Don’t tell my wife, but …
… last month I bought a painting on line with the number 669 on it. I paid around £90 all up for it. The artist has sold 556 paintings in total, in the range 1–1000, in a clever web virus promotion that went through Boing Boing, Creative Generalist and Seth Godin.
I bought the number 669 because if I get sick of it I can always turn it upside down and pretend it was 699, so essentially I got 2fer the price of one.
Anyway, the artist has a common and familiar problem (on the 15th of June):
When you sell 500 paintings in a couple of days, you have to become a manager. Of course, you were ready to paint a few paintings, but 500? You have to organize painting canvases. You have to organize color & varnish. You have to organize packing material, and you have to organize how your are going to ship 500 packages in 23 countries. You have to make sure that people who ordered their paintings early get their paintings first. You have to make sure you don't paint a number twice. You have to make sure that the paintings go where they should go. You have to make sure that you make no mistake with these authenticity numbers on the back of the paintings. You have to deal with your mailbox that constantly tells you that there are about 300 unread emails. You have to deal with problems that occurred with some of the orders. You have to keep your website updated. You have to give interviews. You have to deal with your provider who threatens to shut down your website if you don't fix that memory problem of your application. You have to cancel all your plans for the next two months.
And when you have everything organized, you have to stop being a manager, and start being an artist again. You have to sit down, and paint numbers.
I don't want to complain, of course. It's just what went through my mind today ;-)
But, the artist isn’t the only one with a problem … what happens when the painting turns up next month and I have to explain it to my wife?
She’s a doctor, so she’s not thick … I’ll have to tell her:
that it is an investment, in a unique piece of art (except for the person who bought 699, of course, and has accidently hung it upsidedown);
that you have to spend money to make money, and,
that essentially, I’ve bought 2 paintings for the price of one
… so it was a great idea.