Sunday, June 3, 2007

How do they do it?

I need to ask - how do people do it? I see shops on Etsy where people are listing things every day, with beautiful detail and variety, gorgeous photos and great descriptions.

I just spent a good 2 - 3 hours - just working on pictures for 9 items I will be listing soon. First there is the picture taking - some on the piece of ceramic tile, some hanging on that cup - some on the other cup - oh - that vase would work good - and maybe a few on a book, let me find one. Tonight I used 2 books, a pottery mug, a carnival glass mug, a piece of ceramic tile, a blue luster vase, a large fairy figurine, a rice bowl, I hung some earrings from ribbon on the front of an antique chest and I took pictures of Roberta (our mannequin gal) modeling earrings and necklaces. And don't doubt I may have left something out because I am sure I have.

After taking the pictures there is the deciding which pictures to use, resizing and cropping them, etc. Thank GOD for digital cameras! I pop out the little memory card and pop it IN to my computer, moving all the new pics into a folder. I go through all the pictures, narrowing them down to 5 photos per piece. Mind you - tonight that means a total of 45 pictures. I crop them, re size them, cut out any stupid things I didn't see like the stray cat hair - (which makes me crazy because I am SO careful about that) - and them review them all again. Inevitably there are a few I decide I don't like, I delete them, go get the camera off it's little charging dock - and shoot a few more pictures. Then comes the transfer, the cropping, resizing, etc.

Now, for 45 pictures being the end result - I spent 2 to 3 hours - and that was constant. A potty break here and there but that's about it. Actually - it was probably longer than 3 hours - I totally lose track of time when I am doing this stuff.

Of course the whole thing starts with making the jewelry. That involves the design aspect which a lot of the time takes more time than the physical act of putting the piece together, but the assembling and crafting of the jewelry takes a good amount of time too.

So, after making the jewelry there is the photographing. After the process I went through tonight, there is the listing. Listing alone takes a while, one problem for me is remembering what all the stones are that I have used, and remembering to measure things BEFORE I list it. Pricing everything. Going through the step by step process of listing items - describing them, making sure all the details are there, making up tags, uploading pictures. There are those pictures again! Deciding which one is going to be the first picture is important because it is the one that goes to the front page and a lot of time determines whether or not someone comes to the shop to see the other 4 pictures of that item.

I am not complaining about the process at all, just explaining it. And wondering aloud how other people do it - AND keep their houses clean, do their laundry, I'm sure a lot of them cook, work full time jobs, and have a bit of a life with their families and friends besides. Something has to suffer! I know there are several artists who are able to support themselves with selling what they create - so that eliminates the full time job part. But I tell you what - even if I did not have the full time job - I'm not sure I would be disciplined enough to keep everything going at the pace it needs to - in order to keep things competitive and fresh with new listings at least 5 days a week.

I have spent a lot of time lately working on promotion, designing postcards and business cards and ahem - blogging - how DO people do it??? I am sitting here right now enjoying an infomercial for Time/Life's soft music collection. Wow - taking me back with every single song - ' oh-h- Daniel my brother - he was - older than me ..' 'baby I'ma want you - baby I'ma need you .. ' . But I digress. :) The point is - it's Saturday night and I'm up late enough to have hit the infomercial hour!! Tired.

I will keep on keeping on - making my jewelry, promoting, doing what I need to do. I know that jewelry sellers make up the biggest group of sellers on Etsy so there is a ton of competition. I just have to work harder. I believe in myself - probably more now than at any other time in my life - but that story is one for another day. :) Haven't sold anything for a while - but that will change. I'm learning and getting better every day. Yay me! Okay I'm a dork. A tired dork.

'Saturday - in the park - I think it musta been the 4th of July ..'
I believe this is Oregon - a wild and rocky coastline. Nite!


Robin Marie said...

I can't say I adhere to this advice entirely myself, but here's my battle plan that I'm slowly adjusting myself to. If you're going to use the same background for multiple pieces, shoot all your pieces you want on that background at one time. Try and keep the lighting even in each shot, because that makes editing much easier because you start to know where the problem areas will be.

I like to price things as I make them by writing down what stones I've used, how long it took me, and using my general pricing guide to help me along. That way when it comes time to list I don't have to figure it all out on the spot.

My final step, this is the part I haven't implimented yet, is to start writing up listing s all at once. Do a bunch at one time, save them in a word document, and then when it's time to list you can copy paste. The idea is that we don't always have time or the creative energy to come up with a great discription, so it's easier to do a bunch when we do!

BetteJo said...

Thanks Robin Marie! I appreciate any advice you'd like to offer! It's a juggling act, that's for sure. Thanks again!

Tron said...

Hi, all artists on etsy are cool, most esp. when they go grassroots! All are cool, and all deserve a look. Well, let me share what I think about glass: exhibit photos of the works of Lino Tagliapietra and Dale Chihuly!
These are articles on art glass and Carnival glass.