Well, we’ve been talking about it for a long time, and we’ve finally taken the first steps into ecommerce.
Those of you who are clients of ours know how important we think online marketing and sales can be to the artist and photographer. Many have expressed various levels of discomfort with the whole process and the desire to find someone to “do it for you”. Well, this is the beginnings of fulfilling that wish.
In the beginning, we are featuring our own items. Some of those items are our own art and photos, some are photos from NASA , we’ll have nostalgic art deco images from the our national parks, historic baseball card pictures, and new things as we find them. The images will be available on metal prints of various sizes, coffee mugs, Ceramic tiles, and t-shirts.
Let me describe a little about our process in getting here.
Building a store involves a lot of decisions and efforts that go far beyond the mere selection of pieces and finding photos of the work…
- What ecommerce platform to use?
- Should I create a space on my website?
- Do I have to worry about security?
- What items should I sell?
- What prices should I have?
- How can I leverage other peoples marketing efforts and SEO so that customers will find my work?
- How do I best promote my store?
Building and marketing a store is as if not more complex and time consuming as building a full website. There are so many things to plan for that go well afield of just choosing which pieces to feature.
We chose to use Etsy as our ecommerce base. They are very inexpensive, accept virtually all credit/debit cards, have a strong security team, they have both internal search tools and the “Google Juice” to get front page results with Google and other search engines, they make items available internationally, calculate shipping costs and provide tools to reduce the cost of mailing. Many folks use Etsy all by itself, relying on their internal search to make sales, but we realized we could leverage the power of Etsy with strong organic and paid Social Media and website optimization to supercharge exposure. We also realized this would be a system that would benefit our clients!
Why are we doing this?
The goal here is to develop a scalable marketing system that we can expand to include our clients. We want to find the best methods to promote their artwork and photography. Which products will work best. Which price points are most effective in getting their creative endeavors into the hands of the people who admire them. And, of course, the best way to promote them online.
We are hoping to role out new items at least weekly. Please watch for our posts on Facebook and twitter our Pinterest boards and Instagram postings and feel free to share them across your networks too.
The JDA Store
JDA Has Moved
When we moved to the 6th and Pine address nearly 10 years ago, we loved the location. It was a funky old building with wood floors, great big windows, close to downtown, and had plenty of free parking.
Well, the area has changed drastically. I won’t enumerate all the details, except the ones that directly affected our clients convenience and safety. Those of you who visited frequently have seen an increase in petty crimes (graffiti, broken windows, panhandlers, and the like) and a marked decrease in available parking.
There wasn’t anything we could do to improve the location, so we decided to move.
Our new location is in the Parkrose Business Center on 122nd just north of Sandy Blvd.
It’s a beautiful place with trees and grass, and PLENTY OF FREE PARKING! (Are you sensing a theme here?)
Check out the map below.
We are still in the process of getting settled in, but all the equipment is up and running and we are open for business. I encourage you to stop in and see some of the new things we’re working on.
JDA Creative Color
12019 NE Sumner St.
Portland, OR 97220
Giclée prints are a wonderful addition to the artist’s offerings. When done properly, they can closely mimic the original… and when masterfully done, not only can capture the look of the piece, but express it’s very soul. And all that can be offered at a price that allows many more admirers to have the artist’s work on their walls. Marvelous!
But what about the client who wants your artwork to join her for coffee at work? Or thinks it would look great on their cellphone case? Or a shopping bag? Or even flip flops and a t-shirt!
How about the family that wants your painting of a Cannon Beach ocean scene to adorn the walls of their shower? Perhaps a local brewer wants to use your art for a beer label and you can offer him beer steins, coasters, bar towels, even bottle openers… also with your image.
People love art. Often, however, they resist the traditional methods of owning and displaying it. Wouldn’t it be nice to allow them to decide how, and in what form, to display it?
This is where Dye Sublimation comes in. Dye Sublimation, or Dye Sub as we call it, is a process that uses special inks that, when subjected to heat and pressure, turn directly from solid into gas (sublimate). When the ink is in contact with the proper type of material … usually a man made or specially coated natural material… the ink gas molecules bond with the molecules of the item. A permanent bond. The image becomes part of the surface. It doesn’t scratch or wash off.
There are literally thousands of items that are “sublimatable! “ Perfect for your Etsy Store or the e-commerce section of your website. We can even provide fulfillment for you.
Of course, the process opens up a wealth of possibilities for new materials to be used in the creation of an artist’s work. Glass, wood, ceramic, and metal are but a few materials that can be imaged and added to the original artwork.
OK so why are we running an IndieGoGo project ? Well, because it requires a lot of new equipment and supplies. Rather than take out a loan that would add to the cost of the items, we thought we’d give people who support the arts an opportunity to help fund the project. We believe that we have a number of attractive and valuable perks that will make your participation well worthwhile. Please visit our IndieGoGo project HERE and consider contributing to the project. Whether you contribute or not, you can really help by simply sending the link to the IndieGoGo page to your contacts! We and lots of artists that will thank you!
About 20 years ago, a co-worker told me, “There’s only one way to make a Black and White in Photoshop.” Well, I could think of at least 3 and told him so. But that got me thinking. Just how many ways were there to create a grayscale image in Photoshop? I soon had the remarkable total of 8… and an ongoing project that has lasted to this very day.
One of the first blog posts I ever wrote (3 or 4 website iterations ago) related 11 methods of B&W conversion. A couple years later it was up to 16, then 18. When I got to 20 I decided to publish an eBook. As I wrote, I realized I needed to talk a little about some of the underlying features and issues, What are Color Settings? How does Color Management work? What’s an ICC Profile? Can I use Camera Raw on a tif or jpg file? The book got longer. Another method was discovered… that made 21.
When all was said and done there were 22 methods of creating a Black and White (greyscale) from a color picture.
And we explained the basics of:
- Scanning and how scanners decide the values to use when making a B&W
- Color Management
- Blending Modes
- ICC Profiles (and how to make your own!)
- Adobe Camera Raw
- Color Settings Menu - setting default values
- Many of the Adjustment commands
- Adjustment Layers
- and many other features of Photoshop
I hope you will pick up a copy. It costs less than a latte, and can be read on your tablet, smart phone, or computer! Thanks!
The other day I stopped into my favorite Burger King for lunch. It's the one on Stark St in Gresham, by the Home Depot. Why is it my favorite? Don't all Burger Kings have the same menu, the same basic decor, etc? Well, yes, but this place is different. Oh, they have the same menu, but the service is amazing! We were greeted with a "Welcome to Burger King!" when we entered, but more than that, the people who waited on us smiled and were friendly! Our meals were hot and fresh from the grill. It was a wonderful meal.
When we left, I made a point to compliment the servers, asking them to pass on those compliments to the managers. In turn they asked me to fill out their survey on the back of the receipt. I knew that was a way I could really recognize their efforts. So, I plan to do just that.
How do you recognize the efforts of the people and companies you deal with and like especially well? Perhaps you've never given that much thought. In this digital world, feedback can really assist your favorite companies to flourish.
When you spread the good word about a place onLine, the search engines notice. They all rank websites by "Authority" and that comes from mentions, #hashtags, back links, reviews, and myriad other sources that are considered when deciding on which page the website shows up in a web search. When they land on the front page, others can discover them, too. And more customers means a stronger more stable organization. That’s good for the company, but also for the client because our favorite place will be more likely to be around when we need them.
Let's take a look at a few ways you can contribute to that stream of data:
Yelp , Google Places, and Angie's List are just 3 of the dozens of great places to put in a good word. Tell people what you like and dislike about the place and give it a rating. The more ratings a place gets the more attention it garners!
Even if you only have a few followers on twitter, you can reach a lot of people by using the # sign to create a "Hashtag". By using the # symbol along with a word or phrase that others might search for, your tweet can be seen by many folks you don't know. For example the above experience might carry a hashtag of #great_burger or #Burger_King.
Like their company pages. Share their posts with your Facebook friends.
If you write a blog, mention the company's website and provide a link. These are called inbound links and are incredibly helpful to a site's ranking.
If you have your own website, consider "trading links" with your favorite suppliers. If you mention them, they often will return the favor, thus helping to build your presence and authority as well.
If you have a newsletter or send out some other regular eMail, tell your subscribers about your favorite suppliers!
Word Of Mouth:
Tell your friends! The oldest and best way to help your friends in business!