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In the frame

I suppose there can’t be many people who get excited about turpentine but I’m one of them 🙂

It’s been a shopping day, and since I was going out for one thing, it meant it was easier to go for various other things too. It started at the Printers though, since they were closed for lunch the other day when I went and I didn’t want another wasted journey. The girl behind the counter was her usual friendly and smiling self as I explained what I wanted – only two small prints doing as I handed over my memory stick and she wrote down the sizes I wanted and said they were incredibly busy and if I had anything else to do they’d appreciate it if I could leave it a couple of hours “No problem” I said “Shall I come back after 1pm?” and she smiled with relief and said they’d apreciate it. I asked if they were busy and she said yes, this week had suddenly woken up business wise but it was difficult to keep a smile on her face when demanding people came in shouting that they needed work doing, and needed it now! Knowing that she is always helpful and pleasant in all the dealings I’ve had with her, I said “There’s no need for that is there?” and she agreed as we discussed rude people, and she said that actually it worked the other way round, that the rude shouting people got left to last and the nice people’s work got done first! I smiled and said “And I’m a nice one!” and she agreed, I was!

I know people get stressed, we all do, and I know that a bit of pressure is good to get work done, but being rude to pArtists work spaceeople only puts peoples backs up, and means they’ll stop being helpful and resent you. Don’t think though that I live in a Pollyanna world where things are all sweetness and cloying smiling sugaryness. I don’t, but I learnt many years ago that just being firm, friendly and fair are my way of doing business.

On to my favourite hardware shop (yes, I have a favourite,  its a local family run one where the staff greet me by name as I walk through the door and are always helpful with advice and jolly with banter) where I got my turps and masking tape and ran a few more errands before heading back to the Printers where my prints were waiting.

But it was later on in the busy day, when I thought I might as well have a full day of shopping that I went to the local framer to get the frame sorted for the wedding picture, a day I’ve been waiting for since I finished the picture, but now its dry and I’ve varnished it, it can be finished off and dressed in its golden finery. The frame was the obvious one for me, and the framer agreed that he thought the one I’d picked was the best for it compared to the other selections he had. Good, I like it when that happens, and he gave me an expected date for its completion. I was mega impressed that he’d remembered my name since I’ve not seen him for a while as he filled out the request form details, and then it clicked as he smiled. He hadn’t at all, he’d read the name I’d signed at the bottom of the picture! Ha, framers tricks! Its a good one though, worthy of Derren Brown! I smiled as I turned to go and was almost though the door when I asked how business was and that opened the floodgates of chat as we talked solildly for almost an hour about all aspects of art business, framing, work, being self employed, loving your job, and whether advertising works, since the best sort of advert is word of mouth. We did differ though in where we get our clients from, my clients can be anywhere in the country, or the world really, since the artwork can be posted to them. His clients are really in a 20 mile radius of his town. It interested me to hear that he had lots of artists through his door getting pictures framed who hadn’t sold at exhibitions, who had had their work with galleries and not sold it. I smiled and said that was why I prefer to do commissions, then the client gets the artwork they want, in the frame they want, for the price they want, and I know that I’m going to get paid for it. He agreed, and said that most artists don’t like that though, they like to paint what they feel like painting without the constrictions of being told what to do. I know I’m unusual, and not like most artists, but much prefer commissions I told him with a grin. Like he said “You know your own busines!” and I agreed, I do. And was amused when he told me that a local magazine wanted him to advertise with them, and he asked the telesales woman what was the best way to get people to give him their business and she immediately responded “Give them a discount – 20% would be good!” and he agreed with her, it would be. She gave him a price for placing the advert and he said “And I presume you’ll give me a 20% discount on that?” She said quickly “We don’t do that!” and he said “You’re pushing me to give a discount to get new business and yet you won’t give it” and she quietly said “You’re not going to place the advert are you?” as he said “No” and put the phone down…….

So, what is the best sort of advertising then? 🙂