In my previous post, I debated the merits of continuing my Baby Bird Website, where I make weekly illustrative art based on other's submitted ideas.
My primary concern was that the website was no longer the best use of my time.
After looking at my long-term goals and discussing the pros/cons with people I trust, I decided to continue the site.
My main reasons for continuing the site are:
It instills in me the habit of making weekly art
It challenges me to make art that I wouldn't otherwise make on my own
It enables me to interact with people
It increases my visibility as an artist
I've also made some changes to the website to improve some of the problems I saw or that others mentioned.
Problem 1: I'm making art that doesn't have an end purpose. Because of the cartoon/illustrative nature, not many people are interested buying this kind of art. Furthermore, it's not high quality enough to be displayed somewhere.
I am now making sure that each weekly theme ties to a project I am currently working on. Thus, even if I cannot sell the art, it is enabling me to build necessary skills or work on my project. For example, my currently weekly theme is "Animals Playing in the Snow." This ties to illustrations I am making for the book, "Ten Tiny Piggies." In it, the piggies are playing in the snow. Thus, I am using this weekly theme to develop my skills of depicting snow.
Art that doesn't directly tie to a project will be completed in a quality and manner that could be displayable or sellable. For example, for the last week of May, I will be doing the theme, "Grumpy Animals." I will create these animals in a size that will be easily framable. I will also make them a high quality. It is my intention to then have them displayed in a local coffee shop for sale.
Problem 2: Very few people are submitting ideas.
I am now posting weekly themes for an entire month. People will now have some time to look ahead and come up with ideas.
I was not posting images regularly on the website, thus losing any excitement for people to return to the website. I am now posting images regularly.
Problem 3: Some people feel the website is unclear.
Solution: I simplified the website design. I moved anything that doesn't have to do with cartoons to this website. I then made a clear tab for "newest cartoons." I also put all 2015 cartoons in one easy, accessible place. I also feel that posting the dates of each weekly theme on the main page will help people understand when they can submit.
I'll continue with the website for at least a few months and then re-evaluate. Thank you to everyone who gave their input!