This post is by guest author Keith Bond. This article has been edited and published with the author's permission. We've promoted this post to feature status because it provides great value to the FineArtViews community. If you want your blog posts listed in the FineArtViews newsletter with the possibility of being republished to our 75,000+ subscribers, consider blogging with FASO Artist Websites. This author's views are entirely his own and may not always reflect the views of BoldBrush, Inc.
I (and many others) have suggested that you should send “Thank You” cards on a regular basis. Most of the time I send a card that has an image of one of my paintings printed on it. But recently, I wanted to send something a bit more personal and significant.
So the solution was to create a hand-made card. I know that this is not a new idea. Many of you make your own cards already. But I hope to spark a few ideas for the rest of you.
Branding vs Creativity
Hand-made cards can be done with almost any media and in any style. You can get quite creative. However, I would recommend not departing too far from the work that you normally do. Your fans like your work for a reason. Give them what they like. If you stray too far and do a card that doesn’t resemble what they know and like, there is a risk. True, being creative may open up other possibilities. But it also has the potential to do the opposite. Consider that your cards can add to your brand or image. Is that important to you?
What I Did
In the past, I have occasionally done watercolor cards or graphite or even pen and ink. Regardless of the media, my subject matter and style always remained similar. I don’t feel very competent in watercolor – and it takes me forever to do them. But I did want color. I hate acrylic. So I did oil.
First I masked off a half inch boarder all around and applied gesso to the paper to protect it from the oil. I then did a quick 20 minute oil sketch on the card. Once dried, I could write the message on the inside.
Killing 2 Birds with 1 Stone
Although you do want to make the recipient feel special, you don’t want to spend too much time creating the cards. You need time to create your work for galleries and shows. And, of course, you have the business tasks on top of that. I found a great way to make these cards efficiently.
I occasionally do quick little studies to work out color and/or composition ideas before committing to a larger canvas. I realized that this was a great opportunity to use those little sketches as greeting cards. I masked off several blank cards on a rigid board and then applied Gesso to the lot. Whenever I need to do a color thumbnail for a work, I do it on one of these primed cards. As a result, I have on hand several original hand-made cards to send when needed.
The Extra Mile
Imagine opening a letter to find an original sketch by an artist you admire. Creating your own “Thank You” cards make the recipients feel special and important. It is a very thoughtful gesture that makes your collectors even bigger fans. They recognize the extra mile.
Today's post is an updated version from a few years ago, but we're republishing it again today because it's still a timely and a very relevant message. Enjoy!
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