Friday, July 14, 2017

Etsy Celebrations

July 2015, I took a big step in pursuing my passion for art and watercolors, I opened my little shop on Etsy, a platform for handmade sellers and before I could blink, I found myself thrown into this huge ocean of artists creating a myriad of items and I was just a tiny little drop in that ocean. I soon realized  that just to stay afloat would require a LOT of effort on my part, forget selling anything at all!. I had absolutely no knowledge, whatsoever, of SEO. I would list a piece and before I could go see it on the Etsy home page, it would get lost to be never found again! I knew that I had taken up a huge challenge but I did not give myself the permission to look forward was the only way and if that meant that I had to start from scratch, I was willing to do that.

I read and researched about SEO, got started on Instagram and got more active on social media and joined Etsy groups on FB. Heard whatever advise people had to offer about pricing, design, photos etc with an open mind. I had good success in my first year with a 100 sales, which was huge for me, especially since I started with no expectations at all and considering the fact that I am not good at promoting my shop or my work and in fact shy away from telling people that I sell my art assuming that they might feel like I am being pushy! lol!

And then, as I have mentioned before, I had to put my shop and art on hold for over 8 months due to certain unforseen circumstances. After that huge break, I opened again in March 2017 and thought that I would have to start over because it takes time to be found in searches and thats how online shops work ..searches! But, by the grace of God, I was proven wrong, I did way better than before! It took 2 months to settle in , but June and July have been great and I am really grateful to all those who have been following my art journey and have considered SANKETI for their art purchases.

July 17th will mark the second year of SANKETI and to thank you all for your support and encouragement, I have a promo going on in my shop and will send a 5"x7" MAP ART PRINT FREE with every order that includes an 8" x10" art print in it. The map will be of the state that the order was placed from.


In other news, we watercolor enthusiasts are enjoying a whole month dedicated to watercolor . It's #worldwatercolormonth..yayy! join in the fun over on FB and Insta or stop by our official host! Its 31 days..31 watercolors.!

I decided to do illustrations and take up new subjects and started the month with some fruits, moved on to bugs and butterflies and now desserts. Here are some of them..

Here I have compiled the fruits together ...

Will share the desserts in my next post.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend !


Monday, July 3, 2017

Happy 4th !

Happy 4th to all those here in the USA. Hope you have had a wonderful weekend so far!

After working on  all the individual state maps that  I shared in my previous post, I put them together and came up with two designs for the complete large USA map. One has them all together and the other has a little bit of space between the states so that you can still see the individual art on them. I was so excited to share this on Instagram last week and now they are available in my Etsy shop.

I have also started working on my next collection which will be 'Fruits' which will be my next post!

Also, another major update with regards to my shop is that I now have digital downloads / printables available in my Etsy shop. After giving a lot of thought to the  requests that I had receiving for printables, I went ahead and made some available and to begin, you will be able to download some of my hand lettered pieces from my 'Minimalistic' collection. Hope this helps those who are abroad and unable to purchase my work since I do not ship international as yet! This one's for you!

Here are some of them..

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And here are USA maps in their entirety!

Have a wonderful day and enjoy the 4th!


Thursday, June 15, 2017

State Map Art

Last year, I had started a new series of ' Map Art' which primarily showcased the state bird and state flower. Some state maps were too small to fit a bird and those had a beautiful scenic landscape included. Some, especially the New England region have the most beautiful autumn foliage and I though it was important for me to include that in some of the states. All these were available as originals in my Etsy shop and most got sold. But the one most common request that I received then was to make these available as prints, small and large and/ or cards. It's taken me a while, no doubt, but its finally here!

I have started to offer all US states as prints and Art cards. The cards are 5x7 and a perfect size to frame making it a card and a gift all in one! They are printed on soft textured heavyweight paper and has a beautiful deckle edge to both the card and the envelope. If you need multiples, just contact me on Etsy and I will make them available for you. All 50 are available, but I have yet to list all of them on Etsy, if you don't see yours yet, just message me and I will list it for you.

Here are some of them ... sit back and enjoy with a super large cup of coffee!

All these are current available at an introductory price on Etsy.

Each single state has been handpainted and handlettered meticulously, It's a labor of love! It was so hard for me to stay within the lines, a completely different experience! There have been  maps beautifully painted yet ending up in the trash ..gulp!  beacause I painted it upside down! yes done that!

The most exciting part of this series has been collating all these individual states into one large huge US MAP!. This was a request from my dear husband, he wanted me to put them together and frame it. I am working hard on that and hopefully be done soon. I have given myself a deadline and want it done and framed by 4th of July!
I am planning to make the larger map available on Etsy too. Lets see how that goes!

Like them?

Have a nice day and thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Gouache on Black

Gouache is a medium that I waited too long to try! Its a wonderful opaque water based medium that's a hybrid between watercolors and acrylic. There is a bit of a learning curve to this. I was trying to use watercolor techniques to paint with fail!

I have finally learned that this medium works best out of the tube, with bare minimum water to wet and wash the brush. If you thin the paint, it looses its vibrancy. It's meant to go down thick. So paint with these as you would with oils. Start with the darks and add the lights or highlights on top.

Once I got the hang of it, it was easy to paint with, especially on black..looks so bright and it!

 Here are some of the cards that I painted with this. I have used Winsor and Newton Gouache and handlettered with Dr.Ph Martins white Ink and nib pen.

All these are now on Etsy.


Happy Birthday

Gouache painting with Envelope liner

 Give gouache a will love it!

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day!


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Holiday Cards

It's been a long and busy May at the Sanketi studio. Started off by getting the Etsy shop all stocked up with Mother's day original watercolor cards and once that slowed down, I received a request for holiday cards..yes Christmas in May! After that the studio simply looked like Christmas, with fresh cut pine brought in for styling my work and warm cinnamon spice oil burning to get me into the mood of designing and printing these greeting cards, I had art ready from last year and all I needed to do was design and print them on cards..easy peasy..or so I thought!

The entire project took me several hours of just designing, and some more to get it print ready and several more finding the right cardstock for printing these special holiday cards. I went on a hunt to get the right paper and finally settled on some lovely textured 25% cotton paper which makes it look like fine stationery. After all this work, I decided to make some more work for myself and went ahead and designed some wrapping paper for each of the 14 designs that I had to offer. 12 holiday styles and 2 'thank you 'sets. Printed each one of them and got ready to assemble them as sets of 5. After 2  weeks of hard work, this project was finally ready to be styled and photographed and sent to the client..phew!

 Season's Greetings and Merry Christmas.

This set is now available on Etsy

Set of Thank You Cards on Etsy

Will be back soon with another post to share my new found love ..gouache ..a medium with which I have been playing a lot lately!

Thanks for stopping by!

Follow me on Instagram @sanketim for the latest behind the scenes.


Friday, May 12, 2017

SANKETI - Etsy And Branding

                Photo Credit- Simi Jois

Last week, I got a photo shoot done of my work. Here are some pictures from that amazing day! I have never wanted to be a model, nor did I think I was capable of being one, but my photographer turned me into one and had me model my work!. I love the creative way in which she took my pics, focusing on the artwork, bringing them to the forefront and keeping them centerstage.

                                             Photo Credit- Simi Jois                                            Packaging fine art . 

 I have spent 2 long years trying to perfect and bring about a cohesive look for my brand. Packaging my art is my passion and I love sending them out just as I would have liked to receive them.  I needed some professional pictures showcasing this to add to my portfolio and website.

I wanted my art loving buyers to know that  even if they were purchasing a greeting card, it was not going to be the regular everyday printed card, they were buying original art which could be gifted and framed. These were original watercolors painted on a smaller canvas of a greeting card. These did not have a shelf life and would, hopefully, not end up in a trash can!  These were small pieces of art to be given to that someone special who loves unique one of a kind items and that could be the buyer herself/himself.

My packaging has evolved over time. I started by putting the card in a nice thick paper sack and sending it off in a bubble mailer. Months later,  I decided to send every card in a muslin bag which would make a nice gift in itself. That continued for the last year and a half,  until I started to find that with every order I placed, the muslin bag sizes were shrinking and would not fit my cards anymore! I was so sad and disappointed, It was my favorite part of packaging my art! I kept looking for new vendors, but every order is the same, short on the length side. So now I have gone back to kraft paper sacks, but my search is still on. I have a new set coming in tomorrow, let me see how that goes!

Until then, orders of more than 2 cards are going in my remaining limited supply of muslin bags which, now have my logo stamped on it! That brings me to my logo design and development. I think I have spent more time in designing my logo, then I have on my art!  Not a graphic designer by any means, it took a lot of learning to even get started to design one. But I knew for sure, that I wanted to do it myself. I am very particular about certain things, and I was apprehensive that I would give in and say yes to a design that was not totally what I had in mind and a designer would not have had the patience nor the time to do multiple reviews for me!

                                                Photo Credit- Simi Jois              Packaging greeting cards and stationery.

Once I started muslin bags, I was happy with the way the packages were going out, but then I wanted to take it a step further and make it look more boutique style. So I designed a belly band with my logo on it to keep it cohesive. For a long time, I was writing a thank you note for each order sent, but writing in a hurry on a busy shipping day, meant bad handwriting and spelling mistakes! So I went ahead and wrote them once and got them ready for print. Now I have them ready to send, and I just need to sign them to make them personal.

My biggest investment has been my printer, and I think that is something everyone who needs to print their work inhouse should make. It makes designing and printing your work so much simpler, and easier. The business cards you see in the  picture below, with the front and back design,  has got to be my biggest achievement! Since I do not have duplex printing on my printer,  I used to struggle with getting them to print both sides, the day I got that figured out, I was thrilled and truly did a happy dance!


Depending on the size of orders, the packages leave my studio with a complimentary bookmark, ATC or a postcard.  I would paint each one individually and send originals, before I realized that  it was not a sustainable idea in the long run. So, again, I sat with all my paintings in front of me, scanned them at 800 DPI and got them ready to print as bookmarks, postcards and ATC's.

                           Photo Credit- Simi Jois

Owning a business means one needs to be very good at marketing, speaking about themselves and their work otherwise it is hard to get people to know that you are even having a shop and  I totally struggle with this, the other day I had someone ask me If I sell my work..what! after 2 years of talking about etsy on my blog, intagram and FB my regular readers are bored and here was somone who has been following me for a while asking me if I sell my art! go figure!
I even made a video for my Etsy shop..which I now need to redo with my logo...but that was another step that I took to help people find my work.


Well, after being open for less than 2 years now with a break of 6+months,  SANKETI has come to be the brand that I had envisioned, a brand that is inspired by nature and offers quality stationery and fine art . A brand that offers the buyer an experience and not a product. As a buyer told me...SANKETI packaging makes people feel like it's Christmas everytime they shop there! I love that!

I hope my art loving buyers enjoy them as much as I do creating them. It makes me so happy when I see my work in someone else's home and they share and tag me on Instagram! If you have purchased from my shop and have shared then don't forget to #sanketi and tag me @sanketim . I would love to take a look!

Yours ARTfully.



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