Last weekend I hosted a home open studio art show, the second of the year. “Aspen Meadow” was one of the paintings sold. Often the buyers will contact me after the show to tell me they would like to buy a certain painting, maybe even days later.
Such was the case with Aspen Meadow. The buyer asked me if she could use her credit card but did not want to buy direct from me with my Paypal option, or use a check. So the easiest alternative was for me to place it in my online Etsy shop so she could use her credit card there.
The artist’s fee to Etsy is less than 5 percent, (as opposed to 40 or 50 percent commission to a gallery). Another advantage is that Etsy keeps all of the useful information of the sale handy to me. I’m not the greatest record keeper in the world, and all my art sales and buyer information is saved for me, both to touch base with my buyers later and also for year-end tax reporting, etc. I can also compare year by year how the art sales are going. I don’t know too many artists who like keeping their own spread sheets, I’m not one of those!
Here is another painting, “Living By Water”, that was displayed in my Etsy shop for over 2 years. It was purchased by a collector of my work who had seen it and remembered it. All the details about the painting were right there for her to revisit as often as she wished. It’s an example of a painting sale that came directly from Etsy views, rather than my own website or outside galleries.
“Smoke and Water” is a painting that made some rounds of display situations, finally landing in my Etsy shop. First it was displayed at my local gallery, (my dream gallery people, another story), Osmosis of Niwot, and also on my website. Then, after some time, I was able to show it at a Canyon Road gallery in Santa Fe, NM for about 6 months before bringing it back home, keeping it on my website.
One day I received an email from an art lover in another state who had seen the painting in Santa Fe. She did not buy it then, but I guess it haunted her. (That has happened to me before, usually with pretty earrings! ha!)
After some email exchanges she asked to buy it and I placed it in my Etsy shop, again for convenience reasons for both of us.
I know that Etsy is known a place for sellers of hand made crafts, and maybe not so much for painters like me, but we fit in too. I sell my art at a big range of price levels. I do like selling the small 8 x 10″ prints I create in my home studio, because my buyers really seem to love them. One young mother from England bought 5 prints to frame and put in her stairwell up to the second floor of their city home. I’ve had a buyer of a small 5 x 7″ painting send me photos after she had it framed and placed in a sweet spot by the bedside table. It’s all a mix, and fun to chat with people from all over the nation and beyond. Etsy provides a good “conversations place”, and people contact me more with that than emailing me from my own website.
I know that Etsy has grown enormously from 2008 when I joined. It may seem intimidating for an artist to set up, but they also have tons of support and tutorials now to make things easier for people. My new painting buyer had no trouble setting up her account to buy Aspen Meadow, which was nice to know!
In the end, I would recommend giving Etsy a go if you are an artist or an art buyer. I’ve not had any bad experiences and know I could probably spend lots more time within the Etsy community making new connections with other artists and crafters. After my art show finished last week, I have some down time to renew my Etsy time! Maybe I will even shop around Etsy and find some cool earrings I just can’t find in the local stores!