WOOF! Thank you for visiting i heart dogs studio, the home of pet portraits lovingly painted by me, Christine Humphries Throckmorton. Since 2007, I have created custom pet portraits, prints, cards, and more, all featuring lovable canines (and the occasional feline). Scroll down, take a look around, click away. You'll see a wide variety of pet portraits, and get to know a bit about the girl behind the canvas.

PLEASE NOTE: Now that I have a toddler, I am no longer accepting commissions. For now, I am shelving the paintbrushes and just enjoying being MOM. I have a variety of original paintings, prints, and cards available in my shop, however, and there is a lot of dog art to peruse in the pages of this here blog. Enjoy.

“I would rather see the portrait of a dog that I know, than all the allegorical paintings
they can show me in the world.” ~ Samuel Johnson

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Updating the Etsy shop (this is going to take a while)

There are numerous articles on and off Etsy about how to improve one's Etsy shop and increase sales. And in every article, the first—and loudest—suggestion is photography. Until now, I've taken advantage of the fact that my Etsy wares are either easily scan-able, or already digital. My photos were straightforward, but they weren't exactly eye-catching. Nor did they reflect a lot of effort. My sales have been OK, and fairly steady...but they could be much better. So yesterday I embarked on what promises to be a long journey to a new and improved Etsy shop. I'm starting with my Dog Wisdom cards. I have about 70 in my collection now, but many more are in progress. Yesterday I focused on five. Five. And it took me hours. Did I mention this will be a long journey?

In addition to the straight-up digital image that appears on the front of the card, I decided to actually photograph the printed card—front and back. The cards are black and white so I thought: why not utilize my collection of gorgeous fine papers as colorful backdrops? Love it. In each card's description, I mention how some people like to frame the cards, rather than send them. So I decided to photograph the framed version of each card, hanging on the wall. Nice. Finally, I want to show what the cards look like all bagged up in their cello sleeves, thereby dropping a hint about buying SETS of cards; so a little cute pile of packaged cards serves as my fifth of my five photos. I took 76 photos, and ended up with 22 that I used among the five card listings. A lot of Photoshop work went into making the photos look their best. Whew!

I'm very happy with the result. Now I just have to do this for 65+ more cards. The good thing about printing each card first is that I will actually build an inventory; so that when I get a card order, I'll have it on hand, vs. having to print it on-demand. Then, if I'm über-disciplined, I won't re-list a sold card until I print it first. This practice will be a huge time saver in the future, but for now I have to buy a lot of supplies before I can proceed.

I also have to re-vamp the listings for my prints. And originals. Hmm...should I have waited until summer when I'm off from teaching for 2.5 months? Nah! I'm too excited about this makeover to wait. The shop will be sparse as I continue this journey. {If you'd like to purchase an item you've seen in my shop, but that item is currently inactive, please convo me on Etsy and I'll get it to you.} I'm looking forward to (hopefully) seeing a significant return on my time. All of those articles promise it will be worth the effort!
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