29 July 2011

A Journey Begins

This is a guest post by George Kinghorn of Wonderland Artwork. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

A few months ago, when it all began, the start of... nothing! My first year of University had finished and I needed something constructive to do with my time. A lot of my friends looked for some work experience and others just did nothing with their time. I decided I would like to sell some of my artwork, so that’s exactly what I did.

I did not really know where to begin with it all, but after some research on the internet I came across Etsy and I thought it was the perfect place from my artwork. I went on to develop my artwork in the style I had used at university and it seemed to be popular. I experimented with lots of things but two of them really worked for me: fish and feathers! With these in mind I was on full speed ahead with my artwork. I produced a good selection of work which is still growing with more pieces being added all the time!

After my first sale I was really spurred on to do more work, I kept getting good feedback on my work so I was confident people liked it. My first sale was to a lady in Spain, I was so happy that my work was being spread around the world. I found it fascinating that someone would be willing to buy and hand in their house something I would spend an afternoon creating. I’ve had a few sales since then and I’m just so pleased what people not only like my work but would be willing to own it!


The hardest part is the beginning

It’s a strange feeling really, It made me feel like I was going somewhere. I know that’s a big statement for something so simple but it’s the truth. What should it matter to others if it makes yourself feel a sense of fulfilment? The hardest part was the beginning, I feared I was doing everything wrong. From the artwork itself to creating my online shop and shipping all the right things to the right places, but it all came together.

I would encourage anyone who would like to give it a go, to have a crack at it. It’s worth, once you find someone who likes your work and is willing to pay for it! To be honest I didn’t think there was an awful lot of help for new starters on Etsy and I thought it wasn’t really easy to go with the flow.

Red Maple Leaf

How I improved

After I had a search around, I found a few websites suggesting things like take great photos, add lots of listings and advertise. Well, yes, these are great suggestions but to a newbie like me, these seemed a little vague. I wanted a more detailed beginner’s guide, so I hope this blog might help a few newbies out there.

Firstly, I would suggest don’t force your creativity out, at the beginning I was trying too hard to push loads of illustrations out and they were not to my highest quality. Once I stopped trying so hard and just let it flow when I was ready, it all became more fluent and better quality.

Secondly, just take it slow, take the time to read the FULL form when listing an item and make sure you fill everything out with a good amount of detail. Once you’ve done a few you’ll find these become easy.

With my illustrations the photos needed to capture a lot of detail, and I found taking pictures in daylight outside really helped bring out all the fine lines, scanning also worked a treat. To be honest, I’m still new to Etsy myself and I’m still trying to figure it all out but I’m just trying to share what I have learnt so far.

Along my journey, I decided to blog my creativity on Tumblr to engage with other creative entrepreneurs and bloggers. This allowed me to see other people's work and share inspiration. Lots of people on Etsy have blogs so it’s a good way to get to know people and ask some questions. Oh and another thing, on Etsy click on Community < Join a team. Teams are collections of people who share a common interest. These are perfect if you want to meet and chat to people who might be selling similar things in their shop.

This is basically where I’m up to in my journey and I hope you enjoy yours! I’d love to hear how it’s going on your end, so feel free to drop me a line!

My name is George Kinghorn and I’m a 19 year old student from Halifax, England. I’ve grown up in a small Village called Southowram. Drawing basically got me through education and it has grown up with me, changing just as I have. I’ve never known exactly what I wanted to do in life but I’ve always known and hoped that it would involve my artwork and creativity. I enjoy all the things you might think a student of my age would but I’ve always considered myself mature for my age. I love to chat to new people, I'm only a bit shy, so feel free to drop me a line! You can find my blog here

P.S. That’s me with my lovely girlfriend, Amy in the picture.


  1. These are some great tips! It is definitely daunting to be on Etsy and see some shops with sales in the thousands, but it takes time to get there.

    I was so amazed to sell one of my hooded towels to someone in Belgium (my first international sale). It is still very cool to think that there is a baby halfway around the world warming up after bathtime in a towel that I made. =)

  2. Thanks for sharing your journey thus far George. I love your illustrations.

  3. Thanks Tricia!

    Your towels and shop look brilliant :).

    I know, I found it hard to believe people all around the world wanted MY artwork, haha!

    George :)

  4. Love the illustrations! They're so delicate and pretty. Nice post, too!

  5. Gorgeous artwork. Enjoyed your post and glad to have found you through Sonya's blog:)

  6. I'm in love with the images in your blog, George. (Baya Yaga has haunted me since childhood, I must say...)

  7. Love your artwork! Wonderful post and I'm so glad I found you through Etsy Blog Team! Following you now! Thank you for sharing!

    (Trina's Clay Creations)

  8. Great tips and beautiful artwork!

  9. Thanks for the lovely comments guys!

    I'm just learning the ropes but I've recently done a 'witchcraft' photoshoot you guys should check out! It's on behance, here's the link:

  10. Love that goldfish, what a beauty. Best of luck with Etsy! :)

  11. hello there! from etsy blog team and ecoetsy too:)
    lovely blog and also your illustrations are awesome. I paint too-do visit my shop sometime.
    Please also visit my blog and say hello:


  12. This is a great article, thank you! And I really love the goldfish! It's so awesome!!

  13. Thank you so much guys :)