Part of selling art, is getting paid for that art. Part of getting paid for that art is making sure you are pricing your work accordingly, so you do get paid for the time taken to create that art. Many artists (with and without great sales) are unhappy, because they are not getting paid… because they are not pricing their work properly. This is called underpricing, and I hate underpricing… especially in crochet. How are you supposed to make a living off of something if you are not valuing your time and talent? If you are underpricing, you are not going to be able to make a living off of your art. (Read Part One and Part Two to get caught up.)
Not too long ago, Etsy announced that we are getting new shop designs. Can I just say, I am psyched! Knot By Gran’ma has been a shop on Etsy since that first year they launched Etsy. Yeah. That was a looooong time ago, and I’ve watched (and moaned over) the changes as they have been rolled out. Let me tell you how much better Etsy is now. It’s so much better. This shop design is finally going to allow us to customize our shops to match our brand, move things around the way we want them, and really just streamline the entire thing.
Their bites leave little holes that show up in every picture, because they strategically figured out how to ruin every picture. This was all very stressful. This was also my reality for a long time. I had an epiphany. They make light boxes that you can buy, in a store, and this should solve the problem of lighting for my little crochet business. Minimal editing and no cursing is the plan.
As a crochet designer and doll maker, I think the most difficult part of my work is describing it in a way that will convince people to buy my patterns and pieces. I tend to have the descriptive word arsenal of a twelve year old boy; awesome, cool, great, amazing… sometimes swell. None of these words are helping me to tell the story as to why my buyers need to purchase my latest crochet pattern or monster art doll. Instead, my descriptions read like robotic instructions and aren’t appealing to anyone. Even robots wouldn’t make a purchase from me based off of my product descriptions. ROBOTS!
When I was in high school, I remember a friend of mine saying, “if Jess isn’t home, she’s probably in the woods somewhere.” He was right. This was before cell phones, social media, and being “ON” all of the time. Pagers (click here to find out what those are… young people) were popular at the time, but I didn’t have one. It was impossible to find me if I wasn’t near the house phone or someone you could get in touch with… unless you knew my spots and went out into nature to find me. A few people knew where to look for me. Somewhere, while growing up, I lost that amazing part of myself. I miss it.
Do you find it hard to find the folks that will buy your art? In general, people assume I make dolls for children. This is frustrating, because I don’t make my dolls for children. My dolls are soft (because yarn), brightly colored, and in the minds of many, that alone makes me a doll maker for kids. (BTW, Selling dolls for kids is crazy hard though. There’s yearly registering, test, and safety issues that need to be taken into consideration. I don’t have the desire to go through all of that.) My dolls take hours and hours and hours (did I mention hours) to make. Little kids destroy things. I know. I have two of them here at the house. They wreck everything… you know, the this is why we can’t have nice things reasoning. My dolls aren’t meant for kid love. Kid love is so intense that it breaks most things. It’s an awesome kind of love that’s not for my dolls. People don’t look at the intricate thread work and prices (dead giveaway as not for kids) before throwing me into the “toy maker” category. Kids are not my target demographic. I want doll collectors, not doll destroyers (even if it is through kid love… the best kind of love).
This is for the folks that are currently trying to earn a living wage through selling their art, whether it be paintings, dolls, amazing woodworking, jewelry, or whatever. We should be over the moon, ecstatic, and smiling all the time, because we make beautiful (awesome, insert your own adjective here) things. Then we sell those pieces of art to other people. How lucky are we? We are very, very, very lucky.
This is officially my favorite show of the year. I love the claustrophobic space restrictions, I love the people, I love the building, and I love spending the day just laughing my butt off with my pals. The Makers on Hudson Holiday Show is definitely one that I will apply to each and every year. Beyond the Picket Fence and Pulp Sushi do an amazing job putting it all together. It’s wonderful.
I find it difficult to think of topics to write about sometimes. Maybe it’s safe to say that anyone, who blogs about anything, will come across this issue at some point. I used to try to work through it, but it was proving to just kill any kind of creative drive that I may have had for blogging that day, week, month. I’d skip weeks of blogging or write crappy posts, or just hate every minute of it. Out of desperation, I started to make lists of topics to blog about. The issue of thinking of what to write about kind of disappeared after that.