Monday, October 02, 2006

Pondering my creative money-making options...

It is with regret I write that personal financial disaster looms large on the horizon. Although, I have to say, if you're going to have to live on Ramen noodles (mmm, heavens, they're salt-a-riffic!) at age 40, might as well go all out:

"Well, you see... I had to live off of credit cards for months and months after being accused of being an axe murderer last year... and this year, karma has determined it would be a good time to go blind!"

Hey, seriously, if you've gotta go over the falls in a barrel, do it in style, no?

So, I'm working on creative ways to bring in more income. Since the walls in my apartment building are too thin to facilitate a second career as a phone sex operator, I'll have to work on quieter funding options. Yes, I'll have t-shirts and mousepads and trucker hats and thongs available shortly on CafePress, but after the 4.5 of you fine folks buy those, I'm likely SOL on that front! I am going through my extensive backlog of travel photographs (plus my late night neons and such) and I will be making actual photo postcards to sell, perhaps on Etsy.com or perhaps directly on this or another website. The postcards will have actual photos on the front and a real postcard back. I'll likely sell them in groupings, say "Neon Lights" and "Thailand" and "Mutha Russia" and "England" with mix sets, too.

Just recently, I purchased some beautiful postcards here at work - international shots by one of our great photographers and it started me thinking. No, I'm not a great photographer. Dear lord, no. But I just enjoyed sending postcards that weren't stale and crappy pieces of tourist stuff. I liked the thought of sending off a little art to someone. I've had the advantage of traveling to a good many funky places in the past twenty years, and I have some photos that really ring my bells. Maybe they'll appeal to some other folks, too. We shall see... I'm trying to find an old postcard rack somewhere so, if I can start selling stuff at local craft fairs, I have a decent display unit.

I'm also designing my own rubber stamps, so I can create my own line of handcrafted greeting cards - and possibly sell my stamps in a local craft store or two. I need to finish working on the stamp designs and clean them up. My world for a Wacom tablet!! Some of the designs I'm working on will appeal to the more rotund among us - zaftig mermaids and curvy angels and devils.

But I'm so damn tired lately, thanks to Mr. Eye. Very honestly, I understand why glaucoma patients get relief from medical marijuana. What I'm experiencing is likely just a fraction of their nausea and pain, and it's pretty miserable. But I'm going to keep my head up. Only way to go forward. I'm going to continue pondering creative ways to bring home the bacon (or at least, the hooves and snouts) and make this work.

One way or another, I will.

Right now, I have to figure out what to put on the back of the CafePress t-shirts. I'm considering:

"4.5 loyal readers can't be wrong!"

"Ask me about hookers with hand puppets!"

"Devilishly good" (will make sense with the front image)

"Riding the bullet train to Hell, one post at a time..."

"See you in Hell. All the best people will be there!"

"Random goodness since 2005."

"Just another weirdness magnet for peace"

I'm considering putting some of my photos on shirts, too, including the "Giant Foo" photo. I like that more and more. I could add "I'm with..." to the top of the Giant Foo image. Heh heh heh...

Suggestions gladly accepted.

Yours in determined feistiness,

Merujo

12 comments:

Rabbit said...

If it weren't for the fact that they provide free lunches at work, I don't think I'd EVER eat.

Good luck with the money-making ventures!

Merujo said...

Amen, Rabbit. Making lemonade out of some craptacular lemons, I have to think of this as the best diet plan. Ever. ;-)

And thanks for the good thoughts! I'd go sit in a cafe and write the first Harry Potter book, but a Scottish welfare mom already did that!

Janet M. Kincaid said...

How about a picture of lemonade and the words: "Lemonade! It's craptacular!"

Or, in a play on "So I Married an Axe Murderer" how about a picture of you and the Sasquatch with an arrow pointing to you and the words, "I AM the Axe Murderer."

Or, a graphic of a eye patch prominently placed over the area where one of one's breasts/pecs would be and the words, "Evil Eye" on the back.

Or, "Giant Foo: it's not just for breakfast anymore" and your neon picture on the back.

Or, "Do not try this at home" and a picture of Kum-n-Go.

Or, Butternut Squash is Tedious. (Oh, wait, that's mine. Sorry. All rights reserved.)

Okay, I'm off to email my friends the Scary Feminists who are great at these kinds of suggestions. Be on the look out for their recommendations. (Which, I should add, will be far, far superior to mine.)

Aoife O'Meara said...

Merujo, I've been pondering your nausea problem, having been there myself. I wonder if you could take Dramamine since it's designed for the disconnect between what your eyes see and your body feels. I just don't know if it's contraindicated with whatever medicine you are on. I once used some scopolamine gel behind my ear prior to surgery for nausea and it helped. It wouldn't hurt to ask your doctor about it. I've been sending positive thoughts your way and wishing for money to rain down on you - God knows you deserve it!

Anonymous said...

Here's an idea I was going to use for a shirt and/or sticker and if anyone--besides Merujo--uses it, I'll know where it came from.

"Blog Anonymously. Use a friend's computer."

suze said...

I admire your fiesty determinism. I'm thinking of you :)

Mary Ellen said...

Hi,

I'm one of the Scary Feminists Janet mentioned. Sorry to hear about your eye situation. Blech.

As for ideas, I like the ones you've cooked up so far. I don't know if there are Penny Lane music stores in MD, but a friend got them to stock and sell her "Jesus Shaves" postcards. Might try to place your wares in similar venues or where the hipsters shop. Palmer Cash T-shirts also comes to mind, but I don't know what it takes to get them to sell your tees.

Another idea: put some groovy images on magnets. Did that as a promotion for a non-profit I work with and they went over well. For inspiration, check out AnneTaintor.com.

Let the feistiness flow!

Mary Ellen

spencer said...

How about adding some ads to your blog? You get traffic and maybe you might make a few dollars. There must also be some ebay auction options open to you? I'll think more on it.

always write said...

How about: "Hell is like the back of the schoolbus; all the cool kids are there."

Claire said...

Another thought on nausea... vitamin B (B6 I think) is supposed to be helpful with dizziness/seasickness/balance issues which sound related to the eye. If it's purely a result of the medication, then it might not do much.

Microstock might be another way to use your photography for $. It's stock photos based on bulk basically. A company might sell a subscription to graphic artists, etc. so they can download 600 pics a month. Every time someone downloads yours, you get 25 cents. Use isn't exclusive, so one shot could get downloaded indefinitely. I know it sounds kind of pitiful, and I'm not quite sold on it myself, but it's a thought. Shutterstock is one company that does it. Ah, here's the article I read on it from Popular Photography.

Also, your accused of being an axe murderer story sounds like some perfect commentary on the state of mind of DC... a sellable life story, but I don't know how one goes about doing that.

Good luck, M!

Scholiast said...

That's it, Rarity just started selling her photos. Here's how :)

Heather Meadows said...

istockphoto is what I've used when I needed a good (or at least not totally sucky) stock photo for some of my design projects. I don't know what their payout is like, but you might check there too.

My photos are available for people to purchase as prints on smugmug. In the two (or more?) years I've had the account, I've had two organizations ask to license photo(s) for their use. That's not a huge number, but then again I wasn't trying--at all--to sell myself. The tags and photo captions went a long way towards people finding my photos.

Best of luck!