The Artist and the Internet

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artl8dy wrote
on 15 May 2010 9:03 PM

Pokey, 

Though this post is dated a few months ago, I wanted to respond. 

As far as the internet, I've been a blogger since January 2005. I began the blog as a way to chronicle my progress and work. Through the years, I've been in contact with many like minded artists that I would never meet otherwise. As I look back on all my posts, I can see what ideas I've developed and what ideas I scrapped. I've been able to fine tune the direction of my mixed media art and share that experience online as I go. Turns out, I really do love working with fabric as well as paper. I knew the next step was etsy shop, so I had my "grand opening" this past week. I twitter and use facebook and have put some shameless plugs out to all my friends.

I think that the most popular blogs and etsy stores are the ones where the artist has published a  book, or has taught classes at retreats or quilt shows. It helps to have an article published in one of the Quilting Arts publications to get the blog and etsy store "url" out to the public.

In case anyone would like to check out my online links, here they are:

Sharon at e14studio blog

ArtL8dY's tweets

Feedback would be greatly appreciated!

 

 

 

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Peggy Szasz wrote
on 2 Jun 2010 5:30 PM

HI, I have had an Etsy storefront for over a year.....first year, I sold nothing.  Then I got a new contract from my gallery and they were changing the commission fee.....I had to rethink how I would do business in the future.  My business is strange since I have my own designs and licenses from McKenna Ryan, Paris Bottman and Lenore Crawford.  With the other designers I have to pay them a royalty fee of 10%.  So, if a gallery is going to take 50% and then I pay my designers 10% that means I would be doing volunteer work for the gallery.  So, I started remarketing my Etsy site....lowering the prices by 10-15% since with Etsy I don't pay a huge commission. (I had my original prices the same as I would ask at a gallery.) I reworked my website and found that over the last 4 months I have sold 14 quilts, some of them are my original designs and some are McKenna's.  But, even after lowering my prices I am making more of a profit than going through a gallery.  Plus, with Paypal the funds are instantly mine....whereas with a gallery you usually have to wait for the check at the close of the show.  I think that Etsy is one class act, easy to use for sellers and buyers. And even though there are some really cheap items on the site, there are also some very high end items.  I do not think that my quilts are being sold at a garage sale......but rather my storefront which happens to be on the internet.  And my storefront is totally in my control...it is as good as I make it.  Peggy

P.S. I negotiated with my gallery and still will have a 40/60 split

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artsiehorse wrote
on 4 Jul 2010 9:48 AM

I've been involved with a group of artists online who act as a support group for eachother artistically and as friends. I've not met any of them in person, but having an honest support from people who are trying to be creative as well is important. Hearing the trials and tribulations of others, as well as their triumphs is comforting.

I've been trying the Etsy route too. I don't have any sales yet... but I'm still hopeful. Mostly I think I'm just really bad at marketing! I don't have many quilts on my etsy site now, mostly other cloth and knitted things. The other quilts I had posted on there I actually sold in person to people, so I know they're ok, I just have to learn to get people looking at them!

~Melanie from Missoula

The Artsiehorse Studio

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Peggy Szasz wrote
on 4 Jul 2010 12:14 PM

Etsy is a great site....I have had 14 sells which might not seem like much, but that is more than I would have had without Etsy.  I keep adding more quilts and relist items in between new listings.  You never know when you will get a sell.....it took me over a year to get my first, but right after that I sold the other 13.  I also think that once you have a positive feedback about your product that gives buyers the confidence to buy from you.  The pump is primed so to speak.  Hang in there and keep listing your quilts and one day you will jump up from your computer and run through the house saying I sold a quilt on Etsy!!!  Hope everyone is having a great July 4th.  Peggy

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Lana Book wrote
on 4 Jul 2010 7:16 PM

How do you handle sales tax on Etsy? Is there a easy way to do that?

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SueAndrus wrote
on 8 Jul 2010 8:13 AM

 I have been using the internet more and more lately. I began with a  website mainly as a gallery of my work, but it is pretty time consuming to add to it, so I began blogging. The first couple years I did pretty well with keeping up with my blog, but not so well in the past year or so... I'm working on that. It is very interesting to look back at my old blog posts an see what I have done and how things have evolved in my work. This year I made the move to putting my blog on my website, and that was a real challenge. I am still working to move posts from the old one so things are in one place (or two, as I started a blog to keep my tutorial and how-to posts separated). Right now my main blog has mostly posts with photos from my gardens or other inspirations. I will eventually get myself back into the studio and have some more quilty posts again.

My main sales outlet in the past was at art and craft shows and festivals, and I did quite well. Thanks to some not so fun medical issues, I am no longer able to do the setting up, etc. required for them so I have turned to the internet instead. I have a shop on Etsy, and have had it for a number of years and had some sales, but a while back I moved most to Artfire for my main shops, or Studios as they are called there. I have had more sales faster at Artfire, but I also find that I need to keep promoting for things to keep going well. Life keeps throwing a few curve-balls, and I end up "dropping off the grid" at times, and then it seems I need to start the promoting all over again. I have gained a few great repeat customers, and have also had sales off the sites that don't show up in my shop stats, but are directly a result of my Artfire Studios. On Artfire, you can promote your other outlets, such as Etsy, Personal websites, Zibbet, etc. so for me that makes things easier. I have had customers find an item in one of my Artfire Studios, but prefer to deal through Etsy, so I will list the item for  them there. I have been keeping my higher end Art Quilts separated from my more crafty, gifty items, so an expensive art quilt is not next to a $5 bookmark, but I have links from each to the others.

* About the Sales Tax question for Lana-   My payments for sales mostly go through Paypal, and you can set up which state(s) and the % to charge from their site. I have a note for buyers when they make a purchase, that they will be charged sales tax in the states I have to collect it from (NY & PA I have licenses for both states because I have done shows in NY as well as my home state).

 

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