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Old 11-03-2009, 06:39 PM   #31
Debra Jones Debra Jones is offline
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I do a lot of animals. This weekend alone is a dog rescue and a zookeepers association. I have been doing miniature portrait specials before the holidays. 5x7" under $100 which I do whip out, but so far very little success.

So I offer a mini certificate of $25 or $50 TOWARD a painting, in the grab bag gift baskets. Some events get misc. donations and throw a pedicure, a dinner and hair products,etc. in group prizes for raffles. I do my small (8x10" watercolor or pastel) donation in the silent auction and ALWAYS be sure I get to demo at the event. And I demo a piece twice the size of my auction piece.

It is good for them to see me at work, and imagine their image in my painting. A small painting that they want is fine advertising, but I have a chance to meet so many potential clients, it is my only real advertising.
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:10 PM   #32
Patricia Joyce Patricia Joyce is offline
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Debra,
You are amazing because you have gotten so comfortable painting in public. I am so private with my work that it is hard just to attend the auction much less "perform". I'm really impressed with your work, too!
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:53 PM   #33
Chris Saper Chris Saper is offline
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Hi Patty,

Think about offering a ceritficate worth a certain amount toward a portrait. The least expensive option you offer.

I have found that some auctions won't be interested in anything other than a complete "product" but some are willing to go with the "x toward" concept.
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:57 AM   #34
Stanka Kordic Stanka Kordic is offline
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Hi Patty-

Sounds like you're doing well!

I totally echo what Chris suggested. Please be sure the verbage is clear enough... That they are bidding on the discount certificate only, and that your prices are considerably more. People start drinking and there's all kinds of confusion.
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:20 AM   #35
Patricia Joyce Patricia Joyce is offline
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Thanks, Chris and Stanka,
I think I am going to give it a try, work on a good clear gift certificate...
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:34 AM   #36
Debra Jones Debra Jones is offline
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There is one thing that clears up a lot of the problems I see:

When I donate they always ask the value. I always, right on the certificate (and it doesn't take much to make a pretty nice little certificate, just your promotional images with this headline on front and INSTRUCTIONS on the back) I say the certificate entitles the winner to, say, a $XXX value 8x10" oil painting of a single subject. and that the amount may be applied to a piece with more subjects or greater size. Having it right on the front helps. Also, I have expiration dates. I have literally had hundreds of dollars of purchases disappear because they were jolly enough to overbid at their auction. Another reason to care about the charity you participate in. Don't take their not redeeming it personally.

I used to try to track down the winner but have had the charity tell me they could not give out the identity of the winner! I stopped fighting and started putting expirations on. Just a week ago, the winner of a small portrait crossed right through the bids and purchased me for 10% above the value. Face to face I asked her to please call me in the morning or email me her information so I could remind her that it would expire. She said she knew EXACTLY WHAT SHE WANTED and I have heard nothing.

It is not as hard as it sounds to do a demo. Just bring something you are working on and talk to people. Silent auctions usually run only two hours, sometimes less. At my last demo, the person bought my piece so early, I had nothing to schmooze, so I passed out my mini portrait cards all evening and barely made a stroke. When you tell the charity you are donating SPECIFICALLY for cross marketing, and make it clear that this is a win-win, the organizers can hardly flinch. Even if you don't get your name in the sponsor book, you are allowed to leave out cards, but handing them out is even better.

It is great for getting your face out in the community. I have not gotten any large or serious work from most of mine. But I have set up networks and am meeting more and more potential clients. I have made an deliberate decision to work smaller and affordable because I can work fast. Just a good way to keep busy.
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