My apologies in advance if this seems like a more than usual rambling post but it is Sunday morning and I tend to ramble more on a Sunday than any other day of the week!!!
At the start of the year I promised myself I'd give it 6 months to try to make a career out of my art - over half way through and things aren't looking too good - I wasn't expecting to and didn't need to be making a fortune at it but needed to see a light at the end of the tunnel - The problem with trying to do this as a single parent is that the kids rely on you to provide for them - already we know there will be no holiday this year and we have started to make cut-backs as the savings are almost gone - I must say though that it's not all doom and gloom - I now have a better idea of what sells and what doesn't and I think if I could afford to spend longer making this happen then at some point it would - but this isn't quite an end to my dreams yet - I still have a couple of months to go (although getting a 'real' job has become a priority) - I have a book to illustrate and I still have Colin the Sheep to try to sell to publishers - but it's the everyday bread and butter jobs that are letting me down - I'm not too sure how other illustrators manage this - people love my work when I'm giving it away (which I do often to try to promote myself) but artwork is not a necessity and most people can only afford to buy necessities at the moment - maybe I need to change my target audience and find one with a more disposable income but it's finding a way to connect with these people - I don't have the funds to advertise is Horse and Hound and Country Living so I'm left with Facebook and Twitter to do all my promotions for free - I'm hoping that once I'm published I will be taken more seriously as an illustrator - I have some magnificent supporters and I'm sure some of them have probably bought far more of my work than they could afford just to help me out - So, do I have a conclusion to this post - no I don't think I do - I will continue to do what I'm doing for a bit longer and then it will be as and when I get time to paint once I have a job - I will hope that 'Amelia' and 'Colin' will be the springboards to more work (and hopefully some advances) and I will continue to draw cute but strange animals for my own amusement in the hope that they can make me a few bob!!
If any other illustrators or artists do read this and can offer me any advice on any of my ramblings I would be so appreciative - plus it's always nice to hear from anyone who draws nice pictures ;)