This whole artist thing would be so much simpler if I had some lottery winnings or inheritance to use as seed money. Instead here I am far away from the innocence of my youth setting up a new art page with links to my online stores.
I am learning as I go along in this whole selling my art process and what I am quickly realizing is that most of the people who have appreciated my art over the years can’t afford to pay top dollar to have art in their life. Therefore most of the originals of the pieces I have posted in my albums were either given away as birthday and other gifts or sold at far below what it cost me to make the piece.
So here I am… trying to make a name for myself with AfrocentriqueAZ (which I may later change to AfrocentriqueWORLD to have a broader reach). I have NO money for overhead and am unable to save up either. So what does an artist do in this situation? Probably what I did.
I have set up my products online on several different print on demand websites that let artists upload their work for free. Of course, they all offer “Premium Membership” or some such upgrade. First I need to see what money I will actually make before I commit to paying for the upgrades. WELCOME TO MY NEW BEGINNING! I have set profiles on CafePress, Society6 and deviantART. I really don’t know where most people who want art go online to get it so I am behind the learning curve here. With a budget of zero dollars for advertising, I can only do word of mouth advertising and social media work. We’ll see how that works out for me. Of course $5/mo for my art would be better than the zero dollars I am currently getting!
Speaking of getting paid… with a zero dollar budget for overhead I have to put up with getting only $1-$5 per item sold (less for items that sell for less than $10). It’s a fair trade off for not having to do anything other than set up a profile and upload my digital images of my art. I am not expecting to get super rich off of this tomorrow that’s for sure! My realistic expectation is that over all the avenues I make a sale every other month and get a few bucks from it. It takes making my brand known which is the challenge in this beginning stage. From what I have seen, it takes a few years just to get the name out and THEN the success slowly but surely comes.
So thanks for joining me on this journey! If you are on a similar journey or if you have already walked this path, I would love to hear your story! Please let me know in the comments or message me! :-)