Friday, November 09, 2012

Selling Out

Happy Friday!  Hey Folks - I don't know how to write this post without the possibility that it will sound like a guilt trip for you, my lovely readers, to go buy stuff from the Etsy Monster.  

Which is not my intent with this post.

But I want to write it. 

So, disclaimer : I am elated to have you as a reader, and if you are never anything more than that, THAT IS OKAY and you are not a horrible person for not throwing money at me.  But if you have good advice for how to make this monster a little more functional for me, you know, I'm all ears and such.


"Oh my gosh that's so cute / awesome / good! You should totally sell your art!"

I don't wanna be all, like, tootin' my own horn or anything y'all, but I hear that phrase... a LOT.

I've never had a problem finding an audience for stuff I create.  For the most part it's been a slew of t-shirt designs for college students or logo designs for random departments college-wide (and then there was that one time that I made a mascot costume... and then you know, WAS the mascot for a year or so...) but that was when I also WORKED at said college.  So my "fees" included the student group giving me a shirt in my size for free.

Let's just stop pretending these aren't two separate photos of me.

I've rationalized that my main job in this role was not so much the designer, but as an advisor helping a college group learn through my example how to more successfully market their group/ cause/ event to the rest of the student body, and thus I shouldn't be charging graphic designer fees, because 'advisor to students' was basically my day job anyway.

Here's the thing though.  As you may have guessed from that list of links in the upper lefthand corner of the blog - I do, in fact, sell my art.  I've had an Etsy Store Monster set up longer than I've even had this here little blog.  And on it, I list art that I have created for purchase by any random stranger that so deigns to give it a new home.

In theory anyway.  I have sold exactly 2 items in the 3+ years I have had this store (thank goodness I'm not paying rent on Etsy store-space).

The first was an absolute THRILL, because I sold a painting.  And not just any painting, but the most expensive painting in my store.  And the lady who bought it, though a total stranger, was absolutely the nicest lady I've ever had the pleasure to message back and forth with (she had very specific instructions on where on her front stoop the package needed to be left), and she made sure to come back later and give me boo-coo ratings.
it was a glorious painting.

Plus, as a painter, it kind of made my heart just that much happier that my precious painting found such a good home.  Yes, my paintings are a little like re-homing kittens.

I would keep you all if i could my husband wouldn't immediately leave me

The second was an etched glass jar.  Which was also exciting, except the sale happened while we were living in Mexico, and for a host of reasons we [the Mister and I] had decided not to re-confirgure the Etsy Monster to sell art in Mexico, and thus, I had not adjusted my shipping prices.  Long story short - selling the jar for $7.00 +$2.00 shipping ended up costing us $70.00 to ship (yes, SEVENTY) across the border, and so that kind of ate up any "yay I'm a legitimate artist legitimately selling my creations!" feelings I may have had prior.

But for reasons I can't quite articulate properly outside my head, I keep the store open.  I keep making new things to put in it, and I keep thinking that someday something's going to hit and I'm gonna be rolling in the dough.  Along those lines, I made things yesterday.  Things I have to share, because every once in a while I make a thing that I instantly become stupid, STUPID proud of, and so I'm going to show them off, and maybe if you find it in your heart you dear readers can help me find my proper audience for these things.

First off, I made some masks.  Because Halloween is only a year away.  THat was good timing on my part, but maybe I can tap into the 50 Shades niche.

Then I made cinnamon scented pinecones.  Because I went to Home Depot over the weekend and they were selling bags of these for like twelve bucks and I thought "crap, I could make those."  So I did, and they're cheaper than Home Depot.  So there.

And then.  THEN I made the most adorable thing I've ever made (and I made THREE -3- of them!).  The Mister saw the finished products last night and his actual quote [censored for the childrens] was:

So there's that.  That's my little store, where I pretend I'm a real artist, and it makes me happy.

Do you have any tips for Etsy success?
Anything you know you would buy if I made it and posted it in that shop?  I will most certainly cater to you.
Or hey - if I used the box of clay I have upstairs to sculpt some christmas tree ornaments later today, what do you think the masses would buy to put on their trees? (I'm thinking turtle doves).
Tell me in the comments - together we can make me successful!  :)

Meanwhile, DAMN YOU Oriental Trading - I do not have the time or money to be sitting at the computer, clicking through your "Christmas Supplies" section, but you have free shipping, and so... here I am.  Blargh.

Meanwhile + 1:  If you read this far, and you actually do want to buy something from the Etsy Monster and I didn't just guilt you into it, like you're really actually excited to own something - enter code "KPMCD" at checkout for free shipping.  BOOM.


Kate Y said...

Alright... how do I get my hands on that onsie????

And, I would suggest chatting with Ms. Andie Dietz about Etsy. I believe she is making enough money off of her site now that Brian could quit his job and they could both live comfortably off of it!

Jamie said...

Hey now, I did buy something from the Etsy Monster - just offline! That being said, your stuff is super cute and I will take a look. I should also commission some sort of shirt for my nephew about how cool his aunt is that is more personalized and less lame than the ones I can get at JC Penney's.

Kp said...

Tell ya what Kate, if I don't sell 'em within enough time to ship them out for Turkey-day, you can totally have one (afterall, they all started as extras from the four-pack your little man's hurricane costume originated out of)

And Jamie, you did totes buy an owl - but since it was in person I didn't count it. :)

Queen Holly the Magnificent said...

You masks are wonderful. I love your attention to detail. I am right now repainted a plague doctor mask that I bought at a Halloween store and sadly have used up all my mask money. However if I wanted to recreate the ball from Labyrinth I would totally buy all of your masks. Totally. :)