Author Topic: Update on my Artwork Business  (Read 1834 times)

maglomanic

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Update on my Artwork Business
« on: February 04, 2018, 09:11:11 PM »
Hello Mustachians,

It's been a while since I've posted on here so I thought I'd come back for an update. It might have been about a year ago that I decided to take my artwork more seriously and try to get in at least 20 hours a week (along with my other paying jobs.) I keep track of all of my time in a note book. I also write down anything I spend or make in the process and keep a note of the difference. So I'm currently at about -$100.00. Having this notebook has seriously helped me spend less though. If anyone has a craft hobby I would recommend keeping track of what you spend and possibly make at it, it really makes you aware. Any time I'm at Michael's crafts now, I have a little more self control because I really am motivated to get into the positive, so I only buy the things I really need.

As for how much business I've been getting... I've been trying to get more action on my Etsy and I recently started getting active in Patreon. Also I should probably mention I do watercolor paintings. Mostly of nerdy stuff like Pokemon. I have one sale on Etsy and I've managed to convince my mother to be a patron. Woot a $1 a month! I've actually got more business in my community with my graphic design and painting than I have online. I have a few friends that request pokemon paintings, or I'll just be sneaky and paint something I know they love so that they see it and fall in love and want to buy it. I did also get some logo work recently. I'm the worst manager of myself ever though. My friend that has a degree in graphic design (she has a bachelors, I have an associates) told the person it would be $150.00 for the logo work and I told the girl $25.00 ;___; after I heard what my friend was going to charge I've decided for the rest of my life that I have to charge at least $75.00 for logos. I did do the logo for the girl though, I found out later they didn't have a lot of money and they were going to have to wait for their mother to get paid to give me the money (it was a younger girl starting a rabbit breeding business), so I didn't feel too bad making it cheap. My boyfriend also has a friend asking for help with business cards and maybe a sign designed. Either way I'm excited about possibly getting over that -$100.00 hump.

Well this is already pretty log but I was just interested in sharing with the mustache community how I was doing. One day I'll be in the positive! (Btw, I'm totally doing well financially otherwise, it's just my hobby that isn't looking so great. I put any extra money I get into vanguard.)

Also here are a couple links if you would like to check out my paintings! Thank you for any ideas or encouragement!

Etsy -   https://www.etsy.com/shop/EmilyAnnsArt
Patreon - https://www.patreon.com/emilyannsart

lexde

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Re: Update on my Artwork Business
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2018, 08:52:38 AM »
Are you open to painting people and pets? A lot of money follows emotion, and kids and pets are where a lot of people like to spend. I’d imagine dogs aren’t too far off from Houndoom, so it may be a transition worth making!

As for logos, the company will make money off of it, so even if it takes you a half hour, don’t short yourself. $75 is super reasonable for a logo, but may still be a low.

Have you looked at Sketchmob? I have commissioned multiple works from that site. I find that giving artwork of people’s pets is generally a hit for gift giving holidays but am not super artistically inclined, so I commission, print, and frame.

Your work is nice! Keep up your hard work!

ketchup

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Re: Update on my Artwork Business
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2018, 08:59:55 AM »
I agree with lexde.  Definitely don't short-change yourself.  My girlfriend is a showdog photographer and it's super easy to wind up giving discounts left and right.  Have your prices and stand by them.  Her rule of thumb has turned into either full price or free, no discounts.  If she's not willing to do it for free, she charges full price.  She's been burned too many times.

Nick_Miller

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Re: Update on my Artwork Business
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2018, 09:17:17 AM »
I guess I am piggybacking on what lexde said, but would you consider widening your art subjects?

I ask because your style and colors strike me as VERY kid friendly. To be clear, I mean that in a good way! I really like your manatee, butterfly, and especially the zombie! Parents (especially moms, let's be honest here) frequently like to decorate kiddos' room with unique art. I know it's a crowded space, but there is a huge market there. Kids aren't going away any time soon!

maglomanic

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Re: Update on my Artwork Business
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2018, 10:21:10 AM »
Are you open to painting people and pets? A lot of money follows emotion, and kids and pets are where a lot of people like to spend. Iíd imagine dogs arenít too far off from Houndoom, so it may be a transition worth making!

As for logos, the company will make money off of it, so even if it takes you a half hour, donít short yourself. $75 is super reasonable for a logo, but may still be a low.

Have you looked at Sketchmob? I have commissioned multiple works from that site. I find that giving artwork of peopleís pets is generally a hit for gift giving holidays but am not super artistically inclined, so I commission, print, and frame.

Your work is nice! Keep up your hard work!

Thank you for the ideas on the pet drawings. That is a good idea. I always think when someone does a pet drawing it has to be detailed and realistic but I could totally do it in my own style. I'll have to practice on my cat. I'll check out sketchmob, I've been discovering a lot of different sites. Thank you :D

maglomanic

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Re: Update on my Artwork Business
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2018, 10:22:36 AM »
I guess I am piggybacking on what lexde said, but would you consider widening your art subjects?

I ask because your style and colors strike me as VERY kid friendly. To be clear, I mean that in a good way! I really like your manatee, butterfly, and especially the zombie! Parents (especially moms, let's be honest here) frequently like to decorate kiddos' room with unique art. I know it's a crowded space, but there is a huge market there. Kids aren't going away any time soon!

I did try doing an Olaf painting before Christmas time thinking a parent might like to buy it for their child. I had no takers on it, but I see what you mean that other kid friendly things could be a good idea.

maglomanic

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Re: Update on my Artwork Business
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2018, 10:24:31 AM »
I agree with lexde.  Definitely don't short-change yourself.  My girlfriend is a showdog photographer and it's super easy to wind up giving discounts left and right.  Have your prices and stand by them.  Her rule of thumb has turned into either full price or free, no discounts.  If she's not willing to do it for free, she charges full price.  She's been burned too many times.

Thank you for your thoughts. I'm always tempted to start decreasing the prices of my paintings on Etsy due to not getting any business. I don't think the fault is with the prices though, I just have to stick to trying to get views on my site and the right customers will hopefully come along.

Smokystache

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Re: Update on my Artwork Business
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2018, 03:20:04 PM »
Are you open to painting people and pets? A lot of money follows emotion, and kids and pets are where a lot of people like to spend. Iíd imagine dogs arenít too far off from Houndoom, so it may be a transition worth making!

As for logos, the company will make money off of it, so even if it takes you a half hour, donít short yourself. $75 is super reasonable for a logo, but may still be a low.

Have you looked at Sketchmob? I have commissioned multiple works from that site. I find that giving artwork of peopleís pets is generally a hit for gift giving holidays but am not super artistically inclined, so I commission, print, and frame.

Your work is nice! Keep up your hard work!

Thank you for the ideas on the pet drawings. That is a good idea. I always think when someone does a pet drawing it has to be detailed and realistic but I could totally do it in my own style. I'll have to practice on my cat. I'll check out sketchmob, I've been discovering a lot of different sites. Thank you :D

The idea about expanding your work to pets reminded me of a great podcast. Nick from Side Hustle Nation interviews a college student who is trying to expand her side business of doing water colors of pets. Could be some nuggets in there that you could apply to your situation:
https://www.sidehustlenation.com/side-hustle-coaching-ive-got-some-traction-now-what/


maglomanic

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Re: Update on my Artwork Business
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2018, 12:35:19 PM »
Are you open to painting people and pets? A lot of money follows emotion, and kids and pets are where a lot of people like to spend. Iíd imagine dogs arenít too far off from Houndoom, so it may be a transition worth making!

As for logos, the company will make money off of it, so even if it takes you a half hour, donít short yourself. $75 is super reasonable for a logo, but may still be a low.

Have you looked at Sketchmob? I have commissioned multiple works from that site. I find that giving artwork of peopleís pets is generally a hit for gift giving holidays but am not super artistically inclined, so I commission, print, and frame.

Your work is nice! Keep up your hard work!

Thank you for the ideas on the pet drawings. That is a good idea. I always think when someone does a pet drawing it has to be detailed and realistic but I could totally do it in my own style. I'll have to practice on my cat. I'll check out sketchmob, I've been discovering a lot of different sites. Thank you :D

The idea about expanding your work to pets reminded me of a great podcast. Nick from Side Hustle Nation interviews a college student who is trying to expand her side business of doing water colors of pets. Could be some nuggets in there that you could apply to your situation:
https://www.sidehustlenation.com/side-hustle-coaching-ive-got-some-traction-now-what/



Thank you for the link, I'll check it out :3

Cashonda

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Re: Update on my Artwork Business
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2018, 08:06:25 AM »
Hi! I agree with the others that your art is vibrant and fun  - and perfect for kids! Also have you looked into placing your artwork on shirts or other items? You can upload designs to sites like Zazzle and they plaster the pattern or artwork on all kinds of products, then sell them on their site. You don't have to do anything or have any inventory. You really have to then self promote the designs to your networks but it could be a way to widen your market.

Also I hope this doesn't come off sounding horribly rude but I would take a look at the presentation of your artworks on your etsy. The pieces are great and well done but it makes a world of difference if they are photographed and presented professionally. Think bright scenes, natural light, clean spaces. It makes your work look less professional to photograph the pieces sitting on the ground next to some random plants or even with your cat, no matter how cute the cat is. :) Some people love cats and some people do not want to think a cat has sat on their artwork... know what I mean? I get that you are showing personality and that is super GREAT but I would say just make it a little cleaner and more professional looking. You can even use templates to showcase your work, by taking a photo of the piece and putting it into an image of a frame on the wall. That can be easier if you don't have a good place to take scene photos with lots of natural light in your own house.

I really hope this doesn't sound mean, it is the advice someone else gave me in the past. I was totally offended but now years later after looking at other's shops I see what they meant. :) oops! It makes a huge difference to have nice bright photos.

Another idea, maybe you already do it.. is to make youtube videos of you painting these images and talking about your inspiration. Maybe even do a simple tutorial or something. Then include links to where people can buy them. It is another marketing tool to show your talents and get eyeballs on your work.

Good luck to you with your artwork! :D

JamieNewmarket

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Re: Update on my Artwork Business
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2018, 07:52:18 PM »
Have not read the entire thread to see if this has been suggested, but perhaps consider shipping to Canada.  I would say the Greater Toronto Area has the most Pokemon fans (or any gaming/anime/nerdy pursuits buffs) per capita compared to any place I can think of. 

People here were beyond passionate about Pokemon Go. 
https://www.cp24.com/news/woman-charged-for-shooting-at-pokemon-players-in-newmarket-1.3001446


expatartist

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Re: Update on my Artwork Business
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2018, 10:44:59 PM »
Hi! I agree with the others that your art is vibrant and fun  - and perfect for kids! Also have you looked into placing your artwork on shirts or other items? You can upload designs to sites like Zazzle and they plaster the pattern or artwork on all kinds of products, then sell them on their site. You don't have to do anything or have any inventory. You really have to then self promote the designs to your networks but it could be a way to widen your market.

Also I hope this doesn't come off sounding horribly rude but I would take a look at the presentation of your artworks on your etsy. The pieces are great and well done but it makes a world of difference if they are photographed and presented professionally. Think bright scenes, natural light, clean spaces. It makes your work look less professional to photograph the pieces sitting on the ground next to some random plants or even with your cat, no matter how cute the cat is. :) Some people love cats and some people do not want to think a cat has sat on their artwork... know what I mean? I get that you are showing personality and that is super GREAT but I would say just make it a little cleaner and more professional looking. You can even use templates to showcase your work, by taking a photo of the piece and putting it into an image of a frame on the wall. That can be easier if you don't have a good place to take scene photos with lots of natural light in your own house.

I really hope this doesn't sound mean, it is the advice someone else gave me in the past. I was totally offended but now years later after looking at other's shops I see what they meant. :) oops! It makes a huge difference to have nice bright photos.

Another idea, maybe you already do it.. is to make youtube videos of you painting these images and talking about your inspiration. Maybe even do a simple tutorial or something. Then include links to where people can buy them. It is another marketing tool to show your talents and get eyeballs on your work.

Good luck to you with your artwork! :D

Some great ideas here. Also, +1 to expanding your subjects. You've got great linework, skills, and color usage, your Pokemon drawings are great! And I can see there's a market for them. But it's not legal to use images without the company's consent: https://www.quora.com/How-do-I-get-copyright-permission-to-use-Pokemon-characters-in-childrens-apparel For those of us in the creative industries who make a living off our ideas and what we make with them, it's an ethical issue, too. I encourage you to come up with your own characters, storylines, etc, or to collaborate with other creative people who are making their own original material.

Indio

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Re: Update on my Artwork Business
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2018, 03:29:42 PM »
I think the Pokemon market has slowed down a bit, but there's still an active group of players would buy art to show their team spirit.
You should definitely advertise your work on the silph road and pokemon reddit. I bet you can get some business from that. My local Pokemon group goes crazy for any of the new legendary types when they first come out. There are also a lot of local Discord groups for Pokemon where you can also post pics of what you've done. Many of the gamers I've met love advertising that they are Pokemon players by wearing shirts/hats bumper stickers etc of their fav monsters.

SwordGuy

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Re: Update on my Artwork Business
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2018, 04:25:02 PM »
Don't confuse your inability or unwillingness to pay serious money for art with that of your potential customers. 
They may not have that problem or attitude, so price things to make a profit on them.