Doodles are magical.
They can take on a life of its own when you least expect it. What at first was merely an impulse to draw, to sketch – begins to take shape the more you add to it. Whether it’s in the form of a mindless scribble or an idea that sprouted wings on paper, a drawing is like a seed that one plants on paper. In sketchbooks around the world, there lies millions of little seeds that’s waiting to be brought out into the sun.
Not everyone wants their doodles to be something more than they are. And that’s perfectly fine. The act of sketching is very personal, and sometimes we forget that the sharing of one’s sketches to the rest of the world is merely an invitation – a peek if you will – into their sketchbooks. But what about the rest of the doodlers out there who wants to take their work and move forward with it? What about those who aren’t just content to share their work, but are open to the possibilities of allowing others to own a piece of their art? What if you’re thinking of selling your work?
Well, the great news is that there’s never been a better time than now to explore the many possibilities out there. Whether you’d like to take the route of handing off the production process to others, or something more handmade like putting your drawings together in a zine; here are 5 questions to ask yourself if you’re still on the fence:
1. Are you comfortable with parting with your work?
Your drawings are a part of you, and because they’re personal in nature some artists might find it hard to let go. Some artists are uncomfortable with the idea of selling because they aren’t quite ready yet. There’s also a number of artists out there who are afraid of being plagiarised, so they keep their work under lock and key – far away from the eyes of people, including those who might be fans. Putting your work out there is a brave endeavour already – to part with it and to allow it to gain momentum in the world is quite something else altogether.
2. What are the things you don’t like doing?
Some artists might be uncomfortable with parting with their original drawings, while others might hate the act of packing up their products for sale (I know I did). A lot of artists fear marketing and promotion, and others hate updating their website. At the beginning, mucking around with things you don’t enjoy doing is unavoidable. However, if you’re open to working with someone else as a barter trade that’s a great option too. Don’t let the things you’re not happy doing get in the way of the fun bits – you can always figure out a way!
Above by Mike Perry
Above by Lizzie Mary Cullen wallpaper for Graham & Brown
Above by OKAT for BucketFeet
I Enjoy Being a Girl Zine by Gemma Correll
3. How would you imagine your work being brought to life?
Imagine for a moment that your drawings and doodles are ready to go. Where do you see them? On tote bags? Cushions? Between the pages of a book? What format would best show them off? Don’t just limit yourself to what others have done, instead push your boundaries and think out of the box. Putting them on everything might sound great at first – but if it’s much more suited to a particular item (or if you prefer to limit them for various reasons) then perhaps limiting where your handiwork pops up might be the way to go. In time, experience will tell you what’s best for you and your work!
4. Where do you see your work fitting in?
Who would be interested in your work? Imagine walking in a store that would stock your items and brand – what kind of store would that be? Make a list of retailers online and offline that you can talk to about your work. Here’s a tip: your audience shouldn’t be limited to your peers (other artists)!
5. What’s your ultimate goal?
You might think that it’s too early to ask this question, but it’s a great way to help you figure out what you’d like to achieve in your journey. Do you want fame? Or would you like to be able to sustain yourself in a few years with your art? By asking this question early on, it will help you decide what kind of actions you can take to help you get to where you want to be. Just remember that everyone is different and success is subjective, so there’s no right or wrong answer.
If you’re interested to know more about how to sell your work and create your own opportunities, the Work/Art/Play online workshop is great for artists who are looking to build a creative empire on their own terms. It's where we lay out a blueprint for you, with step-by-step details on how to do so. Registration is now open from now until 7th August 2015!