In a time where everything is moving online, two IU students are taking advantage of online platforms to sell their artwork during classes. Dayanna Moreno and Isabelle Davis use platforms such as Twitter and Instagram to advertise their artwork and conduct business.
Moreno, a sophomore studying dietetics, creates a variety of personalized products for customers, such as canvas paintings, portraits, custom water bottles and is working on expanding her business to include painted shoes. The most popular items in her shop are acrylic canvases, portraits of customers' friends and customizable water bottle paintings.
“It just depends on what the person wants,” Moreno said.
Moreno started to become more serious about art her freshman year of high school when she began painting murals for her school. During her senior year of high school, Moreno started selling her artwork and creating commissioned pieces for customers and friends through her online business using her Twitter @ArtDayanna and her Instagram, @art.dayanna.m.
She takes commissions through DMs or texts from people who know her personally.
Moreno said surprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a positive impact on her business.
“I got a lot of college students ordering paintings or water bottles for the next year to decorate the room,” Moreno said. “So it actually kind of, in a way, helped me.”
Moreno's pieces are made after drawing inspiration from provided images and natural elements. She said she likes to mix fantasy with reality, as well as planets, flowers and colors in her work. She always asks her customers if it's OK before she adds in some of her own style and ideas.
In the future, Moreno said she plans to expand her business and sell work nationally. She also hopes to be able to make more money for her work, considering the amount of time put into each piece.
Moreno said business has been a little slower this semester due to the added responsibilities of classwork and a delay in commissions.
“Coming back to IU is a little hard just because I need to place time in my schedule to paint and draw,” Moreno said.
Moreno promotes her art in several ways, online and on the streets.
“I learned to wear my art, if that makes sense,” Moreno said. “I also give it to my friends so they promote for me, like a walking billboard.”
Isabelle Davis, a sophomore studying studio art at IU, has also been running an online art business since her junior year of high school.
“I've always drawn and like doodled in grade school,” Davis said." But I started to take it more seriously when I got into high school, and there were more art classes offered to me.”
Davis’s business is split between in-person orders from friends and family and online orders from her Instagram account. Davis also plays in a band, where she sells art with her band's merchandise in person.
Davis primarily sells paintings, which is her preferred medium, but she also sells drawings and design work. Davis said she feels more inspired when there’s a lot going on in her life.
"When I have things going on, art is what I can fall back onto and use as a relaxation method,” Davis said.
When creating art, Davis prefers to visualize her associations with the prompt she was given by a customer. She then works on preliminary sketches, adding and subtracting elements as she sees fit.
“Whenever I sit down and plan it never really comes out how I initially thought it would,” Davis said. “Through the process, you kind of get a feeling of what is wrong and what is right and you're putting it down on paper.”
As an artist, Davis said her goals were to create work that speaks to others and adds to the world, making it just a little more interesting. As for her art style, Davis describes it as ever changing. Like Moreno, Davis loves colors, but she describes her artwork as abstract. Sometimes, she goes into realism.
Davis uses her Instagram account @izartart to advertise and sell her work, and she plans to eventually set up a website. Davis is also a full- time student so she has to manage her time between classes and working on commissions.
“It's something to juggle,” Davis said. “But since I'm in art school, it kind of feels like I get to go to school, doing what I like to do. It's enjoyable for me.”