Readers (I'm assuming there's more than one of you left) who've been around here for a while might, if they've got terrifyingly good and cavernous memories, remember me once upon a time selling artwork through Etsy. It went pretty well, I sold a fair few pieces and worked a couple of commissions, and all was peachy. Then, five years ago, Etsy introduced a new set of terms & conditions, with implications for life drawings (which make up the bulk of my work) and I threw a massive strop:
How dare they? How dare they insinuate that my drawings, my paintings are nothing but cheap titillation? That the years spent learning how to accurately depict the human body on paper or canvas was done with no higher purpose than giving someone an erection? And that most puritanically fucked-up and damaging concept of all that I've always railed against when it came to life drawing, that nudity = sex?
Ah, the righteous fury of youth! (Er, I was 31). Such was my rage, I shut up shop and went elsewhere, first to Dawanda, then to Big Cartel, both of which leading to exactly zero sales. Balls. After that, I just gave up on the thought that anyone might want to buy any of my artwork.
Then, a couple of weeks back, I was flipping through a portfolio case (trying to find some seemingly AWOL drawings), looked at some of my artwork and thought, hold the bus, these are pretty good! Why are they just sitting in this folder doing chuff all? Why not see if someone might like to buy these, with the proceeds going towards the Buy Jon A Graphics Tablet For Digital Artwork Fund?
Given my abject failure elsewhere, and the realisation that selling on my own would only reach an audience in the probable tens, I decided to pop back over to Etsy for the first time in five years and see if I felt any differently since my nudity nark. Turns out I do!
To be fair, things have changed. Those terms and conditions now require that work showing (let's get technical here) the genitals need to be marked as mature, so all of the topless/back view life pieces remain 'normal'. And while I still don't think there's anything inherently filthy per se about a full-frontal, I appreciate that this isn't a universal view - not only that, I also appreciate that there's plenty of artwork/photographs on sale via Etsy of the same subject that are clearly designed to titillate. Honestly, the results of a search on Etsy for artwork under the word 'nude' can be pretty depressing and pretty much puncture my righteous indignation of yore.
So, yup, here we go again. While the churn of products on Etsy make the browse function utterly, utterly useless, hopefully anyone interested in the pictures I do will bookmark my shop and pop by now & then. If nothing else, I'll chirp up on Facebook and Twitter now and then with links to newly added pictures, at least until people start calling me Spammy McSpamSpam. Also, the Etsy app works a treat and - big improvement this = artwork can now be priced in pound sterling rather than just US dollars.
And for anyone who's actually read through all of this and might be tempted to buy some original artwork, here's something for you - a discount code to get 10% off the listed price: MATESRATES10. Go! Browse! Buy! Thank you, come again!