How to etsy 4: Holy moly I made a sale!

My last how to etsy for beginners. I hope this helps someone out there ❤ it would have helped me a year ago!

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!

First lino print with no injury win! #linoprint #lino #feathers #tryingsomethingnew #craftyfingers

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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

Painting Hedgehogs

Eeeeh! I got to paint a bunch of hedgehogs last week!

web-5-hedgehogs

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 🙂

…What could it be? WIP #watercolorpainting #watercolour #wildlifeart #wildlifeartist #naturelover

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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.

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 🙂

flat-hedgehog

 

How to Etsy. Part 1

My etsy shop has been up and running for almost a year now and I finally feel like I know what I’m doing! Kind of? Maybe?!

Here is a step by step of how I get an item on etsy with what I have learnt on the way.

* Ok I wrote too much and instead of cutting down I will continue on next week xx

  1. Product

I imagine most makers first get the idea of an online shop when a friend tells them they would buy their stuff.  My first customers were my lovely and supportive friends and I really value their opinion when thinking what to add to my shop. They are incredibly helpful when I post a question on facebook and they really steer me to the final product.

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Deep down I knew my friends would prefer these more nerdy versions!

Instagram is also great for feedback. Somethings get more likes than others and that gives me a guide to what may prove more popular. Some people even suggest things and it’s a good way for me to keep an eye on what’s trending.

As you can see my things is painting, mostly wildlife. Painting is great because even though the original piece may take days  to create I can sell prints, make cards, and my favourite thing: stickers! These are much more affordable to buy, but I do plan on putting up some originals on etsy and a listing for commissions like this one below.

The pet portrait from a few weeks ago 🐶🐶 #petportrait #collie #dogportrait #dog #illustration #painting

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I’m always looking for a new thing to put my designs on. My idea for stickers came from selling greeting cards to a local nature reserve who mentioned they needed more things for children. I discovered Awesome Merchandise and got hooked on creating stickers!

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It takes a bit of a gamble but you don’t know until you try! I would love to hear your ideas on what to try next. I may already be looking at how to create pins 🙂

Next time I will be talking about photography! It’s definitely my weakest point so I have read so many blogs and watched courses upon courses.

Ceri

 

Dinosaurs!

Hello! I had the zippiest trip to London last week and the very first thing I did was head to the Natural history museum.

 

Museums are a great source of subject matter that you can draw from life. The first thing that caught my eye was a cabinet full of humming birds. It was mesmerising, but trying to get a view where I wasn’t in the bustle of other visitors was impossible.

I kept walking. The next corridor was full of natural light which bounced off gigantic fossils and hallelujah! A bench facing them. The sketchbook was whipped out, and my lovely blackwing pencil made soft abstract lines of a pliosaur. My little watercolour set sat next to me and I used cerulean blue  and yellow ochre  to dab on cold shadows and the warmer highlights of the bones.

I kept correcting my proportions but still I made the skull and flippers far too big. I find it happens when I really enjoy studying one part of an image over another.

I tried to correct this on the next scribble. I made a box so that even if I did go overboard again at least I had room to correct it. This stegosaurus is near the entrance and I had to lean against a wall, sketching different corners as people passed me and took selfies.

Also that’s all I need to paint on the go, but I did come skipping out of Cas art shop with a brush pen and a water brush. I can’t wait to try them!

 

Speak to you soon,

Ceri

F is for Frigate bird

f web

Frigate birds are quite slender streamlined birds, like a giant swallow with a forked tail and pointy wings. In fact the wings are so long (up to 2.3 meters) they have the largest wing area to body weight ratio of any bird.

When the males are attracting females to their nests in breeding season however they transform into red balloons. They have one of the most dazzling courtship of the seabirds. The males inflate a throat pouch and call up to the females flying above. The red seems to glow surrounded by the glossy black feathers.

Other Fantastic Fs:

  • Fennec fox
  • Flying squirrels

Frigate birds on things can be found on redbubble.

If you would like prints made available on etsy please comment below 🙂

C is for Coelacanth

It took me ages to learn how to spell coelacanth (I say it loudly in my head every time I type).

Ceolacanth web

When scientists were puzzling  out the evolution of land walking animals from an aquatic ancestor the coelacanth was thought to be one of the links. It had strong lobed fins which may be a fore-runner to limbs, well at least according to the fossil record because the coelacanth seemed to be just a memory in stone, extinct with the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

Until 1938 when fisherman off South Africa caught one in their nets! It has been nick named a living fossil but these fish are extremely are so let’s hope the stay living and less fossil.

Get a coelacanth t-shirt and other things on Redbubble