Wow, it’s hard to believe another year has come and gone. I had a very good 2018 and look forward to an even bigger 2019. The rain/sleet/snow we are having today has given me the opportunity to stay warm and cozy, while listening to the rain pitter patter on the window. This is allowing me to start preparing for the upcoming year. Without the usual distractions, I can plan my dates for commissions, inventory control and Art Festivals.
About half my time is spent on commission work and the other half is related to the Art Festivals. My typical year is as follows:
January thru March is set aside to replace inventory and create new works in preparation for Art Festivals.
April and May is attending various Art Festivals.
June is Me time, spent with family and friends.
July and August are spent replenishing my inventory of framed prints, pre-existing gifts and Christmas cards.
September thru December is my busy time. Most of my commission work is accomplished during this sprint to the end of year as customers are needing that perfect Christmas gift for a friend or loved one.
I always have fun planning my inventory. I try to have both large and small pieces, a little something for most budgets. I also like to create artwork in a different theme each year. I’ve done animals of the Southwest; college mascot animals and this year’s theme is Birds of Prey. I plan to create eagles, hawks and owls in the coming months. Do you think my blue and gold macaw counts as a bird of prey?
Showing in the Art Festivals takes prior planning, as well as taking a risk. Many festivals require their applications and fees to be submitted anywhere from a few weeks to many months in advance. Each application is unique and must be followed exactly in order to be considered. The requirements usually require that you include the subject, medium and a photo of your display. Most festivals have requirements of a certain colors, sizes and quality of tents (outdoor shows) or display panels (inside shows). Then the wait…all for the opportunity to invest the already tight funds in the chance to show your work to the public. It isn’t over until you actually make it to the show. Illness, car breakdown or unexpected emergencies can arise, which means the kids college fund is forfeited. It’s a gamble, but I enjoy the challenge, just the same!
Careful planning is key to success, whether as a small business or an accomplished artist. To think that all those business classes I took in college, that I thought I would never use again, are actually being put into use after all. Accounting, marketing and economics really do have a use in my business!
This is an awesome start to the New Year, watching the cold weather while staying cozy in my house (at least until the electricity goes out!) Looking forward to hearing from you this year!