Etsy Sales and Puppy Dog 'Tails': Hitting the Big 100!
This month brought with it one of my most treasured professional milestones to date: reaching 100 sales of my artwork on Etsy! When I started Glasgow Gallerina as an online shop precisely one year ago, I dared to dream of ONE sale, so hitting three figures is truly beyond my wildest dreams! Of course, the measure of art will always lie in quality rather than quantity. Every month has been different, with some far busier than others, and I’m grateful for that in encouraging me not to take my customers’ support for granted, nor to change what I want to paint and draw in favour of what other people might like. It isn’t always easy, but if I try to stay true to myself and what I want to create, I gain the intellectual and emotional benefits of making something meaningful, and I also know that every client receives an artwork painted from the heart. Plus, with the commitment to always donate 10% of profits to the Scottish SPCA, every painting purchased plays a tiny part in helping others too!
To celebrate Glasgow Gallerina’s big birthday, I’ve decided to put down in writing a very brief retelling of this year’s ‘Etsy Sales and Puppy Dog Tails’. Enjoy!
Only a little bit.
Should I have admitted that?
Ok, I cried.
I was nervous, you see.
I’d never shown my artwork before.
Never to strangers.
Only at home.
Only to Mum.
Yet here I was,
hovering over a week’s worth of watercolours …
The Four Seasons: No. 1
Although at that point I never knew there’d be subsequent versions!
I had always wanted to make art inspired by the changing seasons …
A little bit of colourful beauty in each one.
Summer would be vibrant and dynamic,
Autumn a burnished gold with falling leaves.
Winter would be frosty, perhaps with a few snowflakes,
(how on EARTH do you make snowflakes with watercolour paint?)
And my favourite season of all …
… Spring …
Would be playful in purple,
Petals just about to bloom.
I’d spent the year writing about other people’s art,
My precious ‘Macdonald sisters’, don’t cha know?!
And the time was right to focus on my own.
As an art historian,
Japan was at the forefront of my mind -
a source of the sisters’ ‘inspiration’
- and I guess that’s how my cherry trees ‘blossomed’
(prepare for a year of plant-based puns!)
I combined ink with watercolour,
Simple but stylish, I hoped!
The tree trunks would be strong,
With eye-catching flower buds,
I was pleasantly surprised by how my four trees grew up
and when even my snowflakes worked, I decided to be bold!
‘Do it!’ said my loved ones,
‘I don’t know,’ said me (scaredy cat).
‘Alright,’ said the loved ones.
‘Meow! Here I go!’
So I waited
And I waited.
‘Will I wait forever?’ I wondered.
A little search engine tinkering was required
(I’m not doing all that work to languish on page 98!)
Plus investment in my ‘gifting skills’
(who knew the bubble wrap industry was quite so cut-throat?!)
And I waited,
Then one evening, on a dark and stormy night,
(just kidding – it was actually in June!)
My phone dinged.
‘Who’s this?’ I wondered.
Hoping for an Instagram like
And yet somewhere,
A very kind girl
In a very distant town,
Wanted something I had painted.
I needed to sit down!
So I wrapped,
And I wrapped,
Til not a petal peeked through the delicate -
- purple tissue paper.
Tied with a bow,
I popped it in the post,
And crossed my fingers for this VIP
Very Important Parcel.
And as it turned out …
… she loved it!
To my delight, that very kind girl
gave Glasgow Gallerina not only her first sale but also her first review
Those five twinkly stars
Will she ever know how happy they made me?
Well, yes, because I emailed to say thank you
(it’s all about customer connections!)
And as summer blossomed,
There came a couple more:
Orders for feathers, orders for roses,
And my cherry blossoms continued to bloom.
Followed by …
Who’d have thought it!?
(I almost cried then too!)
But once I found my feet, I smiled.
And for every painting made,
I drew confidence from within.
Added colour to my life.
If every action’s an act of creation,
Then I can’t wait for Act Two!