Have you always wanted to use your artistic talents to pay the bills? Have you dreamed of getting those paintbrushes out or utilising your graphic design abilities more? It takes boldness and courage to put yourself and your work out there. Offering it up for not only sale but for criticism and debate. Some great news for the day though, you can actually take those dreams you have, put them into reality and make money by selling art on Etsy. Let's take a look at the process, journey and some top tips about how to be successful.
Pick Up Your Paintbrush
The first thing you need to do is pick up your paintbrush. Or grab your watercolours. Maybe you need to download some software to your laptop to allow you to make professional typographical prints? If you have the skill, you can find an awesome who will enjoy it, but you have to start by making the art in the first place. This might mean actually finding time to practise and find the love for the craft once again. We all have busy lives but if we want to find time, we can find time. If this is something you want to do, find support, so some research and pick up those paintbrushes!
Find Your Style
Finding your style is something that needs time and patience. It might have been years since you created some art, or it might be a new direction you want to take your graphic design in. To find your style you must create, adapt and create again. Selling art on Etsy is going to be a learning process and finding a combination of what you like to create and also what sells is important. If you're doing this as a money making idea, to pay your bills and provide an income support stream for your family, you might need to put a twist on what you'd like to do in order for it to sell. Find a happy medium between what you're happy to put your name on and what will sell.
Create Your Products
Next up is to create your products. You might consider taking a look at what is already selling on Etsy. Look at what you might use your art with and bring those items to life. If it's a canvas, you need to canvas and some time to create. If your talent is photography you need to venture out and capture and image, before allowing yourself time to get it printed and framed. You might be using computer software and a range of quirky fonts to create prints with quotes in a typographical way. If that's the case you need to think about how you're going to print them out, if you're going to offer personalisation and how you're going to supply the demand.
You might even consider using a print on demand third party to take care of that side of things for you, allowing you to concentrate on the designs. Other items you might consider are one off canvases, mugs and limited prints of your original artwork. A great idea is to start small, meaning you won't have to spend as much money to begin with. You'll then be able to scale things up once things are going well and success is starting.
Set Up Your Etsy Shop
Once you have your products ready to put in front of an audience, you need to set up your Etsy shop. There is some great advice about setting up your shop on the Etsy website itself but there are a few things you need to get right. The name of your shop need to be something you're happy with. This could be your name, or something based on the names of your children or maybe your grandparents. It might be something not specific to you, a play on words perhaps. You need to ensure it doesn't infringe on another's trademark though. You also need to set up billing and also choose how you will be paid, which is the important part! Once you've followed all the steps Etsy set out for you, you can then open your shop.
Now is the time to start selling. You need to list your items on Etsy, just like you would do on other online selling platforms. Make sure you're describing the artwork properly so people know what they're buying. You need to specify if its framed or unframed, the size, the materials used and maybe some information about you, the artist. You can use and reuse the information that you write about yourself so be sure to save it somewhere so you can copy and paste it into every new listing you create. They say that a picture tells a thousand words so you need to ensure the photos you take of your products are top notch.
Selling art on Etsy is so often a long game. You might find an audience via the likes of social media but they won't all buy. They might admire your work from afar but how often do you buy new artwork for your walls? This is why diversifying with some more affordable items that people can easily invest in can help. Greetings cards featuring your art might sell more cheaply than the canvas you created, but you can sell these over and over again, whereas you only have one piece on canvas to sell for a considerable amount. Finding ways to sell and market your art is often difficult but if you're selling on a site like Etsy, they have a marketing budget and an audience already regularly visiting the site. You just need to stand your products out from the crowd.
If you have the talent and the time to put that talent into motion, people will buy into your art. Choosing to position yourself on a well known platform might be the making of you and selling art on Etsy could be the making of your artistic business.