Success - sell my illustrations online

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Success - sell my illustrations online

Postby amelie » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:10 am

My wish is to try and sell some illustrations online. The problem is I want everything to be perfect before I set-up everything online. The problem with this is things never get completed! • For example I am worried that my illustrations are not scanned in well enough, so I will need to rescan them in at a higher res and recolour them. I think they are too small at the moment. • I am also worried that the scanner I have is not scanning in the images as well as a high end scanner, and so I am thinking I need to have a high end scanner too, before I rescan images. • I'm worried if images aren't scanned in properly that customers will be annoyed, or what happens if they ask for higher artwork sizes? • I then think well I also need to have my website up and running before I even try and sell my work at Etsy. I am a web designer so a website is not too hard to get up and running, but the problem is I want a shopping cart and that takes time to research and do. • Then I say well I need at least 12 illustrations scanned and coloured before I could consider selling my work. Boy I sure do make things complicated for myself - rolf!
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Re: I wish to sell my illustrations online

Postby Beebelle » Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:34 am

Hi Amelie, Welcome to the board! I plan to have a similar problem to you soon enough. I've just started illustrating so am no where near ready to sell, but will need to eventually. As Barbara says, lower the danger level as much as possible. Get feedback. Have you any artistic friends you could show your work to and get feedback from them re the quality? Even non artistic friends, as not only artistic people will be buying them. Do you HAVE to have 12 Illustrations? couldnt you start with 4 or 5 and see how they sell? From what I gather a lot of the work on etsy is marketing yourself, so just to have some work up there, and get a blog going, then you can see how things are selling and ad to them, extend the range, or start a new illustration. Hope that helps. Good luck. I've been reading all about the people who have been able to make a living selling their work on etsy, and plan to be one of them! Hope you can be too. Would love to see your work if you have a website or store. B.x
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Re: I wish to sell my illustrations online

Postby JeannetteLS » Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:45 pm

I think my first question is, for what purpose do you want to sell the illlustrations? By this I mean, what do you envision your buyer DOING with the scans? Online newsletters or publications? Lower end publications? High end photos? Blogspot has LOTS of wonderful artists on there. It might be good to ask the photographer on a site or two there, of a artists whose work you really like. It's easy to start a blog. You could begin one and then stop when you get some information. I have found, when I am googling art as inspiration for my own work--poses of animals, particular trees, etc. many sites offer small, medium, and large images, depending on the user's needs. They display a jpeg so someone knows what the piece is, but don't put the real scan there until you pay for the image. I think I'd google some topic you love pictures of and select images. THEN find a site that offers such a set up and study it, to see how it works. Since you're already a web designer, I bet that another artist whose work is nothing like YOURS would help. What kind of art do you do? That can make a difference, too, in what you can get away with for scanning. It's been too many years since I did this, so I simply can't remember. I had a book on the subject, long since defunct. Anyway, I hope this helps. Wonderful plan!
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Re: I wish to sell my illustrations online

Postby amelie » Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:04 pm

Thanks for your replies, well I have decided to show you my art http://scrappity.com/files/setjo98p03yd5zrjsjx8.jpg Oh well who cares if it's not perfect. The website mock-up is just a work in process. Hmmmm, this is a good process because I am realising I am putting a whole lot excuses together,but I suspect the real reason I am doing this is that I don't want to be judged. I don't even want to go to online illustration forums and ask for feedback, because I know I would just hide under a rock after the feedback. So my theory is just to get my artwork out there and just do it, without delving into why, what, who. If people like it, then great if they don't like it, well that's fine too. But I am coming to realise that everyones taste is so diverse that I am sure some people will like my illustrations, although wont be for the masses :) Oh to answer your question, on etsy a lot of illustrators are doing digital artwork, so scanning in their illustrations and then touching them up and colouring them in Photoshop. Then they will print the work out on archival paper. I wont be offering the scans for dowload, I don't think at this stage. Do I have 12 illustrations - yes but not coloured and printed. You are right though I just need 4 or 5 to start with.
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Re: I wish to sell my illustrations online

Postby supersonic » Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:25 pm

I have worked as a professional illustrator for years and I am happy to answer whatever question you might have. First off, your illustrations are real cute and charming, I think they could appeal to the Etsy crowd, but you would need to keep updating your shop and market yourself. If you are going to print your illustrations on a regular desktop printer and put them up for sale you need to scan them in the size you want with a resolution of about 240dpi. Lower dpi will make them appear blurry when printed. Shopping carts are easily set up using paypal, but you really don't need a whole website to start selling on etsy. Post your work there and keep updating it and the personal website can come later. Etsy don't allow selling your work both at Etsy and your website anyway. You are probably just stalling out of fear, get your work out there and keep churning out new illustrations :D If you have any more questions just ask - I will be happy to help.
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Re: I wish to sell my illustrations online

Postby amelie » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:41 am

Thanks Supersonic for your kind words. I didn't realise you couldn't sell on other sites when you have a stall at Etsy. Because being the scanner that I am, I was thinking maybe I should set-up my own shop in Australia with a similar concept to Etsy. We do have one here, but it's not very good in my opinion. I would want to have a selection process for shop owners. I was thinking of starting off with a few sellers and see how we go. Hmm I was thinking of investing in a http://www.photo-i.co.uk/Reviews/printe ... age-1.html epson printer, because I really want to print my work out on high gsm art stock, which this printer allows me to do. I am really fussy with the way I want to present the drawings. But what I might do, is initially pay someone with that printer to do my prints so 1) I can see how well the prints printout on different papers and 2) test the waters to see if anyone does like my illustrations before I go investing in an expensive printer. Yes I usually scan my prints in at 300 dpi at 100% but when I scan them in at 600dpi and 200% it's not very good quality wise, which I think has a bit to do with my scanner as it's not very good. Do you sell at Etsy too? I would love to see your illustrations :)
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Re: I wish to sell my illustrations online

Postby Wolf Goddess » Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:19 am

Hi, amelie: There are sites you could put your art on who will do the printing for you. They offer your art to the public on cards, calendars, tote bags, etc. Cafe Press is one, ArtWanted is another, Zazzle is another. All of these sites have an artist's forum where you can talk and ask questions of others. I just found a site called Bagstab http://www.bagstab.net/ You upload your designs to be voted on. The design that gets the most votes gets printed and put up for sale. You also get to vote on other's designs. I think only nice comments are allowed. As for a scanner, I have an old HP Scanjet 5570C. It works just fine except the bed is only about 9 X 12. For me my resistance is all about being expected to perform: to be judged: to fail and embarrass myself. I will labor for two days on something that another artist could crank out in an hour. WG
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Re: I wish to sell my illustrations online

Postby amelie » Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:38 pm

Oh hey, I wanted to update you on this 3 years later.

Well I did it! I now sell on Etsy and do pretty well, a few other online stores including my own. I also sell to retail stores! I've been featured in a few magazines, had my work in apartment therapy, so it's all been well worth it.

It's been a really amazing process, to see where I came from and where I am now.

I totally believe in just getting your stuff out there now, and learning and refining based on feedback and what seems to work. I pump out illustrations really easily now, and I am not afraid to have the been perfect, some work, some don't and the great thing is...it doesn't really matter.
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Re: I wish to sell my illustrations online

Postby Wolf Goddess » Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:05 am

WOW. Fantastic! :D

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Re: Success - sell my illustrations online

Postby Elaine Glimme » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:51 pm

Congratulations!!!! Isn't it amazing to look back after three years, and remember where you were and see where you are now!!!!
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
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Re: Success - sell my illustrations online

Postby mango » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:19 am

Well done!

Thanks for the update! :D
'Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how.
We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.'

-- Agnes de Mille
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Re: Success - sell my illustrations online

Postby emspace » Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:59 am

Wow! Great success story. Congrats, Amelie! :D
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Re: Success - sell my illustrations online

Postby SquarePeg » Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:27 pm

That's great! Very inspiring! Thanks for letting us know.
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Re: Success - sell my illustrations online

Postby pattyn » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:53 pm

Bravo, bravo, bravo, Amelie!! And thanks for sharing your story with us.
- Patty Newbold
Director, Sher Success Teams
Marriage Education Author/Speaker - assumelove.com - enjoybeingmarried.com
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Re: Success - sell my illustrations online

Postby amelie » Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:54 am

Oh I wanted to update this again a few years later :)

I'm still doing my illustrations, but I expanded my area into abstract art as well and would you believe that just even better - lol!

My initial work for that abstract range took about two hours to put together! How insane is that, without every doing abstract artwork before. I put it together after visiting the Pompidou in Paris.

I've had my work in the set design of a movie in the USA, international magazines, big retailers have commisioned my work.

So I have both my illustration and abstract art range
https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/AMMIKI
https://www.etsy.com/shop/honeycup

I was reminded of this post when I saw this TED talk today https://www.ted.com/talks/emilie_wapnic ... n#t-710429 and I wanted to remember what I wrote.

These days, I have dropped the "I must do things perfect before I start" mentality. I have found the things I do without much thought do the best.
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