First of all...let me say how humbled and moved I am by all of the incredibly kind comments that were left on the blog post. I am so thrilled that people are being inspired by our story. I love the comment from heidiburton
'I think Kristina's figure paintings are absolutely beautiful & full of expression - perfect for the cover of a poetry book.
"If you focus your efforts and always put your best work in the right light, you will see results." <--- so true.'
I was also so overwhelmed by all of the nice convos (e-mails) from fellow Etsy sellers, some who are old friends and some who are new, sharing their own stories, and also asking for some advice! So I will do my best to elaborate a bit on what I mentioned in the Etsy article, and hopefully some of these tips will work for you!
I create art in a variety of media and even a variety of subject matters, but my strongest pieces are my figurative works. So I focus my blog posts and the links I post on Twitter on my latest figure drawings and paintings, figurative art techniques, and figurative artists who inspire me. The biggest success stories I have from selling online all center around my figurative art.
I think this is very important, and a subject that is brought up in Etsy's forum often - "Should I mix my jewelry and photography? Should I sell my soaps and paintings in the same shop?" There is no problem exploring multiple medias, different techniques, and various ways of expressing yourself. I believe, though, that when you present a unified body of work, everything looks stronger, and your expertise in that area shines thru.
Seek out others who share your interests. Grow your sphere of influence by paying attention to who other tweeple are following. Are you a visual artist? You should follow galleries, interior designers, and other artists. Do you make luscious soaps? Follow boutique owners, spas and resorts. Design incredible jewelry? Follow fashion blogs, wedding coordinators, and style divas.
(Don’t forget to seek out tweeple in your home state and city as well!)
For Twitter, this is KEY. When I first joined Twitter, I started out by following fellow Etsy sellers that posted their ID's in various forum threads. As I started to read posts and respond, I followed who other Etsy sellers were chatting with and so on. As I continued to think about "Who do I want to SEE my work?" I hunted for different phrases mentioned within tweets "art supplies", "gallery", "bought painting". etc. I was looking for Tweeters who were talking about what I was selling!
There are other great ways to find quality people to follow. For example, Decor8 has a very popular blog about Style and Design and a large following on Twitter - but she only follows about 10% of the people who follow her - she's following the ones SHE finds most interesting, and probably a lot of people I want to follow, too! SO I check out who she is following and add it to my list.
Start thinking about "who would want to see my work? who would be looking for the perfect custom necklace? who needs a perfect baby shower gift?" and start searching for those people.
On Twitter AND on Etsy, don't forget to tell people WHERE you are. I have met many fellow Artists in my area and had some great commission work come my way from people looking for Artists close by. Search for people talking about your home town or a big city nearby, the college you went to, etc.
I have more to add...but feel as though I am getting long-winded...so I will continue in the next post!
I do want to add a link to one of my favorite fellow Artists Robin Pedrero. On Etsy, Twitter, and Facebook she is one of the warmest, kindest, and most talented Artists I have met. It seems like she knows each of her followers personally. But she also remembers to do two very important things as an artist - she is continually making new work and SHOWING her work in Galleries and shows. I hope you follow her, too!
I will keep posting more tips and more of my favorite artists that you should be following :)