About Me

My photo
Paramus, New Jersey, United States
No, this in not a blog about gardening in any way, but a journal of my journey to become a professional landscape painting artist. For years, I’ve given my paintings as wedding gifts without thinking of profiting in some way from it. I worked for 18 years at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC as a computer programmer. I have been a painter since 1990, coincidentally, when I started working at the Met. I watched Bob Ross do his thing on Channel 13 in New York and decided I could do this, too. I have no formal training. I incorporate Bob's wet-on-wet technique for sky and water. My subject matter is covered bridges, lighthouses, fishing village scenes, barns, etc. Maine, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Nova Scotia and Spain are some of the places I have painted. My style is detailed and sometimes people think a photo of the painting is an actual photo of the scene. I hope to continue and grow in this medium. I also like to cook & dance. I am also a committed Christian. I am taking commissions - painting your landscapes style photos or your vacation home. Prices on request. contact me - Jackmck@juno.com my website is www.artofjackmckenzie.com

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Merchandising my paintings – interview thank-you cards

This is going to take a bit of your time. So get a cup of tea or coffee and relax.

This needs a bit of explaining. I was “retired” from the Met 2 years ago. That was the beginnings of the Great Recession that idled millions. Out of that grew a cottage industry of job coaches, networking groups, recruiters, etc to try and help the newly unemployed navigate the incredibly confusing and dangerous waters of the new ways of job hunting and selling various services. The whole concept got turned on its head, with constantly moving/evolving targets. One of the strategies that arose was to send thank you notes to all your interviewers, reminding them of who you were, what was discussed and how you’d be perfect for the job.

My art is my Plan B, as its called. As I was setting up Zazzle, Fineartamerica and other sites to sell items with the images of my paintings, it occurred to me that the note cards in Zazzle would make distinctive, artistic interview thank notes that would impress the interviewer. It might also generate interest in the interviewer in buying some of my items. A series of events occurred to allow me to give this a try and it goes something like this-

I attend several of these networking groups as an unemployed computer programmer – The CIT in Short Hills, NJ which usually attracts 60 to 100 people give 30 second “elevator pitches”, professional relationship building, etc. The Ridge Diner Group is a more intimate Monday morning gathering, sort of an accountability and advice session. The BCNC is a once a month cocktail party type gathering, again for networking and speaker presentation, meeting in alternate venues. There is a group of people who run these things and make them happen. One is named John R.

I have mentioned my idea to John a couple of times, thinking the BCNC would be a great place for this, but was put off, since if I started trying to sell stuff, other people trying out their Plan B’s would want to do the same thing and could quickly turn into a mess. So this Saturday at the CIT, John comes to me about pitching my cards at the BCNC which was the following Monday. Seems several of the job coaches would be conducting book signings of their respective publications and I would fit right in.

Problem was I did not have time to get the note cards from Zazzle, but I did have greeting card size samples using 3 images I had printed from Fineartamerica. I had also made business cards and magnets via Vistaprint using the Tarifa Fishing Boats image, so combining these various items and a little personality would do the trick. I would send people thru my blog to the merchandising section of the blog.

Monday I got to Ridge Diner Group and mentioned this. I’ve been getting great ideas from them on not only the programming job hunt but the art side of it, too. One of the women there, Barbara Blumhof, is an events/conference planner and she offered to make a nice placard for the event, for free!. She just needed a few picture of my paintings and some details on how to get them and could have them ready by 5. I left there at 11:15 & got home around noon and sent the information. I spent the afternoon making sure the cards were easily accessable with a couple emails back and forth with Barbara on format.

I get there John gives me a table to set up. Barbara comes in with the placard and it looks marvelous, a nice stand alone piece (check picture below). I’m next to Abby Kohut, also known as Absolutely Abby, a very popular career coach, recruiter and speaker so I’m in a good spot. I know most of the people there, but there are many new ones. I get some traffic and lots of compliments on my artwork. My magnets are all gone, so that will keep me in the peoples minds when they look at it as well as the cards I handed out. I’ve gotten no sales so far but lots of good notice. As they say a lot in these events, ya never know!
Thanks Barbara. Here’s her info. She needs a job, too.

Barbara Blumhof
Tradeshows, Meetings, Events
845-300-8041 (cell)

1 comment: