Notes From the Loft Studio
It is fairly simple to analyze your ROI on income streams because your % of income is right in front of you at the end of the year. It is much harder to figure out what is really working for you in marketing and painting terms. I'm sad to say that my Artist in Residence Project has not been a financial success in terms of direct sales. There are other factors to consider besides sales. The project has given me a great deal of support from my sponsors and hosts, and good marketing. The project has helped me to promote natural Florida and eco-friendly tourism. I do sell the paintings as well from time to time. The missing link here is that I must find a way to tap into the local market in each area, prior to arrival, so that I can find those residents who will want to own a painting of their own familiar places. I must find outlets and venues to show this work locally, through galleries or shops. This is a marketing problem that I will need to address to make this project profitable.
However, my AIR at Fair Oaks has been a fabulous success for me, both emotionally and in sales of paintings. The Fair Oaks paintings are extremely popular. I think it is because I love Fair Oaks so much!! It must show in the work.
My tree paintings give me the same satisfaction. I love painting trees and have benefited greatly from this focus in my work. I am featuring tree paintings in my loft studio for 2013. I will have a few other subjects there as well, but my focus will be on study of trees and the paintings. With this focus, my residencies will have a different theme for 2013. I'll be studying more trees as I travel, rather than focusing on the marshes and dunes.
There is a method to this madness really. One of the things that makes you as an artist, is the unique signature and focus of your work. Your personal brand, said a different way. So very many Florida painters paint the palms and marshes, and beaches/dunes with sea oats and pink clouds. I see it at every paint out and in every gallery. Yes, it is quite popular,and I will lose some collectors by not doing as much of this work, but I will gain the collectors who are looking for something different. I can't tell you how often I get comments from visitors and collectors who say, "This work is unique, the real Florida". " I love your trees". I have found a subject which speaks to me deeply in the rural farms,ranches and lovely trees I love so much. I have always tried to go my own way though it might not be as popular. This independence serves me well.
All of this rambling has to do with ROI both in emotional terms and business.