|Jester Pig, ink & watercolor ©Diana Ting Delosh|
From my perspective it seems to boil down to 3 actions you must do to make money from your art.
1 - Create the Art. Butt in chair routine.
2 - Show and Tell. Add new art: to your portfolio, submit, e-mail, mail out postcards, blog, tweet, FB whatever. No one knows you created something until you tell them. To expand on this concept, no one knows you exist until you help them discover you. If you want clients with wonderful illustration projects to commission you, they have to know what you do and where to find you.
3 - Do both of the above routinely and on a regular balanced basis. Yup, the old 2-step, Create and Promote with the added crucial 3rd step: routine and balance. Create followed by Show and Tell on a regular, weekly if not more frequent basis.
All well and good in theory, BUT what happens when you're working on a commissioned piece OR a personal project that you want to submit/propose that must remain hush hush, then what??? Sure you're creating daily but you can't do step 2 until it's published. Ah -this is where I trip up. Here's a list I've made for myself to keep on task: show other work, talk about other projects, tightly cropped sneak peeks*, toss out a hint, if possible - do other art that you can show off**, etc. The idea is to keep promoting your art and to not totally drop off the radar.
*It may be fine to show sneak peeks of personal projects but I'd be hesitant to do this with commissioned work... unless you've gotten permission to do so.
**This is where all those online art challenges come into play.
OR if you're so busy due to whatever life is currently dishing that one if not all steps are out of whack than what? This one is more complicated but I think the zen approach is best. Don't beat yourself up and just do what you can. When you can... and keep at it...at your current pace. Create, promote, repeat.