I want to talk a little bit about my experience selling online, beginning with my studio space and continuing from there. This post is a short tour of my work space, the beginning of a journey of creation.
I made the decision to sell online on November 2016. Prior to that decision, my crafts were just a hobby or personal gifts to close friends. Well, my crafts still are in many cases gifts. All my work was completed from a small room, tools stored on shelves or in plastic bins. I had opened a store on etsy as the site was recommended to me by friends. The shop was named MartinsmythicalArt and it was an exciting few months for me. Sadly, I had to close it down in Jan of 2017.
Despite the twelve sales MartinsmythicalArt generated, I could not justify paying the high fees etsy demanded and after sales dried, the shop was beginning to soak up funds. This closing was very discouraging for me, but I have since found two sites to continue advertising my craft.
When I moved in November, I was pleased to see the basement of our new rental. There is plenty of space for benches, tools, and shelves for creations. So much space that part of my studio also stores my many miniatures for war gaming, handmade terrain and two fully set up game tables.
While it is true that my studio is significant to my little online shops, the work bench is only a small part of a lot of work and preparation that goes into the online business experience. Quality pictures are key, since buyers cannot physically touch the items you are selling. I still fall short in this respect since my camera equipment is not up to date. But I make due.
I made a light box out of a cardboard box with desk lamps and white LED lights. The light box allows me to take pictures of all my crafts before listing.
The box is crucial for generating pictures, I use it extensively for my sculpting page on FB, and for all the listings on my online shops.
My painter’s bench holds my airbrushes and is organized as my painter’s bench. Next to this is the actual sculpting area, so the work bench is actually two sides: a painter’s half and the sculpting half.
Shelves store a collection of tools and paints from the days of miniature painting. All these components allow me to bring my creations to light, and the space offers a quiet and spacious area for inspiration. a far cry from the little room I crafted in for sure.
I am not sure where my online shops will lead, I sell a lot in person, thanks to commission work. Aside from providing a little income on the side, to me the greatest satisfaction is knowing when people like my work. When I could bring a smile to someone’s face with that little craft, I know that I am fulfilling my goal as an artist.