Monday, 11 August 2014

Paper toy Halloween craft activity packs - Preparation

I put myself under a lot of pressure to get my paper craft football world cup products ready for the tournament and I was still putting up products a week into the tournament.  I left myself very little time to do any marketing or promotion, hence why only a few sold. I learnt some valuable lessons from that whole process and so I'm aiming to be much better prepared for my next project.

I realise Halloween is just under three months away but I'm learning that it pays (hopefully literally!) to be well prepared. So whilst my Etsy shop may appear a bit dorment with a lack of new products, I am bevearing away feverishly at a range of Halloween paper toy craft activity packs.

I'd already started to sketch and doodle Halloween themed paper toys a couple of months ago, and I've been working on the final designs for a few weeks now. I've got four designs finished or at least ready for final prototype testing, working titles are -

Frankie goes to Colchester


Skeleton Steve

Wolf Pappa!

I would like to do a Witch *itch and a Jack-oooh my giddy aunt-Lantern and a whole other bunch of characters but when you're a one-man-band, working on these things in your spare time, I've got to set realistic limits on what I can achieve.

So once I'm happy with the final designs, I need to do instructions for each and a black and white 'colour in your own version'. Then I need to construct them and stage them for photos. I'm gonna be spending more time staging my products this time. I think I need to go back to what I did with my original Fairy Box Eds which is to show the creation of the products. I've got a couple of beautiful and willing models in my kids to show off how my paper toys get constructed, so telling the audience a visual story about the construction of a paper toy will deliver better stats in terms of views and favourites and sales!

These things sound straight forward but there are always problems and issues which take time to workout. I want to be ready to launch these by the end of September at the latest. That should give me time to do my marketing and promotion and give people time to discover my products on Etsy. All of which will equal more views, more favourites and more sales!

If I do find I have more time then I could do more characters. What I'm more likely to do is to offer more products within the pack or at least demonstrate the uses of my paper toys. Whilst at the moment they are a paper toy to construct and a colour in your own, the designs can be easily adapted to make masks, greetings cards, banners and bunting, invitations, gift tags etc. etc.

Thanks for dropping by, check my Instagram @Box_Eds for my latest sketches and my Etsy shop if you wanna have a go at making some of my stuff.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Paper Toy torment and the flow of creative juices

I'm gonna write a poo sandwich - start with a good bit, pooey bit in the middle, finish with some good stuff! It's been that kind of week, tormented artists around the world will sympathise I'm sure. My creative juices have been flowing but have they been going in the right direction?

Firstly good stuff - I've been posting a bunch of doodles and sketches on Instagram @Box-Eds they're all ideas for possible paper toys, most of them I've doodled on the train.













They got me thinking about another line of business which is to sell some of the more accomplished ones as $10 doodles. They're quick to knock out, small and cheap to package and post. And I could take requests for custom ones like these cheeky wee children!

I'll let that idea brew for a little longer as I'm pretty busy at the moment a couple of caricature commissions, which brings me to the pooey filling of this butty!!!

I got into work Monday morning and was chatting to a colleague. This led to me looking up the website for a local newspaper in Geelong. What did I see on the front page? BoxCats!!! Papertoy caricatured footy players
Bastards! I do these! Why aren't mine in the paper!?! My initial feelings of jealousy and anger soon gave way to more pleasant thoughts. Learning the lesson to never compare yourself to others but to use them as inspiration is a tough one to learn. But it's a good one to learn. If other people think these papertoys are a good idea then that's gotta be good for me too. If they're popular then people will want more papertoys, different designs and styles and themes. And good on the artist/creator too! It's good to know there is a local kindred spirit not to far away. I haven't been able to find any contact details for the BoxCat creator but would be good to get in touch and share some hints and tips. So this poo has a silver lining to it.

The other thing I've tortured myself with this week is a job that I applied for. I applied for a graphic design position four weeks ago, just a matter of days after the job had been advertised. The company looks awesome, I believe my products could fit nicely alongside what they do with a bit of art direction. I identify really strongly with the guys that built it from working on it in their spare time in a back bedroom 8 years ago into an international business with offices in America and the UK. The job is to work in the head office in Melbourne just ten minutes down the road. In the job advertisement they listed 'Break Dancing' as an essential skill and pizza every Friday afternoon as one of the perks! I've been following them on Facebook and researching the company background and have grown quite attached. But as I said it's been four weeks and I haven't heard anything.

The reason I'm so hopeful is that it could be a shortcut out of my current dull, beige boring as chuffin' Nora day job pushing paper and into a more creative environment which shares my values. I guess it's also filling me with anxiety because I'm putting my work out there and showing it to people that are experts in a similar field. What if they don't like my stuff? What if they say "Get outta here kid!" I just don't know if I could take that kinda rejection!?! Channelling some Marty McFly there!!!

Ending on a good note I do know how to manage the rejection. I believe in what I do enough to pick myself up and keep on keeping on. The BoxCats and the job are just distractions from my own papertoy plans. I have to use the experiences to my benefit and continue to build my wee paper universe and hope that over time more and more people start to discover it and think it twinkles!