Looking Back to Look Forward.....
Looking back at 2010 commissions is easy with my on-line smug mug gallery. It looks like I uploaded a total of 237 commissioned pet portrait projects. Zowie. I am going to be creating monthly collages of the year gone by this next week. By looking at the numbers and seeing what last year looked like I will be able to gauge my busiest months, and maybe throw more advertising dollars around during the slower months.
It looks like last January was very busy with a total of 22 portrait projects in-house. Usually the year starts off very strong because everyone is showing off their holiday portraits to family and friends and then they want to order. I am going to have to get back to work very soon if this January is going to be able to compete with 2010.
This year I am going to be playing around with the business model a bit. I am very proud of the work I did this year and yet I really want to do better and better work as I move forward. One of my biggest challenges is still trying to get really great high resolution photos to start from. I think my prices may almost double this year and I will then offer deep deep discounts to people that can send high quality photographs to work from at the proper resolution. I first have to create a lot of help pages on the site and help videos to explain image resolution and give out great tips on how to shoot and send good photos. This is going to be a top priority.
The other obstacle to getting better at my job is balancing the time issue. Everybody wants their custom artwork super duper fast usually for gift giving. Every now and then I have a project I am really grooving on that I would like to spend weeks on, not hours, and not days, but weeks. I have found that very few clients want to wait weeks and months for their artwork, it seems everyone needs it next week for Uncle Bob's Birthday. I may play around with a higher end pet portrait option that takes much longer and it may involve my glass mosaic work.
So My Art Business Wish List for 2011:I want to be able to take more time with each portrait project.
I want better high resolution images to work from.
I want to do larger works.
I want to experiment more with both style and materials.
I want to look at better ways to work with animal charity groups and get back to
working on projects that will help pets in need.
I want to make either the same or more money as I made in 2010.
Yes ... I want to have my cake and eat it too!