Thursday, August 27, 2009

A gloomy Day

The friday before leaving for my business trip to New Orleans, I had a few extra hours to play around with red lipstick, as well as styling my jewelry. I can't wait to have a real photo shoot with a stylist and make-up artist!

Dress, Forever 21

Victorian Draped Couture Necklace
Ann Taylor Blazer, hat by It's the Little Things

Dress by Zara Basic

Sequined shrug by Betsey Johnson (Thanks Jojo)

Skirt from Anthropologie (the same one that Sharin from the 
Raveonettes wore when I saw her open for Depeche Mode)

The next Big thing I am preparing for is the Orange International Street Fair during Labor Day weekend (September 4-6)I'm so lucky to be sharing a booth with 2 lovely ladies....Elsie of Namaste, and Derya from Jewelera. I'm sure we will keep each other going for the duration of the 3 day show (the most days I've ever vended in a row). But, I'm sure the abbleskivers, sausage, and beer will help keep me going! I hope to see everyone there. Expect mostly items priced between $5 and $20 from me!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Generation: WorldWideWeb

Iced Matryoshka doll necklace
Isn't it lovely? It's the newest item in my shop


I just had the privilege of answering a few questions for a piece a college friend is doing on online marketing and promotion of artwork and I thought a few of the questions were interesting, so here are my answers!

If you could, please give a brief history of your artistic endeavors. "Been painting for 10 years," what you studied in school, etc.

I'm pretty sure that my gene pool with the combination of my extensive past in Girl Scouts helped to shape my artistic endeavors. Arts and crafts have been such a huge part of my life ever since I can remember. Being an only child, I would have to entertain myself a lot!
It started with drawing pictures of mermaids and princesses. Then I wrote stories and illustrated them myself. (We're talking age 6-10 here). Once I started playing the violin when I was 9, my creativity shifted a little more to the music side, but the art still came. Towards the 12-teen range, I was sewing all the time. My Grandma and Aunt taught me how to use a sewing machine and how to read patterns (even though I didn't have much patience for them). I was a thrift-store junky...buying dresses and other clothes and then altering them with my machine. Once I got to college, I was mending people's clothes, fixing holes in jeans, creating halloween costumes for dorm-mates (a giant bunny costume and a snow-white dress). Then I started making tote bags and selling them. I'd say the "entrepreneurial" side of my crafting came when I was about 20. That's when I began making multiples of certain items and I started to research fashion and the indie craft movement. I joined etsy in 2006, but I didn't actually list anything until over a year later because it was still a fairly new site and I didn't exactly understand how it worked. In the past 2 years ever since graduating from College, I've become an avid indie-crafter, selling several items a week on my etsy site and vending at events and craft shows a couple of weekends every month. It's become a huge part of my life and I've met several new friends through my craft endeavors. I'm lucky that the thing I do on the side to make extra cash is something I would do for free, even pay to be a part of!
Now, what I actually studied in school was Graphic Design. That's currently my "day job" now. For the 1st year and a half after graduating, I didn't work a typical 9-5 job at all. I got to travel across the US while living in an RV as a promo "roadie" for a documentary show about roadtripping and following your passion in life, I worked for a professional artist as his studio manager off and on for over a year, I did sales in an art gallery, I worked for a clothing line, and I did freelance graphic design on the side. Not until 5 months ago did I actually have a job that I worked a specific schedule with a salary (not going to lie, it's really nice for the time being!). Fortunately, being a graphic designer has helped me with the topic with which you are asking about: using the internet to promote my work. I have all the skills to use the programs and internet applications that "make the world go around" online. Haha!

As mentioned, this article is gonna be about how young artists use the internet to promote their work. Sooooooo, how do you use the internet to promote your work? What exactly are you promoting and what goals do you have in this promotion?

I use the internet to get in people's faces! (hehe) When I list a new item for sale in my online Etsy shop, I promote the HECK out of it. The more people I get to view an item that I've listed, the more chances they'll send the link to a friend, or tell someone next to them at work...or at least I hope! My goals with the promotion of my work online is to keep my shop exciting and new!

What sites/techniques/approaches do you use?

I call this my web-empire: Etsy, Flickr, Blogger, Twitter, and Facebook. These sites are so great because their site-developers have created cross-promotion capabilities. Once I list an item on etsy, It's time to let people know about it! Without even leaving my etsy site, I can directly link a picture of the new item along with a description to the wall of my facebook page and also the "live feed" on the facebook homepage. All of my FB friends can see the item if they are on the homepage right after I list it, and they can simply click the picture that will take them to the listing. I'll post an update on twitter with something eye-catching like "I hope this doesn't sell because I love it so much (link)" and that status shows up on my FB profile because I've integrated it into my applications. Even with flickr, once I've uploaded a bunch of photos from my latest shoot, I can feed them to my facebook. I try to update my blog (it happens about once a week) with what's new in my shop and I "link the heck" out of that too! The truth is, many etsy sellers do the same thing! Think of how many people work an office job who drift around on the web during their lunch break, or in between projects, or a little bit all day long (I think this is most office workers, haha). If they're checking their Facebooks, blog feeds, and twitters, chances are that they will click something that I've posted. It's just a great way to gain more followers and hopefully customers.

And finally, from the perspective of a working artist, how would you describe the power of the internet in your life (positive or negative welcome) ?

The "power of the internet" is definitely a positive thing for me because I'm open to technological developments and since I use it as a promotional tool and I've seen results using it, I definitely feel it is an asset to me. However, in order to stay sane, I have to stay away from it too. When I come home from my day job, the last thing I want to do is sit at my computer because that's what I did for the previous 9 hours. Fortunately, that's where my production time comes in to play. Everything I sell is handmade, so I use that time after work to create! Then the cycle starts over again...Make make make, promote promote promote. It's the "circle of life" of being an etsy seller!

Monday, August 3, 2009

I love having pretty friends....

...Pretty friends who don't get mad at me when I force them to model for me. Well, at least I did feed them! Keiki not only models my British Fringe Neck-piece, but one of the chicken shish kabobs, yummy! I've been making quite a few new pieces lately, ever since I semi-reorganized my studio. I'll have all of the new items in tow this sunday at the Dragonfly Marketplace in Orange from 11-4, but I along with a few other vendors will be there later into the evening. So come to the Orange circle on Sunday, have lunch, and say hi to me! I'll be towards the front.

Keiki and British Fringe Neck-piece

Sara and Rusty Elegance Fringe Neck-piece

Gen and vintage Dior Tie Necklace

Melissa and Skoulture Fringe Neckpiece