April Showers (and art fairs)

rabbit for blog

Oh April! Here you are again.

A while ago, I think I mentioned that I closed my Etsy shop and took my work down from RedBubble. After looking at alternatives, I’ve decided to pursue not a single one. Who knows what the future holds, but at this point in my life, selling online is too much work for no real gain.

Online selling platforms do not spark joy.

But I will be taking part in a local festival because I like the real world. People can sign up for my newsletter, and every so often, I’ll share new art through that. In the time I will no longer spend photographing (from multiple angles, taking care to avoid shadows and reflections), editing said photos (to work with website requirements and resolution quality and look good and accurate), uploading (multiple shots, waiting for that circle of eternity), describing (what the work is, how it was made, and what its compelling story is), measuring (the art itself and the box it will be mailed in), weighing (the art itself and all the packaging it will require for shipping and often getting this wrong so that the actual shipping cost will be higher than the buyer was charged), and storing (finding a place in our house for the art piece to stay while waiting/hoping for someone to buy it).

Recently, I read Austin Kleon‘s new book, Keep Going. (I have his other books too.) On page 80, he writes,

We’re now trained to heap praise on loved ones by using market terminology. The minute anybody shows any talent for anything, we suggest they turn it into a profession. This is our best compliment: telling somebody they’re so good at what they love to do they could make money at it.

We used to have hobbies; now we have “side hustles.” As things continue to get worse in America, as the safety new gets torn up, and as steady jobs keep disappearing, he free-time activities that used to soothe us and take our minds off work and add meaning to our lives are now presented as potential income streams…

I don’t know about you, but I need to a little extra income. (I had to buy a car and I’m not enjoying it much because I keep thinking about the car payments. Car payments! I’m sure many of you can relate.) So, I keep piling hours of work on this side hustle. I love the work of making things. I’ll do that forever. The work of selling at festivals can be fun too (as long as it isn’t 106 degrees…). But selling online…makes a lot of money for the people who run the platforms.

At the festival next month, I know people will ask me about my website and where they can buy my work online. People always ask this, and it’s a totally reasonable question. I’ve felt a great deal of pressure to have a site and a card. Right? I mean, you have to have these things!

But not this time.

I’m currently making a boatload of paper ornaments to sell at the festival, and, of course, I’ll have art. I hope to take part in at least two other local art fairs this year. There will be people to talk to in real life about art! And that will be fun.

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As ever, thanks for reading!

One thought on “April Showers (and art fairs)

  1. If you could place things in an existing brick-and-mortar store on consignment, or sell to one for them to resell, that would make your customers happy. I’m ever-so-glad you had your stores up online long enough for me to buy some of your art! 🙂

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