Saturday, January 31, 2009

www.carladaly.com


I have written about how I came to start my online shop selling my nursery art and wall art for children, now I would like to write about the design, seo (search engine optimization) and general development of this site. This definitely has been a labour of love, started with really a zero budget, my husband (Laszlo) designed and created my online shop and I started the daunting task of promoting my site. I saw a lady on tv talking about online business, she said you will do nothing for three years but eat and sleep your online business before you see some real returns.





Well, I did sart to sell straight away but sales could be erratic. I learnt about seo and started to promote my site. You really can do your own seo up to a point, all the information is there on the interent but seo can consume you, it takes a lot of time. I discovered this, so after two years I professionally redesigned my site
(I felt a visual makeover was my first step), above are the rough designs for my site, please compare it with the final shop-
www.carladaly.com. And this year I have taken on a professional seo company, I have only been with them for a month so we will have to wait to see the outcome. This now leaves me the time to create more artwork which really is what it is all about!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

WWW.



I have been thinking about these three letters and what they mean to me. Up until 6 years ago they meant just that- three w's! Now they are such a big part of my life. I am what you call a traditional illustrator, this means, I paint by hand and not on the computer. So computers took a while to really impact my world.

My husband is a software engineer (how lucky is that) and he encouraged me to create my first website, this was in 2002. It took me two weeks and I created it all myself, it was purely to show my illustration work, at this stage I wasn't selling my work online. It just sat there for a few years until in 2005 two things really motivated me to create, what is now my online shop.

In early 2005 my daughter was born and mid 2005 my Mother died very suddenly. These two things made me feel I should be doing what I always wanted to do with my work - create and sell it myself. So, while my daughter slept I painted and worked on my three w's!- www.carladaly.com. I started with just 4 images and started selling them into Habitat, Dublin, they sold really well. My husband (Laszlo) worked on creating my online shop and thaught me how to manage uploading my images and dealing with my customers. I have never looked back! Sales came in straight away. I have to add, it has been hard work but it has been the best thing I have ever done with my work.

Here are the first four kids wall prints I ever produced, they are still great sellers on my site.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I have illustrated the world!



At last I have finished the artwork for my map of the world. Now begins the hard part, finding a printer who will print onto a durable product at a reasonable price. Because this product is slightly different to the rest of my products, I am finding it hard to find a printer to produce it.

I want the maps to be - light weight(for posting), durable ( for those sticky fingers!), cheap ( not to hurt your pockets too much!) and round( to look great on your walls). This seems to be a difficult task, but I know my printer is out there I just have to look harder. I will let you know when they are ready for sale on my sites- CarlaDaly.com and CarlaDaly.co.uk.


In the meantime here is the final artwork, I hope you like it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

P.S I love your blog!


I just want to thank all the people that are reading and following my blog. It is great for us insecure artists to know that there is an interest in what we are doing. People had been trying to get me to write a blog for a very long time, I just didn't think I could ever be that interesting! Well, I am getting some really great feedback and it is really inspiring me with ideas for my work. So thank you all readers and followers of my blog, and P.S. I love my blog too!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Map Of The World


I am always trying to think of new product for my online shops- CarlaDaly.com and CarlaDaly.co.uk. . This idea has been buzzing around in my head for the last six months! The idea is to have a map of the world full of the animals of the world, it will be printed on a thin pvc ( 35 cm in diameter) and will just stick straight to the wall, no framing needed! It will be a durable product that can't be damaged. There will be two sides to the world, so two seperate products. They aren't available on my site yet, but will be soon. I haven't finished the second piece, when I do I will post it on my blog.


This piece has taken a long time to do. I m showing you the early sketches to the final piece. The final product will be cut out to the shape of a circle, the edges are a bit rough here.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Urbana




I suppose at some stage in my blog I have to write about Urbana. In the late 1990's I was really looking for an outlet for my own products, I was walking through an area in Dublin called Temple Bar and came across this new shop called Urbana. It was a large shop made up of small merchants, designers, crafts people etc. It was fabulous and was like something you would see in New York or London. I got straight onto the owners who were renting the shop to all the tenants - Temple Bar Properties.


I set up a meeting, the lady in TBP already knew my work and gave me an area at the entrance to the shop. It was a prime location! So, I set up my very first, very small shop.

I sold to Americans, English, French, Spanish, Japanese, the Irish - any nationality you can think of, it was grrrrrreeeeaaattttt! I loved it. The workload was hard and I had to man the shop myself, so I was employing staff while I produced the product.

I sold- vases, plates, mugs, prints, wrapping paper, greeting cards and more!

But trouble was brewing.... Temple Bar properties found dealing with all the different merchants difficult, they decided to close us down and get one big client in. So in January of 2000 we were given a couple of weeks notice to leave. I was disappointed, I was doing great business and had just had a bumper Christmas, but part of me was relieved as the workload had been heavy.

Above some of my handpainted vases.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My First Job


Since I started my blog I have been looking back at my work over the years, what fun this has been! I have also been cleaning up my very messy work room (not so much fun!) and, in the process came across my very first illustration job - The Luvenders, a book written by an Irish author, June Considine and published by Poolbeg Press. It was about these creepy creatures called, yes you guessed it- The Luvenders! The job brief was to design and layout the cover. June still writes and these books have been published in many different languages.


My very first book cover and a great start to any illustrators career!