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Art School Rehab: Finding Success Without Selling Out

Lesson 9 of 26

Exercise: Develop Your Bread + Butter Product Line

 

Art School Rehab: Finding Success Without Selling Out

Lesson 9 of 26

Exercise: Develop Your Bread + Butter Product Line

 

Lesson Info

Exercise: Develop Your Bread + Butter Product Line

Sometimes you're going to make work that takes a long time, and there should be a place for that, right? Some things are just going to take 20 hours or hours, and you might be able to shave a couple hours off. But at the end of the day, some things are just labor intensive. And so one of the things that you can dio to bring more revenue into your business, while also supporting those pieces, is to develop a bread and butter line. And so your bread and butter line one requires less labour. So it's not like your line is dressers and your bread and butter Linus like end tables like those air still big, long hours. So your bread and butter Linus give me something that requires less labour. It also should sell at a lower price point. It's going to hit a different audience that's gonna give you a little more turnover. But here's the thing. It should sell at a lower price point, but it should have a higher profit margin, and this third part is essential because that's what gives you more mon...

ey so that you could spend your time focusing on the one of a kind things, the more labour things that you really love while still making money off of the bread and butter line. Does that make sense? So for some types of art a bread and butter Linus super obvious right painter, skin cell prints. But I really wanna emphasize this. You don't have Teoh. There is no law that says that because you're a painter, you have to sell Prince and I actually think that it's important if this is you to think about making this as a conscious decision. Just because you can doesn't mean you should. We mentioned this in somebody's hot seat, right? This idea that, like if you sell prints and you sell a lot of them and they're kind of cheap, a lot of your time turns into imprinting. Imprinting. I'm packing. Print the print, print the order slip, pack it up, send it out, and suddenly your whole day is spent on order fulfillment instead of on painting. Now, yes, you can hire someone else to handle that process. But in the beginning, that could be kind of tricky, right? A lot of times in the beginning, you're wearing all the half. And so really thinking about consciously if that's the right move for you and maybe your bread and butter line is something super fun that's still related to your panting. But it's not prints that you actually still enjoy making. I don't think there's very many people who enjoy standing at their printer watching something come out packing it up. I mean, packing is kind of fun when you guys like wrapping, make it all pretty, but it still takes time. So I saw this example. I cannot think of hurting, but there was a painter, but I follow on Instagram who were on Christmas. She does these hand painted ornaments. Her style is really lose, so it's kind of like expressive brushwork. They probably don't take her very long to Dio. I bet they're Superfund may cause she gets still painting, but that's a perfect bread and butter line, and they fell out super quick. So use your creativity to think about your bread and butter line, and you can use your higher price point work as a jumping off point for your bread and butter line. So I opened this class and I was talking about my nonfunctional welded wire furniture that no one's gonna buy, because who's gonna spend town? The $1000 for a chair you can't sit on for the record, it's still sitting in my house years after I meet it. But this is hugely fertile ground for a lot of different ways to jump off and build a bread and butter line. And so when you're thinking about your bread and butter line, I want you to think about what really draws you to the work. So is it the process? Is that something about the actual making of the thing? So, in my case, these air welded right is that the process of welding is that the materials they're made out of steel? Is that the steel that I love working with? Is it the design I kind of used? All of these things is like mid century furniture pieces. So was it. The mid century element of it is just the overall aesthetic. Or maybe it's some conceptual elements. So thinking about what the things are that truly draw you to this work and there's a lot of different ways to think about that. So one of the things with this is because I was in grad school and you have to have a concept for everything. This was really based off of this idea as surface as structure. So I wanted to create these ornamental patterns and have that be the thing that actually made the object. And so when I was thinking about how to make something more salable, I thought, Okay, how do I apply that idea? And so I developed this line of laser cut furniture. It employed the same concept, but it required less labor for me because I was actually outsourcing. So I designed the pieces. I did the vector files together in laser cut, but then I could send them away and another company cut them. Actually, company really local to me, cut them and then Bentham and form them into shape. And I took him to a local powder coder eso. There was very little labor involved for me, and I was able to sell them at a much lower price point than the $10,000 chair. So that's a really good example of taking a consent like a conceptual piece and turning into a a different bread and butter line. But I was also very drawn to the process of that to the process of welding. So I also took those elements and turn them into jewelry. So again, less labour, higher profit margin now building off of the process and the aesthetic that I liked and actually from there what happened then for me was that I ended up taking these shapes. He's kind of little leafy guys and simplifying them down even further into what is really truthfully actually my real bread and butter line, which are fairly simple earrings. But these are incredibly quick to make. I can charge a decent amount for them in comparison to my labor so I can just bust these out high profit margin and then one day sell. I can make them, brings in some cash, and it gives me time to them, focus on things that I want to be making. And so and actually then from evaluating all of those things, was that process. Was it materials that led me to my newest collection, which is really again, where I'm understanding that I love this idea of like working with a steel and constructing it, and now I'm adding the stones in. So that's another way that I'm reflecting back on that one of a kind work and kind of making new one of a kind work that has a different spin into it. So does that make sense to any of you guys have any questions about the bread and butter line? Yeah. So some of us are stuck in this analysis problem for just our main work. So how do you How do we balance that? You know, analysis, paralysis of just thinking about the bread and butter line and the prototyping around that versus, you know, just getting our main work done. What you find is your main work. Um, right now, I'm focusing on a collection of Bagai handbags and my new lunch bags that are coming together. But, you know, with my new pricing, it's no longer it was priced at a bread and butter price point, but it's not really going to be sustainable. Okay, I'm gonna pay myself what I should be paying. So I think in your case, what we want to do is we want to treat what you thought was the bread and butter line as sort of the more the strong line, and then develop a bread and butter line out of that

Class Description

So you went to art school and still dream about sharing your creativity with the world – but making money has proven to be quite difficult. Craft expert Megan Auman is here to help. She'll help you shift your mindset and empower you with the necessary skills so you can make a living from selling your art – without feeling like you’re selling out. 

Megan is a designer, metalsmith, educator, and entrepreneur who has built a multi-faceted business. Her designs have been featured in Design Sponge, Better Homes and Gardens, Cooking Light, and more.

In this class, she will teach you: 
  • How to talk about your work in a way that makes customers care enough to buy it
  • Tips for turning your conceptual art into a sellable product 
  • How to shift your vocabulary from academic to accessible 
  • How to remain true to your original creative voice while creating something that is viable
Watch and learn from Megan, who has successfully helped hundreds of students turn their creative passion into a full-time business. 

Reviews

Usha
 

This class was so good - it's not just for people who went to art school, but anyone who has (or wants to have) a creative-based business. Megan's lessons break down the overwhelmingness of roadblocks and gives you tangible tools to get past them, shift your mindset, and shows you how to focus. There were so many elements to this class that were helpful, but overall I think if you feel like you're stuck, you overanalyze every decision, and feel like you want to move forward but don't know how, this class is for you. Thanks Megan, for helping me work on a plan to move me past my hurdles.

Kiki B
 

What a great class! Megan has helped me to really understand what my business goals are and how to achieve them, and has given me heaps of confidence to boot. This is going to be a great year for my creative business!

Kim S. Joy
 

I have owned this class for awhile and just decided to start it.... well I should have watched/taken this class years ago! I did not go to art school but follow that mindset. This was amazing. So much to learn and unlearn. The pricing and raising your prices what just what I needed. Thank you Megan for another wonderful class.