How To Sell Your Crafts Online featuring The Paper Portraits of Annie Sklaver

by PaperbackWriter


The World of Books Paper Portrait

I’m really excited to feature the work of Annie Sklaver. I’d been browsing through Etsy looking for cool and interesting items and instantly fell in love with Annie’s “World of books” 3D Paper Illustration.

Annie Sklaver was born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut and she describes herself as a visual artist who makes 3D portraits from hand-cut paper. After receiving a BA in Psychological Affects of Design at NYU, Annie graduated with a BFA in Toy Design from FIT, and currently works as a researcher in the children’s toy and media industry. The inspiration for her cut-paper pieces is derived from classic children’s book illustrations and family portraits — Annie happily accepts custom orders. Her work is sold through her Etsy shop,, and at the Brooklyn Collective in Brooklyn, NY. She lives in Brooklyn with her fiance and her guinea pig Otis.

The 3D Illustration Circus Trapeze

Six Quick Questions

How did you come to Sell your crafts online?

I had been experimenting with cut paper illustrations in the hopes of using it as a technique for illustrating children’s books, and I decided to practice by making a portrait of my Brother’s family. He had it hanging in their apartment and everyone always asked where it was from and how they could get one. I had been a buyer on Etsy for a long time, so I figured I’d give it a shot. I set up my stop and I got an order the next day!

What inspires you to make your creations?

I love the emotion and innocence that comes through in a family portrait or a really good children’s illustration. I want to capture that essence in my own work and create something that makes people smile instantly. I find that the little details don’t matter, the shape of the mouth or the color of the eyes, it’s the body language and the figure that really carries all the impact. When you leave out the details, you allow the viewer to fill them in on their own and create their own story.

3D Illustration entitled Rain Drops

Do you sell your crafts online with the goal of creating a full-time business?

That’s a question I ask myself everyday, and it’s a hard one! I would love to be able to do this full time, selling portraits, stationery, illustrating children’s books… but I also really love my day job and I’m happy balancing the two. For now, I’m happy to just keep doing what I’m doing and see where it takes me.

What advice do you have for how to sell your crafts online?

Take great pictures, and try everything! I still haven’t really figured out exactly what works for me, so whenever I have the opportunity to try a new avenue for promotion, I take it. Some bring in business and some don’t, but I always learn something. I’m still working on the photography and I’m not quite there yet, but I just know how important it is. Your buyers are taking a big risk when they buy from you having only seen a photo of what they’re getting, so you have to be sure that photo is perfect.

3D Paper Illustration Tightrope Walker

Do you have one quick tip for online crafters who want to get started?

Do your research! I opened my shop in one night, using the same Etsy account I had been using as a seller and I really regret it! Once you make an account on Etsy, you can’t change the name on it so if your user name isn’t the name of your shop, well then you’re out of luck. I think my quick tip is that there is no such thing as a quick tip. You should take you time picking a great shop name, building your inventory, and creating your brand.

What has been your most rewarding and positive experience with selling your crafts online?

I love getting feedback from clients. Since most of my portraits are custom made, my clients don’t always know what to expect. There’s nothing better then getting an email from a happy client saying that their portrait exceeded all expectations. I have even heard from some people that when they first saw their portrait it brought tears to their eyes. That is what makes it all worth it.

To see more of Annie’s work, please visit her Etsy Shop Asklaver, become a Fan on her Facebook Page and her website which can be found by visiting

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