Cohesive -vs- Progressive

Jan 28, 2017

I waffle back and forth a lot about whether to just jump in and give things a try or to wait until I have a more formulated plan. 

Since making the first little set of coloring pages (which I won’t sell because they’re doodles I did of my friend’s products), I started working on a little set of Valentine’s Day coloring pages. They’re all simple and kid-friendly. I could see them working as coloring pages or if I did a little more work with the files I could also turn them into double-sided printable valentines to pass out. I’d like to share them in some way so they’re not just sitting in a file on my computer, but there are a few things holding me back.

First of all, I haven’t bothered to make a logo yet. I tried a little and I haven’t gotten it yet. So right now if I share these things it’ll be without a logo. On the other hand, if I were going to print something off to color I’d rather it didn’t have a logo on it anyway. But ideally I’d like to create a simple logo first and tuck it into each of the illustrations in a non-annoying way so that there’s at least some claim on my work.

Second of all, I can’t decide whether to offer them for free or try to sell them. If I offer them for free, I don’t really have a great platform to do that on. I could do it here, but it just doesn’t really fit with what I’ve been using this blog for lately. Also, in order to direct people to it from my IG (which is the only place online right now where I have any kind of following), I’d have to change the link in my IG profile from my etsy shop to this blog, potentially losing customers if they can’t easily find the link to my shop.

The easiest way for me to share the coloring pages would be as a download in my etsy shop, but that presents issues too. For one, I’d need to polish things up a little more–both the files and my shop. Pricing also gets tricky. On the one hand, I’m still a beginner and I know I have a long way to go, but on the other hand, I’ve invested time and money in purchasing Illustrator and learning how to use it and while I’m not necessarily trying to cover that cost with coloring page printables, I also don’t want to cheapen my work by not charging for it appropriately. That being said, even if I charge $1 for the set, it’ll cost me $.20 to put the listing up and then etsy takes 3% of the sale (if I’m remembering right), which means my profit will only be $.50/set. Which isn’t bad for selling a file that I don’t have to pay to reproduce each time, but it’s also not great.

If I beef up the file and include the illustrations as both full-page coloring pages and as double-sided printable valentines that fit 4-6 to a page, then I’d feel more comfortable charging more for them. Maybe I’d also include full color versions in case someone just wants to print them out. I don’t know.

But even more than all these minor, fixable problems that are really more just decisions to make, the real problem is this: I don’t know if I’ll want to keep doing this. I’m not sure if I’ll keep making coloring pages or similar files. And if I don’t, is it worth it to me to put this much time and energy into producing something that could end up being a random stand-alone product in my shop? From a learning standpoint, I think the answer is yes. From a pregnant lady energy standpoint, that answer gets a little murkier.

Sadly (or is it sad?), more often than not all this waffling back and forth results in me just abandoning the project I’ve been thinking through and pretty much forgetting about it. Sigh. Which a lot of the time is fine, but then later when I’m going through all the work I’ve actually taken the time to share or create some kind of record or portfolio of, it can be disappointing to see how little of my ideas and work have actually made it to that point.

It’s a constant battle between being cohesive and being progressive. I want to look put together. I want a clear connection and personal brand. But it’s keeping me from doing more, from sharing more. So maybe that’s my answer.

One thought on “Cohesive -vs- Progressive

  1. emcondiegmailcom says:

    I’ve been thinking about starting an Etsy shop and I read a really good article that basically said, just go for it. To not wait until everything is perfect to sell your hard work. Because even if it’s not perfect art in your mind, it someone else’s mind, it might be. It might be just the hard they were looking for. So to just start and tweak as you go. Which I thought was sound advice because there is always something to improve upon and we shouldn’t let our fear that it’s not perfect or done keep us from trying. Not that we can just slap any old thing up to sell but your cute valentines coloring sheets are a long long cry from just any old thing. They’re adorable! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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