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GCU Community Newsletter #16 – September 1, 2011

September 1, 2011

It’s really getting to be autumn around here… just a hint of a nip in the air, and you can tell Nature is getting tired. I was happy to discover that we didn’t have the usual inundation of mosquitoes this summer, and now we never will!

Last week, Doreen Erhardt’s A Dash of Inspiration – a Cup of Creativity brought us links to some inspiring paintings; Jane Dykstra was in the Design Spotlight; and our boo-tee-ful Blog Carnival III: High Spirited continues. The Critique Clinic continues every weekend as usual.

Until next time, don’t forget to pass the love around!


Little Orphan Category

What’s an “orphan” category, you ask? It’s a category at Greeting Card Universe that contains few or no greeting cards. It’s a category that’s neglected. Unloved. Begging for attention.

And you should give those poor little orphan categories your attention. Know why? Because adopting an orphan category can lead to some very nice sales for you because you’ll have hardly any competition.

Here’s how it breaks down: in a popular category like, say, Birthday – General, you’re competing with thousands and thousands of other artists, some of them pretty heavy  hitters whose cards are well established.

Looking more closely, I begin to identify orphan sub-categories in Birthday. For example, Expecting/Pregnant has only 1 card in it. For Co-Worker/Colleague, just 6 cards. You get the idea. I may be able to take advantage of my fellow artists’ lack of attention by designing cards to fit those neglected sub-categories.

It gets better, because sometimes you can find a whole CATEGORY that contains very few cards, and adopt that as your own. I did that not too long ago, and I’ve already sold a few hundred cards – and no, I’m not telling you which one 😉

Most of us design generic cards suitable for a multitude of recipients, but in addition to that, if you want to see your artist commissions go up every quarter, you should be designing cards for specific specialty categories and sub-categories…and you should also be adopting those poor, lonely orphans while you’re at it.

Sometime during the month of September, I’d like you to go through the Category list,  identify, and adopt an orphan category. Make more than one card ’cause you want to OWN that category before the other artists find out how clever you are. Then you’ll be well on your way to success (and more sales)!



Just a reminder that it’s time for a Blog Carnival, and this time with Halloween next month, we’re blogging about ghosts! That’s right, time to tell us about a ghostly encounter you had, your favorite ghost story, a haunted house film you like, a haunted attraction you visited, the history of Ouija boards, seances and mediums, or anything to do with spooky spirits!

Just make a new blog post or Squidoo lens (or Hub page, Weebly page, or a page added to your website, I’m flexible) on the topic of ghosts. Use your imagination! And you must include links to 3 scary cards at GCU to be eligible. Once again, I’m offering a prize worth $25 – Amazon, Starbucks, or card credits, winner’s choice! AND all participants will receive a spook-tacular Community star!

You have until September 19, 2011 to leave a comment here with the URL of your blog post. On September 19, I’ll make a master list of posts, and announce the results of our random drawing for the prize winner.

So get out there, folks, and conjure up a blog post that’s to die for!


The Critique Clinic is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday to all GCU artists seeking peer review, advice and tips. Any artist may submit or leave a critique. All artists are encouraged to check the comment threads – you’ll learn something that may help you with your own marketability.

There is a GCU artists’ group on Facebook? We encourage you to join, post cards for your fellow artists to admire, share news, and have fun!

The Salon of Art Facebook fan page (by Doreen Erhardt) is a great place to go to find links to all kinds of helpful resources like tutorials, brushes, news about competitions and contests, marketing tips and a lot more. Check it out!

Hidden Gems: Pets Halloween - artist Laura J. Holman

If you have a question about one of your cards being “held” for review, or if your card has been declined due to the new Marketability Standards, write to and include the PID# of the card in question.

DID YOU KNOW you can “like” this newsletter or any post on the GCU Community blog, or include them in your social bookmarks? Or Google +1 them! Just click the title of the post, which takes you to the permanent link page. At the bottom of the page you’ll see buttons for social sites like Facebook, Reddit, StumbleUpon, etc.


The next Newsletter will be published on September 8, 2011

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 7, 2011 6:04 pm

    Just posted to my blog for the Blog Carnival III- High Spirited, here:

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