I had always had a love for creating art but never did I ever think of selling my artwork! I admit late last year, I didn't even know what an art print was... well, I knew you could buy prints, but I never thought my own artwork could be turned into prints! It was only until my partner had mentioned the idea to me that the little light bulb in my head went off and I got so inspired to get creating! It was so exciting because I could now create artwork for other people rather than just my own walls!
This excitement soon turned into fear. I was recreating my instagram art account and setting myself up as a small business and I had no idea what I was doing...
Do I sell on etsy? Do I need a website?
How do I set up an ABN? What are the responsibilities of being a registered business?
How often do I post?
Should I sell at markets?
How can I advertise my work without being 'pushy'?
What if no one likes my work?
There was so much to consider, so much to plan, I was worried about judgement and putting myself out there to millions of strangers. To start with, the growth was small, I didn't sell much and I honestly felt like such a failure! I was kind of naive to think I would set up a business and sales would come to me (I still don't make many sales online, I am still yet to learn how).
One thing that made starting a business scary was all of the pressure I put on myself. I had all of these amazing ideas but I just felt overwhelmed and I still hadn't found myself. It wasn't until a uni friend had commissioned me to draw this lovely picture of him and his dog. Then another commission came, and another and I started to build a bit of a portfolio which I had been trying to build for some time. I found this second love and passion for creating custom pieces for others and knowing that they have a special piece of art that I made with lots of love really warmed my heart. This was so exciting for me and I couldn't wait to keep going and see what the future held for me.
I started working on the Spirit collection, selling at markets, popping up in banks, cafes and shops! I felt so proud as I had achieved so much in a matter of months when I had no idea what I was doing just a short time ago.
It was't long until I encountered some trouble with another artist. I must say that the artist and small business community is beautiful, the majority of creators are supportive, welcome you with hugs and want to see you blossom as a small business owner. But you do come across some who fear you as their competition and this is really upsetting for those who experience this. It wasn't until this happened that I found who my true supporters were and I started to really stand behind my work and not let anyone try and devalue my work.
After this little hurdle, I decided to carry on stronger and better than before! I would combat these little hiccups head on and stay true to myself and my work no matter what!
If you are fearing starting your small business, that's okay! We have all been there, but the longer you wait, the longer it will be before you pursue your dreams of being an artist/small business owner. Do your research, stay true to yourself and FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!