How to Make Money Off the Unspecting Internet in the Slowest Way Possible

Whenever I’m really busy and I actually manage to get stuff done, I look around and wonder why I haven’t gotten a raise yet. Then I remember that life doesn’t give raises and really you just have to be happy if you manage to get through the month without more crippling debt or every pair of tights you own running the first time you put them on.

I admit this is partly my own fault. I’ve noticed a disturbing trend that as soon as I get comfortable or finish a big task I immediately want to take on something else. I really don’t know where I get it from because I swear to you that I really excel at procrastinating and putting things off (ex: see blog) with the best of them and really I enjoy nothing more than wasting Saturday mornings drinking coffee and critiquing PBS cooking shows. I’m honestly the last person I’d expect to take on unnecessary tasks, but last year it was buy a house in a seller’s market and then it was adopt a puppy, then train said puppy, then paint the house ourselves, then buy a car, then consider options to make more money, then realize puppy needs more training, then etc., etc., etc.

Anyway, in my brainstorming to make money I’ve come up with one possibility, which is to sell stuff. My mother-in-law has become hugely successful in the Etsy pillow business (seriously, this is a thing), which makes me wonder if I can make something to sell to the noble people of the Internet as well.

Basically, the last few months I’ve been teaching myself to paint. I’ve actually messed around with painting for years but I never bothered to learn how to properly mix paints or whatever. I still only know about 1/100000th of what a credible painter knows, but since when has the Internet cared about credentials, right?

I’ve been practicing making portraits of pets (I just finished painting my cats, which will be hung over the mantle, of course) because pets are obviously the best subject ever. So while I’m a little ways away from being confident enough to open a store, I figured I’d do a poll to see how many people would actually pay for a portrait of their pet.

My first subject was a dog named Vegas and I mutilated his poor paws, but he was a good sport about it.

photo

Next I painted my cat Wizard, who wasn’t quite sure what to think about her portrait, although she was quite happy to sit for it everyday, as most cats would be.

photo 2 photo 1 photo 3

My last subject was my cat Hang Time, and I actually had to start his portrait over because his first one was turning out awful. Wait, did I type that out loud? I meant every brush stroke was exceedingly perfect, of course.

photo 4 photo 5

So tell me what you think, Internets, and by “tell me what you think,” I mean very gently sugarcoat a small truth for me.

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30 Responses to How to Make Money Off the Unspecting Internet in the Slowest Way Possible

  1. I like your paintings. If I had a dog I would want you to do a portrait of him.

  2. My blog name gives me away, my cats come second only to my kids (although many days the cats win first place). Your cat Wizard looks like a twin to my cat Anna, so you could just sell me a Wizard portrait and I’d never know the diff. Huh, maybe that could be your business plan: find people with pets that look like yours and sell to them…

  3. angriestpear says:

    I think they’re wonderful! If I had money, I would commission one of my bunny immediately!

  4. Phil Taylor says:

    Awesome. So good that at first I they were photographs.

  5. Elyse says:

    30 years ago, my sister-in-law had a professional photographer take pictures of my beloved dog, Goliath. I thought she was nuts. I treasure that photo because someone with talent can truly capture the spirit of a furry friend. So I’ve learned two things: (1) get an artist to portray those you love; and (2) be willing to pay for work well done.

    This is certainly worth a shot!

  6. sj says:

    I love these! But I don’t have pets. I’ll still buy you a beer, though.

  7. sindyblue10 says:

    Your paintings are great!

  8. heres my link what do you think of my floral crafts?

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/Yourfloweruniverse :)

  9. It was easy to offer you thousands of dollars, since I don’t have a pet, but you’re so likable that how can anyone resist your ideas?

  10. ruthrawls says:

    Your work is easily worth thousands and thousands of dollars. I looked at your MIL’s Etsy shop, and it’s fabulous! I made her a favorite of mine!

  11. skanway says:

    Reblogged this on Art – As I See It and commented:
    I remember an piece in The Star Tribune a couple of years ago about artists who were making a career and decent living doing pet portraits. As I remember it, one artist did traditional paintings and one of the artist’s work was a partially abstract version of representational. My compliments to you on your posted paintings.!

  12. Why do people need a portrait of an animal in their home if the real version of the animal is already in their home? I guess a dead pet makes sense. But I suppose though the pet store probably has a likeness as good as a portrait of the breathing variety. Or get the dead animal stuffed. Don’t get me wrong, even though I killed my tortoise I love animals [http://itsallabithazy.com/2014/05/14/i-killed-my-tortioise/] It’s just, why a portrait? You know what scratch all of that. Take famous portraits of humans and insert other people’s pets. “This is the Meowna Lisa” then go on about her smile like its some mystery or something and make everyone feel insecure because they aren’t seeing anything special in the stupid cat portrait so then they have to pretend it’s a great work of art for hundreds of years or they’re stupid and don’t know art. Mona Lisa? Yeah it’s some chick without eyebrows tired of smiling for the last 10 hours while Leonardo is being all artsy. In fact she got up and left before he got to the eyebrows ’cause it was bullshit. Mystery solved. Go look at something else people.

  13. nicoleep says:

    Your work is amazing! I think if a person really wants a portrait of their pet they’d be willing to pay. I really like my cats, but I’m 27 and single. I don’t need to fuel that fire…
    Go for it! What have you got to lose?

    • Rae says:

      Thanks! And yeah, I’m going to wait till I’m at least 35 before I fill my house with 20 cats. Can’t wait to be an even crazier cat lady!

  14. I would consider getting a portrait of our old cat that we lost at the end of December.

  15. Let me know when you open shop. ;)

  16. AniToddSmith says:

    Nice work. I think you’ve stumbled onto something here with the pet portraits.

  17. jbw0123 says:

    Don’t qualify to vote because I don’t have any pets, unless you count the fat cat who hangs out under the birdfeeder. Still — nice paintings!

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