Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Etsy Shop Critique - ArtAngel

First impression is that this shop really suits my style. I like the art, the theme, and the prevalent colors with the rich reds, teals, and browns. The imagery in this collection is representative of what's "in" in the art world right now, a conglomeration of antique-influenced elements, mixed media, and iconic images like birds, keys, flowers, hearts, and butterflies. I recognize that a lot of people may criticize some artists who use images which are "in," saying that the art is cliche or unoriginal, but those people are idiots.

[ Soapbox dissertation: If you feel like you are the arbiter of what is valid artistically, then you are probably just some pissed-off emo artist who is angry because nobody is making a connection to your obscuro pseudodark recycled scrapyard sculptures. Your whining is cliche, an age-old argument made by broke and disgruntled creatives for centuries. In fact, your ancestors were probably the impotent tribesmen at the bottom of the caste sitting around complaining about how prosaic and banal the commoners' cave drawings were. Art is practiced best when a collective consciousness is involved, and people individualize what inspires them. ]

Thank you, ArtAngel, for your patience in enduring my aside.

I think that your square mini-paintings are a perfect product for an Etsy seller. They are recession-friendly, simple, chic, and fun. The way you've taken pictures of multiple similar items helps even more to encourage your customers to see the cohesive picture they create when combined with other mini-paintings. This is smart policy and marketing, greatly increasing your chances of repeat buyers.

Your profile is accessible and well-written. By stating your philosophy about the price of the art, you've sent the message that your low prices do not mean that your art is in some way less valuable. You found a way to communicate some of your credentials and technique without sounding arrogant, and also a way to relate personal information by making it relevant to your art. For example, this line was a great way to mention that you are a mother: "...and to my son's embarrassment I’m forever picking up bits of rusty metal in the street, or rescuing crumpled bits of paper from going into the bin!" The small change I would recommend with the written elements of your store (profile, descriptions, etc.) is that you abstain from use of the exclamation point. Picking up bits of metal from the street with a period at the end makes me think of a person with an artistic awareness of her surroundings. Picking up bits of metal from the street with an exclamation mark at the end makes me think of an insane homeless person with a scrap metal shrine in her cardboard box fashioned in the shape of the Taj Mahal. You do get a soft WTF point for your overuse of enthusiastic punctuation marks.

I think your item prices are fair and your shipping is reasonable. I would love to put your art around my house, and everything in your shop just seems to match what I already have. In fact, the Forever Love mini-painting is the same color as my bedroom walls, and the Lotus Flower is the same color as my bedroom floor. I am your target market.

You're a talented writer, intuitive enough to have found a balance between personal and professional, and effective marketing seems to come natural to you. As I browse your descriptions and shop policies, I see signs of that intuition all over your shop.

On a side note, I did visit your blog and was really pleased to see the little blurb about synesthesia on your most recent post. I'm a synesthete. You may have noticed in a few of the earlier critiques that I tried to express how I don't experience aesthetic stimuli in traditional ways. I have a host of neurological anomalies on my cerebral rap sheet, so it was just cool to come across that and the cool book recommendation. I am going to have to pick that one up next time I go out. This has nothing to do with anything, but I assign anthropomorphic qualities to numbers. When I resize images in photoshop, I often avoid certain number combinations because I feel that they may curse the blog/product/item to which the image is attached or that sometimes the object of the picture is not worthy of the number combination. Logically, that's silly, but such is the madness behind the WTF Empire.

But, nice blog. :-) It's very refreshing when Etsy sellers promote other artists. It's just revealing of your character, which makes you a seller whose shop I would patronize.


  1. Thank you so, so much! I've been on etsy for a while and don't usually ask for critiques as it's so rare to get anything that's not thoroughly sugar-coated.

    You have been very complimentary, but because I trust your opinion from previous critiques I feel genuinely reassured about the things I'm doing right.

    And I have culled some of the exclamation marks, I know I do that - it's a sickness lol!!!!!!!!! ;)

    P.S. I love that you are a synesthete - that perspective of the world fascinates me. Synesthesia isn't a main theme of the book, but it is a very good and slightly weird book, I'd definitely recommend it :)

  2. I'm definitely going to pick it up. When I do, I'll make sure to let you know I've read it.

    P.S. I was going to sign up for your quarterly email, but I couldn't find where to do it.

  3. Yes would you - I'd love to know what you think of it!

    I stopped doing a newsletter as I wasn't get much business from it, forgot to take that bit out of my etsy shop though (have amended it now but I guess that would have been another WTF point lol)

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