As I have posted on my facebook page, The Store Is Open. I have opened a storefront on Etsy.
At this point, it’s not much. I’ve just got the one print, the 8 x 10 black and white print of a headlight for a 1966 Cadillac, which astute readers will notice is also the cover for my Blurb book Hard Rhythm.
I guess the question I need to answer is, why? First, why Etsy?
It’s a fair question. I mean, what I mostly knew of Etsy was the place where you could buy handmade aprons, vintage clothing, tea-light holders and lots of delightful artsy hand-crafted jewelry. It seems hardly the place for the masculine style of automotive and urban themed photography that Generator Photography is becoming known for. Yes, I’m pushing your buttons. Sort of. The reality is that I like the vibe that Etsy gives off. It does have that art and crafts festival kind of feeling which, for me, harks back to my halcyon days back in art school. I like being around creative people. I like being a part of something that encourages makers and artisans, and supports handmade crafts as a viable alternative to our big-box, mass produced retail culture that we currently are drowning in.
So, why Etsy at all? Why any site, actually? I’m on Smugmug, and I can set that up to offer prints for sale right there. The order goes to a professional printer, and comes directly to you, no muss no fuss. Why go to all the bother of setting up shop here? The answer to that is very simple: traffic. I know the number of visitors my main site gets, and I’m pretty sure that Etsy.com gets far, far more visitors. Like, a lot more. Loads, even.
The second part of that is about presentation. I get to see the prints before I mail them off. More importantly, I get to sign the prints before I mail them off. If I was just going to sell prints off my Smugmug site, the customer would just be getting a print. That’s not horrible, but this way my customers are getting signed pieces of art. It’s a far more personalized presentation.
And, I guess the final why question, why sell prints at all? Well, gentle reader, there are a load of answers for that one. First, and most obvious, is that I gotta start making some money off this. I love what I do, don’t get me wrong, and I love the support and positive feedback I get. But I have big plans for Generator Photography, and gear ain’t free. Printers ain’t free. Decent gallery space ain’t free.
The other answer to this question, however, is not about money. At all. It’s a bit bigger than that. I like making things. I love putting up my work to show. I like being an artist. I love making art. Doing this gets me back to my roots, while also moving along this business. It’s not the final step, but it’s another step. It’s about me continuing to serious about my work, and about fulfilling my desire for creation.
So, please stop by my shop. Again, there’s not much there now, but stay tuned, friends, good stuff is coming.