So I thought I was totally ready to pump out all of my art and Love Nico designs, make a million products through my shiny new Print On Demand providers and sit back collecting money to the soothing sounds of Sesame Street. I was wrong, though- I still had a lot to learn.
The biggest thing on that damned list was something awful, terrible- horrifying- that I’d managed to put off for some length of years (almost two decades). It’s name?
The end all be all of my many life procrastination(s).
Somehow I managed to tackle the beast, thanks to my paid subscription to LinkedIn Premium and its never ending tutorials through LinkedIn Learning. There are quite a few experts on there, including Deke McLelland– whose ability to explain as I followed along was no less than miraculous. I didn’t think I was teachable when it came to Illustrator. But now I’m armed and ready.
If you’ve reared yourself on Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator can be daunting, tedious, and very confusing. Luckily, it’s become much more user friendly in its past several incarnations, but when I first started trying to learn (well before CC 2019) I thought I’d have better luck getting a degree in microbiology. I am not scientifically inclined.
So this little bit of education set me back a few weeks. Quality control set me back some more. But I picked up new habits, positive ones, that in the long run will likely save me time and headaches, and ensure that my daughters learn their ABC’s. By the way, they’ve both started walking. I have my work cut out for me.
I’m also learning about the ins and outs of selling apparel and products online, and what’s changed in that world (before I go sinking more time and money in) from a very helpful source. He’s so helpful that I almost want to keep the secret to myself. If you’re looking to set up shop and become my direct competition, here’s a head start: check out Michael Essek’s blog. I just bought both of his books and ingested them in a little over 24 hours. Took notes, the whole shibang. A little background on him- he went from making $50 his first month selling tees online to a very admirable $10k a month in three years.
This stuff takes work. But if you’re a stay at home mom or pop and you have a background in design, fashion, any kind of art really- and you want to make money without sacrificing your family time- this is certainly worth a look into, if not the effort.
At current I’ve got a few new All Over Print shirts on the Love Nico website, and I’m in the middle of translating the old stuff into a collection called “TEES FOR TWENTY”. Yes, $20. I can afford to keep my new prices low on a regular t-shirt because I DON’T GOTTA MAKE THIS IN MY BASEMENT NO MORE.
Next on the agenda will be some kids and baby apparel, home accessories, and the release of both of my pet projects- two new lines- “ESOHYSTERIA” and the “ANGRY FOOD” series. The first is a collection of occult-ish spiritual designs, and the latter is, well, food cartoon beings expressing themselves through their little food facial expressions (I’m really looking forward to getting that all designed up and public).
Most of the first designs from both of those new collections will be translations of paintings I’ve made and given away throughout the years. “Fuzzy French Juice” (a flying happy drunk wine bottle) is an acrylic on canvas hanging in my mother’s kitchen. I think there’s a market for that…