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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Being A New Clip Artist on TPT

I want to spend a day each week just sharing with you my thoughts about...well anything and everything...

Today I have some advice for someone who is new to creating clip art on Teachers Pay Teachers.

When I started selling my teaching resources on TpT almost 2 years ago, I had no idea that I would also be selling clip art. If you asked me anything about clip art 2 years ago...

how to make it? 

what program to use?

....you would have seen the "duh" face.

That's one of the great things about TpT.....it is such a motivator. For teachers who are not selling on TpT, they have no idea what they're missing. Not only is the extra money nice, but it motivates you to be better....at whatever you want to do. 

I decided to make clip art about 8 months into my TpT journey and really had no idea what I was getting into. I would browse the stores of some of the top selling artists





and think....there's no way my drawings will look as good as that. 

(You just clicked on their stores and YES they are amazing!!!)


That was my first mistake.....comparing myself to other artists. If you're a clip artist on TpT....the last thing you want to do is compare your work to someone else.

#1: you have no idea what kind of training they've had
#2: you have no idea how long they've had their store open
#3: every artist is different....if all art looked the same...how boring would our products be...variety is GOOD

So after about a month of feeling sorry for myself....I really got motivated to become better at drawing and knowledgeable of the programs I would have to use to get my graphics to a place that I would be proud of. 

It took a couple months of being selfish. Staying on the computer for hours while my husband cooked dinner and watched the kids. Hours of staying up late to watch a tutorial on how to use the "pen tool" and the importance of "layers" ....then sleeping in because I was losing so much sleep. My husband is a good man! 

If you're looking for answers to your questions about how to make clip art, one good place to get that knowledge is the TpT forums. If you're a seller, you have access to some the greatest minds and the most friendly people who are willing to share what they know. 

Once you have a good understanding of how to use the programs to create the art you want

....just CREATE!!!

 Don't spend time trying to come out with graphic sets faster than other artists. More times than not...it won't be your best quality....and buyers are looking for quality.

TpT has become overloaded with clip artists 

......and sellers who are "trying" to be clip artists

....that's not being mean at all. I was one that was "trying" to be a clip artist. I never had any training...never went to school for graphic design. 

I am a self-taught designer and proud of it!! I've worked so hard to get to where I am today and I know I have so much more to learn.

So my tips for a new clip artist on TpT....

*Never compare yourself to another artist. It's not worth it and you'll never become the artist you were meant to be.

*Don't waste your energy on stressing about numbers. (followers, sales, etc) Get excited about the  feedback you get. That is what drives me to keep creating. When I've had a day where sales are slow...I go back and read some of the feedback at my store and realize...again...that my work is appreciated and used in more classrooms than I could have ever imagined.....that is worth using your energy! and use that energy to create!

*Don't be afraid to ask a veteran for help! How do you think they got to where they are now? You'll be surprised at how quickly they will give up some of their secrets and be willing to help you out. They needed guidance at one time too :)

Good Luck new artists!!! It's quite an adventure and one that I LOVE being on!!!








11 comments:

  1. Your advice is awesome! I have been so amazed at the work produced by you and other self created artists. I really like what you said about not comparing ourselves to other sellers, instead look at how you can grow. Keep up your creative drive and your positive blog!

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  2. I love your work and have been following you since I first started buying on TPT. When I read your post it was like reading what is now happening in my life, without the husband making dinner. :)
    I try not to compare myself in the early stages of creating, but it's hard not to. I just started with ifont, and use my DAUGHTERS ipad since I do not have one of my own.
    I want to create clip art but have asked, and asked what program is the best for a novice and no one wants to let that secret out. Would you???
    Thank you for your post and letting the newbies see that all we are going through and our families will pay off in the long run.
    Happy New Year!

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    1. There really is no secret...it's just trial and error:) So many artists use different programs...it's just a matter of what you feel more comfortable with and how much you want to learn. When I started creating, I used the FREE program called "GIMP". You can download it completely for free. I didn't want to spend money on programs when I had no idea if the whole clip art thing was going to work out. GIMP is very similar to Photoshop as far as learning layers and certain tools but the quality is no where near as good....but it's a great starting point. Once I became really motivated to learn, I purchased Photoshop and now I'm using Illustrator. They are pricey and if clip art is something you see yourself doing long term, it's totally worth the investment:) Good Luck!!

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  3. THANK YOU, for your honest and candid post. I have often thought about creating my own clip art, but with teaching, blogging, and presenting at conferences... well, you get the picture. :) Anyway, I signed up for a clip art session @ the TPT conference & I'm so excited about attending it! Just wanted to let you know that I LoVe your clip art and that your post has inspired me. Thank you!!!
    <3 Palma (kfundamentals.blogspot.com)

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  4. Tammy, thanks so much for your advice and encouragement. :)

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  5. I'm so glad I found this post! Last weekend I was creating a product for TpT and trying to find just the right image and couldn't...So that led me to the idea that I should try to create my own. I've been obsessed since then, so much for the product I was creating! I bought Sketchbook Pro and am having so much fun learning to draw for the first time. And, you are so right, TpT and blogging makes you a better teacher for sure. I'm bringing my enthusiasm about learning to draw into the classroom and my students are loving it!

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  6. I'm so glad I found this post! Last weekend I was creating a product for TpT and trying to find just the right image and couldn't...So that led me to the idea that I should try to create my own. I've been obsessed since then, so much for the product I was creating! I bought Sketchbook Pro and am having so much fun learning to draw for the first time. And, you are so right, TpT and blogging makes you a better teacher for sure. I'm bringing my enthusiasm about learning to draw into the classroom and my students are loving it!

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. My problem is that I create everything in Photoshop at 300 dpi. Which of course is mega in size. How do I reduce the clipart so that it's not too large to upload when creating bundles?

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  9. I love all your cute clip art-I have a question tho. I am wanting to create my own clip art as well but I'm not sure if I need to use existing pictures and change them or if I should draw my own and then add color. What do you do?

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  10. Thanks for your advice.I'm still really not sure do you draw on paper then scan it or draw straight on a software. Please if you can elaborate, I'm a complete beginner.
    Thanks
    Priya

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