Saturday, March 24, 2007

It's been a long time...

Yes, a very long time since I posted to my blog. A lot of time and art under the bridge! When I last wrote I believe I was preparing images for my calendar and for my planned vacation with hubby and daughter in Disney World. Hmm - maybe even longer than that. I was pretty busy leading up to the holidays. In an absolute burst of productivity in late October/early November I managed to paint several new images for my 2007 Dachshundicity Calendar and for Christmas cards to sell on Cafe Press. We had a great time at WDW, one of our finest trips ever! It was uncrowded and we were able to experience both the Food and Wine Festival, be there on our 7 year wedding anniversary (and revisit the spot in Epcot where we actually got married) and see the Christmas decorations. Here is my favorite picture from the trip: We got Kelly one of those Viking hats with the blonde braids in the Norway pavilion, which as you can see were a great match in length for her own hair. She wore that hat everywhere, earning a lot of grins from other guests. In this photo she is practicing her teenager scowl.
Through Christmas I was pretty busy filling orders and even did three commissions.

As usual after Christmas sales on eBay fell off dramatically, but thankfully that is when the commission checks from November and December sales on Cafe Press come in. My 2007 Dachshundicity calendar was once again consistently in the top 10-15 calendars on Cafe Press in all subjects. Yea! I am so grateful to all of the folks who continue to enjoy and support my work.

Which brings me to this new phase in my career (which is how I am choosing to see it). I will be closing my eBay store at the end of this month. During the summer not only did eBay raise prices (again and dramatically) for stores, but they also stated that they were trying to de-emphasize stores (read: direct less buyers there) because they don't bring in as much revenue for eBay. They raised the final value fee to 10% (ouch), and doubled the listing fees. For the last few months I have seen sales drop off there by as much as 75%. It now costs as much to have that store as I make there in some months. That is just not good business sense. Well, not good business sense for me; maybe it is for them. In addition I have seen my originals go for less and less since December. This is the nature of auctioning art - the artist is totally dependent on the interested collector seeing your art at the right time, during that particular 5 or 7 day auction. Those who have purchased my art over the years have seen the prices go up and down in cycles; in the low cycles one can purchase an original piece of art for a very low price, or if one is a crafty eBayer they can wait until the last 10 seconds of the auction to make sure any competing bidders don't have a chance to bid the art up further. It would not be fair for me to compain about this, since I am the one who chooses to put my art out there to the highest bidder, so I don't blame anyone for trying to get a bargain. But the fact is I can't afford to do this (sell originals on eBay) to my self or my family anymore, or at least not as often. eBay again raised prices a couple of months ago, this time on live auctions. I see a lot of artists sell their work for less than it costs them in fees to list it.
I am still taking commissions, and of course my store at is still open!