Sunday, January 26, 2014

Selling in Your Sleep - Artist Nic Squirrell

Valentine's Days is coming up and I have read now so much about what to like or not like about this particular occasion that I can't help it but smile.

But In the world of commercial art this is another opportunity to either sell or license art. I am trying to do both, license and sell through wholesale manufacturers and through POD sites. So I have create some designs for tablets and smartphone cases which could make cool gifts. They are available for purchasing at Keka.com.

LoveLove Collection
Speaking of POD sites, today I've invited artist Nic Squirrell to share with us her story and how she has been selling her art through online venues.

© Nic Squirrell
Nic lives in a village in Kent, England, "with The Chef, our daughter, and three cats (somewhat pesky studio assistants)" she says. Her family moved around a lot, and she grew up in Japan and got to go to lots of interesting places. She studied Creative Visual Art & 3D Design at the University of Greenwich and after graduating sold her paintings in local galleries, restaurants and caf├ęs. She tells us: "One day I saw a magazine article about digital art and it was a revelation. I got a small graphics tablet, taught myself to use Painter, and started my blog. Since then I have been selling most of my art on POD sites."

She then continues, "I love to paint quiet landscapes, slightly wonky towns and cities, and quirky animal characters which surprise me by falling off the end of my pen. Birds often sneak into my pictures."

© Nic Squirrell
Her techniques? Most of her work now is digital. She starts with sketches, photographs them, and uses iDraw (vector) or Procreate (raster) apps to work them into a digital image. "Using the iPad is great as I can work anywhere. I often use scanned hand painted textures to finish off in Painter or Photoshop," she adds. "I use Painter for my more complex landscape paintings. You can read about my process here. My favourite 'real' art material is watercolour. I love the unexpected runs and bleeds, the clear colours, and the lack of undo."

© Nic Squirrell
Nic also says, "My head is full of ideas, places and creatures waiting to get out. Everything about it is exciting, and I love seeing my art on products for sale."

Her main sources of inspiration are colour, nature, and life. In recent times she has been working on an exciting project, in fact she just finished an Advent calendar and started an ABC series. "So far I have finished A...", she says.

Nic is an artist who uses multiple social media platforms and understands how to use marketing to promote her works and sales. She simply but wisely says: "My blog publishes to my website, my Facebook page and Twitter. I blog sketches, works in progress, and finished pieces. I use LinkedIn and Pinterest. Marketing is really just telling people about what you are doing. Nobody buys art they haven't seen, so the more people who see it the better."

© Nic Squirrell
She is pretty new to licensing and hadn't even heard of it until last summer. "I have just finished the first part of Lilla Rogers' MATS course and learned a huge amount from it, as well as making lots of new talented artist friends who are kind enough to share their knowledge and experience. I'm looking forward to the second part in a few weeks."

Here are some tips for other artists: "When selling on POD sites, use more than one. Some images sell really well on Site A, but not on Site B, and it is hard to predict. It takes a long time to build up your sales and you have to do your own marketing - don't rely on buyers stumbling upon your work among all the other artists out there. But it is fun to wake up in the morning and see what you have sold in your sleep."

Nic's future aspirations and goals are to build up her portfolio and really get going with licensing her work this year.

© Nic Squirrell

Find out more about Nic Squirrell here:

Twitter@nicsquirrell

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