Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Artfire Members Blogging Contest

Hi everyone

Artfire, with its usual interest in all that we do, is running a blogging contest, so this is my entry (I'm  trying to wind the $500 gift voucher).  The contest requires us to say what we like about Artfire and that will probably vary from person to person and it will be hard to narrow it down to five, but here goes!

Firstly, The Artfire Studio.  I like Artfire because it gives me great value for my money - my Artfire studio is an inexpensive way to get a professional studio format where I can list all of the things I like to make and sell.  It love that it allows me to separate those things into categories of my choice as well. There are so many features in the studio apart from the items you are selling,  that can make it of interest to a potential buyer - there are places to tell about yourself, how you create, a blog, a gallery of past works, collections that you have made, etc. Artfire was the first studio on the net that I set up and I still feel that it is the best, especially because there are no strings attached - you have the copyright and sole control over what you are selling - Artfire does not use your items to make money like some other sites (no names mentioned) or sell your personal information.  I have no hesitation in recommending it.

Secondly, the Artfire Help Menus.  Being computer illiterate I love the way Artfire has fantastic help menus that cover everything you could possibly want to know and if you can't figure it out they have excellent online support services.  One of its great help features is the Global Editior function, which is a really useful tool because it allows you to change information on a number of items all at once e.g. if you need to change a keyword or a postage rate, etc. - it saves a lot, lot, lot of time!.    I was both excited and terrified when I got my first sales notification but Artfire's sales set up made it all smooth sailing for me (all that "eek now what do I do?!" stress was all for nothing).    I can highly recommend Artfire to anyone thinking of selling their art and handicrafts online, especially if you don't have a strong computing background (and if you do have a strong computing background you will be able to do even more fantastic stuff with those darned widget thingys). 

Thirdly, Artfire Kiosk - Thanks to Artfire (and encouragement from other Artfire members too) I now have a Facebook business page and items I sell can also be easily accessed via the additional Artfire Kiosk on Facebook and also via the Facebook widget (not sure if that's the right name) button thing on our studio page.  This gives me an even larger group of potential buyers.  

Fourth, Marketing Tools & Widget Thingys - I love that Artfire allows me great marketing tools, for instance it allows me to have links to my other internet locations e.g. my Website, My Blogger, Facebook, and even to other selling sites like Zibbet. These links are provided through the Market Hub tool, which is something I use all the time. The Market Hub tool lets you have buttons buyers can click on in your studio, which will take them to all your other locations.   I always have trouble remembering the addresses of these links, all of which are on the Market Hub set up page.  As all my links are listed there, I frequently zip into that page and quickly copy the links - so convenient that one (thanks Artfire).  They have promotional widgets  promoting Artfire which can be placed at your other locations too, they are an excellent tool (once you've figured out what the heck a widget is and what you do with them).  Artfire is so well set up that it gives you a huge amount of global customer viewing potential and lets you see how people are searching for you too.  

Fifth,  Community.   I love the way Artfire has made it possible for me to make so many contacts with other Artists.  Artfire offers membership to a wide variety of guilds and also has the community hub where everybody can communicate with each other.  So basically, you can communicate via the guilds, the community, facebook sites, and the messaging system (which you can direct to your email if you wish).   In fact one of the ways I have made friends on Artfire is because of the Artfire Collections - viewing other peoples collections and then making a collection of your own is fun and a great way to get feedback from other Artfire members.  Being featured in a collection gives you even more exposure and you usually end up helping each other and doing collections of each other's work.  I am in two Artfire Guilds, one of which has (in addition to its guild site) a location on facebook, where we all get together to help exchange news, info and to help each other in a variety of ways, all thanks to Artfire.  It is terrific to communicate with people you have never met who are often on the other side of the planet - I just love it.  My only regret is that I do not have enough time to spend taking full advantage of all the ways Artfire allows me to communicate and share ideas with  other Artfire friends. 

There are lots of other things about Artfire that I like, but I have already reached my required five, so I will just provide some links here and leave it at that. Artfire also rewards you if you refer other people to them, so I have included my referral link here (just in case you are thinking of joining).  

If you would like to view my Artfire Studio this is the link to it:

Cheers from Down Under (yep, there are quite a few of us Aussies on Artfire!)

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Facebook Business Page

Hi I'm back again (gad - so soon you all cry!)

I forgot to mention that I have set up a new facebook page specifically for  art and craft stuff.  Up until now Ian and I have used our personal profiles, which had limited public access.  There is now a new page called


where you can view oil, acrylic and watercolour art, tie dye, jewellery, etc. and find interesting links to the sites of other arts and crafts people.  It is a joint studio site and some of my brother Ian's  work is featured on the site.  Ian paints mainly in oils and acrylics, whereas I lean towards watercolour and acrylics.  I hate oil paints  - ghastly, smelly paints that give you a headache and I get in just an awful mess with them - the colours all turn to mud because the darn things won't dry and let you keep painting (they take   f-o-r-e-v-e-r  to dry)  and if you drag your arm over the work accidentally its a big mess -yuk, yuk, yuk!! Yes, yes, I know - no offense meant - I can hear your protests already  - my profuse apologies to my brother and to all of you brilliant, talented and patient oil painting artists out there who just love them and can use them like a pro - well done - I take my hat off to you and I will never, ever  be in competition with you  (I know my limitations and I'll stick to watercolour).

Anyway,  if you get a minute check out the new site, Ian and I would welcome any feedback and comments (constructive ones only please - we're sensitive).  If you like the site, please remember to click the LIKE button and share it with your friends.  If you have a fan/business page of your own,  we will endeavour to LIKE yours back.


Artfire Collections Mania

Hi everyone

I don't know what possessed me the other day but in a moment of computer insanity I decided that I would do a new Artfire collection.  Artfire collections are curated by members of Artfire and consist of items that  a  member has liked enough to put into a collection.  The collection consists  of 12 items and  is then published  on the Artfire site.  Collections are usually selected with some type of theme in common e.g. colour, type of content, etc.  If you follow this link it should take you to the collections page and you can search on any type of thing you want  http://www.artfire.com/modules.php?name=collections

Anyway, I thought I'd do some paintings by the members of our Artfire "A Passion For Painting" Guild.  So, I set to looking them all up and yep, you guessed it - there were a lot more of them than I thought!  They are such a talented and passionate bunch of artists that I thought I couldn't really leave anyone out.  One collection turned into a series of 7 collections and took me HOURS!  I nearly went nuts trying to make sure I had included something from every member.  So there is now a "A Passion For Painting" series of collections 1 - 7 and you can search for them in the collections menu under that name or you can visit my Artfire studio at http://www.artfire.com/users/heatherian and click on the collections button (you will then see all the collections I have ever done).  So if you like looking at the art of other talented artists please take a look at the studios of the guild members whose work I have featured - you will find even more exciting art to look at.  There is also a facebook site (entitled "A Passion For Painting Guild) " where anyone can go to see what guild members and followers are up to.   

It is actually fun doing collections as you get to look at lots of brilliant art and craft items, so if you have an Artfire studio and haven't yet done a collection - give it a try - its enjoyable and there's help menus if you get stuck.   

Of course, I got so involved putting everyone else's art into the collections that I forgot to put anything of my own in any of them (daaahhhh!) - never mind - I'll just chalk that up on the ever increasing list of senior moments!

Thanks to all those people who forwarded  the collections around on their blogs and twitter  -  I don't have twitters (except for the ones in my bird aviaries) - I've only just mastered blogs.  I will master this twitter thing at a later time (I'll just settle for being a bit twitty for now).  Have a great day everyone, cheers.