This summer I finally decided to do something that I have been meaning to try for years. I finally had the courage to open an Etsy shop and put my work out there in a different way. Ever since I have started to post my work on Instagram, I learned that you can be an artist, and you do not have to rely on the art world to make a living. In recent years, many creators have been able to sustain themselves by selling prints and originals directly to their followers and friends. This has allowed many people to actually live their dreams of being a full-time artist in a way that they never could have before.
Original artwork by Bethany Habegger
Seeing how successful many people are with opening online shops, I thought that it would be a good way to start earning a living as an artist. So far, I have found it to be a really exciting process. When I receive an order, one of the things I look forward to the most is packaging the item to send out. I find it to be very relaxing and it allows me to be creative in other ways, like with the decorations I use on the envelopes. I also find a lot of inspiration from other shops on the website. I have recently found a lot of Black-owned businesses through Etsy that make wonderful products.
One of the first shops I found was LinguaNigra, a handcrafted natural jewelry store. They sell beautiful metal pieces that would add a unique flair to anyone’s collection. All of the jewelry is inspired by nature and each item is intricate and detailed. Another wonderful shop I found was Shadrieka, a shop full of artist prints and original artworks. Most images are from artist Shadra Strickland’s personal experience. Along with her artwork, she has also illustrated many award-winning books. Both of these shops are great examples of how artists can be supported and make a living from their work. Of course, they have been on the website longer and have a lot of experience, but I feel that looking through their shops can help smaller creators get started.
It is very intimidating to put yourself out there, and I am just at the beginning of my artist journey. I do not have a ton of experience yet, but I encourage anyone to consider getting their creations out in the world. It is hard to take that leap of faith, but it is always worth trying. To anyone who is an artist and has thought about opening an Etsy shop, I would say just go for it!