Auction's end

It is the final day of the BIRDSONG NOVEMBER online art auction.  It's been a busy week with bids coming in slow and steady.  I've pretty much thrown everything at the wall to see what sticks.  In other words, I've taken the offerings of the physical Birdsong Studio and put them into this virtual market.  We have 91 items available, with almost 50 that have bids on them right now.  That means there are a lot of deals to be had as the starting bid prices can be up to 75-percent off the regular price.  As soon as the auction ends, everything shifts back to their normal prices.

We are raising money for a couple of different organizations.

"Johnny Cash Farewell", donated by Nadine Allen, is being sold along with "Building Together" to support Bracelets For Buildings, a charity that builds homes for the poorest of the poor in Cambodia.  These dollars will be added to those already raised by Best Western Plus Sawridge Suites in Fort McMurray back in October.  

The #inktober collection is being sold to benefit the Okotoks Arts Council.

My mind is always at work when doing these kinds of promotions.  First, how we can add charitable elements that make sense and feel right.  Second, what are ways to create interest, awareness and engagement.  The other thing that my brain has been busy with is workflow.  Last time we did an auction, it took me several days to wrap everything up and get stuff shipped.  I'm trying to be more efficient this time by creating the shipping boxes as bids come in.

I'm grateful that I had the foresight to order a new batch of cardboard sheets as I completely ran out of material to make my boxes just as the shipment from U-Line pulled up.  Behind the scenes, there are a lot of unglamorous things that need to be in the studio to make this machine run smoothly.  Cardboard tops the list with bubble wrap and packing tape running close seconds.  If I didn't have my trusty box cutter, I'd be lost.

When the auction comes to a close at 9 pm MST tonight, I compile a list of what sold, for how much and to whom and get that to Heather.  She then sends out invoices by email reflecting the cost of the items along with applicable tax and shipping.  Once the invoice is paid, artwork (safely packaged up) is walked to the Canada Post outlet about one block away.  I spend a lot of time with June and Tracey over there, sending prints and originals all over Canada and once in awhile to the States. My hope would be to have everything on route to their destinations by mid week.

Thinking of June and Tracey, I'm reflecting on all the other professionals who help us do what we do.  Our suppliers are integral to our ability to run our business.  I'm thinking of the team at Posterjack in Toronto, our trusted printers.  They have really become partners over the years.  I'm also thinking of the staff at the Opus warehouse, who keep us supplied with canvases, brushes and paint.  Of course, none of this would get here without the efforts of Dennis and Robin, who make all the deliveries with the two main courier companies.

The most important partners that we have are all of you, the thousands of people who follow, like, comment and share.  You will never fully know the role you play in our success.  In the words of the immortal Bette Midler, you are "the wind beneath my wings".  It is why we like to do give aways and contests on a regular basis.  This needs to be a reciprocal relationship.  We try to make it so in as many ways as we can.

We were very pleased to do a draw for a two night stay in the Artists Loft and a personalized painting workshop in Birdsong Studio.  The winner was Mark George, an Okotoks resident who also does a lot of work in Fort McMurray.

On behalf of Heather, Ben and Dylan, our deepest thanks for your support.


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