art as business

so even while i feel like i have taken a pause from creating art specifically to sell – which is what i’ve done most of my life with the things i’ve made – in favor of education, experimentation and exploration, i need to be thinking about refocusing my art business and ways to use my lifetime of creative output and maybe my writing skills to earn some passive or low-effort income. my art biz hasn’t really made much money in the last few years and since i do claim it as a business on my taxes (because of the years when i was more successful and made more money), i need to show some profit or i’m at risk of them considering it a hobby, in which case i lose the ability to write off expenses. so diversifying income streams needs to be a focus once again. i used to be much better about this, with all my various designs on print on demand websites offering so many different products. but i haven’t updated any of them in quite a while and a lot of my listings are out of date or broken. i’m gonna make some effort to update these sites and maybe consolidate in one place if possible. stay tuned.

i’m also rethinking how i use this website. i’ve always just thought of it as a vanity site, a space to talk about my art and my thoughts about my creativity. but maybe i could make it more useful, discussing process and tools and more of the nuts and bolts about what i do and how, even as i am still exploring and experimenting. and in so doing, perhaps it would make it more appealing to more readers. (currently hardly anyone reads this blog outside of my friend circle but i’d like to work on getting a bit more of a readership, which also means i need to step up my social media game as pertains to my art posts, to drive folks here.) even if no one else reads it, doing this will make it much more interesting for me to write and will perhaps help me be more organized and think of my art practice as a business.

as part of this, i am thinking about ways to monetize. i hate that word. and i hate that capitalism is necessary but i gotta feed myself and my cat and pay the rent somehow. plus art supplies ain’t cheap! so i have to think outside of the box, beyond just selling my actual creations, to other ways i can make money as an artist and a writer about art.

so i’ve decided to give amazon affiliates another go. (yes, i hate amazon and i don’t even subscribe to prime but i also still use it occasionally and i know most people do too.) i signed up for amazon affiliates once before, back in 2016 when i started my patreon thinking i’d be writing a lot about stuff i could link to, but in the end, i really didn’t. so my account was inactive and eventually deactivated. i just signed up for it again and thought, well maybe i can start doing a series of shorter blog posts about the tools of the trade – paint, brushes, canvases, and other tools – that i use in my painting practice, most of which can be found on amazon of course. i’ve had a lot of trial and error over the years and i have learned a thing or two. maybe some of that info would be helpful to others, and hey, if they buy something using the links to those things on amazon, i’ll get a tiny kickback. but even if they don’t, maybe it will cause folks to want to read my art blog more and help me shape a direction i want this blog to go in beyond just being a vanity site.

whatcha think? i’m also thinking about doing some posts about art podcasts i’m listening to, art books i’m reading/have read, maybe a run down of all the online art teachers i’ve been taking classes from. if nothing else all this will better explain where i am in my head about my art and art in general. again, maybe all this is only interesting to my friends and extended social circle who have supported my artwork over the years, but i feel like i have to give it a go.

i have my thinking cap on about all this. but i wanted to preface whatever i end up doing by being transparent about the fact that most product links in future posts will be affiliate links so if you happen upon my blog posts and are interested in whatever i’m writing about and you want to support me, use my links to make your orders! thanks y’all.

oh, and also, there’s a shiny new paypal “donate” button up at the top of the sidebar menu. i keep going back and forth about whether to do patreon again, but in the meantime, if anyone feels moved at any time to donate to my ongoing art supply and/or education fund, it’s always appreciated. or if you feel like you’re getting anything out of reading whatever i’m writing, $ tips are always nice. 😍

(/shameless plug)