So I’m an artist who wants to actually make a living with her art. I worked retail for years, I don’t want to go back, I have nightmares about dealing with customers who continued to shout even after being treated with kindness, respect, and reasonableness. And I like to work. I like having some sort of paycheck.
So one of my very first thoughts, when I started this whole thing back in January, was to set up an online store. This distressed Himself greatly; he creates just for the sake of creating, recompense is a nice side benefit but it’s not the thing. And it’s not the thing either, for me, but it’s right alongside. It’s how I’m wired, apparently. I remember being a teenager and wondering how I could turn my hobbies into a business. It just seems to be the best of both worlds: you get to create, and you get to make a living off of it.
Now, I’m far from making a living at this point. I recognize that my artistic skills need to continue to improve, my marketing skills, etc. But I’m trying to make baby steps. And so I’ve set up various online selling platforms. I’ve got Etsy, Fine Art America, “The Store” is back up (I’m trying Shopify), I’ve got Spreesy for selling directly on Instagram, and there’s still a Zazzle account out there. I submitted art work to a juried show, and if it gets accepted then I have a good shot at being able to rent booths at the various art and crafts shows in the area this upcoming year (I live near Santa Fe now so there are oodles of such events).
So, you know, just a few things. No biggie (I say while feeling overwhelmed by all of the options). In 3-5 years I hope to actually turn a profit (once I’ve acquired the stuff necessary to set up a proper booth, a printer that can print my own greeting cards and inkjet prints, bulk quantities of matting and backing for the nicer prints …). In ten I’d like to have improved enough that my original artwork sells at the price I set it at, and hopefully have stuff in galleries.. Also in ten I’d like to have gotten a degree in graphic design but that’s another post entirely …
I’m actually thinking that I’ll reduce the number of venues I have open. Neither Fine Art America or Zazzle have earned me anything (although I do love the stuff on Zazzle and have ordered a few things for myself), and I don’t really have the time right now to keep them looking up-to-date and spiffy. Then again, why not leave them there? Who knows? Also, I don’t like spamming my followers with listings. I try to keep any spamming confined to etsy things (and now spreesy on Instagram), but even with those I try to space them out, post real stuff in between (because I don’t like following people who only post listings; I want to hear your thoughts and see your process).
Gaaaaah. It’s like running a business but also building up your own personality. (I did say spastic in the title) I kinda wish I had more of a personality;)
And I don’t know how to end this spastic-thought-spilling-thing I’ve penned, so I’ll just leave you with this thought: Art on!