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Thank you to our guest artist Debbie Igram (@DebbieIgram) for participating in this episode! Go check out her gorgeous art on Instagram and hit the follow button so you can follow along with her journey.

Today we have an extra special episode. You may remember a few weeks ago I threw out an idea to all of you listeners out there – I was looking for a volunteer for a new type of episode I’m calling creative coaching. I wanted to get one of you on the show with me to work through a challenge you’re facing with your art. Debbie (@DebbieIgram) answered the call and volunteered. She is a watercolor and acrylic artist who wants to take a brave step forward and start selling her art. 

This is a different kind of episode and we work out issues and brainstorm ideas in real-time. I loved chatting with Debbie and I am so grateful for all she shared with the Self Taught Artist Podcast community in this episode. You’re going to love it, so let’s get on with the show! We talk about so many things related to selling your artwork – payment, shipping, pricing, marketing, and more.

I mentioned my postage scale on the episode. Check it out here on Amazon ($10.99 in the USA): 

I also mentioned for shipping discounts at USPS. You can find out more at

If you want to sell on Etsy, don’t forget I have a code for 40 FREE Listings to get you started: 

Episode Transcript

Hello, and welcome back to the Self Taught Artist Podcast. I’m Lauren Kristine, your host. Today we have an extra special episode. You may remember a few weeks ago, I threw out an idea to all of you listeners out there. I was looking for a volunteer for a new type of episode that I’m calling creative coaching. I wanted to get one of you on the show with me live to work through a challenge you are facing with your art. Debbie Igram answered the call and volunteered. She is a watercolor and acrylic artist who wants to take a brave step forward and start selling her art. You need to check out her beautiful art on Instagram at DebbieIgram. Also I’ve linked her profile in the show notes as well. So go follow her. Lauren Kristine

This is a different kind of episode. As you’ll see, we work out issues and brainstorm ideas in real time. I absolutely loved chatting with Debbie, and I am so grateful for all she shared with the Self Taught Artist Podcast community in this episode. You are going to love it. So let’s get on with the show. Lauren Kristine

We are so happy to have you here, Debbie. Thank you again. And first I want to tell the listeners a little tidbit. And that is that Debbie and I actually have a piece of each other’s art, because we participated in an art swap together. So I was really excited that she was going to be our first guinea pig for this. So welcome Debbie. Debbie

Hello, thank you for having me. This is great. Lauren Kristine

Of course. So I guess I’ll just start off, I’d love to hear a little bit about you. And just hear a little bit about your creative journey. Have you always been creative? Debbie

Yes, I’ve liked and been doing arts and crafts since I was a kid. I remember making things to hang up on my wall. And my mom would get upset because I would use a nail or a tack or something. And she says, “Well, I don’t know if we want to ruin the wallpaper there!” But you know, I’ve always worked with either watercolor or acrylic paints. And then of course, crayons when you’re a kid. I was a teacher for 28 years and most of my creativity went to their art class every week. And then of course, Christmas and all of that. So I kind of put that on hold until I retired. And of course, I went through the tole painting phase and also the scrapbooking phase and the cardmaking phase, but now I’m really loving watercolors and acrylics and trying to learn as much as I can. I’ve never tried to sell anything, but I’ve got a big stack of things. And you know, I’d love to sell one, just so I can buy some more paint. Lauren Kristine

I’m with you, I think I think that’s a great goal to have. I think that’s definitely my goal with my art is that if I can sell it and make money for more supplies, then I count that as winning! Debbie

Exactly. Lauren Kristine

Yes. And so you said watercolor is that the only medium you’re focusing on right now? Debbie

I started and have done mostly watercolor up until about a year ago. And now I have acrylics going at the same time. And then you know that’s kind of multimedia, because you come in with paint pens and other pens and sometimes colored pencil or pastels. So you know that kind of all mixes whatever works best for the thing that I’m doing and the subject matter. Lauren Kristine

That’s awesome. That’s awesome. I think I think mixed media is a ton of fun. I do a lot of that myself. There’s no rules. You know! Debbie

Yeah – if you want to cover up mistakes. Oh, that’s supposed to be a squiggly line! Lauren Kristine

Exactly. I tip my hat to you because I think watercolor is so difficult. I love it, and I try it, but it is difficult when Debbie

I started with it. So it’s kind of the natural thing for me. It’s very different than acrylics though. In some ways, it’s easier. But sometimes acrylic you just paint right over which you don’t have the luxury of watercolor. They’re very different, but they’re both fun. Lauren Kristine

Yeah. And how often would you say your painting these days? Debbie

More than once a week. Obviously, I like to sit down for like two or three hours at a time rather than just a little snippet. So probably three days a week, maybe four and I do have the time being retired now. So sometimes I want to get in there and do it but I kinda can’t get myself to come into the room because I’m afraid. Maybe what I had in my mind won’t work out. I don’t know. It’s I think it’s a creative, creative person thing. I don’t know. But I love doing it. And I’m always in my mind planning: Okay, what’s the next thing going to be? Oh, look at that person’s face. They make a great abstract, you know, face piece or I did a couple of interiors. And they were really fun, too. So as an artist, I mean we all know you notice things more. Flowers! Oh, my gosh. Lauren Kristine

Oh, yes. And this is a great time of year for flowers. Debbie

Sure, yes. Lauren Kristine

I love your interior pieces. There’s one that really caught my eye on your Instagram. And it was of, I think, a pile of dishes and the view out of the kitchen window. And that that’s just such a place in the home where, you know, we spend a lot of time and we look at that view a lot. And it just captures the essence of home and I think about my mom when I see it. Debbie

Well, the story of that one is it’s actually at my daughter’s house because I babysit my granddaughter, and she loves to do dishes, even though you know you have to do them over. She’s only three. That was a scene one day, I took a picture of it. And I thought, you know, I’ve got a photo, but I’ll always remember doing dishes with her. And I did some splatter on there to make you know, the water flying and I took some artistic license by changing the colors to you know, complementary colors and here. So I think it’s a really fun. A fun memory. I’m looking at it right now. Lauren Kristine

Oh, that’s so sweet. That’s awesome. And so why do you create? What is that force that that makes you want to do it? What do you think? Debbie

It’s like you can’t help it? There’s, in my mind, my mind is always going with: What would make a good painting? Could I possibly reproduce that scene on vacation? In fact, just last week, we have a trailer and we took four weeks. We ended up in Texas, actually. And I know I think you’re there. Lauren Kristine

Yes. Yes, I am. Debbie

Yes, and one thing I like to do is wildflowers everywhere I go. So I’ve done some of those. But I decided this time to draw a map, we live in California. I draw a map of where we went through. So we went through Arizona, New Mexico and then Texas and draw little pictures of the main things that were funny to us or that we participated in. We got lost on the way. So I have a little part where my trail is going off in an odd direction. But I just had that in my mind. And that’s why I have so many different subject matter things. Just you know, flowers are the big thing for me that I started with. And I think I do the best. But as an artist, you can’t help it. I’ve got to get this down on paper. And sometimes I’m not with the people I’m with in the room, because I’m just thinking, :Oh, that would be a good picture!” Lauren Kristine

Yes! Debbie

The don’t all turn out. But they’re all still they’re all fun. They all have their own place, on the wall or in in your life. Lauren Kristine

I love that! I think it’s so important to keep that positive reframe around art that doesn’t work out. It serves its place. And the next one is going to be even better! Debbie

Yeah, it’s just practice toward the next one. Absolutely. Lauren Kristine

Yeah. Well, I love that you’re creating so many times a week, you have a great attitude towards your art. That’s all wonderful. And you’re in such a great place with that. So let’s talk about how we can take you to the next level, and maybe start thinking about selling some of your pieces since you said that’s one of your big goals coming up next. Debbie

I met a group where lots of them are selling things and they’re amateurs too. And I thought, as my family’s told me, why don’t you sell these? Well, because I don’t know how to do Etsy and it sounds like a lot of work. And I’d rather just paint, but I have so many now and so many that are duplicates of each other that, like I said, If I can just sell one! I’ve actually even never, or only once given something away because I have a little bit of insecurity that if I give this to them and they don’t want to hang it up, they’re gonna hang it up anyway or embarrass me. And you know, I don’t want to put someone in that position. So I’m really insecure about what could sell how much to charge and even how to get it out there. Lauren Kristine

Yeah, yeah. That’s, that’s totally normal at this part of the journey that’s totally normal. So I guess we can start and think about maybe where would be a good place for you to get started selling it. Yes. Because I know you have an Instagram right now. Right? And that seems for me looking at it. It looks like it’s mostly focused on your art. Is that correct? Debbie

That’s my artistic one. Here’s how I tried to get away from my friends and family seeing it. I have my own Instagram with pets and trips and grandkids. But then I thought I’ll just make this and none of my friends will see it and I won’t be embarrassed. Well, they’ve all started following me because that’s how Instagram works. You know, your name comes up. So yes, this one, though, is almost all – I’ve accidentally posted a few things- but almost all art. Yeah. Lauren Kristine

Awesome. I think that’s the first step to take when you want to go down this path for a lot of people is creating that separate art account. Yes, in your mind, you can then separate your two worlds, and do more promotion on your art account, while knowing that your your friends and family have opted in if they’re following your art account. That’s a choice they made. They have who they have raised their hand and said, I want to follow your art! Debbie

I didn’t really think of it that way. But you’re right. And they don’t have to pause and look real hard. If they don’t want to they can pass it on by like, you know, we all do on Instagram. Oh, look at this closer, I’ll read the the topic phrase thing that goes with it. But yeah, they did opt in, I guess. Lauren Kristine

Yeah, I think I think when you think about it that way, sometimes it lessens a little bit of the pressure, because they can also opt out at any time. Yes. And so if they start getting annoyed, or they start feeling like they’re pressured, which I don’t think they’re going to feel that way. I think they then have that option to duck out and just keep following on your personal page. And no harm no foul. Debbie

That’s good. That’s good to think about that for sure. Lauren Kristine

Yeah. And so when you’re selling on Instagram, I think the first thing you need to think about is just the logistics and that if someone decided to buy it, are you prepared to then accept payment for it? Debbie

Yes. And I’ve heard maybe on yours. If they have on your podcast, if they have to punch around various times, you might lose the sale. So I don’t have any, anything set up to do that or even know what to do. Lauren Kristine

Okay. I’d say, when you’re starting out on Instagram, the easiest place to go is Venmo or PayPal. Do you have either of those? Debbie

Currently, I have both. Lauren Kristine

Okay. Venmo is I think the most frictionless option. But PayPal is one that I always suggest you have as well and just have both. Because sometimes if someone doesn’t have a Venmo, downloading the app is a lot to ask and create and create an account and do all that to get set up. That’s a lot to ask someone. But with PayPal, if you get their email address, you can send them an invoice with like, just a couple clicks, okay. And so when you go on your paypal screen, you do sort of like a request. There’s a request button. And I can show you where it is after this if you’d like. And you hit that and you just send it to their email. And that’s all you need is to have your in your mind what the price is and then get their email. And it is easy. Yes. And then you go in, you email it and then they from that email, it opens up with a screen where they can pay with credit card or Apple Pay or you know, however they want to do it. But it’s it’s seamless. It’s really, really easy to do. Debbie

Okay, I didn’t know how they would do it. If I didn’t know if I’d have to be able to accept credit cards. But no, it’s Pay Pal that’s doing that. Yes. Oh, yeah. Lauren Kristine

And they will take a small fee. But any place is going to take a fee. And they earn it for just facilitating the transaction. So I tell people just to bake it into your into your cost of the piece when you set the price. And just not worry about it. Because there’s really nothing you can do. Yeah. Debbie

Oh, that’s great. Yeah. Lauren Kristine

So that is one thing and after after our talk, I’ll I’ll screen share with you and show you how to do it. So that way you’re ready to go. But yeah, typically what I tell people to do is to put the price on their pieces, everything that they list for sale, after you do your caption In your Instagram, do you know enter, return spacebar and make a make a space and then put the price state whether that includes shipping for the US or if shipping is extra. And then put like DM me direct message me to buy. Okay, okay. Or you can also say DM me or comment “sold” like the word sold, I’ll put that in quotations. Debbie

Maybe that sends a message to other people, oh, look stuff is selling or a positive message there. Lauren Kristine

You’re right, you’re right, that does then give some social proof. And then one trick also for the social proof is when something does sell, go back in time in your feed, and edit that post, and then put in all caps at the beginning of your caption: SOLD. Debbie

Okay? Yes. Well, this already sounds professional. Lauren Kristine

Yeah but it’s just little things you can do to 1. notify your viewers that these things are for sale? Because a lot of people are afraid to ask, because art has this notion of being really expensive and out of reach for the average person. But, you know, with, with all of all of us creating affordable art, it’s really not out of reach. Right? And so they’re just afraid to ask the price because I do I and I get it like it would be embarrassing to then find out it’s way above your budget, and you have to then tell a person like “No, actually, I don’t want it anymore.” Debbie

Yes. Good point. Yes. Lauren Kristine

So that’s why I always tell people to let people know that it’s for sale, and to put the price there so that they know transparently what it would cost if they wanted to buy it. Debbie

Good advice. Lauren Kristine

Because sometimes that embarrassment will keep someone from even finding out the answer. Debbie

Yeah, I know, when I’m in a store, an antique store or something. If it’s not marked, I’m probably not going to ask, right? They have to the pieces have to be marked, right. or I kind of, like you said, get embarrassed. Lauren Kristine

Yeah, I feel the same exact way. And so yeah, so you have to let them know it’s for sale, you have to put the price on there. And then you can tell them to direct message you or comment the word “sold”. And if they comment, the word sold, then all you have to do is message them and say, What’s your email address? I’ll send you an invoice. Debbie

Gotcha. Okay. Lauren Kristine

And then you do that through PayPal. And it’s super simple and seamless on both sides, which is a plus. Debbie

Yes. Sounds like it. Good@ Lauren Kristine

Yeah. So that’s the mechanics of it. And I think that’s sort of a check the box item, you get it prepared, you send out a test invoice, and you can test it on a friend or a family member. And then you can check that box and know you have the logistics covered. That’s step one. And then step two, on the logistics side is figuring out shipping. And that for me is one of the hardest parts of selling art. Just because it can be difficult as it gets bigger. And as it gets heavier. So do you usually paint on paper? Or canvas? I’ll ask Debbie

I do both. But most recently, just paper, you know, the fear of “Oh, am I going to ruin this canvas?” And I think paper would be easier to ship obviously. So I want to get more on canvas. I have them sitting here. I just have to use them. Yes, Lauren Kristine

Yes. I feel the same way. I think that working on paper just really takes the stress level down when you’re creating. Yes, I like to do anything to remove the stress. But I love the look of a canvas. So I always feel that tension too. Debbie

Watercolor is mostly on paper. So that’s probably why I’ve done that. But I’ve got these canvases. Let’s use them. I can always paint over it. You know if it’s acrylic, so yeah, I need to push myself. Lauren Kristine

Yeah, yeah. And what what size do you usually work with? Debbie

I’m usually around like eight, eight by 10. But I’m not really good at sticking with just the size that it will fit in a frame. So I’ve had to cut off things, but I’ve stuck mostly with 8 by 10 or some 11 by 14. Lauren Kristine

Oh, that’s great. Okay, those are those are sizes that you’ll find are very easy to ship. And there’s a lot of shipping materials available. You can use USPS. And that that’s, that’s I think the simple sizes so I commend you on that. Good okay. And so with shipping, I like to use a lot of recycled materials for shipping so I would all to tell you to start saving those padded envelopes you receive from Amazon and that kind of thing. And anytime I go to Costco, I look at their cardboard supply to look for sheets of cardboard that I can cut down as to help with mailers. Debbie

Okay, good. Yes. Lauren Kristine

So that’s, that’s another option. And if you ever have a painting that is a weird size, you can actually take sheets of cardboard and sandwich them on top, you know, like, put your art in the middle of the sandwich and tape those together and kind of make your own rigid mailer. Debbie

Oh, okay! Yeah, Lauren Kristine

So, lots of options for shipping. But I just tell people before they put stuff up for sale, especially for the first time, just make sure you have a plan. It doesn’t, doesn’t have to be fancy. You don’t have to go out and buy materials in bulk. Just have a plan in case you sell one, you will know how to ship it. Debbie

And get it out in a timely manner, not make them wait while you figure it out. Lauren Kristine

Exactly. And then one other thing I I’d say wait until you’ve sold a few pieces to do this. But eventually, I think it’s a great idea to get a postage scale. I got one on Amazon. And actually, I think it’s a food scale. I can I can link it in the show notes. So on that I got I think it was maybe $11. And it gives really precise readings of how much things weigh. And that helps me save a lot of money as I’m trying to figure out how to pack it. Because if you can keep it under a certain number of ounces, I think it’s under a pound you can ship first class mail. And that comes with tracking. And that is that going to be the cheapest way to do it. USPS Debbie

Tracking! Good idea. Yeah. Yes. Lauren Kristine

So I will, I’ll save that for another day for you. But eventually the postage scale is a huge help as you’re mailing things just Debbie

Good idea. Yeah! Lauren Kristine

Okay, so that covers the logistical piece of it. But that’s the easy part. Because there’s also sort of the mental part of putting your art out there for sale to strangers to friends or family. You mentioned maybe a little bit of insecurity there. Where do you think that comes from? Debbie

Where does that come from? Well, I’m insecure about a lot of things. Lauren Kristine

Aren’t we all? Debbie

Yeah. But one of the things I think I’m best at is art. So I don’t know why it would come out that way. I don’t know. Have you ever been somewhere and at an art show? And somebody says, Oh, look at that in a bad way? I guess that’s what it is. Or I’ll think that I’m making them, hey, buy my stuff, like pitching this. Like, you know, I’m putting it out here because I want you to buy it. And I don’t ever want to pressure anybody into that. If they don’t want it. I don’t want them to have it, you know. So, yeah, I’m not sure. Because people, my family has said they like it. I’ve had other people say they like it. I’m Yes. It’s not a good excuse. Lauren Kristine

No, it’s completely valid. I think I think we’ve all worried about putting something out there that we really like, and having someone say something mean, or not appreciate it. Yeah. That there is that and I think anytime we put something online, there’s always the chance that there’s going to be someone to bring us down. But I think also, we just have to keep in mind that people can just keep scrolling. Normally, if they don’t like something people just keep on going, they’re going so fast through Instagram. That’s true. They don’t pay too much attention to things that don’t really catch their eye. Okay. So, so that’s one way to look at it. But then there’s this other thing you talked about, about, you know, not wanting to force someone to buy it or not make someone feel obligated. Debbie

Right. Lauren Kristine

And I think with that, perhaps maybe a light touch would be a way to dip your toe into these waters, but not kind of be too forceful about the sale. So I think there’s there’s sort of an in between, you could do something as small as just start putting prices underneath this the pieces that you share that you would like to sell. You can do that. Lauren Kristine

You could try launching with a sale and your Instagram stories where we’re maybe you put it out as sort of a “studio cleanout” sale I’ve, I’ve done this before, okay, and you, you have a studio clean out sale and you say, I have piles of art, I would love for them to go to a great home because I don’t have enough wall space. And you can share it just one day. So that’s then 24 hours that your story is up, and then it disappears. Okay. And it’s one way that then you’re not. You’re not bothering people repeatedly. And also, I think I think I just did it, I said the word bother. And I don’t think we’re bothering people. When we put our art out there into the world. I think that the people who are going to appreciate it are going to stop, and they’re going to want to look at it, and they’re going to want to learn more. And the people who it doesn’t speak to, are probably just going to skip over your stuff. Debbie

Right? So you post, say, five pieces. And on each one, it has the price and the description in stories Lauren Kristine

In stories, yes. Or you can also you can put it on your feed, and then delete it afterwards, if you’d like. Debbie

Never thought of that. Lauren Kristine

Yeah, that’s that’s another way. And then I think I think that takes off just more of the pressure. I’m all about taking off the pressure. Because then if it doesn’t go so well, you can delete it. And then nobody has to see it until you then re strategize and think about how you’re going to do it again next time. Debbie

Good thinking I like that. Yes. Lauren Kristine

So it’s all about tests. Although I would say the best way to reach people on Instagram is to do it through all the ways you can. So that would be doing a story and post on your feed or multiple posts on your feed. So I do think if you’re going to do it, you should commit to doing it for just one day. Okay. Just one day, you know, I’m putting it out there in both places, because I find that there are different viewers on Instagram. Some people love stories, they just want to flip through, see what people are up to. And then others like scrolling. Debbie

Yes, I’m the same way. I’ve been doing stories mostly now looking at rather than scrolling down. I don’t know why it seems like it’s more current or? I don’t know. Lauren Kristine

Yeah, I think it’s it’s fresh. And I think people, they expect less perfection from stories. And you get more real – the real person or what’s really going on in their life, I think with stories there’s less of a filter. Debbie

Yes. Lauren Kristine

So I would say if you’re going to do it, commit yourself to it and prep stuff to put both in your feed and in your stories to catch as many people as possible. Because while you’re brave, and you’re putting yourself out there, go all the way go all the way. Yes, yes. And I would also say, Pick a number of pieces. If you’re going to do sort of this studio cleanout sale or a flash sale to test these waters, I would say pick a number of pieces that isn’t going to be overwhelming to the person viewing. Because there is sort of this psychological thing where if humans have too many choices, they can get overwhelmed. Debbie

Yes, I understand that. Lauren Kristine

But you also want to give enough options so that people have multiple things to choose from. Yeah, so that’s going to be I think, the hard part of going through all of your pieces that you have, I’d say try to pick out some really strong ones. But then also have a variety of maybe subjects and colors, that kind of thing. Okay, and try and do something like this with a push to to get it out and then see how it goes. And then perhaps that can fuel future sales. Because I think I think the lowest friction way to sell your work is going to be through just posting your art as you make it with a price tag. Debbie

Yes, I can see that. I think I’m ready for that. Yes, Lauren Kristine

Yes, I think you are too. I think you are too. And and so if you just post the price and as you go, that’s just a very soft way to do it. But I think if you were to kind of launch your sales strategy with this one day where you really focus on it, you then sort of also alert everyone who’s been watching you on Instagram. Hey, my stuff is for sale. Now. If you see something you’d like, let me know. Debbie

Okay, and maybe tell them ahead. I’m going to have a flash sale in three days or a week. Lauren Kristine

Exactly. You build up that momentum so that people know to look at it. Right? I love that idea to let them know ahead of time, and Instagram now has these countdown features you could put on your stories. Okay? So you could do that you can, you know, just publicize it a couple of days in advance. I would say. I personally don’t like when people make art for sale on weekdays, if they’re doing if they’re doing a sale. But I think that also is something for you and your audience. If you think a lot of your friends and family and followers are retired and they’re able to shop on a weekday. That’s a question for you. Debbie

Right? I hadn’t thought of that. But I think weekends make a lot of sense. Or evening. Yeah. Okay. Lauren Kristine

So just some that’s just a bug to put in your ear to think about when the right time would be? Debbie

Okay. Good reminder. Yeah. Lauren Kristine

And, of course, you know, I always think about sort of the calendar of the year and holidays. I don’t think there are any big holidays coming up. But that, but that’s okay, because I think then that means people, you know, aren’t are looking for just one certain type of art or one certain type of thing. Debbie

Okay, right. Yeah. We’ll see what happens. Lauren Kristine

Yeah, exactly. But I think that could be a way where it’s low stakes for you personally, where it’s, you know, a sort of funneling your efforts towards one day. And you can prepare in advance and have it all ready to go. And then, you know, adjust. You take what you’ve learned from that day, and then you adjust. And then, and then I’d say, like, what’s the worst case scenario? I’ll put that question out to you? Debbie

Well, that nothing sells, or that you get some bad comments. But nobody’s gonna leave comments. I don’t. Why would they bother? Lauren Kristine

Right? Yeah, exactly. Debbie

Nothing sells. That just means maybe I don’t have enough followers. Or they weren’t in the mood to buy something. Lauren Kristine

Right. Yeah, exactly. I think you have the right mindset on that. I think a lot of people are quick to say, I did something wrong. My art isn’t good enough. And that is not true. That is absolutely not true. I’ve seen your art. Your art looks beautiful. Debbie

Thank you. Lauren Kristine

You know, your art is beautiful. And that’s really all that matters. So I think when what you just said is exactly right. It’s just they weren’t in the mood to buy something. They didn’t have money in their pocket that day, or they just didn’t see something that fit with their home or that fit in the open space in their home at this exact moment. It’s rarely if ever, the art or you personally. Lauren Kristine

Yeah, I can see that. And different styles for different people. Yes. Lauren Kristine

Yeah. I mean, I love I love sort of where this is going, where maybe you have that studio cleanout sale or the studio flash sale, one day only, you publicize it a few days in advance. And if you’re publicizing it in your stories, try and get your face in your stories, which I hate doing it. I know most people, but more people will listen to your stories if the first frame is have you. Okay, so, so you don’t have to talk that long. Just a little a little clip. And I will, I’ll also say that Instagram has some lovely filters these days, if you record your video in there, that sort of make the lighting perfect. And so that, that helps me to take some of the pressure off to Debbie

Yes, that’s not my favorite idea. But what do you. I’ll do it if you need it, if it needs to be done. Yes. Lauren Kristine

And that’s, I think that’s the biggest thing with if you’re approaching selling your art for the first time. You want to know that you did everything you can to make it a success. And so sometimes you are gonna have to do these uncomfortable things. But I think it’s just that way at the end of your sale. You know, you left it all out on the field. You did everything you could have done. Debbie

That’s really good advice. Yeah. Not really go at it. Lauren Kristine

Yes. And I think just keep reminding yourself that anyone who follows your art account, knows this is an art account. They signed up to follow your art account. Oh, and I think they genuinely want to support you in your artistic journey. Debbie

Okay, sure. Lauren Kristine

And sometimes I think we also forget that there are so many ways that people can support our art and that they are supporting our art. And it’s just the likes, the saves the comments. Those are all they’re all currency for artists and creators. So in, in some ways, they are already supporting you. Debbie

Okay, you’re right. Yeah. And you get some really sweet comments, too. So that’s neat. Yeah. Lauren Kristine

Yeah. So I, I think it’s just repeating sort of like a mantra to yourself that you are putting your art out there in the world, you’re sharing beauty, you’re creating something that didn’t use to exist. And there might be buyers out there who would benefit from that beauty and their life. If you think about it is sharing your gift with the world. I think it’s less. It’s less about asking for the sale, or bothering people. It’s just you sharing your gift with the world. Debbie

Yeah. Really good way to think about it. And I imagine the big famous artists out there have all done it that way. They want to share beauty with the world. Lauren Kristine

Yes. And I love that you’re not coming in with preconceived notions about how much money you have to make or whatever. It’s, it’s about recouping your costs, adding a little bit and having some profit to go make the next one. Debbie

Exactly, exactly. Yeah. Lauren Kristine

And so that, I guess, brings up the question of pricing. Is that another area where you have some questions? Debbie

I’ve seen a lot of comments on how to do it. And part of me thinks don’t go too high, or they won’t want it. But I also think if you go too low, it makes it not look value valued or valuable. So I think I’ve come up with a good formula. And I know you said you, you say that shipping is included, because then it’s in their minds. No more cost this is it, because shipping could be who knows how much? Right? Yeah. And I have mats already. Oh, wow. To put matting around, and I think that gives it a little bit of pizzazz to extra care when to the nice. Lauren Kristine

Wow, you are really ready with those Debbie

I bought the mats and I haven’t done anything with them. But this is the chance. Lauren Kristine

Yes, yes. Oh, that’s so great. I, I mean, I think a Mat adds so much beauty to a piece and so much professionalism. Debbie

When you look at them at home, you’ve just put them out on there. And it’s Wow, this is a finished piece. And it looks really good. So yeah, just for the feeling of how it looks for yourself is really good, too. Lauren Kristine

Yes, I haven’t taken that step. But I think that’s like the next one that I have eyeing right now for my own art. So I think that’s awesome that you have mats ready to go. Yeah. And I still stand by what I say about shipping, I think people, it’s just an extra hurdle in their mind. So if you can bake that into your your price that you put out there. I think that’s great. But I also want you to be prepared. And so I would sort of pack up one of the different sizes. So let’s say you have an eight by 10, put it in the mat, put a piece of cardboard in there, put it in a mailer or you know, put it into pieces of cardboard sandwiched and perhaps go to the post office and weigh it. And that way you know what the costs will be and USPS price? Exactly. It’s just to take out the surprises. Lauren Kristine

USPS for first class mail and Priority Mail, the price depends on where you’re shipping it. Okay, so that that’s another thing that will impact how much the cost is, although I have a great website to share for shipping, and it’s called It’s sort of like you get corporate or bulk pricing on your shipping. And this is something that I get as an Etsy seller. If I sell something on Etsy, Etsy offers a discounted shipping price. I found that this company does the same thing. And so you get great discounts and you can print your labels at home and it really streamlines shipping. So I would write down Debbie

Great suggestion. Lauren Kristine

And it’s free. There’s no minimums. I mean on their site, they say you can even ship Christmas gifts with this. Just bake that cost into, into your price. Debbie

Good. Okay, I like that. Lauren Kristine

I agree with you about you don’t want to go too high, but you don’t want to go too low. And I think pricing is a very personal thing. But it also depends on your audience. And so I know, you know, as a young person, a lot of my friends, they don’t have a ton of money to spend on art, but they have some. So I try to keep mine affordable, and I want to build it up over time. And so that’s I just sort of tell people to think about their friends, their family, their audience, and think about what’s reasonable, because I do think selling it for something is better than not? Debbie

Yes, the first one will be really, really fun. Really great. Lauren Kristine

Yes, exactly. What have we not talked about? Or where else are you feeling like you have questions? Debbie

Do you ever give a discount to friends? Or they want to buy it? Oh, I’ll just give it to you? Or is that? I mean, do they expect that? Do people do that? I don’t know. Lauren Kristine

I have done that a little bit. Sometimes for people who I’m especially close to I’ll give them a small discount. But that was really just when I started. And I think that was it probably came out of my own insecurity about the worth of my art. So I’ve stopped doing that. And I think the only discount I would give at this point would be if someone was buying a big volume of work. Okay. I tend to say just say this is your price. Okay, so the price is what it is, I tend to make it a reasonable cost when I’m selling direct. Sometimes I’ll add a markup if I’m selling it, you know, at a more expensive place or at a show or on Etsy, I need to factor in those extra fees that I have to pay versus me selling direct on Instagram. So I think I would say probably don’t get into the habit of offering like one off discounts for certain people. Debbie

Yeah. Okay, and avoid it. Lauren Kristine

But also, ultimately do it. Do you it feels good for you. I think that can be a slippery slope. Yeah. And then I also agree with you that maybe sometimes people will say, “Oh, can I just have this piece of art? Or could I just have it – it didn’t sell, but I want it.” I think that’s rare that you get those kinds of requests, but I have heard of them happening to some people. So I think that’s also kind of a slippery slope. And you talked about this at the beginning of what you said. I don’t love giving my art away for free. Debbie

Yeah. Because, yes. Lauren Kristine

Especially to family. I think when I don’t get the right reaction. It really hurts my feelings. Debbie

Yes, yes. Lauren Kristine

I’ve kind of had some sticky situations with that in the past where I sent off a painting as a gift. And they may have just stuck it in the closet or in the trash. Debbie

That’s the worst. Yeah, yeah. Worst. Yeah. Lauren Kristine

But I’ll say on the flip side, yesterday, I also gave a painting to my brother as a graduation present. And he loved it. And he’s so excited about it. So I sort of do it on a case by case basis now, and I do know, who is supportive of my work and who’s not now Yes, yes. Because what I’ll do is I actually will cross promote my Instagrams, I do the same exact thing as you I have an art Instagram, and I have my personal Instagram. And from time to time, I will repost something from my art Instagram on my personal Instagram. Just to just to let people know, I’m doing this and if you want to get on board the art train. Come follow me. Debbie

Now’s your chance. Exactly. Lauren Kristine

But if you don’t, okay, I’m going back to personal content tomorrow. Debbie

Okay, that’s a good idea, too, because there they are different people. Yeah, Lauren Kristine

I say this for two reasons. I guess one I would say before you do your studio cleanout sale or studio sale, whatever you want to call it, maybe do a cross promotion to your personal account and try and get a few more people to opt in. I think it’s important. Everybody gets the choice of opting in to your art. They raise their hand they want this content. They’re going to get it but On the flip side, that’s also how I can tell which of my friends and family supports my art. Debbie

Right? Yes. Choice. Lauren Kristine

Exactly. And I’ve made the mistake of giving art to people. And then I realized, oh, yeah, they don’t follow me on my art account. They don’t support me or encourage me and my art. So that’s also kind of the lens that I use to help guide me in when it’s okay for me to give a piece of art away for free. Debbie

Right. Okay, that’s good. Lauren Kristine

Oh, yeah, I guess that’s another thing. That’s another thing I’ll sometimes do with giving it away for free, is sometimes I will include a bonus piece in a package when I send it to a buyer. A Yes. Debbie

Okay, a smaller piece or a duplicate of something else? Yes. Lauren Kristine

Or just a sketchbook little something. And, and I’ve had great success with that people love it. Debbie

Yes, that would cause them to want to buy again. Yes, that’s really good. Lauren Kristine

It’s sort of that surprise and delight factor. That’s something they talk about in business. Businesses are always trying to figure out, how can I surprise and delight my customer? That’s a great way to do it. Throw a little extra in for free. Debbie

Okay, good. Lauren Kristine

But you’re throwing something in for free to someone who you already know, supports your art and enjoys your art. Debbie

Yes, yes. Really good advice. Lauren Kristine

Yeah, we’ve covered a lot of ground, what other questions? Debbie

I am really encouraged and really appreciate all of these good ideas. So I’m motivated to get organized and get organized this weekend, maybe do the actual sale next week? Lauren Kristine

Wow, that’d be awesome. Debbie

I would love to. I’ve had these specific pieces sitting thinking, I can’t put all these in my house. They’re all kind of the same. But they would make a good collection to try and send out. Lauren Kristine

Yes. So I guess my next question would be, what is the first step that you could take? Or what’s the easiest step forward, you could take today or tomorrow to start moving forward to that goal? Debbie

I think I need to go through all the pieces I have, and put them in stacks of this could possibly sell and I really like this. And then these are, you know, not. They’re practice pieces. Or I can make them into a card or something like that. So to get the ones that I think would sell and then maybe, like you said, not too many, so maybe three different types with four or three in each of those groups, and figure out really which ones to go. Lauren Kristine

That’s a big step. And that would be really helpful, I think, to get you going. And then one thing I’ll add to that is you’re going to need great photography of your heart and be ready with that ahead of time. Debbie

Okay, so my own photography, obviously, but just with good light, Lauren Kristine

Yes, yes, good light, and make it bright and make it clean. So no busy backgrounds, that kind of thing. And you’re probably going to want to stick them in the mat to take a photograph of them in the mat. Yes. Okay. And think about where might be a nice place to take those photos. I do a lot of mine, outdoors in natural light. But I mean, you seem to have really great light in that room that you’re in right there. I see you on video. And so maybe there’s a place on the wall or on a shelf where you could take them or even on an easel where you could take really good shots. Debbie

I like the easel idea. I’ve seen people style them too on a shelf with one like a plant or one little thing to show how it kind of can go in the home. So you know, I could play around with that. Lauren Kristine

Yes, play around with that. Try it in advance and see what you have ready to go! Yeah. Debbie

I’m an over preparer. So if anything that’ll keep me from making progress. But I’m not going to jump in there until I’m sure it’s right. Lauren Kristine

Exactly, exactly. And even if it’s not next week, if it’s in two weeks, I think that still would be a huge accomplishment to do it, you know in the next couple of weeks and get all of your ducks in a row and ready. Debbie

I’m going! I told you I’m committed. Lauren Kristine

Exactly. And I love the idea that a few days in advance. You talked about getting on stories, showing your face telling people something exciting is coming. You could maybe tease a photo or two. That would be in the sale. You know, say this is a piece it’s going to be in the sale keep your eye is open at this time on this day, I’m doing the sale. Debbie

Good. I’m writing all this down. Lauren Kristine

Perfect, perfect, I love it. Good. So, so you’re going to pick out your art, you’re going to take photos of it, you’re going to think about your promotion strategy a few days before, and how to catch people and let them know when and where you’re going to be selling. You’re also going to need to practice with PayPal, or figure out how to get PayPal and Venmo to work and have a plan for that. You’re going to need to figure out how you’re going to ship the art and what it will cost and figure out the prices. I think I think really that’s that’s the bulk of it. But that’s a lot of work. Debbie

Maybe I need more than one week. Lauren Kristine

I think so I think you’re gonna need more than a week and that’s okay. That’s okay. I’d say, you know, a good goal would be to do this in you know, let’s say definitely by the end of June, okay. I think you could commit to that. Debbie

Sure. Okay, that’s much better. I also on the creative front am amateur doing flowers for a friend’s wedding in June. So that and buying all these flowers and figuring out how to do the bouquets and stuff. So that kind of has my attention now, but this sale is a go, I’m doing it. Yes! Lauren Kristine

And if you just chip away a little bit each day, I know that you’re going to make great progress. And it’s less about when it actually happens, but it’s more about you having the courage to take these steps forward, and start making it happen. Debbie

Yes! Lauren Kristine

I’m so excited for you. I know this is going to be exciting. And it’s going to open up a new world of possibilities. And just start letting people know in a big way that you’re here and your art is for sale. If they see something that inspires them. Debbie

Yes. And I’m I’m really ready! This opportunity with you came at just the right time I’m telling you. So I really appreciate all these great ideas. Lauren Kristine

Thank you so much, Debbie. I really appreciate that.

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