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Your own work

Making my own work go further!

One thing I’ve learnt so far in many studies of other illustrators and artist is that make the most use of your artwork.

Cat Coquillette

The rise of third party print on demand companies such as Redbubble, Society6 and zazzle means you have access to having your work on product and it is easier than ever, but that does not mean we should put art on everything as you still need to be able to understand your market, and find a way to stand out.
Artists and Illustrators go to conventions and sell, t-shirts, books, posters and pins.
I see illustrators like Cat Coquillette travel the world and makes a healthy living using her work as Decorative Illustrations. I first spotted Cat Coquillette on skillshare titled creating a career in illustration – explore print on demand part two of this class is titled creating art to sell, it really does make you start looking at your own work differently.

There are many ways I could make money from my own artworks

Another class I’ve watched is Roadmap to getting your illustration on products by Ann Bollman. Her first two steps “Identity top 3 markets” and “conduct market research” gave me a big idea what I needed to look at and research.

With that in mind I went though my sketchbooks with my post it notes and looked at every image, with a bit of work I could pretty much turn everything into some different purpose. I found surprisingly my top three areas were
1. Greeting card
2. Surface patterns
3. Stationery

So it makes sense for this exercise I focus on decorative illustration, it also would be area I feel would be able to as an artist/illustrator to make the most use out of your art (or is it art re-circling!)

While I was going though my sketchbook I realized that I could use pretty much all of my work in ways I never thought of before! Even sometimes changing something a little means it could appeal more to a whole new market!

Sketchbook page 1
Sketchbook Page 2

(above) as can see I wanted to go down a route if I was an artist/illustrator at a craft fair / convention having things to sell. Things that work well are prints, books and pins, I wanted to look at things that would be cheaper to produce myself and sell for “pocket” money prices. So thinking a bookmark or card using the artwork from my first exercise.
Reason I picked this as it could be an endless format, could target quite wide audience with pets at craft fairs, and I wouldn’t be limited to just a cat, could create the same with rabbit, dog, and mouse! (such as below, sketches in my sketchbook) To have a complete series within this theme.
I really liked the idea of having a bookmark with paws folding over the pages. however it limited me being able to research suppliers as a bespoke design and I could with the right paper and printer produce these myself.


So I looked at getting the card printed with three companies. (below)
I would very likely go with Sixprint as no set up fee and provides a sample at a small cost!

oca - owb work card v2

(above) I reused the image, I was intending to clean so all lack, however I liked the cut of it, feels more organic. So only edited a little and included some font to give the card propose.
I had plan to get a sample for my portfolio / loose work however due to the current isolation I will not be able to get printed at the moment. So made sure I had my mock up (below)

OCA my own work card mockup

Creating this, I still wanted to make a prototype of my bookmark idea (could work as a bookmark in my sketchbook) So I quickly did this using ink / masking fluid and by cutting to size/shape.
Would need more work, however it looks and work as I intended for this bookmark.
“it would be so cute!”

OCA - Your own work bookmark

I found loads of options for this, I went for what would be realistic in terms of me setting myself up to “sell” my art. I’ve done craft fairs when I painted jute bags, Which was personalized items/orders, which I did okay at, but I’ve found from experience people like to buy little things and maybe place an order for bigger things at a later date.
So can see why prints / pins sell well for artist, that however does limit your audience to “fans”/collectors so I think cards / bookmarks are more likely to sell to wider market. That is my reasoning and my thought behind this.
I think with more polish (on the bookmark) I would have items that I could sell!

I’ve like the research into printing companies / I like to get get value for money without things being “cheap”.

Credits, resources and references

With thanks to Creativetacos for the card mock up.

2 thoughts on “Your own work

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