Tips to Starting an Art business
"It does not matter how slowly you go,as long as you do not stop"
I've found that motivation is the single most important thing in my Art business and I believe ALL businesses especially in the beginning stages. But for me anyway, it didn't come easy...
I started creating Art in May of 2017. I didn't willingly TELL people about my Art (even my boyfriend) until a year later. I didn't create my website until a year and a half later. I didn't put in any effort to grow and promote my art until now: 2 years later. So I took the whole"going slowly" thing a little too literally...
Before I could even begin to be MOTIVATED with my Art business, a huge step I had to take was getting confident in what I was doing- which may be something you struggle naturally with too. You can not stay motivated unless you are also confident in what you're doing. If you're like me, the beginnings of your Art or any type of business looked a little like this:
This is stupid
This is a waste of time
No one likes it or gets it
My family/ friends only support me because they love me and feel bad
This is embarrassing
Is this really what I want to be known for?
Other artists are more talented with years of experience
...And the lovely list goes on :) I can tell you that it's been a really long time since I've had these thoughts and it's really nice to not have to worry about this crap.
There was a ton of little things that got me over this hump. A big part of my motivation came from books and podcasts. These mentors that create this content and put their word, advice, and support, out into the world for us to take, keep, and learn from, are a great place to start. I myself never realized how much FREE learning content is out there. In Business, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Sales, Personal Growth, etc. The more information I took in, the more my confidence grew, and the more my motivation grew. Why????
Because I realized now (today -date) is the best time to put 100% effort into something you love.
And I've realized this every day since I started developing this business. There really is no greater time then now. When you think of the free platforms you can promote on, the easy ways of connecting with the world, and the support and passion you can find in a community.
Along with this, the gratification of creating something awesome that someone else will love, was another huge drive of motivation I needed to keep creating. So I would advise that you take in every positive comment about your work and really celebrate it cause why not? Understand that success doesn't happen over night, but celebrate those little achievements as if they are your big break, even if it is just creating a painting for your mom that she loved. Mom’s are IMPORTANT TOO.
Something else that REALLY helped my motivation was designing a clean, comfortable, organized, space to create in. I went from painting on my bedroom floor (making a MESS), to my kitchen table (making a MESS), to the floor in my den (again, making a mess.)
And when I say MESS I mean splattered paint, stained tablecloth and carpet, cuts of paper all over the floor, messy paint water dripping here and there, REALLY JUST AN ART MURDER SCENE. Now why would I want to keep creating if every time I created this was my outcome? a friggen mess.
That's when I finally decided to set up a table in my den (which is basically a small corner). I set up a bucket for my paints. A few months later, I added in some shelving. I organized all my materials from paint to brushes, glue, paint spray, glue guns, ribbon, glitter and more. I began organizing my Vinyl Records which in my case are my canvases! I organized them in a way I could easily flip through them. Final details: I added some pictures of paintings from one of my favorite art magazines Flow: yet another source of motivation:) and a ton of fairy lights. Before I knew it, I was in a beautiful, comfy, happy place I could create art in and not make the biggest mess ever and be happy with my outcomes!!!
It helped my motivation because with creation didn't come mess and chaos anymore, it became more organization, focus and productivity.
Not pictured here to the left is my white board and my Apple Computer Desktop and printer. Having the computer right there in my space is so helpful. When I have ideas I can go to print right there. When I need to look up order details, emails, or work on some marketing I can do it in between letting my art work dry or what not.
As for the whiteboard- yes I was that kid that ran up in class to write answers on the white board simply because I thought it was fun. Now I have one in my art space for multiple reasons:
I can track all my orders in this physical format- always there to be referred to. Although I have all the information online, I use my phone for SO many other things so it's nice to have the information right in front of me, instead of opening tabs, closing apps, and finding pictures while my phone is dying or while I'm trying to use it for something else like messaging customers.
I can brainstorm my design ideas on the board as well. Here they can easily be edited or erased. I didn't realize I would be using the white board for this. I originally got it just to track orders, but now that I have it, it's helped SO MUCH. Even if it is just scribbles on a board, it is so important to get your ideas out of your brain and onto a physical platform so u don't go crazaaaaaay
Finally I have learned that a lot of times when it comes to motivation, you just have to force it. Something such as signing up for an art show forces me to get creating. Having that deadline makes me want to get things done early and as fast as I can. So even though we may no longer be in class we can still have deadlines!
And along with deadlines, of course comes setting goals to stay motivated. You can get a good idea of how I did this for the first half of the year in my blog:
But setting goals on a yearly basis is much different from setting daily, weekly, or monthly goals which I would recommend also doing. I've created my own accrynom for defining my Art goals because I thought it might be funnnnn. And that is very straight forward: ART. That stand for Achievable, Relevant and Time-Sensitive.
Ambition: being ambitious with my goals is so important to me. Will I be determined and passionate to finish this goal? If I have to be: make it happen. If it doesn't: don't make it a goal.
Relevant: This is in a hope to prioritize what needs to be done first. What is the most RELEVANT thing that has to be done today?
Time Sensitive: am I really able to do this by the end of the day, or should this be moved to my weekly, monthly, or yearly goals?
So this is a little way I like to think about things quickly, jot them down, define them, make shiz happen. Remember also that MUSIC IS MOTIVATION. Put on your favorite musica and get to work!!!