Do I Dare?

Here in Texas, it’s spring. I’ve shed my sweaters, the boys can’t be kept inside, and, on Friday, our dog slipped the surly bonds of the backyard fence to run off for a few hours. Yes, we all have a bit more energy.

My mind has wandered, too, returning to an idea I’ve had many times before: making artwork to sell. Yet–do I dare?

Friends have told me that I could do it simply because I make artwork that they, themselves, would be willing to pay for. And, in fact, I’ve made pieces for those who have requested it and been paid a bit (a little bit) of money in return. But there’s more to it than that, isn’t there?

And I don’t even mean the practical things like setting up an etsy.com store or a PayPal account or deciding prices. (Details like that can seem overwhelming!)

My hesitation is about “turning play into work.” It seems like just the other day I wrote about how making art needs to be a peaceful, joyous exercise for me. Will I lose that if I start creating artwork for sale? Will it suddenly seem more like a chore than a choice?

And yet, the lure of the validation of selling a piece (for money!) is hard to resist. It would be the same kind of silly excitement I feel whenever someone favorites an image of mine on flickr–I think, “someone likes it, really likes it!”–but exponentially more so. Of course, the potential for failure looms large in my mind too. (What if people like my stuff, but no enough to buy any of it?)

If, by now, you are thinking that I am over-thinking this, you are right. I should just get to work and make some cards, right? (I’ve already made about 10, which I will post soon!)

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6 thoughts on “Do I Dare?

  1. You should absolutely go for it! You have a wonderful style! (And, if any don’t sell, I’ll be glad to trade you some mail art for a piece, but I don’t think you’ll have that problem). From what I understand in talking with other artists, the biggest challenge is probably the marketing side of it. Once you get people to the site where you sell, you won’t have any difficulty. 🙂

  2. I was in the same dilemna. I”d go for it. Start small, you can stay small if that suits you or expand. The value in this is not just getting a little money and recognition (or maybe a lot of money) but it helps you to set of a work pattern. Discipline and joy can go together.

  3. I hear you about the work/play difference! I make a lot of cards for my own pleasure (or for magazine publication!!!) and sometimes sell a few. There is something very gratifying to have people pay you for what you do! Can’t wait to see your cards, which I know are beautiful!

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