Friday, September 27, 2013

Everything Old is New Again in ......This Year's Vintage Fall Trends

   This year there are plenty of vintage fall trends to look out for this season.  As always, everything old is truly new again.  What I love about the return of vintage trends is that items can get recycled which is definitely a money saver. It also gives you that little boost to clean out your closets, basements and attics to look for those items that are resurfacing.

Plaids- This includes clothing and decor (wool blankets, faded quilts, skirts, sweaters, etc.)

Painted Vintage Furniture- Especially pieces with a high gloss lacquer

Hard Case Handbags- Reminiscent of the old style suitcase type bags

Houndstooth-  This pattern is especially good for work wear.  (Skirts, Shoes, Scarves, Coats)
Black and white patterns always make for a classic look.

Sunburst Mirrors- These mirrors add some bling and metallic feel to any room.  Placing them over a fireplace or bed creates a classic and retro feel.

Woven Rugs- Flat woven area rugs with graphic designs and a multicolored pallet work in virtually any room in your home.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Interview with Super Sweet Tshirts

Please tell us a bit about yourself?
I Moved here about 10 years ago from Rochester. I was always into art, but as many of us know, making money with art can be tricky. I was always big into music as well, and what goes hand in hand with the music scene are totally awesome shirts. So I learned how to screen print, basically making shirts for things that I find awesome. It kinda captures a niche audience.
woody allen shirt for Ann.

What do you create? How long have you been working on your craft/art?
I create what I call, "Tribute Shirts', where I pay tribute to the things I love, like bad action movies, cult hits, bad TV shows, obscure jazz acts, etc. Basically whenever i think, "Hey, I wish there was a shirt available for this weird thing"....then i make it.

How did you come up with your store name?
There is a terrible skateboarding movie called, "Grind". The kid in the movie created a skate team called "Super Duper Skates" or something stupid, and of course I loved it, so I kinda borrowed that.

How does Buffalo influence your work?
Buffalo is the perfect place for me. Nothing comes easy for this city, yet it gets better and better each day through hard work. I was never great at school and was always the kind of person that wanted to just dive into something and get good at it. Buffalo and I are a good fit, I could have moved anywhere, but this city is what I call home.

What inspires you?
My wife and, in a few weeks, my kid!

What is the best thing about having a etsy shop?
Theres things I love and things I hate about etsy. Its by far the best online place to sell handmade goods. I would say the best thing about etsy are the people and the customers. I sell all over the internet and have my own online store as well. the customers on etsy have more of an appreciation for what goes into the work.

How do you promote your work to the world?
You have to look at promotion like a spider web. Everyone wants to just have this one stop place to start advertising and then, all of a sudden, business just starts pouring in. Thats not how it works. It takes time, patience, and planning. You post here, open a store there, interlink your sites all over, while at the same time, developing a reputation. Thats the key part. I'm not perfect, and occasionally I'll mess up an order. But customer service is what I pride myself on. If i am awake, Ill respond in minutes usually.

What is the hardest part about selling online?
For me, its the communicating any problems with orders via text (email etc). Its hard to be able to understand the tone. Is this person totally pissed, or are they cool about it but they just want it fixed? Or if I have an issue with someones order and I need to contact them, I always know if I see , that the person probably checks their email once a year....then all of a sudden i have no way of contacting this person that just ordered.

Where can your work be found locally?
It can't actually. Sometimes I do shows around Christmas time, but I'm so busy online, that its hard to find time. I've had a few offers from some shops in the area, but they take so much of the cut, that its not really worth me doing.

Do you have any up and coming art shows/craft shows that you would like us to know about?
I don't currently, but if you haven't checked out the folks at Mayday Underground in Rochester, they are by far the best in the business around here. They throw top notch shows and I had a blast doing them. I wish we had something like that here.

Do you have any advise or suggestions for new sellers to etsy?
Be patient, your not going to quit your job any time soon. And don't just depend on etsy to get you sales, get aggressive, start your own website, open an ebay store, start networking your name.

do you do this full or part time? If full time how did you get yourself to that status?
I am full time now. Its taken about 10 years maybe. Theres no quick way to do it, or there wasnt for me anyways. I did live shows, met with people, while at the same time sold online in every outlet I could. I blogged, I forumed, its a lot of work. You basically need to insert yourself everywhere. Also if you have an idea for a product, look online, if you see there are 14 other people with the same idea, pass on it. If there are 2 people with a similar idea, then make yours the best.

Have you had any formal training in what you do?
Not at all, self taught.

Do you teach any classes in what you do?

Where do your ideas come from?
Things I loved growing up.
Steven Seagal Earth Day T-Shirt Original Screen Printed T-shirt
What do you do when your creatively blocked?
I start watching movies, and take a break. Forcing ideas is bad. Also our smartphones have notepads, any time you have an idea when your out and about, take an note.

Where can you be found online?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Photo tips 7: Watermarking your images

The internet being the internet, images are copied every day. Your product photos have probably been saved to someone's computer, bookmarked on Pinterest, shared on Tumblr, Wanelo or many other social media websites.

These bookmarks are great free publicity. However, links can get quickly lost or erased, and that lovely image of your product may become "dead" — it doesn't lead anywhere. Have you ever clicked on a Pinterest pin, only to have it just be an uploaded image? Then you have to search online to find the product, using random keywords that you hope will get you results. What a pain! Or what about that picture you saved of a cool skirt, and now you have no idea what website it came from?

If you put your shop name on your images, any unmodified image can roam all over the place and still direct traffic back to your site. Using photo editing programs, you can incorporate your shop URL or even your logo onto images. This is called watermarking or, less commonly, a DOG (digital on-screen graphic, which primarily refers to television). Watermarks are technically marks made in physical paper to show authenticity, like in checks or stationery, but the word has been co-opted for use referring to text over digital images.

Etsy policy allows photos to have digital text superimposed on them:

They are easy enough to do in photo editing programs. Just use the type tool to write out your watermark, then save the image. Make sure it's a JPG file, not a PSD (you will have to "flatten" the image).

Here are a few examples of how to get your shop name/URL into your images.

1. Show your product with packaging that has your shop name.

Pros: Doubles as an image to showcase your packaging, gets your name in the image
Cons: Not very treasury-friendly as a main image. Can be distracting from the product. If you have a "common" shop name, people may not find you if they simply Google your shop name, and won't know to search Etsy.

Another nice example from Starlight Woods. This shop actually uses the packaging as their main image for almost everything.

2. Add text on top of your images.

Pros: Gets your URL onto all your images in a neutral way
Cons: Can be easily erased, text can distract from product or become unreadable when scaled down

You can use transparent text to go over an image, but I wouldn't recommend it. It obscures the product so much that it may turn off customers, and you definitely won't be included in treasuries with this kind of mess:


I would only suggest transparent watermarks for shops that sell original artwork, photography or prints. Those images are much more likely to be stolen and reused.

Photo tips will be continuing on a bi-weekly basis. As always, thanks for reading, and please ask any questions or suggest future topics in the comments.

Jocelyn |

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Art Shows 101: Change of Seasons

As seasons change, so do art show venues. While there are still a few large outdoor events coming up, Autumn and Winter shows tend to be smaller -- tucked into more intimate spaces. I'm gearing up for the upcoming holiday season and need to concentrate! I'll catch up with you in a few weeks with new posts geared towards smaller, indoor shows.

Until next time, keep creating!