This has to be the funkiest, weirdest, coolest idea: One Thousand Paintings.
The guy made 1,000 individual, unique paintings all featuring a different number, 1-1,000. They’re all painted in the same style, in the same font, just a different number on each one. He one made one of each, and he’s selling them based on some mathematic formula where the lower the number the more it costs and the more paintings sold the more expensive the remaining paintings get.
So painting 960 is $40. Painting 16 is $295.20.
It’s a pretty brilliant idea. So far he’s sold 258 paintings. At $40 each that’s more than $10,000, and of course most of the paintings have sold for more than $40. The math-inclined can check out his formula themselves and figure out how much he stands to make.
I love ideas like this. Of course coming up with them and pulling them off is the hard part. I’m tempted to buy one, but I have no idea what I’d do with it and I can’t decide what number to pick (and I’m cheap, so I’d be looking at the high numbers, which really limits my choices).
Update: I bought one. #985. Call me a sucker, but I’m buying inspiration. I love the artistic and mathematical ideas behind it, and just the downright cleverness. Plus I like the idea of being one of a thousand people to own one. I’m in good company. See if you can guess why I picked 985.
Update 2: Turns out I didn’t get #985. With the flood of traffic PayPal hasn’t been fast enough in verifying funds, so somebody else bought #985 and their funds verified before mine did. So they get the painting. Doh.
Now that the lowest price is over $100, it’s a bit rich for me, so I won’t try again. I have noticed the sales have slowed (it’s at 449 sold right now, it was at 401 last night, down from the 10 per hour the site was doing for a while), and I’d guess it’s due to the rising cost. It’s an interesting little experiment, and I’m curious if the continually rising cost will mean fewer and fewer sales. Or will the limited availability kick in and make that cost worth it?
Oh, and for the record, I picked #985 because I started blogging on December 5, 1998. 98-5. It’s a stretch, I know, but my wife’s birthday was sold and my daughter’s was too expensive. And 1985 is a fun year, immortalized in that Bowling for Soup song and Back to the Future.