Monday, December 31, 2007


Great news, I found out the day after Christmas that I was accepted as a GAWKER ARTIST. GAWKER is an online daily media publication focused on news and gossip from Manhattan.

What is a GAWKER ARTIST you might be thinking? Gawker uses the artwork of their artists in the title space where there might normally be an advertisement. It's a fresh way of supporting artists and creating a stimulating online publication.

If you want to check out my bio, go to Gawker selects a few of its artists to be used throughout the web site. I don't know how they select who will be used or when they are used. I am awaiting to hear if they notify you of use of your artwork. Liz Dimmitt of Gumshoe, LLC curates GAWKER ARTISTS. Thank you Gawker!

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Question of Duplicating

Tuscan Farmland, 8" x 8", Ceramic Paint on Tile, © 2005 Jennie Traill Schaeffer, Private Collection (s)

Since becoming an artist full-time in 2005, I started painting and marketing tiles used as coasters, trivets, and framed art. They were a hit and are now 18% of my profits / year, this year selling 36 tile sets all together. This isn't something to laugh at. But, for the time it takes me to paint them and for what I'm selling them at, I'm getting paid on average $16/hour. This is hardly worth it selling this quantity.

The other concern I have is the question of duplicating designs. Initially as an emerging artist I thought, "why not"? Now, I'm starting to reconsider. Yes, it's somewhat easier to paint an older image that I've already done than concept a new one, but I'm getting bored and I think my customers might be appreciative that theirs is the ONLY one. The trouble is convincing my customers to pay more, convince them to trust me to do something custom, or find a new market.

This Christmas I painted four Tuscan Farmland tiles in an assembly-line fashion. I spent about two days working on them. They came out great, but now I think as I redesign my web site for '08 I will retire designs and urge customers to go out on a limb with me to make something great!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Crunch

This holiday I upped my email marketing and extended a special sale to my customers which led to increased holiday sales. The only trouble being that much of the work was custom or had to be painted. Not wanting to lose the business, I accepted.

As of yesterday I finished my final orders and will be shipping them out for Christmas delivery tomorrow. The frantic pace with which I worked for the past two weeks was challenging on both me and my husband. In addition to one wedding cake portrait, five 6 x 6 tiles, and calendar orders, I got a sinus infection and celebrated my anniversary and 30th birthday. Something's gotta give next year.

It made for a good year-end and I was certainly thrilled that people considered me as a source of their holiday gifts. But, I will reconsider next year about how I advertise and cut-off custom work as well as whether or not I will repaint images for customers.

March 27, 2004, 12" x 16", Oil Pastel on Arches, © 2007 Jennie Traill Schaeffer

Now I'm rushing to get out my much-needed holiday cards since I see the as a very important aspect of keeping in touch with my clients. There's nothing quite like receiving a piece of mail in today's world of virtual everything. Below is the image I'm using for my cards. I'm making limited edition giclée cards so people can frame them after they receive them. I painted this tile a few days before my open studio event and it sold instantly. I think it makes a wonderful image for a holiday card due to its wintry, yet brilliant colors.

Dogwood Winter, 8" x 8", Ceramic Paint on Tile, © 2007 Jennie Traill Schaeffer. Private Collection.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Published Online!

GREAT NEWS! Foliate Oak Online selected my work for inclusion in its December 2007 issue.

The Foliate Oak Online is a literary magazine out of The University of Arkansas-Monticello that found my work on a blog listing of artists and asked if I was interested in submitting work. I thought, why not? The publication is edited and laid out by ten English majors/minors at the university who have full control over what is and isn't included. Most of the contributors are published writers, poets and working artists.

This happened almost a week after I submitted my blog to many blog listing sites. It's amazing how much more traffic a blog gets after you make very simple efforts to promote it. I have to thank Andrea Lyn Van Benschoten who gave a workshop for BOAS (Business of Art Sussex) on various ways to optimize and promote your web site / blog.

Thanks to the staff of Foliate Oak and Bonnie Crump who contacted me!

Visit to view that publication and my work.