I've been talking about opening up a shop to sell my prints ever since I got serious about lettering. But I had cold feet. Something feels scarier about putting art out there to sell than a product that people use. Maybe it's because with product design, what you sell is also utilitarian. This creates a little more forgiveness on the design front. Lettering work on the other hand is literally just there to look at.
But I found myself at a point where I felt my work deserved to be shared if I was going to keep spending so much time on it. It took realizing a couple of things to finally pull the trigger to open my shop:
If you wait until you feel ready, you've waited too long.
When designing a product, if you wait until your MVP is perfect to launch, you've waited too long. You could be wasting your time on something that solves a problem that doesn't exist and won't sell, making it more expensive to pivot. Plus, waiting until you're fully invested in your work makes feedback that much more personal and harder to swallow.
The point is, I might never feel my art is perfect or ready for the world to see. Then what? I'll never sell anything, and that nagging voice in my head saying "I should do that" will never go away.
So while I feel prepared, I don't feel 100% ready. And that's ok!
You'll never gain creative confidence without feedback.
I'm a big believer in feedback as the only way for designers to grow and improve. I practiced this in product design, so why wasn't I doing it with my lettering work, too? Positive feedback is great for motivation but also the best way to gain creative confidence. Sharing art and getting positive feedback from potential customers or other artists you admire is one of the best ways to shut down self doubt.
Launching my shop has created a baseline for me to improve from. I can see what's resinating with people, and what's not.
And the best reward for launching work in progress? Building up an audience who are invested in your journey and cheering you on along the way.