How I’m Breaking the Mold as an Artist

Hey guys! Today I’d like to share with you a little bit about how I’m breaking the mold of being an artist in the 21st century.

Throughout history, artists have had to fit certain molds to have their work accepted by galleries and the art community.

But the greatest artists were the ones who broke the mold.

In Medieval Europe, art was controlled by the Church. Artists had to create work featuring religious characters and stories in order to sell. Artists found ways to work around these limitations by inserting the faces of their patrons into religious scenes.

The great art of the Renaissance was a rejection of these restrictions. In fact, there has been a constant back and forth throughout history, with each art movement being a reaction to the one that came before.

Impressionism was a reaction to Realism. Monet and the Impressionists were originally shunned by the art community in Paris. Of course they are now widely loved and celebrated (not to mention, the art is worth millions).

In 1917, Marcel DuChamp submitted an upside down urinal as an affront to the so-called “Society of Independent Artists”. This move has gone down in history and gave rise to Dadaism.

Marcel Duchamp Fountain 1917

The greatest historical artists we know today were the ones who broke the mold and pushed back against the establishment. These artists were ahead of their time, controversial, and often under appreciated until late in life or even after death.

Artist Gustav Klimt The Kiss

So how can I follow in the footsteps of the great artists of the past?

Today, there are once again pervasive ideas about what being an artist should look like.

Many of my professors at University scoffed at the idea of selling art online on fashion and home decor products. They held the belief that a true artist should suffer for their work, and should only show in established galleries, otherwise they’re “selling out”.

Another pervasive idea is that art should only be understood and accessible to an elite few. I think that idea is bullshit and needs to be smashed like the patriarchy! I hold the belief that art should be accessible to all.

The internet and the ability to self represent has completely changed the landscape of being an artist today. We can spread our work around the world all on our own, and become business men and women in our own right. We can create any kind of artwork we want and find a market for it.

All artists should be taking advantage of this and starting a new movement. Our movement doesn’t have a name yet but one day people will be reading about this time in history. Just like we read about the “Renaissance” “Impressionism” and “Dadaism” movements of the past.

This is how I’m breaking the mold as an artist and doing what every other great artist has done before me.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what being an Artist in the 21st century means to you. Leave your comments below! Please note: I’m not an art historian and have definitely over-simplified some aspects here, so feel free to point out if I’m completely wrong.

Thanks for sticking around long enough to read my rant! I really appreciate it. Head over to my gallery to check out my artwork, and make sure to subscribe to my blog if you want to follow along on my journey.

Cheers,

Julie

What to do When Sales are Slow in Your Print on Demand Store

What to do when sales are slow print on demand stores

Hey guys!  Today I’d like to share with you my thoughts on what to do when sales are slow in your Print on Demand shops and online stores.

In retail, whether online or brick and mortar, there are sales cycles.  This means that sales slow down at certain times of the year and peak during other times, like at Christmas.

It can be frustrating and confusing to go from making several sales in a month to barely any, but that is totally normal and just the reality of retail. It does not mean you’ve failed, so don’t get down!

Think about how you personally shop. What times of the year do you spend the most money and when do you save? You will most likely find this reflected in your sales.

Here you can easily see the cycle peaks and lows during the year from my Redbubble analytics:

sales cycles on print on demand online retail stores

You can see my sales peak in November and December and drop down in the spring. Then they steadily climb back up until August when people shop for Back to School.

Now this sales cycle is totally normal and something you will need to get used to and prepare for, especially if your sole income is through online retail shops.

Instead of getting frustrated and throwing in the towel, there are lots of things you can do during these low times to get your shops ready for when the sales start to rise again!

Here is a list of ideas:

  • Work on your website or blog. Start one if you haven’t yet.
  • Continue creating and adding new designs to your shops.
  • Find new ways to promote your shops. Start using Pinterest for example.
  • Grow your social media followings.
  • Go through your stores and fix or delete under-performing designs.
  • Go through your designs and update keywords.
  • Enable new products you haven’t offered before.
  • Do a brand overhaul: new logo, banners, etc.
  • Promote sales. If your sales are slow, so are the websites you sell on and they will often have really good sales during slow times to get people to buy.
  • Ask others for feedback. You could ask friends or other Print on Demand artists for feedback on your stores and/or designs.
  • Network. Find and join support groups with like-minded individuals. There are lots of Print on Demand groups on Facebook.
  • Learn new business and marketing strategies through YouTube or other sources.
  • Take a break. Sometimes we need some time away to replenish our creativity.  Go on a holiday or spend time with friends and family and come back with new ideas.
  • Open a new store. There are lots of print on demand sites out there, perhaps there is one more suited to your style. Here is a list of Print on Demand sites to try.
  • And most importantly don’t give up!

Looking for more? You can find lots more tips about selling your art through Print on Demand websites in the resources section of my blog.

Happy selling!

Cheers,

Julie

How to Sell Your Art Online in 5 Steps

5 steps to sell your art online

Step 1. Build your portfolio.

In order to start selling your art online, you should have a decent sized portfolio for potential customers to choose from. Aim for 10-25 artworks.

sketch book designs feathers pug painting watercolour

You can either make a bunch of new artwork, or dig up some old pieces that could work digitally or physically to sell.

Step 2: Decide where to sell your art.

Next, you’ll have to decide where to sell your art and that will depend on your medium, style, and goals as an artist.

Identify your audience and how you want to sell your art.

  • Are you going to sell primarily prints? (many avenues)
  • Are you going to sell physical work, such as paintings? (Etsy, or Fine Art America)
  • Do you create sculptures, jewelry or something else tangible? (Etsy)
  • Are you interested in designing t-shirts and/or home decor products? (Society6, Zazzle or Redbubble)

Check out my blog post about Where to Sell Your Art Online to help you decide.

For even more help on deciding where to sell your art online check out these posts:

Step 3. Optimize your artwork for sale

You’ll have to optimize your art digitally, or take a nice photo of it in order to sell it online.

  • Scan or photograph your artwork
  • Make it a large file size
  • Try to get sharp lines and true colors
  • Post process in a program like Photoshop to fix colors, or clean up scans.

Here is a an explanation of how I clean up my drawings using Photoshop and Illustrator

Step 4: Upload and enable as many products as possible

Upload your art to your chosen platform.

If you are going the Print On Demand route,  only add to products that look good and work with the design.

mermaid cell phone case example

Step 5: Market your products

This is where a lot of artists struggle because, well, we’re artists not business or marketing professionals!

  • Share your products and artwork on social media. 
    • Create an Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook page dedicated to your art.
    • Ideally, choose one you use frequently so it’s not a burden to learn or use daily.
  • You may consider building a website, which can be a hub if you sell on multiple platforms. It could be a blog or just a portfolio of your work.
  • Check out my pages for inspiration:
  • To dive deeper into marketing, watch tutorials on YouTube or try Skillshare to hone your business skills or even artistic skills as your business grows.

There is a lot to learn on the business side, but don’t neglect your art!

Consistently create new designs so you can figure out what works and what doesn’t, and go from there.

Consistency is key!

For more tips on selling your art online check out these posts:

Social Media Marketing Tips For Artists
Blogging for Your Art Business
How to Increase Your Sales on POD Websites

I hope you’ve found this guide to selling your art online useful.  Feel free to leave any additional tips or questions for me in the comments below!>

Cheers,

Julie

6 Inspiring Quotes for Female Entrepreneurs

Hey guys!

As you may already know, being an entrepreneur can be challenging at times and especially for us ladies who are often juggling multiple responsibilities like jobs and families.

Sometimes you need a little something to keep you motivated so I’ve created these fun, inspirational quotes for you to enjoy and share as you like.

These are all made using Canva.  If you haven’t used Canva before you really should check it out, it makes creating share-able social media posts so quick and simple.

Without further ado, on to the quotes!

inspirational motivational entrepreneur hustle quotes quote
but every day we get a little closer motivational quotes
wake up and slay quote
motivational inspirational girl boss quote
inspiring motivating female entrepreneur quote quotes
sassy fun entrepreneur hustle girl boss quote quotes

Which one of these resonates with you the most? Let me know in the comments below!

Also feel free to share these far and wide as much as you like.

You can also check out more share-able quotes from my blog here:

10 Inspiring Quotes by Famous Artists
10 Inspirational Quotes About Art

Are you just getting started with your own side hustle?  Check out some of my articles on selling your art online for extra ca$h!

Where to Sell Your Art Online
Social Media Marketing Tips

Cheers,

Julie

How to Increase Your Sales on POD Websites – 15 Tips

how to increase sales on print on demand websites 15 tips

Are you an artist trying to sell your work on Society6, Redbubble, Zazzle, or another POD (print on demand) website?

Well I’ve been doing it for a few years now and have some tips to help you get more sales!

If you’re just getting started or haven’t set up your store(s) yet, you may want to check out these posts first:

Read on to find out how to increase your sales on Society6 and Redbubble specifically, but many of these tips can be used across other POD platforms such as Zazzle, TeePublic, CafePress, Fine Art America and many others.

Tips to Increase your Sales on Print on Demand Websites

  1. Try to complete at least one business or social media related task per day. For example: one tweet, one Instagram post, one new design, one update to your website etc. If you can do more than one task that’s great, but just that one thing will help your business without being too overwhelming.
  2. Comment and like other artists’ work. This does not apply to all PODs but can be especially helpful on Society6 and Redbubble to get more eyes on your designs.
  3. Connect with other artists on social media (Facebook groups for example) or forums where available (Zazzle). Ask for feedback from them if you feel comfortable doing so!
  4. Upload as much high quality work as possible. The more designs you have, the more chances you have of making a sale.
  5. Research the latest trends and use them as inspiration to create new designs in your own style. You can use Pinterest or check the top selling designs on your chosen POD platform.
  6. Have social media pages, even just one or two and focus on them. Instagram and Twitter great for artists. On Facebook it’s challenging to get likes on your page, but it could get your real life friends interested. Try using new tools like Facebook or Instagram stories, or even Snapchat if you are adventurous.
  7. Don’t forget about your stores or leave them alone for long periods of time. Try to stay somewhat active and consistent on all of them (uploading new work, commenting/following etc.) I’ve definitely noticed an increase in sales/activity when I’m active. If you have too many stores to stay active, maybe pare it down to the few that you have been most successful on.
  8. Don’t stretch yourself too thin.  Going off the point above, if you have too many stores you might feel overwhelmed or too lazy to upload work to all of them, so I suggest deleting those ones you don’t like or don’t have much success with.
  9. Read up on other sellers tips especially top sellers if they have shared these tips online. CatCoq, for example, has shared some great information on her website. See what these top sellers are doing and figure out how you can get where they are. Use them as inspiration for your brand.
  10. Make different versions of the same designs that are well received. Different colour variations of a popular design or rework an element of that piece so it can have more mass appeal.
  11. Have a website or blog external to your social media, like this one! It helps with your visibility and to show up in Google searches.
  12. Tell your family, friends and coworkers about your stores and they might support you! You could even gift them stuff from your own stores for Christmas and birthdays etc. to get them excited about your work.
  13. Something I’m currently working on – Go back through your old designs and either delete ones that aren’t working for your brand or update titles, keywords etc.
  14. Always keep learning.  There are lots of great sources online for marketing your brand or honing and learning new skills.  Check out Skillshare for some free or paid courses in marketing, design and many other skills.
  15. Subscribe to my blog!  I’m always posting new content on selling your art on POD websites so make sure you don’t miss out.

Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve found this blog post helpful.  Let me know if you have any other tips to add in the comments below!

Cheers,

Julie

Check out these other posts for more information on selling your art on POD websites:

Redbubble Product Review – A-Line Dress

tropical monstera pattern fashion redbubble a-line dress review

Hey guys!

I finally bought myself an A-Line dress from Redbubble!

Since I started uploading my designs to Redbubble I’ve been curious about how their A-Line dresses look, fit, and feel. I had a hard time finding any detailed reviews of them online so figured I would order one and write my own!

After I published my Tropical Monstera Pattern and saw how nice it looked on the dress, I decided to order one with this pattern thinking it would be perfect for summer or tropical vacations.

I must say I am pleased with the dress. I ordered an XS after reviewing the size chart, and it fits quite nicely. (I’m 5’0″ by the way and usually wear size S)

It took a few weeks to arrive, because I’m in Canada and it got stuck at the border for about a week (due to Customs).

Aside from this photoshoot at English Bay beach, I also wore this dress to work paired with a belt and black cardigan. I even received some compliments from my co-workers!

Here are my impressions of the dress so far:

  • It is loose and flowy, non clingy, silky feeling, and doesn’t wrinkle easily.
  • It is comfortable to wear.
  • The print is vibrant and shows off my artwork nicely.
  • The light and thin fabric is not see through at all.
  • It would be a great garment for hot summer days or a tropical vacation.
tropical monstera pattern redbubble a-line dress review
photoshoot model a-line dress review redbubble

I quite like the dress with a belt for my figure, as seen in the pictures above. But, I think this dress is probably flattering for most body-types, especially with the option of a belt or no belt.

More details about this dress from the Redbubble website:

  • 97% Polyester / 3% Elastane woven dress fabric
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Print covers entire front and back panel
  • Loose swing shape for an easy, flowy fit.

Let me know what you think about this dress or other Redbubble products you’ve purchased by leaving a comment below!

I plan on doing some more product reviews in the future so make sure to follow my blog and stay tuned.

Have a great day!

Cheers,

Julie