For the last 6 months I’ve been trying to get my side hustle off the ground. It has been a mind-boggling amount of work, and I’m nowhere close to where I need to be to make this a viable side stream income.

I feel like I’ve made a thousand false starts, but I’ve also learned a ton about:

  • WordPress, Shopify, Instagram, Etsy integrations
  • Marketing, Affiliate marketing
  • Creating repeating patterns
  • Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Captivate, Procreate
  • My fancy Epson printer
  • Print on Demand (PoD) sites: Redbubble, Society6, ShopVida, TeePublic
  • PoD Dropshipping services: Gooten, Printify, Art of Where, Printful
  • Bullet Journaling

And most importantly, I’ve learned about:

  • My own limitations
  • What it is exactly that I do and don’t want to do
  • What doesn’t work

I’m clearly still working on what does work. I have a full-time and very demanding job. I also have a family that needs to be fed and paid attention to (whateverrrrr). I was giving myself an unrealistic schedule for my side hustle (blog every single day!) and felt like a failure when I didn’t even come close to meeting my own expectations. There are many times where you just feel like throwing up your hands in defeat.

Bullet journaling to the rescue!  I finally caught on to the bullet journal craze; it really is all that. Honestly, it’s been a game changer. I even have a personal bullet journal and a work bullet journal. It’s helped me find a ton of clarity and I created a schedule that I feel like I can live with.

First I identified all the things that I want to give my attention to regularly:

  • Creating screenprints, illustrations, and all over print patterns
  • Making tutorials
  • Blogging
  • Uploading to Print on Demand Sites
  • Market Research and Marketing (blurgh)
  • Free Creative exploration
  • Self education

This list is TINY compared to what I was originally trying to accomplish.

To make this doable in my busy schedule I’ve defined out a 6 week cycle that consists of creative output (illustrations, patterns, screenprints) and some sort of product creation (uploading stuff to PoD sites, making tutorials), self education (Skillshare FTW!) and creative free play,  and finally putting myself out there (blog posts, the dreaded marketing).  Each week contains Free Friday, where I can just do free creative exploration and play which most often results in nothing, but sometimes results in a kernal of an idea that grows into something wonderful

Here’s the schedule:

WEEK 1

  • Creating: Screenprints
  • Putting myself out there: Blog Post
  • Putting myself out there: Marketing
  • Creative exploration: Free Friday
WEEK 2

  • Creating: Illustrations
  • Product: Upload any new work to Print on Demand sites
  • Product: Upload to Etsy
  • Creative exploration: Free Friday
WEEK 3

  • Creating:  Over Print patterns
  • Putting myself out there: Blog Post
  • Putting myself out there: Marketing
  • Creative exploration: Free Friday
WEEK 4

  • Creating: Themed exploration
  • Product: Upload any new work to Print on Demand sites
  • Product: Upload to Etsy
  • Creative exploration: Free Friday
WEEK 5

  • Creating: Tutorial
  • Putting myself out there: Blog Post
  • Putting myself out there: Marketing
  • Creative exploration: Free Friday
WEEK 6

  • Creative Exploration Week!
  • Product: Upload any new work to Print on Demand sites
  • Product: Upload to Etsy

I started this last week and it was more wonderful than I could have imagined. Having an entire week devoted to screenprinting gave me so much freedom to give it my full attention rather than be thinking about all the other stuff I had to do. I wanted to play with my new screenprinting toy that my husband got me and do a simple three color print. I decided to do my very favorite food, artichokes!

Since I create the screenprinting separations digitally, it also meant I had a digital file to play with, which I did and uploaded on products on Redbubble and Society6:

This week was Illustration time, and I created some fox illustrations (by request) and I LOVE how they have come out, here’s an sample of the first illustration I did:

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My next blog post will be about the creative process that happened and all the resulting art and products I produced from drawing a single fox.

That’s plenty for now!

— Davida

For those of you who don’t know Redbubble, it’s this fantastic site where artists can upload their artwork and have it placed on a variety of products. I’ve uploaded quite a bit of my own work to Redbubble and have made plenty of sales. Here’s the best of Redbubble I found today.

All these designs are available in a variety of products, such as shirts, phone cases, clocks, and more!

Holiday Mood by elenor27

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I could do an entire post on elenor27’s work alone, all her art is whimsical and colorful and evokes a feeling of wellbeing.

 

RAD XV by metron

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metron’s work is is dominated by geometric patterns in gorgeous muted colors. There are plenty more designs and styles in metron’s shop to see, this artist knows their color palettes!

 

Crowned Crane by Sandra Dieckmann

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Oh my. I love everything about this piece: the textures in the graphic mountains and the patterns in the water; the giant crane dominating the composition looking absolutely larger than life, and the contrast of the warm oranges and cool teals. So good. I just have to decide what to put it on, because I think I need this in my house.

 

There’s so many fantastic artists on Etsy it’s almost impossible to keep up. Here’s what I found on Etsy today:

Bear Print

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This is offered as a download in a variety of sizes. This is one of my favorite compositions for portraits with the subject below the middle of the piece.

Meerkat Art Print

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Look at those faces! This fantastic photoshop mashup (hopefully!) captures such a sweet moment in this couple’s life!

Squirrel Portrait Print

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And of course I had to include an illustration. This adorable print has a gorgeous, Victorian feel and looks straight out of a beloved children’s book.