My name is Dave D'Incau Jr. I'm an illustrator and 'hobbyist' from Pittsburgh, Pa and I have been a full-time artist in home decor for four years and a freelance illustrator for about seven. I opened my Etsy Store about 2 years ago. I managed to sell 2 tee shirts that I had printed to a random customer and another screen printed piece to a friend that I went to college with.
So, my success in having visibility and sales has been minimal to say the least. I feel pretty confident in my work as it stands, but have considered that maybe my prices are a bit high and my overall branding was not so pronounced.
I began acquiring canvas prints of illustrations that I have done in the past through an online vendor when they offer prints for over a 75% discount. The quality of these prints is actually very good at a very affordable rate and I have yet to have a bad experience using them. For example, I can get a 16" x 20" canvas print for less than $20 and decided that $45 would be a reasonable price to ask before shipping. Up until this point, I have been giving some away as gifts and displaying them at coffee houses and brunch cafes around the city in hopes of selling them (which I have sold a few). But, when it comes to setting rates I'm always unsure and feel as though I'm either going way too high or way below the worth of my services/products. I do believe in 'you ask for what you believe your worth is' and I continue to follow that despite much success (perhaps I should reconsider that).
Anyhow, here are some things that I have considered and attempted to execute in my rebranding.
• I have opened a Stamps.com account with a scale so that I can already have the shipping figured out.
• I have created a consistent look in the presentation of my prints for sale by taking a photograph of a brick wall at a local cafe and taking high quality photographs of the canvas prints. I then masked them and adjusted the levels and colors to be accurate to the actual representation of the print. I may later mock up the digital images instead of using the photographed versions for a cleaner look. I then applied a drop shadow to present a more realistic look.
• I created a banner for my Etsy Store, but kept my avatar and profile picture the same. Those two things should probably be updated, especially the avatar so to better brand my 'name' as it were.
• I watched one of the Marmalade videos and signed up for a free account to see the ratings of my posts, which were very low... like D-'s and such. So, I then went back and updated and used ALL of my available tags and tried to apply those tags into the Titles of my posts to offer a better chance of visibility.
It has been about a week since I've made all these changes and maybe I've noticed a hand full more of visitors, but nothing significant. I'm thinking that I either need to lower my asking prices or reconsider the quality of my work. I know that I'm not offering a consistent theme in my illustrations, but that's not necessarily what I do. I am interested in many types of approaches of art making and styles, but I feel that there is a 'look' to my work that is recognizable to me. Who knows?
I enjoyed this class and learned some things that I was not aware of and it has made me reconsider many more things that I have done in the past and will do in the future with my store. Thank you for getting this far if you've read all the way through. I write like I ramble sometimes and I have no time to edit right now... my lunch break ended like 5 minutes ago.
Here is a link to my store- Fun with Dave D'Incau Jr.
Here is a link to my website- D'Incau Jr. Illustration