Full-time artist, Blenda Tyvoll, has sold more than 3,000 pieces of art on Etsy and is also one of the featured artists in my upcoming course Handcrafted Holidays. Blenda and I have known each other since 2006, when we were both selling on eBay. She started to dabble with selling on Etsy first, and when I saw the success she was having selling her artwork, I soon followed and now have more than 1,000 sales on Etsy myself.
She and I recently discussed our best Etsy selling tips that can be used by anybody just starting out or looking to improve their sales. I’ve captured our discussion in this video interview (scroll down to watch it), so that you can put our learning experience and best practices to work for you!
Extraordinary Etsy Tips for Painters
- Persistent and consistent: Keep adding new art regularly to your Etsy shop. Where attention goes…success flows.
- Customer service: Be responsive to buyers and answer their questions. To save time, create a question/answer bank for yourself on Evernote.
- Develop your own unique style: You must be able to offer something different than what other Etsy shop owners are selling. Embrace your own voice as an artist. No one likes a copycat.
- Tell your story: The most successful pieces speak to the person purchasing through your personal stories ultimately translating into more sales.
- Be patient: It takes time to get noticed online so don’t expect overnight success.
- Don’t undersell yourself: Do a little research to see what prices other sellers have on their artwork and verify their selling history to see if they are actually selling items at that price. Try to stay consistent with prices on the same size artwork (all 8x10s should be the same price). Yes, even if you like one painting better than another.
- Best selling print sizes: Blenda and I have found that 8×10″ and 11×14″ print sizes sell the best. We always sign our prints, but don’t include a certificate of authenticity since customers rarely ask about them.
- Pretty packages are part of the Etsy experience: For an added personal touch, with every purchase include a postcard with your art on it. Give your packaging special attention to detail. Let the buyer feel like it’s a big surprise as they unwrap their new art purchase. And don’t forget to be a consumer of Etsy, too. You can pick up a lot of tricks when you see how other artisans handle their Etsy shop.
- Check out Blenda Tyvoll’s Instagram feed and Facebook to see how she promotes her art.
Founded in 2005 in an apartment in Brooklyn, New York, Etsy (whose name is a mystery to all but its founders) is an international online market where artists, makers and crafters sell their art, handmade and vintage goods. Today, more than 25 million active buyers browse and buy many of the 35 million items for sale, making the Etsy shops of 76% of U.S. sellers a business rather than just a hobby.
About the Artist (and Expert)
|artist Blenda Tyvoll in her Portland studio|
Blenda lives just outside of Portland, Oregon, and considers herself a “late-bloomer” when it comes to being a full-time artist. Once her children left home, she went back to school to earn a bachelor’s degree in art and interior design from Marylhurst University.
Like many of us, she was told you can’t make a living as an artist. Well, in spite of naysayers, Blenda makes a living from art and has been a professional full-time artist since 2005, with her signature mixed media paintings of trees, flowers and birds.
|studio of top-selling Etsy artist, Blenda Tyvoll|
Blenda continuously draws inspiration from her surroundings. Memories of the vivid colors and bright sunshine she experienced as a young girl living in Madagascar continue to inform her color palette. Moreover, she draws inspiration for subject matter from the natural surroundings of the Pacific Northwest where she now makes her home. In addition, she credits Skip Lawrence as a major influence, where she learned there is no right or wrong way to painting.
Blenda credits Etsy for her numerous opportunities in art licensing and more because set designers and agents spotted her art when sourcing on Etsy. Since Blenda’s Etsy shop continuously ranks among the top 400 art sellers (according to craftcount.com), I knew she would have some extraordinary Etsy best practices to share with you.
In Case We Haven’t Met Yet…
In case we haven’t met yet, I’m an artist and founder of The Inspiration Place, where I help other artists learn how to profit from their passion or become better artists. Through online classes, business coaching programs, and a top-ranked podcast, I’ve helped thousands of artists around the world develop their skill sets and create more time and freedom to do what they love. My signature coaching program, The Artist Incubator, helps artists go from so-so sales to sold-out collections.
A graduate of Dartmouth College and M.I.T, I initially pursued finance but after witnessing 9/11, I abandoned a lucrative hedge fund job to work on my art full time. Since then, my art and my story have been featured in major publications including Forbes, The New York Times, Art of Man, Art Journaling magazine as well as featured on NBC’s “Parenthood” and the Amazon series “Hunters” with Al Pacino. My forthcoming book with HarperCollins Leadership on how to make it as an artist is scheduled to be released January 31, 2023. When I’m not in the studio, you can find me hanging out with my husband, adult kids, and a tuxedo cat named Ebony. I’d love to invite you to check out one of my free resources for art lovers (of every passion level) at schulmanart.com/freebies