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!
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.
Shetland Arts & Crafts Association
As of April 2017, Sarah Kay Arts is now a full member of the Shetland Arts & Crafts Association!
To become a member, artwork must be submitted and examined for their quality assurance assessments. I submitted five pieces, which passed with a score of 90%. This is great news and I’m very pleased to have been accepted.
This means I can now use the Association logo, and will be featured in their annual catalogue. I also have the option to be include in the popular craft trail, and will have a page on their website.
The Association are behind the very popular annual craft fair in Shetland, held at the Clickimin centre. This has become a huge event for the arts and crafts world in Shetland, and dates are now booked for 10th-12th November 2017.