Saturday, September 1, 2012

Be Prepared

It's finally happened, the clock has moved, the months have passed and it is time once again for you to start thinking about what you are going to do for the holiday season.

Oh no, it's too early, the weather is warm, the days are long and there's nothing even remotely frosty which doesn’t come in a can, leave me alone and just let me muddle through back to school time and I'll think about this in February.

Sure you do that and you'll let another holiday season slip by without using it as a vehicle to promote and sell your art. If every merchant from the car guys to the raincoat crew peeking out of dark alleys has a holiday marketing plan don't you think you should be getting something together?

It's all ready too late for you to start planning for the fall holidays and if you don't want to get left behind you'd better get your 2013 plans locked down and ready.

Let's take a look and see what you've missed.

There's Halloween. All of those spooks and goblins and the legions of Harry Potter and Narnia fans not to mention all of the grown ups who will dig out their Bela Lugosi capes and false fangs and the dark shades so they can play like Tom Cruise at the opening of Risky Business. And what about all of the nice, female lady type people who spend so much to look so good all year long, do you think for a second they went to all of that trouble so they could dress up like a zombie or the mummy? No, no and hell no, they want to be noticed for all of those days at the gym and all of those hundreds of crunches and they buy a whole bunch of Elvira dresses and fright wigs so that they can show the Mistress of the Dark that a suburban housewife doesn’t give up all of the goodies when she says “I do.” And there’s a whole bunch of elves and faeries and if you have cable I'll just bet there's a Bo or two not to mention the inedible Kenzie, so if you haven't figured out what you are going to put in the pumpkin patch for the coming of the Great Pumpkin you are just out of luck.

Then there's National Food and Football Overindulgence Day, commonly known as Thanksgiving. You think all of those dreadfully clever Japanese and Korean folks have been building those enormous wide screens so you could see Ice Road Trucks in glorious sixty inch danger? No, they want you to watch football. And don't think for a second that they do it just for football spelled football, they do it for the big money sport futbol. There are a world of soccer fans just waiting to see Messi dazzle the opposition with his skill and Rooney and Giggs destroy City and Reynaldo make female fans faint at the very sight of his masculine backfield in motion, so the whole world is waiting for you to get off the couch and buy that wide screen and what exactly have you done to get a piece of that action?

That's what I thought, nothing and now its too late for this year cause there's a six month lead time thingy so you'd better mark your calendar for next year. Don't you remember, an artist, Norman Rockwell created the Thanksgiving we all remember. He did it on his mat board for Saturday Evening Post and we've all been longing for it every since. Not that Rockwell's Thanksgiving has anything to do with the close quarter combat of a family Thanksgiving. Wanna make Seal Team Six cry, force them to sit through a traditional family Thanksgiving!

And then there's Christmas right around the corner and the New Year and I'll just bet you haven't done anything about them either. How can you expect to ever make your art pay for itself if you sit on your hands and let opportunities slip by?

It is even getting close to too late for Valentines. Now with Thomas Kinkade gone to the Big Gallery there's a gap in the light and gay end of the art world and while I don't think you should sell out, you might be able to take advantage of it and slip in something you've done for all of the right reasons and it happened to turn out light and happy. You can't be blamed for that now can you?

But if all of that is lost, what can you do?


There's still time for you to use your Giclees and prints to put together a calendar for 2013. Every little crook and nanny has one, there's a Hogwarts calendar and a Slytherin calendar, a Dallas Plowboy Cheerleader calendar, an Elvira: Mistress of the Dark calendar, a Playboy/Hustler/Penthouse calendar, a Sudoku, Trivial Pursuits, Jeopardy calendar, a cat, dog, horse calendar and then there's all of the artists. That's right all of the big-time, important, serious, famous, dedicated artists have a calendar, Rembrandt, Degas, Matisse, Michelangelo, Rodin and Andy Warhol!

Why aren't you getting in on the loot?

There is just no excuse. If you are broke you can do it yourself with an ink jet printer, a laminator and a spiral binder. You can use each of these things for half a hundred uses and if you are serious about making your art into a business you get a tax write-off for buying equipment. It's office equipment so you can take the total value and not have to depreciate it. Just make sure you keep it in a space dedicated to business use only and don't cheat and make laminated pockets of your social security card or you driver license.

If you have a coin or two there are two easily available sources, Staples, where you are going for your envelop stuffer calendars anyway or Vista Print.

Now way back in the day, when Edsels roamed the earth and Packard wasn't a forgotten marquee, getting something printed was a big, hairy, time-consuming deal. You had to assemble the negatives, proof them to be sure they would print right, convert them to an inter negative if you shot them on slide film and take them to a print shop where if you were lucky you could get a runny pink and green proof in about ninety days.

Now you can do it all in your home computer, take it or send it to your print contractor and they'll grind it out in ten days if they are busy which is why you should be doing it now and not when they are swamped with all of the other calendar orders which will come in in December cause the business will put them off until the last minute so that they can get their money together and because there are more important things to be doing and because it is still a pain in the do it now.

Take the time to select twelve of your most exemplary images and use them as your calendar. Once you have the file put together you can take it or send it and start trying to come up with the coin to pay for it. Trust me you'll be glad you did it and when all of the other guys are sitting on their hands in January you'll be getting calls from clients who have seen your work on that calendar hanging in the dentist's office where they have been trapped for the last hour and a half while some giggling mad man tortures them and the expects them to pay by the second for the joy of having a root canal and anything to distract the eye from what is being done is a gift from heaven and don’t you want to be that angel? That special angel?

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