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Many times in the past years I have received emails and letters from art college students asking to write about me for assignments. It has always been an honor to help them out. Below I have attached an email I got today and my response to that email:

The email I got:

You might have seen my post on the eBay group. I’ve been selling my art on eBay as joyfoundobjects and joyfoundartist for the past several years, but seriously contemplated running it as a business when I did a test run as JoyFoundArtist last year and found I could make a viable living income from my art. So, this semester I am taking a business class to flesh out a business plan and intend to start selling my ACEO again in July. As part of the class, I have to interview several business owners who market similar products. We are required to ask certain questions, and I was wondering if you would help me out by answering them for me? There are 10 questions. The answers and interview are for purposes of the class assignment and will be posted on a secure LCC college intranet. Your responses will only be available to the class (about 30 people) this semester.

My Reply:

I am simply honored to help you with this. I have been approached by many students with the same type of situation and it makes me feel great that a student would select me to write about. See my responses in the word document I attach. I have been a very busy artist for about 25 years now, lately I have started to reach what some would call inspiration and confidence in my works. Tell all your fellow students that the key to success is create art because you enjoy it, success will come when you least expect it, but it will not happen over night. The artistic potential is unlimited, but an artist must think outside of the box. If you do what everyone else is doing, your chances of success are limited. But, if you are unique and if you pursue limits outside of the traditional art arena, or box, you will begin to see results faster. This applies to all arts. The competition today with the age of the internet has created stiff competition for artists. Those who stick with it, little by little, day by day, will see results in the long run. Atleast that has been my experience. It is easy to give up on art if you do not enjoy it. If you do not enjoy creating art, you are in the wrong profession. To me art has always been a hobby as my second source of income. Have options and alternatives to your life, but if you love art, maintain and improve your skills; it will pay off! I got wrapped up in this, so I will send the replies to your questions in my next email as a word attachment. I have to send this before my session times out.

1.Did you create a business plan before launching your ACEO business, and if not, did you develop one later? Why or why not?

I started painting 25 years ago. 2 years ago I began selling ACEOs and trading ATCs, Art Trading Cards. My business plan when I began creating ACEOs was to add an existing art form to my already existing watercolor regular size paintings.

2.If you do have a business plan, how do you use or have you used it in developing your ACEO business?

My business plan was to research venues to sell my ACEOs. I found two primary places online that sell ACEOs. Ebay and The ACEO part of art.com

3. How do you develop new ideas for your ACEO business?

I develop new ideas through research and observing what other artists are doing, you must think outside the box, and be different also.

4. Do you sell only ACEO or a mix of ACEO and other size art?

I offer numerous sizes of work as the customer may want something a different size. The more options you offer, the more customers you will attract and be able to meet their needs.

5. What is the average starting and selling price point for your ACEO size art?

Depends on the time it took me to create the work, between 15 to 60 dollars.

6. Do you specialize in any particular theme, media or subject matter, and if so how do you feel this impacts your business opportunities as an artist?

I concentrate on lighthouses, florals and landscapes. I feel it is important to first master one theme and promote it before trying to do too mush at once.

7. How long have you had an ACEO business, and had you had previous experience in running a business (art or otherwise)? Please explain.

I have been selling ACEOs for 2 years and art for 25 years.

8. Do you also license your ACEO art images on t-shirts and other products? If so, where and why.

I use http://www.zazzle.com/dereklovessheila to sell my ACEOs on gifts.

9. Do you do all the work of your business yourself as a sole proprietor, or do you hire staff ? What functions do others perform for you in your business, and what was your rationale for using other people to support your ACEO business activities?
I do not hire anyone to complete work for me as the art has not made that much of a budget for me to be able to hire help.

10. What advice do you have for someone starting out selling their original ACEO art as a business venture? Please include your biggest struggles as an ACEO artist, and your greatest triumphs.
Start out with one theme and get better at it before moving onto other subjects.
Use keywords effectively and promote you products to a target audience for your subject. View art.com and see what subjects are selling well. ACEO subjects may be different than regular subjects.

View more art at my gallery at
Watercolor Paintings

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