Our topic this week is the balancing of business with creativity. Today is a good day for me to write about this subject as it is much on my mind. Right now I sell on two venues. I sell on Ebay and I sell on Etsy. (Don't ask me what it means, no one is telling, except to mention it is referenced from a Fellini movie?)
I have been selling my artwork since 1992. I have done craft fairs, garden shows, home shows, rented space in different venues from large to impossibly small, I have sold on consignment, I have owned a brick and mortar store, I have sold thru private commisions, I have sold thru interior designers, I have sold wholesale (only on a tiny scale). And always, the underlying connecting thread to all those different ways of selling was trying to balance the business side with the creative side of me.
My items have always been one of a kinds. I don't like production work, it doesn't suit my personality, I find it boring. So, that being said... I'm it...if I don't make it, I certainly can't sell it. And I can't produce quality work in a few minutes or a couple hours.
I'm sure a secret wish of many of us creative types is that we could sit and "spin" our wares and someone would miraculously come along , claim us the Queen of Art, happily skip off to sell our art and bring us back buckets of money.
Ok, so maybe that's only MY dream. :-)
The reason I find this topic relevant today is because of a discussion going on over in the Etsy forums about Ebay vs Etsy. Etsy is only about a year old. The administrators work very hard to provide the sellers with a venue to sell their hand crafted work. But with Etsy you have to do so much self promotion I wonder where everyone finds the time to make their art.
It is a problem for me and I am in constant debate with myself as to whether I shall stay with Etsy. At Etsy I'm told the keys to selling is to list something new almost daily and to be active in the forum. If I follow that advice then my Etsy store stays empty because I'm spending so much time on "business" I'm not making anything. And if I'm not out there making myself known, trying to keep my store from being buried and unnoticed, I'm not going to make any sales. I know people who have been there longer than me and have had none to very few sales. When do you call it quits. I mean, the bottom line of selling, is well, selling.
Balance? I guess I don't really know how to balance the two sides. I've always found it to be a struggle and don't foresee it changing anytime soon
Unless someone wants to step forward and pronounce me the Queen of Art? ;-)