Open for Business!

art, artist, creative entrepreneur, Illustration, selling art, selling art online, small business

So I finally opened my online stores. I beat my self-imposed deadline of June first, for which I’m very proud of myself and considering how busy my life is at the moment. One is where I’m selling T-Shirts and the other I’m selling Prints as well as eventually selling my art on canvases.

For the t-shirts, I chose Threadless, who specializes in putting independent artist’s creations on t-shirts. They have a pretty good artist profit policy and I don’t have to house any of the merchandise. They ship it for me as well. It’s pretty convenient and it fits my situation well, since I’m just starting out. It keeps my overhead low.

As for my prints and canvases, I chose Big Cartel combined with Printful. Again, both of these keep my overhead low. Both of these companies also specialize in working with independent artists. Big Cartel houses my shop, which I only pay $9.99 a month for customization and up to 25 products. That’s plenty. Printful is a print-on-demand company that also drop ships. They have a base price for their products and then I increase  slightly to make a profit. Again, I don’t have to buy a bunch of product to store in my house. So there is not a big, upfront cost.

With Threadless and Printful, I’ve ordered a sample t-shirt as well as a print with my art on each. The quality is fantastic. I am very happy with how they both turned out. The images turned out sharp and crisp. Exactly the way I expected them to.

As the months and years progress, I will be adding more, diversified products. Next up is to add a bunch of my digital abstract images to canvases. My goal is to have at least five up by the first of July.

Now comes the hard part…Which is building up my fanbase and actually getting people to buy my artwork in the form of t-shirts, prints and canvases. I’ll save that story for another  blog post, which will be coming before the end of the month.

Mad Monster Party

art, Art making, Horror, Monsters, selling art, selling art online

I love monsters. Besides trees and abstracts, if there is one thing that I love to draw more than anything else, it would be monsters. I’ve been drawing monsters, in one form or another, since I was a kid. You could say that maybe I was born to. Take into consideration that I was born on Halloween. 

When I was a kid, I frequently stayed at my grandmother’s house. I remember on Saturdays, there were a couple of Bay Area stations that would show Universal and Hammer horror movies. I watched them all, many times over. Over the years, from my teens to adulthood, I’ve watched hundreds of horror movies. At this point in my life, I’d consider myself a horror movie connoisseur.  

I’d say it’s only natural that the horror genre has greatly influenced my art and is a constant theme. This brings me to why I frequently post monster sketches on my Instagram account, in addition to opening up my online T-Shirt Shop featuring my Monster Sketch Series first, before anything else. So far, I have put up 5 designs to chose from and I have 5 more in the works. 

If you love monsters as much as I do, you can follow me on Instagram or my Facebook page. Stay tuned to my blog because you can be sure that this won’t be the last time that the topic of monsters comes up again. 

Life is What Happens To You While You’re Busy Making Other Plans

challenges, creative entrepreneur, free time, obstacles, selling art, selling art online, time

I’ve heard this several times before and I just finished reading an article about it. I’ve had a rough few weeks. Im not going to go into detail here, but these various incidences have been quite distracting. There has been a lot going on in my personal as well as in my professional life, leaving me little energy and time to spend on my entreprenueral effort. Some call it my hobby, or time to myself. Call it what you will, but it’s important to me.

This, again, touches on the subject of Carving Out Time. However, a lot of what keeps me from being productive is pure mental and physical exhaustion. I just don’t have the energy left. My brain is fried by the end of the day and there’s not enough power to produce something creative. I do what I can and put out what I can. I don’t create as much quality work as I’d like. I just have to believe that, at some point, I will have more time. Until then, I’ll have to be satisfied doing what I can. That’s why this is a thirty year journey and not a two year journey.

I will have say, that last weekend, I was actually able to put one of my designs on a t-shirt on my newly set up Artist Shop through Threadless. It’s a start. I plan on making shirts and prints, of my entire Monster Sketch series. While I haven’t sold any shirts yet, I did buy one for my son and myself. Not only is it free advertising, but I’m putting money back into the business. As another old saying goes, “It takes money to make money.”

What’s Next? Selling my artwork online!

selling art online

Now that I have a few blog posts under my belt, it’s time for me to focus on getting my online store up. My original goal had been for April 1, 2016. Well, life has gotten in the way, as it sometimes does, so I’m going to push my launch date to May 1st. That’ll give me a little more time to prepare my files for print. 

As for my online store, I’ve chosen two options out of the many available. After doing some research, which you can find here, I decided to go with Big Cartel and Printful. Big Cartel lets you customize the look of your online shop and add your website domain to it, all for $9.99 a month. They don’t even take a percentage of the profits, unlike some of the others. After doing my research, which you can find my sources here, I decided that this was a good option for me since I am just starting out. As for Printful, they carry the products and they drop ship, which means I don’t house anything and the customer can order on demand. You can also customize the label to fit your brand. Printful has set prices for their products, so you have to mark up to make a profit. The others reasons that I like them, is that they give you example of how to set your prices, they offer tutorials and the site integrates with Big Cartel. In my mind, it’s a win-win!

So that’s all for now. Its time for me to prep my files so that I can upload and open up my shop. 

Stay tuned!

Carving Out Time…

art, Art making, challenges, free time, obstacles, opportunities, time

…to make art! I find this to be one of my biggest challenges right now. 

The hours of my day are pretty filled. I get up to get ready and then go to work. I put in a full day, then it’s time to go pick up my toddler from daycare. Then there’s dinner and family time. After that, it’s clean up, possibly go for a walk to get exercise, and then time to get the my son ready for bed. Once that’s all finished and my son is asleep, there’s a little left to watch a show before going to bed. Hit repeat for another four days. My weekends are somewhat more flexible, but we try to get out of the house or there are errands to do. If my teenager is with us, then I engage with him and he’s included in our daily rituals. Now I’m not complaining, I’m just stating the facts. 

However, I do try to squeeze art making into my life as much as possible. Sometimes it’s in the morning, before work. Other times, it’s after my son is down for the night. Making art is also another way I relax and relieve stress. It focuses my mind and I lose myself. At least for a little while. This includes the weekends as well, when I watch my son in the morning while my wife sleeps. 

There are exceptions, though. For instance my toddler fell asleep on the way home after I picked him up from daycare. So I’m using this opportunity to write my weekly blog post. I also carry my sketchbook wherever I go, so if the opportunity presents itself, I draw then. My best fries and I occasionally have a “play date” and I can use that time as well. 

There are times, when I’m not as tired, and I have bursts of inspiration. I may do as many as three to four drawings or one digital painting. In those cases, I can get a lot done.

Ultimately, it’s about a passion for doing something that you love and finding time to fit it in to your daily life. It’s no different than making time to go to the gym or jogging or doing whatever it is that lights you up and feeds your soul. It’s not only an outlet and a way to express yourself, but it’s also a for of taking care of yourself.

It’s not always easy and it can often involve some juggling. But if it’s something that makes you happy and it’s important to you, then you will carve out the time. 

Knowledge is Power!

art, artist, artists, blog, blogging, creative entrepreneur, marketing, selling art, selling art online, small business, social media marketing

So before getting to the point of launching this blog, I decided to do my research by reading books. I wanted to be informed by the experiences of others and to learn some of the best practices of selling art online, entrepreneurship, social media marketing, as well as blogging.

Below is a list of books that I’ve read to prepare myself:

Speaking of blogging, here is a list of the current blogs that I subscribe to:

The Journey Begins

artist, creative entrepreneur, Introduction, selling art, small business

Today I’m officially beginning my journey as a Creative Entrepreneur. This is something that I’ve given a lot of thought to over the years. I made a few failed attempts at it, but it didn’t stick. I wasn’t confident enough. I didn’t really believe in myself or my abilities. I’ve grown a lot since the last time I made a half-hearted effort to do this. The difference between then and now is that I believe in myself and all that I have to offer. This is my passion. It feeds my soul.

You may be asking, “Why a Creative Entrepreneur and not an Artist?” That’s because, I not only want to create art, but I want to sell it as well. So I’m becoming a small business owner, who sells my unique point of view to those that appreciate art and have a desire to adorn their walls with it.

Now it may take me some time to build my fanbase and my niche, but it will happen. I know that it won’t happen overnight. That’s why it’s a journey. One that I expect to be on for the next 30+ years.

I have been working over the past couple of months to reach the point of launching this blog. In future posts, I will be writing about what I have done to get to where I am and where I am going. It is my hope, that my journey will inspire others to do the same and realize that it’s never too late. I hope to learn from others along the way.

Stay creative!