I've always regarded art as a distraction, not even to the level of a hobby -- just something to do to calm down. I never thought that I was good at art. When I was a kid, there were art classes in school, and I never felt that my representational art was as good as that of many of the other students in the classes I took.
Also, my handwriting was very poor for a girl. I don't think it was as bad as the boys' handwriting, but I got negative remarks for it.
I started doing calligraphy to try to overcome bad handwriting. I doodled a lot, the way one might drum one's fingers or crack one's knuckles, just to release stress.
I've posted some of my calligraphy on this blog before.
Then, recently, I started remembering my mother's doodles. She doodled in the margins of shopping lists and newsletters -- abstract shapes. I remember thinking some of them were quite beautiful -- but I don't have any of them now, because they were all thrown away with the documents they were drawn on.
I decided to start doing doodles to give to friends, so that my doodles wouldn't suffer the same fate as my mother's. Then I posted some on social media. To my surprise, people really loved them. I've even sold some. That's hard for me to wrap my mind around. Someone bought art from me? Curious.
Here's an example of my doodling style:
Update about commercializing my art
Some people have been encouraging me to try to put my doodles into the field of surface design: fabrics, carpets, etc.
I went to the Printsource convention this summer. This is a convention where people selling surface designs offer their wares to the buyers. Apparently there are a number of such conventions in NYC. This is one of the few that allows non-exhibiting artists to visit and talk to people.
Looking at the exhibitors, it appeared that they had all put in several thousand dollars getting their designs printed up poster size on thick display material. They all had hundreds of designs.
True, none of their designs looked similar to mine, but that could be fashion.
I got the e-mail addresses of at least 20 businesses that hire artists for surface design. I e-mailed all of them with a link to my google photo album. A few got back to me saying that they liked my art, but they needed art in digital vector form, not hand drawn. One company said that they need patterns that repeat so that they can be printed out on rolls.
I’m just not willing to spend the time and money to create this type of exhibit or get the software necessary to create digital images. I just want to draw on paper. It’s a stress relief thing. I don't want to work on making my designs repeat, either. I'm sure it could be done -- likely not too difficult -- but not really fun for me. I do think my designs would be suitable for a scarf or an area rug, without repeating.
There are some designers who do hand drawn designs — but companies that hire those designers did not get back to me.
I have put a couple of designs on spoonflower.com (link to my page), but no one contacted me as interested. One of the artists at the convention told me that you have to promote them. No one just goes on there browsing. Again, I’m not willing to spend the money to create a marketing campaign.
In order to sell from spoonflower you have to order a sample and proof it. I haven't done that yet, though I might at some point.