Three years ago when I started out designing greeting cards, I read that there were 3 ingredients needed to succeed in the business.
Firstly, you must be Prolific, secondly you must be Persistent and thirdly you must be able to take Rejection.
‘Prolific’ is something I don’t have a problem with, possibly helped by the fact that I’m not a perfectionist so I don’t labour over my work for hours on end – not often, anyway!
And the subject of rejection seems to have come up several times recently, both in the Surface Pattern Course and elsewhere on the internet. I have written blog posts on the subject here and here and Carol Anfinsen wrote about it more recently here.
But what about ‘Persistence’?
|Partridge in a Pear Tree|
To get almost anywhere in our lives, to reach our goals, to live our dream, we often need to show Persistence when we encounter setbacks. Of course sometimes, ‘Adaptability’ is a more appropriate response but today I have a little example of where Persistence paid off!
I began to design Christmas Cards in the Autumn of 2009 and I submitted some of them to a publisher for feedback late in the year. I love colourful borders and I was quite pleased with the cards I made that I hoped had a slightly mediaeval look about them, with their brightly coloured borders and a lot of outlining in gold gouache. Gouache is not my favourite medium and at that point I was having a hard time adjusting to painting so small; so, as I said, I thought the designs had come out pretty well, all things considered.
But the publisher rejected them out of hand!
When I had recovered enough to pick myself up and try another route – this time the online print-on-demand stores, I uploaded the ‘rejects’ along with a few cards in other styles. After all, I still liked them so I believed that someone else might like them too.
In the 2009 Christmas period not one of those cards was ordered.
And Christmas 2010 was a repeat ‘non-performance’ as far as these cards were concerned.
In the run-up to Christmas 2011, I sold some of these – all told, I’ve sold 99 of them to date!
|I saw Three Ships come sailing in . . .|
Last week a Zazzle customer ordered 230 of them and this week a Greeting Card Universe customer ordered a further 125!
So – if it sometimes seems as if you aren’t getting anywhere with your sales, but you feel in your heart of hearts that your art is worth buying, don’t give up. It may take a little time but –