A quick little sketch that I hadn't intended posting here. However, it had a very nice response on Flickr so here it is. Being posted on my blog.
And here's a little question. It's a rather big little question, actually. If you were, say, poor and, say, an artist what would you do to make money? Without, of course, doing anything that might compromise your integrity. Silly answers, sensible answers. Anything. Go on then, what have you got for me?
If I could draw like you do, I'd try to get my prints either matted or made into card sets and try to get an upscale shop to feature them at their store.
Or have you ever tried doing your art on walls - could you market yourself as a muralist?
I love what you do and your blog brings me much joy.
I'm with Vicki - I think your art really lends itself to cards and prints. The cards don't even have to say anything inside - they can be blank notecards. Another thought - I know an artist who paints windows for stores. At Christmas time she does wonderful designs around the edges - usually white curlicues with red berries. She has sold her idea to an entire street of stores so there was a consistent theme all along the street. You could do a similar thing for each season/holiday. Your art is wonderful and, I think, very marketable. nancy
You are an incredible artist and you should keep doing what you are doing. I don't have any "expert" suggestions but maybe try to expand your etsy store. Also networking through blogging. I think from reading your blog, you are a "homebody" so you may need to step outside your comfort zone. I think somehow you need more exposure because as I said earlier, your work is incredible.
Another suggestion might be to try other mediums to possibly reach a different audience.
I was just reading today that the last sardine cannery/factory is closing. So this picture is making me sad. I love your drawings btw.
I meant the last sardine cannery in the USA.
Love the drawing! :) My kitten would love it(actually I love it, hahahaha Sardines are the best!) But I really like the colors in this one.
So, the big question. I guess that's the same question my parents were trying to protect me from asking when they requested me to go to engineering school instead of my preferred advertisement line. But if you ask me, and if you're really trying to make ends meet, there's no legal job in the world that would bring down your integrity. Big job, small job, it's still a job and it's a function to keep the society going.
But if I had not been an engineer, and I couldn't get my art to sell, I'd probably teach art in school. That way I am able to do art everyday, at the same time explore with young talents. Otherwise, Vicki's suggestion is great too.
Thanks Andrea for your comments on the kitten sketch.
i'd work doing something involving more "post production" of my work. say, a frame shop or a printing house - learn about the things that might go in tandem with the the physical output of my work. at the very least it might help with choices made while creating art so that pieces are easier to work with or produce later.
also, if you learn how to do these things for others, you could probably save money by doing these things for yourself.
maybe i'm a bit mad. or maybe you've already thought of this. just my two cents.
Andrea, you have a very distinctive, clean style. It would lend itself so nicely to introducing a whole home range of products: blinds, dish towels, bed linen, stationery. I can just imagine a window blind with your buttons strewn across it, or a duvet with postage stamps or shoes scattered over it.
Well, I am an artist and I am poor, so obviously no quick fixes! But I agree with previous posts, cards/prints would be a great idea - makes your art accessible to every budget. Plug them on Etsy but also go round any local shops that might be prepared to take them on. Also look on the AOI website for their list of card/art companies & send off introductory e-mails with a link to your blogs/website (a website is something you may have to invest in - Mr.Site is about £35 and easily set up by any computer numpty...like me...)
Also, I rarely turn a commission down - I've had some weird ones but they all keep the wolf from the door.
If you find the secret to being a wealthy artist, do share it with me!
Carol Lloyd has a book (this is here website with some snippets)
that has a chapter on what jobs might suit artists which could be useful to read. I have no answers I'm afraid. I wonder about your wording 'compromising integrity' - is that necessarily what happens if for instance the job 'enables' you to get on with your art? It's a necessity for the vast majority of artists but maybe one can see it in a more positive way.
Get a part-time job, apply for grants/fonds/residencies, get in touch with art professionals (art dealers, consultants, etc.), explore the possibilities of your contact list, organize workshops, improve your production and marketing...
I've been following you for quite sometime, and it is needless to say I'm impressed. And I think you could impress the magazine owners, too. May be try out to illustrating books and magazines. If you know Photoshop or Corel Draw, that's a great advantage. You advertise in Quikr, and there is a site called freelancer.com ; you could register there and bid for projects.
And hey never ever leave your passion may be whatever the situation be. I came back to it and I know what it feels without it.
Best of luck :)
It is a big question!
I will ask an other question,
do you want to live from your art or do you want to live for your art?
You are very talented and with an amazing style.
I can't speak to what it takes to be a professional artist. I "sold out to the man" as my kids say, and have a 40-hour a week job that puts bread on the table (for 28 years now) and helps with their college expenses. Off the clock is my art time. If I die tomorrow I'd have no regrets with that mix. Being an employee, husband, father and collector of hobbies gives me the life experiences that make me, and come out in my art. Having said that, I wish society valued the contributions that artists make and take care of their financial needs. But it is what it is.
Im thinking stationary would be a good idea. Especially with your trainer drawings. I know i would definetly buy them!
Im thinking paperchase style stationary
Andrea, I would love to be able to buy blank greeting cards with your talented art work to share with others. And selling them in local shops is a great idea.
Meanwhile, a job in a related art field could possibly open more doors for you (art supply shop, gallery, etc).
Offer on line drawing workshops?
Short term fix? Print your stuff out on things - notecards, wall prints, vinyl decals??, plates, etc and have a home show. Invite everyone you know and tell them to invite everyone they know and make some sales. If you aren't a good salesperson, get a friend to do it for you! They can say things about your artwork that you can't easily say! Then I think a frame shop is a great idea as is the stationary. Jump on it, make it work for you!
Your work is just awe-inspiring. Absolutely beautiful. One day, I will have your childrens' book to read to my daughter.
Be positive!! and best of luck to a fantastic artist!
This is as cute as ever. I love your work! If you want to make it as an artist/illustrator you will, I am sure of it. Your work is brilliant. I'll have to think a bit more on your question, I might be back with an answer later.
Love the sketch! As for ideas, well, I'm the wrong person to ask, but I'll throw this out there anyway! You could put together a "how-to" booklet on your ink sketches and sell them. You could give art lessons in your home. I like the idea of sending links to your blogs to some of the big design firms who put them on decor items.
have you heard of kickstarter.com ?
Wonderful sketch. Love the detail and depth.
Andrea, I do murals for living, it is hard to meet ends too, unless you find upper class designers. I was thinking about illustrating books. I think your stuff would be amazing for magazines. Try to send samples of your work to some of magazines to became their correspondent. I love sardines.
If it were me, I would write a book on how to draw in ball point and I would send it in to North Light books. It's not a quick fix, but I promise you if I saw it on the shelf, I would buy it. It would open more doors than you would have time to open. Send a query letter to them with some samples of your work...I sure they will be as awed as we all are.
But in the mean time I agree with what everyone else has said:)
Actually, Carol's idea about the 'Drawing in Ballpoint pen" book is a bloody good idea ! Only, publishing houses can be a real PITA to deal with - have you considered selling it as an e-book ? No printing costs, save trees etc. You will have to put a lot of effort into marketing it as widely as possible. To achieve sustainability, you do the first book on, oh...say, how to draw fabric folds and textures, such as shoes, woollen sweaters, or linen.
Then the next book is about doing trees, wood, grass etc.
With the new iPad and iPhone, you could sell your books in the Apps store...I've bought a few books to read on my iPhone there, and it's great when I need to kill time.
Next: How about approaching the ballpoint pen companies ? If it's self-doubt holding you back, it can be fixed ! :) Just keep looking around at all the art/illustration and art technique books being used and sold in the world and remember that behind each drawing/book is an artist that got paid for their work - why not you ?
I love your illustrations for your children's book. You could do more along that line and put your prints on onesies and children's t-shirts.
Also, please expand your etsy line. I would love to buy some of your pixie art for my daughter's room...and sell your book on Etsy if you can't get it published.
Move to the US! Everyone is rich here and drives big gas-guzzling autos!
Actually, one interesting group I met at this year's College Art Association convention was here:
They print submitted art on a weekly basis and split the money with the artist. Each artist is voted in or out by viewers to their website-very democratic.
But following your blog all these years, I would say your quality work and legions (!) of fans would jettison you to the top of the heap in no time flat.
All of us here are pulling for you in whatever venture you strike out on.
You could rob a bank!
Or maybe Nikira's idea is better, after all (the magazines). I agree with her, it's a good idea.
In fact, I think you're doing it already, with your children's book. It's just not fast, but it will work. And we're going to miss you because you'll be a serious published author with no time for blogging anymore.
Love the sardines drawing!
Andrea, I would like to present you with the Over the Top Award! I'm sure somebody already recognized your incredible blog with one, but if not, please accept this virtual pat on the shoulder. You are doing such a good job. May your dreams come true, and soon.
Wow. So once again folks, you really blow me away. Thanks so much for the response. I've enjoyed reading all your ideas so much, and you've definitely given me food for thought. Hopefully, the comments here have inspired you too, because I'm sure I'm not the only person in this situation.
Some of these ideas I have looked into before. I think Kickstarter is a briliant idea. Unfortunately it hasn't reached the UK yet. I know that if I were in the States I would be using Kickstarter. Why not give it a go American friends?
I absolutely need to expand my Etsy shop. I am working on that as we speak, and I hope to have my own online shop in the near future too. Of course, lots of this stuff costs money - which is what I'm short of. I just don't want my lack of money to become an excuse. That's why I'm being more proactive these days.
I LOVE the idea of a 'how to draw in ballpoint' book. I'll look further into that, but also it's got me thinking about a little zine along those lines.
SO many great answers, links, etc. Thank you thank you thank you. And, I'll be responding more in some of my upcoming posts.
Cheers for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it.
I enjoyed all the ideas sent to you--aren't these people in this sketchbook world just great! I liked Carol's idea about the book and as far as cards go---if you hit the right card company the royalties are great to have--not many sell enough of them on their own--but these card companies can do very well. I've been that route many moons ago and never found just the right place----but my brother did---with his animal photos--I imagine if I really applied myself and now that I'm using a computer, might find success, in the meantime I am too busy enjoying my work and learning alway, even if I am 74--and I am crazy about your work! Winna Jill
I am surprised you are poor considering how talented you are! It's so unfair! In my opinion, creative, smart people like you should be the most successful ones, am I right? I really hope (and truly believe) that you have a great future ahead of you! I hope you find a way to get past this and I think the Etsy shop could be a nice way to start (at least what I have in mind for myself:)
I wish you all the luck, dear! xo
Hi Andrea. Great question! Have you tried Blurb(dotcom) or similar - to publish your own books & put them up for sale? I would definitely buy one!
There are plenty of places online where you can upload your images & they are sold on, as cards, prints, mugs, bags...etc, etc. Cafepress & Redbubble are the ones that spring to mind. There are endless possibilities for your gorgeous, gorgeous artwork.
You could certainly publish your book on a blog easily & I'm sure it would be very popular :)
Follow your nose, sweetheart. You can't go wrong with a talent such as yours! Enjoy your success - it will come! :D
All the best, Sue.
I would love to boy a book of yours about drawing i ball point, I was just thinking the other day that I would take a class by you on that subject any day! Keep me posted when you get it printed ;)
your work is awesome! but you knew that! i'd just keep drawing and posting as often as possible. Start a Facebook Fan Page and invite everyone to join. Comment on everyone's blogs, that gets you name to the top of the Google search engine. Do some postcards and send them out to greeting card companies, children's book companies, and interior designers. You can print 1000 cards for like $100. Then just keep mailing them out every week to different peope. Get a copy of "Artists Market". They come out with it every year. It includes companies that buy art, addresses, contacts, etc. Expand your Etsy shop. Join RedBubble. Keep posting new work and get some into some area gift shops. Frame 2 or 3 with inexpensive frames from Dick Blick and just have a walk around the closest town that people spend a day walking around in the gift shops. Go when they are not busy like a Wednesday morning. Besides the 2 you frame, bring your portfolio and show them what you can do. You'll be making sales in no time! Good luck!
Love your Sardines by the way! Ever think of an alphabet book for kid with fun things like "S" is for "Sardines"???????
Love this one Andrea, just love it!
This is the perennial question for creative types. Here's something I've contemplated (I would have to give mine away!) and I think you would be very well suited for this:
put a small on-going advertisement as someone who does personalized, custom drawings of houses/cottages/commercial buildings/shops/gardens/interiors as gifts, offering examples in the ad itself.
It could be done plein air or in studio from a photo. In fact, you could do this for anyone in the world!
Your angle would be your unique style of drawing...as opposed to the standard architectural renderings.
Have you kicked this idea around?
Hi Andrea -
Matt and frame about 6 of your "fun" prints - not originals and take them to a local shop that you think your work fits nicely in. Do this in 4 towns. I think starting local is important. People like to support each other in their community. I'm not a rich artist by any means, but I have sold a nice amount just buy asking in person. I've done this in many cities. It's a good starting place.
How about forgetting that you are in the UK and also think of the Australian, Canadian and US markets etc approaching the editors/owners/head of design of magazines, book publishers and fabric manufacturers as well as card companies etc. Look at who publishes children's books or any other genre you might suit and send them an email and maybe a letter with an enclosed drawing. Your art would especially appeal to Australians. Check out Jackie French ..author.
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