Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Inspiration Wednesday - Mab Graves

Just happened to discover this talented artist, Mab Graves, from her etsy today :D

Her artworks are really amazing that mostly she just started freehand randomly, perhaps from an ear or a shoe. There is a sense of mysterious surreal-dream-like setting occur in not only her paintings but also her personality as well (read her
biography). I had fun reading her blogs with few short blurry glimpse of what's inside this mysterious painter's mind. By the way, her girls with the latex mask are my favourites :p


Little Red Riding Hood

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Taking some rest

I think I need to take some rest on my mind. Been really exhausting...

Just trying out some different style. What do you think?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Etsy Friday - Patience & Persistence

Another 5 more days will marked my first month of selling in Etsy. My initial target was to have at least 10 sales (I thought it would be SO EASY but apparently NOT!) but I got my third sale last Sunday. Fingers crossed that any sale will come to me before the end of the month! :D

I'm grateful to my customers who have bought my items even though I'm a newbie with 0 feedback. And thanks them for leaving wonderful feedback for me :) 3 sales with 3 positive feedback! I'm also appreciate my friends and family who have given me support whenever I struggled or upset!

As for today, the 25th day in Etsy, I find that the hardest part would be promotions and keeping the shop active with new items. I took a lot of time to create my artworks but I will share that in future. There are a lot of promotion methods that are recommended like social networking, word of mouth and advertising. It is very important because if you don't promote, less people will notice especially newbie like me. It's like picking up a needle with my brand in the sea of Etsy. All promotions are working very well, but you have to know which one works the best for you. It is like some people get more sales during the weekend while some during weekdays; some get heaps of sales through word of mouth and some through advertising. Whichever method I'm using now, I have to give them some time to grow. I can't possibly trying facebook for a week then I concluded that 'Nope! This one doesn't work for me at all!' I'm giving myself at least three months for each promotion I'm trying currently. Because sometimes they do work, but the result need some time to reflect back to me.

While waiting for my next sale, I will never stop promoting and creating new artworks. And I keep reminding myself about the inspiring story of Elizabeth Arden... Lolz!

Yee Von

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Notecard Thursday

I will be having less notecards to show in next few months cause I want to concentrate on other projects - original artworks featuring the birds I love *wink*. Those will be featured soon in future :)

I don't usually Do This but Mini Notecard

Perhaps you can pass it to the cute lady next table in the cafe, written 'can I have your number' ;)
You can buy it through here.

Just some sharing

I keep listening to this song over and over again. It's so touching! Whether I'm 15, 25, 35 or even 55, this song will still move my heart!

Angela Aki - Tegami

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Inspiration Wednesday - Carrie Chau Wun Ying

I was sitting at the cafe the other day and the shop owner recommended me a new art book "non-stop game" by a Hong Kong artist. I flipped it before at the bookshop but it didn't really interest me. While I'm passing my time, might as well just read again.

The drawings are acrylic on canvas with bright colours, from 2005 to 2007. What interested me was the interview section at the back, which comes in chinese and english version. Then one of the artist's answer striked me in the heart (no joke!). I can't remember exactly what she has written but something like "a pure artwork touch people's emotion deeply. Technique is secondary". She also commented that her earlier years used up too much fancy decorate styles that later in the years she tend to simplified her artworks.

Cherub, 2005
They are lost, 2006
The non-stop game, 2007

Some people were captivated by the artworks then they interested in the artists. I was drawn by artist's simple quote yet profound meaning then I interested in her artworks.

Click here to visit her website.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Illustration Tuesday - Poppies Fall

Time flies! I feel like the day I posted last illustration was yesterday!
For those who haven't read my last article on Etsy Friday, here is the link for you to compare to the old version :)

I couldn't say that four months make a huge difference in my skills, but I can see where I have improved myself. Hopefully in future, I will become the artist who not only good in drawing skills, but every piece that I have created able to touch people's emotion and heart.

She is now available at my etsy.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sneak Peak Sunday - Poppies Fall

This is the outline version before I start to colour in Photoshop. Will be finished by Tuesday and put up on etsy :)

Have a great week ahead!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Etsy Friday

Well there aren't much to talk about Etsy today except the fact that I keep renewing once everyday. I'm still waiting for my third sale, Lolz! Perhaps I should renew twice a day... *mumble mumble* They say the sales are slower in summer but I see some shops still selling like madness! I guess it all depends on what kind of items in your store. And they do say sales will start coming in when you have more than 50-100 items in your store. Perhaps people do prefer more options. However there are only 20 items in my store. I wish I could add more but to finish one illustration take me a few days. I guess I have to take the pace as it is now while keep on drawing and searching for other alternatives to promote myself.

I want to have so much things. I want to draw more of my illustrations and get them out there. I want to have various paper goods with my illustrations on them.  I want to work for children picture illustration company and publish my own story book. I want to have big dreams. Yet, you can't have a farm overnight. Everything starts from an egg *and I'm still laying that first egg right now*.

Anyway, talk about new illustration. The next print would be 'Poppies Fall' which was my very first illustration I coloured back in February. She supposed to be included in my 'Whispers in Thy Ear' which inspired by nature and my imagination. But that time I didn't put her in the series because she's not really there yet.  And I have been so into my 'Birds of a Feather' series that I neglected them for such a long time! I think I start to hear they're whispering in my mind! Four months later on, today, I look at her again and think ''maybe is the time to get you out there''.

This is the old one.
Looking forward to how she's going to look like!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Notecard Thursday

They are available at my etsy store right now :)

Dreaming of You every night Mini Notecard

I miss our Fun Times Mini Notecard

Love has never been Greater Mini Notecard

Illustration Tuesday (*Thursday) - Two Souls, One Heart

Finally she is done!
Took me a longer time than usual cause I have to get her right. I'm quite satisfy to how she turns out :) Oh and I have decided to change the name from ''Two Soul One Name'' to ''Two Souls, One Heart'' because of the typo error (... yeah) and the earlier one doesn't really click with me. The new name sounds much better :)

She will be included in one of my 'Birds of a Feather' illustration series which are inspired by winged creatures. However, this piece comes with a little dark whimsical feel. Inspired by a hybrid of white and blue peacock, unsure whether does it qualified as a chimera but there are some thoughts whether does it, or do they share the same mind and soul. At times, are my rational and emotional arguments create ripples in my mind, or there are two souls fighting in one me...

When I asleep
You're awake
We are so close
Yet we never met
We are both in one soul
but where do our soul reside

She is now available at my etsy.
Alright, Notecard Thursday will be updated later with two new designs! Cheers everyone!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Inspiration Wednesday - May Ann Licudine

I was once told by my important someone " artist's style, in a way it reflects your current state of mind, created by your upbringing, your education background and life experiences. Some artists may change as they grow older, impacted by their life's journeys and happenings..."

Artists grow. And every artist's artworks grow as well.

You can see the journey of an artist in her artwork through the years :) And so today I 'explore' the journey of this artist from Philippines, May Ann Licudine. Her artworks are driven by her dreamy imagination, mystical flora and fauna from tropical forest, japanese culture, childhood memories and amazing mixture of rich colours. I was inspired by her magical world and nostalgic feel. Her black and white artworks are my favorites because of the strong impression on lights and shadows. It makes the focus and composition details stronger :)

Ballerina, 2005

Mall's Art Diary: Unconsciousness, 2007

Genie Renaissance, 2008

The Great Mushroom Oranda, 2009
I see you, Chesire, 2010

Do visit her blog and portfolio for more artworks!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sneak Peak Sunday - Two Soul One Name

I supposed to have them coloured and ready for sneak peak today. The drawing was finished two days ago but I kept have a feeling that something's not right. So, I decided to start all over again. If I manage to finish before Tuesday, maybe you still can see the finish one on Tuesday Illustration :) Or else... I have to postpone it... 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Etsy Friday - Think like a business

Wow, they come out some new layout templates right now! And I just love this layout compared to the previous one :) Just a little bit of shadow and it has made a big difference on the view!

Now back to the topic of the day...

Today marks the 11 days since I have opened my shop. The most exciting news for the second week is that I have finally make 2 sales! Trust me! You can't imagine the feeling of waiting for the first sale is so nerve-breaking - minute by minute, hour by hour, night by night just to hope that when you check your email, you can finally see some wordings like 'Etsy Transaction' in your inbox. And Yes, I'm very very happy with the first sales *wipe tears* Hope there're many more to come soon, lolz!

As I remember (well it was not that long ago) for the first week, all I have been doing was reading guides, responding to success seller threads, getting into promotions like facebook fanpage or blogging, evaluating my pricing and also trying to get more great photos of my items. However the first week just passed by without anything but upset and frustration. Yes, it was only been a week but I felt like a month!

Then the second week, the frustration in me has accumulated until a point I began to question myself: is that how market response to my illustrations? Do I have any market value at all in this world (oh that sounds serious)? But then again, I'm still doing the usual routine: getting more and more tips from the success etsy sellers. Etsy is actually a highly competitive yet supporting community. The community are willing to share their success stories and tips for any newbie to succeed as well, which is very good. Whenever you have questions and problems, strangers out of this world will show up and pass you the answer ticket. How nice is that :)

However, all I can conclude are only few Golden Rules: renew renew renew and promote promote promote! hahaha.. not to mention lucky as well.

#1 Renew
Renew your item(s) once or several times a day, best at the hours when most people visit your shop.

#2 Promote
Promote inside and outside etsy. You wouldn't want to limit your sales in etsy community. And I know you do hope the whole world craving for your products.

#3 Great photos
Great photos are your sales executives! Treat them professionally!

#4 Product options
Get more products. You wouldn't want to go into a shop with only 5 items on the shelf. You will spend hours in a shop with surprises and hundred choices!

#5 Great customer service
Treat your customers like VIPs: polite and friendly responses, follow up emails and convos, thoughtful packaging (if you have the budget). Make someone happy and you'll be happy too! I once read an article about the difference of packing with newspaper and another with china silk cloth and tie with a unicorn hair... totally get the picture!

#6 Market demand
This is what I learnt the most in my second week when I kept questioning ‘‘why wouldn't people buy my stuff?'' There is one response that my illustrations are good, but they don't suit the style in her house. Okay, she gave me a hard moment to think deeply. The saturated market that I have just thrown myself into is mostly Europe based. On the other hand, my illustration style is more towards Asian. It's not that my illustrations are bad, just that they don't go along with their breakfast coffee. So how do I create a demand for my illustrations? Starting the second week, I cut down so much less on promotions. I would rather spend some money on renewing items so that I can have more time to create. And by creating more artworks -> customers have more options -> more sales (hopefully). Aside creating my usual illustrations, I'm starting to have another products with slight changes. As you noted, they are the mini notecards :) They are cute and the product functionality is more universal. They can be wedding/party invitations, thank you notes, bookmarks, and small gifts... up to one's imagination. That also creates another market for people who like cute little illustrations. 

To make a business, I have to think like a business.
Nonetheless, I still love my illustrations!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Notecard Thursday

Hurray! Finally they are ready to go! There are total 6 new designs!
You can grab them from my etsy now :)

Thank you from the bottom of my Heart Mini Notecard - Rabbits

Thank you from the bottom of my Heart Mini Notecard - Foxes

Would you say Yes... Mini Notecard

Little Moments with you Mini Notecard

You are my perfect Pair Mini Notecard

I'm feeling Great today Mini Notecard

Please note that these are the smaller version of notecards, measuring 9cm x 11.5cm (3.55" x 4.6"). They can be personalised into great gifts - wedding invitations, birthday party invitations, thank you notes in the presents, great little gifts for significant others or just to anyone as well as yourself.

They are also comes in a set of 5 which you can mix and match any design you love! Currently available at my etsy :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Inspiration Wednesday - Anne-Julie Aubry

Months ago, I was searching for artists' illustration to get some inspiration while wondering how should my illustration style be. And then I came across this illustration of a siren.

I was so captivated by the colours, texture, composition and her sad looking eyes. Or perhaps I was the one who upset that time that's why she looked upset to me! The title to this beautiful artwork is actually 'The Siren Songs'.

She was created by Anne-Julie Aubry , a French artist. Her artworks consists of both sweet and dark whimsical world, which I find intriguing cause I believe everybody have her own inseparable innocence and darker side. I also like how Anne-Julie blended two contrasting elements so well together - delicate simple figure of the girl with rough texture. It gives some personal touch to digital artworks :) You can find more of her artworks at her etsy - The Nebulous Kingdom & blog!

Illustration Tuesday - Midnight Orchestra

Sorry for the late update. Should have uploaded this new illustration last night but been to busy sorting out the new notecard designs. Speaking of that, there will be massive updates on Notecard Thursday (around 7 designs! Woo-hoo!!).

Here is the final illustration for Midnight Orchestra, specially dedicated to the vulnerable bird species in Malaysia - Milky storks. They are such wonderful creatures with bright red and yellow beak with white and black body. I once saw them in Zoo Negara Malaysia and I will never forget how lovely they are. It's a sad thing if these storks are going to extinct...

Midnight Orchestra
An unique orchestra is being secretly held under the moonlight with no one had any idea who are the performers ♪

Sometimes we have so much burden
Other times we have so much obligation
But just for tonight
We shall put everything behind
And sing our hearts out 

This print is available at my etsy shop.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sneak Peak Sunday - Midnight Orchestra

As promised, today's Sneak Peak Sunday would be my next illustration - Midnight Orchestra. Almost finishing and I'm looking forward to see the final artwork! Looking good so far!

My Blog Schedule

Morning all, what a great Sunday today :)

Just a short update that I will have a regular weekly schedule on my blogging topics:

Sneak Peak Sunday
Some snap shot on my almost finishing illustration.

Illustration Tuesday
New illustration

Inspiration Wednesday
Sharing some of the talented artists who have inspired me.

Notecard Thursday
New notecards design.

Etsy Friday
Some thoughts or experience that I have from Etsy.

Monday and Saturday will be day off for me :D But if I have some interesting topic I still will blog it!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Etsy Photos

I have been working to improve the chances of buyers getting into my etsy. Getting information from Etsy Success: Critique Your Shop on changing tags and improve my photos would be my goal for today.

This is the BEFORE & AFTER on potential buyers searching on the shops.

This is the BEFORE & AFTER on when potential buyers enter my shop.

Here's another one on my prints.

Well, I wouldn't say there's a dramatic change and will bring in flocks of buyers. But little changes here and there will definitely make some difference :) I kinda happy with my result.