The narwhal features on my alphabet of strange animals. The reason behind its strange twirling horn (actually one of its teeth) has been long debated but new footage by the WWF show narwhals tapping at fish with them. See the footage here.
Ever heard of a vaquita? Neither had I.
They are tiny, possibly our smallest cetacean. They were our second most endangered dolphin until the baiji were written off as extinct. Now they are THE rarest and on the verge of being lost for ever.
On the latest count there are only 30 left. I can paint all the vaquita that are on this planet and that blows my mind.
Gill nets are the biggest known culprits and hopefully if the Mexican government will halt the use of these nets the vaquita may have a chance.
This time last year I came back from two months in New Zealand where I first started this blog! This is a map I created to remember the animals I met on the way.
I’ve always loved maps and I would really like to do some more. Maybe one of North Wales where I’m from.
I spruced up the map a bit and it is now available on etsy.
Hey! So I wanted to share a bit on how I make stickers. I had the push to make some when I was talking to the great people who run a wildlife centre who sell my cards and wanted something to offer kids. Stickers were the answer!
My illustrations were easy to make into stickers and after some research I came across Awesome merchandise. You simply download a template and create a photoshp file, one layer with artwork and anothe for kisscut. Then you wait for them to arrive!
And when they do I just want to send them all out again for people to cover things in stickers.
Since I had two designs come through I thought it would be nice to do a give away. On my instagram find this post and tag a friend in the comment below by midnight on Sunday. On Monday I will announce the winner and post them a bird and a hedgehog sheet. One to keep and one to give, if you want 😉
My last how to etsy for beginners. I hope this helps someone out there ❤ it would have helped me a year ago!
It's World Pangolin day! Pangolin prints are now on Etsy and 10% will go to the @world_wildlife fund https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/499588830/pangolin-art-print The scales which make these guys so unique are sought out in traditional medicines leading to a rapid decline of pangolins in the wild. #pangolin #worldpangolinday #wwf #savethepangolin #wildlifeart #etsy
Ok. So you have stuff to sell and a place to sell it but to make a sale you need to attract customers. It’s a catch 22 but you’re more likely to be found on etsy if you already have a few sales and positive reviews. So how do you get started?
My first sale was by one of my best friends, and so was the second, and the third. I owe them so much because they helped to kickstart my job and allowed others to find me. I wouldn’t have had the courage to even post things if they hadn’t told me they loved them.
I use instagram and facebook to let people know what I’m up to and get asked to make certain things available in the shop which is great. Also this blog! I’m still finding out how to make myself more ‘discoverable’.
Anyway! So you made a sale and the app makes a really satisfying “ka-ching!” noise. How are you going to pack it? I started off making my own cardboard and parcel paper packages but now I have boxes of tubes and reinforced envelopes ready for orders to be slipped in. I pop in a postcard with my details and a personal thank you message. Some sellers make beautiful packages and I’m working on how to make my items arrive at their new homes in style. Like making hand stamped gift tags!
I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few months watching videos and reading blog posts to improve my etsy shop. The best source is Etsy itself which has forums between sellers as well as free email courses to help you out and a blog full of inspiring stories. Sites like Skillshare and Makelight also have courses, some of which are free.
Also there are plenty of makers who share their experience on Youtube. One Youtuber said something which really made me smile; “There’s room for everyone.” So whatever it is you do just go for it. You don’t know until you’ve tried
Eeeeh! I got to paint a bunch of hedgehogs last week!
Usually I sketch out very basic shapes lightly with a soft pencil which I rub out later but this time I used WATERCOLOUR PENCILS!!! How didn’t I do this earlier? The marks disappear as I paint so I can be super messy 🙂
I filled in my hedgehog shape with water and splooshed in some sepia, yellow ochre and cerulean blue. Apart from the black ink and white highlights I only used these three colours. Oh and a sprinkle of salt to see what it would do.
Happy speed painting Sunday that I just made up 😊 I've been making hedgehogs for the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust which has been a joy! Expect stickers and prints on my etsy shop soon x #hedgehog #warwickshirewildlifetrust #nature #speedpainting #watercolour #makersmovement #onmydesk #kidlitart #artistsoninstagram #artistsofinstagram #illustrator
These hedgehogs are going to the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust to help explain how to help these critters. Find out more about their excellent work here.
I ordered new hedgehog stickers and this time my sticker sheets will have teeny snails and cute leaves on to. I can’t wait for them to arrive 🙂
This is part 3 of my etsy as a beginner round up and it gets into the nitty gritty and uncomfortable subject of prices. I am still very much learning my way but this is where I am.
Description and price
If I was putting up a new kind of item on etsy the first thing I would do is see who else is doing the same sort of thing. It’s also an opportunity to discover new people and get new ideas (like I just did and got completely distracted).
Reading their descriptions helps to give the listing a skeleton that I can then flesh out. It can also show what makes the item unique.
Pricing is the most uncomfortable part for a lot of makers I think. Putting a price on you, your time and what you’ve done is difficult when you’re mostly a bundle of self-doubt tied together with string made of hope. Seeing what similar items are going for helps.
Price = materials + time is a good start to working out the minimum amount I need to make back from something. Add to this the cost of selling. Etsy takes a cut of 3.5% as a selling fee and the 16 pence to list. A gallery would take 40% and the shops I sell to want to make a nice profit as well. So I work out the retail price to cover these and that’s what I sell at.
You can always change the prices later but if something isn’t selling then reducing the price doesn’t make any difference from my experience. I don’t think people base their decisions on the cheapest on etsy unless they are between two very similar items. Sometimes people like what you do but right now they don’t need it. Like this guy!
I put him up a year ago and he has likes but I just don’t think anyone but me really needs a gravy boat with a whale on it. I’ve just tweaked the postage which was way off but this guy will not be relisted and once it expires and may end up mine.