I’m delighted to share with you the work of the amazingly talented Renee Treml. Renee’s work is filled with Australian fauna in a variety of mediums, including scratchboard. If you haven’t seen Renee’s Artwork before you are in for a treat!
Tell me a bit about you and your online shop.
I am a full-time Mum and a part-time illustrator and children’s book author. My Etsy shop features my scratchboard illustrations as eco-friendly fine art prints, carbon neutral note-cards and recyclable ornaments and jewellery.
What got you started and what keeps you inspired?
I have always been drawing, starting from when I was a little girl. After leaving university, I tried to follow a traditional career path in the sciences, only to realize I needed to be creating full-time. At the time my husband had also just made a major career change, so it felt a little less risky making the change together.
I am inspired by wildlife and nature and the crazy things that come out of my 3 yo son. Recently he told me about an unusual tea party with some unusual guests and I had to quickly write it down so I could play with the idea later.
I am particularly drawn to environmental issues, which is why I draw so many animals in tea cups. Where will out animals go when there are no more trees? I do not need my work to be confrontational, but I do like that it has a little environmental message.
What are your hopes for your online store in the future?
At some point I hope to do a better job publicizing my online shop. I’m always struggling with not having enough time to keep up with markets and wholesale orders and other deadlines, and publicity keeps taking a backseat. I would love to master (or at least improve) product photography so I can really showcase my work properly.
What challenges have you faced starting your online store?
My biggest challenges have been (and still are) taking high quality product photographs and publicity. I have not mastered social media and know I could be using it much more effectively to promote my work.
What advice would you give to someone considering setting up their own handmade store online?
If you love what you do and you make a high quality product, then I would definitely go for it. It is so easy and affordable to set up a high quality online shop with Etsy. There are also other great online market places too – Blue Caravan and MadeIt are some examples. And you are at a real advantage if you can utilize social media to help promote your work. (I’m still learning!)
Don’t sell yourself short. Be sure you are charging a fair price for your time, talent and supplies, and that you aren’t losing out on ‘hidden costs’ such as packaging or shipping. Going to local markets such as Finders Keepers, The Big Design Market or BrisStyle IndieDesign will give you an idea for what’s out there and how much designers are charging. Search Etsy and visit markets to figure out what makes your products special and use that to promote your work.
Learn as much as you can about the business. Sign up for workshops, read blogs and websites and support other designers.
It is impossible not to fall in love with Renee’s art. To me each piece is warm and endearing and has just the right touch of humour. Renée’s work is sold worldwide and has been featured in several art exhibitions both in Australia and the USA. She has also published two early years children’s books. Thank you so much Renee for sharing a little of your artistic life and your thoughts!
You can browse and purchase Renee’s Artwork at: