Friday, August 20, 2010

from Hobby to Pro? Mental debate

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.


  1. Hi Pam, I believe you are a very talented artist and believe you can create a viable living from your art work. We are only worth what we believe we are worth. Not what we think we should be worth but what we truly believe we are worth. So if you attract clients with your new pricing structure than you know that you truly believe your work is worth the prices you have set. If however, you set new prices and don't attract new clients then you are telling yourself that you think your work should be worth that amount but you don't truly believe it yet. Then you need to do some more soul searching to see what's holding you back from creating exactly what you want. Thanks for sharing and have a greyt weekend, Terri

  2. I think it's a great idea that you're increasing your prices! I think they're way to low for the quality of work you create. That said, maybe you did it right by keeping them low at the beginning and that's why you have such a fan base! (I'd be happy if I could get more than 200 fans!) Your work is great and I too have noticed that it just keeps getting better and better!

    I admire those who are able to make a career from their art. I'm not there yet and I'm not sure I'll ever be there. I'm just not motivated enough to do it all of the time. I wish I was because I think it would be a great way to make a living! I wish you luck in making this a career!


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