You might have noticed I've been blogging a bit more lately. I'm realising how speaking openly and sharing my stories, hopes and fears can be a really healing thing and it opens a space to connect with people, on a true, heart level.
There's been something on my mind lately and I'd love to share my thoughts with you. Basically, there's an element of my business that I want to change to meet the real me, but I feel afraid to do it; I'm afraid to let it go. Essentially, it's a self-worth issue. Here goes.
About four years ago, I delved into the world of converting my artworks into prints. I loved the idea of prints, because it enabled me to still share my work once an original artwork has found a new home.
In the beginning I was outsourcing my printing, but after a while and lot of research, I decided to make them myself. This enable me to print-to-demand and help save my customers money.
Up until now, my prints range has been on paper. I'd source all the archival-quality papers and inks, scan in my original artworks, colour match them, print them myself, sign them, title them, package them and add a complimentary blurb to each one. It may not sound like a huge job, but it is and it gets tedious, especially when there's a lot to make while you've got a little Bubba running around your heels. Over this time, I've been charging $25 a print to ensure it's affordable for people.
Things are changing around here now. My original artwork used to be this size:
These days, they're this size:
The change in scale allows me to be a lot more free and expressive in my works - and as a result, a lot more time, work and feeling goes into each one. The larger scale means that I can no longer scan my artworks in myself, so I hire a professional photographer to capture them for me.
Once upon a time, I wouldn't create large artworks because I couldn't afford a professional photographer. These days, I believe in myself enough to do it. I feel like I'm worth it and so is my art.
So here comes the rub.
I'm no longer at the point where I feel like offering inexpensive art prints is something I want to do. And this makes me feel incredibly guilty. Why? Like I said, it's a self worth issue.
What I really want to do is outsource my printing. I've found a completely wonderful canvas print supplier, who will print impeccable quality images of my work onto canvas, using my professional art photographs. I'd love to then hand-adorn each large canvas print to make them completely original for each person, then ship them off to my customers. I love the idea of my artworks on canvas. They're so deliciously textured, like my originals, and they're statement pieces that can completely transform the feel of the space they're in. Yum yum.
This means my overheads will be higher, but I'll feel like I'm sharing an original art piece each time. I feel really great when I think about introducing these bespoke hand-adorned prints, but then the fear kicks in:
What if no one wants to pay extra for them? Will I be losing out on an important income stream for my family if I let go of my $25 print range?
But here's what I'm really doubting: What if no one thinks I'm worth it?
This is exactly what tells me I need to do this. I need to take this leap, to prove to myself that my worth has nothing to do with a print, perceived value or somebody else's wallet.
I already am worthy, even if I sell none.
I've just finished contacting my new canvas supplier. Pretty soon, I'll be making the change in my art shop. My paper prints are ready to transition themselves from a chrysalis to a beautiful butterfly. I feel excited and fearful, like skydiving for the first time. But I know once I jump, my wings will guide me to new lands.
And this prospect feels amazing.
Love C x