Wednesday, February 07, 2007

How To Make Money With Chalkboard Art

John Rozich paid his bills doing retail display for department stores for years, while he did chalkboard art on the side. Three years ago, he began making a living at it full-time.

Rozich, who works mostly in the garage of his Magnolia home, said it takes him three to four hours to do a smaller, 2-by-3-foot board.

But, local vistas are his money scenes. “If I had a nickel for every time I did the Space Needle, I’d have $10. Or, Mount Rainier for that matter,” said Rozich, who charges about $80 an hour.

Many of the biggest clients for this medium are liquor-distribution companies, which commission chalkboards to hang in restaurants and bars.

“It’s a way to get the visibility of our product out so it doesn’t get left on the back bar or buried in the menu,” said Ken Fenton, manager of Southern Wine Spirits West, which distributes brands such as Tanqueray, Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff.

Fenton said his company commissioned between 40 and 50 chalkboards last year, at a cost of $14,000. He said this artistic form of advertising was relatively scarce in the 1990s, but has exploded in the past few years.

For businesses, it’s cheaper than hiring a professional photographer or paying for setup fees at print shops. Most artists charge for the cost of the boards, plus about $35 a square foot to decorate them. They can be changed or updated easily, without destroying the whole work.

Starving Artist No More: Hearty Business Strategies for Creative Folks

Rent A Bag Business