14 July 2008

playing catch-up.

I spent this past weekend at my parents' house, and when it gets late into the night - when the creative juices start flowing the most - I can't help but miss my paint brushes.

Nerdy, I know.

So, anyway! Time to continue my last post... in explaining how I've got to where I am right now.

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About two weeks ago, when it dawned on me that I'd be moving out of my apartment soon, I decided to make a LiveJournal post about all the furniture & knick knacks that I would miss about my bedroom at The Love Boat. I took this LJ entry & cross-posted it into a couple of my favorite decor communities to see what feedback I would get.

Links to my entries:
ourapartments:
http://community.livejournal.com/ourapartments/146840.html
saucydwellings:
http://community.livejournal.com/saucydwellings/1439614.html
ourbedrooms:
http://community.livejournal.com/ourbedrooms/1237993.html

But it was a certain photo in my entry that made a lot of commotion - and the feedback I received was... well, more than I expected.


The canvases found above my bed were actually my first "real" paintings. I made them to match my room, and didn't think too much about it. Thinking back to painting the thing, I remember how long it took me - while this painting still takes a while to re-create, it doesn't take nearly as long!

Anyway, amongst a lot of positive feedback from the communities, I also got individuals asking if I had artwork for sale. I never thought painting and selling would ever go into the same sentence for me. I doubted myself, but once I started getting more feedback, I started to realize that I had nothing to lose (except maybe my dignity - just kidding).

I busted out my 16x20 canvases and old paintbrushes on a whim, and just started painting... and then I got addicted and couldn't get myself to stop. By the advice of my sister's friend, I started up my Etsy.com shop, and posted up my paintings. And now - it's all I'm ever thinking about.

Within two days of setting up shop, I MADE MY FIRST SALE! I remember just finishing one of my newer paintings ("Don't Give A Hoot"), and walking back to my room after watching "So You Think You Can Dance" with the roomies. Then, I saw the e-mail from Etsy in my gmail inbox - "Dear steppie, Congratulations on your sale at Etsy!" I screamed. Yes, screamed. I ran outside to the living room, told the roomies my news, and we started screaming and jumping up and down. Nothing beats that first sale.


My first sale - "Chillin'" (white background):



It seemed like FOREVER 'til that first sale, but I think it was due to sitting in front of my Etsy shop all day long for two days straight waiting for something to happen. While I received a lot of positive feedback from Etsy sellers and buyers on their forums and chatrooms, actually knowing that someone appreciates your artwork so much to purchase one of their own - that's probably one of the best feelings an artist can ever feel.

I logged back onto LiveJournal, letting the people that had initially inspired me know just how much their positive energy helped me in doing something I never thought I could ever do. Their support, once again, was outstanding! I actually made another sale from one of the community members - and got a comment from one of the mods of ourapartments, thediamondlife, that shocked me greatly.

thediamondlife: "i loooovvve i don't give a hoot. these are amazing. i'm not in a position to buy right now, but to help in your sales i added your shop info to our profile page. good luck!"
My Etsy shop info on the profile page of ourapartments:


Being placed on ourapartment's profile page is (1) an honor, since I adore and respect the community so much, and (2) more than I could ever ask for! I recommend you check out the community on LiveJournal if you love apartment decor or just being around positive, creative people!

On a side note, while celebrating my first sale with my fellow Etsy sellers, they let me know that it's pretty rare to make sales during your first week at Etsy - usually sellers are still setting up shop, listing new items, and getting their name and shop known. Though it seemed like forever 'til I made a sale, knowing that I'm doing pretty well considering my circumstances has motivated me to continue to make paintings and keep pushing to get my name known.

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I'll be heading back to my apartment in Irvine later tonight - which means, more time to paint all these new ideas I've been cooking up on canvas! Once I get some more new creations, I'll be sure to let you guys know.

Thanks so much for all the support so far!
Please continue to leave me comments - and spread the word about my blog!

Happy shopping & blogging!

xoxo,
Steppie
En Rouge Designs
http://www.steppie.etsy.com




6 xoxo's:

interest only loan said...

You have a very impressive blog.


interest only loan

Kathy Martin Studio said...

I LOVE your paintings!!!!!

smiles,
Kathy

Judy Evans said...

I love your Chillin black on white! Great website and great blog!

sound&fury said...

great blog! the story about how I started selling sounds a little similar to yours, except it was some random woman in the street who nearly ripped my arm off trying to look at my bracelets who enthused upon me just how much I really ought to be selling my work.
Best of luck! :-D

Sandra Williams said...

I really enjoyed reading your post. I'm so happy for you and wish you much success in your business!

Grace said...

I love your paintings! And your blog!! I'm ScrapsOfWhimsy from Etsy, and that's how I found you...from your post on the forum. :) Love it!

Check out mine, too...I'm really new, so nothing impressive, but...I like to get word out. :)

www.acrossfields.wordpress.com