Nervelessly Knocking on Doors

I’ve hired myself as Marketing Director of Illustrated Playing Cards, LLC, the company that was created in April to manufacture and distribute my cards.  Since I’m the President and Founder, it was a short interview.  I realized that the best man for the job of promoting and outreach can only be me.  I can’t really count on anyone else breaking through the eggshell of Retail Land, or drumming up the level of  support and interest that I need in order to accomplish my goal of a World Series of Illustrated Cards.No one else has been walking around town for the last year carrying a suitcase full of card decks and making cold-calls at retail consignment shops.    Who else can say they’ve single-handedly collated 37,000 cards into full decks (that’s 5,400 {100 x 54} x 5 batches at 100 decks.  It wasn’t until the 7th printing that I started getting the decks cut perfectly to register, round-cornered, and shrinkwrapped by my allies at City Graphics (222 Southwest 4th Avenue).  In the early days (4 months ago) I couldn’t afford to have the printer round corners so I would receive them uncollated AND the corners uncut, square and sharp.  I have clipped more corners than I can count really, but just consider that each corner must be cut singly with a little clipper {snipsnip} like a fingernail. Imagine 100 decks round cornered by one man, late at night in his studio…

Just like the old American Salesman, the Original Entrepeneur, who made his bread and butter by nervelessly knocking on doors across small-town America.  Which leads me to something else.  That whole Guerrilla Marketing angle.  Has anyone ever knocked on your door trying to sell Art?  What if I carpeted a neighborhood with flyers about my playing cards?  What if I introduce myself to every single business featured in my illustrations? (260 drawings to date)  This whole Adventure in Art as Business (and Life) was born about 1 year ago with my fire in the mind idea to make Playing Cards.  By October I had launched a Kickstarter campaign online to jumpstart the cards.  Willamette Week said : “52 Reasons to Love PDX!!” and I hit my goal of $500 in a week, and the pledges of support brought the total funds raised to $725.

In November I printed the first 100 proto-decks, awkwardly made at Kinko’s late at night and released them at Backspace Cafe on during First Thursday Artwalk in Old Town.

To be Continued….

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