As an artist and creative business owner, promoting my work online and on social media is a key part of my business. And as a keen Instagram user, I was really excited to attend a workshop by writer and photographer Jessica Rose Williams, held recently in Lerwick.
Jessica came to Shetland with Promote Shetland (you can read her blog post on her time in the isles here) and while she was here, ran a workshop on getting the most from Instagram for small business.
It was held at The String, a cafe and restaurant which opened in Lerwick in the summer, and is one of a handful of exciting new businesses to bless “da street”.
The workshop gave a really good overview of the things to focus on to maximise the platform for a small business, and it was nice to connect with other creatives and small business owners at the same time.
Thank you to everyone who likes and comments on my posts of Facebook and Instagram!
Find me on Instagram – sarahkay376
As a break form painting by myself, I am currently enjoying attending a painting evening class, with the lovely artist – Heathter Wilson. The theme for the 8 week course is landscapes and we have been given a beautiful photo of a landscape with and orange and purple sky, reflecting in water, on the island of Yell, Shetland. I was excited to see that was our subject and could not wait to get to the painting stage! I have chosen to paint the final piece on plywood board as prefer it to paper. We are currently half way and I cant wait to show you the final piece!
Now on the final week – here is my painting, ready to frame. 50 x 40 cms
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.
I was so delighted to see that the Sarah Kay Arts Facebook page recently reached 1,000 likes!
I really enjoy sharing my work with interested viewers, and it’s a great way to let people know what I have coming up, or what I’ve been working on.
Being an artist can feel like a one way conversation at times, but getting feedback from my followers is really lovely – I learn a lot this way, and it’s useful for coming up with new ideas.
Community is such an important thing, for artists and for everyone, and I’m so thankful to everyone who shares anything that I post. This is actually a great way to support artists, without having to buy something, so please do leave feedback for artists and work that you admire. It can go a long way.
I also enjoy using Instagram for my artwork, so please do join me! You can find me at @sarahkay376.
It’s been busy few weeks preparing for Shetland’s annual Christmas Craft Fair, which is this weekend!
The craft fair is a hugely popular event in Shetland – it attracted over 4,000 visitors last year. It’s also a special event for Sarah Kay Arts, as it was here that I first tried selling my artwork, two years ago. I had such a great time and got such a good response that I haven’t looked back since!
The fair is held at the Clickimin Centre, in Lerwick. The restricted parking there can cause a bit of a headache but hopefully it won’t be too much of an issue!
It is a wonderful event: the halls are packed out with a huge number of stall holders displaying a diverse range of products, with everything from knitwear and textiles to pottery, art and fashion. It’s a great opportunity to get some extra special, locally made Christmas gifts, too.
Having a stall is a brilliant experience, and great practice for anyone thinking about taking part in trade fairs off the isles.
2017 will mark my third fair and, following feedback from previous years, I’ll have a range of work on display priced from £2.50 to my higher end pieces, at £250. Items under £25 were sought after so I tried to accommodate this.
Using sea glass and sea pottery in art has become quite popular, so I’ve had to be careful that my new items are original and not too similar to anything else. I double checked with two other crafters just be sure, and they were grateful for my enquiry. Shetland is a very small place, so it’s important to work together and support one another.
Sarah Kay Arts will be at stall number 59, so come and say hello. See you there!