wtorek, 27 grudnia 2016

Brushing up tags - how to sell on Etsy?

If you are here on my MinkuLUL blog for the scarfs and painting on silk, this post might not be interesting.
There will be some 'Etsy seller' slang.
You have been warned.

Here's a cute pic I did some time ago to make it up for you ;)

If you already have a shop on Etsy...

... and if you feel as overwhelmed with Etsy constant changes as I am, you might think this is a good moment for brushing up your tags.
Oh, they do change. All the time. They changed the search engine.
And now it is...

... a tag - war! 

 oh yes, it is a battle against time (where to get some free time, huh?) amd a battle against all you already know about search engine on Etsy.

Do you know what they did?

No low-profile hearts or favs, please. 

That's what the Etsy people seems to be saying to us. No low-grade links. No heart-ing games, no "fav and run" games on Teams, just social media or google ad links.
I have seen it happened during last two months. Last year I would start promoting by putting my new listings to my favorite teams, to play some games with them... no more! I have stopped doing that.  
I do believe that low-grade clicks, hearts and favorites makes my listings perform worse in the search engine.

Let us see your tags!

But no one - word tag. They do prefer us to be more specific now, like using "silk scarf" instead of two separate tags "silk" and "scarf". I know this is not so new but I feel like lately only the two or more word tags are working.

Let us see your title!

No more crowded, long titles, it seems. I think that shorten ones work better. No repeating (this is specially hard). I had listings with titles like "silk scar with strawberry scarf with fruit red strawberry scarf' and so on... of course it had more sense than this ;) but you get my drift. Now just one 'silk scarf' for me in the title. JUST ONE!
And of course you have to put tags all around your description. But don't simply copy the title. Make it more real - time speech. Make it 'organic'

Finally, the listing itself.

I am trying to promote my Waterlily silk scarf. I have tinkered with the description, tags and renewed it.
Water Lilies silk scarf - on ETSY

I have read the seller guide about improving your SEO on Etsy seller handbook (HERE) - it is a great read, along with other articles.
I have checked my Waterlily silk scarf status on EtsyRank (HERE) - fantastic tool! You can (among other things) check the tag popularity, search for synonyms or compare it with other tags!
I, being not native English speaker, would not think that 'water lily' would be more common than 'waterlily'! huh!

ufff... finally, my work was done. Now off to social media, to promote... but that's a topic for another post.

sobota, 19 listopada 2016

Art Nouveau on scarfs - Jugendstil creations

Art Nouveau - my favorite style

In polish we call it secession,  meaning 'leaving the old behind' - so true! This is an art of nature, flowering ornamentation, asymmetric and pure beauty.
We had many wonderful artists creating in this amazing style, and Stanislaw Wyspianski and Alphonse Mucha are my absolute idols.
S. Wyspiański Iris flowers
Art Nouveau art is my source of inspiration, and sometimes I use it as a reference or even a base for my silk paints design. I love transferring Alphonse Mucha masterpieces into wearables!

A. Mucha 'Rose'

The scarfs in Art Nouveau style

Oh I have so many! Here are some photos of my designs. Enjoy!

Angel of Fire and Ice based on A.Mucha  'Feather'
Peacock Feather inspired by Art Nouveau ornaments
Mucha Rose scarf based on... A. Mucha 'Rose' :)
Firebird and Poppies inspired by Art Nouveau
Mucha Lilies scarf based on... A. Mucha art 'Lilies'
Angel Wings inspired by Art Novueau style
Oh, the list goes on and on, as I really feel I am one of the Art - Nouveau artists. Hope to prepare a Pinterest board with Art Nouveau pics for you!
Drop me a note if you want to be included, I will make the Pinterest board an Open Board.

czwartek, 10 listopada 2016

Poppies and Firebird: from design to painted scarves!

The Poppies and Firebird silk scarves

My latest creation in MinkuLUL shop, the commissioned scarf size 34 x 34 inches.

Silk scarves Poppies and Firebird on ETSY
I have painted it with a Setasilk silk paints, to get the most vivid red there is! (I think this red is even more intense that the one I have from acrylic... not to mention watercolors... this is THE RED!!) 

The beginning... a design!

I had a pleasure to work with a great lady from US, who wanted a red and gold scarf with flowers and Art Nouveau touch. We e-mailed a bit about the size and ideas, then I created 3 pictures for her to choose from.

 We e-mailed a bit more and so the final version was created!

I am drawing the designs with colored pencils... taking pictures with my phone did a nasty number on the quality and colors... thankfully I have my camera back!

The silk painting - all the fun!

While painting - Setasilk silk paints are amazing!
Silk scarf Poppies and Firebird
Silk scarf Poppies and Firebird

Silk scarf Poppies and Firebird

I am wondering, is "scarf" rectangle and long, and "scarves" square?
Hm.... or just two words for the same thing?

sobota, 8 października 2016

From sketch to scarf - creation proces!

Working with customers

This is probably the best thing about my job - silk painter - I am creating wearable art for ppl from around the world. I mean it! I had my scarfs sent to USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Brazil, RSA, China, Russia, all of the UE countries and so on and I appreciate every order I get. But sometimes the fun begins one step before painting. Sometimes I get to work with my customer on a custom scarf.
It is amazing, to have your ideas talked over with someone living in the other side of the globe. I am sitting here, in cold Cracow and there is someone thousand miles away, creating with me.

The Peacock Feathers scarf - custom order

Peacock silk scarf - on ETSY here!

It started with an Etsy message.
Nice lady inquired about a custom scarf for her mother. We decided on a size, silk type, an inspiration and color set, so I could present her with first sketches.

VERY rough sketches for the Peacock Feathers silk scarf - colored pencils

She chose one of the designs and told me what needs to be worked on. Based on her ideas I drawn bigger, more detail sketch.

More detailed sketch for Peacock Feathers silk scarf

We talk a bit more about colors. It was vital to my customer that the scarf will be vivid.

Once the design was accepted, I started painting.

Painting the custom order

It all begins with a gutta outline. The Peacock scarf is so big, that it took all of my studio!
It's me, MinkuLUL with the Peacock Feathers scarf

Here you can see half painted scarf. It has to be ironed, washed, put on stencils one more time and... yes, painted again, so the outline will be colorful. It enriches the design if you use colors instead of just leaving it white.
Huh, half done!

So here it is! Ta-da! 

As Sheldon from BBT says "Short form of Ta-ta-da-da!"
Close - up for the Peacock Feathers silk scarf!
Peacock Feathers silk scarf
Peacock Feathers silk scarf - on Etsy HERE

Wanna work with me on a custom scarf specially painted for you?
Please visit my ETSY shop and click the REQUEST CUSTOM ORDER button or just drop me a line in the comment and I will gladly contact you.

poniedziałek, 3 października 2016

Fox scarf and getting out of your comfort zone - art style!

Comfort zone sometimes has to be broken! 

I had lovely summer, painting in the garden, doing what I love the most: watercolor style, Art Nouveau style, lots of flowers.

 Yay, painted the Iris scarf in the garden in the country side!

Here we go!

Now, back in town, I decided it's time to do something spontaneous and different!

It's essential for painters to push their limits, experiment and find new ways for expressing themselves. I did that painting a Fox scarf.

This design is quite unusual for me.
First, the color set: red, crimson, a bit of orange and gray.
Then, the composition: I tried to simplify Japanese landscape; no ornaments, no - as my art teacher used to say - no unnecessary "chatter".

Simple lines, two foxes and strong colors - that was the trick! Hope you will like it!

Oh, btw. if you are experiencing an art-block, there's no better way to get out of it, than get out of the comfort zone with your creations!

wtorek, 20 września 2016

If you can hand paint silk... why not hand drawn on it? New scarfs!

Still here and kickin'!

Oh, so much time has passed since the last entry!
So much have happened!

Our family is +1 now!
My sweet boy does not like to give me a lot of time for painting ;) go figure! Still, I am working!

As Monty Phyton would say
... and now for something completely different!

This Wing scarf is hand drawn on a white natural silk called Habotai, non transparent and a bit glossy. It is done with a special pen filled with silk paint!

 In a close-up you can see how detailed the Angel Wings scarf is! oh it was A LOT of work, a week if I am not mistaken. Totally worth it, tho! 

With hand drawn silk the important thing is to remember, there will be a front side and a back side, so the design must make sense on both sides. You can see it is a bit lighter on the back side, but all the nessesery lines and details are still visible!

And finally, a small teaser for the next post, with hand painted and then hand drawn silk scarf Sunflowers. Here they are, ready to be packed and shipped!