I've spent a lot of time this week looking around Etsy at other people's shops and items for sale, reading forums, picking up tips, and getting SO INSPIRED!! I want to make a hundred thousand things right this very second! Of course that is impossible, but I am incredibly exited :)
I have read about some people who have turned their Etsy business into a living, and that exites me the most. I have come to this reaization: I had the guts, about a year ago, to give up my J-O-B and go into business with my good friend, and we have been successful! It is a lot of fun to work for myself, and I've learned a lot about myself, also learned how to structure my time better and how much freedom I really do have right now. But something has been gnawing at me. Just like all of my past jobs, I am not passionate about what I do. What I am passionate about is the little bits and pieces of time that I have to create art. If I can make it anywhere in life, I can make it selling art, I know it. I just have to DO it.
I keep thinking, "well, I just have to get over my fear, then I'll be able to do it." Well, that is just not the way it works. That is a great big cop-out is what that is. As I learned with the eBay business, it is not dealing with the fear that comes first. First I need to do it (that is, make the art, get it sold), THEN I will most likely get over my fear. Or I won't get over it, but I'll keep doing it anyway.
The other thing that really inspires me on Etsy is the vast variety that people are selling there! It makes me want to really experiment with new materials, and I have gotten a lot of good ideas for improving the quality of the items that I am already making. Now, I don't want to confuse anyone, I am not interested in copying other people's work, just in trying out some of the same materials. I read a huge forum post the other day about copy-cats, and I agree with the other posters that yes, there are a lot of copy-cats and it is nearly impossible to distinguish the originals. Some mediums are conducive to the same looks, I think, and a lot of people purchase similar materials that give their work similar looks and feels as other people's work. So I think, as an artist, we all have a responsibility to take those same materials and find a way to imbue them with something of ourselves, something that makes us unique.
Some people get inspired to try to make the same type of work as another artist. Highest form of flattery my ass, that is just not respectful. If you like it so much, then buy it!!! To me, being inspired by someone else's work means that I feel driven to make the same caliber of work in my own hand. Perhaps I want to try a similar technique, and I am inspired to become competent enough in that technique that I can bring my own voice to it.
Anyway, that is enough blabbing for the moment. Here are some samples from my shop!