As 2021 comes to a close, I'm reflecting on my previous year's goal of selling my art at more comic cons and art shows. For a few years, I took a break from consistently creating art (2016-2019) and refocused on my music (www.magentasoulstar.com). When I returned to illustration in 2019, I struggled to find my footing in an industry that had changed significantly. In 2017, I had purchased an iPad Pro and spent any free time I had (whilst working a retail job) exploring its capabilities as a potential tool for my art making, given my limited space and resources. I am glad to say that this investment of time has paid off, and I now thoroughly enjoy using the iPad Pro to create art that I can take with me wherever I go (something I could not have even dreamed of when I first used "Kid Pix," a digital art program, back in the 90's! ). "
Anyways, my own interests and passions had evolved during this "art break" time as well, leaving me feeling uncertain about the direction I wanted to take my illustration. I no longer found as much enjoyment in creating certain styles and subjects that I had previously been known for. I still sell many of these older works of art at shows and here online, and people still really enjoy them (such as the "Sushi Cats" and "cute" kitschy illustrations I had been known for.) However, I decided to follow my intuition this past year and began drawing things that truly brought me joy, including art deco inspired works, retro futuristic pieces, and creating fanart featuring my favorite popular characters (Addams Family, Labyrinth, Hellsing, Ghost, Castlevania, Sailormoon, etc) for example. Expressing myself more freely through my art led me to connect with kindred spirits with similar interests at events such as the Boston Comic Con, Brighton Bazaar, and various farmer's markets and First Friday Artwalks in Portland, Maine. Never let anyone tell you what you "can" and "cannot" or should not draw!
Onto the shop: so I've been selling on Etsy for over ten or more years and decided it was time to open my own official online shop here, with WIX. I'm not a technical person AT ALL- but the format was easy enough for me to be able to figure it out over the year. I've made 5 sales this year on my first official shop (outside of Etsy), and as I write this on new years eve, I know 5 is better and far more than none, and 2023 has just begun!
Having your own online shop (separate from Etsy) is really impo
rtant, even if sales are slow at first- namely; because you want to send people *directly* to your work- When people peruse a site like Etsy, they are seeing your work, but also the works of 1000's of other artists being promoted to you simultaneously.
I had a lot of success this year participating in events like the farmer's market and First Friday, and I think consistency is a big part of that. Proving to myself that supporting oneself with their art and passion is a real possibility, despite what people might say. Some shows did not go so well in terms of foot traffic or sales- but you've got to be willing to accept that not every show is going to be a success, and sometimes you might not even earn back your table fee!! Because of this, I'm learning it's important to do your research on what shows to sell your art, how many expected attendees, what is the expected style/demographic of the sh
ow, and do you think it's a good fit for the products you're selling?
I still have a lot of work to do, it never ends, but I'm glad to be making art on a regular basis again, drawing things that bring my joy, and to be branching out into other states like Massachusetts and beyond Maine to sell my work. It's really crucial to make those in person connections and talk with people face to face- which was something I missed greatly, and something most of us couldn't do throughout 2020 because of the lockdowns/Pandemic.
The momentum I gained by f
ollowing my passions this past year, (despite setbacks and difficulties from previous years-) has left me excited for the possibilities in store for Magenta Arts in 2023. My goal is to participate in at least 10 different
shows, which is an ambitious target but one that I am determined to achieve!
I am incredibly grateful for the support I have received from everyone I have met at these shows as well as online. I don't think people realize how much the support truly means, as a one woman solo artist & musician entrepreneur. I look forward to continuing to create and share my work with you in the form of prints and unique gifts! (and music at www.magentasoulstar.com)
I hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful new year and hope to see you soon at the next upcoming art show/comic con!