We try our best to keep our clients involved with what we do. We use our news page primarily to keep you updated about current workload so it should hopefully give you an idea of timescales and waiting lists. It also gives a fascinating insight into the process involved in creating your dream portraits! Please get in touch if you have any suggestions of what you would like us to include in our news page.

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» Listings for February 2014

  1. Since launching this website I have been keen to understand the market, trying to find a way to get my name 'out there' and to try and promote what I do to bring in enough commissions to really make it a credible business.
    In doing so I have researched similar portrait artists, their work and their pricing structure.
    There are some fantastic artists out there who create some really wonderful work; some similar to what I offer, others completely different. We are living in very creative times and it is great to see the 'industry' taking off and people calling upon individuals rather than massive corporations to create some truly unique and cherished pieces of art.
    I have always believed that art should be affordable and when visiting galleries in the past and seeing the astronomical prices that some artwork commands I rooted myself in offering my art at considerably discounted prices. I don't think it fair that people should be 'ripped off' or overcharged for anything and have always believed that everyone is entitled to get what they pay for.
    I believe in quality - be it a product or a service.

    After having a very interesting conversation with someone this week however, it has been highlighted that I am probably under charging for my work. This prompted me to revisit my strategy, put on my business head and really consider what kind of profit and, more importantly, what kind of sustainability I am generating from this (very) small business.

    In the years I have been creating artwork (visit canvasartuk to see what kept me busy before this website was launched) I of course have always factored materials and overheads into my pricing structure, I have a long history of working in retail and know that those things are very important - what is the point in selling a product for less than you bought it for?
    The issue is that, up until now, I have always treated the creation and sale of my artwork as a hobby and have never factored in my time into sale prices. Which is pretty crazy when I think about it as no one should work without a wage, right?
    I'm no business mogul but I do understand that I need to make some kind of profit in order to maintain production of my work; you need to speculate to accumulate and the more you sell the more you need to buy to be able to sell more - it really is a never ending circle.

    But Lord Sugar would definitely have a word or two to say to me if he ever came across my business model!
    'So you know the cost of your materials, you factor in your overheads and you sell your items for a small profit? But how much do you make from it?...'
    well... ummmmmm

    I have read various guides and self help books on the subject of business and the resounding mantra coming from all of them is that, when beginning a small business, you must factor in a wage for yourself, even if it is a minimum wage (or less) you must pay yourself for your time!

    So how should I factor in my time? I offer my clients a price list based on the size of their paintings but, depending on the subject, the painting could take anything from a few hours to a few days to complete!

    Would it be fair to request a hugely varying price for two paintings the same size just because of the time they took to complete?
    I suppose it makes sense on paper, but would customers be prepared to pay?

    I have named my business Bespoke Canvas Art because that is precisely what I offer; each painting is completely bespoke, tailored to the requirements of the client. Does this kind of service already come with a price tag? an expectation? that I am currently underpricing?
    Should I be trying to compete with high street prices when my product is so far removed from what the high street offers?
    Am I damaging my products credibility because I am charging too little for it?

    Perhaps I should be looking at restructuring my pricing strategy to fall inline with what similar artists price their work at.
    After all, there is a reason they charge that amount for their product and upon reflection, it is not based on the indulgence of wealth as I had previously assumed it was.

    I maintain my ambition to be able to offer quality art and portraiture at an affordable price and I pledge to never command a price containing multiple zeros for one of my paintings. But I do need to be more realistic and business-like about my approach to pricing.
    I should consider that the product I offer does in fact take up a lot of my time and since time is actually money (we have to pay bills etc at regular time intervals after all) I should be factoring that into my work.
    I am also very aware (thanks to a good talking to this week!) that I am in danger of damaging the credibility of my product by offering it at a fraction of the cost of other artists; there is a natural perception that the higher the price of a product the better quality it will be and my product is of no less quality than any other artist on the market, I can assure you ;-)

    With all this in mind I would really love to hear what other people think about the subject and have put together a short survey to try and get some kind of feedback as to what it is people are really looking for from an artist when creating their personal portraits. Follow the link below to take the survey now!
    I will also post the survey on my facebook pages shortly but if you have any opinions or queries or suggestions please feel free to get in touch via the contact us page or by simply commenting on this blog post!

    Your input would be very much appreciated :-)
    Click here to take survey


    K x

  2. loyalty

    So I have decided to launch a new trial scheme to promote the Facebook page and hopefully redirect people to the website. It's a loyalty scheme called 'Fan Crank' that rewards likers participation in my new page. I don't know how it will go down, considering I don't have too many likers right now, but I do think that I should reward people for putting up with my constant posting on the facebook page (I'm sure the 150 are getting pretty sick of seeing the competiotn post being repeated every few hours!)

    Basically the app records everyones interaction with the facebook page and produces a leader board based on how many likes and shares people make/generate. Every month the person at the top of the leader board will receive a code that will generate a discount at the checkout when purchasing a portrait from the website!
    For this first month the discount is 10% but, depending on how well this works, I may change it to more rewarding discounts in the future!

    Let's see how it goes!!

    K x

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