[UPDATE: I’m happy to report that the “We Need To Talk” pre-sales are all already sold out. The design goes to print sometime in the next week or so, and the plan is to get the editions sent out to their buyers toward the end of the month. Thanks Again!]
Dear Crazy, Deranged Fools,
I’m happy to report that the orders for my latest edition, “We Need To Talk” have gone very well. So much so that, besides what I’m keeping for myself, we only have four of them left! If you’re interested in acquiring one, please send me an email to gapingvoidprints, Thanks. All the usual details- price, shipping etc can be found here etc etc.
So I’ve been in the fine art print business thing for about two months. Here are my notes:
1. I suppose the first thing I’ll say about it is, yes, I am UTTERLY AMAZED about how well it’s going so far. Sure, I never started this venture with any intention of failing, but still, the response has been off the scale. I have honestly never seen anything like it. I’m kinda shell-shocked, to be honest, but in a good way…
2. I am truly grateful for everything; it would be insane not to be. Still, in the back of my mind, I am wondering to myself, is this just Beginner’s Luck? How long will it last? Could it all come crashing down tomorrow? I’ve seen that happen before, and it’s not pretty. Oh well, make hay while the sun shines, I suppose; that’s all you can really do.
3. I’m VERY glad I made the decision, early on in the game, to not to spare any expenses in the production department. The finest inks, the finest papers, the finest printers etc etc. When the Bluetrain prints arrived last week for me to sign, I remember opening the box and just being INSTANTLY STUNNED by how well they turned out, how pleasing both to the eye and to the touch. It was a truly happy, satisfying moment for me.
4. Choosing which design to turn into a print is actually pretty nerve-wracking. Producing an edition costs several thousand dollars, and no matter how good you think your gut instinct or market research is, YOU SIMPLY DON’T KNOW what people are going to do [versus what people SAY they’re going to do] until your money’s already been spent; until it’s too late to change you mind. “We Need To Talk”, is actually a pretty good example of “nerve-wracking”. It was a risky- it’s not exactly a message you’d want to give your wife for her birthday, nor a message you’d want to hang in your office in order to motivate the troops. That being said, it has a certain edge to it, which some people really relate to on a visceral level. Besides that, I had some strong, personal reasons for wanting it made into a print, so I made the call. I’m just glad it all ended well.
5. I fully expect these prints to one day be worth MANY TIMES what they’re selling for now. Which is why I hold onto a few of each edition- I’d be crazy not to. Art can be a very risky investment, of course, but when it pays off, it pays off EXTREMELY well. Looking at it from a brutally objective standpoint- do the math: My equity as an artist is worth a LOT more today than it was, say, five or ten years ago. I see no reason why that trend won’t continue, at least for the foreseeable future. What stocks in your portfolio can you say the same about? Just askin’…
6. All the experience I got setting up English Cut in 2005-2006 is suddenly paying off. We have a lot in common: a small, high-end, niche market, a blog to keep up, with a LOT Of emails to deal with. But this time, I’m not beholden to somebody else’s product. This stuff is all mine, now. I’m quite excited, frankly.
7. Probably the most salient piece of advice I came away with from Le Web in December came from Gary Vaynerchuk: “If you have a great product, and you love your customers, you WILL succeed, end of story”. I totally get that. That being said, I believe the latter is much harder than the former, on an executional level. Love is great, but Love is hard. Make of that what you will.
Thanks Again, As Always, for Your Love & Support.
Yours In Crazy, Deranged Foolishness,