Well, I have talked about this before, and I think I am ready to do it…I want to turn my artistic skills into a business. Now, the goal is not to quit my position as a teacher. I’m hoping to make this something that is more of a side business. I have built this portfolio over the past 5 years, and I am ready to see if I can turn it into revenue. While my blog will still be dedicated to inspiration, I am also going to talk about my journey as an artist into the business world and what I am finding out. Hopefully, it will help me connect with other like-minded individuals. We will see.
My first thought/concern is probably the thing that I will have the hardest thing dealing with…are my designs worth being purchased? It is not that I do not have confidence in my skills, but all I have learned has been outside of the classroom and professional world…for the most part. As a school teacher, you are not always in a place to be creating work every single day or dealing with people in the design world. I know I have done some amazing work over the years, but how will others view it? I realize that people have different aesthetics, but I will have to deal with rejection and not being noticed. There are MANY people vying for attention in the design world, so I need to stand out and get noticed.
Which brings me to my next point, how will I get noticed? I realize that I need to re-work my site in a number ways. First, I need to edit my site so I am showing only my best work. Second, I need to figure out a way for people to contact me. If I do not say that I am looking for work, how will I get work? Third, I need to publicize and network. There are many sites like Behance and IllustrationMundo where designers and illustrators can get noticed. Also, how can I use social sites like Facebook, YouTube, or LinkedIn to get my name out there? Plus, how can I use services like Technorati and Google Analytics to make sure that people are getting to my site? It is one thing to just make a web site, but it is a totally different thing to get people to it. Shouting to the world that I am available for work is probably going to be a tough obstacle for me. I tend to think I lean more towards being too modest.
And then, what services do I offer? My first thought is to create an identity or brand that I can sell on t-shirts. I figure that could be a quick way for people to see products I already have available and what I am capable of. The t-shirt market, though, can be over-saturated so I am not sure how successful that will be. On the other hand, if the design is fresh enough, it might not make a difference. Or, I have thought about creating a self-published book, but I need a good idea for that before setting forth on that journey. Many places exist on the Internet to sell your work, but selecting the right one will decide where I center my energy. Plus, the goal is to get design or illustration work from actual companies and the best way to do that.
And finally, I have the nuts and bolts to consider. How much do I charge? Do I need any other paperwork? That might be down the line, but it is important to think this could actually be a business instead of something to pass the time.
Well, I will try to update this as much as possible. It looks like I will have to do a lot of socializing anyway, so I don’t expect it to be a problem.