Just had an interesting conversation with my cell-mate – my studio partner Stephen about selling art and creating unique pieces. He is in a similar position of exploring possible markets and avenues and has found some interesting web based facilities that will print your images onto just about anything – iphone cases, laptop/tablet skins, pillows, hoodies etc.
I’ve personally been struggling with defining who my audience is for a number of years now – how to characterize them – how to connect with them – how to segment them. Well, actually I’ve been struggling with this for a very long time but only recently in a concerted, methodical way.
I think really it all boils down to economics – the law of supply vs demand. That and my interest or ability as an artist to “manufacture” my images in any kind of quantity. I would say and I am beginning to find that I have limited time – limited energy – limited interest and thus without the leverage of a team of people – limited ability to produce any particular image in volume.
Now I know a team of people is possible as is putting my work onto a website that prints images onto multiple mediums – and that either would possibly facilitate greater volume. But my instinct is this method is only narrowly economically viable ie only a small number of artists are able to make it work financially. You have to somehow stand out from the immense crowd of other artists selling their work this way.
Unless there is a viral aspect to this method where it begins to propagate and grow on its own – it strikes me that it is something of a continuous uphill battle. It requires constantly building an ever larger audience of smaller sales – which is possible I’m sure, just a lot more work. My sense, is for physical objects like art that have medium to low margins you need to appeal to smaller markets at a higher price point.
The tricky part for me is assembling hard data that proves or disproves this either way so I can make an informed decision. Until then, its intuition and experience that’s guiding my marketing decisions.