Thursday, August 11, 2011

the busy-work aspects of selling art

This is the new banner I had to make for my Artfire shop because they made the avatar huge
and moved it from the left to the right. I didn't feel like I had a lot of time, and don't know how many banners I'll have to make in the future, so I rushed through it.
I wonder if they'll move the avatar to another place again.

This is the banner I originally had. I like it more, especially because I could fit in my artwork, but it didn't work with Artfire's new studio design. I put a lot more time and effort into it and it shows. You can see that I still had to push part of the design to the right
(where the avatar used to be -- a smaller avatar than the one in use now):

This next design was my first try before settling on the design at the top of the page. It still kept some of the ideas of my old design. Unfortunately, I had to scrap this because the avatar covered up half
of my unicorn relief sculpture and all of the shamrock (sniff, sniff): 

At the same time all of this needed attention, Etsy (my other on-line shop), enacted some changes to the listing process. Hitherto, listing items was mostly about timing because the default search was always recency. The reason why timing is critical in a recency situation is that you had to guess when people might be on Etsy shopping and get your listings on then (as recently listed items were always on the first pages of search). It meant people in England were listing at midnight or later to be seen. In Australia they were often listing at 5:00 or 6:00 in the morning. This was crazy-making (as a lot of things on Etsy have been -- they seem to be trying to clean up their act lately) and a lot of sellers just renewed unsold items throughout the day, every day, to give them a boost in the rankings rather than risk the chance that their items wouldn't be first in the category search pages. I'm glad Etsy changed the listing procedure from recency to relevancy, but it meant that yesterday and today was about changing my tags (tagging is much more critical in a relevancy structure than a recency structure -- it is how buyers find items using keywords for a specific type of search).

The weeks before all of this, I had to deal with designing, making and buying display units for some of my brick and mortar shops, designing a tote bag, printing my images on teeshirts, packaging cards and writing a letter to a perspective buyer, shopping for art supplies and latex paint, creating signs and flyers and cleaning my studio.

All of this is work I don't get paid for (except the teeshirts) and it took up the good part of three weeks. It is part of what running an art business is all about, though.

I do miss creating my own art. I'm lucky if I even get in a half hour day these days. I see the light at the end of the tunnel however (doing a preliminary dance!).

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