Being an artist is hard. It’s not hard to create art (unless you have some creative block). It’s hard to get noticed, to make your mark and show your individualism. My Etsy shop has been open since 2015 but I am going to say I didn’t really start putting my art up until 2016. There is still not a HUGE selection of prints because *insert excuses I make* but it’s still mine and I love my little shop. I have had 19 sales, 3 reviews, and 213 people “favorited” my prints. I have also had a few things sold on Society6 but not as much as Etsy.
When I first opened my shop the biggest piece of advice I was given was “be patient.” Everyone says that growing and getting sales takes time. It does. Especially since getting reviews is tough. Reviews are so important to a new shop. Reviews show others your shop is trust worthy and that your merchandise is worthwhile. Most people won’t give any reviews but I am grateful for the 3 I have. It’s tempting to put a little “write a review and get 25% off another product” in the package that gets delivered to your customer but I feel like that would be me bribing someone to write a good review. I didn’t want to make them feel pressured or get fake reviews. So I wait and hope my product is good enough to write about.
Apart from the reviews, adding new merchandise is such an essential part of a new shop. I have not met the standards I set when I first opened my shop. I wanted to add one new item every month but I have barely added anything new. I work full time and a big chunk of the day at work is stressful (which might be why I am on blood pressure meds now). When I get home I just want to play games or watch TV. This is something that HAS to change if I want my shop to be successful. I need to start meeting my goal. No more excuses. I need one new item, every month, in my shop. Create, create, create!
Creating isn’t even the hard part. It’s so much fun and I love making new art. If I could run my shop full time and spend my days creating new art I would be overjoyed! However, living on the ocean has its price and that price can’t be paid by a few things being sold in a year. I can dream! Hopefully, with a lot of hard work, one day that dream can come true.
I think, if you are going to take away anything from my random ramblings, you should take the idea of being a fighter. Never stop trying for your dreams. It is damn hard work and it can be mentally draining. There will probably be a lot of roadblocks in your way but just try to push through them. Find a way to make it work and reach towards that end goal. People have told me that I can’t do it and that my ideas were stupid. It hurt but I pushed past it because those words encouraged me to prove them wrong. Maybe I am stubborn (haha maybe…like I don’t know) but I think you have to be to go after your dreams. Screw all those who don’t believe you. As said on the webisode series Strip Search, “Ready, Set, Art!”
Cheers to another long ass blog post!