I've been spending most of this week finishing up the remaining zombies that have already been funded for the +1000 zombies project and tweaking some of my various store fronts. I'm hoping to complete the tweaks on them all by late next week and have everything optimised ... wishful thinking ... so much work.
One thing I've been researching and investing a little time in is Etsy like stores. Etsy is fine and dandy and helped generate several sales for me, but with the fees and time limit on listings, its sort of got me upset. So I have looked in to other sites ... namely Rebelsmarket.com and Storenvy.com .
Between all 3 I am going to focus my attention on Storenvy, which has no fees, no time limits and fairly straight forward. I'm also going to keep some feelers out in the other sites with 10 or so listings on Etsy with links to other prints and stuff ( the plan in my head makes sense, I just can't describe it without getting verbose ... right +Paul Roustan ;P ) and I'm going to do the same thing with Rebelsmarket ... which takes 15% of sales btw.
And then I'm also going to sell at my own site .. idrawzombies.com
So ... go check out my slow but steadily growing collection on Storenvy http://zombies.storenvy.com
... and buy something so I don't have to live on Ramen Noodles all week. :)
In a conversation with the uber talented abstract artist +Abigail Markov we started talking about creating art for the sheer joy of it, and creating art to pay the bills. We both agreed that it is far more fun and rewarding to attack the canvas and create without worrying about what a client wants, or what might sell as a print. We agreed that when we create like this, it is often more appealing to our audience as well as ourselves. So why can't we do this each and every time we enter the studio?
It's actually a good question that I don't have an easy answer to. I have a lot of 'excuses' as to why I can't, but not actual hard reasons. It's something I'm going to ponder for the next day or 3 ... feel free to give feedback on this.
One other thing we discussed a little is trying to figure out what the audience wants. More art ... sure. Videos of the art being created perhaps? Want some liner notes or audio clips to go along with the video that describes why we do what we do when we do it? How about On air hangouts where you can chill with your favourite artists while they work? Exclusive access to digital files, prints or even first chance at seeing the latest work ... and first chance to purchase it?
See ... if more fans and admirers put a few dollars, or even just 1 per month towards their favourite artists, it would allow them to spend a few hours less worrying about how to find the money to buy food for their kids AND paint for their next project ... and then everyone wins. You get to say you're a patron of the arts, or in my case, the dark arts ... and the artist gets to work with a little less worry.
So that's my question to you all tonight. What would it take to convince you to donate a buck or two to support your favourite artist? What would make you PROUD to become a patron?
One problem that many artists face is finding time to get to the studio and get their ART on. Being a stay home Dad with 3 kids and all sorts of different kinds of busy I need to work wherever the hell I am. So ... a long time ago on the advice of my art mentor I bought a tackle box. The kind you use for fishing. Nearly everything I need to draw or paint can be stored in it, and I can take it everywhere. If I cut my paper down to 4x6 sizes ( or a bit bigger ) it can go in the box too. Small container with a tight sealed cap works well to hold some water and I'm all set.
So ... now when I only have 10 minutes to myself between putting the kids to bed and spending some QT with the MRS I can open it up, grab what I need and draw and paint until I'm dragged away from it. I've done this on the floor, at the kitchen table just before breakfast and even out on the deck while watching my 5 year old play in the sandbox. I've also taken the box with me to family get-togethers and various other outings.
The point is ... there's no excuse to not being able to find even a few minutes in the day to create some art. With some thought and creativity you can have something portable too. Even just a small sketchbook and a pen is all you need. Anyone out there have a small portable studio ... or at least something they carry with them most times? Let me know what you got!
I could complain about all sorts of things. Pain, finances, hectic schedule, busy life with kids always on the verge of running late for everything. But what's the point. Everyone has been there at one point or another in their lives. It happens. If it wasn't for the super shitty or busy times we wouldn't realize when we're having the good times. The calm and relaxed times. So I'm not going to complain :)
Lucky you ...
Instead what I'm going to say is that during all these super busy stressed out shitty times, there are still minutes in the day when you can get something done. I'm trying hard to realize that life is busy and to keep an eye open for the times when I have 15 minutes or so to myself ... 15 minutes I can use to tweak an image in photoshop, or finish off an animated gif I was working on ... then post it to G+
Sometimes I have enough time between life gigs to do something spontaneously .. like record myself drawing another zombie pic ... like the one at the top.
The point is ... if I don't keep an eye open for these few moments of free time, and take advantage of them when they present themselves, I won't get anything done. Even this blog is being written in the few minutes before supper when the kids are outside and the wife doesn't need me to do anything.
This image pretty much sums up how I've been feeling as of late. Being consumed by one of the things I enjoy most about art. The 1000 zombies project has left me feeling rather jaded and cynical about my work, and about my whole career path lately. So many portraits to draw ... its a long way to 1000. Also ... one of the pitfalls many artists seem to fall in to is one of self doubt and a big 'ol helping of self loathing. I had that in spades lately.
It's not easy being a stay home Dad trying to get bills paid and put food on the table by selling artwork. It's a tough gig. In a sense I am whoring myself out daily trying to convince people to hand over their hard earned dollars for a piece of my soul. That probably sounds a bit over dramatic but when I really look hard at what I do ... it is what it is. I want you to give me your money for a piece of artwork that I would often rather keep just for myself. This image has been sold to a wonderful fan who has already bought several of my pieces. I may never see the original again and to me, for me, that's a little sad.
But my kids need to eat, the hydro company wants cash ... so what am I to do?
Anyways ... blah blah blah lets all cry for Byron ... it is what it is and while I do KNOW that ... the whole doubt and loathing starts to act up again.
So rather than just let it fester I've decided to REstart this blog and make it more about what goes on daily in the life of a stay home Dad who draws Zombies. Who knows where this will lead or what might come of it. I have grandious ideas of making it a sort of guide to help other artists that are starting a career path of selling their work online ... but thats a lot of work and I doubt I'm an expert in the field anyways.
So what I'm going to do is just sort of write about what I do daily, why I'm doing it, and perhaps give a few suggestions that might help others not make the same mistakes I've already made.
And then again this whole thing could just fizzle out again and stop being daily ... time will tell.
I feel sort of better now ... cheers!
oh ... and the whole layout might be changing so pardon any upcoming messes ... and go buy some of my stuff please!
I put together a 37 page ebook containing the some of my first doodles and drawings. Well, not my first because those are really old and I doubt they exist anymore. These are from when I began drawing again, and is one of the first chapters of my artistic life that will eventually lead up to my drawing nothing but zombies. Check it out and down load your copy today for just 3 bucks