2019 Calendar - Confession 83

2019.01.04 18:58:43

It's already 2019, and last year I decided, for the first time ever, to sell some of my art. Apparently more people wanted to buy my art than I expected, so I thought it would be a good idea to write a bit about it all and my future plans.

This project started with the usual problem around the holiday season: not knowing what to gift to people on Christmas. Inspired by one of my favourite artists, Malbeni, I decided to make a calendar for the coming year filled with my own layout and drawings made specifically for it. But if I was already going to go through all that trouble, I thought I might as well try and sell it on the net in case anyone was interested. It turns out, genuinely much to my surprise, that people are indeed interested in buying things, but I'll talk about that in a bit.

Unfortunately for me I got this idea pretty late – mid November if I recall – so finding the time to draw all the pictures, do the layouting, find a print shop, and finally print things was quite hard. The calendar included 13 drawings, each of which took around 2-4 hours to do, so that alone cost me around 40 hours. Mix that together with university shoving end of semester exams in my face it was a really exciting time!

Finding a print shop that had the exact format I wanted also proved to be quite tough. I emailed several shops, and they either didn't reply at all or offered fees that were absurd like 300 Chf for 20 copies! Finally I did manage to find an online print shop that offered a reasonable rate, though the reviews made me worried that things might not arrive on time. Even though it cost me a lot of days, I'm really glad I decided to first do a test print too, as that showed I had screwed up with the colours and some of the pictures would have turned out way too dark. In the end things arrived on the Wednesday before Christmas, so about just in time for the gifting season. I'm honestly not sure what I would have done if it hadn't arrived on time.

The way I planned things out I needed 8 calendars for gifts, and the rest would be up for sale. I thought I was going to sell at best around 10 copies, so having two left over didn't seem so bad and the final order was 20 pieces. Unfortunately it seems this was another mistake on my part as I've now received more than three messages from people that wanted to buy a copy but couldn't. I'm very sorry! I'll try to do better next year. There might also still be a chance for me to order more, if there is enough interest. To explain, here's a breakdown of the price:

The calendar was put up for 12Chf + 5Chf shipping. It really costs 5Chf to ship internationally from Switzerland. The 12Chf price was calculated by a production cost from the printers of about 3Chf ammortised over the 20 copies, leaving me with 9Chf profit per example. If I wanted to sell another batch of 5 calendars, each calendar would cost about 7Chf to produce due to the base price of the print shop. I'm still willing to do this, as long as I get at least 3 orders, so if you want a calendar but couldn't buy one yet, I've reopened the offer.

I've already started working on next year's calendar, but I will definitely make sure to avoid the mistakes I made this year. Namely, I will:

  • Finish all drawings around October
  • Remember to do CMYK conversion and colour profile adjustments
  • Finish test print and final adjustments preferably before November
  • Open orders around or on the first of November
  • Order more than 20 examples for the first bulk

To close this off, I want to thank everyone again for their interest! It's been a really heartwarming and happy surprise whenever I got another email from PayPal or when people expressed their interest in the calendar. Thank you very much, I sincerely hope that I can do better next year.


Written by shinmera