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Re: [BKARTS] Etsy?
For all that's worth, I never understood the premise that an artist's work
affects the sale of another artist any if at all. The principal problem with
the art market is one of too much supply and little and fickle demand. In
this strange business, every artist that wants to be in business has to be
willing to seed, grow and cultivate their own exclusive market, a cadre of
faithful collectors, which is in all reality minimally affected by another
artist no matter how closely their "wares" seem on appearance. Being an
artist entails three full-time jobs, making art, promoting art, and selling
art (optional to many).
I make and sell woodcuts, that being the extent of my "business plan." By
"make" I mean design, carve, print, mat, frame and bless every little
I have sold and currently sell in galleries, art festivals, Etsy, ebay,
Amazon and through my own website. Although my pricing scheme varies at
first glance, taking into account my expenses for the various venues the
pricing is completely consistent. I have spreadsheets of "cost per piece"
and all that nifty math, and, frankly much prefer selling online than
putting up a booth in biting cold or brisk winds. The profit is the same if
I price accordingly. In an art festival, the customer is paying for matted
and framed works, ready to hang that are inspected on premises. They also
pay for my booth fee and travel in order for me to make a reasonable profit.
Price range in festivals go from about $45 for framed 8x10s to my original
blocks, which sell better than I ever thought they would at or around the
1-3K mark. The higher the
By far, art festivals are the best "gig" for the artist selling public
direct. You do as many as you want, wherever you want, whenever you want.
You put up with a lot but with a whole lot of research and perseverance, a
good dose of sheer stubborness and a decent "product", a handsome living
awaits any artist that is willing to continually go through that sort of
delightful pain that is the art festival life.
Next in line is the gallery that actually sells. Currently two galleries
that hold my woodcuts, which I provide matted and framed at my expense, are
providing me with as much profit every six months as I can make in one
single festival, even an iffy one. I'm not much for gallery openings and
galas and all that jazz, that being the principal reason why festivals suit
More to the point of this thread, Etsy and ebay provide me with a moderate
number of tiny sales but mostly, a great number of hits on my website. I
sell on Etsy and ebay woodcuts that are no longer available through
festivals or any other venue at a bargain bottom price. I have never ever
never ever never ever had a customer, even one of my regular collectors,
complain that they bought their woodcut at a higher price elsewhere. In
fact, they seem to eagerly await my announcements that older and
discontinued works are now more affordable. I have collectors that pounce
upon my number 1 prints, collector's sets, and my cancelled blocks and
collectors that only purchase my older bargains. I love them all.
Ebay gets more exposure, especially international exposure; Etsy sells
mostly to other Etsy users in my experience. My own website gets more hits
than either and more sales too, even at regular prices. Everything I sell
online is unmatted unframed, which is a nice break from the festival/gallery
Also for all that's worth, many other printmakers think I under-sell my
work, that is until they find out my yearly income from some of those
festivals that they snub. I say, to each their own. I like the masses and I
like the fray and I like having to explain what the dickens a woodcut is to
someone that came to buy trinkets and go home with original artwork instead.
I like including audiences of potential collectors rather than appealing
only to the knowledgeable and the wealthy. But I think that's pretty much a
printmaker's job through history.
I'm sure most of that didn't make any sense. May everyone have a wonderful
art life and find their own way.
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