BlockPartyPress sells 1000 online

BlockPartyPress’ Tamara Shea is a prolific polymer clay artist, chalking up her 1000th online sale at the end of June. Her cloud nine design is a new one in her series of designs that combine her love of block printing and painting with polymer.

I marvel at her work and at the effort that such volume demands. Look here and here to witness the quality and consistency of her many appealing pieces.

The recent American Craft Council-sponsored conversation between artists from traditional and trendy marketing backgrounds got me thinking about the young savvy marketers in our craft. Names like Meredith Dittmar, Heather Powers, Shannon LeVart, Betsy Baker, Eva Soehjar, and Tamara Shea spring to mind (there are many others). These artists are busy with online galleries like Etsy, Kaboodle, Trunkt, DaWanda, Stylehive, Flickr…to say nothing of the blogs and social networks on which they stay active.

I’ve heard a number of artists my age disparage online galleries but it’s hard to dismiss the numbers. Both camps can learn something from each other and this talk (audio only), though it’s a bit slow in places, gets the dialogue started. Give a listen.

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  • reply Loretta Lam ,

    wow. an hour and a half later my head is spinning with ideas regarding the “state of the art”. This is an important conversation – whichever side of the techno-line you are on. I really “get” the idea of new and hot ways to market you work – but it always feels like it’s adding hours to my daily work load, not freeing me up at all. Finding a comfortable way to integrate your online presence into your art/life is definitely a challenge for us middle aged types. Tx again Cynthia

    • reply Judy Dunn ,

      Tamara has a distinctive style, and is a marketing whiz! She is someone to watch, especially if you want to go the route of on-line shops. I don’t think there is one “right” way to sell your work. It is more about finding what fits you best, and then “making it work”. Tamara is definitely doing that!

      • reply Tamara Shea ,

        Wow! Thanks so much Cynthia and Judy! I totally agree that you need to find what works for you. When I started my business, I was a stay at home mom on a very tight budget with a husband who worked 7 days a week, so doing shows and more traditional forms of marketing were either too difficult or too expensive for me. Finding a ton of free and inexpensive places to market on the internet was perfect for me. There is a lot of time involved but if you weigh it with the costs of more traditional advertising I think it evens out. Social networking has been really great for me. I’ve made friends and helped spread the word about my work. I think blogging is the new word of mouth and can reach many more people than just friends and family. Since my littlest is off to school in the Fall and I will be claying full-time, I have even started doing more shows and local events, so again you have to find what works for you and your business. I think keeping an open mind is important. The DIY/Crafting/indie/handmade movement has raised many questions about what is art and what is craft, old vs. new , internet vs. more traditional methods of selling and pricing. I think these are all important things to consider and discuss. Thanks for opening up the discussion here as well. I really think there is room for all of us. To me art and creating is the most important thing.

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        • I'm Cynthia Tinapple, an artist, curator, and leader in the polymer clay community for over 20 years.

          On this blog I showcase the best polymer clay art online to inspire and encourage you. I also send out weekend extras in the premium newsletter, StudioMojo.

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