I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about where I wanted to go with my Etsy shop for a few weeks now. I wasn’t really satisfied with what was there and it wasn’t really me. I mean, yeah, the love for cute, colourful animals is a part of me but I’ve felt like I could always do so much more than that.
I’ve learned that I’ve really wanted to put more of myself into my paintings and into the shop. I guess you could say that I want to bring a bit more “crazy” into Rainbow of Crazy. I’ve gone through a lot emotionally over the last several years and struggled through a lot of physical pain with my fibromyalgia, the brain fogs and the mental ups and downs. I want to bring some of that into my paintings.
A little while ago, Shawn had brought up a great point that I didn’t really think about before: over the past few months, I would talk to him about how I didn’t really know what to paint and how I’d be stuck for ideas, but back when I first started to paint, I created imagery like this painting that dealt with my fibromyalgia, and he said that I never had to tell him about the paintings.. I would just paint them. I didn’t have to hesitate, I didn’t struggle with it. I simply painted what I knew.
I want to explore this emotional side more and see what comes out. I really do want to look at my shop, at a portfolio that I created and be like, “you know what? I’m really proud of everything there. Because it’s totally me.“
This painting is a glimpse of that “crazy” of Rainbow of Crazy. One of the things people with fibromyalgia talk about is something called “fibro fog”, where your brain just feels really foggy or fuzzy. Though not exactly like that, something that can be a little similar is the feeling of being disconnected. Quite a while ago, I had read about Dissociation and specifically Depersonalization disorder, and it’s this feeling of detachment from your surroundings, or even from your physical body. Ever feel like you’re in a movie? Floating around aimlessly? Where mentally, your brain actually feels like it’s miles away from your body, like you can see yourself from above. I can’t actually say that I truly have this disorder, but I’ve felt this way before. It was one of the strangest feelings ever, and this painting is kind of my way of touching on that subject and that feeling of just.. floating.
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 (:
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.
It’s already August! How the heck did that happen? It feels like I’ve just blinked a few times and summer’s already half over. I barely just got into July!
While looking for inspiration, I realized that the first week of August (again, how did August sneak up like that?) is ‘Simplify Your Life Week’. This is a time where we should really just pause and re-evaluate your priorities and figure out how to leave clutter out and simplify everything around you.
.. this is a hell of a lot easier said than done, of course.
Starting up a new shop is rough, really rough. You’re a new seller; you’ve listed a couple of great items.. then you sit at the computer and wonder why no one is looking at your shiny new shop. Back before I even opened, I had spent months and months preparing, getting the right equipment, working on paintings, learning as much as I could about the ins and outs of having a shop on Etsy. I knew as a beginner shop, it could very well take a long time to get a sale, let alone regular sales.
I’m not here to sit about and whine about the slow start of having a new shop or wanting to quit or any of that. I’ve already seen so much of that on the Etsy forums. At this point, I feel like it should be quite the opposite. Having a slow few weeks has made me even more determined to keep going. There’s always something to do, always, always, always. Here’s just part of my to-do list right now..
– prep all of my ACEOs to list as 5×7 prints.
– turning that around – prep all of my 5x7s to list as ACEO prints.
– prep listings for all of my original ACEO paintings.
– start planning on how I’m going to sell all of my other canvas paintings.
– planning different ways to display my artwork so I can take new photographs.
– rework all of my item descriptions, varying wording, titles, and brushing up tags.
– create new artwork, come up with new ideas.
– promoting on twitter, facebook, tumblr, etsy teams, etc, etc.
The last goes on, and on.
So don’t just sit there wondering why views or sales may be low. Don’t just sit there and whine. Sit, whine, then do something about it! There should ALWAYS be something on that to-do list, stuff to work on, things to improve.
And don’t forget to update that blog.