Monthly Archives: March 2012
A page from my sketchbook. Squid are so cute (:
You know what? Up until Day 62, I don’t think I had ever taken a photograph of the sun before. I mean maybe in passing, when it just happened to be in the background, but definitely not intentionally. You’d think that it might be one of the first things a person would try when they have a camera, but I don’t remember ever taking a shot of just the sun. But on that particular day, it just seemed like a good thing to do. And now I have my very own photo of the sun that I can hold on to forever. (Because, you know, the sun is only going to be around for another 7+ billion years anyway.)
Day 63 was when I finished creating this cute goat greeting card. I can’t even recall how this idea popped into my head but it amused me greatly. Ripping up a card and putting it back together? Yes please!
My boyfriend Shawn and I decided to team up and conquer Saints Row: the Third. This game is so ridiculously entertaining (emphasis on ridiculous.) This is definitely a game geared towards a more mature audience. And of course, being me, I spend way as much time playing with custom clothing and colours as I do stealing cars and assassinating pimps. All in a day’s work.
Every since the last tarot card was painted, I had The Moon tarot on my mind for a long time. My boyfriend helped me with a lot of ideas for this one. The Moon tarot is all about illusions, dreams, madness – and imagination. The rabbit was easily the animal of choice for The Moon as the rabbit has been linked to the moon in a lot of cultures – and about time I used a rabbit! I am the girl obsessed with bunnies, and oddly enough, I really haven’t painted many bunnies in general so far. I think this needs to be changed immediately.
The moon tarot has so many different elements so it was a challenge to try to incorporate some of them while not complicating the painting too much. This ended up being my first tarot painting where the animal is just a small part of the painting, and it’s funny because it didn’t hit me at first that this card would look a little different from the others. I guess my mind wanted to go in a different direction and thankfully I’m happy with this one (I mean, really. Bunnies. How could I not like it.)
The rabbit above is looking at the moon in the reflection. I think it’s fully aware that the moon below is not the same as above.. in fact, nothing above is reflected in the water. The rabbit below doesn’t follow the rabbit above, but looks away at a more magical view of the stars. The trees below became my two pillars, wrapping around the reflected moon. The moon can be your guiding light; which direction do you take? Stay above or dive into the unknown?
This painting is in honour of my bunny Lucy. Miss you, fuzzy butt.
Catching up with Project 365.. the weather was aaall over the place: lots of snow one day and sunny and hot the next. Day 60 had a slightly snowy day and the kids outside tried to make some snowmen. I applaud their determination!
Chugging along on Day 61 with more sketching and working on the shop. I made some steamed eggs with some century eggs inside.. an aquired taste but a staple in this house (: If you’ve never tried Chinese steamed eggs before, you should! There are recipes around online and it’s very simple. I also made some simple (and tasty!) rice with ground beef and veggies. For some reason I still can’t get the steamed eggs as perfect as my mom makes them. Sigh. One day, one day.
I started working on the Moon Tarot; I can’t wait to get this one finished. There’ll be soo many little things that I’ll get to cram into this little painting. I have no idea how people work on such a large scale! These guys measure a teeny 5″ by 7″. One of my goals is to ‘graduate’ to larger sized paintings… someday.
I am such a huge rabbit lover; so I have to make this one awesome. This is for all my little bunnies that have crossed that rainbow bridge. I love and miss your furry little (and big) butts.
I have totally and completely hit that wall.
No shop sales in about 2 weeks!
And I know, I know. I’m sure that may not seem bad at all; some shops probably dream of a sale every two weeks, or a sale every month. Sometimes sellers make sales, and sometimes they don’t. I understand, and I know the importance of a little patience when it comes to Etsy.
But man, oh man, even with all the work that can be done in 2 weeks, it has been the longest 2 weeks I’ve ever had in a long, long time. Gotta keep on truckin, right?
I got this cute little horse charm on Day 58 for my mom that she likes to wear as a necklace. (I definitely take after her when it comes to sparkly things.) I also made a bit more progress with this puzzle I bought on Day 38.. but man, past putting together the easy parts like the eyes, the yarn and the border.. this puzzle is brutal! So much gray. And those pieces that make up the basket.. oh man. What was I thinking? It seemed like such a good idea at the time..
I also worked on another photo session.. not one of my favourite things to do. The definite bonus is that the warmer weather is bringing in more hours of wonderful, magical, much needed sunlight. Whew.
I think even despite the slow few weeks, I’ve actually been pretty fortunate the last little while. My raven print was actually featured in an Etsy Find newsletter [insert me spazzing here] and today my autumn swing pendant was made a Daily Deviation on deviantart. I feel pretty gosh darn lucky! I hope this is all a sign of good things to come (:
It’s Thursday! I’m up for a new challenge: the midnight screening of The Hunger Games. Can not wait!
On Day 57 my friend invited me over for a(n awesomely) random turkey dinner. Turkey should be an year-round meal, I swear. Giant turkey in hand and all the veggies (and wine!).. we were very happy campers. I wanted to bring a little something along so I picked out the cutest, happiest little cake at the grocery store: the only white cake smothered in icing and rainbow sprinkles. (It was totally me!) That with the amazing chocolate cheesecake my other friend brought; we were in heaven.
Day 58 was a whole lot of shop work: editing listings, creating listings, editing photos, and all the boring kind of stuff. I used this tackle box that used to hold some of my art supplies and instead stored most of my pendants in there. Now just about everything is in its place! (.. until I make more, and run out of room to put them all.)
I posted on the Etsy forums earlier today, hoping for a little bit of insight as I think I’ve been struggling over the last while with my shop..
Lately I feel like I’ve been struggling a lot more with what direction to go in with my shop. My ultimate goal would be to do this completely full time, or to even just be able to get a decent part time profit, and while I actually do try to work as much as I can, I don’t feel like I’ve found the right kind of style or that I haven’t found the right focus yet.
Is it wise to experiment and to try all sorts of things to find that sweet spot, or to really concentrate on one or two very specific styles? I know a lot of successful art shops tend to stay with a very specific style or theme with their content but I still feel like I’m struggling to find mine. Sometimes I feel like my own shop is just kinda randomness thrown together and I don’t know if there is quite a proper direction with it. Would it be too overwhelming to create as much of everything as you can, or would a shop just feel like too unfocused? On the other hand, when you really want to achieve more success with a shop and want to do even better, is it wise to stay with just one style, when you don’t know for sure if that is what people will want?
[…]Sometimes I feel like when I create a new painting that I’m really just rolling the dice and hoping to get that right number.
Here’s the thread I had started, and I’m so grateful for fellow Etsy sellers because they’re always full of lots of insight.
I had a similar issue. While I was pregnant I did a lot of experimental work. I knew I wanted to decorate jewelry boxes but I kept running out of ideas. Then my daughter was born and ideas flooded me. Being on maternity leave, I do a lot of magazine reading haha! So what I would suggest to you is to take a few days at least and just focus your thoughts on things that you like. Look at magazines, go on websites you like and book mark/tear out pages of anything and everything you like. When you have a decent collection, look it over and see what you find. I did the same and I noticed the commonalities in the things I liked and it helped me to identify my taste and style. Plus, focusing on how you find your shop to be kind of random sort of traps you. Put your shop aside and don’t even think about your items for a day or 2 and instead turn that energy into looking into new ideas and when you go back you’ll have clarity. At least I hope so because it worked for me! Good luck.
I understand exactly where you are coming from. I spent the first year here trying to sell all different kinds of styles that I had been selling at craft fairs and not much sold. So I concentrated on the items people were buying and listening to their comments and feedback which put me in the right direction.
It is trial and error for some of us as I found what sells in my Etsy shop is different than what mainly sells in person. I also quit thinking I only had to sell one of a kind pieces, once I started repeating certain styles, maybe in different colors too, I started selling more. I am in this business full time, it’s my job so this has worked great for me. I also do custom pieces which can be fun and gets me somewhat out of a “style” rut.
There was a lot of really helpful input but I’ll try not to make this miles long (: I definitely don’t feel like I’m the only one struggling with this but I do feel like I need to refocus and re-evaluate where I want to go and how I want to go about it. I want to really figure out what I want to create, and to really focus on branding. I’m leaning towards creating a second shop to shift some things over (particularly the black and white skull work) but I think this may take more time and thought to figure out. I feel like I’m a lot more than what’s in that shop right now and I really want to express that in my art.
I forgot about this photo for Day 55: my Etsy shop made it to 100 sales. I did a very happy dance that day! Now I’m hoping to eventually hit 200 sales, but faster and getting there more efficiently. This month has been particularly slooow though; so fingers crossed that things will pick up. This month is probably a good sign to work harder and to try new things.
Day 56, I watched Life in a Day. I don’t think I’ve seen any trailers for this but I’m glad I didn’t because I think trailers tend to ruin a lot of movies and I really enjoyed this film. People all over the world filmed one day of their lives, all on July 24, 2010, and film from all different cultures and classes were pieced together to create this really touching piece. You can’t walk away from this one without at least a few really moving memories playing over in your mind.
My family and I went out for dinner this night.. or rather, day that was quickly turning into night. For some reason this was my favourite photo of the day: sitting in the car, watching the world pass you by, the sprinkling of snow on the mild ground, the sunlight disappearing in the distance. It was a good day.
Back to the grind now. Day 54 and 55 was filled with taking pictures, editing pictures, prepping listings, editing listings, cooking (lasagna on Day 54) and creating more pendants (like this Nyan Bunny on Day 55)
Here’s a bonus for Day 55.. the very last bit of the Snowbunny. It had a long, glorious life. Rest in Snowbunny peace!