After a year, I think it’s time to give a sneak peek of my new venture — one that grew out of my frustrated inability to find work as an illustrator. I’m not going to dwell too much on the negative here, but lately it has been very difficult to find any freelance work at all. Last year, I put a lot of time and effort into sending out dozens of self-promotional postcards, only to find a chorus of crickets chirping in response. It was depressing as hell, but instead of throwing myself off a cliff I decided to channel that creative energy into something that’s on my terms. I’m making my own art and will try selling it on Etsy.
The photo below is the first fruit of my efforts. It’s a drawing of Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables screen printed atop facing pages from the book that bears her name. This was an, how we say, interesting experience. Many of the prints came out off-register and with blobby looking lines, but I might be deluded enough to believe those elements add to their funky handmade charm. They’ll get more professional looking in time. Anne is the first, but I have great designs ready for five more characters. The process has been an expensive learning experience, but I’m having a lot of fun with it. Each print is completely unique, and I think there are a lot of factors involved (nostalgia for printed books, new mommies wanting something special for their kids) that might possibly resonate with the Etsy crowd. Most of all, it’s a lovingly handcrafted project that totally reflects my style, not something someone else imposed on me. As far as I’m concerned, it’s already a success.
The Etsy store is not officially open yet. I want to get another character printed up so it’s not just Anne sitting there by herself. The shop ought to be going live in a few weeks.