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That's a two part question, so there's a two part answer.

1.  How to get L$?  Buy them on the LindeX.  That's by far the easiest way to get L$, and the most economical.  No matter how good you are as a creator, you can earn more in RL than you can in SL in the same amount of time.  In fact, you can probably earn more making hamburgers at McDonald's.  The only really good reason for making stuff in SL is because you love making stuff.  Money is cool, and it validates your worthiness, but creators create because it's what we do.

2.  The life of a creator in SL is challenging.  There's a lot of competition from really good artists (3D modelers, scripters, animators, designers, ....) and there's a depressing amount of low-quality stuff that it's hard to climb out of.  The challenge is to get visibility.  If you are good, your work will speak for itself and will attract attention, so start looking for ways to display your work where people will see it.  Join groups, volunteer to decorate places, look for shops and galleries that are willing to display artwork, or open your own shop.  Open a Marketplace store (it's free) and do everything you can to get word of mouth referrals to attract customers.  None of this is any easier than it is in RL.  If you are an artist, you already know how hard that is.  And how rewarding, once you make it. 

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I create paintings in SL and try to sell them, I would recommend you get out and meet people, just send people random IMs. Yes a lot of people are going to be asking "what do you want" and "why are you talking to me?" but from this you will make some friendships, and the more friends who know about your art the better. I estimate that at least 90% of everything I have sold I sold to people on my friends list. There are art groups and art district sims where you can get an idea of what is out there in the SL art world. You should check those out. 

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