Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Art Sales in my Studio

While my Holiday Art Sale is December 1, 2019 and today is November 26, 2019, I already have my sales Wall up and ready for the official sales date. I don't like to wait until the last minute to set things up. Frankly, this is the first official Art Sale in my studio which is nearing its 6-month anniversary in December so I was not sure how long it would take me to get things ready for the sale. 

You can see from the photo that I decided to use a Salon-Style approach to hanging about 70 pieces of art on ONE 20' long wall of my studio. I like the informal platform for showing the diverse art avenues I take in making art. Notice the "blank" white wall to the right at the corner. I decided to leave that blank so studio visitors can take "selfie" photos with their purchased art pieces. Or, they can pull a few pieces they like over to the wall to photograph side by side and send off to Instagram or Facebook or whatever social media platform to get instant feedback on the BEST one for that friend to purchase. It is a conceptual work in progress and I think I might call the wall the Photo Shop Wall - PSW - at Eileen's Back Yard Art Studio. I may need to create an official banner for them to stand under. 

With the extra days I have until the Sales Event, I hope to get into our Back Yard Metal Arts Studio and kick out a few sculptures to put into the sale. I picked up some nice scrap metal from the curb in my neighborhood and at a Junk-to-Treasure type store for this purpose. I think there will be some fun things to do with those pieces. Come back next week to see what I cooked up and get a summary of the Sale.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Pull out that old Norman Rockwell painting of the Thanksgiving day turkey and feast your eye on my mother on the right side - a good looking, dark-haired teenager at age 16 sitting across from her father, my grandfather Charlie with the balding head of white hair. Always a tiny surprise when I see this painting posted by total strangers who of course love it, too, but for different holiday reasons. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The business side of art making

I am back to my blog after a prolonged absence. 
I held an Open Studio Event in my Back Yard Studio (photo above) for 6 hours October 5, 2019. Lots of people showed up (I invited them!) and some purchased art. Yay! This event taught me to get more serious about 'selling' my art. 

So...I've been spending a lot more time lately learning how to focus on the 'business' side of art making. I want to share what I've learned with you. 

Here's what my step-by-step process looked like:

First, I learned I needed to create an Inventory of all of the artwork I have made and everything I make in the future. I selected my most recent work completed in the last 2 years. Recommendations are to create a sequential numbering system for each painting. I choose 2000 as my starting value and wrote the ID# on the back of all finished pieces and Works in Progress (WIPs). I created a spreadsheet to help me track my art. It includes: a thumbnail photo of the finished work for each ID # with categories such as the year the work was completed, the dimensions and characteristics of the work, the sales price, the date of purchase with the name of the person/entity who bought it, and some notes. It was easy to set up and updates are easy when everything is tied to the unique ID#. I will use the ID# on my sales receipt to speed the inventory recording process.

Second, I learned from my tax accountant and a consultant at my local arts organization that, given my artist's goals, I should apply for a business license for an LLC. It was surprisingly easy after gathering information from my State's agency handling business regulations. I received my e-LLC license 2 days after I applied. If you don't know the benefits of an artist's LLC, check out this helpful web page to learn more. 

Third, I opened a bank account using proof of my LLC license and handing over cash to start the account with income from my Oct 5 Open Studio sales. It took a little time for all the paperwork; but, the process was easy with those two important pieces to get it started.

Fourth, I created a spreadsheet to monitor my income and expenses. My tax accountant gave me a sheet of allowable categories for the IRS and State tax forms. I am very talented using Excel spreadsheets; but, I started to see problems ahead when I looked a "potential annual income" against "real expenses." I am working on this issue now, will probably figure it out sooner or later, but, I doubt I'll ever post on this topic again on this blog. 

I hope this has been helpful to you.  Please comment on this posting if you have questions, suggestions or want to describe your own experience with setting up a licensed Artist's business.