Blog: [Blog Home] [Archives] [Search] [Contact]

Archive for the ‘Art Business’ Category

From One Con to Another and Apollo Art

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

Apollo 11 Lunar Excursion Module Mashup Collage Art
Apollo 11 Lunar Excursion Module Mashup Collage Art

I spent last weekend at the Capricon Science Fiction Convention. This coming weekend it will be the SEA (Self Employment in the Arts) Conference. These are two very different sorts of ‘cons’ attracting very different audiences. Their common factor is that they both target my areas of interest.

For Capricon, in addition to attending panels on AI (artificial intelligence) and literary economics, I participated in three of the convention’s panels. First up was Publishing and Marketing for Indie Authors where I and authors Jonathan Brazee, Blake Hausladen, and publicist Beverly Bambury discussed techniques and methods by which authors could promote themselves and their book. In one sense I was the odd-man-out on this panel. Whereas I am working on getting my first book published – my Earth as Art book project – the other authors on the panel have had a number of books published.

The next panel I served on was Space Settlement: Gravity Wells vs. Free Space where the subject was a discussion/debate on the pros and cons of space settlements built on the surface of a planet or moon (at the bottom of a gravity well) versus space colonies built in free space (at the top of a gravity well, ie Zero-G). Moderated by Patrick O’Connor, my co-panelists were Bill Thomasson, Henry Spencer, John Wardale, and Pat Sayre McCoy. Needless to say, the correct answer to the question of gravity wells or free space is that it all depends on what you are seeking to accomplish or what issue you are addressing. For example, if you are seeking to minimize transportation costs, not having to deal with planetary gravity wells significantly reduces costs. Conversely the vast majority of the solar system’s raw materials sit at the bottom of gravity wells. For my part, the economics associated with the development of a spacefaring civilization are a fascinating topic. Hence my presentation at the 2018 International Space Development Conference titled Factors Impacting the Sustainability of a Cislunar Economy.

Closing out my participation in Capricon programming was serving as moderator for the panel Dangers of Space Travel in which we panelists addressed the medical, psychological, technical, and physical challenges of space travel. The panelists for this session were Alia Federow, Martin Shoemaker, Henry Spencer, and Mike Unger. Much of our attention was focused on the question of life and whether or not it can adapt to space. Clearly the greatest unknowns are the biological issues associated with the long term existence of terrestrial life in a non-terrestrial environment.

Changing channels, this weekend I’ll be a participating in the SEA (Self Employment in the Arts) Conference in Chicago. At the conference I’ll be a panelist for the Making a Living in the Digital and Media Artsdiscussion, leading a round table discussion on Selling on Print on Demand Sites, and serving as the mentor for a small group meeting on Marketing & Selling Digital Photography. This will be the third year I have participated in SEA Conference programming and have found it to be a very fulfilling event. While oriented towards new and emerging artists, the quality of the programming is such that even seasoned artists would benefit. I highly recommend this conference to anyone for whom the creative arts is their source of income.

The Art: Apollo 11 Lunar Excursion Module Mashup

To illustrate this post I’ve used a newly created work of art that while its component parts are representative in nature, its final look is fairly abstract. I’ve taken a particular interest in the Apollo program this year because it is the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon – a truly historic event. I’ve created a few artworks commemorating this event and have put them up on Redbubble in my Support Space Exploration gallery.

The original artwork is 36 by 24 inches and is shown above. The version that is on Redbubble is a cropped version of the original and has been applied to a variety of products using different cropping and sizing so that no two are identical. If you’re curious to see the effect of the art applied to a tee shirt, you can check out the main product page.

Apollo 11 Lunar Excursion Module Mashup Collage artwork on Redbubble

 

Post Script: Planet Earth as Art Presentation

Tonight I’ll be giving my Planet Earth as Art: The View from Space presentation at a meeting of the Northwest Suburban Astronomers being held at the Schaumburg Township District Library. It’s a free program so if you’re in the area, feel free to stop in. For more, see my Calendar of Events for Planet Earth as Art: The View from Space or sign up for my Digital Media Newsletter.

Random Thought

In a conference call I was on the other day, the topic of software ecosystems came up. During this discussion someone referred to the ‘Microsoft ocean’. The first thought that popped into my head was the Bermuda Triangle. Enough said.

Bookmark it:  Stumble It  Bookmark this on Delicious  Digg This  Technorati  Reddit Tweet It


Best Day and Time for Art Sales on Redbubble

Monday, April 16th, 2018

Redbubble Sales by Day of Week Graph
Illustration 1: Redbubble Sales by Day of Week Graph

Do a google search and you will find an abundance of results for answers to questions like "what is the best time to post on social media?" (For example, see my post Best Times to Post to Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter) or "what is the best time to send email blasts?" or "what is the best time to sell on eBay?". But what about "what is the best time to sell on Redbubble?" Running this question past Google I got lots of results for "how to sell on Redbubble" but nothing regarding the "when" aspect.

Redbubble obviously knows the answer to the question of when most sales occur but doesn’t share that information. In doing my income taxes this year, I was going over my merchandise sales on Redbubble and decided that I wanted to know when most of my sales on Redbubble were being made. So instead of continuing to work on my taxes as I should have, I decided to take a break and do some simple data analysis.

There were two questions I wanted to answer. First, what is the best day of the week for my Redbubble sales and second how are my sales distributed across the week by day of week and time of day.

The starting point for any analysis is getting the data needed to perform the analysis. When artists are logged in to their Redbubble account, on the Account Settings page (labeled as Account Details in the dropdown menu), there is an Artist Tools section with one of the menu items in that section being Sales History.

Redbubble Sales History CSV
Redbubble Sales History CSV

Within Sales History there is a feature for downloading a CSV file of your sales history. The data in this file is very useful if you want to identify which of your artworks generate the most sales or the most income. It will also allow you to see which products are the most frequently sold. For this analysis, we are only interested in date and time of day when sales were made. While the file does have a field for the order date, there is no time of day information.

Fortunately I’m a pack rat when it comes to data. As a seller on Redbubble, generally when a sale is made I receive a "You’ve Made A Sale" email. I say generally because I’ve had multiple instances of receiving a "Manufacturing Invoice" email for which there was no companion "You’ve Made A Sale" email. What is useful about the "You’ve Made A Sale" email is that the email not only has the transaction date but it also has a time stamp. Assuming that Redbubble consistently generates these emails within 15 minutes of the actual transaction time, this data can be used as a proxy for the transaction time of day information.

Best Day of the Week for Redbubble Sales

The first analysis I did was to simply tally by day of week when sales were occurring and to then calculate what percentage of total sales happened on that day. The graph of that data is shown in Illustration 1: Redbubble Sales by Day of Week Graph at the top of this post while the following table ranks the days of the week in order of their sales volume.

Day of
Week
Percent of
Sales
Sunday 18%
Tuesday 18%
Monday 15%
Friday 15%
Thursday 12%
Wednesday 12%
Saturday 09%

The data for my sales indicates that the three day period of Sunday through Tuesday are when most of my sales are made and account for 51 percent of all sales. Note that if sales were evenly spread across all days, then any three days of sales would account for just under 43 percent of all sales. Saturday is clearly a trough day for me on Redbubble with only half the sales volume of the peak day.

Redbubble Sales Heatmap: Time of Day by Day of Week

Taking the analysis one step further, I broke out each day into the hour of the day in order to see at what time during the day sales were being made. Again I must point out that I do not know how closely the timestamp on the "You’ve Made A Sale" email correlates with the time the customer actually completed the transaction. For this analysis I assume a high degree of correlation.

Rather than using colors for this heatmap, I’ve opted to use a simple grayscale value since I’m simply looking at a single simple variable — sales frequency. The results are shown in Illustration 2: Redbubble Day of Week and Time of Day Sales Heatmap. A value of black means that no sales were made during that hour. A value of white represents the peak hour of the week. The rest of the grayscale values, from darkest to lightest, represent the range of least to most sales per hour.

Redbubble Day of Week and Time of Day Sales Heatmap
Illustration 2: Redbubble Day of Week and Time of Day Sales Heatmap

The heatmap shows that the single best hour for sales during the week is during 10:00am to 11:00am on Friday, which is curious since Friday is not a peak day of the week. Sunday from 11:00am to 4:00pm appears to be the best block of time for sales during the week.

Is This Redbubble Sales Data Actionable?

So now I know when I’m making sales and my curiosity has been satisfied. But is there any way that I can use this data to my benefit? Maybe. For example, if there is a good correlation between the times that sales are made and the level of activity in the Redbubble Groups, posting artwork to the relevant groups during these peak sales hours may result in a sales boost.

Another possibility is dependent on the answer to the question "How much of a search results boost does Redbubble give to newly added artwork?" It’s a given that the makers of search engines don’t want to tip their hand as to how their search ranking algorithm works because they do not want people to "game the system" — which makes perfect sense. If we assume that a peak in sales corresponds with a peak in customer visits to Redbubble and if we also assume that Redbubble does give some sort of search results boost to new artwork, then an artist may marginally help their sales over time by adding new art to their account at the front end of a period of time for which the sales volume is above average.

Concluding Thought

There are a lot of unknowns associated with this analysis. A key unknown is just how well my sales data aligns with Redbubble’s site-wide sales data. For those familiar with astronomy, there is the concept of the homogeneous universe. If that concept (that the universe is the same everywhere) applies to my sales data for Redbubble, then there will be a high degree of correlation between my results and the results that any other artist doing a similar analysis would get — in which case this analysis would be useful to anyone selling their art and/or photography on Redbubble.

For any artist or photographer engaged in selling on Redbubble, I hope you have found this information useful and that you will consider following me on Redbubble.

Visit Jim Plaxco’s Artist Portfolio on Redbubble

Bookmark it:  Stumble It  Bookmark this on Delicious  Digg This  Technorati  Reddit Tweet It


SEA Conference for Self Employment In The Arts 2018

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

SEA Conference self employment in the arts 2018
SEA Conference self employment in the arts 2018 Program Book Cover

Last weekend it was the Capricon Science Fiction Convention This coming weekend it will be an art business conference. The SEA (Self Employment in the Arts) Conference is a two day conference focused on helping creatives (artists, photographers, authors, etc.) manage, market, and grow their creative business. This conference is packed with panels, round table discussions, and how-to sessions. There is also a juried college art competition and an idea pitch competition for artists, not to mention entertainment. I had the good fortune to be able to participate in the 2017 SEA conference and was really impressed by how well organized it was and by the quality of the programming.

To give you a quick idea as to the nature of the conference programming, here are just a few of the programming items:

  • Branding Workshop
  • Busting Legal Myths: Contracts and Business Entities
  • Creative Career Exploration
  • Death to the Starving Artist Myth:  How to Eat, Live and Succeed as an Artist
  • Getting Exposure for Your Creative Work
  • Getting Started as a Creative Entrepreneur
  • Making a Career as an Illustrator
  • Making Money with Writing
  • Pricing Your Creative Work
  • Social Media Tools and How to Use Them

My participation in the conference will consist of being on one panel, leading two round table discussions, and being available for one of the conference’s One-On-One mentoring sessions.

In the panel Marketing your Creative Talent or Business, we panelists will be addressing the wide range of ways in which creatives can market themselves and their business, including both traditional marketing methods and online marketing. Besides myself, the panelists are Ross Egan, J.C. Geiger, Lauren Ramsey, and Brandy Sales.

One of the round table sessions I’ll be leading is Print-on-Demand (POD) where we’ll be discussing how an artist/photographer/writer can go about comparing the different online platforms that are available and determining which one will best serve the individual’s needs. In addition there will be discussion of how to market both your POD (Print-On-Demand) account/storefront and products.

The second round table will be Analyzing Your Web Site. While this will be most beneficial to those artists who already have a web site, individuals looking to create their first site will also benefit. The approach I hope to take with this roundtable is to use a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis methodology in conjunction with an implementation of web design best practices.

I will also be available for one of the conferences many One-On-One Mentoring Sessions. The topic areas that would be of highest value are those of web design, content creation, HTML/CSS, WordPress, SEO, Print-On-Demand (POD) platforms, and web site analysis. Of course if someone wants me to mentor them on the subject of creative coding using the Processing platform, I’ll be happy to oblige them.

As a part of supporting the SEA Conference, I’ve donated three items to the conference’s raffle. One is the Eyeo Converge to Inspire 2011-2015 conference speakers and art book I got at the 2016 Eyeo convention. The book is a 1st edition and is out of print so this will be a nice prize for someone. The second and third items are two certificates each good for a two hour (120 minute) complimentary web design consultation (for more see my Web Consulting Services page).

Web Consulting Services Certificate
Web consulting certificate for the SEA raffle

Lastly, I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised to see that the conference program book cover includes one of the artworks I submitted. The artwork Welcome to the Machine is the rightmost of the four images seen in the image at the top. Sorry folks, this one is not on my web site nor is it available in my Redbubble store.

SEA Conference 2018

February 23-24, 2018

Hilton Hotel, Lisle, Illinois

selfemploymentinthearts.com

@seaconference

#seaconf2018

 

Bookmark it:  Stumble It  Bookmark this on Delicious  Digg This  Technorati  Reddit Tweet It