I've been at this for almost a year. Now that I have painted many successful paintings and have had a chance to see profit vs expense. I have had to think very long and hard about do I really want to make this a business, or do I want to continue to work every night till midnight painting for fun - with little to no profit? Yes, it is fun, but the hobby can also be quite expensive. During this eight months I have learned so much. I have joined several groups for painters who make a living selling art. My skills have improved dramatically from painting every day, and I owe all that to my FB fan base. They have watched me grow and have encouraged me to pursue my dreams of actually painting full time. Recently, I have had the opportunity to take time and view other artists who do pet portraits too. I see that they too are very busy, and my quality of work is not any less than theirs, yet they are commanding much better prices. Why don't I get more? Because I didn't ask for it. I felt that since I was new, I had to develop my name as a reputable artist first. I think at almost 100 paintings sold with all satisfied customers and a fan base of over 3,000 my goals have been accomplished.
At this rate, there I would never be able to quit the day job and make any income off my art. After supplies and donations to rescues I have $300.00 in my bank account. Hmmm, pretty sure I can't live on $300.00 for 8 months work. Granted it was only part time. I would have create three paintings a day seven days a week to actually earn a living! Nope, that is not physically possible.
So, as my journey continues and my skills continue to increase - I have to start making my dream a reality, and make it more of a business. I can't give away free paintings to so many rescues, and to my fans to increase fan base. Yet, it is nice to give - this doesn't bring in more sales. This has been proven time and time again. Yes, I always blessed with more fans and more skills, but not more sales.
Sometimes your work can be priced so low that people don't see the value. After much thought, I have
decided to keep working toward making my painting a full time job, and I know this could take a few years. But, in order to accomplish this, I have to work toward prices that are more reflective of the time and skill and love I'm putting in these works. So, In January - my prices will go up, not dramatically - but up to a point where I am not devaluing my efforts and expense.
And yes I am recording income for taxes : )
I have decided to register a business name and get a license in January, then if I want to do some local art shows I'll be able to.