What you sell: I sell original mixed media paintings. On occasion I have been known to sell handmade books and so reproduction prints of my work. I’ve been pretty busy with the paintings over the last few months, so the prints and books have kind of taken a backseat.
Tell us about your featured item: This is one of my original paintings. It’s called three trees and it’s a self portrait. Here I have used a number of different processes to make this piece. It’s a combination of collage, gesso, drawing, oil paint and beeswax. It’s painted on a solid pine panel. My fiancé is currently attending the Cranbrook Academy of Art. He works in the woodshop two days a week and during that time he builds these beautiful panels for me. I wanted to do a small series of self portraits mostly because I had never done them before. I was also interested in doing a more graphic novel illustration of myself.
How do you decide on the price of your products?
This is a really difficult process for me. I feel that everyone has the right to be able to afford original pieces of art. I know that a lot of people that shop on Etsy aren’t all millionaires. However, I know that my work is quality and that I make some pretty nice pieces. I sell my work for quite a bit more in galleries, or coffee shops, and I have tried pricing my work on Etsy at the same prices, but they just don’t sell. So, I subtract the percentage that a gallery, or other venue, would take and use that as my price.
How do you market your Etsy shop?
I like to participate in Forums and I re-list quite a bit. When I list items, I list every couple of days and not all on the same day. I have a blog, but I am not sure that really relates to any of my sales. I mostly use it as a sort of journal. Sometimes I talk about my work, or other shops and artists, but it’s mostly about me. I think that when it comes to art, people tend to want to know more about the artist. Their background and where they are coming from, so I think that in a way it’s nice to have a blog that isn’t just about my shop. My friends also like it because it gives them something to read at work J I also use word of mouth. I was considering placing some ads in a local paper, or posting a flyer in some local craft shops or coffee shops, but right now I am getting ready for two gallery shows and going to school, so Etsy hasn’t been a huge priority for me the last couple of weeks.