How to keep loving your hobby after monetizing it

You know what is frustrating? When you try to create things, not for your own joy but because you think other will like that more than your normal work. How do you keep loving your hobby after monetizing it?

A lot of artists fall in this trap.

Naturally when you want to sell your work this might happen. Especially when you don’t have a fanbase yet and you want to build that up based on what you think they want to see.

How to keep loving your hobby after monetizing it. Keep having joy in your craft when you have a shop.

There is no easier way to lose your sense of joy for creation than by forcing yourself to make things that are not you.

People will see that in your work and it will never be your best work.

I made that mistake when I opened my Etsy shop for the first time. I feel like not all the works are there because I made them for the love of creation. Some of them are there just because I thought they might sell and I was wrong.

When I created my Christmas cards this year I remembered what fun it could be to keep working on a piece till you love it. To find that one brush stroke or colour combination that makes you go “yes, this is what I wanted”

You might not have planned it but it looks just right..

How do you keep loving your hobby after you have monetizing? I have found some ways through this past few months that I would love to share with you.

And if you read to the end I have a great offer for all of you who want to learn how to run a successful Etsy store!  


Try out things you want to sell on social media first.

Made something just for fun but not sure if it would sell?

Show a nearly done picture on your social media accounts and see the reaction that people have. It can be a great indication on how it will do.

This way you can also build a little confidence about selling it.

Not so much interaction? Don’t worry that work was a good practise for the next one!

Find your favourite

I personally really like painting dragons. I don’t necessarily want to sell them I just enjoy designing them. When I get all caught up in making a thing that I think would sell I try to go back to these.

They are fun to do and easy and I would never sell them anyway.

Watercolour painting of a dragon.

Blue Graceful Dragon

For you, this can be anything, like your favourite character or painting landscapes but try to find something that is fun to do but that you wouldn’t necessarily sell.

Passion projects

Passion projects are a bigger project that you do just for fun and because you feel a passion for it. These are often bigger projects with more layers. Examples are making a children’s book or writing a comic.

They are easier to keep doing if you are really passionate about it. Having a project in the same hobby category can help you separate that from the business side and thus help to keep loving your hobby after monetizing.


Sketching is slightly the same as the above but If you take a specific time to just sketch you will create just for the sake of getting ideas down, What you are going to do with these afterward is not yet important.

Just sitting down and losing your hand is great to take a break from trying to create to sell as well. Having no bigger purpose can feel very free.

This is also great for people who design. If your hobby is knitting or such you can always make a practise scarf where you try new techniques which bring me right to the next point.

Try new things

This one is kind of hard but imagine you have found something that is easy to sell and you want to keep selling that.

It can be hard to stop drawing that way and to try something new, maybe for fear of losing customers, fans or followers.

But trying new things will make you develop more as an artist.

It does not have to be a big change, maybe try a different kind of pencil or paint and just try it out.

If it does not turn out okay you don’t upload it.

My tools for drawing and painting // how to keep loving your hobby after monetizing it.

Starting a store can be difficult and getting lost in the business side of things can be difficult.

How do you keep yourself from just creating what you think you would sell vs what you want to create.?

For all the Etsy sellers out there that want to learn about having a successful shop; 

Modern Thrive just launched a live online workshop with the founders of PrettyGrafik Design on the 2-4th of march.

Prettygrafik Design is one of the Top 10 Etsy shops worldwide in the handmade category with close to 200,000 sales. (They make printables and illustrations!) 

This three-day online workshop will give you an inside look on how Gabriel and Sarah built Prettygrafik and all the different tools and strategies you need to know to be successful on Etsy.
You can save $20 when you sign up with discount code “friendsofsofie“.

(When you use this code I get a small commission. Read the full disclosure here.)

In this Workshop, you will learn to:
 Define and analyse your market, your brand and your pricing and apply it to
the Etsy marketplace
 Promote within as well as outside of Etsy and how to use various social
media outlets and marketing techniques to grow your Etsy shop
 Grow a strong brand and get known in the online world.
 Reinvest your profits and manage it as a real business to bring it to the next level and become a top seller.
Get all of the details and sign up here.

I’m personally staying up to 1 am just to attend this workshop because I think it is right up my niche so I hope you enjoy it as well! 

4 Responses to “How to keep loving your hobby after monetizing it

  • Hi Sofie, I know the feeling of trying to create things for trying to please people. Loved your tips, especially the one about giving designs a try on social media. On the other hand, I think you should sell those dragons, they look awesome. Even if it’s just a print. If this is what you love, why not? I bet there are many dragon loving people out there 😉 However, I understand also if you rather just create them for your own creative happiness. It’s so nice to see how this blog and your business develops. Really motivates me to read your posts, keep it up 😀

    • artsbysofie
      8 years ago

      Hi Romica,
      I’m really glad you like the dragons. Maybe I would sell them as a print but I’m not really familiar with print on demand sites. Are you with society6? Would you recommend them or are they better for design prints.
      You really motive me with your lovely comments and support. It is great to know that you like what I write.
      To many more business and blog developments in 2016!
      ~ Sofie

      • Hi Sofie,
        I’m offering prints on Society6, however you only get a small cut of the price compared to the amount it will sell for. On the other hand, you don’t have to process the order or deal with shipping etc. I have never ordered a print from them so I honestly don’t know about the quality. If you want to rather sell them yourself: What you could do is offer a printable on etsy so people can print it themselves and you would only sell them the license to print for personal use.
        Let me know if you are interested in this process, I could help you with setting it up if you want.
        I hope this year will be incredible for you 😀

        • artsbysofie
          8 years ago

          Hi Romica,
          I think I will look into it some further. Maybe different Print on Demand companies use different rates and such. I’ll definitely let you know if i find anything interesting!
          For now, I think I will keep my Etsy for original work.
          Not dealing with shipping does sound very good, though. 🙂
          Thank you so much for your help, Romica!

          ~ Sofie

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