Monday, March 12, 2012

spring cleaning

Once again I am thinking of directions to go and new places to take my art. I feel stuck in a cycle of wanting to secure an income by making smaller and more production oriented work, and a longing for creating something bigger with a farther reach. So I am doing a spring cleaning, both physically and more philosophically. I am trying to sort out what ideas are worthwhile pursuing, and what should wait, and to come up of a list of goals to stick with. Here are some initial plans.

Taking a break from etsy. I opened my etsy store in 2008 and for the most part it has been a huge success. Lately I have noticed a lag in activity, and I think that etsy has become such an enormous marketplace that unless you constantly update your inventory, network, and actively market yourself it is hard to be seen. Instead I am moving my shop to big cartel, where it can be uniquely mine both in looks and content. I would love to know what your thoughts are on this. What are the pros and cons of a more independent web store?

Submitting work to juried exhibitions. This is something that always has intimidated me in the past. But I have come to realize that if I want to consider myself a true artist I need to dip my toes in the chilly water. I want to exhibit more and expand my resumé.

Limiting my production work. For now I will stick with one of a kind sachets, books, book covers, and pillows. Those are things I love to do. The pieces I make are still unique and stand out in a crowd and working on them makes me happy.

I am of course continuing my wall pieces and collages. They are the focus of my work and my true love. But this time I also want to get better at promoting them.

We will see where all this leads. It is always easier to jot goals down than to live up to them. In the spirit of blatant self promotion I encourage you to visit my website, and my web store. I would love feedback, good as well as bad. And I have a new artist page on Facebook, please join me there too if so inclined. Happy spring!


  1. Hi Lotta, good for you - taking a step back and working out what changes you should make is such a good thing to do, but not easy! Finding that balance between producing work that will sell and work that satisfies you creatively is such a struggle. I've only just dipped my toe in the water with the etsy thing so don't know if it's worth it yet. Good luck with the new directions x

  2. Great thinking, Lotta. You're making strides! I'll add you on Facebook. Let me know if you need help pursuing opportunities in the DC area. I'd be happy to bounce around a few ideas with you. - Lena Shrestha

  3. i love how beautiful things over here are, lotta. i like big cartel, too, so that sounds like a great move. and you're getting your work out more which is a grand thing, indeed.

  4. I'm doing a lot of weighing and evaluating, rethinking myself, so I can definitely relate to your sentiments. I think that a move away from production work that brings little satisfaction and much exhaustion is a move in the right direction, if not for financial reasons, than for physiological and psychological ones...:)

    You know that I will follow your work wherever you go, and I agree completely that Etsy has become so massive that it's a chore to stay noticed but I think it might still be worthwhile to keep at least a few items there and maintain an Etsy presence that way. You never know what opportunities may come your way from someone stumbling upon your shop there.

    Talk to you soon, Lotta! :)

  5. P.S. If you don't know about this website yet -- Fiber Art Calls for Entry - definitely check it out:

  6. Lovely to hear your reflections Lotta. I can't offer any sage advice as the marketplace is something I've only considered, and I've not jumped in yet. I do enter exhibitions though, and that's very satisfying.....even though it's taking a very long time to get a sale!
    Finding that balance between your art and your bank account is always a tricky one!

  7. I think it is inevitable that we do this once in a while, I sort of got to that stage too late last year (not sure if I have the answers yet). In regards to the move to your own online store at big cartel I read somewhere once that a good way to start was on etsy or similar, build a following and then migrate to your own site, direct traffic there, so I think it should work for you. Good luck with your goals.

  8. I should be able to do that...spring cleaning...but hardly arrive to home dayly cleaning ;)
    Love the idea of changing to big cartel...good luck!

  9. Quite similar situation here, Lotta... I´m beginning to regret having moved from Bigcartel to Etsy (but then, I did it because I noticed a lag in activity there...) - either way the constant communication + networking one is increasingly forced to do feels like a millstone around my neck...;)

  10. Hi Lotta, wonderful post. I think about this all the time and often get paralysed to do anything, so I'm inspired to see you move forward in so many different ways. Your work is beautiful and will continue to get attention because it so clearly comes from your heart and your desire to grow. I think you should trust yourself to do what you feel is right:) Some time spent diving in deeper to your own process could glean some very satisfying results!

  11. it's a tricky business, negotiating how to deal with the whirled

    in Australia i'm not considered a "serious artist", because i make things that go on bodies as well as on walls
    and because i write about the process in a non-academic way

    but i'm just going to keep puddling along, making marks with leaves on cloth and paper
    and having a very fine time doing it!

    those books you've made are just lovely.

  12. Your work is beautiful and you are a true artists, so keep entering juried shows. I look forward to seeing your work continuing to grow.

  13. i hate esty, good move, i think it suits your quietly elegant work.

  14. Lotta, your work is lovely, and you are really quite good at marketing it - I think your audience will find you where ever you choose to be online. Etsy has its advantages, if it works, why change it. I also really like Big Cartel. Or both. Some of your items might work better on Big Cartel? i.e. the fine art? Good for you for entering more juried shows. Go for it! Enjoy your spring!

  15. You're a fine craftsperson/artist with a unique vision. I believe that you'll succeed in whatever you try with your should, too! I think you've already been doing good things with finding ways to make $ with your art. It can be hard to spring off into untested waters; perhaps looking into getting some kind of grant or funding to tide you over while you're building your larger vision?


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