Etsy is NOT for Artists 🎨 (Why your Art Isn't Selling)

Dylan Jahraus
5 Feb 202409:23

TLDRIn the video titled 'Etsy is NOT for Artists 🎨 (Why your Art Isn't Selling)', Dylan Jarus explains that Etsy is not the ideal platform for artists to simply showcase their creativity and make a substantial income. He suggests that artists need to approach Etsy with a business mindset, prioritizing making money over artistic fulfillment initially. Jarus outlines a four-step strategy for artists without a strong following to succeed on Etsy: 1) Prioritize making money over creating soul-nourishing art, 2) Stop making art for personal satisfaction and instead focus on creating for profitable customers with expensive taste, 3) Assess and adjust pricing to match demand, and 4) Transform art into functional and accessible items. He emphasizes adapting to market demands and leveraging corporate e-commerce principles to grow an artist's Etsy shop. The video also offers a free 16-step checklist for growing an Etsy business.


  • 🎨 **Etsy is not an art gallery**: It's not the place to simply showcase your creativity if you want to make money.
  • 👨‍🎨 **Artists need a different approach**: There are two types of artists on Etsy - those with a strong following and those without. Tailor your strategy accordingly.
  • 📈 **Prioritize profit over passion**: Initially focusing on making money can provide the financial freedom to enjoy your craft later.
  • 🛍️ **Stop making art for yourself**: Consider creating art that appeals to profitable customers with expensive taste.
  • 📊 **Understand supply and demand**: Your pricing should reflect the demand for your work. If there's no demand, you may need to adjust your prices.
  • 🎨 **Adapt your aesthetic**: Pay attention to what your target customer likes and adapt your art to match their tastes.
  • 📈 **Grow your brand**: Focusing on making money first can help you build your brand faster and more effectively.
  • 💰 **Create functional art**: Turn your art into items that have a purpose, utility, and functionality to increase sales.
  • 📉 **Check your pricing strategy**: If you have no sales, it might be time to reassess your pricing and how you're marketing your art.
  • 📈 **Increase demand**: If you're struggling to sell, you may need to create more demand for your work through marketing and branding efforts.
  • 📚 **Use corporate e-commerce principles**: Apply strategies from corporate e-commerce to grow your Etsy shop and understand customer behavior.

Q & A

  • Why does the video suggest that Etsy may not be the best platform for artists?

    -The video suggests that Etsy may not be the best platform for artists because it is not an art gallery where artists can simply showcase their creativity. Instead, it's a marketplace where products need to be marketable and cater to customer demands to be successful.

  • What is the first step Dylan Jarus recommends for artists on Etsy who want to make money?

    -The first step recommended is to choose a priority between making money and making things that feed the artist's soul. This decision is crucial for making necessary decisions to get traction in the market.

  • What is the difference between the two types of artists mentioned in the video?

    -The two types of artists mentioned are those with a strong following and a brand, and those without a following. The former may already have people actively looking for their work, while the latter may not have a significant audience or recognition.

  • Why does the video encourage artists to consider making art for profitable customers?

    -The video encourages this approach because it can lead to higher sales and profitability. By creating art that caters to the tastes of customers with expensive taste, artists can potentially adapt their work to a more profitable market.

  • How does the video suggest artists can adapt their work to be more appealing to a profitable customer base?

    -The video suggests conducting polls on social media platforms like Instagram or in Facebook groups to gauge the preferences of a more affluent customer base. It also recommends looking at what expensive brands these customers are drawn to and adapting the art and aesthetic accordingly.

  • What is the importance of checking pricing for artists on Etsy?

    -Checking pricing is important because if there is no demand for the art, it doesn't warrant high pricing. Artists need to create demand for their work before they can charge premium prices. The video emphasizes the reality of supply and demand in the art market.

  • How can artists increase demand for their work on Etsy?

    -Artists can increase demand by making their designs more accessible to a wider audience, focusing on customer needs first, and creating functional and accessible items that serve a purpose or utility, rather than just being something to look at.

  • What is the significance of turning art into functional items according to the video?

    -Turning art into functional items can significantly increase an artist's income because these items are more likely to be purchased by customers. It combines the appeal of art with the utility of everyday items, making them more attractive to buyers.

  • What kind of products does the video suggest for new artists on Etsy to start with?

    -The video suggests starting with products that have purpose, utility, and functionality, such as coasters, trays, pillows, bedding, or apparel with artistic designs, as these are more likely to generate sales.

  • Why is it suggested to prioritize making money over the joy of the craft initially?

    -Prioritizing making money initially provides artists with financial stability, which in turn allows them to focus more on the joy of the craft later. It also helps to build the brand faster and establish a larger audience.

  • What is the purpose of the 16-step checklist mentioned in the video?

    -The 16-step checklist is a guide that provides tactical and practical action steps to help grow an Etsy shop. It includes revenue-generating activities that can be implemented by the shop owner.

  • How can artists reach out if they are serious about making a full-time income with their art?

    -Artists who are serious about making a full-time income with their art can reach out to Dylan Jarus and his team, who have experience in helping Etsy sellers scale their businesses and may be able to provide further guidance and support.



🎨 Etsy for Artists: Monetizing Creativity

Dylan Jarus discusses the misconception that Etsy is purely for artists to showcase their work. He emphasizes that artists looking to make money on the platform must approach it as a business, not an art gallery. He offers a 16-step checklist for growing an Etsy shop and categorizes artists into those with a strong following and those without. For the latter, he suggests prioritizing profit over personal satisfaction, adapting art to appeal to profitable customers, and focusing on functional and accessible items. He also stresses the importance of understanding market demand and pricing products accordingly.


💰 Prioritizing Profit in Artistry on Etsy

The second paragraph delves into the practical aspects of selling art on Etsy. It uses the example of a wedding fashion designer to illustrate how focusing on profitable customers can lead to higher pricing and better sales. The speaker advises checking pricing against demand, enhancing branding, and turning art into functional items to increase sales. The importance of creating demand for one's art is highlighted, along with the potential for significant income growth when artists prioritize making money over personal enjoyment. The speaker invites artists serious about making a full-time income from their art to reach out for further guidance.




Etsy is an e-commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items and craft supplies. In the video, it is discussed as a platform where artists can sell their work, but the speaker argues that it may not be the best place for artists to simply showcase their creativity if they want to make a significant income.


Artists are individuals who create art, which can be visual, auditory, or performing. The video differentiates between two types of artists on Etsy: those with a strong following and those without. The advice given is tailored to help the latter group succeed on the platform.

💡Revenue Generating Activities

These are specific actions or strategies that can be implemented to increase the income of an Etsy shop. The video mentions a 16-step checklist that includes such activities, which are crucial for growing a business on Etsy.


A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or other feature that distinguishes an artist's work from that of other creators. The video emphasizes the importance of building a brand for artists, especially those without an established following.

💡Making Money vs. Making Art

The video discusses the dilemma artists face between creating art purely for personal satisfaction (making art) and creating art with the intention of selling it (making money). It suggests prioritizing making money initially can lead to financial stability and later allow for more artistic freedom.

💡Profitable Customers

These are customers who are willing to spend more on products, which can lead to higher profits for the artist. The video suggests that artists should consider creating art that appeals to this demographic to increase their earnings.

💡Supply and Demand

This economic principle is mentioned in the context of pricing art on Etsy. If there is no demand for an artist's work, they may need to adjust their pricing strategy to attract customers and stimulate demand.


💡Functional and Accessible Items

The video suggests that artists should consider creating items that are not just aesthetically pleasing but also serve a practical purpose. This can make the art more appealing to a broader customer base and increase sales.

💡Pricing Strategy

Pricing strategy refers to how an artist sets the price for their work. The video discusses the importance of aligning pricing with the demand and the value perceived by the customer. It also touches on the need for artists to review their pricing if they are not making sales.

💡Product Mix

A product mix refers to the variety of products that an artist offers in their shop. The video suggests that once an artist has built a brand and following, they can leverage this to offer a more diverse product mix, potentially including higher-priced items.

💡E-commerce Principles

These are the fundamental strategies and practices used in online commerce. The speaker applies corporate e-commerce principles to the Etsy platform to help artists increase their sales and revenue.


Etsy is not an ideal platform for artists to simply showcase their creativity if they want to make a significant income.

Dylan Jarus has helped over 2,000 Etsy sellers scale their businesses to over $10 million in revenue.

Artists need to approach Etsy differently based on whether they have a strong following or not.

For artists without a following, prioritizing making money over artistic fulfillment is crucial for success on Etsy.

Adapting artwork to cater to profitable customers with expensive taste can lead to higher sales.

Artists are encouraged to consider their target audience's preferences and tailor their work accordingly.

The importance of supply and demand in pricing artwork on Etsy cannot be overlooked.

Lack of branding and information about the artist can hinder sales and the establishment of a strong customer base.

Turning art into functional items can increase an artist's income on Etsy significantly.

Combining art with functional and utilitarian products can lead to higher earnings than selling art for display only.

A focus on customer needs and preferences, rather than solely on the artist's vision, can drastically improve sales results.

The potential to target different customer segments, such as elopement brides, can allow for higher pricing and profitability.

Artists should consider the aesthetic and brands that their target customers are drawn to when creating and pricing their work.

Dylan Jarus' background in corporate e-commerce has been applied to Etsy strategies, yielding consistent results.

A 16-step checklist is available for free to help artists grow their Etsy shop.

An artist's success on Etsy can be transformed by focusing on customer-first product offerings.

The video provides a real-world example of how an artist can increase their income by targeting a different type of customer.

Artists are encouraged to reach out for help if they are serious about making a full-time income from their art on Etsy.