SELLING OUT: How it’s going

In this post I declared my intentions to start uploading a ton of simple designs to my print on demand sites in the year 2022. After the explosion of AI generated images, I already can’t believe that I once wrote that I worried about the ethics of manipulating stock art that I bought the rights to use…what a difference a year makes.

Anyway… I managed to cram a total of 200+ designs into my two most frequently used print-on-demand stores before the year ended, and have been doing my best to shove more in as we enter 2023. So the question becomes: did it help?

The answer is yes, it appears to have led to a significant increase in Redbubble sales. Teepublic ended up being about the same overall, although it seems to be picking up steam this year with 7 sales already this month.

Hold up. “SEVEN?”

Yeaaaaaahh all of this experimenting I have been doing is with an E X T R E M E L Y tiny amount of sales. As much as Redbubble assures me I am “on the way to becoming a Redbubble superstar!!!!!” it’s more like an Andy Warhol “Factory” superstar, ie the title doesn’t mean anything in terms of mainstream folks knowing anything about your brand, or earning anything approaching a living wage.

That said, let us look at my pathetic efforts to increase my even more pathetic print-on-demand sales numbers.

There you have it, the above is all the money I have made so far through Redbubble and Teepublic. I have had the odd society6 and Fine Art America sale here and there, but I haven’t been as consistently focused on either of those stores.

ANALYSIS

Here’s what I noticed happening over the last year or so as a result of my increased relatable schlock-designing efforts.

  1. Both stores experienced more unique sales in 2022. In the case of Teepublic’s “33 sales” of 2021, 20 of those are the same sticker that were all purchased in one order. Hence, there were 13 unique sales in 2021, as opposed to 18 in 2022 with an additional 7 following close on those for 2023.
  2. Bumping up the margins on the stickers on Redbubble helped immensely. The first few years, I was making as little as $0.16 on a sticker or magnet. Now, you still can’t change the margins on Teepublic, so prepare to make $0.50 on your stickers and magnets as of this writing. But at least my margins on Redbubble are a lot better now.
  3. Roughly two thirds of the newer sales were the simpler/”sellout” designs I made, meaning one third was older and more serious art designs that got noticed now that new eyes were on my shops.
  4. When I designed for newer Redbubble categories like jigsaw puzzles, people bought ’em.
  5. People seem to be responding positively to art that has words and phrases associated with it.

Conclusion

Making a lot of simpler designs and updating with them often seems to be helpful. Not only did I make more money than in previous years, my more serious and older art pieces got a second chance! Now more of them have gone to a good home. I will definitely continue to make simple designs in between my serious commissions and passion projects.

I hereby declare the Sellout Experiment of 2022 to have been a success. Twelve dollars turned into thirty-six! Six sales became twenty-one! BOY HOWDY!

initial sketch of the fanged wight guarding his treasure
If I didn’t sit down, I may FAINT

further sellout goals for 2023

I have recently read that Redbubble favors artists who upload once or twice a week, but I haven’t tested this so I can’t confirm it. Sounds like the next thing for me to test out!

I have lost all respect for Twitter so I don’t mind spamming it with self promotion. Who cares anymore!

I figured out how to make things go on sale on Etsy so I’ll hold sales and promotions and things such as that, or let people know when sales COMPLETELY BEYOND MY CONTROL hit my print-on-demand shops.

I have started experimenting with tagging my work according to trends. I am not energetic enough to create art to follow trends, but at least I can shovel them into apropos trending categories.

What will come of it all? Will twenty sales turn into *gasp* SIXTY?!?!?!?!? I sure hope I don’t get a big head and forget all my friends when I strike it rich.

See you in a year, fellow kids!

OR YOU CAN…

when ai imagery destroyed my dream, it saved me as an artist.

All my art life (which is actually all my life now that I think about it) I have worked to become a better and better artist. At some point, this became practicing every day to become a more technically excellent artist. I wanted very much to have a more steady hand, more economy of line, better compositions, superior color combinations, more dynamic movement, a better grasp of anatomy, and a better command of an ever-growing box of tools, including digital tools.

Then AI generated images came along.

Continue reading

Are You Ready to Build a Fanbase? Yeah, Me Too.

A terrified girl sprawled on the snow looking up at a menacing shadow covering her.

Let me start out by saying WE ARE IN AN EXPERIMENT TOGETHER.

I’m a prolific and modestly successful obscure artist. At the time of this writing, 251 people have a passing awareness of me on Twitter, 252 on Facebook, and 5 on Patreon. I think most of them overlap, so let’s call that 252 fans total. Weed out the bots and people who have abandoned the platforms and let’s call it 200.

I have been active as an artist online since 1995. This should tell you that I am not an authority on building a fanbase. You’re not here to listen to my expert advice, you’re here to observe me succeed or fail, and try some of the same things if you’re interested.

What could go wrong?

Ready to start experimenting? Let’s go!

Continue reading

The Cradle of the Worm novel free beta release on HorrorFam

A towering giant consisting of a man and woman fused back to back like the original conception of Ha-Adam, humankind. Set against a glowing forest hanging inverted from an enormous swollen moon. An illustration for the cover of The Cradle of the Worm, a fantasy horror novel by the artist of the piece, Heather Landry

This past Monday I finally finished my first horror fantasy novel, The Cradle of the Worm, and released the beta version on HorrorFam.com on their Freebies page.

The entire text of the novel, as well as the first audio chapter, are all available there. My friends and I will continue to release free audio chapters of the text on podbean and youtube. Here are some scenes from the novel if you’d like a quick glimpse of what you’ll be getting. Continue reading

SCP Horror Ink Drawings

I spent the month of October 2018 (or #inktober2018 if you will) doing a series of ink drawings based on stories contained on the SCP website. If you haven’t come across them yet, they’re a treasure-trove of cooperatively created weird fiction and horror. I may do another SCP series one day: the stories are always being added to.

Below is the entire series. The first one is a kelpie or river horse, another favorite creature/monster of mine but not drawn from a specific SCP story. Continue reading

100 Keys

100 Keys is taken directly from the description a friend gave me of her recurring nightmare, some years ago. When she first saw it, she said I had “taken her breath away.”

100 Keys will later be completed as a short comic.
100Keys_sandpaperdaisy

Rumjahn Gallery page!

I’m very happy to be featured at the gorgeous new Rumjahn Gallery along with some of my favorite local artists (and many other awesome ones I’m encountering for the first time)! If you haven’t stopped by yet, you need to…they’ve really done an amazing job with the space. I love their setup and their variety. And if you’re an artist looking to show work, they’re really nice folks!

Here’s the link to my profile, you can see all kinds of neat artists on there.

Rumjahn Gallery and Framery is at 310 Main Street, Evansville IN 47708, and they’re open Tuesday-Saturday 10-5.

rumjahn_hlandry-page

A Couple of New York Shows

multiple angel rexes cascading in rainbow colors

Just sent off two canvases to the Ripe Art Gallery in Huntington, NY. It’s for their awesome annual Valentine’s Day Group Show, this year the theme is “I Like Andy.” I accordingly sent off a couple of Warhol-inspired Angel Rexes. They do not, by the way, look like my fun little image up top. They’re one-off canvases, so I won’t do any other prints quite exactly like them, in the same way that Warhol’s screenprints had little differences in them.

Next up, if all goes well, I’ll be sending a postcard-sized traditional art piece to the international group show, #twitterartexhibit! This year the show is in NYC, so that’s three of my pieces that’ll be floating around the NY Metropolitan area! I’m pretty excited.

Here’s more info on Ripe Art Gallery: http://ripeartgal.com/

And here’s the page for #TwitterArtExhibit: http://twitterartexhibit.org/

East O the Sun West O the Moon: Two Versions

This is based on an old fairy story from the north, one I always liked because the girl set out to save her lover from a curse and not the other way around.

In fact, that polar bear you see is her lover, an enchanted king who must go to a golden castle East o the Sun and West o the Moon (pictured above) to marry the one who cursed him…unless the woman who loves him can break the spell in time.

As usual, this is available as journals, shirts and other items at Redbubble and Society6!

EOSWOM_sandpaperdaisy

Here’s a second version I did for a Christmas ornament!

EOSWOM_ornament_sandpaperdaisy

Also on Society6 and Redbubble.