Sunday, 29 April 2012

"All inclusive" by Andy Mercer | RedBubble

"All inclusive" by Andy Mercer | RedBubble:

Cyprus is a lovely island and the people are very friendly but it is very hard to escape the feeling even when you fly in for a week and for the most part stay within the hotel grounds that there is a lot going on all around you.. in Syria, in Turkey, in Greece, in Israel and across the region.

Even more curious is that Cyprus seems more British than just about anywhere else in the Med, everyone speaks English… full English at breakfast with a few olives.. milk in their tea.. distinctly British looking traffic lights.. and they even drive on the right side of the road. It's a Britain in the sun.

I have to say things generally tend to happen to us when we go on holiday (vacation)
One day my wife and I were taking in the spring sun by the sea.. when I noticed unusually that there were no pleasure or cargo boats out at sea. Within a few minutes a military patrol boat came up the coast and took up position close the marina. 

A few minutes later a Rihanna (type) jogged past with her security guard, who I thought was a perve following a young lady so closely but my wife put me right on that one.  Surely even Rihanna or her look alike doesn't warrant a patrol boat ?

In the distance another two ships came into view.. they looked a different shape to the cargo ships that you can regularly see on the horizon and they were moving much quicker. A few miles from shore they slowed and stopped. Then a small black dot lifted off the back of one of the ships.. flew around the ship a couple of times and then flew over us and away.
It was military.

We watched engrossed by it all.. not a single pleasure boat went down this busy tourist coast but there were now several large vessels on the horizon. One looked like an aircraft carrier.

After the departure of the helicopter nothing much happened for awhile. So we decided to head back to the hotel while keeping one eye on the sea.

Throughout the rest of the day I kept on checking the horizon but things remained pretty much the same. Three or four  ships on the horizon and the military patrol boat anchored near the marina.

As we prepared to go and eat I switched on Sky news. Kofi Annan and John McCain were in Turkey supporting the Turkish after Syrian troops had been shooting refugees inside Turkey and Lebanon just across the water. After his speech to the camera's the UN General Secretary was shown climbing onboard a military helicopter as he left.

A few minutes later we heard a helicopter in the distance, it flew out to the same ship and landed on the back.

Within a few minutes all the ships were gone or leaving. So was it the edge of international politics or is that the trouble with creatives doing nothing on holiday ? Sadly Hilary Clinton didn't turn up at our hotel for a press conference. 
The war ships on the horizon.. the helicopters.. made it feel like “all inclusive” in the danger zone.  
After a few days of doing nothing but bringing up the vitamin D levels, just for a change we decided to take a trip over the green line and visit a place that doesn't officially exist The Turkish Republic of Cyprus. 
When the week ended we flew away to “normality”

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The stark facts about selling art via POD sites.

Every few days on a art forum someone posts somewhat forlornly asking "if anyone is making sales on this or that site."

If anyone thinks they are going to make "sales" simply by uploading their work to a POD (print on demand) site they are going to be disappointed. The ratio of sales to artists is not good. As an example there are almost 100k "artists" registered at Fine Art America.. and over 2 million images.. lets say 100 pics sell on the site everyday.. I think it's less than that but it makes the maths easier. For example 100k "artists" divided by 100 PICS SELLING per day = 1 sale per artist per 1000 days.

Now bear in mind many artists on the site by their own efforts sell more than this so this reduces the odds further for anyone just uploading and "hoping" for a sale. And also those odds are increasing everyday because the number of artists registering on the site is increasing more than the number of sales. The more popular the site the harder it is to make sales because of this basic sales to the number of images ratio. So the likelihood of making a sale for most is one sale per artist every 3-5 years. Of course there are many who sell more than this but if you simply put you work on a POD site and leave it at that then those are the basic odds.

The most the vast majority of artists will get from a big POD site is the occasional POD sale, some exposure.. and some interaction with other artists ! Most POD sites are social networking for artists, a place where they can gather with others and show their work, which is fair enough if that's what you are looking for. You might also sell the odd original by having images on a POD site.. so you need to consider any POD site as a part of an overall online strategy to generate income. For the vast majority it is unlikely to ever be enough to live on. Uploading your work is only the first stage.

The plain fact is.. if you don't sell many pictures in the real world being on a POD site isn't likely to change that. Sorry.

Andy Mercer's website