Author Topic: I want to help my Dad -- Artist POD site?  (Read 467 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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I want to help my Dad -- Artist POD site?
« on: April 10, 2019, 01:22:17 PM »
This may ramble so bear with me please and I thank you in advance for any suggestions. I will try to be brief.

My Dad is an artist. He paints in oils and draws in colored pencils. His niche is classic automobiles. He is extremely talented, formally trained, been going at it since college.

He will turn 70 this summer. He and my Mom are semi-retired, but well underfunded from a retirement income perspective. They have become accustomed to the "starving artist" existence over the course of their lives so their expenses are thankfully manageable.

We've had the same conversation about "building a website" for about 20 years now with zero progress. He sells a couple oils per year at a few thousand bucks a pop and maybe ten colored pencil prints per year for a few hundred dollars each. In his mind, it brings in a couple of bucks, in my mind, I'm frustrated that he isn't a household name (someone like Tom Fritz if you're familiar with auto artists) and is commissioned for huge bucks. He is really exceptional.

My thought was to get a POD (print on demand) site up and running on in conjunction with "promoting" his brand/name on instagram. We could go over to a vistaprint type site and bang out 500 biz cards so he could give them out as he goes to his normal auto shows during the summer and promote in person as well.

I guess my fundamental questions are: Does anyone in the MMM community have experience doing a POD type site side-hustle selling artwork? How annoying/time consuming would it be to make the high end photo images? Can I do a good enough job with my personal DSLR camera? Does my idea of promoting through instagram have legs? Does my Dad's lack of technology skills make this an ill-fated effort? How much should I involve myself?

Again, apologies for the rambling, but I've been thinking about this topic for a long time and it both frustrates and excites me. Again, any input is greatly appreciated. Thank you.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: I want to help my Dad -- Artist POD site?
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2019, 12:19:47 PM »
By sheer coincidence I just happened to listen to a couple of podcasts on this very subject. The podcast is called FIRE Drill and the episodes were How I grew my Etsy shop to 39,000 sales and How to grow your etsy shop to a full time business. While I understand this is not your father's ambition, both women interviewed happened to be in graphic design and I think many of the practical discussions might be applicable to your father.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: I want to help my Dad -- Artist POD site?
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2019, 01:58:31 PM »
I have relatives that are making a success, slowly, as artists.  One has taken over primary income earner and the other is a SAHP... because of the artwork.

For the POD site, I would set up your own webpage, plus use one of the larger ones because you will get no traffic at first.   Rent a good camera and light box / equipment for a couple of days. 

The primary goal is to build a reputation and get commissions for oils.  You use your website for that, go to local artist shows or even car shows and promote your commissions to the public, while selling the prints, calendars and POD at a low-ish price.  According to my relatives, once people have seen you and your work a couple of years in a row at these things, the commissions come in.. it takes 3 years to get good traction, hopefully your Dad is already part way there in recognition.

I can imagine that many car afficiandos would love a custom oil of their personal "baby".  They make great anniversary, retirement and birthday gifts, too.