I currently take two types of ACEO commissions (I also do custom tattoo design commissions and other larger pieces of artwork.). One is a flower fairy series in the Japanese manga style and the other is my flower sprite series of whimsical nature babies. I enjoy doing both kind of ACEOs. Although I'm more and more partial to looser, whimsical style of the sprite series, and this is also the style I've been using more in my other, larger ink & watercolor fantasy pieces of late. Small scale art can be very charming and definitely more affordable for some of the collectors, but it can feel quite restrictive in terms of space allotted (2.5" x 3.5" or 6.4 cm x 8.9 cm) by definition of ACEO, and the way I work in the manga style with super tight detailing can be exhausting in small scale. Some days, my eyes are feeling the strain. I'm guessing that I'll be doing less of these... hopefully.
"Red Rose Fairy" commissioned ACEO in ink & watercolor
©Mitzi Sato-Wiuff 2013
Another thing I'll be doing less of (or quitting completely) is making listings in the numerous art auction groups on Facebook. There are so many (perhaps too many) and I frankly do not think anyone is making much money auctioning their art, where most listings going for the first and only (and therefore the lowest) bidder. And at many "art collectives", the set starting price is too low for the themed auctions, unless the groups can generate a lot of buzz and traffic from interested buyers, but I am simply not seeing that happening at any of these groups. In reality, these auction pages have become bargain art bins.
The biggest reason why I've decided to pull myself out of these groups (or limit my future participation) is that my Etsy shop is starting to do very well, plus I have commission requests consistently coming my way via my site and deviantART that I really need to focus my marketing effort so that I have plenty of time left for art production (the most important thing) in my schedule. And although I haven't had too many cases of this happening, there is always a possibility that Facebook auctions can end up in bidder non-payment/ bid retraction after the fact, general confusion (mistaking one artist's listing for another's and falsely accusing of non-delivery). Another negative is that you cannot build any reputation selling direct via Facebook auctions. Adding to this, I can also cite lack of USPS rate discount when my transactions are not through Etsy or other companies. One could argue that there is no listing fee or transaction fee on auctions on Facebook, but I don't mind paying minimal listing fee where I can create a nice, comprehensive listing where everything is fully described and presented with multiple photos to show your item, and a reasonable transaction fee when the sale happens for my asking price. Records are neatly kept and shipping label printing is streamlined to save me time and money, which I cannot say for these clumsy auction pages.