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R Allen Swezey

2 Years Ago

Not Cut Out For P.o.d.

After five years,here on FAA, I have this nagging fear that:

I'm not cut out for creating and marketing, print on demand images.

It maybe due to my lack of expertise.

But I think it's more due to my temperament.

Does anyone else, have that fear.???

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Janine Riley

2 Years Ago

Yeah, me daily. From day one. It's been quite the struggle, & hasn't gotten too much easier.
& I've actually managed to sell here - but trying to tackle it all is almost painful. I am just not technologically literate.

2 things have kept me going:
1 - the overwhelming generous support & advice.
2- I hoard my originals. Can't seem to want to let them part from my little hands.

I grew up in Washingtonville Roger , way back when... it was a sweet little country town - cows dotting the sides of every road to town.
May's filed, Moodna creek, Weir's ice cream & The Corner Candle Store


Judy Kay

2 Years Ago

I think this fear is mainly for painters, not photographers..I struggle with it for sure!


Mike Savad

2 Years Ago

the funny thing is - the painters think it's easier for photographers to sell and the photographers think it's the painters that sell. and both sell equally.

selling online is hard, because in person you only have to captivate a buyer with a smile, and the work. but the work is isolated to your booth or shop. online you have distractions and tons of other work, and very short attention spans.

the general rules to making sellable art:

1. create things that you would hang on your own wall
2. while a story isn't always needed, its a good idea. and if there is no story, then it should generate a memory of some kind.
3. you need to have a lot of work, always making new work. even if you have 5000 pieces, people get bored fast, they want new things. it's like have your own TV show, people expect new episodes every so often. it keeps people coming back.
4. hopefully create something where others will want to advertise your work.
5. every piece you make should be a masterpiece. let the last thing you make be on par with your last thing or be better.
6. always try new things to mix it up. so your not known as that guy with the dark images of clowns shooting clowns. your can also be known as that guy who makes clowns doing other evil things.

and of course

7. advertising. you need to find you niche market and advertise to those people. constantly.

---Mike Savad


Edward Fielding

2 Years Ago

Does your work sell in other sales channels?


Edward Fielding

2 Years Ago

Me thinks the notion that photography is easier to sell is a joke. Try selling something to a public that thinks because they own a smart phone, they are a photographer.

At least most people walk up to a painting and appreciate the workmanship. They probably even think something like - wow! how long did they take to paint that?. And then they see a photograph and say "wow what a lucky shot".


Robert James Hacunda

2 Years Ago

I sold for the first year or two then nothing, nada, zip for over a year now...


Steven Ralser

2 Years Ago

Wherever you're selling your art, what Mike says is true, the photographers think the artists are selling better, and vice versa.


Kevin OConnell

2 Years Ago

Some people do different things better than others like SEO. Some sell better at a live show or whatever. I find that I'm horrible at SEO because I don't have the time to learn it well enough. If you ask questions in the forum or discussion section, make sure the person giving advice knows what they are talking about, or you will get very frustrated doing all the wrong things.

I am back to working in my element at the end of the week, which is outdoors and teaching in real life. That's what I am best at, but I will keep my work online at all these sites. It doesn't cost anything to leave your work here, unless you spend hours promoting it and see no benefit.


Mike Savad

2 Years Ago

i think the misnomer comes from being able to flood the market with photos, where as a painting could take weeks or months. however because it can be flooded there is far more competition and its actually harder to do because your image has to be WAY better than everyone else's. and since it's a photo it's probably already been done. you could probably find one location shot from every angle, with every camera and every lens, shot during every time of the day and year. because they are photos.

a painter has the advantage to change the scene. where they might have a photo to start with they an paint out or in something to make the image better. a pretty alley way with arched doors, a bread cart and a small dog on leash waiting for their owner... well the walls are blank so you paint in some roses. with photography, while it's getting easier, you need a picture of roses in the right scale at blend them in. it's no easy task.

i try to mix the two together to give it a painting look while still being a photo. since i can't paint, and it needs to stick out from the crowd. which is the hardest thing about selling. i think you only have like a 3 second window before people move on. if you thumbnail doesn't look good, people won't click on it. dark, blurry, odd things, etc. people will click on what they know and colors the like. i think the timing is getting less an less as people get more and more distracted. they get used to the flashy lights of things around them. so it's easy for our stuff to get lost in there. it's like being the only sign that doesn't light up in vegas.

---Mike Savad


Kevin OConnell

2 Years Ago

I feel the same as Mike does. Since digital, almost everyone owns a thingy to shoot digital images. They have instant gratification, and maybe even a shot or two that looks good or that their family and friends say is great. So they come here and put all their pics on these types of sites, making it very hard for a good photographer to get their pictures noticed without learning SEO to move them past these others. Painting is more work and time consuming to a person like this. A person as stated above will not buy the material, or spend the time to find out if they can paint.

To be truthful, its like having thousands of little kids from grammar school decide to inundate these sites with finger paintings. Its not that they are better, its that (YOU) now have to find a way to get past them to be seen.


R Allen Swezey

2 Years Ago

About "Photography" vs. "Painting" in regards to P.O.D.

There's a mindset that must be considered.

With photography (as well as digital art) the print is the primary product.

With painting (as well as all other disciplines that start as another medium) most consider P.O.D as the secondary product.

It seems to me that when one buys a print of an original, one is settling.....

I know that I would certainly would rather have the original painting "Entry" by Vivian Anderson, hanging on my wall, than the existing (and loved) print I now have hanging.

And Janine,

Right now, over the top of this computer I see Moodna Creek flowing...This property, I now rent, is on that river.
Pray for me that it won't come into this house after tonight's forecasted torrential rains.


Frank J Casella

2 Years Ago

I agree with what Mike said in his first post, especially number 1 and number 2. Take one at a time and move to the next once you master the last.

Also, here is an email Sean ( the owner of FAA ) sent out several months ago, it's my favorite about how to sell on a POD. Again take one at a time:


Mike Savad

2 Years Ago

but.... not all paintings are using paint. some are done in corel, or photoshop. totally digital. the brush strokes are convincing in these as well, because they create a bump map for lighting.

as far as flooding, you might want to tie down the oil tank if there is one - just in case. you may have some kind of oil nymph that you made mad in a past life. maybe wear boots.

---Mike Savad


Adam Jewell

2 Years Ago

I think it is easier to generate a lot of photography but selling it is a different matter entirely. The sales go up, the sales go down. There are highs and lows. There's probably a buyer for a good percentage of the work on FAA but people have to find it and it also helps if they see an actual print. There is a big difference between looking at a little thumbnail online and being wowed by a big real life framed print, especially when it may cost $500.00 or more to buy that print after just seeing a scaled down version of it online.


R Allen Swezey

2 Years Ago

Hey Mike,

Let's not get into that about what is "Painting"...You know what I'm referring to.

And by the way, I used the word "most" which may exclude other forms of "painting"

Also, may exclude those traditional paintings created exclusively for the prints and not for the original produced.

And Mike, thanks for the advice.

I must be a glutton for punishment, going from the flood prone Atlantic Ocean to this flood prone river staring at me right now


Mike Savad

2 Years Ago

the main lesson about water is -- don't live near any. that was the rule my parents had when they moved to where we are now. when the rahway river crested and boats were in the backyard. just a week later they moved - since it was the plan anyway. so the rule is - never near a river, or any water source. and always check the flood zones anyway. if you have any storm drains - now is a good time to check if they are blocked. like 2" of rain will fall in like a 2hr period tonight in our area, probably yours as well.

---Mike Savad


Kevin OConnell

2 Years Ago

Adam, to be a good picture or painting, it has to look as good small as it does large. A good picture should not have to be enlarged to tell if it is good or not. Your right about seeing a piece of art in real life though verses online.


Donna Proctor

2 Years Ago

I read Janine's comment and it really struck a chord so I will repeat it:

"2 things have kept me going:
1 - the overwhelming generous support & advice.
2- I hoard my originals. Can't seem to want to let them part from my little hands."

And I'll add a third:
3. I do sell here and elsewhere and that in itself is a big motivator to keep trying.

That said, if I didn't sell on FAA I wouldn't stop creating. I don't think it has much to do with temperament. If you love making any kind of art for POD then continue for the love of making any kind of art. Much of what I offer as POD doesn't sell but I add it because I like it and it could very well end up selling, down the line.

--Donna Proctor


Adam Jewell

2 Years Ago

Very true, Kevin. I've found that even a few 8x10 prints generate much more interest and excitement than having someone look through a website. It's the difference between 'oh that's beautiful' vs. 'OMG, I want THAT one'.


Marlene Burns

2 Years Ago

Roger, your work is is just not as conducive to sell as 2D art.


R Allen Swezey

2 Years Ago

You wrote:..."If you love making any kind of art for POD then continue for the love of making any kind of art."

I've been trying to transfer my love for making the kind of art I've been doing for 40 years to a love of creating art for P.O.D.

It ain't easy.

Throughout those 40 years, the prime has been pumped regularly, by the face to face encounters with those that react to my work, especially those that buy.

This is lacking on P.O.D. sites.......I do appreciate the comments I do receive for my work posted,,...but can't help wondering what the motivation for some of those comments are.

And as far as temperament goes , it extends to this SEO thing, which I still find TACKY, despite all those that tell me otherwise..That it's just the way of doing things on the internet I've been told..


Donna Proctor

2 Years Ago

Roger - I agree with Marlene in that 3-D art doesn't always translate well into 2-D prints. If I was a sculptor, woodworker, etc . . . I would have a difficult time trying to turn those images into something someone would want to hang on their walls. I wouldn't know how to do that . . . and would probably want to learn how to add textured backgrounds, etc.

Ok, the temperament comment = the SEO thing. Ok, I get that now. :)


R Allen Swezey

2 Years Ago


I've never tried to sell my actual 3 dimensional work, as print images. except when the image ,a photo of the work, goes through a severe digital process..

I do have 2 web pages here on FAA the first (Roger Swezey) that sells only originals, when I have originals available to sell....And I do sell ever so often.

And this page I'm on now (R Allen Swezey) that is designed to sell POD...Someday that might happen*

But I guess that will only happen, when I get serious about cleaning up the images (digitally and otherwise)....And start seriously SEOing.


Ken Krug

2 Years Ago

Roger, to your concern first, yes, it is mine also. Maybe it is a matter of motivation at least for the moment in the POD arena.
I know it should be done of course, but talking about keywords puts me right to sleep. Working the social media... wake me up later.
I know what FB is. Twitter not really... a computer communication thing... I guess a tweet is like a shout-out..

Not living too near water is good advice. We live beside a creek so of course we are in a flood zone, so flood insurance is required on a
mortgage. This should be motivation to make sales... Years ago it was not too bad, but since Sandy the premiums have increased dramatically.

** To be fair to those who enjoy social media, I may find it enjoyable... I just have not had the incentive to look into thus far.


Marlene Burns

2 Years Ago

so sorry, Roger, you have branded yourself as a 3D vulture sculpture guy...I guess you first need to spread the word before you will see sales....


Roger -- I'm crossing my fingers for you and the too-close-for-comfort river. I live in a flood zone -- though we seem to be in drought about 90% of the time -- and know people who've been flooded out several times.

Sandy was enough; I'm wishing the best for you!

As for POD -- I showed and sold my photography and other 2D and 3D art, for more than a decade before health problems, and this region's prolonged, extreme heat, encouraged me to try online sales. It was another several years before I discovered POD.

POD selling can be frustrating -- especially when you find a great site that just doesn't produce the results you want. I'm in that position with FAA: love the site (usually), love the product, but my results here are spotty, at best.

To counteract situations like this one, I make sure that I can be easily found elsewhere online (diversification is key, IMO), and have worked hard to keep my local business going, too. (More word-of-mouth sales, less standing in the 100 degree heat in a booth misery).

I love technology, and having solid computer skills is a huge benefit in the POD game. Also, I enjoy the 'puzzle' of marketing and SEO, and chronic insomnia gives me a lot of hours to experiment with different approaches.

Face-to-face selling is my strength -- which is why I NEVER leave home without an 8x10 or 11x14 portfolio in my bag. Impatience is my weakness -- which can make online selling almost painful, at times. But, I love the computer, so POD is as comfortable a fit for me as anything else.

And where else can I be hard at work on one half of my monitor, while watching 'Zombieland' on the other? (Yes, playing at this very minute. :-) )

POD can be frustrating as heck, and has never been easy . . . but it suits my temperament much more comfortably than the summer I spent unloading produce trucks, or the stifling years spent in corporate America.

I guess POD is the battle I choose . . . today.

PS -

I should add that I don't 'create print on demand images.' I create my art, the way I choose to, then use print on demand services to help sell that art online.

There's a HUGE difference between those two approaches, and the amount of potential frustration brought on by each.


Mike Savad

2 Years Ago

worry less about the seo which you have little control over except for the tags and such. and think more about what will look good on a wall. when i make something new, i let it soak for like 4 months or more to see if it takes off. if i create something (and i usually have 3-4 of that theme or style, if that many at all), and they don't do well, i try something else. you have try different things each time you upload.

not everyone likes chocolate, sometimes you have to sell vanilla, and some don't like either so you offer orange and peach. you might find that lemon sells the best of all. so you have to play with these ideas and create new things.

quality and location of image is something else to think about. since making it can be fun, but selling it means someone has to find a spot on their walls for it.

you have that bedazzle collection, most of it is - dogs, bugs and flowers. we already know both dogs and flowers are an over done subject, and insects often don't sell well in any medium. instead if your going to keep making those, make objects like coffee cups, a monocle and hat, and other objects. i would relabel it as pointillism instead of bedazzled because that name is in use for one, and it has a - AS SEEN ON TV - sound to it.

---Mike Savad


@Roger -- Wow . . . sorry for the long post.

Apparently, zombies make me wordy.


Roger Swezey

2 Years Ago

OK Mike,

Here we go...

1..."Insects don't sell".

I sell a sh*t load of the following, both in public and on-line (etsy)

Photography Prints

Along with selling the "Bedazzled" insects and other icky things on Zazzle.... You would be surprised where people decide to have them on.

2.... "Bedazzled" Art vs. "Pointillism" Art

When one googles "Bedazzled Art" images. work comes up on the first page, and stands out because they are not anything like the other images one sees on that page.

If I use "Pointillism" art, there are tons of images that I would have to compete with.

Throughout my years creating and selling my brand of art, I have to rely on catching people off guard , literally stumbling upon my work...No one purposefully looks for my type of work, unless they are familiar with my work to begin with.


Mike Savad

2 Years Ago

different places have different markets. like i only sell one image that only goes on ties. its rare to see it as anything else. i think zazzle is a younger crowd. thing is - how many people are actively looking for the word bedazzle - without referring to the the actual product it represents? eventually lawyers may contact you about this name confusion.

also keep in mind that google stacks the deck in your favor. you'll see turning off the history and clearing your cache you'll find that while faa is on top

this was the link

when i typed in

"Bedazzled Art" swezey
society 6 came up first. and it took like 5 links more to get to the FAA part of it. you may need to make up a new word. like find a word where spots sounds fancy.

if your going for the trip factor then you have to post in random places. blogs, facebook and the like. and see if you can catch attention there.

---Mike Savad


Roger Swezey

2 Years Ago


You wrote.."if your going for the trip factor then you have to post in random places. blogs, facebook and the like. and see if you can catch attention there."

This in essence, where the whole quandary for me lies.

Throughout all those years selling face to face, people just happened to come by my display, I never stick up signs all over the place nor do I go out into the crowd, and grab people to take them back to my booth, to see what I've got to offer...It's just tacky to do it...Some do though.

Now with this internet thing, especially when it comes to selling Art...I guess I have to do as you suggest.


Mike Savad

2 Years Ago

well, if you have a twitter page, put the thing you want to sell most as your banner graphic. same with facebook. try to keep them the same.

if you are still selling face to face, try to sell prints of the things you want to sell here and see - if at the very least there is any interest, listen to comments and such. the roach sells because it's a weird item that has a certain creep factor. make up cards with the items you want to sell as well.

or you could change how you do the art - make the vulture, but make the whole scene out of the same materials. create a desert out of sea shells, and photograph that as art. lighting will be tricky though.

online you have to send a constant stream (a few things a day, but all the time), of your work. it gets people familiar. in person people will have a impulse factor. online they not only have time to mull it over, talk it over to the wife, but they can compare it to other people's work. or get side tracked and starting playing farkle again.

your store here - you should get more groups, like all the insect groups, abstract etc. your gallery, all your images are mixed together. you only have items for sale, the rest should have it's own galleries too. organization is important to online sales (any sales anywhere for that matter). after that enter all the contests that fit your stuff.

---Mike Savad


Gene Gregory

2 Years Ago

Mr. Swezey....... about your original post. I do not have a fear, but I do not sell anything either. Maybe I am not much of a marketer , or maybe ( heaven forbid ) people just don't like what I do. I am glad that FAA is available for amusement, rather than a way for me to make a living. I don't think I will starve if I never sell here.

By the way......... I like the new you in the avatar.


R Allen Swezey

2 Years Ago

I first want to thank those that were concerned about the possibility of flooding here.

The river is high but not as high as I feared...I have no idea if the river has crested or not....Even if it's to come, I can't see as a threat.

I'm glad to see (in a perverse way) that I'm not the only one that has to deal with this alien thing, the Cyber Universe.

And now, Mike,..........Man, do I admire your tenacity and focus, in not only dealing but conquering this new universe we all are living in now.

I guess I'm just an old coot from another time and another place, kicking and screaming as I'm being dragged into this bewildering and uncomfortable place.

I keep on dreaming of finding someone who believes that I still have potential and would be willing to do what I consider the dirty work for me...I can dream can't I??

And finally, Gene,

This avatar is only on this, my POD page (R Allen Swezey)....I thought if I'm going to go around "Bedazzling" ("Pixel Pointillism") things, I might as well bedazzle my own puss.

My unadorned (unmanipulated) puss still remains on my" Originals Only" page (Roger Swezey)

So that's the way it goes.


Mike Savad

2 Years Ago

ok your still alive too... i checked with JC he didn't drown either...

there are plenty of marketing people you can hire to do that work for you, but you'll lose control on how its sold.

all these things you do a bit at a time. you can't do them all in one day, all your hair will fall out. you start with at twitter account and make friends there. they aren't close they are just a number there. i know your on facebook, but getting just other artists won't help sell your work much. and you do a bit each day. push some. make some art, repeat. as for me i'm up to uploading again, after i finish the last one here - which will probably be next weekish or so, i'll reset and make more things.

---Mike Savad


Roy Erickson

2 Years Ago

If you think your work is a hard sell on a POD - you should try digital abstracts like I create. I enjoy creating them - I'm more than pleased that i've managed to sell a few.


Judy Kay

2 Years Ago

I hope I dont "drown"...(in insurance surcharges that is)...Citizens property insurance in Fla. sent out letters stating if there are any catastrophic claims anywhere in Florida, that it will put a surcharge on all Citizen policy holders....Not sure if the flooding in northern Florida will result in that surcharge threat!


This discussion is closed.

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