Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ten Minutes With Melody Lea Lamb

One of my recent interests lately has been trying to learn how to sell my art online. So when I see someone doing it with a measure of success, I sometimes make contact, see how it’s going etc. A couple times I came across the acronym ACEO, so when a discovered one of Melody Lea Lamb’s sites I took a chance to see if she’d share with us a little bit about what she’s doing as an artist in cyberspace.

When I was a kid I used to love to draw bunny rabbits, turtles and all kinds of fun critters. So I find a special connection to the subject matter Melody has made a career out of.

Our paths first crossed on Twitter. I think you’ll enjoy what she has to share here.

Ennyman: Tell us about the ACEO market. It reminds me of the baseball trading card craze, except for artists.
Melody Lea Lamb: ACEOs (Art Cards, Editions, and Originals) are an art form the same size a s a baseball trading card: 3.5" by 2.5".

From my website and written by "Nino",
"Inspired by the familiar baseball card format with sports collectibles, in 2004, a new art form was born on eBay. A group of innovative artists created a variation of the traditional baseball card format called the Art Cards Editions and Original, or ACEOs for short. Now six years later, ACEOs are flourishing. (on any given day at least 100,000 ACEO originals are sold somewhere on the internet) More and more people are collecting ACEOs; art supply stores are beginning to stock specialized materials that help artists create them. Perhaps most significantly, art critics are beginning to take notice of these small yet exquisite works of art. The main difference between ACEOs and the more traditional "art cards" (which also have dimensions similar to baseball cards and have been around for a while) is that artists primarily create ACEOs with the intention of selling them, (while ATCs are strictly for trading)

The size of an ACEO should be 2.5” x 3.5”. The group decided to adopt this uniform standard size, which was widely recognized by collectors. Any sizes larger or smaller would NOT qualify as ACEOs, and would be listed under other categories.

There are no other rules. Artists have complete freedom in making creative decisions, such as the subject of the ACEO, or the materials used in its creation."

E: How long have you been making art and when did you first realize you wanted to do this as a career?
MLL: Ive been making art since I was about seven years old. I began seriously considering myself an artist and selling my work at thirteen, so I have known most of my life that I would find a way to earn a living as an artist.

E: What percentage of your work do you sell online?
MLL: Right now I sell 100% of my art online through more than a dozen different selling venues!

E: How did you start and what have you learned so others have an easier time of it?
MLL: Really my online selling began with eBay. I have become quite disappointed with eBay over the last four years but owe the auction site thanks for allowing me to break into to online art sales. It all began with ACEOs

E: Isn’t it true that successful artists have to also be good business people? What makes you successful in both realms?
MLL: I am very organized and have to have all my "i's dotted and t's crossed" I think that quality has allowed me to be a good business person. I also discovered that I have a great desire to learn everything there is to know about online marketing and sales. One of the joys (especially for artists) about online sales is that even a rather shy person can self promote comfortably from behind a screen!

E: What’s your favorite part of being an artist?
MLL: My favorite part about being an artist is the actual process of creating art. Sometimes I am delighted and slightly surprised when I complete a really successful painting. It’s like I get totally lost in the process, fully intent and concentrating deeply on my subject, then when I come up for air and step away from the piece, its a thrill to see it come to life!

E: I see that you recommend Etsy as a place to buy and sell art. Does it cost money to be there and what’s the benefit to makers of arts and crafts?
MLL: Etsy is one of the best online sites for selling arts and crafts. The cost is a one-time listing fee of less than a quarter. I find Etsy to be very reasonably priced compared to eBay. There are many other online selling venues for art that are free or minimal cost. Etsy has pretty good traffic though.

E: Pricing is a big challenge for emerging artists. How did you decide what your personal price points were going to be?
MLL: That's a tough question. On my ACEOs, I began to sell them (six years ago) for less than $20.00 each. Then when I started really selling well, the auctions often went up over $200.00, once as high as $320.00. So, now I feel the little paintings should not sell for any less than $125.00 (sold from my blog, Etsy, or ArtFire )I also consider size (although I may spend much more time on a small piece).

To see more work by Melody Lea Lamb:
Thank you, Melody. Your work has a warm sparkle that is very special. Thanks for sharing here.


nakedpastor said...

Interesting and helpful interview. Thanks for this. I share her opinion about Ebay and Etsy. Same experience.

ENNYMAN said...

I've been enjoying the interviews much... so many different ways artists make art. Each has something to teach us...