Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Creating Christmas Products from your art (Poll Results)

This month's poll asked you whether artists who read this blog create Christmas and/or Seasonal products from their artwork.  There were a few surprises.

Making A Mark Poll December 2011 - 48 responses in 2 weeks

The question "Do you create Christmas / Seasonal products from your art?" is actually a little bit more complex a question than it looks at face value.

The critical implied questions which respondents had to tackle were:

  • Is marketing my artwork within a seasonal context a good idea - or not
  • What's the best way of spending my time if I'm going to make more of an effort?
    • producing new art?
    • converting existing art to new products?
    • market my existing art more effectively?

Below you can find out what the 53 respondents (in two weeks) determined were the answers.

The main findings are that
  • half (50%) the respondents engaged in some form of marketing artwork as suitable for the season
  • nearly a third (30%) of those who responded indicated that this was not a way they wanted to sell their art.  I'm sure there will be a variety of reasons for this view but I'm not too clear which are the most important.
Of those who wanted to make something of their art for Christmas there were some distinct preferences:

  • 44% create original art with a seasonal theme
  • 36% create seasonal cards from their artwork
  • activities in relation to marketing prints, vouchers and calendars were small scale only
Rather than create new art or convert existing art to new products, one group use their time to sharpen up their marketing efforts.  13% spend more time on marketing their art rather than on creating or converting art

Just under 10% opted to do nothing not because of a conviction that this was not the way they wanted to market art but rather because they simply did not have the time

On the whole my view would be that the most effective strategy in the long run would always be to ratchet up the marketing effort at Christmas having determined in advance which aspects of your artwork were most likely to appeal to those buying presents for others

Your views

I'm also interested in your views as to:

  • whether you think your choices as to how you spent your time and effort were effective?
  • how you know whether or not the choices you made were effective?  
    • For example - do you have a baseline for measuring "not done anything special this year" available as a comparison (ie how much might your sales have increased by at Christmas even if you did precisely nothing?)
  • what your theory is as to the best approach to selling art at a time when people are spending money on presents
and finally..... famous artists who created art about Christmas

I was intrigued as to which of the more famous artists might have created artwork for Christmas.  Particularly when I saw there was a strong trend saying "this is not what I want to do".  So I did a search........

Click the link to NOMINATE Art Blogs for The 2011 Making A Mark Awards


  1. I regard my Christmas cards as advertising. My work goes to unexpected places as a result and they all have my name and web site on the back.

  2. Interesting results. I hadn't replied I admit. I do offer DIY pdf xmas cards, but it's more a 'placeholder' item so my online shop doesn't disappear over the holidays. (I'm away this holiday so can't sell and ship original work.) And I have calendars for the first time this year but didn't want to reply with that since it's a first-time thing, will see how it goes. The pre-sales in the autumn from my collectors did cover the costs of the entire print run so I guess I just hadn't associated it as a holiday item.

  3. To my mind, If you need to generate significant income - because you are a full-time artist - you must work at being able to identify opportunities for selling work - otherwise professional artists wouldn't make enough money to live on!

    One example would be to get one's work exhibited.

    Another way is to identify times and places when people are very happy to spend money and then make sure artwork is available to look at - in the right place at the right time.

    So why wouldn't an artist try and tailor some of their marketing to the Christmas period?

    After all, it's when the most money gets spent on gifts all year! Irrespective of whether those are gifts to oneself ("I deserve to be spoilt!") or to other people.

    To me it's totally logical to make some sort of effort - whether it's sending a Christmas card created from your artwork to your mailing list - identifying the opportunity to gift art or something a lot more intensive.

    I wouldn't waste time and effort on marketing at a time or a place when people aren't spending.

    Remember art sales often hit the buffers in February and March as people recover from Christmas and start saving for their holiday.


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