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Cute and creepy – Flimflammery

My name is Bill Robinson and I run a small business called Flimflammery. I sell original art prints, handmade recycled sketchbooks, paintings, bookmarks, pins, and greeting cards. I do all the art myself, which tends to be somewhere between cute and creepy.

What inspired you to go into the craft business, do you still have a day job? I’ve always been enticed by the idea of making money off my art. I remember as a kid I would get requests for handmade or hand painted gifts. When I realized that there was a market for art prints and handmade books I thought it would be the perfect venue for my work. By day I toil away in the video game industry, but by night I like to channel my creativity into personal projects.

Describe your creative process when designing/making your product line. It’s not very organized. I’ve been doing this now for a little over a year and I am starting to feel more comfortable with it. When I know I have a show coming up I like to sit down and make a list of all the cool new ideas I can think of. Then I have to go through and consider my costs for each item and whether it is feasible. If the final product is an art print, what size will sell best? What sort of packaging will I need for the item? How much time and effort will I have to put in versus the final profit?¬†Will it be a labor of love or a moneymaker?

What’s the best thing about what you do? And the worst? The best thing for me is meeting people¬†and getting my name out there. Craft shows and comic conventions are terrific exposure for an artist that’s trying to build a brand. Also, just knowing that your art is hanging in someone’s house is a really fun feeling. That never gets old. The worst is probably the amount of time and organization involved in running a business. Keeping track of expenses, coming up with new ideas, actually producing products, knowing your competition, etc.

What’s the best advice you have been given about your business or craft practices? I would say the best advice is to make friends at every show you do. You will see these people over and over and there is a real community around these type of events. There tends to be a good rapport among the DIY indie craft/art crowd and most are happy and willing to share names of suppliers, printers, materials, processes, etc.

Anything else you would like to tell us about your business? Promos/coupon codes etc…for your website or other news can be included here. If you would like to check out my work, you can view my blog at http://flimflammery.com. I also have an etsy shop at http://flimflammery.etsy.com. I have plans for two books that will hopefully be self-published within the next year, so keep your eyes out for those.

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