Total Art Soul - for artists

" You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body. "
C. S. Lewis

Is Etsy creating Monsters?

Posted by: Cathy

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I ask myself this question because each time I go on the forum, I am met with aggression, hostility and negativity, no matter what the subject of conversation.  Yesterday I posted about our site and how I wanted to nurture creativity. One 'artist' told me that it was CRIMINAL that people could not buy work through the site.  Criminal?!!! Is he joking? No, he was deadly serious.

When Etsy first started, it was quite idealistic.  They were strict about what you could and could not sell. It had to be handmade, vintage had to mean more than 25 years old. I signed up with enthusiasm. I loved the idea.  I thought I would be amongst likeminded people who all had a common goal.  How wrong could I be?! The atmosphere in the chat rooms is horrible with people bitching about others all the time. If you post anything in the forums and give your opinion about anything at all, you will have several very negative and aggressive responses, guaranteed.  Is it me? I had to ask myself that question. No, if you go through the forum, you'll see much the same.  I've even stepped in to support someone who was being unnecessarily picked on.  Nothing is moderated and the only threads that are closed are the ones where people 'call out' on a specific transaction.

Is having a platform where people are all in competition with one another a good thing? I'm beginning to think not. It seems to be creating monsters, all eager to get to the top of the visibility list, wanting better feedback than the next person, needing more sales. It creates a very unhealthy competition where no one wants to help each other any more. Is it Etsy who is breeding this or is this just human nature?

I was on a site called Yuwie for a short time. There you get paid for each time someone clicks on your profile. A tiny percentage but it made people extremely competitive, always blogging and writing to get visible.  I found it a really negative place to be, no one was really interested in what anyone had to say, it was all about the money.  This is how I feel Etsy has turned out. They started off with what seemed such a great idea but ultimately it was a money making machine.  They say that money is the root to all evil and I am beginning to believe it.  

For a so called artist to say that it is criminal to have a community site without being able to sell, has really saddened me. I thought being an artist was about having passion for what you do, wanting to get better, learning from others. Leonardo da Vinci did not paint the Mona Lisa to sell it.


 I have generalized here, it's a general feeling that I've had in my experience with Etsy, this article is by no means saying that everyone there is the same.


Posted by: Cathy

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Since creating this site on 1st January, I have been quite amazed at the level of talent here.  Many of the members have had a real impact on how I think about my art.  I have become hungry again to try different things and have awakened my interest in developing further as an artist. 

MightyFineArt has inspired me to go back to basics and start to draw again. I did my first pencil drawing in years which I hope he will give me feedback on later once it's finished. 


GrinGrimaceAndSqueak have really inspired me in the way they work. They're attitude to their business and how they market themselves.  I never feel at any time that they are pushing things too much and they inject just the right amount of humor so that you cannot forget them. Their series of blogs of recipes for starving artists is inspired. So simple but a wonderful idea which drives much traffic to their profile page.

MickeyArtGlass has inspired me for the fact that he does an art form which I have long admired.  Glass has fascinated me for a long time and I could stand and watch people blow glass all day.  I particularly like that he makes hummingbird feeders. I adore birds and nature so this appeals to me. It's just a pity that her in France we are not likely to ever see a hummingbird! He's also a very approachable guy who is always willing to participate in discussions and impart information.

CatSalterArt has inpired me for her pure drive to paint every day! She has motivated me into more creative action. I'm full of admiration for someone who is so disciplined.

CarolChretien inspired me into thinking more about the light I need to inject in my paintings.  It's something I have struggled with.  Some of her botanical paintings seem to actually glow. I don't know how she does it. I must try harder!

There are a few more of you who have inspired me in different ways but I'll keep that for another blog! :-)


New Home for my Painting

Posted by: Cathy

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It's not very often that when you get a commissioned painting you get to see it in situ.  This commission traveled all the way to Belgium to the new home of my cousin so I am lucky enough to see where it will now live.  It's not yet hanging on the wall as they can't decide exactly where to put it but it's in the room where it will live.

This is a wooden house and I like the colors with the wood walls.


The painting has now found a permanent home on the wall.




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