I work in collections. There are many reasons why and I’ll go into them in depth in my upcoming course, Create Collections
If you take the course, you’ll learn why it makes sense to work that way (short answer - you’ll increase your selling potential across all markets), and how to do it effectively - in a way that takes into account your unique taste, and helps solidify your style.
Make sure you’ve signed up for my newsletter because I’ll be announcing dates very soon!
In the meantime, here’s a story about the biggest DON’T when it comes to collections - and you may well have done it (like I did - even after years of experience).
A few years ago, I was exhibiting at a trade show and one of my favourite clients came to my stand. They leafed enthusiastically through my work and selected seven pieces to buy outright. I was thrilled. As I was writing up the invoice, I noticed one of the pieces was this…
Which made me stop and think.
Because it was a coordinate based on these four placements.
Can you see what I saw?
I didn’t protest. I didn’t want to stall the momentum and lose my jackpot sale.But by selling the coordinate I made the entire rest of the collection redundant.
If you can’t see why, I’ll explain.
When, working in collections, every single new piece of art must have new, original key motifs. You can’t sell them twice.
Your client doesn’t want to see his original, purchased art on a competitor’s products. And if you’re licensing (rather than selling outright as I did ), you can’t relicense the same images to the same product category twice - for the same reason. Either way, it doesn’t pay to repeat your key imagery across designs.
You may well ask why I even did the coordinate, after years of working as an artist and knowing full well that you can’t repeat motifs. I don’t know. I just thought they looked cute together, and it was so easy to pull them over in Illustrator into a new file. It was tempting and I wasn’t thinking about the risks. Ever had a similar lapse in judgement?
So now my baby jungle animals are languishing in Dropbox forever more.
And the moral of the story is…don’t do THAT! Create new key motifs for EVERY design.
Talking of collections, are you following my INSTAGRAM CHALLENGE.
I’m running it in conjunction with #the100dayproject which started today.
The idea is to create an unpolished, experimental sketch of either a bird, butterfly or flower, every day for a hundred days.
Over the course of three months, you’ll build up a huge image bank (a hundred piece collection!) of top selling imagery - these three motifs always sell. (See my last blog post for more details.)
Please join me (us).
Tag @victoriajohnsondesign #birdsbutterfliesandblooms
(HINT - if you take my Create Collections course, these sketches will come in handy.)
Have you signed up for my FREE STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO GETTING YOUR ARTWORK IN FRONT OF CLIENTS. Hundreds of artists have and here’s just some of the feedback.
‘Just a quick note to say thanks very much for this fabulous & incredibly useful & reassuring guide - much appreciated! I was a purchasing director for 15 years (in hotels not art) so know that buyers are (mostly) human but have still been utterly terrified to approach anyone & am sitting on a pile of unpolished & unseen work just as you say in the document! This is such a useful guide & really breaks everything down into manageable non scary bitesize pieces. Thanks again for your generosity and I can’t wait for "Create Collections.'
‘What a helpful guide to getting organized to get clients! I have had in the back of my mind what I needed to do, but it was all a jumble.You spelled it out so beautifully! I really appreciate it!’
‘Just wanted to say thank you so much Victoria. This guide is a brilliant confidence booster! It will really help me prioritise as I come to a point where I'm ready to share my work. Lots of work to do - but having some focus and must-dos is such a great start. Thank you thank you thank you!!!’
‘Thank you so much for your very succinct and useful guide. It's so kind of you to share your experience in this way. I'm just starting out on my creative journey so I'm a little way off selling anything just yet but was keen to get an idea of what's involved.’
Sign up for your FREE STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO GETTING YOUR ARTWORK IN FRONT OF CLIENTS here!
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