This decision is in response to the pandemic which I don’t see ending any time soon. Some folks have said that covid will become endemic “like the flu.” “Endemic” is defined as a disease that is normally found in a population – like the flu. Since there are so many of us who have refused to get vaccinated, or who haven’t had access to a vaccine, that means the virus will be hanging around (endemic) and will continue to mutate. The big difference is that endemic flu is not as dangerous as endemic covid. Each year in the U.S. approximately 20,000 to 28,000 people die of the flu. In the past two years, 868,000 Americans have died of covid. That’s an average of 434,000 deaths each year from covid compared to twenty something-thousand from the flu. The word “endemic” should not be a comfort to us when we think of covid.
There’s much talk these days about “pandemic fatigue.” Looks to me like a lot of us are just sick and tired of adapting our lifestyles in the hopes of staying as safe as possible, especially if it means dramatically reducing social interactions. Some of us are living as we did before, going out (often unmasked), and engaging in “live” art and books events. Others, myself included, are living a reclusive existence even if we are fully vaccinated and boosted. We remain concerned about protecting ourselves from “break-through” infections and “long-haul” health problems, even when vaccinated.
Going on line with books is actually much easier than going online with art. There are a few big players in the online book market. Chief among them is Amazon. And there’s also Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and even more.
Art is another story. Finding websites that handle large artworks is more difficult and usually involves higher fees and expensive shipping. I’m still looking for an online market appropriate for my larger artworks, primarily oils on canvas.
I’ve found Etsy to be commercially viable and pretty easy to use with reasonable fees. Etsy opened in 2005 so it’s huge with lots of sellers and lots of buyers. Consequently, it’s easy to get lost there if you’re a seller unless you advertise and engage in other marketing work to promote your shop. Etsy has been criticized for departing from strict handmade criteria and for allowing copyright and trade mark infringements of artists’ work.
I went first to ArtFire, a Tucson-based online market. Unfortunately ArtFire closed down December, 2021, so my home-town choice is no longer an option. So what else appeals? Here’s my short list of possibilities. Each one has a different approach.