Monday, December 31, 2007

Obsession, Frenzy, late hours and jalapeño poppers

I'm not sure what happened, but I've kicked into gear again. I have these sometimes lengthy bouts of artistic uncertainty, self-loathing and general sloth-like qualities. And then when mercury finally goes out of retrograde (I blame mercury for everything) I feel the fire nipping at my tail. This reminds me of my first official dirty dream...let me digress:

I think I might have been 7 and I woke from a nightmare that left me feeling, well, embarrassed. I was in a dark and wet cave. (hmmm) There was chanting and a blazing fire in the center of the cave clearing (double, hmmmm). Swinging from the ceiling was a barbaric contraption. Basically, it was a swing with a hole cut out of the center of the seat. Sitting on this swing, was Pluto. He had been very bad, bad dog. The swing was slowly lowering over the flame and as I looked up at him, I clearly could see his butt. It was much like a real butt and completely rosy from the raging flames. Then I woke up and thought, I just saw Pluto's butt!

So, the fiery flames have been nipping and I'm actually spending late hours in the art studio. My recent Etsy store has been the inspiration. I now have ten items ready for the big, flood of sales I expecting to happen. Any day now, maybe today, the end of the week?

In a nutshell, here is what I have done to get this together:

- Opened an Etsy account last year this time - didn't put anything in it.
- Purchased a digital camera
- Actually posted my precious "These Hippos are Happy" painting that I hope finds a perfect home.
- Created a limited edition print of "What White Rabbit?" using iolabs out of Providence, RI
- Signed and Hand-embellished 60 limited edition prints with encaustic to make them one-of-a-kind (this seriously took a very long time)
- Debated for a day whether to go with kraft color flat mailers or white flat mailers - chose kraft
- Created a "How to Care for your new Print" flyer for insert
- Created 8 new pieces of artwork in the past month
- Purchased a tripod because the anti-shake on my camera isn't worth a damn
- Photographed all my new work to post
- Sent out two Myspace bulletins announcing shop
- My mother sent out an email announcing my shop (she has done this twice) - I know, don't say it.
- Sent out an announcement email to my contact list
- Sold 3 pieces off my site from that mailer and 3 pieces locally
And now, I'm sitting on the Etsy forums trying to get any hints and tips on what else I can do to promote my work

OK, so that is a general list of the things I've done.

Here is what I learned thus far:

- The outlay of cash for prints in enormous and is more work than you think for the "potential" profit.
- The Etsy forums suck you in, but are hard to get into the "in" crowd. I feel like I'm a freshman in High school trying to find a seat in the cafeteria.
- I have to open a Flickr account. I guess people get a lot of traffic from it.
- Don't stay up until 4:00 in the morning trying to get a "Treasury" to curate other people's work. This was fun when I did it, but short lived. It will expire in two days and the rules tell you that you can't blab to your chosen that you chose them. Bummer.
- Like I said, the forums suck you in. Decide what information you may want from others prior to jumping in. This can assist your focus. I found myself spending countless hours in the "Etc." thread reading about relationship troubles, holiday gifts received and the worst yet has been "Show me your 'insert any color here'!" This is where you post an item from your store that fits the color scheme. I love this game, but at the same time it feels a lot like playing the Deal or No Deal DVD game. What's the point.

I almost forgot...

Jack-in-the-Box Jalapeño Poppers are really, really good.