As you are probably aware, a website is a very important part of showcasing a product and connecting with customers. So, now that my website – www.sarahkayarts.com is a year old – I thought it was time to take a fresh look at it!
I have decided to redesign the homepage, possibly to include a 360° video. My website also includes a shop and sold page to show what is currently available to buy and also show what has sold (there may only be one of a certain style, but I can make similar pieces if someone loves one in particular.)
Having a good online presence can be a vital tool when trying to sell a product and advertise what you make. Creating a worldwide possibility for customers also requires a commitment to post regularly, have high quality images and be consistent.
Most importantly, it is necessary to select the most suitable social media platform to suit your product and focus on that, as it’s unlikely that you would use them all effectively. I use Instagram, where you can find me as @sarahkay367 and Facebook – “Sarah Kay – artist” as well as an Etsy shop – Sarah Kay arts and my website and blog.
I hope you enjoy my efforts as much as I do following other artists and interesting people, who always inspire me to think up new ideas.
One of my favourite artists to follow is Hope Blamire. She paints landscapes, mainly of the Western Isles, and her Facebook page is full of colourful photos of the scenes that inspire her, as well as her work.
Art in The Old Haa, Burravoe, Yell, Shetland
It’s been a few weeks since I last posted, I hope you’re all having a lovely summer so far? Summer is traditionally a quiet time for me, art wise, due to being a busy time for the chalets.
However, we’ve been busy nonetheless. In May the Fine Arts Shetland group held its first exhibition of work, at the Old Haa museum in Burravoe, Yell.
Originally built in 1672 for merchant Robert Tyrie, the Old Haa has a rich history and fittingly now houses the community museum, displaying information on local history including information on the whaling years, local shipwrecks and collections on natural history, genealogy and a picture and sound archive.
The Fine Art Group’s exhibition went really well and there were even some sales! This was the first time I had been to the Haa, and I loved it. There’s a tearoom and a lovely outdoor space, so it’s well worth a visit if you’re at a loose end in Yell.
I’ve requested a solo exhibition there, possibly for 2018, so fingers crossed for that! If I’m successful I aim to plan a Yell themed exhibition, using mixed media and local materials – there is fantastic sparkly sand to be found at the island’s East Sandwick beach, for example.
As I come from an island, Whalsay, I tend to look at other islands in comparison. When you live on a small island you get to know every corner of them, becoming familiar with every geo and the unique shape of the coastline; and there are many differences between Yell and Whalsay: Yell has some fantastic huge sandy beaches to enjoy. What are your favourite beaches? I’d love to know.
Beachcombing – Challister, Whalsay
My favourite hobby, if you hadn’t guessed already, is beachcombing.
This probably started when I was a child, at “the Bug”, the local name for the small beach just below our family home at Challister, in Whalsay, where I grew up. It’s a special beach to me.
On this small section of shore line there was everything you could hope to find – fine sand, rough sand, shell sand, whelk beds, rock pools for finding small fish, crabs, sea urchins, shells and unusual shaped stones of every size.
There are unusual yellow coloured shells and some with stripes not found on many Shetland beaches. These is a larger pool of water affectionately known as ‘the crabby hole’ which offered unlimited play time for my mum and her siblings when growing up.
It was also where I found not one, but 3 messages in bottles as a child! The one which had travelled furthest was from Newfoundland, Canada, and had been sent by a boy who was the same age as me at the time. He had sent it while on a fishing trip with his dad, which I found out when I wrote to him from the address in the bottle.
The Bug is definitely one of my favourite beaches. It is hidden away, but worth a visit as it has unusual shells which I use for my artwork.
Happy New Year! I hope you’ve all had a lovely festive and are feeling inspired for what 2017 will bring. I’ve has a really relaxing time with family and am preparing for some busy and exciting times ahead. Its straight back to work!
First up is an exhibition, in Islesburgh Community Centre in Lerwick. My pieces will be in the large glass cabinets at the entrance to the building for the whole of January. I exhibited here in June and September last year and its a great place to be as its the hub of the community and the staff are really friendly.
The work on display is a mix of smaller sea glass clothesline designs. The latest batch have winter sunset skies, all inspired by Shetland, of course. There will also be more of my painted scaffolders boards, which are made from recycled chunky wood and are very popular.
As its a free space, the staff can’t sell or handle the work on display, but it you’d like to buy something please get in touch – I’m happy to pop in if you want it there and then, otherwise all of my pieces are available to buy on the website. You can contact me via email, facebook or by calling 01595 880 526. Delivery can be arranged so have a browse, and make sure you pop into Islesburgh if your passing!