Category Archives: original artwork

How to turn your Passion into Profit

American artist Janet Farthing sells her paintings online! "Ireland" is SOLD!

Do you consider yourself an artist? Have you ever wondered if anyone would buy your art work? Are you interested in turning your passion into profit?

There is no better time to share your gift with the world. The internet makes it easier than ever to promote your masterpieces and earn an income.

One easy way to do this is by starting an online shop on Etsy or Ebay. Since it is free to start your own Etsy shop online (as it is with Ebay) and since Etsy is “the online marketplace for buying and selling all things handmade,” let’s go over some quick tips that will guide you through starting your very own Etsy shop:

  1. First, know what you can sell on Etsy: Vintage items (twenty or more years old), crafting supplies (handmade or commercial), and products that you have handmade. For a more in-depth look at exactly what you may sell on Etsy, visit http://www.etsy.com/help/article/147.
  2. To get started, you must sign up for an Etsy account; follow this link to do that https://www.etsy.com/join.
  3. Once you have an account with Etsy, you will need to register as a seller. For instructions, see http://www.etsy.com/help/article/125.
  4. “When you sign up to be a seller, you’ll get your own easy-to-use online shop. You can customize it with a banner, fill out a profile and set your shop policies.” For instructions on setting up your Etsy shop, see http://www.etsy.com/help/article/246. This step should be fun! Use your imagination and your Etsy shop to express who you are.
  5. Once you have your Etsy shop, you will need to list your items. For step by step instructions on creating listings, visit  http://www.etsy.com/help/article/187. It helps very much to have a camera and to add pictures of your items. If you don’t have these resources, perhaps a friend is willing to help. For use of its website, Etsy charges a small fee on each sold item; to read about these fees, visit http://www.etsy.com/sell/fees.

Below are some very helpful links for creating a successful online business:

-Tips for making a great, buyable product: http://littleput.typepad.com/me/2008/01/tip-2-make-a-gr.html

-Choosing an Etsy name (you may want to read this before registering for an Etsy account): http://www.piddix.com/your-etsy-name.htm and http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2008/shop-makeover-series-whats-in-a-name/.

-Making a banner for your Etsy shop- http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2007/skill-share-making-a-banner/.

http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2008/a-beginners-guide-to-starting-a-shop-on-etsy/ is packed with links on subjects such as creating your profile, pricing, budgeting, shipping, shop policies, photographing your product, your first sale, promoting your shop, and more. This is a wonderful all-in-one resource link!

Whether you are a seasoned artist or just getting started, chances are you may have a wonderful, artful, handmade product others would love to buy. Today may be the perfect day to take a step toward selling your product and earning extra income from your talents!

If you choose to start an online shop, will you leave us a comment and let us know how things are going for you?

Image  made available by janet_farthing on Flickr through Creative Common License

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What Every Artist Should Know About Copyright (www.segmation.com)

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All artists should be aware of copyright – that is, the exclusive rights that you, as the creator of your art, are granted from the moment your artwork is created.

Because you are the copyright owner of your original artwork, you have the sole right to distribute your art and make reproductions of it. No one else can do this without your consent. If they do, it is illegal and you can take legal action.

Technically, the moment you create your artwork, it is copyrighted. While it might be helpful to draw or paint the copyright symbol © onto your art (followed by the year and your name), this symbol is no longer necessary to protect your copyright. It’s more of a visual reminder to let others know that your art is copyrighted.

However, if you should ever take someone to court because they infringed upon your copyright, the only way to get the utmost in legal protection is to register your copyright with the US Copyright Office. Ideally you should do this immediately after the artwork is finished.

If the artwork is registered with the US Copyright Office, offenders can be held liable for up to $30,000 in statutory damages or even $150,000 if you can prove that they already knew your art was copyrighted but reproduced it anyway.

Registering your copyright is easy. You can fill out the form entirely online at the website of the US Copyright Office, pay the fee, and upload images of your art. Once processing is complete, they will snail mail you a certificate of registration. Even though that may take a few months, your copyright is officially registered from the date you filled out the form, made the payment and uploaded your art.

The cost to register your art is $35, but if you register your artwork as a “series”, you can register as many works of art as you want (as long as they were created in the same year) for one single fee of $35. For instance, if you created 12 landscape paintings in 2010, you can register all 12 landscapes under the same claim for a single $35 fee. This is a great way to save money on registration fees.

In short, it’s always a wise idea to protect your copyright by registering your art with the US Copyright Office. If and when your art becomes wildly popular, you may need that legal protection if anyone infringes upon your copyright.

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