That fish bowl has over 150 entries stuffed in it, all to win a little 6.25" square framed fine art print of a doughnut painting. I enjoyed opening every one of those slips of paper; each one felt like a hug. Not to mention, the names included the likes of the mayor's daughter, Miss Idaho, a favorite local musician (thanks, Grandma Kelsey!), wouldn't-trade-'em-for-the-world friends (who used funny aliases like "El Sexo"), and smile-worthy names from my past like Riverstone International School staff.
Not only did it feel good to read those names and hear the joyous "woohoo!" from the winner, I now have 150 new subscribers to my email newsletter list. If you follow Seth Godin, these people represent my tribe, and I'm on my way to reaching that magical 1,000 true fans.
I owe thanks to Flying M Coffeehouse in downtown Boise for showing oil paintings from my still life series during the month of March. Flying M promoted my First Thursday art show and sold my cards and prints in their gift shop all month. This quirky coffee shop attracts a dynamic slice of Boise folks, and it has a great reputation for its art wall. I took advantage of this captive audience by taking entries all month for the first edition print of Scarlett the tease doughnut.
As artists, people often come knocking to request donations for their charitable auction. While I find requests for my artwork flattering, I have learned to not say yes to everything. It's hard to sluff off the "starving artist" lifestyle if we give everything away without profit. I have to answer "yes" to the following to donate a piece of art:
- Does the nonprofit audience represent my customer base?
- Will my work appear professional and named correctly?
- Does the nonprofit list a minimum bid that reflects the quality of my work?
- Will they display my business cards, newsletter sign-up form or other literature?
I can answer "yes" wholeheartedly to all of these questions when I donate to the River Restoration Northwest annual conference held at Skamania Lodge on the Columbia River. The proof is in the pudding. I have sold four original paintings and many limited-edition prints to the RRNW audience. Giving wisely will always give back.