Refocusing on the Art

One of my gifty jewelry boxes available on ruthsartsandletters.etsy.com

 

It’s cyber Monday.  The Christmas season is upon us, whether we are ready or not.  (Personally, this past year went by entirely too fast, but that’s another thing altogether.)  The thing is, I did a couple of craft shows this fall, so I worked like a demon to crank out stuff I thought would sell well as Christmas gifts.  But, I overdo everything.  I made way too many cards and ornaments and jewelry boxes, and even worse, the work – and the holiday preparations – stopped being fun.  

It was time to refocus my efforts.  I reminded myself why I’m doing this — how good it feels to create something that others find beautiful or evocative.  The best compliment I ever got was from a young woman who told me my collages were like treasure hunts — you kept finding little things hidden here and there.  I love being able to create meaning for people — or more precisely, helping people create meaning for themselves.

So, it’s back to the artistry and away from giftable gadgets.  I decided to spend the holiday dabbling in something new — encaustic art.  I’ve ordered some supplies and look forward to experimenting and learning.  This may not be proper proceedure, but I like to experiment a little first, before I learn actual techniques because it frees me up to see all the possibilities.

Once this decision was made, that glorious feeling came back.   I don’t know that my encaustic work will be masterpiece-ful.  But the process of learning it will be.  Plus, Christmas can be Christmas again!

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Etsy Marketing–There’s Visibility in Numbers

I didn’t think I would become so business-minded when I decided to open an Etsy shop to sell the art that was beginning to pile up in my spare room.  After all, doing artwork was fun — exhilerating even.  What I didn’t understand was how huge Etsy is.

There are thousands of artists on Etsy, and the challenge is to get people, more specifically, buyers, to look at the stuff in your shop.  So far, I’ve learned that you have to list new objects pretty much every day to stay visible.   Second, I’ve found that experienced sellers are generous with support and tips if you ask.  I browse through a few shops every day and identify the ones that are impressive, either with their art or with the way they have presented their art.  I convo these guys, telling them specifically what I like about their shop.   I have now joined two etsy teams – Collage Etsy team and Melange Etsy Team.  Being on a team gives you a connection to artists who have similar artistic and marketing interests. 

At this point, the biggest challenge for me as a new Etsy shop owner is learning to use internet technology to bring in customers.  It seems that a successful seller must build a network of sellers.  The old adage – there’s safety in numbers – could be rewritten in the virtual age as “there’s visibility in numbers.”

Etsy is a Great Place to Shop

Red Dress in the Wind

Red Dress in the Wind

 

This piece was the first item sold in my Etsy shop. 

If  you haven’t already visited Etsy.com, it is a great place to find original handmade arts and crafts.  Anything from soaps to purses to handbound journals abound on this great site.  Check it out for Christmas shopping!  Your gifts will be one-of-a-kind.