When I recently when on a crazy back-up-every-piece-of-art-you've-ever-made-spree, I spent a lot of time browsing through art I've made over the last few years. From the really awful stuff that I'd be embarrassed to show to anyone right up to the most recent stuff, it was a bit of a trip down memory lane.
And I realized the funniest thing, which is that the work that I love the most isn't usually the work that sells the best in my Etsy shop. And the work that sells the best in my Etsy shop isn't necessarily the same work that piques the interest of art directors, publishers etc. It's a strange conundrum, really.
For example, this little set of four Garden Fairy illustrations:
I drew these almost exactly three years ago and for me they were a bit turning point in finally, FINALLY, finding my own style as an artist. I've lately found myself, more and more, working back towards this style but perhaps in a more sophisticated way.
Anyway, I loved these fairies when I first illustrated and still love them very much today. But when it comes to my Etsy shop, these prints have never been big sellers for me although I've found a bit of success selling them as stationery or stickers, etc.
On the flip side of that, I've gotten more freelance illustration work stemming from these four illustrations than from any other illustrations I've created so far. Crazy, right?
So really, I'm just writing this to remind myself to just make art that I love, first and foremost. If it doesn't sell in my shop, who cares? Maybe it will find some other way out into the world. If not, who cares? Stop second guessing and stop trying to figure out exactly what customers and potential clients want to see. As long as I'm still loving the work that I'm doing, then I'm happy. The rest of it will just follow from there, it always does.