My shops made an appearance over at HandmadeSuccess.com:
and the accompanying article has some really helpful advice and tips for fellow small online businesses and e-tailers. This really resonated true with me:
"How often do you walk into a brick and mortar store, find a specific item you’ve been looking for, and buy it there and then? If you’re anything like me, this scenario happens a lot less often than it used to."
I think sometimes, as artists, we focus more on the creative aspect of what we do more so than the equally, if not more important, aspect of business. Sometimes I like to do art for art's sake - for my own selfish purposes, where I am the sole consumer. Realistically though, I need to think of the bigger picture. The majority of the time, I realize that I am no different than a place that offers a product that the consumer has to want. I have to figure out who my target market and audience is, and how to appeal to them. This is a never-ending process, and hopefully, I'll be able to successfully do it!
I know I did not receive enough of this kind of advice when I was in school and I encourage anyone seriously considering art as a full-time career to really ask yourself the tough questions and view yourself not only as this romanticized artist, but as a real business owner trying to make it.