So it begins! I have just opened my first ever online shop!
one two caribou - Original Prints by Lou Endicott
Here is a screen grab of my little online shop:
A few months ago I was asked by a Facebook friend if I sold prints. My answer was "Not yet" - which sounded better than no! I had for some unknown reason had the phrase "one two caribou" stuck in my head over the last few months. I love a good rhyme and a bit of nonsense so the catchiness of the phrase stuck. So when it was time to name my shop the words just fell out onto the screen.
It's been a little bit of a challenge to open this new store. On a student budget, test prints and paper are worth as much as my weekly shopping bill - so it was a risk to put the money forward before having an actual sales.
But I decided that it was worth the risk. I have belief in what I do and have had such incredible feedback from friends and strangers alike since starting this illustration journey. It was time to step it up a notch and to see myself as a professional and begin to play in the market place.
So far, I have sold five prints. FIVE! This may not seem a lot to seasoned shop owners, but to me (only three days in) it's a cause for celebration. My best seller so far is my Back Stroke Maiden (whose creation I shared some months ago here on my blog). She has remained a favourite with me - and obviously others like her two :-)
Here she is on her side, just enjoying the water....
I go back to college on Monday after a 3 week break (which has been heavenly!) I am excited to be learning new things again but also a little nervous as this term my design course heads into the direction of multi media and coding. Not my strong point.
But I have to trust that if I don't know how to do something I will have the courage to just ask for assistance.
Recently I decided to be a little brave and contact a Melbourne illustrator for advice and tips on working in the industry. You can check out her beautiful work here:Laura Wood Illustrations
She most graciously replied to my email with lots of advice and even gave me the name of her printers (which I have used for my shop). I subscribe to her blog and a few days ago received a blog entry that mentioned she gets contacted by students from time to time and she wrote up even MORE tips and advice. Legendary. I hope that when I am working full time in my field my door will always be open to share what I have learnt.
Among her pearls of advice on her recent blog posting was this one:
Where should a person start if they want to pursue this career?
Regarding starting out, my first tip for someone that is about to get out of college is to not wait until you finished college to promote yourself or find the first commissions. An art degree doesn't make any different in the illustration world, so my advice is to start now, immediately, do not wait any more time to actively start behaving like an illustrator and look for work, commissions and possible clients to contact.
I would highly recommend you to get a proper professional website (behance is good to share stuff with other peers, but not so much as a professional window for your work to show to a client). Having one helped me enormously.
Then you could start emailing the clients you would like to work with. A nice brief email introducing yourself with a link to your new shiny website will do.
Most of them might not reply but some will do! And those might become your first clients...
I particularly resonated with this as it is on the same track that I feel I have been on the last few months. Apart from this blog I have a professional portfolio on The Loop, a Facebook page, an instragram account and even Twitter (though this last one is still a little confusing!)
I am feeling like I am on the right path. It's a bit rocky and the going is uphill, but the view is exhilarating and every bit of encouragement from my friends and peers helps.
I hope that wherever you are today the going is easy and the view is a delight.