Monday, December 26, 2011

Random Life Update-December '11

I'm in more of a, "It's time to do stuff", mood instead of a blogging mood.

Not surprised here, I'd rather draw a picture than write a story, BUT this is a blog so blog I shall.
Or at least fill you in a little on what's happened since last post;

1. Check out Emily Hendersen's, "I'm a Giant Challenge",
I don't typically follow the stars of HGTV, but I do love dollhouses & design. Plus reading blogs about someone's dollhouse building meltdown w/ pretty dollhouse photos included-always entertaining. And there are tons of blogged entries to read through, which took me a few hours. Would have loved to join, but didn't tumble upon it until way to close to the deadline (which they added another month to, but still-no time to do it here)

2. Somewhat related to the above, I made this:

Mini gingerbread house

and also, this:

Mini gingerbread prep board

for a contest on Deviantart.

I've been getting so much awesome feedback on my minis, I'm seriously looking into turning my tiny craft into more than just a hobby.

3. My brother bought this:

Big big spider

I've gotten used to these occurrences, but this is the biggest spider he's ever brought into the house-to date at least. And it's not even full grown.

4. The trailer for, "The Dark Knight Rises", came out ( ) and my favorite band released this:

I am going to be wasting a lot of my money in the foreseeable future, and yet, I am happy.

5. Christmas happened-I now have some clothes and sharp clay tools-neat.

6. The Discovery channel informed me that 2012 might suck, but I'm pretty sure we'll all be long as nobody panics...O_O

I think that's it. So until next time,

Happy Winter Holidays Everybody!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I recently had a booth at a craft show...

Talked to a local store owner in Lockport about selling my prints on commission at her establishment. She recommended I give her upcoming, "Christmas Show", a shot and then go from there.

I was thinking about doing a few art shows next summer (which means I'd need to take care of the legal stuff anyway) and the entry fee was pretty low, so I thought a one day craft show might be a good place to start.

Selling prints at a craft show is a dumb idea, btw. People don't go to craft shows looking for art-they might buy it, but functional stuff is more likely to sell. I knew this already, I've been to craft shows and seen the booths that only sell prints- they're usually pretty dead.

I do, "make stuff", as a hobby though. And I was also looking for an excuse to start selling some things.

So I did the craft show and then for a week or so afterwards various people would ask, "So, how did it go?", but of course what they meant was, "Did you make any money?"

The short response is No.
The slightly longer, but still short response is:
No, but I was expecting a loss to begin with so it went pretty well*.

*Read on for the long response(or if you want some perspective on selling stuff at a craft show).

After a month of 'crafting', here's what I had at my table;
Clay miniatures-mini cookie platters/mini breakfast platters
Paper miniatures-mini bowls/mini flower arrangements
Prints of my personal illustrations-8x10s, and half sized, 4x5s. Both framed and loose prints available.

Reasons why I shouldn't have made money at the show;

I only had a month to advertise that I would be there-not ideal.

I'm a craft show newbie-Craft show people didn't know I existed 
until they stumbled upon my booth.

I had no idea what the Lockport market was like 
in terms of people who would be interested in my work-though it's something I'd like to learn.

I had no idea what kind of vendors would be there-also something to learn from.

I've never done a craft show,
and would probably mess something up-look at all the learning.

I had to create an entire booth worth of inventory at once-that's a big expense.

I had overhead(display material/tablecloth/promo materials)
and an entry fee to factor in-more expenses.

Yeah, with some luck I could turn a profit, but like I stated earlier, I was expecting a financial loss.

So why would I spend my time and money on something when I might not immediatly turn a profit?

The local exposure alone is well worth the money spent. The number of people who now own a quality example of my work or, at the very least, a promo card with my Deviantart page, Facebook page, email, and other contact info, the amount of self-promotion I got within a 5 hour time span is well worth what I spent to get it. And it's not like nobody was interested in what I had, I did make some sales(lots of small purchases), so the 'loss' is really only on paper.

Here's how it actually went;

The ornaments were a bust this time around-I was inbetween a booth selling them cheaper and a booth giving them away with each purchase. The main purpose of having them was so that my booth fit in with the Christmas theme, so that's not the end of the world.

My minis sold the best, mostly thanks to the dollhouse and Barbie owning little girls who stoppd by. Although little boys thought they were cool too, or at least, they thought it was cool that I could make something so small and detailed. I had some fairly long convos with both groups.

I sold 1 illustration, at half size, unframed, and that took some talking. This would be discouraging were it not for the legitimate feedback I'd gotten throughout the day.

Interactions with customers(that did not result in sales) typically played out like this;
Person walks up to my booth, looks at my work, asks a question, looks through the mini portfolio I had on the table, asks if I'm online, I give them a card, and then they'd move on-they didn't buy anything that day, but I've gotten into their heads for the next time.

Person walks up to my booth, looks at my work, asks a question, looks through the mini portfolio I had on the table, asks if I'll be around tomorrow, I explain that it's a one day show and try to give them a card, but they don't want it because-they don't have the internet. This usually led to a conversation about what shows I might do in the future(One woman made sure she wrote down my name/what I sell before she left).

This all looks very promising.

And I think I may have uncovered a no-internet Craft Show going sub-culture.  
Anthropologists, feel free to look into it, but I'd better be credited in your next book.

And all the kids that were looking through my portfolio. I've been looking into doing children's books("You should do children's books", is the most common comment I get about my illustrations, which I agree with comepletely), but up until this show the only feedback I've gotten was from adults. Granted, adults are the ones who pay for such things, but seeing a young child looking at your illustrations, clearly amazed by what they're looking at-that's pretty encouraging.


Was this show worth it?
Short response: Yes.

The slightly longer, but still short response:
This craft show, cost me about as much as seeing a movie, opening week, while enjoying some popcorn and a drink. After factoring in sales, the 'loss' was less than half of what I spent.

Losses happen, but the way I see it...

If you're willing to invest more money in the entertainment industry then you are in your own work-quit now. You are probably just blocking the way for someone who may actually be successful.

~Side note, I'm still working on the blog design. I can't find a Sans Serif type I like, but that's probably a boring rant to read so I won't get into it-Be sure to introduce yourself to all of the fish before you leave.

~~Another side note, since I promised entertainment in my last post, Please enjoy this bizzare Christmas animation I made with my little brother back in high school-using nothing but MS Paint, Windows Movie Maker, a microphone, and some bells(Turn your volume DOWN). Ah, memories...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Blogging-Yeah that's a Clever title

Let me start off by saying, I am not a writer-I've been told that I am good at writing, but still,
I am not a writer.

That said, Welcome to the very first, "Kyle Lefort (the blog)", post.

Is that a dumb name? No, I don't think so. It was just going to be, "Kyle Lefort", but that's me and if the blog and I were both using the same name people would confuse us for each other. Before you know it the blog would be getting hired for design work and I'd be expected to contain links to funny Youtube videos. At some point I'd have to fight the blog to get my identity back, it just-no I wasn't even going to risk it.

Back on topic now, first blog post, so I should probably establish some things before you get bored and leave.

What you really should know about Kyle Lefort (The artist);

1. I am a Designer.Illustrator.Artist. by calling, profession, & choice.
2. I am a girl. Kyle is a girl's name, so if you are a boy named Kyle-sorry I just called it.

Why the blog?

At first, I thought a blog had to be about a specific topic-This doesn't work for me. I'd get bored just talking about one thing all the time.

Then I was worried that if I just talked about whatever I felt like talking about, I wouldn't have many followers, BUT THEN I remembered that I don't want people being fans of my blog-I want them to be fans of my art.

The main purpose of this blog is so that when I learn something, make something out of the ordinary, or just want to rant, I can do so in a manner that might also educate and/or amuse others. Thoughts are meant for sharing. At least, that's what I think.

Besides, as an artist, my personal background and my thoughts, are all reflected in my work. I love knowing the context in which a work of art came from. So if you do like my work, you might be interested in what I think too?

Speaking of my work-If interested, please check out my current work;
And don't forget to 'like' me on fb;

Now I'm off to properly format this blog (I cringed when I was prompted to select a template-did I mention I'm a designer?)

Hopefully you all stick around and keep reading this blog-I promise it will be more entertaining next time(links, pictures, singing & dancing when appropriate), but to send you off with something 'fun'...

Name; Kyle definition; "noun, a narrow channel of water between two islands or between an island and the mainland". result; "Did you mean Kale?" top result; "Come with me if you want to live".~James Cameron (yes!)

Try it with your own name, then your dog's, cat,...hamster....