Ellen Million (ellenmillion) wrote,
Ellen Million

Critical Eye

So I made my new ecards page, and originally I had 'Missing You' as one of the designs, because I figured it was a common card-sending theme. I coded up the page, made all the images, was thoroughly content that all was right in the world. Then, I had Jake preview the page, and, over his shoulder, my design stood out like a sore thumb. And not in a good way. The other designs were all colorful, and eye-catching and lovely. Missing You is... well, just lineart. It remains one of my better sellers, and I like it a lot, but next to some of the gorgeous, colorful work I've got, it looks really... flat. I removed it from the ecard list.

So now I'm feeling all kinds of insecure and am wondering if I've been unfairly using some of my work that I wouldn't accept from anyone else. Understand that I have always been aware that this could easily happen, and have always taken great care to see that I remove any marginally selling work of my own, even when I might not normally if it had been someone else's. Fairy Queen is a great example. It was still selling regularly, both as cards, and as stationery, but I was distressed that my work was such a bulk of the catalog, so I snipped out a bunch of my least-selling designs, even when they weren't overall EMG least-selling designs.

Some of my stuff is there just to fill holes. I end up with gaps of theme in my products, and I produce the work myself, since no one else does, or just keep older work that may not be as good as some of the new work. Bookmarks are a great example. They don't pay much, and it's not a shape people naturally work in, so I don't get many of them submitted. So I still have available a bunch of stale work by me, since I don't have time to make new ones. They still sell, so I don't have any real *reason* to remove them, but I see all the flaws and problems with them every time I look at my own page.

I suppose the solution is to do some kick-ass new work. In color.

I really want to go back to the lineart dragon set and add color to them like I did with Candle. But better. I am so in lust for a tablet. Jake and I decided that we could buy one, because EMG can't afford to buy me one yet, and likely not for a long time, so we're putting away $200 a month, which means we'll have enough for one by Christmas. I'm so psyched! And now, of course, I'm finding all these things that I want one for. Right NOW. *stomps feet* *sighs* I'll probably break down and color all of them with pencil, because I'm too impatient to wait until December.

Then, I get stuck with the decision of keeping the lineart, or not. I didn't keep Vanessa's line-art past the one catalog, because 99% of the orders were for the color versions, not for the singlecolor versions. I wonder if that will happen with my dragons, too. Then I find myself wondering... should I have the singlecolor cards at all? It used to be that I was limited by printing methods to the singlecolor. And it's still understandably cheaper, which is always a plus for the more cash-strapped of my customers. Should I begin phasing them out? That would certainly take care of the problem of my art being too high a percentage of EMG products. At one time, they read more clearly in the catalog, which was another reason I stuck with them. I suppose they still do, but now that I'm getting rid of the catalog, that's just not an issue. I think I need to put this in my next survey poll.

I would really, really, really like to know if you have any opinions on this matter.

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