The Untapped, Tapping, Double Tapping

Hi!  My name is Erin, and for those of you who don’t know me, student loan debt rules my life!  For some people it’s heroin, for others, Becherovka, for yet others, poo tang.  I propose that Sallie Mae is actually a noxious, whorey combination of them all: a heroin-Becherovka-poo-tang bullet in a bloody, survivor-less game of Russian roulette.   Mmmm.  Just.  Just take that in.

I think back now to all the well-meaning adults who tried to allay my paralyzing fears about student loan debt when I was trying to figure out how the hell to get through the private university obstacle course completely on my own.  I remember them saying, “but you’re gonna be an engineer.  You’re gonna be rich and these loans won’t matter at all.  You’re making too big of a deal out of this.”  And then, as I think back, I try to stifle my gag reflexes and keep myself from shouting out loud, on the public bus, “don’t listen, little Erin!  It’s all a bunch of LIES”.  (If you ever wondered why the crazies be talking to themselves on CTA, now you know: it’s ’cause of Sallie.)  There is a serious misconception about what each rung of society “should” and does earn — especially in comparison to the costs of higher education, and that misconception is fucking with our nation’s youth, but this is a rant for another post.  I digress.

Anyways, I’ve been playing around for a few years now with creative projects on the side to see if I could monetize any of it and speed up my K.O. of this Sallie bitch…


…and I’ve decided to just put all my shit out there, throw it on the wall, see what sticks, what doesn’t, and what sells to some lunatic for thousands of dollars as modern art.  Luckily, I found an excellent way to do this — at least for my artwork.

Print On Demand (POD) art prints.  This is a thing!  I’ve been reading forums about all the different sites that offer this service and testing them out.  Oh wait, “what the hell is that, exactly?” I heard you ask.  Oh, sorry.  Yeah, so just like with POD publishing, where a printer prints and ships individual copies of your book as they are ordered, people can order individual prints of your artwork in a variety of formats from a high resolution digital image you upload.  You just upload a pic of your painting, choose how you’d like it to be offered, and in some cases, how much you’d like to offer it for, and then you sit back and wait!  Of course, it would help if you actually sent traffic to those sites, but that’s not a prerequisite.

For right now, I uploaded some old pieces to test the sites out and learn how it all works.  I really don’t expect any of the current ones I have up to sell, but, then again, I’ve seen some of my competition which does get sales, and………….   …….it wouldn’t be an entirely nuts possibility either.  If nothing else, I’ve found it can be an excellent way to gauge interest in pieces based on view count.  I read good things about The Untapped Source, and so far in the past week of playing with it, I’ve definitely been able to see what The People like.  I’ve had issues with getting images in the right category (e.g. Photography or Traditional), but I’m gonna give this small company the benefit and assume they’re on vacation and will soon reply to my message(s).

I first started posting paintings up there, which kept being listed as “Photography” despite my efforts to fix them.  After several days of getting lots of views in spite of the category error, I thought, might as well throw some actual photographs up there for giggles.  After that, well, every time I log on, I can’t stop myself from muttering, “holy fucking shit”.

Holy Fucking Shit

So, if you couldn’t guess, the correctly categorized photos are the ones with 400+ views: “Chicago Sunset from Lake Michigan” and “Montrose Harbor in Winter”.   You can check ’em out too, here:

I have no idea if any of the paintings I’ll be producing in the future with commercial intent will sell, but it’s one of the things I’ve got to throw on the wall.  And I plan on tapping into all the resources at my disposal, double-tapping Sallie like the rabid zombie she-beast she is, and tapping out.  If you’re one of those artsy types, I strongly encourage you to do the same, if only for that public interest thermometer feature.  Would you tap that?  Cuz I’d tap that.  Let’s tap that, together.  If you got art online, include links in a comment on this post!

2 thoughts on “The Untapped, Tapping, Double Tapping”

  1. Hi!! I was just wondering if you recommend going into optical engineering? And if you don’t mind saying, around how much you get paid? Thank You!

    P.S. I read your blogs, they’re quite entertaining and funny! You should do more! 🙂

    1. Hi Komal!
      Thanks for your kind words.

      Well you have some curious questions considering the post you’re commenting under… Do I recommend going into O.E.? In terms of what? If your main goal is to study and work in something you love, do you love physics? Optics? If your aim is simply to get into a lucrative career, there are better options. Brain surgeon and stripper come to mind. I won’t tell you how much I make, but if you get into the field, it’s good to ask this of your close personal connections (not strangers man). I can tell you there is a considerable range depending on industry conditions at a given time, and also O.E.tends pay more than an average engineering job because we are rather rare, and so, supply/demand/economics kicks in. Although demand for optical engineers is growing as technology moves more heavily into using display devices and computer vision, the niche factor can also be a drawback. During economic downturns, this means it is harder to find work than your typical engineer even though it is easier during good economic cycles – more so if you don’t have an intermediate amount of experience: at least 5 years.

      So Komal, you’ll really have to answer those questions for yourself. I hope after your research you find optical engineering is a good fit. JOIIIN UUUUSSSS

      Best of luck,

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