Being the next big thing in any industry is not easy and especially if you are a blue collar artist. A blue collar artist is one who has a passion for creating art but, for whatever reason, does not make a living as an artist. But I have a few ideas for making turning that passion into a profit.
First off, join a print-on-demand (POD) site. I recommend Fine Art America. Their site is very user friendly and is also cost effective. For $35 a year you can upload your work and they sell the images on a variety of product. They also offer stock photo options and have an interesting liaison with Disney/ABC. Look at the show Modern Family for example. The houses the characters live in are chock full of some really nice art, guess where they get some of that art. That's right, Fine Art America. Another great POD site is Zazzle. They have a wider array of products on which to put your art work and they are very cost effective as well, as in ZERO. You pay nothing to be a member and upload your work but they get a bigger cut of the sales.
The thing about joining any POD site is you are going to have to work on marketing. The sites only do so much. Before you start uploading, think about key words, hashtags or descriptors your potential customers can find as they Google for a unique gift for someone or for themselves. Also, do some social networking too. Make a Facebook page for your art work. Join some on-line clubs that offer like minded people a place to share, learn and sell their works. Social media is cheap and user friendly to use. When you do market your work on social media, make sure and cross-network. It's as easy as copy/paste from one site to another.
Another thing you may not have considered, business cards. You may not make a living as an artist just yet but a business card with your contact information, web site information and a small representation of your art is the quickest at hand marketing tool. Zazzle and Vista Print offer really good templates for business cards and they are user friendly.
But whatever you do, do not forget to be social away from the computer. Join a gallery or two. Be a regular at art shows. Find a group of artists who create together, take classes together and show together. It is a lot easier to step out into the art world with a group. Once you start learning your local art scene, you will venture out more and more. You might also enjoy it.
Becoming the next big thing takes a lot of heart and hard work. Though the work is not always easy or fun, you might find it all worth while when you see someone looking at one of your creations and they fall in love with it. That moment when art meets love, that's the gold.