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Bytesmiths

The Bytesmiths Editions Newsletter August 2000

Topics


Recent Exhibits

Carol and I have been extremely busy since the July newsletter, with exhibits at FIVE weekend art festivals! Many of you who visited our booth at these exhibitions are receiving this newsletter for the first time -- thanks for your interest!

We've had nothing but positive feedback on our art and craft in general, but we're grateful for the the constructive criticism and tips on presentation and other marketing-related topics. The booth has evolved accordingly, as many of you who visited more than once have noticed.

The most important suggestion was to have greater variety in pricing. Until this month, I had only offered $2 and $4 note cards and large, limited-edition prints, starting at over $200. Now, I've added open-edition matted, un-framed prints from between $19 and $33 -- they have been well received. I'm working with a manufacturer, and hope to have economical folded-plexiglass-framed, ready-to-hang open edition prints for around $40 by our next show. Also, I've added a greater variety of small items between 50 cents and $4.

Another good suggestion came from an artist who chatted with us in Eugene. "Your marketing is too slick -- people won't expect unique artistry and personal attention. It looks like it came out of some New York ad agency!" Sigh. That's what I get for trying to be "professional." So now I'm using more hand-lettered signs, and writing in first-person singular, avoiding the editorial "we."

Do you value art that is carefully hand-crafted and unique? Do you have any suggestions for communicating this? Any help is appreciated!

Here's some memories of our summer tour to date:

  • Art in the Vineyard, Eugene, Oregon

    A young man spends nearly half an hour in the booth, looking intently at each print, reading each gallery tag, and reading the entire 10-foot-long "Printmaking Process" banner. We are tired, and he doesn't ask questions, and so we just let him be. He goes out to the card spinner, and looks at every card, finally coming in with the signed, limited-edition card of North Falls, a $4 item. He holds it out to me with both hands.

    "I would be honored if you would sell me this card," he says.

    He looks like an impoverished student. "You know this is also available in a $2 version?" I ask.

    "Yes, but I would like THIS card," he answers.

    "It is I who am honored that you appreciate the difference!" I reply.

  • Capital Lakefair, Olympia, Washington

    The two little girls come in and look at the prints, go out and look at the cards, then look over Carol's jewelry.

    "Would you like to try something on?" Carol asks.

    "No, I've only got a dollar," the older one answers. They wander away, and we don't expect to see them again.

    Later that day, they are back, and they each pick out a 50 cent bookmark that I make from interesting portions of damaged or otherwise unusable prints. The younger one hands me a quarter, two dimes and a nickel, and the older one hands me a dollar bill. I give the younger girl's money to the older one in change.

    The younger one then tries to take the change from her older sister, and a gentle, polite argument ensues!

    "Oops, I'm sorry -- I gave her YOUR money! Here, let me fix that..." I take back the quarter, two dimes, and nickel, drop it in the change drawer with a loud clatter, and fish out two quarters to give to the older girl in change. They happily stroll away with their bookmarks, smiling and holding hands.

    Maybe they liked my art, or maybe I was the only person selling something under a dollar that day.

  • Art Festival, Nehalem, Oregon

    "Get the f*** out of my lot!" the drunk in the new green Toyota Tundra pickup (Oregon plates XFH-579) hollers at us from the street. Artists are packing up soon after the close of the show on Sunday. The dusty, gravel parking lot next to the Bayway Tavern was full of activity, and we had just pulled in front of the entrance after a loaded vehicle had departed from the same spot.

    "We're going as fast as we can; we'll be out soon," I reply, trying to placate him while packing up prints for loading.

    "Every year I volunteer my lot, and every year it's nothing but trouble," he shouts in reply.

    "I hope our being here has brought you some extra business," I continue to try to assuage him.

    "Out of my f***ing lot NOW, or I'll drive my truck through your f***ing tent!" he retorts. His daughter runs out from the tavern, angrily shouting at him to shut up and behave. The festival organizer arrives and also tries to calm him down.

    We continue to pack under this discomfiting pall of discord. Life on the arts & crafts fair circuit isn't always fun.

Despite the very few negative experiences like this one, the summer has been a tremendously positive experience. I value each person who comes in and enjoys my work, even if they can't take it home with them. I'm working hard to make my art available to a wide audience in a variety of formats from the affordable to the magnificent.

Finally, I'd like to express my heartfelt thanks to those of you who have supported my work this summer. I can't keep living off my savings forever - your purchases make it possible for me to continue publishing my art. Thank you so much!


Works In Print

I've put together a catalog (869k) of images currently in production. Each image has a story to go with it. At the end is some information about availability, edition policies, and myself.

(This is a large file, and may take a long time to view if you are using a modem on a phone line.)

I'm hoping to add more seashore and Mt. Rainier material in preparation for our next two events, so bookmark this link and check it for changes over the next few weeks.

If you'd like a paper copy, I'm asking $3 to help defray the cost of printing and postage, which I'll cheerfully refund upon your order of a limited-edition print. For a $10 subscription, I'll send you updates over the next year as new works are put into production -- also refunded upon order. Email, snail-mail, or call toll free at 877-635-3229 to order your single copy or subscription to Works In Print. (Discover, MasterCard, VISA, cash, or check)

Also, keep in mind that my brochure (365k) is also on-line. It changes from time to time, but I'll announce major changes in this newsletter.


This Month

Carol and I each have two prints on display (64k) in the Bend, Oregon public library, as part of a juried exhibition titled "The Art of Light." I submitted paired images, Sunrise Tree and Sunset Tree, that are both strongly back-lit with the sun in-frame, perfectly addressing the exhibit theme (in my humble opinion. :-) Carol submitted My New Violet and Winter Bigleaf Maple, which are both among the top five most popular images to date.

We'd like to thank the Bend Library Art Committee for selecting our prints from among the many submitted. If you are in Bend between June 16 and August 20, please stop in to the library (on Wall Street) to see our work and that of many other regional photographers.

We take a welcome break from our busy arts and crafts festival tour this month, with only two events planned. As always, we'll be adding many new jewelry items and images this month.


Upcoming Events

Together with Crafted By Carol jewelry, we're continuing our busy schedule of arts and crafts fairs, exhibits, and other events. If you happen to be in one of these locations at the right time, please stop by to see our prints and jewelry, and to say "hello!"

  • September 1-30: exclusive showing of many prints in various media, and a display case of Carol's jewelry, in the Streff Gallery, Marylhurst University, Marylhurst, Oregon, about 15 minutes south of Portland.
  • September 15 - 17 (Friday - Sunday): Beaverton Fine Art and Wine Festival, Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation Center, at Walker Road and 158th, Beaverton, Oregon, about 20 minutes west of Portland.
  • (alternate) September 16 - 17 (Saturday - Sunday): Rockaway Beach Autumn Festival, Rockaway Beach, Oregon, about 90 minutes southwest of Portland.
  • September 30 - October 1 (Saturday - Sunday): Portland Open Studios, an open house of our own studio, along with those of some 70 other Portland-area artists. Admission for two to all 70 artists' studios is $12, and can be purchased from us, or at any Art Media store, or from the Portland Open Studios web site.

Top Ten Titles

Here is a "Letterman-style" list of our most popular images, based on sales of all media combined, from 75 cent postcards to huge, custom-sized framed prints.

and the current top seller is:

The #1 spot this month is also #1 in both the postcard and open-edition backlit category, while Carol's #2 item was the biggest note-card seller.

See something you like in the "Top Ten" list? Let me know YOUR favorite!


Drawing for FREE $24 Print!

Starting at the end of this month, I'm going to give away a FREE $24 8" x 12" signed, open-edition print in an acid-free 12" x 16" mat, ready for framing, to a random email newsletter subscriber. The winner will be able to select from any print currently in stock. I plan to do this each month.

You don't need to do anything -- you're already entered by being on this mailing list -- but you may want to get your art-loving friends to subscribe so they'll have a chance!

(If you win, and for some reason don't want a print, I will donate it to a charity auction in your name.)

In the future, I'll probably ask you to register for each monthly drawing by visiting my web site, but for now, just being on this email list is your entry. This is my way of thanking you for reading my newsletter each month. Good luck!



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