Learn to sell your art online

Are you an artist or crafter who has been thinking about finally taking the plunge to sell your artwork online? How long has starting an Etsy shop been on your “To Do” list? Are you stymied by not knowing where to start, confused by all of the options, uncertain where you fit in?

Smugmug home page

Bay Area artists, this workshop is for you! Introduction to Selling Your Artwork Online is my overview class designed to teach you the many different options to market and sell your artwork and/or crafts on the internet. Learn the pros and cons of having your own website, selling through print-on-demand websites, selling your handmade work on Etsy or similar sites, using blogs and other social marketing tools, and much more. This information will save you countless hours you’d have to spend to do the research and experimentation on your own, and save you from wasting time and money on the wrong kind of venue for your situation.

Product shot example

The workshop will be held on Sunday April 14th from noon to 3:30 at The Village Shops and Galleries, 10330 San Pablo Ave (between Stockton and Eureka), in El Cerrito. The cost is $65, which includes an extensive handout.

Facebook business page

Facebook business page

If you have a smartphone or laptop, you can bring it, but it’s not required.  We’ll cover what has been preventing you from beginning to sell online, what kinds of skills you need, how to keep yourself motivated, social media marketing, and much more.

Twitter page

Twitter page

Space is limited and pre-registration for the workshop is required.  If you have any questions or want to pre-register, just email me at heidirand[at]gmail.com
If you’re not in the Bay Area, check out my book. You’ll find links to see a preview of it at Amazon, and to order it in pdf format, kindle format, print, and more!

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Profile of Kayla Garelick, daydreaming artist

In 2004 I made my grand debut selling my photo arts and crafts by participating in Pro Arts’ East Bay Open Studios. For a novice’s first foray into the rough and tumble of art sales it went pretty well. I sold some and learned a ton about the importance of self-promotion, because in the end, only a couple out of dozens of people who came by my studio found out about me through the Pro Arts catalog.
By far the best thing to come from the entire experience was an email I got even before I opened my studio. A fellow photographer, Kayla Garelick, liked one of the images I put up on the website that Pro Arts provided for us. Kayla and I emailed back and forth, we met, we clicked (photographer pun intended), and we’ve been fast friends ever since.
"Leaves" gallery page on Kayla's website

"Leaves" gallery page on Kayla's website

I haven’t done an Open Studio through Pro Arts again, although I still hold my own open studios once or twice a year. And Kayla has gone on to exhibit in a wide variety of shows, galleries, and at Open Studios in San Francisco.
Along with selling and showing her work at many venues in the Bay Area, Kayla is an accomplished web designer, and has had her own website in various forms since the 1990s. So when I decided to include profiles of a few artists in the book I was writing about selling art online, as examples and to inspire, Kayla was the first person I asked.  Okay, enough introduction, here’s the profile of Kayla that’s in the book, slightly edited because I have more space here!
“Daydreaming artist” Kayla Garelick is an abstract photographer who creates her images and photobased mixed media art pieces with extreme technical precision and rigorous attention to detail. Kayla’s writing, on her blog and website (see links to all of Kayla’s sites at the end of her profile) and on the many other sites where she appears, consistently displays her generosity, spirituality, and passion for art and life.
Kayla Garelick website

Part of the homepage of Kayla's website, daydreamingarts.com

An accomplished web designer, Kayla has had her own website in various forms since the 1990s, has extensive technical training in building sites, has taught web design, and has designed sites for non-profits. Currently, Kayla uses her artistic vision and web design training, which she keeps up to date by taking online courses, to make her website uniquely her own. She uses hand coding to control elements and functions that she could not achieve using automated tools, and also uses free-of-charge open source scripts. When she needs a tool to, as she puts it, “ease some of the pain of repetitive stuff,” she uses Adobe Dreamweaver, a popular web development program.
Kayla Garelick blog
Kayla began blogging in 2005 on the Blogspot platform. The screen shot above is of her current blog: http://daydreamingarts.wordpress.com/blog  She recently moved the blog to WordPress, partly because she gets more comments on her WP blog posts, and partly because Blogspot lost one of her posts. She also has a Facebook fan page (also known as a business page), where she posts about the shows and galleries that she appears in, promotes other artists’ work and publicizes opportunities for artists, discusses art classes that she’s taking, and posts her photographs.
Kayla's facebook fan page

Kayla's facebook fan page, http://facebook.com/daydreamingarts

She doesn’t sell her work directly through her website or other online venue. Her first goal in being online is to have her art seen and remembered, to promote her shows, and to be invited to show her work at other galleries or art shows. Her second goal is to sell her artwork at shows and to sell the rights to her work. Kayla is active in a large variety of artist groups, both online and off. She always takes the opportunity to show her work in her groups’ online galleries, which greatly increases and broadens her exposure to potential audiences.

To see her sublime photography and read her articulate, heartfelt words, visit Kayla’s links:

Website: http://daydreamingarts.net
Blog: http://daydreamingarts.wordpress.com/blog
Facebook fan page: http://facebook.com/daydreamingarts
Art sites:

http://agesonginstitute.org/poesis/kayla-garelick http://missionartistsunited.org/artists/378 http://frankbettecenter.org/artist-galleries/artist_kayla_garelick.html http://artspan.org/artist/kayla-garelick http://mesart.com/artwork.jsp.que.artwork.eq.32486.shtml http://artslant.com/global/artists/show/158265-kayla-garelick http://missionartistsunited.org/artists/378 http://theartexplosion.com/art/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=534 http://artsforhealing.com/object3.shtml http://cityartgallery.org/gallery/gallery_garelick.html

Interested in learning more about selling your arts & crafts online? Check out my book Sell Your Artwork & Crafts Online: An Insider’s Guide to the Worldwide Arts Market.  And I’d love to invite you to join the facebook page that I started for people to network with other artists who are selling their work online. It’s there for you to post questions, to share your progress and frustrations, and I’ll post lots of free tips about selling and marketing your arts and crafts online.

New book: Sell Your Artwork and Crafts Online

One New Year’s resolution down! Actually, it was a resolution I made New Year 2011, but who’s counting? I finally finished the book that I’ve been working on for, oh well – way too long. Enough buildup, here it is …

Book cover Sell Your Artwork & Crafts Online

I was teaching a workshop to help artists and crafters figure out how to sell their work online. When I decided to expand the written materials into a book, I had no idea that the 6-page handout would grow to 72 pages, with 28 photographs and screen shots to show readers what their options are and how to decide what venues are best for their work, like this shot of the front page of my Etsy shop:

The homepage of my Etsy shop

Or this illustration about how to resize the images you post online so they’re not as easy to steal:

Resized photo to post online

I also included profiles of six of my favorite artists: a photographer, painter, mixed media collage artist, printmaker, natural perfumer, and writer — who are all at very different places on the continuum of using the internet to sell and market their arts and crafts. I’ll be posting some of the profiles here, so you can meet them and draw inspiration from their art and the work they’re putting into showing and selling it online.

In conjunction with the book, I started a Facebook group where artists can network and support one another in selling their work online. You’re welcome to join it, whether you buy the book or not.

Facebook page for selling art online

And now for the tip of the day, which isn’t in the book (already working on the second edition!) Yes, you may sell the same items in your Etsy and Artfire shops. If it’s a one-of-a-kind piece it can be nerve-wracking to list in both, because if it sells from one store you need to immediately remove it from the other. But I list my ebooks in both shops. If you have duplicates of anything that you make, it’s good to get the exposure in both venues.

And a related tip: don’t use the same description in both listings. From my research, people advise that you change at least 30% of the language, because Google’s search results ranking, released in February 2011 (called Panda) penalizes duplicate postings.

I listed the ebook on Etsy yesterday, and just now put the listing up on Artfire. If you’re curious, you can check out how I changed the descriptions. I’ll check my Google Analytics to see whether I’ve been Panda slapped — that’s what they call it when your traffic goes way down because the Google algorithm is displeased with some aspect of your website.