The idea of producing greeting cards for men (to be bought mostly by women, I expect) has provided me with a bit of a challenge and I hope this one may be suitable for men and women alike.
I can't think why I'm so enthusiastic about make collage designs - I certainly don't find it relaxing! All the precise cutting and fiddling with tiny, sticky pieces of paper doesn't allow me to get into 'flow' as I normally do with my painting. It still takes me much longer than any other medium I use and I generally end up with stiff shoulders and an aching back. But there's something about the finished result that keeps me going back to it over and over again.
I was surprised how long it took me to scan it and resize it for Greeting Card Universe and Zazzle, as well as for my 'private' webpages that I send out with the survey questionnaire, for my 'dead tree-ware' catalogue and for this blog - and then to upload it to the various online stores, not to mention going through all the processes it takes to make it into cards that I can print myself. I suspect all that took me even longer than making the collage itself! (Of course, it doesn't help that I do some things on my laptop and others on my main computer upstairs and it all has to be transferred from one to the other at some point.) I'll just have to hope that GCU will approve of the categories I've put it in - one never knows for sure! Different reviewers seem to have different criteria!
The past couple of weeks have been really quiet on the sales front so I've been reading the forums and there are frequent complaints about the Mysteries of the Categories! But I was pleased to hear today that an awful lot of my my dragons have found new homes - 'I've sold two in the past hour,' the shop assistant told me in a very surprised tone of voice. So, thanks to a prompt from another artist, I've put the rest of the emails on hold and spent this morning organising and printing out samples of my Mothers' Day and St Patrick's Day cards, in case the newsagent, having got out an extra stand for my dragons, would be prepared to refill it with some of my other 'Spring Season' designs, once St David's Day has been and gone.
And yes, he has agreed that I should take in a couple of each of my dozen or so 'Spring Season' designs and see how they go - what a pity I didn't think of this before Valentine's Day!
He thought that my Pen and Wash ones -
- would be more popular than my oil pastels. But my survey results, so far, have illustrated just how diverse people's tastes in cards are. It probably has a lot to do with age and gender and I expect that applies to where people go to buy greeting cards as well. I think our local newsagents could be a good place to reach all ages and types of people and in terms of 'footfall', it's a real hotspot throughout the year. I don't tend to buy newspapers - not that I don't enjoy reading them. On a cross-channel ferry I will devour every inch of every column but each time I've tried buying a newspaper regularly, I ended up with a pile of unread ones. However, I do pop into the newsagents from time to time - their treasury tags, which I use in great numbers for my teaching workbooks, are by far the cheapest in town! Which is how I came to notice the stand of beautiful photographic cards that encouraged me to try my luck with my dragons.
I'll be a bit disappointed if nobody buys my oil pastel flowers - they are just the sort of thing that I would be very happy to receive - but if they aren't popular, at least I'll know what to offer for Easter. And there's always the posh coffee shop to try....