|This bookmark's tassel features semi-precious beads. ©2015 Lynn Edwards|
Open one of those books and you'll probably come across a bookmark. (Or a scrap of paper serving as a bookmark.) So, why not consider using bookmarks to promote your art? An eye catching bookmark with your name and contact information on the back isn't likely to be discarded. In fact, if the design is appealing enough, it could remain in someone's possession for years! Every time it's used, it will remind them of you and your work. This low tech form of advertising is both accessible and affordable, making it ideal for artists, photographers and other creatives.
There are so many different ways to create artwork for bookmarks I couldn't possibly list them all. Instead, I'll show you one of the methods I use:
|An allover pattern works well as the basis for several bookmarks. ©2015 Lynn Edwards|
1. To make original art bookmarks like the one above, start with a sheet of 140# hot pressed watercolor paper. My paper was 6x8" but you can use any size as long as it's substantial enough to hold up to use.
2. Fill the paper with your design, making sure to take it right out to the edge. Here I've used Sharpies in an assortment of bright colors, but you could use water based paints, collage, ink...whatever works for you. (Note: I would not recommend using oils or oil pastels.)
3. Scan the finished art. Then leverage it! Photocopy your original design onto plain white card stock to make inexpensive copies. These can be made up in large quantities. (Original versions can be handed out more judiciously.)
4. Cut the papers into bookmark sized pieces. The 6x8" paper I used yielded four 1 1/2 wide x 6" bookmarks and two 1 x 6" bookmarks. An 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheet can yield ten 1 1/2 x 6" bookmarks.
5. To add a ribbon tassel, punch a hole at one end of the bookmark using a standard paper punch. Position the hole about 1/4" from the edge. Make sure it's centered.
6. Cut two or three equal lengths of thin ribbon in a complimentary color. Holding them together, fold them over your finger at their halfway point, forming a loop.
7. Holding the loop firmly, push it through the hole in the bookmark. Then insert the ends through the loop and pull gently to form a lark's head knot. This secures the ribbon to the bookmark.
8. Apply a custom stamp or label with your contact info to the back. Or write it in permanent ink if you have legible handwriting.
Your bookmarks are now ready to serve as your ambassadors.
|Black marker on white card stock. ©2015 Lynn Edwards|
Where and when to hand them outWhen you make a sale. You'll need to determine for yourself when a sale warrants it, of course. And whether you'll gift the buyer with an original or a print. I like to include one or two original bookmarks whenever I sell an original piece of my art.
When a supplier provides extraordinary customer service. Like the lady at the frame shop who expedited your job to help you meet a submission deadline.
When someone has done you a favor: the sales associate who helps you find just the right gift for your Mom, or the kennel owner who continues to care for your dog when you're stranded in Philly due to bad weather.
When a friend or associate deserves an accolade, include a bookmark in your congratulatory note.
Tuck them into library books to be discovered by library patrons. Leave some in the dressing room of an upscale boutique. Or on the table holding the blank deposit slips at the bank. Warning: coming up with places to leave bookmarks to be discovered makes this form of guerrilla art addictive!
Hand out a bookmark when you meet someone whom you want to remember you -- such as a gallery director, curator or other person you hope to cultivate a business relationship with.
Distribute them in your booth at festivals and art fairs.
Give them to the professionals you patronize: your banker, lawyer, dentist, veterinarian, doctor, accountant, etc.
Include them in outgoing correspondence when you pay bills or communicate by snail mail.
These are just a few of the many ways you can can put this simple advertising tool to good use. Making bookmarks is easy, and the cost is negligible. If the very thought of "selling" makes you squirm, this promotional tool will soon become a favorite. It's actually FUN! After all, everyone enjoys getting a gift!
Text and images ©2015 Lynn Edwards