Shop Talk

5 Things to Do Before You Start Making New Artwork

Whether you’re having trouble with procrastination, getting inspired, or settling on a proper creative routine, getting started is one of the most difficult parts of the artistic process and there are a few things that you should always consider, especially when selling your completed work on Redbubble.

From understanding your color palette to being realistic about how long the job will take, we’ve laid out several bits of advice to think about before creating art.

"Building a Wolf" by Sam Brewster

1. Know Your Audience

Before you even begin in the studio, make sure you have in mind who you’re making your artwork for. No one answer is correct, but having a general idea about the audience who consumes your stuff is a good way to stay focused and ensure you end up with an artwork which can be shown outside your studio. It’s okay if you purely make artwork for yourself, but perhaps you could also try and imagine other people (friends, colleagues, fans, children, etc.) that will love your art as well.

For more on this: You’ve Got New Fans, Now What?

2. Have A Self-Imposed Deadline

This tip took me a long time to learn and was a valuable key to working faster and with better results. Having a self-imposed deadline created an environment with a small, healthy amount of pressure to work under. If I only allowed myself 8 or 20 hours to work on a piece, it became a restriction that lead to faster decision making and consistently fresh and spontaneous artworks.

Try giving yourself a deadline to work towards on creative projects so that you can use that urgency to turn it into an energy which gives the artwork momentum. Momentum to finish it, momentum to share it, or momentum to continue promoting the work after you make it.

For more on this: The Importance of Self-Imposed Deadlines

"Take Me Home" Laptop Skin by BadOdds

3. Choose your Palette

One of my favorite steps in creating a new collection of artwork is choosing a palette. Taking the time to plan out how your colors are going to work together creates a cohesive, finished look in your RB portfolio. You can use software for this, but I prefer to get my hands dirty using paints, pencils, or hands-on tools of choice.

If you choose a palette for new artworks you can see your hard work pay off when all of the work is uploaded and you can see them complimenting each other by looking harmonious together.

For more on this: Trending on Redbubble: Natural Hand-Drawn Patterns

"Painted Protea Pattern" Leggings by micklyn

4. Give The Artwork The Time It Deserves

Just as it’s important to set a deadline to make sure you propel yourself along, it’s really important to honor your artwork and give it the amount of time it needs. Don’t try and rush an ambitious new project, and realistically set aside the hours you think you will need.

A freelancer friend recently said to me that I should plan a project to take “x” number of hours (let’s say 12 hours). Then I should add a third of “x” on top of the project time (another 4 hours) to allow for the unexpected things that occur when making new work. Giving yourself a third of the time you planned to polish the work if things go smoothly is also a relaxed and considered way to finish off creative projects. But remember, don’t be a perfectionist. It’s just as important to know when to say, “I’m done.”

For more on this: Perfectionism Will Probably Send You into an Existential Spiral

5. Update Your Profile Page

When you’re uploading new artwork, make sure you give it the best lease on life by including proper tags, description, and an appropriate title.

This goes too for considering new artwork for Redbubble — use all the tools at your disposal, including our upload page which is filled with ways to show off your work in the best possible light.

For more on this: 6 Simple Ways to Make Your Redbubble Portfolio Stand Out

"Pear Cactus" Tote Bag by MattyGeez

Bonus: Self-Promote

Think about how you’re going to spread the word about your new works. Consider whether you can make a work in progress video to tease the work to your fans. And make sure you have both your social media and real-world marketing plans square because you want to make sure all this work was worth trouble.

For more on this: Read up on self-promotion, social media, and more.

"DIY." iPhone 6 Case by taudalpoi

Do you have any tips about starting new projects? What should we remember before creating artwork?

Let us know in the comments below.