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The amazing art of ironwelding

Fri Aug 28, 2015, 3:00 PM


Your official Artisan Crafts group.


I urge you to visit ironwelding's gallery and read his story, it's full of inspiration and even an important life lesson. His modern, minimalistic and functional designs are very eye-catching. I would love to have my house furnished by him!

ironwelding (Sebastien Renau) joined our community 3 weeks ago, but his gallery is already full of incredible furniture and constructions. He resides in France, he designs and builds furniture, lamps, staircases, verandas and anything he can craft with iron. I often read messages from artists and artisans too afraid to follow their dreams, Sebastien proves that you should always devote your life to what you love.

Dsc7098 2 by ironwelding

Few years ago I was a lawyer after a doctorate in private law, at the end of 2008 I had a big motorbike accident, I should be dead but I had very big luck and today no one can guess I had such a big crash. During the 6 months in hospital I had time to think about the goal of life, and I understood a stupid thing:

you only live once...


So I started to learn and practice welding alone during weekends and holidays during 2 years. Then when I had enough model and experience I decided to leave my job and start a new life ;) (Wink)

I never regret my choice.


Untitled by ironwelding

I don't consider myself as a real artist, more as craftsman... I design and make things with iron, wood, glass, concrete. I try to find a balanced combination between design, functionality and simple materials. Tools I use the most are grinder and welding machine (MIG).

Dsc7206 2 2 by ironwelding

Like every creators and designer, my inspiration take place in my history, my past, my taste. I often go in design exposure and website, then my brain melt all this ;) (Wink)

You can see more of Sebastien's work in his website: www.mobilier-rs-design.fr

Untitled by ironweldingDsc7193 by ironweldingDsc9409 4 by ironweldingUntitled by ironweldingUntitled by ironweldingDsc9439 by ironweldingDsc7155 2 by ironwelding



Crafty Features

Tue Aug 25, 2015, 3:00 PM


Your official Artisan Crafts group.


Here's some recent submissions to the Artisan Crafts gallery that I found interesting and think they deserve more attention :) (Smile) I hope that you'll enjoy them, don't forget to fave, watch and comment on anything you like!

Sweet french palmier cookies silver stud earrings by LaNostalgie05Dollhouse Miniature 1:12 Labrador Retriever Dogs by heartfeltcaninesGlowing Cheshire Cat Vial Necklace-SOLD by Lustuad
Cobalt Flower Earrings by JadebutterflyDesigns
Image by Thejoznz
Honeydew Carriage by ChuncarvThe Family Photo by alin463
Pink Garden Snortum by IngaLamagra
4-Season-Dragons by Katinka-Duval
Tall Green Bird Effigy Water Pipe by slidercat
siamese kitten by SaniAmaniCrafts


My Daily Deviation Highlights

Journal Entry: Mon Aug 24, 2015, 8:27 PM


I was tagged by Brookette so here we go! :love: this was so hard to do :stare:

Welcome to a Community Volunteer project in which we will be highlighting our favourite Daily Deviations featured within the recent weeks! We would like to encourage the community to join in on this project by simply going through the Daily Deviations page and collecting some of their favourite pieces of art within a journal titled "My Daily Deviation Highlights"! We hope this project will help spread awareness and love for Daily Deviations and our fellow deviant artists!

Use the hashtag #DDHighlights so we can find your journals! La la la la

Nana Nouveau by n00brevolutionAdvance by ZahirBatinWaikiki Love by AndrewShoemakerFishbowl by JasonChanArtSlavic mythology. Mermaid. by VasylinaHunter's Dream by GoldenDanielLightning show by TonyLeBastard

And of course:
Warhammer 40000 Inquisitor cosplay by my99realityOzma of Oz (Return to Oz) Cosplay Costume Gown by glimmerwood

You may choose to feature deviations from all categories, or you can focus your journals on a specific category such as Photography, Fan Art, Manga/Anime or whatever suits you! This is a very open project in which creativity in the way you choose to highlight Daily Deviations is welcome and encouraged!

What have you loved this week?

I tag: PirateLotus-Stock, cakecrumbs, kayanah, Beltaneh, MayEbony and anyone reading this that feels like sharing :love: let me know so that I can see it!


Everything will be all right in the end. If it's not all right, then it's not the end.

Crafty Features

Sat Aug 22, 2015, 4:00 PM


Your official Artisan Crafts group.


Here's some recent submissions to the Artisan Crafts gallery that I found interesting and think they deserve more attention :) (Smile) I hope that you'll enjoy them, don't forget to fave, watch and comment on anything you like!

Black Moon Filigree Head Chain by dimundi-official
Assassin's Creed - White book by MilleCuirs
Custom Stablemate American Pharoah by VolpeArtica08
HIV Virion Fused Glass Dish 1 by trilobiteglassworks
Misty Forest Raven by CD-Ceramics
Hensel and Gretel by Jssvoboda
Forest Faerie - Leather Mask by mightyfolor
Charmander on Pokeball Glass Pipe by LeoGlass
Shiranui Okami by SaniAmaniCrafts
Sleeping Beauty's Castle - Miniature Pop-up Locket by Paper-PeachesIntricate Papercut - Heart by ParthKothekar

The amazing work of Xantosia

Wed Aug 19, 2015, 4:00 PM


Your official Artisan Crafts group.


Xantosia is relatively new to our community, she joined barely 6 months ago but she already has a gallery filled with talent and inspiration. If you haven't seen her work yet (she already received a DD) I invite you to visit her gallery and enjoy it!

Consolida regalis (Forking Larkspur) by XantosiaButterflies on meadow by XantosiaTropaeolum by XantosiaHelianthus by XantosiaTeapot by XantosiaIris by XantosiaGolden ostrich egg by XantosiaSilver egg by XantosiaGolden egg by Xantosia
Orchidaceae by XantosiaSpiderman by XantosiaFerret2 by XantosiaThe hummingbird and fuchsia by Xantosia


Crafty Features

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 2:28 PM


Your official Artisan Crafts group.


Here's some recent submissions to the Artisan Crafts gallery that I found interesting and think they deserve more attention :) (Smile) I hope that you'll enjoy them, don't forget to fave, watch and comment on anything you like!

New Earrings by borysbrytva
The Tavern (Right View) by AtriellMe
Tree Lady and Girl in Mourning by patriciaballoona
Grey-White Star Sapphire and Moonstone Bracelet by Sarahorsomeone
Cute Cloud Blanket by Brookette
Wolf Yin Yang by TrollGirl
Dr. Necro Victorian Physician Jug-Complete by thebigduluth
Donkey Kong Country Returns - Cross Stitch by darkbeanou
Katarina Swords by steelphunk
Hand Carved Floral Skull  Hobo Nickel by shaun750
tiny toys in a matchboxes by freedragonfly

Crafty Features

Thu Aug 13, 2015, 8:51 PM


Your official Artisan Crafts group.


Here's some recent submissions to the Artisan Crafts gallery that I found interesting :) I hope that you'll like them, don't forget to fave, watch and comment on anything you find interesting!

SoulString 03 Evil has no power by G-0509
Final Fantasy pillow by didi-gemini
Sailor Moon Painted Vans Shoe for Toddlers by Ceil
Tardis Left Corner by DarkeSolace
Wedding Cake - Roses by ginkgografix
Handmade Wooden Puzzle Cube (Deconstructed) by MadeInTheMancave
My turn to cook. by frideisel
Green lace epaulettes by arcus-caeruleus
Mini Sushi Cats by gojowind
Two plywood trivet by DominikPierog

DeviantArtist Questionnaire

Journal Entry: Fri Aug 7, 2015, 5:57 PM


  1. How long have you been on DeviantArt? 6 years :o

  2. What does your username mean? Talty is a pet name my little bro gave me long ago. My family, husband and closest friends call me Talty :)

  3. Describe yourself in three words. Smart, clumsy, socially-awkward (is that cheating?).

  4. Are you left or right handed? Right handed. Super right handed. My left hand is weak and stupid.

  5. What was your first deviation? A drawing, I had forgotten XD I thought maybe it was a photo of my cats. I think this is the last time I tried to draw seriously.
    Shinigami girl by Talty

  6. What is your favourite type of art to create? Crafts! I love love love love to craft. Creating something tangible and useful is amazing and rewarding!

  7. If you could instantly master a different art style, what would it be? TOO MANY OPTIONS! Maybe realistic drawing, singing, piano, photography, crochet, sewing...

  8. What was your first favourite? This! I still love it XD I've made a few to wrap gifts.
    Valentines Cake + Cake Box by milkbun

  9. What type of art do you tend to favourite the most? Crafts.

  10. Who is your all-time favourite deviant artist? I can't name just one person. So many talented artists!

  11. If you could meet anyone on DeviantArt in person, who would it be? maytel, moofestgirl, cakecrumbs, kayanah, :devkimchi-kawaiii:, and more! :la: Sorry I didn't mention more, I don't want to start listing and leave someone out.

  12. How has a fellow deviant impacted your life? chat-noir's tutorials introduced me to polymer clay, that was a huge impact in my life. The girls mentioned above have been great friends and sources of inspiration, so many amusing and touching moments have happened between us :love:

  13. What are your preferred tools to create art? Polymer clay, oven, blades.

  14. What is the most inspirational place for you to create art? My house XD specifically the dinner table. Which is actually the all-purpose table.

  15. What is your favourite DeviantArt memory? Every single time someone has told me I inspired them to pick up a craft, or try something new, or work with polymer clay :love: I still dream about teaching my craft, so when someone tells me that my tutorials helped them I feel all warm and fuzzy inside :love:




Everything will be all right in the end. If it's not all right, then it's not the end.

Crafty Features

Thu Aug 6, 2015, 9:29 PM


Your official Artisan Crafts group.


Here's some of the latest submissions to the Artisan Crafts gallery that I found interesting. Please don't forget to fave, comment and watch these talented artists!

Paired studs by KL-WireDreamgriffin by da-bu-di-bu-da
romantic lace shrug by somnia romantica by SomniaRomantica
Unique candle holder / suncatcher by illustrisdesigns
Dragon Tea Set - Baby Goldwing Dragon by rosepeonie
Crane and Ume Comb by Arleen
Axolotl by sushann
Faerie Forest - Moonlit Flower (Necklace) by prettypunkae
Joseph the Cat, Steampunk Pendant by IkushIkush
Bench Top by StephenSeBour
Galaxy Bentwood Ring 2 by SycoClown
Quilled Treble Clef II by Jenster1171
Wedding yorkie dog sculpture by SculpyPups

Crafted Cake Toppers Feature

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 6:11 PM


Your official Artisan Crafts group.


A few days ago was my second wedding anniversary, I was in the mood for some wedding-related crafts and I found a lot of amazing cake toppers :) There's something so romantic about a custom cake topper, I was amazed and touched by these! I hope that you'll like them too, and please let us know if you had a custom cake topper at your wedding! Did you craft it yourself? What's your ideal cake topper?

Don't forget to leave comments, faves and watches to all these amazing artists!

Love Birds gum paste by i-be-c
Retro 20s Wedding Cake Topper with a Modern Twist by hellinahandbag
Mopsegrob by Mini-figuren
Mokona Wedding Cake Toppers by Jakotsu-sama
Mushu + Bartok papercut by thesearejessicakes
Wedding Cake Topper by KawaiiRoxX
Day of the Dead wedding cake topper by claylindo
Wedding cake toppers by DragonsDust

Crafty Features

Tue Jul 28, 2015, 7:00 PM


Your official Artisan Crafts group.


Here's some of the most amazing Artisan Craft submissions I've seen lately. Please don't forget to :+fav:, comment and watch these amazing artists!

:.Silly Toothless.: by XPantherArtX
Roses embroidered by TetianaKorobeinyk
5th element stones by WhyteRaven
Green, Yellow and Black Marble Dipped Wine Glasses by IEGlassworks
Blue Dress by PaXingCai
More rice balls :3 by AlphaChoconess95
coucha cake by alys2Artisan Essential Oils by BonesAndButtonsJake Bath Bomb by NymphaeNovelties

Focusing on tutorials now

Journal Entry: Sat Jul 18, 2015, 9:35 AM


Hi everyone! How have you been? Just a quick update: for (at least) the rest of the year, I will be focusing on making polymer clay tutorials instead of commissions and things to sell. I love teaching, and one of my dreams includes teaching what I do in a small workshop, so for now I think YouTube is the closest I can get to that :D

I will be uploading a new tutorial every weekend on my English and Spanish YouTube channels, I accept requests for tutorials!
English: www.youtube.com/Taltybit
Spanish: www.youtube.com/Taltymx

I'm still unsure if I should make silent tutorials, or speak and give explanations while I craft. I would appreciate any feedback, what's easiest to understand? What's more interesting to watch?


Everything will be all right in the end. If it's not all right, then it's not the end.

Commissions closed

Journal Entry: Tue Jul 29, 2014, 4:57 PM


Just writing a quick journal to let you guys know I'm closing my commissions for the time being, I haven't been able to complete a few of my last commissions in time and I really hate disappointing my buyers. Besides, I've been doing commissions for several years now and I need to take a rest from it, work on some personal projects I've been meaning to do forever, and such.

I also closed my stores. I don't know how long it'll be, but a few months probably. If you really want a commission and don't mind waiting, then I guess you can still commission me :lol:

Edit: Barely one hour after writing this I received a commission from the only person I can't reject: my mom. Hi mom! When you read this don't feel bad, you didn't know, and it was an amusing coincidence.

On a side note, please send good wishes my way! One of my cats had surgery a few weeks ago to remove a bunch of tumors in her tiny body, we're hopping to receive the results from the biopsy tomorrow. We're really hoping it'll be nothing to worry about!


Everything will be all right in the end. If it's not all right, then it's not the end.


Would you play a game with me? :) I just put together some examples of crafts that look like something else, proof that crafters can do anything! Before you read the answers or the comments, try to guess what it really is... the answer may surprise you. After you're done, don't forget to visit these talented artists' galleries!

And don't cheat, I will know :stinkeye: This is for fun, to prove that crafts are awesome, and hopefully teach you about some new crafts.

Rules:
  • Don't click to open the deviation! The title can give away the answer.
  • Work with the preview image, I'll try to provide the best size possible.
  • They are all crafts, but try to guess the material and what kind of craft they are. Is it crochet? Sculpture? Cooking? Clay? Fabric? Stone?
  • Write your answers down and check the score at the end.
  • If you already knew one of these deviations and therefore you already know the answer, don't worry! It's a free point for you :)
  • Write a message letting us know your score!!

Example:
LEGO Stargate by Binkmeister
When you look at this, you may think it's a clay sculpture of a Stargate. But it's actually made out of Lego! :wow: (and if you don't know what a Stargate is, shame on you!)

Let's play! :iconexplodelaplz:

Craft #1

Fragile Vanity '6 by angelicetherreality

Craft #2

Koi Pond Sugar Art Piece by The-EvIl-Plankton

Craft #3

Chocolates without calories ( paper chocolates) by sombra33

Craft #4

Masquerade Cake by Kabanero

Craft #5

Miniature 1:12 Ragdoll Cat sculpture -- Tassel by Pajutee

Craft #6

Glue Pegacorn SOLD by Sovriin

Craft #7

Honey Bowl by Chuncarv

Craft #8

Baby Tyrannosaurus Rex Mascot Costume 1 by FUVL

Craft #9

Soap Cake by TheBloodMaiden

Craft #10

Pipe Cleaner Wolf by afiriti

Are you ready to see the answers?


Remember, don't cheat :stinkeye:
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:stinkeye:

Craft #1
Fragile Vanity '6 by angelicetherreality
This craft doesn't include fabric, this is a fullsize dress made out of paper.

Craft #2
Koi Pond Sugar Art Piece by The-EvIl-Plankton
It sure looks like a glass decoration, but this is a sugar sculpture made with isomalt.

Craft #3
Chocolates without calories ( paper chocolates) by sombra33
Many of you probably thought chocolate or polymer clay, but this is paper again!

Craft #4
Masquerade Cake by Kabanero
Looks like a beautiful sculpture or an artisan doll, but it's a cake!

Craft #5
Miniature 1:12 Ragdoll Cat sculpture -- Tassel by Pajutee
This is a tricky one, because everything is a craft! It looks like a real cat with a sewn Teddy bear, but everything is a miniature.

Craft #6
Glue Pegacorn SOLD by Sovriin
I'm willing to bet that no one will guess that this is made out of hot glue.

Craft #7
Honey Bowl by Chuncarv
The bowl looks like a delicate porcelain, but it's actually carved out of fruit!

Craft #8
Baby Tyrannosaurus Rex Mascot Costume 1 by FUVL
Did you see the wearer's legs? This is actually a costume, not a sculpture.

Craft #9
Soap Cake by TheBloodMaiden
I wish I could make my real cakes look this cute, but this is actually soap.

Craft #10
Pipe Cleaner Wolf by afiriti
This is one of my favorites ever - all that lovely fluffiness comes from pipecleaners! And you thought they were only good for kids :no:


Scores

0-1 Fresh Veggie: There's a lot you can still learn about crafts, please make sure to join CRArtisanCrafts!
2-3 Plushie Puppy: You did well, these were difficult examples!
4-5 Smart Cookie: No way you got this score by chance, great job!
6-7 Origami Hero: I'm impressed, not many could recognize so many crafts.
8-9 Gilded Star: So close! You sure know your crafts, be proud!
10 Master of Crafts: You deserve all my admiration, congratulations! :clap: (unless you cheated, in that case, I know it :stinkeye:).





I will critique your crafts.

Journal Entry: Sun Jun 8, 2014, 8:00 AM


Constructive criticism can really help us boost our art level, sometimes we know something can be improved but it's difficult to know it ourselves. Sadly, constructive criticism is rare. That's where I come in!

The last few years I've tried my best to learn as much as I can about as many crafts as possible, so I feel confident to give my opinion about most of them. I hope this will help some people that are looking for comments to improve their work :love:

I will pick the deviations that I find more interesting, or that I feel I can help the most. I will pick 5 or 10 deviations this time, and if you guys are interested I can repeat this often!

I will critique your craftsmanship, concept and photography. I will point the things that I like about your work, but I will also look for flaws or things that you can improve, and I will do my best to give you tips and recommendations. If you're only looking for positive comments, or if you can't endure being told that your work is not ~*perfect*~, please don't apply! I will try my best to be kind, but I know some people don't like being told that they did something wrong, no matter how tiny the flaw or how it's worded.

Rules:
  • All crafts are accepted.
  • No minimal or maximal craft level required.
  • No minimal or maximal views, faves, comments or watchers required.
  • No premium account required, if you can't enable critique I will leave a comment. If you have a premium account I recommend that you enable critique, that way the notification of my critique and your deviation will be seen by my watchers. Read more about enabling critique here.
  • Please post only three thumbs of your recent work that you would like me to critique. I will pick one.
  • If I didn't pick you, please don't get discouraged! :( I'm sorry I don't have the time to write critiques for everyone. I will probably try this again!



Everything will be all right in the end. If it's not all right, then it's not the end.

Monthly Food Challenge

Journal Entry: Tue Jun 3, 2014, 11:05 AM
Monthly Food Challenge
A three month premium membership will be awarded to one of the semi-sweeties members that participate in the challenge.

We have been running these challenges for three years now, we have to keep them challenging! So this time we’re shaking things a little: instead of randomly picking a winner from the participant pool, we’re going to pick the entry that makes the most creative use of the theme. Even if your crafting skills aren’t the best, but you had a great idea and were able to transmit it, you have a chance to win the 3 months subscription!


Theme of the month: Berries

For those of us in the northern hemisphere summer is almost here, the fruits are ripping all around! And if you’re in the southern hemisphere, you probably miss the colorful look of a meadow full of berries, so we hope this challenge will please everyone ;)

This month we’re asking you to craft something made out of berries, what kind of berries is entirely up to you. Are you a fan of strawberries? Blueberries? Blackberries? Raspberries? Cranberries? You only have two limitations: it has to be handmade out of clay and it must contain berries! Any edible fruit (real or fictitious) that includes “berry” is eligible.


Rules
**If any of these rules are ignored, you will be disqualified from winning the prize**
  • Participants have to be members of semi-sweeties
  • Submissions must be entirely made by you (no bought canes or molds).
  • Only new work is accepted, submitted to DA between June 1st and 30th.
  • Items must be primarily made of clay (polymer clay, cold porcelain, air dry clay, etc - but NO silicon or resin).
  • ONE ENTRY PER MEMBER!
  • If a tutorial was used, the source must be credited.
  • You must write somewhere in the artist comment box that this is an entry for #semi-sweeties' monthly challenge + add a link to this journal.
  • Submit entries into the "Monthly Food Challenge" folder.

Deadline
The challenge closes on June 30th and the 3 month sub winner will awarded to one semi-sweeties member that in our opinion, made the most creative use of the team.

Entries




Previous challenges and winners
May
(Healthy Snacks) - margemagtoto
February (Chocolates) - fairchildart
October (Pumpkins) - Hybrid-Sheep
September (Veggies) - SteamBerry
July (Ice Cream) - LittlestSweetShop
June (Cake) - LoekazCharms
May (Drinks) - BlackCurtains 
April (Sandwiches) - FatalPotato 
March (Sushi) - gigi9900
January (Food Related Items) - JoannaInMiniLand



:dalove: the team at semi-sweeties
:iconsemi-sweeties:

What a week!

Journal Entry: Mon May 26, 2014, 8:30 AM


Last week was full of excitement and turmoil at the same time. We had the Artisan Crafts week at projecteducate and it was amazing, so many interesting articles! I spent a lot of time and thought writing both my articles, thank you so much for all the faves and comments :) they meant a lot to me!

I also participated in the Artisan Crafts chat last Saturday, it was pretty amazing and crazy :D I was happy to talk to many of you, and the Scavenger Hunt was so much fun! Would anyone be interested if I organize a chat for polymer clay? We can share tips ;)

One of my little cats, Diana, was neutered last week. She's a sweet little girl that always wants to be hugged and petted, but she turned out to be a little demon when recovering from surgery. She managed to pull her stitches twice, despite the cone of shame and the mittens that the vet crafted for her. Diana stayed behind at my parent's house (I only took three cats and my doggy when I loved), so both times I had to rush back to my parents, then rush to the vet. Luckily she's fine, and the vet stitched her up really good last time. Oka said he stitched her like an american football :lol:

If you didn't hear from me last weekend, now you know why XD I'll get back to everyone asap.

How was your week, friends? :)


Everything will be all right in the end. If it's not all right, then it's not the end.

How to take crafting commissions

Thu May 22, 2014, 6:00 PM


Taking crafting commissions


Accepting commissions is very different from opening a store in a lot of ways, so I decided to write a separate article for it. However, a lot of what I explained in the article "Introduction to setting up your store" also applies to taking commissions, so make sure to read that article too!

Note: I’m writing this with crafting commissions in mind, since that’s my area of expertise. I imagine that some things could also apply to other kind of commissions, but I make no promises :P

What is a commission?

A commission is when a client pays you to create a specific craft with their idea or instructions.

How is a commission different from sales in my store?

When you sell something in your store, people are buying your work. When you accept a commission, people are hiring you to do some work for them. A lot of personal communication, feedback and compromise is needed. Your commissioner essentially becomes your boss until they receive their commission :)

Commissions are a lot more difficult than plain sales because you’re interacting directly with your commissioner and you’re working with their idea, it’s your duty to fulfill their vision and dream. People will be expecting a lot more from a commission, and often they will ask you to craft things that you’ve never tried before. They are a great opportunity to push your limits!

A lot of times the commission will be something very personal: a memento of a dead friend, a gift for a special someone, that piece of jewelry they want to wear in their wedding but couldn’t find anywhere. People will often tell you beautiful or sad stories behind the commission they want you to do.

I’ve gotten very emotional about some commissions to the point where I couldn’t finish them without crying. That’s the main reason why I love doing custom commissions: I’m honored that they let me be part of something so important for them and I get to know my clients better, but it’s a very stressing situation for other artists I’ve met, so they prefer not to take commissions. Decide wisely before you start accepting custom commissions, they take a lot more from you as an artist and as a person.

Pancake the rat - commission by LisaToms

What do I need to accept commissions?

You’ll need a lot of what I already mentioned in my previous article (a way to accept payments, a good reputation, knowledge in pricing your work, etc). You’ll also need good communication skills to understand what your client wants, some mind reading skills to understand what they can’t put into words, and lots of patience!

Make sure that you’re already pretty good in your craft of choice, commissions are not the best opportunity to practice! A lot of times there’s a deadline, and the expectations are always high. Also, keep in mind that working on a commission is usually more time consuming, so decide if you have enough free time to start accepting custom commissions.

Commission: Earth Structural Layer Cake by cakecrumbs

How do I start accepting commissions?

Advertise! Don’t wait until people ask you if you’re taking commissions, write a journal advertising that you’re accepting commissions with some samples of your work, estimate prices and rules. Put a link in your profile and signature, write it down in your Facebook page, do anything it takes to let people know that you’re accepting commissions. But don’t spam!

Provide a way for people to contact you with their idea, either by note, message or email. Answer them quickly and be very polite, answer any questions they may have, ask all the questions you need until you know what they want. Very specific or complicate designs may require some references, so it’s okay to ask them for some color swatches, sketches, or additional instructions. Send them back some sketches and additional ideas until you’re both satisfied and happy with the commission.

Once you know what they want you to do, decide a price. This is why it’s so important to be a master of your craft, otherwise you won’t know how much work or materials it’ll take you to complete the commission. If you charge too little you’ll end up loosing time and money, if you charge too much your client may walk away. There’s no rules or shortcuts here, you’ll need to learn from experience with your craft and materials, good luck!

If your client accepts your price (don’t let them haggle you down! Respect your work and time) decide a payment method, complete the commission and send it. If you think you can do it all over again, accept more commissions and repeat.

Commission - Bulbasaur Family by altearithe

What do you mean I need rules for my commission?

Yes you do! There’s some things you may not want to craft (ie gore), some things that you can’t craft because they’re above your skill level, or things that you don’t want to craft simply because you don’t like it (ie MLP). Be very clear and concise, so that your clients have a good idea of what they can commission you to do.

As part of your rules write down your preferred payment method, the best way to contact you, your estimated delivery times, your limitations, etc. It’s common for some people to ask other artists to duplicate items or styles created by a different artist, but cheaper. SAY NO TO COPYING SOMEONE ELSE’S WORK!! It hurts all of us, so I beg you to write it down in your rules and reject those kind of commissions. 

Aged Octopus- Vintage Color Scheme by NikidaEve

When do I get paid?

The rule of thumb is that you should get at least part of the money before you begin working on any commission. There’s a lot of factors that decide how much to ask upfront including your reputation, the final price for your item, the cost of buying the materials, etc.

I think that every crafter should ask for at least 50% upfront. When the work is done, send them a photo with the finished piece, get the rest of the money, and send them the finished piece. This is the most basic model in which both the artist and client are protected. If you begin working without payment, there’s a good chance that the client will flee and you’ll end up stuck with a custom piece that you may not be able to sell again. If you ask for part of the payment upfront, even if they flee you’ll have some money to make up for your loses. It should be pretty obvious, but never send an item without receiving the full payment!

If the final price for the commission is cheap, or if you’re a respected and well known artist, you may ask for the full payment upfront. For more expensive commissions I find that it’s a good idea to offer the option of paying in two steps, it’ll be less of a burden and they’ll be more likely to accept your price. Check what other artists in your line of work are doing and what works best for them.

Dog Memorial Portrait - Handcrafted Woodburning by brandojones

A final word about commissions

When you decide to take commissions, keep in mind that you’ll be working with your client’s wishes and ideas, and your main goal is to make them happy. But you need to be happy about your work too, so don’t compromise your style or integrity in the process. You’re an artist! Be proud of your work.

If you’re lucky, your client will only have an idea of what they want and they’ll be happy to work the details with you. Profit! This is my favorite kind of commission because I can let my imagination fly, offer them several options, discuss back and forth, and create something completely unique, and ours. In some other cases they’ll be very specific about what they want and about every detail, know your skills and materials before you accept such a commission or you may not be able to fulfill their concept.

Try to find some balance between your style and what your client wants. Never impose your ideas to them, but let them know if you think something is not going to work. They may even ask you something impossible for your media, or the final piece may be fragile, impractical or not even work like they want. Talk with them and see if they’re willing to compromise, or direct them to a different artist that may be able to do that. The other artist may return the favor!

This concludes my article about accepting commissions. Most of what I said comes from my last three years of experience taking custom commissions and conversations with other artists. Please don’t take every word as a rule, I’m trying my best to provide the best information that I can, but I’m not claiming to know everything. Your experiences may be a lot different! If you have any questions, suggestions or topics that you want me to cover in future articles please let me know!

If you want to check my journal about custom commissions as an example, here it is! Or  you could even ask for one :lol:

Talty's Commission InfoNOTE: COMMISSIONS ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED
You can buy a lot of things from my Etsy, Storenvy, or request a custom commission for any of the things not there!


If you don't have a DA account contact me via mail taltysbakery*at*gmail*dot*com

Important: I receive payments through Paypal.  This means I will not know any of your bank account info,  I will not know any personal information except for your shipping info (name and address). I will not keep records of it, distribute it or use it for any other purpose than send your commission. I'm trying to build a reputation and a serious business here, so the least I want is risk it doing anything that makes me loose my buyers trust.
If you're underage please make sure your parents or tutors have no problem that you place a commission with me and send me your address. I repeat, I wi





Introduction to setting up your store

Mon May 19, 2014, 6:00 PM


Introduction to setting up your store


I have been there, deciding to sell your work is a scary decision. What do I do? How do I sell? How do I accept money? What do I do so that I don't lose money? What if no one buys my work? I went through every emotion and scary thought before I began. Three years after I opened my store I finally feel comfortable giving advice about it. This is a huge topic and I could write tons of info about it, so I'll begin with this introduction and build up on future articles. I will also write a second article about taking commissions, wait for it later this week!

Last year I wrote some guidelines with some more information about selling your work online, please consider reading it too! This article will focus on setting up your store.

Disclaimer: I'm not the most successful online seller, and I don't intend to be - I'm pretty busy with my studies, and most of my business comes from custom commissions, not my shop. I included a lot of my personal experience, conversations with friends, and things I've noticed from watching other sellers. Still, I hope this will be helpful.

Build a reputation.

In the interwebs, no one can see you. You can't trust what you can't see, and people are going to be careful with their money. A big chunk of the people that ask me why they're not successful fail at this step, people are a lot more likely to buy things from artists they know and like.

I began making polymer clay art for fun, and posted it in DA for feedback (and to showoff :ashamed:). People came and looked at my work, commented, and I replied or gave tips. These same people came back to look at my future work, and after a while they began to ask me if I would sell it. I never planned to sell anything before, but I accepted because I considered them my friends, I posted what I sold on DA. People started to notice I was selling my work and asked for things of their own, and eventually I decided to open a store.

Tips:
  • Have a strong online presence. Fill your gallery with your work, post often, comment on other people's work, answer comments, write journals about your life (tastefully), etc. Make sure people know you're a person.
  • Make sure everything you do is of the best quality possible! You want to build a good reputation for selling quality work, not a bad one.
  • Don't expect people to come throwing money at you, it takes time to build a reputation.

    In A Galaxy Far Far Away by maytel

Know (and love) your work.

Before you even consider selling your work, know what you're doing and know your materials. Test everything for at least 6 months, polish your skills, try new techniques, make sure you are ready to start producing crafts for clients. Make sure that what you're doing will last for a long time, and it won't break, fade or tear after a few uses.

Also, make sure that you know what are the best traits of your work, and love them. Maybe your wire is perfectly wrapped without any dents or marks, or your amigurumi is posable and can stand on its own. It's okay to brag!! There's a lot of competition and you want to stand out, so know your strengths and highlight them. But don't lie or exaggerate, it can ruin your reputation.

I'm using my polymer clay work as an example again: my customers often have questions about how strong the material is, if it'll be heavy on earrings, if I can create certain shapes, if the colors will fade, or if it will get damaged with water or sweat. Anticipate any questions your clients can make, and know the answers.

Tip:
  • Your friends and family are great test groups! When I create something new, or when I use a new material, I give it away to them and ask them to try it for a few weeks. They tell me if it's comfortable to wear, if it breaks, what can I improve, etc.

LeGrandzillagurumi by Brookette


Set prices. And set them right.

Please, never never never never underprice your work. You're putting your time, heart and soul in every creation, so don't sell yourself cheap. I often see new and young artists underpricing their work, and it pains me. The logic is understandable: they believe that by setting cheap prices they'll be more likely to attract customers, but this is not always true. Buyers will often believe that cheap price=cheap product, so anything too cheap is dismissed as a bad product. This reputation will be difficult to shake it off once your business begins getting more serious.

So get your prices right from the beginning! Consider the cost of the materials (include the price for ordering them online, driving or taking a bus to get them), the time you spend working on every item, the tools and wear caused to them, fees from your credit card or Paypal, any resources you need (if you use an electric oven as part of your process, and you're paying the light bill yourself, you have to add it up to your final price), etc. Even if this is just your hobby, don't underprice yourself! If you don't respect yourself and your own work, no one will.

GrandmaThunderpants explains further why you should never undercharge, and gives you tips to set your prices. Check her article here!

Tae's Pendant by Aryiea

Know your options

So you got a reputation and a following interested in your work, you have practiced and you're sure that your product is worth selling, and you have a good idea of how much you need to charge to make a decent profit. Great work so far! Now you need a way to receive payments and some place to host your store.

The most popular options are using PayPal to receive and manage payments, and Etsy to host your store. These two options are trusted and well known by most people, but they're not the only options. I'm going to mention them briefly for know, and I'll work on a more intensive article later.

To receive payments
  • Paypal: Well known and trusted, most people already have an account. Read their rules and documentation to protect yourself as a seller, and set your account as "Business" or "Premier". Make sure that you understand their fees and check them often, as they like to raise them every once in a while. Paypal fee's are usually the highest, and there's many horror stories surrounding them.
  • Other online options: There's a lot of options to Paypal, their fees are usually lower but I have yet to meet anyone asking me to receive payments through them. WePay and Braintree are two of the largest, or you can even use Amazon. Google Checkout was a popular alternative to Paypal, but it was retired last year. If you decide to use Etsy, your clients can use their credit card to checkout securely, as if they were using Paypal.
  • Bank deposits: (May not work in every country) I accept bank deposits from people living in my same country because I don't have to pay any fees :) Check with your bank to find out how to do it! You may be able to accept deposits from other countries, but the fees are usually insane.


To host your store

  • Etsy: Etsy is sometimes a necessary evil. It's popular and it has a lot of traffic, so placing your work there gives you a better chance to be seen. Their fees are among the highest, they constantly make updates that make no sense, they will try to extract every penny from you and they don't offer any customization, but more than once I've seen people run back to Etsy after their sales drop. Just like Paypal, make sure to read their documentation to protect yourself as a seller and avoid scammers. Etsy will let you receive payments via Paypal, check, gift cards, and will let your clients pay directly with their credit card.
  • Storenvy: This is an interesting alternative to Etsy that is gaining popularity. Storenvy charges NO FEES at all and they allow you to fully customize your storefront, so you can easily blend Storenvy with your website. They set no ads, but they charge for additional functions (like advanced coupon codes). Storenvy will only let you receive payments via Paypal. I wish Storenvy was more popular since I really like their model, but so far I've only sold ONE item there :lol:
  • Artfire: Artfire used to be completely free like Storenvy, but later changed to charging $15 per month, no matter how much you sell. If your Etsy fees get unbearable, and for some reason Storenvy is not an option, you can consider Artfire. Personally, I dislike Artfire since I once tried to setup a store to try it, but their system kept crashing every time I tried to pay for my first month. I contacted their customer service and they were very unhelpful, and I have a policy against giving my money to people that won't help me give it to them XD
  • Other options: I know some people use Ebay successfully, it's huge and it has lots of traffic, but there's a lot of competition. Dawanda is popular with European crafters. You can also choose to use Paypal's checkout service and manage your own store in your blog or webpage, but it requires more time to setup.

Marshall Lee and Fionna Charms by GrandmaThunderpants

Never trust your portal service

Find out in advance how much it will cost to ship everything, you don't want to pay for shipping yourself! Most postal services have a webpage with prices, but I advice you to go and ask in person. The information can be outdated, inaccurate, or your lovely craft may be an exception.

Find out how they'll ask you to prepare your package, and decide what's the cheapest and best materials to use. Small and flat items can be shipped in bubble envelopes, but larger items will require boxes. Some postal services will ask you to use special boxes, others will let you use recycled boxes (raid the supermarket). None of them will let you use boxes that used to contain eggs, chicken, perishable items or alcohol. In Mexico, they even require us to wrap the box with a specific color of a specific paper :lol:

They may not let you ship anything that contains glass (I can't). They may require you to insurance jewelry or any expensive items, so consider it when you're setting your prices and shipping costs.  Ask often about changes, postal service offices don't work the same way the rest of the world does.

Tips

  • Practice! Send gifts to some friends in different countries or try a couple of art trades.  That way you'll know how long it takes for your packages to arrive to a different country, how much it was, how to prepare your package, and you'll know if anything broke or got damaged in transit from a friend, not an angry client.
  • Ask your friends and family to save bubble wrap or boxes for you. Everyone was more than happy to help me and I've never had to buy wrapping materials :) and you're recycling too!
  • If you're planning to sell for a long time, get a small scale to weight your products.

Princess Mononoke - Kodama Flask by Ganjamira

Decide your business model

There's several options for you to choose, or you can do a mix of everything. Think ahead of time how long it takes you to create an average item, how much time you have to spare from your other activities, how much interest there's in your work, if it's more efficient to craft on batches, etc.

  • Selling from a stock: You can make a stock, that way you'll be able to ship your sales immediately. It's a good choice if you have periods of time with few things to do followed by busy months. A great option for students with time to spare on vacations.
  • Selling on demand: List things in your store, and craft them once they sell.  This is a good option if you're not sure how well every item is going to sell, if you use expensive materials, or if you don't have the space to store a stock. If some items sell better than others, it may be a good idea to create a stock of them.
  • Selling as you craft: If every craft you create is unique, you can't sell them on demand or from a stock. You'll craft what your inspiration dictates you, take photos, and put it up in your store.
  • Selling on commission: Taking commissions is a whole different thing, and I'll cover that in my next article to be published this week.

Soot Sprite Rings by moofestgirl


Promotion

Even if people expressed interest in your work in the past, don't expect them to start throwing money at you immediately.  Be patient, most stores will take months (or even years) to pick up and get regular sales. Some ge reallyt popular really fast, but they're exceptional cases.

Please don't open your store and think that your work is done, it has just begun. There's a lot of competition online, and people are not going to randomly type your name and find you. You'll need to do a lot of work to promote your store: post updates and more samples of your work often, use social networks wisely, if you have the money you can even buy advertisement.

Post the link to your store in your submissions, profile, Facebook page, make your store easy to find! Some sellers often forget to use the keywords, they'll help potential clients find you. Do whatever you can to promote your store, and don't give up! Be patient.

Spring Fresh Fruit Tart by chat-noir


Conclusion

Opening a store is a very complex process, a lot more complex than I initially believed. If you think it's easy, I ask you to think it over and do more research. It's not as easy as trying a craft for a few months, realize that there's other artists selling it, open an Etsy account and believe that you'll be rich in no time. If you do that, you'll only be loosing money and time. It takes patience, lots of time, and hard work.

This article got really long really quick, and I believe I barely scratched the surface. I tried to cover the very basics without going too in depth. I have a lot more to say about every subject, and I'll try to write more articles in the future. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions!




Awesome Craft Materials Giveaway!

Journal Entry: Wed May 14, 2014, 5:39 PM


Advertising time! :love: Sweet Ganjamira put together some amazing crafting materials, and she's doing one of the most generous and amazing giveaways I've ever seen!

A lot of you have asked me about getting polymer clay or have troubles finding it in your countries... she's giving away a fantastic Fimo starter pack! And many expressed interest in feather painting... well, there's feathers too! Check out her journal about it:


I gotta be honest, I'm interested too :ashamed: those crystals and gemstones are breathtaking, I've been trying to find them here without luck. At best I can find small beads, but nothing as beautiful and majestic as the crystals she's offering.

So go ahead and check out her giveaway :love: it's worth it!


Everything will be all right in the end. If it's not all right, then it's not the end.