It’s barely February and this year has already been crazy. I’ve made the decision to do art full time (though I have not finalized a date for that yet) and I think just knowing I will have time to improve has helped me improve. If you look at the deer picture from this post compared to doe I featured in my last blog the difference is immense. So I feel like I really am still improving and growing as an artist. On the other hand though I’ve already faced some disappointment this year. A “real” art gallery messaged me through Etsy to be in their show, the idea of finally getting recognized by the fine art community was so appealing I ignored the fact they wanted an application fee to apply for the show. I figured if they went through the effort to scout me they must want me…. And wouldn’t you know it, I didn’t get picked for the show I had been scouted for. It’s not all that surprising when I look back on it but the sadness, almost shame, of not being good enough for a real gallery was very real to me. I’m trying to not get down though, and have even applied for some more ambitious places (though, only the ones that don’t require application fees upfront.) 2020 could still be my artistic year!
It’s been a little over 2 years now since I first started needle felting. After the first year it was a bit of a surprise that I kept it up. I’m notorious for getting bored fast, not only changing mediums but also styles. Within felting though I have a lot of chance to play around so when you combine that with the emotional support I’ve gotten and the fact a few pieces sell… I have found myself pretty motivated to stick with it. And wouldn’t you know it, sticking with one medium for 2 years means I’ve grown a lot! I’m really proud of the progress I’ve made since I first started this website. Proof that sometimes you really do just need to keep practicing.
Well I finally did it, I’ve opened an Etsy …On a trial basis at least. I still dislike the amount of control they exert over sellers but I just haven’t had much luck on smaller sites. I tried Zibbet for a while but their prices skyrocketed this year when they rolled out their new multiple sales channel model. It’s a decent idea actually, but not one that is cost worthy for my tiny little business. Considering that zibbet had failed to create any traffic for my products and I don’t push hard for inline sales on my own it makes very little sense for me to pay their new subscription fees
It’s only the third month into the new year and I’ve already had a lot of highs and lows in my crafting world already. Surprisingly good sales at small local events but it’s been harder so far to get into the big shows. Nothing to do but press on!
My current e-comerce site, Zibbit, does not get much natural traffic and I was thinking about dropping them for one of the bigger names. In a timely coincidence they announced that they are rolling out software that will let you track inventory across multiple sites, including the really big name, Esty. I’m eager to see this happen since my biggest concern with having my stuff on more than one site is keeping the stock synced up. I hope they make this new feature available soon, I’m really ready to expand my online business.
I finally reserved my first art event of the year, the Punk Rock Flea Market! It is a fund raiser that promotes local artist so definitely something I should sale at. It will be an intense event with a craft fair, live bands, and car crashes. Lol seems like a crazy combo to me but hopefully it’s lots of fun. We me luck!
Roughly a year ago I decided to take my own art more seriously and treat it like a part time job. At the same time I made this website and got into needle felting. I would have never guessed that it would become my main medium but here we are! A year later I have 5 shows under my belt and I think I’m making some good pieces. Truthfully, I’m proud of my progress. My goal for this year is to be “profitable” even if its only by a dollar. Wish me luck!
For a few months now I’ve been manking many of these cute little creatures I call cyclopsen pods. I’ve made over 40 of them all together and still each one has a bit of their own personality which I an happy about. I have the physical form down, so I really should consider if I want them to have an involved back story or not. Below is my working description of them/
These one-eyed six legged creatures are playful and love to interact with any sapient being. They’ll playfully let you think they are related to octopuses… unless of course you take one to the ocean, then they’ll panic because they don’t handle water well. Mischievous and harmless looking, they love to attach themselves to people and stick their tongue out at passersbys. Whether they are whimsical fae from beyond the veil or are cuddly space invaders intent on taking over the earth tribble style is anyone’s guess.
I love many different art forms from digital painting to sculpting, though lately I have mostly been concentrating on felting. I figured it would be a good thing to explain a little about the process.
Felt is usually made from sheep’s wool and is one of the first fabrics ever created. You don’t even need to spin the fibers into yarn or weave it to make felt. Each strand of sheep hair has little tiny hooks that can get stuck on each other, when enough fibers are tangled up it becomes ‘felted’ and the individual fibers make a larger object like sheets of fabric, balls, or even cute little animals.
There are plenty of tutorials out there that can explain how to tangle up the wool so I won’t go into too much detail but I will say there are two main ways of doing it. Wet Felting uses water, soap, and a little bit of elbow grease. In my opinion it’s best for flat sheets and simple shapes. Then there is needle felting (most of my art pieces are done with this second method). In this method a special barbed needle is pushed into the wool to slowly compact the fibers together. Even a small creature may be stabbed thousands of times in order to get the right shape and density.
One other fun note about felting. Even though sheep’s wool is the most common fiber used, it’s not the only option. Alpaca, llama, and even bunny hair can be used. These natural fibers can be blended to get the best result. Store bought felt is usually synthetic and won’t play well with natural fibers so keep that in mind!
I’ve had a few shows since my last entry. Portland wasn’t profitable but my other two were! I was at Sacamine labor day weekend and while I wish I had done even better making back my base costs was a good sign. I am also in a small local gallery and while sales have been slow there my upfront costs are small so I’ll consider that a win. I’ll be doing another anime convention in November so things are looking up. Outside of just getting sales, my biggest challenge is keeping up with all the social media. These days its expected to have a good web presence but I find it’s a part time job all on it’s own!
As I predicted I haven’t been the best at keeping this little blog updated but other aspects of my reentry into selling my art have been great. I now have a shop open. My first con, BLFC, was somewhat successful. Next I will be able to do a show in Portland
After that I’ll be in Sacramento at the end of august for another convention. I can hardly believe it! I feel I am fortunate to have these opportunists.