Saturday, April 24, 2010


Continuing on with the topic of ACEOs from my last post....

To me, an artist must have good marketing skills, in order to survive out in this crazy economy (something I am still working on). My number one challenge this week, was researching ACEOs, and finding out more about how to market the type of ACEOs  I wanted to sell.   I know I will still face difficult challenges, even after all this research, but at least now, I know what I need to strive for, in order to become successful at selling ACEOs or any art for that matter, on eBay or even Etsy.

Well, I did a little researching on ACEOs (Art Card Edition and Originals),  when I first started creating them about 3 years ago. Recently, I have done even more researching.  Here's what I have learned.

The History
The ACEO movement was basically started by a gal named Lisa Luree in 2004.  She created a group on eBay to help promote the creation and sales of ACEOs.  “She started the ACEO movement, in response to the prohibition against selling what was associated with ATCs”, which is Artist Trading Cards.   Artist Trading Cards, originated in Switzerland .  They are always traded, not sold, and are the same size as an ACEO, 2.5” x 3.5”.   ATCs were originally used as an artist training tool.   Artists would exchange with one another, in order to learn each others' techniques and styles.
ACEOs, on the other hand, were created to sell on eBay and other art auction sites.  The goal is to put them into the hands of customers, who are willing to offer the highest bid or price.  The higher the bid, the better for the artist, and the more value or worth of the artist's art goes up.  Selling ACEOs on eBay, also gives the artist's followers and collectors, a chance to own something original that they created.  And the ACEO movement started an artist/collector craze out of this world.  Every artist starting creating ACEOs and the collectors came out full force.  And then the tanking of the economy began to hit in the later part of 2008. Selling ACEOs slowed down for many artists and completely for some, but the well known artists continued to sell their ACEOs really well and at high bids.

Being Successful at Selling ACEOs
I have learned a lot this past week about ACEOs, some things I did not know before, other things I did. I have gathered up some tips, that I would like to share with all the artists out there.

  1. Sell original ACEOs. What do I mean? Make them original, one of a kind. Create something that no other artist has tried yet, and see what sparks it creates.

  2. Make your listings and auction pages original. Create a auction page and listing that is going to grab the bidders attention, yet be professional looking as well. Make sure there is enough information in the description and that the image of the art is good quality.

  3. Make sure the back of the ACEO has the following information – full signature of the artist, date, title, medium, website or email, print number, and © symbol. You can check out my tutorial here on how I create the backings for my ACEOs

  4. Never start your bids lower than $4.99 and definitely not at .99 cents. It is usually a red flag warning for most serious art collectors, that you do not value your own work as an artist.

  5. Make sure you pack and ship your ACEO well. Keep it professional. Place your ACEOs in either penny sleeves or penny envelopes with a backing of some kind. Never post shipping costs higher than $3.00. Ship in a timely manner. I always ship mine in a 6” x 8” mailer. I always include a packaging slip, a business card, a thank you on the slip and a certificate of authenticity, if it is a print. I always try to ship it out, just as soon as I receive payment. Something I just discovered, is try creating a handmade decorative envelope to place the ACEO in. Tie with ribbon or raffia. The template is located here

  6. Keep a record of all sales. Record name, address, and email. Send out notices to the people on the sales record, when you have a new listing.

  7. If selling prints, make sure they are good quality inks and on good quality paper. I have been getting some of my prints at

  8. Once you have sold a few ACEOs and ACEO prints (50+), try opening up an eBay store. The price of listings is way cheaper, than per auction page.

  9. Check out your competition! See what other artists are starting their bids at. See how they design their listings and pages. See how they design and create their ACEOs. But DO NOT COPY.

  10. Advertise! Spread the word around, that you have got a new ACEO up for bid on eBay. Let followers know, if you have a special going on, or if a certain percentage of the sale is going to a specific donation, such as the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Not all artist are successful at selling ACEOs, but I think if you use these tips you can be.  A true art collector and follower will pay the price no matter what it is, to acquire your works.  These are the people we “artists” need to be true to, need to promote to, need to say thank you to.  If it weren't for the fans and collectors, most artists wouldn't have their works hanging on walls or in a book on a coffee table.

By the way,  I  just had to share my latest news.  I just sold my very first ACEO print! "Bridge to Paradise"

I am awaiting payment, but I am very excited.
Thank you all for your support!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Struggling Artist Introductory

So, what is thiis blog all about? If I had to sum it up in a few sentences, it's about the disappointments and successes, in trying to make it as an artist, in today's ever changing economy. It's about sharing information, tips, ideas, sites, techniques, and  discover ways to help out other struggling artists.  It's about my journey on becoming the successful artist of my dreams and to help other artists achieve their dreams too.

I am literally what one would call the "Struggling Starving Artist". We basically live from paycheck to paycheck, which doesn't leave me a whole lot to buy art supplies or to enter many exhibitions or contests. Why?  I quit my part-time job a little over 2 years ago, to help care for my dad, who was dying from cancer. I decided, after he passed away,  I really wanted to try to make a go with my art full-time,  plus the kids, and health reasons were really preventing me from wanting to go back to elderly care/housekeeping profession. I am happy with my decision, as I get to be a stay-at-home mom, plus I get to work on my artwork, when I want to. 

So my journey began. It started off pretty good, as my friend, Jillian Crider,  introduced me to ACEOs (Art Cards, Editions and Originals). I sold quite a few on ebay, but then the economy started to tank and I started having a hard time selling anything on ebay or etsy.  The economy has improved some,  but I am still struggling to sell any works. So I am thinking 1) I need to improve more on my marketing skills 2)I need to improve my skills as an artist and 3) I need to discover that unique niche that most well known artists have, that could launch my art career. My passion is my art, and my expertise is color pencil. It's finding that special niche and concentrating on sticking with and creating 1 to 3 genres and targeting specific audiences. So my journey continues....

I just created a poll at my Deviant Art Page "What do you want to see me draw/paint more of?" If you are on DA please stop on by and vote 


 I created this piece just before my dad passed away in December 2007. When I created Faith, I poured my heart and soul into it, literally cried tears while working on it. It never won any competitions, but this piece reminds me to never give up, to always have faith and hope.