Although I haven’t felt like writing much lately, I figured I should post an update. I’ve been busy working on a couple of paintings, and while I would have liked to have finished one by this week, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to take a much-needed break.
My buddy Darrel and I spent five days last week at the cabin we rent in the foothills of central Alberta. Even though our first visit there was in January of 2018, we don’t often go during the winter months.
But with an opportunity in both our schedules, we won the gamble that it was available on short notice. You never know what you’ll get in February, but we lucked out with typical pleasant winter temperatures and several comfortable sunny days.
The only animals we saw were several white-tailed deer, though plenty of coyote and rabbit tracks. I had hoped to capture a moose, coyote or owl, but wildlife doesn’t punch a clock.
Back to work, I’m already preparing for the Calgary Expo at the end of April, figuring out the stock I’ll order and trying to make the most efficient use of my creative time and energy.
While I had planned to do a puzzle pre-order this month, I have changed my mind. I’m sure puzzle enthusiasts put them together all year long, but if there is a season for this hobby, it’s when the weather keeps people inside. When spring rolls around, most people want to spend more time outdoors. I know I do.
Another consideration is that puzzles cost more than other items, especially when one factors in shipping. The state of the economy is no secret, and I know many people are watching their spending right now, including me. I’m thinking carefully about which products to invest in and planning the best time to do so.
With that in mind, it seems like launching the next round of puzzle designs in March would be poor timing for maximum sales. While I did very well with all my other products at the Calgary Expo, I didn’t sell many puzzles. Since I don’t want to end up with a lot of stock sitting on a shelf all summer, I have decided to hold off on new designs until the fall, when I’ll have more opportunities to sell them.
I have two detailed paintings in mind for two of the puzzles, and though I’ve started on both, each is a challenging piece. I don’t want to rush them.
Several years ago, I sold postcard sets of my work, which were popular with the Expo crowd for a few years. Then, interest dropped off one year, so I discontinued the product and focused on others. But last year, people began asking for them again.
A knowledgeable friend in retail told me that some products go in cycles, including postcards. I won’t know if that’s true for me unless I try them again. So, I’ll relaunch 4×6 postcards sets at this year’s Calgary Expo at the end of April. If they do well, I’ll continue to stock them for future markets as long as there’s interest.
Since I had to proof four new paintings recently, and the Calgary Zoo placed their first large order of the year, I figured I might as well begin stocking my Expo prints at the same time. I spent most of Monday afternoon signing and packaging a large order from my Victoria supplier, Art Ink Print.
I still want to finish a few more paintings before the Expo, so I’ll place another large order in the next couple of months. But it’s nice to get an early start.
Several of you will wait to buy new prints until you visit me at my Expo booth, but most won’t have that opportunity. With no real reason to wait, I’m pleased to announce that the first prints of Genial Grizzly, Golden Bear, Meerkat and Raven on White are now available in the online store.
I’ve also restocked TEN prints that had sold out, which makes almost 50 different prints and a dozen stickers now available in the store, so please take a look and see if there’s something in there you like. All prints are 11×14 and should be an easy-to-find frame size, wherever you choose to buy yours.
That’s it for now, and I hope to have a new painting (with a lot of hair!) to share with you very soon.