Firstly of the pandemic, I used to be placing in 80-hour workweeks for 2 full-time advertising jobs. I earned a mixed wage of $129,000 a yr.
However part of me felt one thing was lacking. I at all times had a ardour for making artwork, and I needed time to pursue it. So in April 2020, I give up considered one of my jobs to start out a aspect hustle. I needed to see if I might actually make it as an artist.
I referred to as my model DomoINK, which is a play on my title and the supplies I take advantage of. I create authentic paintings utilizing crayons and markers, and print my designs on every little thing from socks to laptop computer circumstances to sneakers.
There have been lots of sleepless nights, however investing in my expertise has paid off. I’ve gotten the possibility to collaborate with huge firms like Disney, Samsung, Lowe’s and the L.A. Lakers.
At present, I make $22,000 a month promoting artwork on-line via my web site, my Etsy and Society6 outlets, and retail shops like Goal and House Items.
Creating paintings that shines a lightweight on necessary subjects
Rising up, I used to be typically the one Black child in my class, and I discovered it exhausting to search out issues that represented my background.
My father and I might exit of our option to discover greeting playing cards that had photographs of Black households on it. We would purchase them from particular person sellers as a result of many retailers did not carry them.
I by no means restrict myself in relation to experimenting with concepts.
For instance, I created a portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. with crayons. My Tik Tok displaying my course of went viral and led to a collaboration with Bleacher Report to attract UNC basketball coach Hubert Davis in the identical fashion.
And this yr, I used to be employed by Bathtub & Physique Works as an illustrator to create a picture of what Juneteenth means.
I work lower than 2 hours a day on my aspect hustle
Throughout the weekdays, from 8:00 a.m. to five p.m., I work at home as a advertising supervisor.
After I sign off from my day job, I change gears and create paintings. I spend about 10 hours throughout the week, together with weekends, on DomoINK.
For about an hour, I am going to go on TikTok or Instagram looking for trending movies, after which put my very own spin on these tendencies to promote my store.
Rising my industrial artwork enterprise
Once I first began out, each portray and product was made to order. Since I by no means labored on any initiatives until I had a fee, I did not have to fret about pricey stock.
My costs vary from $18 socks to a $5,000 portray referred to as “Reflection” that offered just some days after I put it up on the market on my web site.
To maintain prices down by not investing in advertisements, I am at present targeted on doing natural attain via social media.
Along with my Etsy gross sales, I earn cash by licensing my paintings non-exclusively on platforms like Society6, which I arrange free of charge. The downside is that I solely get a ten% fee on the merchandise I promote.
My final purpose is to make DomoINK a life-style retailer that may be a supply of illustration for many who are underrepresented.
The suggestions I’ve gotten from individuals who really feel seen by my work has been extremely gratifying, and it evokes me to develop my enterprise much more.
Domonique Brown is an artist and the founding father of DomoINK, a life-style model that contributes artwork, attire, and residential decor in celebration of range and empowerment. Observe her on Instagram and TikTok.
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