Get a job that pays your bills (it’s much easier to create when you’re not hungry). Spend the bulk of your spare time working on your craft. If you want to be a printmaker, do that. Start with work on paper, because that requires the least amount of up-front capital, and because art prints have a wider appeal to the market you’re probably trying to target than t-shirts will (plus, you can sell a print or a t-shirt for $25, but the print is cheaper to produce). Create projects for yourself to improve your skills (do multi-color prints, experiment with layers and texture, etc.). Create a small collection – 3-4 prints is fine – and pitch them to a couple of design blogs. Use social media. If you’re not yet on Instagram, join and take photos of your process and your work. Blog. The fact is, you are going to have to hustle and get your work out there. Never assume that anyone is going to come to you just because you’ve created something.
If there are craft and design groups in your area that you can join, join them. Sell your work in a local art or craft fair. You’ll meet buyers and other artists there. Get inexpensive business cards made and talk to people who are trying to get started, too. Talk to people who are more established. One of the best things I did for my creative career was to join a group of women who were in the same boat. Network in person. Very few people will respond to initial email inquiries unless you’ve met them briefly, or have had some interaction with them via social media.
So, my four suggestions are to: create and practice a lot, get your work out there, network, and be gracious. And yes, this takes a lot of time. It’s not magic, it’s not rocket science, but it certainly is work. If you can manage to make it happen, it’s some of the best work you’ll ever do.