Hello Zazzle, Goodbye Life!

Anyone who wants to make money by selling their art online, let me warn you that it is a deeply formidable task.

When I naively thought it would fun to open an online business little did I realise what I was letting myself in for. Every day sees me investing long hours on activities which do not include painting pretty pictures.  I’ve had to…..

  • Decipher what and how to adhere to the site requirements on setting up the store front.
  • Learn every damned thing alone as Zazzle don’t really offer much advice.
  • Interpret and complete complicated forms to keep the taxman happy.
  • Know what size images are required for each individual product.
  • Be proficient at using imaging software – I’m self-taught on Adobe Fireworks.
  • Think up original ideas.
  • Create new images, not just with paint and inks, but digitally as well.
  • Become a champion at tagging.
  • Delve deeply into my box of descriptive words.
  • Open promotional media sites such as Facebook and Pinterest.

Zazzle©Desk.fw

But still…all I hear is crickets.

It’s going to be a long time before I see any reward for my efforts and I’m realising that it will be necessary to open new stores with other online platforms in order to appeal to a variety of audiences.

The thing I’ve found the most difficult is to not be timid about pushing my Zazzle store on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.  It’s not enough to simply upload a few items and sit back waiting for them to sell.  Constant promotion of each item is vital and I’m convinced that I’ve probably irritated my friends and lost a good few followers in the process.

On the plus side, Zazzle do print my designs on good quality merchandise and I am enjoying the process; the novelty hasn’t worn off…yet.

I just saw an article proclaiming that those who succeed with these online stores have been doing it fo approximately fifteen years, (FIFTEEN!!) producing more than one item per day – I’ll probably be dead in fifteen years.

Well, much as I’d like to, I obviously can’t sit here chatting – got to get back to consistently and persistently producing for my Zazzle shop.

Are you ready for 2012?

Where has 2011 gone?  It was here a minute ago!  Cyberspace and technology move faster than I do – when will someone make an app. that slows life down?

Recently I’ve become dramatically aware that life is grossly unfair.  This pungent fact has recently re-affirmed itself tragically on two of my oldest, dearest friends – utterly devastating both their lives.

Feeling intensely ineffective and lacking a magic wand to frantically wave in their direction, I painted these little ‘bon mots’ as a feebly small reminder to them that, no matter how terrible life is, it is vital to always make room for laughter and spontaneity.  Easy for me to say.

Caution: Contents may offend

Looking forward to Christmas shopping?  Of course not.

It is a british requisite to moan about Christmas coming too early and I’m usually first to grumble about the crass hype during the ever-lengthening run-up to Christmas.

Apologies then, to those who haven’t even managed to de-rust their barbecue yet – there’s a glimmer of tinsel to be found here!

For once I’ve resolved to positively embrace Christmas absurdly early by launching myself into the Tiger Print competition to create surface pattern designs for wrapping paper, cards etc – 2011!

Anyway, here it is for what it’s worth….and my entry has actually been uploaded to the site.

I approached it purely as a learning exercise and after WEEKS (!) of careful work I’ve realised that my (Fireworks) self-taught approach isn’t nearly enough and I urgently need some formal Photoshop training

So I don’t care how early those bells start jing-a-ling-ing or partridges are shoved into pear trees, just as long as someone stomps on every single recording of that repellent, ear-bashing, omnipresent Christmas song by those miscreants known as Slade.

la-la-la-not-listening…

Poster Competiton Entry

Yikes!  I’m all a flutter having just submitted my poster to the joint London Transport Museum/Association of Illustrators poster competition promoting cycling as an emerging mode of transport in London…with only 30 minutes to spare.  It didn’t scan as well as I’d have liked so there wasn’t enough time to clean it up as much as I’d have preferred.

This is the first time I’ve ever entered an art competition.   What a relief to have finished!

I’m not deluded enough to imagine that it will be selected as I’m aware that my self-taught, inexperienced work will probably be considered somewhat naive – but it was so worth having a go.

There were some days when I almost gave up but, thanks to some timely words of encouragement, I’m glad I persevered as the experience of taking part was invaluable.  It was educational, time-gobbling, sometimes frustrating and even scary but also fun.

And now I can bask in that warm, fuzzy feeling of having achieved my goal…until I start the next project.

Anyway…EEEEEeeeEEkk!!!