Sunday, February 26

Looking Back: How I Got Here.


February 11th marked my "Etsyversary" - a quite important and significant day in my art career - 6 years selling...well, about a year struggling and then "selling" lol. Put simply, if my friend did not tell me about Etsy, and had I not signed up, I may not be anywhere close to where I am today. I signed up at first, thinking that I might be able to sell an odd item here or there and be able to buy more art supplies (I was a student at the time, so I wasn't able to 'indulge' as much in my art supplies).

Etsy in 2006. Saying things have changed is the understatement
of the millennia  
 I deal solely through the internet - the only items I have in stores are those through wholesale contracts, and other image use contracts. This works for me best: in the beginning I was in school and didn't have the time to do art shows and such; and now I'm working all the time and have no time to do art shows and such. I'm also pretty shy, so I enjoy and feel more confident with the arrangement that I have set up for myself.

My shop in 2007 - I wasn't able to find a 2006 screen shot.
I am so thankful we can hide / expand announcements now
 - look at all that writing!!
I am very thankful that Etsy was created, and that I have been able to sell through it over the years. It was slow starting, but it finally picked up. I worked hard to get myself out there, and although the results were delayed, they most definitely paid off in the long haul. I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning, but quickly resolved them, and was very lucky to have such understanding buyers. It is hard starting out fresh, with no one to tell you what will and won't work.

The first painting I sold, after almost 6 months of being signed up.
To the newbies: persistence pays off, nothing good is ever easy :)

I know you will have a hard time believing me - but I sent out my first few prints in page protectors! Yes, that's right. I didn't know better, didn't know it looked totally unprofessional - and didn't have a clue where to find real cello sleeves. It's embarrassing looking back, truly I laugh a lot at myself. I would spend hours cutting up cardboard boxes for backing - until I realized that it's super easy to just order backing - and my sore hands were ever so thankful.

My first tree painting, "Polka Dot Tree"
My first tree painting is above. It was titled just that: "Polka-Dot Tree"...really original, isn't it? It was of a tree in front of the student housing that I was renting at the time. One day I was doodling on my porch, and I didn't want to draw all the leaves, so I did circles instead to 'get the point of leaves across' in the sketch. I thought it was pretty cool, so I painted it. Once this one sold, I thought I might have something, so I did others. There is no prints of "Polka-Dot Tree" I'm sad to say, and no high-res file. As I mentioned earlier - I wasn't smart about some things early on, and not keeping a good file of this was one of them. To the buyer of this lovely painting - you have the only copy of it, ever :) I hope you are still enjoying it!

THEN: "The Turning" 2006

NOW: "Show Your Feathers" 2012
"The Turning" was the first of my tree series, and it is still doing well today. You can tell that slowly my techniques have changed. What used to be loose, irregular circles are now tighter and more uniform. This is probably the result of painting circles for six years - lets me honest, if you repeat something enough, it's going to fix itself whether you want it to or not. I have been asked if I have a special tool for making circles, I do not. Simply: a normal brush and paint, and I let the paint fall as it may.

I do like seeing how I have incidentally evolved as an artist. I often find myself looking at the first sold items of artists I admire on Etsy to see how they evolved as well. You should try it sometime, look up one of your favourite artists - find one of their earlier works and one of their later works.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely. Nice to hear good things about Etsy. I signed up over a year ago and sold only one thing to a person I knew, but I want to fill my store up and actually sell. I like your circle trees very much.

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