Even though I once considered myself a painter (way back in high school), it had been more than a decade since I had last taken brush to canvas.
As such, I’m feeling like a beginner. Not necessarily in the sense of my painting skills. (I have noooo idea how I would classify those.) But as someone who is in the beginning stages of a creative business.
When I started painting again, it was simply something for me. A hobby that, thanks to the way I structured my business, I could devote a fair amount of time to. But then a few things started to happen. First, the paintings started to accumulate. Second, friends, family, and a few others started asking me the question that drives many people from hobby to creative business, “Are you going to sell those?” And third, I started to harbor secret fantasies about my second career as a painter. (While still running my jewelry biz, of course.)
Suddenly, I’m faced with the questions and fears I know some of you carry around with you.
How long should I wait before I start selling my art?
Is my work even good enough to sell?
If I do decide to sell, how do I price in a way that reflects the fact that I still feel like a beginner, without undermining those trying to make a living with their paintings? (Ok, that pricing question might be something only I obsess about. But it’s a question I hope you’ll ask yourself in the future.)
And then, there’s the questions that come up because I’m already running a creative business.
How much time can and should I devote to this new creative activity?
Is it ok to devote so much time to painting when I should be working on my “real” business?
And if I do decide to sell my paintings, how do I merge my new work with my existing brand?
Most of us who make things started doing so because we love it. But at some point (especially thanks to the rise of easy e-commerce solutions) that love leads to an inevitable question – “Are you going to sell that?”
But how do you know if it’s the right time to start selling your art or craft?
Since I know many people struggle with this question, and since I’m feeling that tension myself, I came up with a few simple guidelines.
I’ll be following these as I navigate the murky waters of moving my paintings from something for me to something more, and I hope you’ll find the useful as well. Watch the video below to see my five guidelines for starting to sell your art:
The Five Guidelines
1. Don’t rush. (Give yourself time to develop you skill and voice.)
2. Share before you sell.
3. Love your work first.
4. Price with respect. (Regardless of your goals.)
5. Adopt a free or full price strategy.