Why I’m dropping Etsy

Query “What is Etsy?” on Google and you’ll see their description as follows: “Find the perfect handmade gift, vintage & on-trend clothes, unique jewelry, and moreā€¦ lots more.”

That’s true. That’s 100% true, so they’re not lying, and I’m not against Etsy for anything they’ve done or in any way they’ve wronged me. The truth of the matter is unless you’re invested a hearty chunk of change into Etsy marketing (at a minimum of $1/day), you will be pages deep on the search page. Simply put, a dollar a day to not be seen, why wouldn’t you just upgrade to WordPress Premium so you can add WooCommerce and sell directly on your own site? It’s not so much your art or skills at competition as where your product is listed amongst the thousands of listings. My art, design, or graphics competing against another? All day I’ll do that. That’s not what annoys me. Put my work in front of someone and I’ll get a sale. But paying (or I tried this…not paying) for Etsy marketing to still rarely be seen is futile.

So here’s what I’m thinking, and something that you’ll be seeing soon. Instead of $7/week to get a few visits here and there competing against thousands of other prints, why not be the best and only top dog on your own site?

I think part of me writing this is my annoyance at myself for paying for a couple months, not having any conversions into sales/views, and then re-evaluating what the heck I’m trying to do. I have a website, I have products, so why am I paying a chunk of change to be displayed 8 pages deep? I could care less if anyone reads this, I’m writing because that’s how I process. I’m typing because I can type 100+ WPM and my handwriting can’t keep up with my brain.

While I’m moving let me make another point. I see some sweet prints on Etsy. And if you think I’m saying the beautiful art, graphics, designs, or artists on Etsy are tomfoolery or bogus, my point is soaring above your head. Most of the art and artists are great. I’m not bashing on Etsy because the users suck. I’m encouraging any person who wants to sell their products on Etsy to reconsider because you might have a great product, but if no one ever sees it, you won’t sell a thing. Especially if you’re trying to sell a few lower price items, remember that at a minimum of $1 a day: that’s the price to maybe be seen. If you’re not advertising and your product includes a title that is popular or semi-popular, do a search from an incognito tab and see where your product ranks.

Another reason Etsy may not be a fantastic place to post products is you’re competing with some major huge shops that can afford to print and ship prints for $3-$7 range. Because I’m a small-time artist, an 8×10 print costs me anywhere from $2-$4 to print. I’d like to think that I should be able to sell that for $10-$15. But I’m going against people who sell them (and somehow profit from) prints (like the image above) for like $6. To me that’s unrealistic.

I feel Etsy is doing to art and prints what cheap clip art did to graphic designers in the 90s: rules them obsolete. Why pay an artist to create an illustration when I could get a cheap clip art that conveys that same purpose? I’d argue that because the product you’ll end up with is mass produces, impersonal, and probably comes from a Print-On-Demand service or China. And that might be great for some people. But as an artist I just see tons of cheap prints that are mass produced so that the seller who maybe once did the work can make $0.60 from a print on demand service. You’re not a customer, you’re an invoice number. Go for it if that’s for you.

On the flipside, be checking my site later as I long for something better for myself. I’m not going to pay $1-$5 a day to be listed on on page 4 of a search result to make $0.60 in profit. So as I update my site, be looking to see me upgrade to WordPress Premium so I can add the Woocommerce widget to my site, allowing customers to buy my products directly from me. I’d rather my products compete with themselves on my site than to hopefully get a glance from a potential customer.

Thanks for reading. If you got something you’d like to add to this feel free. If you’re an artist or graphic designer who has seen some sort of profit, I’d love to hear what works for you. I’m not a genius, and I always got room to learn and improve.

Blog Rambling

Been spending so much time trying to remodel this site that I didn’t realize I actually hadn’t wrote a post in awhile. Like 9 months awhile. It’s crazy cuz my autopay on domain renewal (on arc5ange1.com) happened 2 day ago, and with this whole-shelter- in place (I think that’s what they’re saying), I’ve been needing a side-project to do.

I don’t really know.

I don’t really care either.

What I’m trying to say is I haven’t wrote in awhile. And truth be told, and my dad and my girlfriend are witnesses to this, but I just actually deleted my entire site 3 days ago (less my media. I fear some of my pics just got an upload here but haven’t properly been put on Google Drive or Photos yet). I did this because I had some theme overlap and interference going on: it was too much, too unorganized. I know, right? but yeah even I’m saying that.

So why am I writing this now? In short, here’s why

  • I have extra time with what’s going on, and an extended spring break
  • I’m reading the book Positivity and it mentioned journaling.
  • My friend, Dan from my Visual Communications program mentioned writing or journaling the other day in a text message. And I’m using this as both a shoutout method to say what’s up to him, and to encourage both him, and myself publically (dubbed a “heartcheck” in prison) to keep going with it. Let the format be up to us, but dude I’ll keep going with mine and you keep going with yours.
  • Did I mention I have extra time right now?
  • Also, as mentioned before, my auto renewal for this site happened a couple of days ago and I saw it on my bank statement, which made me think about it and put emphasis on it.
  • Yo I have time right now, and call this shameless self promotion, but another daily goal I have is to post 5 videos a day on my YouTube Channel. And maybe linking these back and forth might benefit the quality of the blog or the YouTube feed.
from you YouTube page

So here’s a question that I should ask myself: what’s my objective? Conversions, or more readers, or YouTube subscriptions, what? No, none of those. My objective is so those I call my friends and my beloved family can see what I’m doing. Despite having more photos and things to share on Instagram than I can shake a stick out, I seldom post. I have too much stuff I feel. So, if I post on here I can photobomb and add multiple photos like this:

Alright before I think much more I’m hitting publish. Don’t mind the rest of my site yet. I’m hoping that having some recent content will shift my mind into a gear where I’m designing my website for me and content, not just for looks.

Until tomorrow…

-Tay

Caspian Border

Digital Illustration


I took a screenshot of this map on my Battlefield 4 server for Xbox One. I drew this version in Adobe Photoshop using my Wacom tablet. It was more an experiment with the thousands of brushes, the effects of layers, and a combination of trial-and-error. My old laptop wasn’t and still isn’t fully capable to run that many pixels on that many layers on an already RAM-consuming application like Photoshop, and it took me a bit longer than I would’ve liked, but I finished it and turned it in.

I have since bought a new computer (a desktop, who I named “Beastmode”) which is more than sufficient in the graphics and RAM department.

Caspian Border 2014 Battlefield 4 map. By T "arc5ange1" Bates.
Digital Illustration of Caspian Border. Created in Adobe Photoshop.

We’re also offering unique, handmade ceramic mugs as well as original sets, consisting of tea, cups and matching tea pot, perfect for gifting.


Watercolor


This video is the same as the below images. The two outlined images were scanned before I started watercolor painting. The finished painting came out awesome

Guess what map? from r/battlefield_4
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