Monday, July 18, 2011

To Etsy or Not to Etsy . . . that is the question???

Some of my mini collages

Recently I have been pondering the question, over and over again, if I wanted to open my very own little Etsy shop.  This is an online community where artists and creators come together, have their own private shops and sell their works online!  My son Curt heard about it when it first opened and wanted me to  sell my handwovens.  Obviously he was ahead of the curve and I was not ready.  I am convinced that we must do things when they feel right, they are not pushed into being and the heart and mind say yes at the same time. Then and only then, do I believe it can work!

I had originally set a goal for myself of July first, then I realized it was pushing it and I wanted to enjoy the lazy days of summer.  I didn't want to feel rushed, having to produce, produce and produce art at a fast pace.  Then it truly isn't art from my heart.  So I pushed the date, in my thought process, to August of 2011.  Here it is fast approaching!  I keep asking myself if this is what I want to do, am I ready and do I know what I am doing?

There is such a difference in creating art for the sake of creating ... enjoying the time in the studio, creating without a purpose, seeing what happens and letting things flow. When you begin to think of your work as a business, it does take on a different attitude. I have been there in the past with my handwoven items and being part owner in an art gallery co-operative.  I did that for three years and decided to get out of it, looking back now . . . I haven't woven a lot since my Blue Skies Gallery experience and I don't want anything like that to happen to where I am now in my mixed media artwork.  Each piece I have created this summer, I have had fun with and each piece has taken on it's own message.  I have truly had fun with all of it and now I have built up a good inventory.  The question I ask myself is "Am I really ready to take the Etsy plunge?" 

Found these fun colorful brushes!

I have been preparing for this decision for awhile.  I have been trying to come up with my store name and what artwork I would like to carry in it.  I have been taking pictures of my work with my new Canon and learning to reduce them to Etsy specs!  (That was a challenge in itself!) I have been thinking of a way to creatively package my work, come up with a cute business card, whoooo, a lot does truly go into this!  I think I am almost there . . . in my head (and heart) I mean.  I would love and appreciate any words of advice from you my creative and talented friends. Pros and cons, I will gladly take it all!

I am excited, I am fearful, I am thinking about it all the time lately, I am anticipating, I am loving the thought of it and I am slightly apprehensive . . . all at the same time.  I guess it comes down to that self confidence thing . . .  whether or not I feel it would work and if my work is worthy of selling.  I think it is now, it wasn't even six months ago when I look back.  I have taken several art courses, e-courses and tried a lot of different things.  As an artist, we take something from one experience, and add it to our own until our work finally begins to take on a look of our own.  I believe now I have found that perfect combination of techniques and my mixed media pieces are now my own.  We will see . . .

I choose to create and inspire others!

I plan to have a cup of tea over SKYPE with my wonderful friend Lisa Potoczak Gonzalez, of Happy Mama Artworks.  She is going to guide me through the creative steps, I look forward to her guidance and direction.  She has had a successful etsy shop for quite some time now, please go and check out her work, it is amazing.  Isn't technology a wonderful thing?  Two friends can sit with a cup of tea and talk with each other as though they are in the same room, yet they are states apart.  That is why I think the Etsy concept is a way for artists to get their work out there all from the comfort of their homes.  I love that and I think I am willing to try it!  I promise to keep you posted, because August 2011 is fast approaching . . . why do we set deadlines for ourselves?  I guess if I didn't, I might never get around to it and I think that would not be a good thing for me!  I am at least willing to try the experience and see where it all leads me.

                                                    Living my life creatively everyday!
                                                                                       Donna Lee


  1. go with it when you are ready. sometimes it takes that little flittering flip flop in the belly to know we need to leap.

    lisa i adore. like you.

  2. Do it Donna! You have so much inspiration and creativity to share. :)

  3. After reading your post, it definitely sounds like you are ready and want to try this....What do you have to loose except for some setting the thing up....You can always stop if you find you are not enjoying it anymore......

    Your work is wonderful; the question is are you ready to put it out there?
    I know you will make the right decision for're a smart and intuitive gal.....I'll be watching and praying for you.....

    Hugs and blessings

  4. Congrats Donna!!...yay..shine on!!...share your magic..and enjoy this new adventure!

  5. Hi Donna, oh what a leap. I know when it is ready you will do fine. I had a shop at Etsy for a couple of days and thought No ! I am not ready, maybe I was not ready. Wish you tons of luck my artist friend. xo

  6. I am so excited to see the direction you are going! xoRobin

  7. I love this heartfelt post. I have a feeling that if you Follow Your Heart, you'll know what to do....♥ hugs, kathy

  8. I have a new shop on Etsy, selling durable, useful vintage goods. It came about after a year of thinking, because it is something I wanted to do well if I begin it. In June, a nudge from an acquaintance helped me realize I really wanted it. So I got busy setting it up, sold an item, realized I need a good workflow so it does not overwhelm my free time, and away we go. Today it feels great, and I would by now have felt ill if I had NOT opened my shop when I did. While I/it are new on Etsy, I do feel very hopeful and excited, and this energizes me to push through the obstacles that look like brick walls, but afterward seem "not so hard." If you know your particular brick walls, you can figure them out and outsmart them (or outsmart yourself). Good luck if you do this ... your art is worthwhile and beautiful. Only you can decide if you want to to list, price, maintain, and promote it on Etsy. Selling and shipping are not the hard part.


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