New greeting cards

As photographers and artists, isn’t the ultimate thrill actually getting down to work on our art? Of course, running an arts and crafts business involves so many less-fun tasks. Among other things, we need to figure out how we want to use our artwork and how best to sell it.

One way I sell my artwork is as greeting cards. The margin on cards isn’t large, but there’s an established market, and if you can tap into that the volume of sales adds up.

I sell some of my cards online directly on my Artfire Gallery and I also wholesale them to brick and mortar stores through my super greeting card sales-rep, Tamara Holland – who I must tell you just became the very first “Artist of the Month” at Calypso Cards, the company that distributes one of her lines of awesome cards.

As I take new photos and create designs from them, I select the ones I think are the best and most suited for cards. Then, when it’s time to re-order my best sellers from the printer, I add a few new ones. Without further ado, here are my five new greeting cards! First, my straight photo of a monarch butterfly sipping nectar from a zinnia flower.

Monarch on zinnia

Second is a photo of a Julia butterfly, also on a zinnia. I worked with drawing and other image tools for a vintage feeling.

Julia butterfly on zinnia

Next, two new hummingbird cards. I have several hummer cards in my line, but these are different, especially the one on the right, a hummingbird at an abutilon flower. I used several paint and other tools to emphasize the bright colors and the bird’s wings. I also worked to bring out the vivid, saturated colors of the image on the left, a hummingbird at Mexican salvia (sage).

Hummingbird at Sage and Hummingbird at abutilon cards

Finally, I included a painterly rendition of my photo of an egret soaring over a pond at the Oakland Museum.

Egret soaring

After the hard work of making the new designs, it’s such a thrill to open the box filled with the printed cards.  I’ve told you before about the local printer who I am so lucky to have printing my card line. Jayne and Bud at Cerrito Printing came through again, big time, for this latest order.

Do you sell your art as greeting cards? Many artists who sell at shows feel that offering cards cuts down on their sales of prints, although others think it’s worth it because a lot of people who would never buy a print will pay a few dollars for a card. What do you think?

Photo of the week

This week’s photograph of the week is another blended collage.



Every year I create a couple of holiday cards from my photos that George and I send to friends and family. I used to print my own cards, but for the last couple of years I’ve had zazzle print them.  I like the quality, and the price is reasonable.  Zazzle was having a half-off sale on cards, so I stayed up late the other night getting this year’s card finished.

I started with a photo I took of our holiday bubble lights in candelabras. George found these – they’re really fun because the liquid inside the glass bubbles up as it is heated by the light bulb. We even use one as a night light!

Bubble lightsI blended it with a photo I took of our lit Hanukah menorah candles. This reflects our blended family, since we celebrate both Christmas and Hanukah.

Menorah candles

Menorah candles

I thought that the blending tool I chose brought out some interesting colors and patterns.  Here’s a closeup of one of the variations I made, this one is more abstract:

This is the whole image:

Candles abstract

Do you design and make your own holiday cards? I’ve noticed that each year fewer people are sending cards, is it the expense or just the ease of email?  Are you going to say “Happy Holidays” on your facebook page, by email, or by card?