I ordered calendars today… Mid September is pretty early for me. I made two sales today and the market is open this weekend. I also designed and ordered a flyer for people who order online. Not a bad day, but somehow I feel like I could have done so much more.

Etsy: I’m up 98 sales, I’ve also gotten some killer feedback! I did one new listing too.

“Dan elster was on top of this order in spite of the wild fires in his area – it was well packaged and shipped in a timely fashion. The print was exactly as advertised. It was a gift and the recipient was thrilled.”

Trying to Rally

It was tough getting motivated to do the Etsy, social media, online stuff today. Not because it’ s hard to do, because it’s hard to believe it can work. Then, while stacking Pro Panels in the garage I get two web orders and two Etsy orders in an hour, while stacking Pro Panels in the garage. I’m not sure I’ve ever made 4 sales in a day online, outside of the holiday season. It felt good, really good. I have this vision that someday the market and shows will be better than ever and I will have built up a big online business during Covid and have the best of both worlds going at the same time. . I just have to keep going. I think a big problem is not having clear direction in the morning. I was excited to get a quote from a new printing company, but they told me they wanted to do my order digitally, which would rule out AQ coating. In the email, she wrote “is that a deal breaker?”. It is. I love AQ. Bummer, but I would say CDS hasn’t done me wrong yet. I don’t know.

Etsy listing of the day.

Pretty soon, I’m going to make this blog a little more public. Take care.

A lot has changed, that is for sure.

1/2 of the Rogue Valley has burnt down since my last post. I’d tell you the details, but I’ve told them too many times now. We almost lost our house. The pond burned, almost to the ground. Horrific smoke. Good friends and 1300 people have lost their homes. Etc. Is that what hell feels like?

When I opened this page, I the first thing I saw was “Market Showing Signs of Life!” Well, that was short lived. Fuck. Crazy enough, I’m hoping to do the market this weekend. It is still my biggest source of sales and until I change that, you will find me there most weekends.

The Market Showing life!

Best weekend of the year for me at the artisan’s market. I was really starting to wonder. Lots of new tourists in town, sold 5 books, 2 out of the three new acrylics, and a bunch of smaller prints. Hell yeah. My new vision for Elster Photography is a greatly built up online business and for the market and other shows to come screaming back in 2021. A deer stopped by my booth, but it did not pee, so I have that going for me too.

Not Bad

I did an email newsletter today, which always feels like a big accomplishment. I tend to make a bigger deal of creating emails than I should. It’s not that difficult. I think I need to start making shorter emails, but sending them more frequently. Today’s email felt a little long, but overall, good. You can see it Here: https://conta.cc/3lM8Nod . I have almost 600 recipients. I always worry about sending too many emails out, but cares? If people aren’t interested in what I’m doing, they won’t read it. BFD.

My “Big Labor Day Sale” on Etsy starts today. We shall see what happens. Etsy suggested I do a sale, so I said OK. LOL. 20% off now through the 7th. But that isn’t the most exciting Etsy news of the day. The cash register sound went off on my phone this afternoon – indicating an Etsy sale. A 16×20 matted bobcat photo to someone in Tuscon Arizona. $85 isn’t a large amount, but it’s yet another indicator that my work is starting to be seen outside of my region. Encouraging.

I have a lot more to say, but no time to say it. My daughter and I are home alone and we are going to watch “The Outsiders” for the second time. She’s sitting here waiting on me. Maybe I’ll hear the cash register go off during the movie.



Back at it

Back from a few days of camping. I never even got the camera out, just spent time with family and friends. This morning, I caught up on shipping a few lingering orders. Right now, I have a clean slate as far as shipping – feels good! I also delivered a wholesale order – love that. I think I need to resume acquiring (or at least attempting to aquire) new wholesale accounts. I stopped when Covid started – I didn’t want to bother any small business owners with taking on new products like my book or card lines. BUT, maybe they’re looking for new products.

I got an Etsy order for a single greeting card from someone in Ohio. Six whole dollars! You would be surprised how happy it made me. To me it represents my work is reaching new audiences outside Ashland, Portland, San Fran, etc. That’s what needs to happen – on a much bigger scale.  It’s my third small “random” card order from a far away place.  I never thought I’d sell individual cards online, but I never thought my entire business and our entire economy would almost shut down completely either.

Today i ordered cards from several different Etsy sites. While there plenty of cool greeting card creators on Etsy, I really want to see how experienced Etsy shop owners package cards efficiently and cheaply. One of the cards is ratherdirty & funny – I look forward to giving to my wife. Here it is:   kinky dinosaurs

Later today, I have 3 Acrylic photographs showing up and thinking I might try my first ever Facebook live video.

Talk tomorrow!


Today was more about being a dad and husband, than a business owner. I did whip the laptop out at Les Schwab and list 2 cards on Etsy. I donated $54 to http://www.badgerrun.org/ Then I came home and made an announcement on FB and IG. I feel good about it.  I’m thinking big. – The photos are of one of the Big Picture cards and the business card sized insert.

A Nice Start to the Day

We have a neighbor, who’s also becoming a friend tell me a few weeks ago that she wanted to buy a big “Wondering” framed piece from me. Well, today I showed her that image on brushed aluminum and she bought it on the spot! I gave her a good deal … Awesome start. As soon as she left, I went to the computer and ordered another one. I hope it arrives by next weekend.  I have to say the piece is frickin killer. I LOVE the brushed aluminum effect!

  • 2 etsy listings. I also am running a Labor Sale 20% off any purchase $40 – their suggestion. LOL. I also checked up on my 1$ a day ad boost. I’m intrigued by Etsy, but not seeing much in the way of sales. Putting up listings every day, it feels like I’m going through the motions.
  • I did a Facebook post that included a few coyote and my pet dogs mixed together.
  • I listened to another episode of Art Marketing Podcast . I like their enthusiasm and agree with most of what they say. The website model/template they offer is very cool. But still not sold.
  • Instagram – I posted a cell phone video of a doe and to fawns that I got while driving in Quiet Village.
  • Tomorrow I’m going to do something on Linkdin.
  • If I don’t have killer tags for every piece by next weekend, I suck.
  • Not a bad day. I wish I knew where this was going.

Another Tuesday

Started the day out editing great horned owl images for the owners of the “owl barn”. My pleasure as they are great people and I’m extremely grateful for the access … still doesn’t seem like the most productive use of time. After a run and hanging out with Forest, I thought I was picking up mats and packing orders. Frame shop closed.

No Etsy listings today

I rallied in the evening, sent off an email to someone intersted in my raven photography. That’s about it. IMG_6574

Another Pandemic Weekend in Ashland

I’ve been doing the market every weekend, not knowing what to expect. I’m doing about 1/2 the business or less than what I’ve averaged the last several years. This weekend was exactly that. I guess I do know what to expect. I can almost expect deer to come by too. Check out this mama and fawn while I was setting up!

I sold a book to a coyote hating rancher on Sunday morning. He told me several stories about “eliminating” them … he was really rubbing me the wrong way. When he finally sits down to read the book, he will see what I think of coyotes and realize what I think of him. Ha Ha.  I also got a $100 order tonight from someone who came by my booth. Every sale counts these days!

Today, I woke up a little hung over (even though I barely drank yesterday, weird). Even so, I managed to be business productive.

  • Two Etsy listings.
  • unloaded the car, organized some stuff
  • print inventory followed by an order
  • I dropped $300 on metal prints, canvas and acrillyic photos. I’m going to start offering new presentations
  • I also got a brushed aluminum “Wondering” in the mail today. It looks fantastic! The kids and I did an “unveiling” video and I posted it.