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Monday, December 05, 2005

I could post an older painting here today, but so far, I haven't got a new one for the past two days. I'm taking an online course to learn how to optimize my website, write good html code, write my own style sheets and generally hope I learn something new and good! I don't ask much of myself sometimes. The search engine optimization, I've studied and learned a little bit about, the other is all new.

Sunday was a day I spent doing art studio chores. I was behind in printing out some new art card editions. I print out 25 prints. Laminate them. Cut each one out. Then I create a certificate of authenticity for each card. They must be numbered sequentially to match the cards. I then sign the COA's (certificates of authenticity) and then I sign the back of each card, making sure I make no mistakes, I number them as 1/25, 2/25 etc. By the time I've done two editions, I have blisters on my scissor hand. As my Grandma Allen used to say, brag about your calluses, not your blisters...so if I keep it up, I'll soon have calluses.

After the card editions are ready, I place the number one card, with the number one COA. I then place them in a folder that holds an edition of 25 with their COA's. When I list cards on ebay, I go to the folder, pull those cards, and place them in an envelope. I can easily pull them from there when they sell.

Next I write my return address on several envelopes. I like to keep a stack of them handy, ready to use. On the envelopes, I do some stamping with ink pad stamps I got. Of course, they have horses on them! I also have one stamp I use that I created myself. I need to get busy and make some more.

The art cards are not finished yet! I now print out my brochure. It has my name, phone number, email address and website on it. It also shows some of my paintings and lists the award I won, the juried shows I've been accepted to and other things. I trifold the brochures, then I put an ACEO card holder in each one.

I'm now ready to post the cards for sale on ebay. You can see why I always hope they bring more than the .99 starting bid that I post them for. You can also see why, I don't always post them at .99, sometimes, I ask more for them! But you have to start somewhere.

An artist today, is lucky to have the ablility to do the job this way. In the "old days" we would have had to go to a print shop and have someone else make our cards and all promotional materials. We're able to match our own colors and correct our images to be what we think they need to be.

Yesterday, I also got several auctions posted. With a slow dial up connection, it can take hours to post auctions. As it happened, I had auctions selling as fast as I could post them. A wonderful lady from Australia bought 5 cards, another wonderful lady from Missouri bought three cards and several individual cards sold. THat's what I call a successful day.

When the cards have sold, it's time to send an invoice to every customer and get the cards in their respective envelopes. At this time, I address the envelopes to where they're going. Make sure each one has the correct cards inside before I lick the stamps! As soon as I get payment for the cards, I send them out in the next days mail. Some people pay by money order or check, so you have to keep track of which cards have been paid for and which ones haven't.

I have nightmares I'll send the cards to the wrong people, or send them an empty envelope...all kinds of things could go wrong with a system like this!

So...now you know my story about how I make the art cards. Some of the cards are originals, some are prints of my paintings. I love making them, creating the promotional materials, fixing up the envelopes. The entire process is relaxing and soothing to me. I love playing with paper, scissors and glue, I always have... donna