So Last year in December, after at least a year of prodding from my frustrated husband, I opened my first digital art shop. My goal is to sell the art and designs I was making as I practiced digital art while illustrating my first and now second picture books.
To start this story, I’ll tell you two things about me. As a child, I lived in my own worlds of creativity. To survive the wild and sometimes super 80s childhood I had, my primary way of expressing myself came out in the form of creative arts.
I would draw and write stories every day of my life since I was at least 5 years old. It has always been my reset point in life, and sometimes when I am at my most stressed I do it as a relief.
I practiced drawing all the Disney characters by pausing the movies at scenes I wanted to draw. Then I would draw quick trying to recreate as much as I could, before I had to re-pause and find the exact pose again.
I have gaps in my life when I stopped drawing and writing too, in my late teens when I thought it was uncool. But when I decided two years ago, to illustrate the picture book I wrote for my kids several years before, again drawing was very much in the forefront of my life.
I tried mediums, such as watercolor and colored pencil. I found them hard to keep out and organized. Being the mother of two small children, meant my expensive art supplies became communal tools if I forgot to put them away, even for a second.
I gave digital art a try. I realized why the pull to digital art was so strong for me. It was two reasons; it was easy (easy clean up, easy on the go, easy to show off/upload) and it brought out my love of observation out again, as I take my supplies on the go to see in person wherever I wanted to draw or write.
So I began the rigorous task to teach myself digital art. I began first with a small tablet that attached to my computer, an easy $20 extension on my writing space. Then later, when I realized how fast I was learning, I made a hearty investment into an iPad Pro and a $10 app I learned about, an app called Procreate and my art skills skyrocketed.
I finished my picture book in a few months and then moved onto illustrating the second idea I came up with later that year. And last winter I had drawn my design of regency literature characters and the budding skills advanced. So my hubby suggested I try my hand at selling my art in this form on Etsy. I started with stickers, and at first nothing happened. I mean literally nothing.
I posted 4 stickers of characters I loved. I did no marketing, no promoting, and in December I sold nothing, and in January I sold ... nothing, and again and again. I wasn’t sure how to go ahead. I didn’t make my first sale of my stickers until April. Someone contacted me to ask if I might post two of my designs for the commercial use so she could put them on pillows she made.
During the interim between no sale and sale, I found a whole alternative world and adjusted my business model towards that. The world of digital planning was suddenly before me! It’s identical to paper planning but on your iPad, or other digital device. And I love it.
I plan on making a video for my digital planning life, but for now I will say two things; I am addicted and I love designing for this new avenue. I have added these designs to my shop and begun making sales and later this year I will branch out to selling more projects through a print on demand site for my digital art singles, much like the original purchase of my first stickers. So things are growing slowly, but surely.
Digital art has made all the difference in this time of Covid-quarantine and I have become more productive. I have begun a practical business, learned a skill and used my artistic ability and I enjoy it.
So it’s a win-win! I really recommend it! And I hope you are all using this time to grow a skill, learn new ones or just enjoy your creative pursuits to help you through the uncertain times, leading to a brighter tomorrow.