Saturday, 15 November 2008

Commercial Purposes

Several things have got me thinking about making money this week. And when I say 'making money', I say it with a hollow laugh and a wistful look in my eye.

Firstly, I had a warning from Flickr that I was not to use my account for commercial purposes. As far as I can tell, this was based on my having links to etsy on my profile. (I've been discussing the details with Renee on her blog.) I can only think that Flickr have a very limited knowledge of what Etsy is all about. Does anyone make much money from Etsy? Oh sure, there must be some, but even when I look at shops that have loads of sales, they're often all small value sales. Each sale takes a fair amount of time, even if you can just repeat the listing. If you sell vintage and one-off handmade items, like I do, every listing is different and you have to spend time on it. So when I look at the amount of time I spend on it, I don't even make minimum wage. Most of the time that doesn't matter - I do it because I want to, and the rewards are more than monetary.

However, in an ideal world, I would like to make a living from stuff like this eventually. I gave up my job a couple of years ago, and used my redundancy money to buy a period of ... um...I'm groping for a phrase here that doesn't sound as naff as 'self-discovery'...let's call it 'dithering'. I've managed to extend that time by selling our house (oh yeah, Mr Kitsch doesn't have much of an income, either) and we're living off the capital (mostly). In my best moods of self-belief, I KNOW this is the right decision, and I'm very happy about it, but at other times, well... you know.

My belief in the money-making potential of art was also threatened by a conversation we had last weekend. Mr Kitsch invited some friends over who are in a very good indie band. They were telling us about their plans, and although they know their band is good, they are also convinced that they can never make much money with it. They cited their many musical heroes, who have fantastic reputations and are well known in the indie world, but who still can't make enough money to go on tour.

The music business is changing in all sorts of ways, good and bad, but I think it's basically just about art. Does art sell? Does the ability to sell music, art, craft, kitsch vintage tat on the internet mean that lots of people go out there and flood the market? Are people like me just deluding ourselves? And if I type lots of unanswered questions in a blog does that make me sound like Carrie in Sex and the City?

OK, heavy stuff here. Take a deep breath and then let go. Feel better? No, neither do I.

Here's a picture of a nice doggy - hope it helps.

Oh by the way, this picture is available on a card in my Etsy shop Buy now!!!!


Renee said...

I don't know! There's so much art in this world. From a teacher's point of view - in most subjects we go by a set of rules. Grammar has rules, math has rules and history was set in stone.

Even though we follow some rules with art and music, lot's of people tend to go their own way. AND it's so easy to do what you want. AND now because there's millions of people doing what they want, it's impossible to make a living.

Make sense? It did in my head!@ LOL

Jenn said...

Awesome factoid!! By the way: Love your blog!! I am quite the fan of kitsch! :X

Kitsch and Curious said...

Renee - Yes, I do know what you mean.
But at the same time, the optimistic part of me (yes, there's a small part!) thinks that it IS possible, despite every indication to the contrary! It's probably better not to think about it too much!

J - Welcome to my blog - glad you like it!