July 27, 2010

A Round up of 300 to 30 - what did NOT go well :)

It's been a busy few days that I haven't completed the round up of posts about my project. However, I want to complete all this before I commence a new project. Besides, I am going on vacation in a couple of weeks and I do not want to leave any blog posts pending for after my vacation, when I know my motivation will be zero. :) In this post, I would like to elaborate on the things that did not go as expected, or were screwed up by my own stupidity. These things are aplenty, and every bit is a learning.

Fixing unnecessary restrictions

It was not a great idea on my part to fix the size and price of the paintings as a constant. It was as stupid as it could get. My objective should have been just to complete 300 paintings, which would have made a lot more sense, and not 300 paintings of size 5 by 7 priced at $29. This I say because I did get to complete many more paintings of much bigger size in this period over the last 1 year. If I had committed only 300 paintings without any other restriction, I’d have completed my project itself much earlier. Though I was doing many more paintings, I could not include them in the project because there was no way I could offer them at $29. That was probably the craziest idea I have come up with in recent times! It greatly restricted the subjects I could tackle as well. I was itching to do some figure paintings in between, but I wasn’t very comfortable doing figures in this size. I have a long way to go before that. And while I was interested in painting people, I could not even pick up a slightly bigger canvas, say an 8 by 10. Crazy!

Bad pricing strategy

My pricing was ridiculous that the word "strategy" doesn't fit in at all. Simple, there wasn't any. I just decided in an impulse that I could offer the paintings at $29 and all that jazz. No calculation went into it. Zero. Had I spent a few minutes listing down my costs in detail, I'd have understood that it was a stupid decision. You can offer paintings once in a while at a low price, have a sale of sorts etc. It should be time bound and for a very limited period. Underpricing not a dozen but a whole 300 paintings is a blunder. If any of you plan to venture into anything like this, give the deepest thought to the pricing and make sure you pay yourself well. It is not a luxury, it is a bare necessity.

No marketing strategy

The whole 300 to 30 project was decided in an instant, on an impulse like I usually do with most things. No great level of planning went into it. My only objective was to venture into something that will help me get more consistent and get better at what I do. My focus was not on selling the work. But, when I was offering the paintings for sale, I ought to have had a marketing plan or whatever. What the hell was I thinking ?! I have so many paintings now that I need to build a house to store them. Phew! I never thought of that aspect, which again was quite bad. When I made my plan on how to complete the requisite number of paintings, I should have made a marketing plan side by side. Very costly lesson, this.

Infrequent updates

With me painting for bulk of my time, it became very tedious to update my blog, website, twitter, facebook etc etc. Facebook was the easiest to update and I chose it over the rest. With Facebook, I did not have to write eloquent texts about each painting, I just had to upload the images and most of my friends could get to see them. It was very easy. Maintaining the blog when you are doing upto 5 pieces in a day is a very time consuming process, and it suffered greatly. Same holds good with the website too, my site badly needs an update. I have this bad habit of putting off things that don't excite me much. I would think of updating my blog, but would change my mind to paint one more instead and keep the blogging for later. And so it goes. Even now, my blog has only about 200 paintings I think, or maybe less. All the paintings are there on my facebook profile though. It is available in 2 albums that can be accessed here without even signing into facebook - Album 1 - paintings 1 to 203 and Album 2 - paintings 204 to 300+. When I commence something new next, I must make it a habit to update the blog first and everything else later. Let's see.

So that's about what I messed up with. Don't worry, it wasn't such a black hole as it seems, there were some patches of light here and there. I shall post about them next. :)


  1. Thank you for sharing your candid thoughts. I have been struggling with similar speedbumps in the sales of my paintings. I got a little fixated on "smaller sized paintings" and it made me rusty - getting into larger sized paintings. My pricing structure - I keep telling myself, "well with this economy" - however, collectors will buy what they like. I need to price accordingly - although this is a difficult area for me. Marketing - I've taken a lot of lessons, read a lot of books, but it goes back to the basic - paintings (or widgets or whatever) will not sell unless buyers know about it.
    Love your honesty in this post.

  2. Thank you Judy. I agree with you, pricing is such a tricky issue and I am still clueless how to go about it. Doing different things in a whole trial and error process :)


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