Thursday, June 28, 2007

radiant lightRadiant Light Mandala - (Circles of Light series) - © 2007 Sue O'Kieffe

Tuesday afternoon I received email from my business counselor that he was trying to arrange a meeting with a professional printer to talk with me about my printing concerns. So I decided to postpone taking in anymore information until after I talked with him.

The one thing I am definitely questioning, though, is the need to use archival ink for printing these cards. Hellooooo answer, I'm still looking for you! Am I getting warmer?

With this image, I started a new series of mandalas. My art, at its core, is about the Light piercing the darkness. My intent is to find new ways to let the Light shine through !


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

EXPLORING PRODUCTION COSTS, PART II

heaven's embraceHeaven's Embrace Mandala Greeting Card - © 2007 Sue O'Kieffe - $4.00 + shipping and tax

Yesterday I contacted local artist Andrew Daniel, who is one of my heroes and role models, as well as a favortite of mine in the local art scene, to ask him to print one of my cards on his printer. After a bunch of exploration looking for less expensive sources for Epson ink without going the generic route, I began to question the need for printing my cards using archival ink. Andrew has gone this route and prints beautifully colorful cards, but doesn't use much black in his work. It is the depth and richness of the black ink that I think makes my cards look elegant. Of course, black is the most expensive of the inks and I am guessing I use two cartridges for every 100 cards I print. I am still tracking that information. I'm really grateful that he was willing to help me out. I'm going to see him this evening.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Happy Birthday to You

summer delightsSummer Delights Mandala - (Summer Series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2007

This mandala and blog post honors my artist/blogging compadre, Diane Clancy, who has been a source of inspiration and information ever since she found me a few months back. I am grateful for her presence, her generous spirit, her dedication to her values, her diligence and her honesty.

Many blessings to you this day, dear friend.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

CONSIDERING PRODUCTION COSTS

summer solstice
Summer Solstice - (Summer Series) - © 2007 Sue O'Kieffe

I have been exploring the subject of production costs a little bit this week. My overall preference would be not to print my greeting cards myself. I have an Epson printer that actually prints beautiful work, but the cost of the ink is really prohibitive for production work. I did a bit of cursory googling yesterday searching for wholesale ink, and what I found was either knock off ink (which I won't use) or ink that doesn't work with my printer model.

I have a friend who has approached me with a business proposition. He is offering to loan me enough money to print 2 0f my cards using a professional printer. He would sell some of the cards where he lives in Kentucky and ship the rest back to me to sell where I am. I am still mulling this idea over. I would rather have three cards printed, so perhaps there would be a way for me to come up with the balance. He and I are still talking about this idea. I do feel pretty confident that I could set up five wholesale accounts locally who would purchase these cards. Would this be enough to get me started though? I'm not sure. And I want to make sure that using an out of the area printer is my best option. In some ways Id rather use local printers because of my "shop local" value I try to follow as much as possible.

Is there anyone out there who knows of a less expensive resource for Epson ink? I know it is possible to buy in quantity from suppliers and that would bring my costs down as well. day lily

Today's mandala was created from a day lily that was on
the downside of its life cycle. I was attracted to the transparency of the lily's petals, almost as if you could see into it to the cellular level.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

THE BUSINESS OF ART

garden party mandalaGarden Party Mandala - (Summer Series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2007

As some of you who have been following my blog may know, I was recently accepted into a 10 month Artists in Business focus group. One of the features of this group alyssumis access to a business counselor to help guide and assist us through this process. My counselor and I met for the first time today. On my way to the meeting, I noticed a little patch of tri-colored alyssum planted around a light post and I made a mental note to take a picture of them after my meeting. I was really attracted to the three colors and thought they would make a pretty pattern in a mandala.
This mandala marks the beginning of the next leg of my journey, hunkering down to the nuts and bolts of creating a business. It's a good thing I have a well developed left side of my brain.

So my next step is to begin investigating ways of bringing down my production costs, because right now I am losing money the way I am printing for what I am charging. When I forged ahead back in February designing and producing my cards I pretty much thought it would require some procedural adjustments somewhere down the line. Looks like that time is now!

I did a tiny bit of maintenance on my blog this weekend too and added an icon in my profile. I use that mandala on my business cards. If you go to the beginning of my blog, it was also the first image I posted here last year.

I also added a few more artists' blogs I like to read. If you aren't familiar with these really fine artists, I hope you will take the time to go meet them and appreciate their many talents.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

RECLAIMING THE LIGHT

reclaiming the light
Reclaiming the Light Mandala Greeting Card - © Sue O'Kieffe 2006 ($4.00 + shipping and tax)

This card is one in the series of 12 greeting cards that I currently offer for sale. Of the twelve, the image and quote on this card are probably closest to my heart.

I want to thank those of you who offered such generous feedback and commentary on my last post. I know that I have a story to share about my journey; I don't know if I will do it I on my blog and/or website or not. I think I am a mirror for many journeys, just as much as you are for me. We all carry a bit of the "Divine Spark;" we are all related. We are all one. May we all be restored to wholeness.

If you are interested in seeing any of my other cards, there is a link to my card gallery on the right. If you are interested in purchasing any of my work, please email me for more information.

I want to thank all of you who read my blog, whether you comment or not. I would love to hear from all of you.