"Keep your content fresh, add new works on a regular basis. Track your sales and views data, consider removing images that don’t get any attention. Remember about the research and promotion, work hard and never stop improving your skills."
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Dina, better known on RB as khandishka. Her playful patterns that have been carefully hand drawn shine through in her RB portfolio. She has a keen eye for detail and loves hand drawn lettering and unendingly cute animals. Below you’ll read about how RB has worked for her and the best tips she picked up regarding selling her artwork inside this cavernous tubing called the world wide web.
Beth Caird: I’ve noticed your profile is brimming with links to your Instagram and other online platforms; can you share with us what your biggest learning curve has been in terms of selling your work online, and becoming established?
Khandishka: As any other job, selling artwork online requires great and persistent effort. When I left my job to fulfill my ambition of becoming an independent artist, I had no idea how hard it would really be. The first year was the most difficult yet the most delightful one I’ve had by far.
If you decided to sell art online, you have to remember some things. First of all, you can’t neglect the fact that it’s a business. If you want to make a profit from your hobby, you have to get serious about your time and money. Track your sales data, it will help you understand what works and what doesn’t. And remember about the right pricing for your products. Redbubble has a very convenient pricing percentage concept, you set the price by adding your mark up, nice and easy. Keep it real, but don’t ever undercharge for your labor.
Also, marketing, promotion, and networking are extremely important for the success of your business. Do market research, promote your work in social media and in all ways digitally, but don’t forget to market and promote yourself offline as well. With the right attitude and positive energy anyone can succeed.
Redbubble is one of the best marketplaces I know, it’s great both for beginners and professionals. If you are new here, start with setting up your portfolio, keep it simple and clean, add a bit of information about yourself and upload your best work. It is your shop, you want clients to buy art and come back, so try make it look well organized and friendly.
Keep your content fresh, add new works on a regular basis. Track your sales and views data, consider removing images that don’t get any attention. Remember about the research and promotion, work hard and never stop improving your skills.
Beth Caird: It looks as if at one point (before they are awesome things like scarves) you’ve hand drawn your work – can you tell us about that process?
Khandishka: Usually I work at home, but it could be anywhere I can set up my laptop and Wacom tablet. Though I rarely use traditional media, there are always a little sketchbook and a pen in my bag, my little travel set. Soft music in the background is great, but lately I love to keep my mind busy while working, so I listen to audiobooks, language lessons or some radio shows about science. I’m an extremely curious person, love learning new things and picking up new skills, and doing this while drawing keeps my curiosity fed very well. It doesn’t affect my productivity because usually I know exactly what to draw and what colors to use before I start to work.
As you may noticed, I’m a bit obsessed with time management, so it is important for me to arrange all things properly so that I wouldn’t have to sacrifice anything I love. That’s why I always have a plan and strict deadlines, especially for my personal projects. It helps me being in a full control of my life and having enough free time for sports, reading books or even playing video games.
Beth Caird: Where do your amazingly cute and gorgeous animals and creatures come from?
Khandishka: Oh, I’ve always been fascinated by animals. They’re fun to draw. I’ve had pets in the past, both dogs and cats, amazing little creatures. They were a huge inspiration for me, so were thousands of animated movies and series, comic books and works of my favorite artists. All of it influenced me, inspiration is everywhere. Though my early works were nothing like those you can see in my portfolio these days. I used to have a different style, much more realistic and less quirky, and I had some difficulties with drawing animals and their facial expressions the way they appeared in my mind.
Over time my style developed naturally, transformed into something completely different, and I’m sure it will change a lot in the future. But now, having this cartoonish and a bit whimsical style, I try to show all the living creatures as cute and innocent as I see them.
Beth Caird: Do you remember a time, or movement you got into that propelled your interest in creating patterns?
Khandishka: Ever since I was a kid I’ve had a passion for art. Growing up in an artistic family, I was constantly surrounded by painters, sculptors and musicians. I always knew that my life will be related to art, though patterns were never a part of my plan. When I studied in the Arctic Institute of Culture and Art in Siberia, I found myself struggling with drawing patterns by hand. Although I loved the results, the process itself seemed to take too much time, and that was a no-no to me. I discovered love for them much later, when I started to learn vector-based programs. As a practical person, I appreciate that vector helps save time, so making patterns digitally became the object of my curiosity.
And the second when my first pattern was finished in no time, something clicked. I loved it. Usually I try to keep things simple, especially when it comes to animals and other characters, but in patterns I let myself add more details and complexity.
Thanks to khandishka for taking the time to chat. You can check out her entire portfolio over here to support her work. See more of her work below and if you have a spare moment, check out her gorgeous Instagram account for some drool worthy goodies. Yum.