I see Facebook posts showing that a new painting has sold.
I see multiple artists posting that their 2011 calendars have arrived and are ready to be shipped! (And we're not talking they ordered 10 or so calendars 'in case' anyone happens to order one- we're talking boxes and boxes of them, hundreds! Anticipating that many to be sold... Wow!)
I see another friend who is celebrating her 100th Etsy sale.
And yet another who is celebrating her 600th!
I always think it's super cool to see success like this because a lot of these artists I've been a fan of since they were just starting out. Maybe they had a few sales on Etsy, or maybe they've blogged about an art show that they've gotten into. And suddenly they're on their way to doing this full time! Plus it gives hope to the art community as a whole- that the economy isn't dead, that you *can* make a living doing what you love (and not workin' for the man!) :)
And then I find myself going... wait... when did all this happen? What did I miss? How'd they go from the occasional Etsy sale to suddenly being.... not necessarily famous, but definitely sought after?
What am I doing wrong that I'm still in about the same place I was two years ago?
It occurs to me that trying to spread myself out over my regular job, dog walking, fixing dinner (yes I used to make a home cooked meal almost every night!), and triathlon training sent art to the back burner quickly. By the time I had time for it at night, I was too exhausted from everything else. It was easy to almost ignore it for a while- I had the mindset of, "Hey, the bills have to get paid.... the dog needs to be walked... I need to stay healthy... Logically it's the easiest thing to give up." But of course I can't turn a hobby into a job if I don't pay any attention to it.
Now throw in packing for a move in HOPEFULLY a week and a half and I've not only got no time to do the art, but not a great space to do it in either. Not that I ever had that here. I'm hoping that in the new house, where I will have a dedicated space just for art related stuff, I'll be able to spend more time on it and get more done and more efficiently since I plan to create a super organized beautimous new studio! :)
Once I get all that going, I just have to figure out how to promote myself. That's where I feel like I missed the boat- all the other artists I've been following took the last couple years to refine their craft AND learn how to run a business.
This year all I've learned is... how to swim! ;)
...Not a bad skill to have nevertheless.
So what do you do to promote yourself? What have you done to learn more about how to promote and run your hobby as a business?
Guess I better get back to