Tuesday, June 01, 2010

UnfedArtist on Etsy

This month I'm starting off my foray into online sales with a storefront with Etsy, an online marketplace where people sell handmade goods. You'll notice that right now there's only my Abandonment painting up for sale, and I'm hoping in time that will change, but for right now I'm eager to see how it does - and Etsy is a great laboratory for my test.

Ideally I'd want to sell my paintings on my own, but with my current level of celebrity in the art world, I'm going to have some trouble getting my artwork seen by people who are likely to buy it without a decent amount of advertising and marketing. Not that I'm against advertising and marketing, but as you can imagine my time is limited, and that means I need to optimize my approach so I can work more on my artwork than on trying to sell it.

Etsy is a nice solution because the listings are cheap at twenty cents per listing, and selling something only goes for 3.5% of the final sale price. Compare that to showing in a gallery, where my final sale price is cut by an industry standard 50% consignment to the gallery owner, and you can understand why I'm interested in seeing my UnfedArtist shop on Etsy be successful.

More than that, Etsy also offers a cool solution for people who want to commission work from me in its "Alchemy" section. With Alchemy, potential customers can contact me with specific requests that I can review and choose to accept. Up to now, most of my income as an artist has been made with similar jobs, but on a much smaller scale with mainly friends and co-workers. Alchemy allows me to open up my talents to a larger public, who will hopefully be eager to ask me for portraits and other custom work.

As the month goes by you can expect to see a more customized store front on the UnfedArtist store at Etsy, and most likely a couple of corresponding links to the store on both this site and my portfolio site, iancastruita.com. Depending on how well things go, it's possible that I'll start selling the original ink drawings from my Employees Only comics and other original works as well, so be sure to check in and see what's up for sale! You'll also be able to find out about new listings by following my Twitter feed, so be sure to friend me if you're interested!