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one never knows.  i know i never know.
we never know who reads and what they get out of it.  i write this stuff (post below) because i often times feel trapped in the corners of life.  i don't mean to or want to complain and whine and bitch and moan for the sake of such.  i hope those of you who know me know that i am always seeking and often frustrated but always trying even if am kicking and screaming while doing it.  remember way back when when i could barely write 'etsy' let alone be on it?  remember when i hated facebook?  and now i'm on an etsy team for gods sake.  and i have a facebook profile and facebook fan page.  i eat half of the words i say.  i should be obese with letters by now.

dont think i write stuff and then go on my merry way.  i dont.  i write stuff and i fret over it.  i see myself.  i read it more times than you would believe and try to see who i am and what i'm after.  i try to see what i'm doing as if i'm not me but someone else.  and i often see how horrible (i think) i look.  how childish and stubborn but i also see i'm trying.  i'm lost.  i'm eager.  i aint dead yet.  i try to weigh what feels right for me with what others are doing and question what is healthiest, what makes the most sense.  i will admit i am sometimes jealous of others.  i dont always have the nicest thoughts or things to say about people and i want nothing more to be free from that defective trait.  i find the poorer i become the harder it is for me to feel safe and peaceful. the harder it is to be kind to myself let alone others.  i'm not proud of that, its something i'm fighting with more and more and i'm worn out.  being poor makes me feel so trapped and so tired and so GUILTY.  i could write a chapter about it but wont today.

so, back to my point:  i was quite taken aback in a good way this morning when an etsy friend from the other side of the world, offered a suggestion to me.  she said she read that post below and was struck by my saying 'if i do what you say will i somehow sell more art?'.  she offered to pay for me to renew my etsy items 100 times, 3 items, every day as an experiment.  this isn't the first time she has told me i should renew my items more often and i just never did.  i wince every time i have to pay etsy my monthly bill of $3.80 or whatever it is, more if i actually sell something and owe them another 3%.  and then i thought, okay i haven't actually ever tried renewing more often. i usually wait til the month is just about over and then renew a few things. so i'm thinking, okay, i will try this.  and then i realized that i need to be paying for this myself.  feels wrong to have someone else pay for this, and if i can't afford to do this then i may as well go drown in the oily gulf coast waters.  seriously.

so i'm gonna give it a try.  maybe i wont do it 100 times, but im going to do it every day for a week at least and see if that does anything.  it just might be that etsy isn't a good venue for selling my kind of art.  people may not get it about the 'limited edition clock collection'.  they may not get any of it but i also may be the one not getting it and i'm about to find out.  i know the more you renew you are seen on the lower section of the front page.  i know that if you renew you keep the google bots fed.  i know if you have lower priced items you might sell more and look to be more in demand.  i know i haven't given it my all yet.  so now is the time and then i can find out once and for all.

so thank you!  you know who you are. i am again humbled.  i am again thankful for people who judge me far less than i seem to judge myself, and who reach out and give me strength when i feel like an amoeba.  and i'm thankful when you guys comment and question and suggest or disagree.  because it always shows me and teaches me something and that is the point.


ArtPropelled said…
Paula you are human feeling human emotions. Writing about how you are feeling helps and sometimes someone will leave a comment that hits the spot .... makes a difference , even if its just to make you realize you are not alone. This marketing thing drives me up the wall too. I still think if you found the right gallery your sales would be steady ..... but its to find it! I know nothing about Etsy so am quite surprised you have to pay to renew.
collage whirl said…
Your opinions are so real and those of us reading don't want sugar coating! I think anyone who's serious about their work goes through these ups and downs. You have the courage to be honest and that's why you've made many blogging friends. I'm very honored that you put me on your blog roll(just saw that!!thank you!)and are so supportive of my blogging efforts. (hint hint if anyone else wants to follow me) It does feel good to say certain things out loud but I totally understand the anxiety involved, especially since I'm new at all this. Keep being brave, you are inspiring. I too absolutely detest marketing, it's the bane of being an artist. But if you can crack it, just imagine the rewards... (I do and that's why marketing drives me so crazy). Good luck with etsy! I'm hoping to buy something you've made next time I sell some work...
Kendra Zvonik said…
I feel your pain in a very real way . . . I'm having a similar experience selling my art on Etsy and I beat myself up for not succeeding constantly. But, I also feel very split because I have another shop (Green Post) which does well on Etsy. There are crucial differences between the 2 types of work/shops and clearly one is easier to buy & sell than the other. It is turning me into Jeckyll & Hyde. Pleasant and happy when I talk about my paper shop. Pissed off and cynical when I talk about my art shop.
Being poor drove me to creating a product that would sell and provide for my life as a painter. I searched and searched for this product and, luckily, finally found it. I had always hoped to earn a living from painting but it has been a tough road for me. I have been selling my art on Etsy for a couple years and have tried everything. I have tried renewing daily . . . nothing really changed. Renewing in my other shop pays off. Renewing my art does not. So, bottom line for me is that selling art on Etsy is a slow process and there is no clear path to more sales. It may not be the right market for selling my art. Or, as I always start thinking, maybe I just suck. But no matter how hard I try to let myself off the hook and stop trying to be a painter, I keep painting.
From what you've said in this post, I think you are the kind of person who will keep trying even when you can't find a real reason to do it. I am sorry that you feel so poor and trapped and guilty. That just sucks! I know exactly what you mean. I enjoyed reading your post because like ARtPropelled said above at least I know I'm not alone. Thank you for opening up like you have. Don't fret (I understand that too!) or worry about what you have said here. You need to get that shit off your chest so you can make the best decisions possible. You work is incredible and there has to be a way to get more sales. It just might not be anything you have thought of yet . . .
take care,
paula said…
robyn, you are right a good gallery like i had in vermont would be the best bet. i think i'm trying to force these smaller non gallery items online because i dont have the space anymore to make the bigger gallery items, at least not nearly as fast and since i haven't the gallery inside scoop yet here i'm trying what makes the most sense for money now for rent and food....keeping my eye on the gallery picture for the future.

thanks deborah...and youre welcome too :) and its nice to know so many people have problems with marketing, i was thinking you all had it down!

kendra, you are a genius obviouvsly. seriously. i think i'm trying to do that with my little vases or candle holders etc. but i have to put so much time into them now i'm realizing i can't sell them for super cheap (most of them at least). you made the leap and i so admire and respect that. and you keep plugging away with your art, which again, would be so easy to abandon if frustration in selling keeps mounting. i suspect you are right about art and renewing...NOT THAT YOU SUCK but that art just doesn't move as well as the little stuff.
you made me laugh with your Jeckyll & Hyde analogy. and i so get it about being pissed off about one thing and all nice about the other. i'm trying hard to be kind and generous and supportive online but i feel like the artist in me who wants to survive and keep making art is going to explode if i dont take care of her. you get it. i think you all get it. that helps

i appreciate your comments as always, especially today though.
Kendra Zvonik said…
so happy we are connecting and thanks for your response! i am thinking hard about this conversation.
keep writing!
paula said…
me too kendra. me too :)
andrea said…
"I eat half the words I say". I love that phrase. I may have to use it. And the fact that you do shows learning and progress and growth and all that good shit. :)
sarala said…
Just keep trying new things. You also have to remind yourself that the expensive items won't sell often. That will be hard on your self esteem but is not a reflection on your worth as an artist. It does seem though that Etsy has been good for you.
paula said…
thanks shara. i will try. just not when i'm a premenstrual bitch from hell.

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