Selling Food Art To Buy Actual Food

Selling Food Art To Buy Actual Food - student project

Up until about a year ago, I worked mainly as a textile artist doing antique restoration. I come from a long line of kitchen folk though and worked on and off as a cook/caterer for most of my life. Once I started painting food, my two passions found a way to get along and share time. 

Selling Food Art To Buy Actual Food - image 1 - student project

I did have an Etsy store but it was very neglected as most of my quilted pieces were one of a kind and sold privately without having to list them. So while I'm technically re-branding myself, it feels more like working toward a store launch from scratch. The bones are there but everything needs filling out. Right now it's populated with lineart digital stamps that I do just as a side project.

Production

Before I can start listing items however, I've had to figure out the production end. I know that Etsy has started manufacturing items and that selling the art as digital downloads has been an option for a while but I've been burned before from a few of the sites out there that let you upload your art for on-demand production. There were issues with product quality in my opinion so I'd like to have a little more control over that at this point. I would love to hear if anyone has had experience with the manufacturing side of Etsy!

I spent the week doing some research into local and online printers. I've been a member of the printmakers' association here for an age but I've never taken advantage of their digital suite. They're a fully stocked printshop with a wide variety of good paper and a huge industrial printer so I could go as big as I felt like shipping (not very big yet, baby steps!) The turnaround time for them to do the work is ~2 weeks but, as a member, I can rent the room for the day and do all of my printing for $10+paper cost if I do the work myself. I'm thinking that if I include in the listing details that I mail out all packages on Monday (or other arbitrary day) of each week, I can make that work until I can purchase my own printer. I've come across a few similar listings that do that.

Branding

I've updated the cover and shop logo with images that I've got on my website. I'll be redoing the cover using one of the scene builders though, the current image is definitely a placeholder. I do like the logo though ;D

Selling Food Art To Buy Actual Food - image 2 - student project

While a lot of my images are very simple with a lot of whitespace, I do also have pieces that have more background scenes. For some cohesion with my photography, I'm going to switch to a consistent mockup. I liked the marble with the food because it of course reminds me of countertops. Eventually, I'd like to incorporate some of my paintings into stationary etc and I can continue to incorporate marble into the picture for that..

Selling Food Art To Buy Actual Food - image 3 - student project

Selling Food Art To Buy Actual Food - image 4 - student project

In terms of writing copy for the listing, I've had a cooking blog for over a decade so I do not lack for stories! I've got some pretty work-in-progress shots for some of the pieces so I've been keeping a closer eye out as I work for opportunities like that to include (and potentially re-stage)!

Next Steps

I feel like there's so much I've not included in here yet but I'm off to a good start. Going forward for the next few days, I'm going to be focusing on the following:

1. Nailing down a regular day with the printmakers'. I'm also going to do a little more research on the digital options on Etsy as a plan B

2. Getting a first listing up. I know which of my pieces have gotten the best response on social media and they seem to be the best place to start.

3. Redo some of the photography on pieces that I have ready to list so that they're more consistent with the rest.

Selling Food Art To Buy Actual Food - image 5 - student project

Thank you for the great start, Amarylis! I have so much more to do now but I'm really looking forward to it. And thank you so much for the SEO resources! Tagging is a daunting task, especially when you're limited in how many you can use, and it's been a huge help already.;D

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I dropped a few items into the picture just to see. I think I like it!

Selling Food Art To Buy Actual Food - image 6 - student project

Jody Linn
Artist, conservator, cake provider, insomniac.