, 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop
Lisa’s Private Studio, Wesley Chapel, FL
Seats are limited. Register today.
This is my last hands-on workshop for 2016!

5 Reasons Why YOU Will Love this Workshop!

1 One-on-one instruction
2 Step-by-step guidance to develop your own design style
3 Personalized projects - make what inspires YOU
4 Four full days of hands-on creating and fusing
5 Build lasting fusing friendships


NEW Webinar!
Creative Slumping with Lisa Vogt
August 30, 2016
September 1, 2016
Join me and learn how thinking outside-the-box and using readymade molds in new ways, offers numerous and exciting opportunities to produce unique forms.
Register here



Saturday, July 23, 2016

5 Sensational Summer Inspirations




Wherever your travels take you this summer, there are treasures galore to mine for fresh inspiration, if you just dig for them. Vacations are for relaxing and enjoying a change of scenery. While you’re doing whatever it is that slows your clock and gets you off the hamster wheel for a while, be sure to really take in the intricate patterns and vivid colors of that special place. 

Get close and personal. Study the details. Take your time. Figure out what makes those unique features fascinating. Take pictures for reference and to keep the exhilarating moment of discovery alive, when you get back home to your studio. 

Find unique patterns and striking color combinations everywhere!  

1 Water Works. It doesn’t matter if it’s a lake that’s smooth as glass, salty waves lapping the sandy shore, or a mountain stream cascading over rocks, water has universal appeal for its calming and invigorating qualities. Harness that energy in your work by gradually transitioning between soft colors, or by incorporating movement with flowy textures.    

2 Flora and Fauna. There is an abundance of opportunity for inspiration in exotic foliage and picturesque landscapes. Rendering them literally is rewarding enough, but we’re digging for something new and unexpected. Take the shapes and broad patterns and render them in a more abstract, less literal way, to produce an upscale, modern illustration of familiar subject matter. 
 
3 Rock It. Leave no stone unturned; rock formations are beautiful. The Grand Canyon-need I say more? But instead of thinking big, think small. Study the way the rock grows where you are. Pay attention to the layers, the contrasting colors and the designs that are unique to that region. Then use that textural value in your new pieces to give them an organic flare.   

4 Board Appeal. Whether it’s the leaning side of an abandoned barn, a sun bleached ocean-side board walk, or the warped planks of a fishing dock, aged wood has rare characteristics only nature can provide. Elaborate on those subtleties, repeat them for continuity and you’ll have oodles of new ideas to draw from.    

5 The Skies the Limit. Once you’ve discovered the wealth of artistic inspiration these natural resources offer, dig deeper. Go for the mother lode, combine these different concepts for adding texture and pattern to your work and you’ll strike gold. Endless riches will be yours. 

Happy treasure hunting,
Lisa

What to learn more about adding pattern and texture to your work?
 
Join me for my all new webinar Upscale Fusing. It’s LIVE. I come to you. Ask your questions. Get answers. Mingle with other glass fusers from all around the world. I hope to see you there.

NEW WEBINAR
Upscale Fusing with Lisa Vogt
July 26, 2016
July 28, 2016
Register here

NOW Registering!
Advanced Glass Fusing with Lisa Vogt
October 18-21, 2016
4-Day, Hands-on Workshop
Lisa’s Private Studio, Wesley Chapel, FL
Seats are limited. Register today.
This is my last hands-on workshop for 2016!

NEW Webinar!
Creative Slumping with Lisa Vogt
August 30, 2016
September 1, 2016
Register here


Friday, July 15, 2016

5 Tips to Awaken Your Inner Artist


 



Call me old school, but I get a thrill from shopping for my summer reads in a brick and mortar store. I love the smell of new books and the awkward, weighty feel of balancing a stack of promising adventure in my arms. I like turning paper pages while losing myself in mysterious story worlds. There’s something real about the physical involvement with a book that makes my reading experience more intimate and ultimately more pleasurable. 


It’s the same with art. These days, I design new art almost exclusively on the computer. The other day I was transferring a small scale computer rendering of a commission into a full scale drawing. At first, the pencil felt awkward in my hand. My eraser was actually still a pristine pink rectangle with sharp corners; a tell-tale sign of neglect and deep embarrassment for any artist. The inexperienced pink poser was a disgrace compared to the many oval shaped, pencil lead stained nuggets that saw me through numerous drawings. Unlike its active predecessors that would roll out of the way when I swept a graceful arc across the blank page, this starched newbie barely tumbled and just got in my way. After a few minutes, the old familiar rhythm returned and the design took shape. And that’s when I felt real joy. Freedom. It was the interaction with the pencil, paper and even the stubborn eraser that transported me to that introspective plateau where new and exciting works of art are born.


Some people don’t think they can draw. It’s not true. You can draw. It’s as much a learned skill as riding a bike. Like anything else, it takes practice. But more importantly, it takes desire. 


During a lunch date, a friend told me a story about her 80-year-old mother who lives in a lovely assisted living facility. From her well-appointed apartment she has a breathtaking view of Tampa Bay. Even so, her mother was always unhappy. Nothing was ever good enough. She continually complained about everything. Until one day when my friend gave her mother a box of colored pencils and a coloring book filled with intricate designs. Her mother was reluctant at first, but after some encouragement she gained confidence and came to enjoy coloring the detailed images. My friend credits the coloring book for dramatically improving her mother’s attitude about everything. Now when she goes to see her, the visits are more pleasant and she’s sent home with beautifully colored refrigerator art. 


There’s no doubt about it, coloring and drawing are therapeutic. It liberates your mind and allows you to think abstractly. And that is revitalizing.   


How do you awaken your inner artist?


1.       Doodle. There are no rules and no critiquing your scribbles. Go ahead, mess up clean paper. Sketch incomplete design ideas you’ve been noodling around. Let them evolve organically on the page. Overlap and combine unrelated concepts to explore totally new directions.   



2.       Get up and out. Take a 40 to 60-minute walk outside and leave your cell phone behind. The world will survive your short absence. About 15 minutes into the walk your mind will clear. Problems will fade away. You’ll start to hear the birds, see the lacey shadows made by the trees and feel the breeze on your cheeks. Then after another 10 minutes something wonderful will happen. Solutions to problems become obvious. New ideas you were trying hard to force will come to light. The revelations will leave you feeling refreshed and lighthearted. And best of all, you’re likely to find out that you enjoy your own company. You don’t need the constant stimulation of your phone. Your doing just fine all by yourself.    



3.       Clean the shower. Maybe it’s the closed-in environment combined with the harsh chemicals, I don’t know. But I always get great new artistic ideas while cleaning the shower. Folding laundry has a similar effect on me, it could work for you as well. Plus, unpleasant chores get done.



4.       Draw like you mean it. Confidence will come with practice. But you have to start somewhere. Take a large sheet of paper and draw out the shape of your intended project. Then let the pencil glide over the page without any preplanning. Try adding a new line in a different direction. Play with the space. Don’t hesitate to test unrelated combinations. The eraser is your friend. You can always remove something that isn’t working. Remember, a round eraser is a well-loved ally and evidence of experimental, freeform thinking.



5.       Try a new approach. I come to glass from a fine art background and so a lot of my work is pictorial in nature. When I want a fresh, less literal perspective I let my medium drive the design. I pull random pieces of colored glass from the scrap bins and stack them in piles in the center of my work table. They may sit there for days or weeks. Every so often I remix the piles making new combinations until something pops. Then I use that color palate on my next project.      




Making art is more than a mental exercise in creativity. If you expand your interaction and get physically involved as well, you’ll quickly find yourself exploring new territory and discovering all new possibilities for creative expression. 


Get going!

Lisa


UPCOMING WEBINARS AND WORKSHOP


BRAND NEW Webinar!

Upscale Fusing with Lisa Vogt

July 26, 2016

July 28, 2016


Incorporating pattern and texture to elevate and refine your fusing style, are the focus of this in-depth webinar. Join me and you’ll learn how to tastefully blend various cutting-edge techniques to add dimension and volume to your work. With the pros secrets revealed, you’ll be on the fast-track to developing winning combinations that’ll get your work noticed!

Register here







BRAND NEW Webinar!

Creative Slumping with Lisa Vogt

August 30, 2016

September 1, 2016


Reshaping the way you slump and drape glass, is the concentration of this detailed webinar. Join me and see how thinking outside-the-box and using readymade molds in new ways, offers numerous and exciting opportunities to produce unique forms. You’ll also learn how to make your own graceful, free-form shaped molds from readily available materials. No laborious measuring or messy mixes needed. There’s more. Lisa will take you one step further. She’ll show you how to use these different approaches in combination, to transform ordinary projects into inspiring, sculptural pieces of art.

Register here




NOW Registering!

Advanced Glass Fusing with Lisa Vogt

October 18-21, 2016

Personalized Instruction, 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop

Lisa’s Private Studio, Wesley Chapel, FL

Seats are limited. Register today.

This is my last hands-on workshop in 2016!




Here’s what the students are saying about the workshop.


“Lisa is an exemplary educator who is passionate about her craft. She is highly organized and mindful of her student’s strengths and challenges. Best practices of teaching as well as craftsmanship were utilized throughout the workshop. Thank you for igniting my creative spirit to a whole new level.” -JoAnn


“Loved everything about this class.” -Joni


“Great workshop. I learned so much. You were wonderful to work with.” -Erika


“My favorite part about the workshop was the creative flow between the instructor and the participants. Lots of positive feedback and encouragement. Lots of attention to detail.”


“What surprised me about the workshop was how many completed projects we were able to make during the workshop.” 


“My least favorite part about the workshop was having to leave! I loved everything about this intense and interactive workshop.”