How To Run A Successful Painting Business – I’m Sarah, an artist from Plano Texas and living my longtime dream of becoming an artist. I’m home from mom; My eldest Eliza is 17 months old and youngest Skyla is 4 months old. My husband is also an entrepreneur, so our schedule is very flexible and our kids grow up according to our passions.
I started InnerGlow Art about 3 years ago. I specialize in custom details for people’s homes. While most artists avoid the commissioned portrait route, I go to people’s homes and paint a meaningful portrait for them. I’m really glad.
How To Run A Successful Painting Business
I think it sets me apart from other artists. I incorporate my eclectic style with color combinations to match the decor of one’s home with the right size for their space. I work with him for a few weeks to create a painting that is truly unique to him. There is a relationship between power.
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What I am most proud of is how my art allows for a relationship with the client. To me, it is more meaningful to get to know artists and their process than to buy art at a retail store or gallery.
Growing up I had this unique passion for art and all things creative, I was the art girl in all my art classes in high school and even took a few art classes in college.
When strangers were looking at my art and asking if I had a website, business card, etc., it really inspired me to start a business.
I never thought I could have a really “successful career” with the arts so I majored in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology. After graduation I worked as Assistant SLP for 2 years and worked for a Pediatric health company. I enjoyed working with special needs children with language difficulties and felt that this was my calling, however, after applying to grad school and receiving rejection letters for grad programs, I was completely was overwhelmed. I felt like a huge failure and was very disappointed. In response, I started painting again
How To Start A Successful Painting Business
In the meantime, drawing helped turn my emotions into a positive channel and gave me time to think, pray, and talk to God. It first started out as a hobby, and within a few months of posting pictures of what I’d made on FB, friends and family encouraged me to sell my art. Then opportunities opened up for me to share art with others – donating my art to nonprofits and charities, raising money for friends visiting Ethiopia, and applying to art shows.
When strangers were looking at my art and asking if I had a website, business card, etc., it inspired me to start InnerGlow Art. Not only was I growing closer to the biased views of family and friends, but it seemed that people outside my circle were drawn to my art as well. It gave me the confidence to start an art business. Working for a home health job (where I schedule my client appointments) gave me the flexibility to start my own hustle.
In the beginning, I knew that if I wanted to start an art business, I didn’t want to just make pretty pictures for people’s homes—I wanted to paint with a purpose. I decided that for every painting I sold, a portion would be donated to my parents’ non-profit Compassion for the Philippines. They provide basic necessities and food for the poor in third world parts of the Philippines.
With experience and fundamentals, I learned about art in school and applied my skills and techniques to design and art. Creatives aren’t usually business savvy, so I immediately looked for a business mentor to teach me. My husband was also a business major and specializes in super business and was very helpful
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When custom orders started coming in, it was difficult to combine my home health speaking job and my growing art business. By the end of my first year with the arts part-time, I decided to quit my SLPA job and pursue the arts full-time. Thanks to my wonderful hobby and his six-figure sales job at the time, his salary alone could support both of us. It allowed me to give my all and pursue my dreams with art.
I started painting on the large gallery-wrapped canvases sold at my local art store and bought basic acrylic paint.
I first picked up a palette knife and texture sponge and started exploring and playing with these new tools I’d never used before. I was also drawn to the gold and gold leaf element and incorporated it into most of my paintings to add texture and dimension.
At first, it was hard for me to offer my art for sale because I loved the pictures so much that I wanted to keep them for myself and I was proud of what I made! My mother encouraged me to keep things open and to “share it with the world.” ‘If I can just make one person smile, encourage one person through my picture, I feel their presence and I have gratitude in my heart.
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After creating beautiful art on canvas, I realized that my art could be printed on things like leggings/magazines, I could paint on things like glass tile coasters and jewelry. I like to switch things up and give fun artistic gifts that can be more affordable than a big piece of art.
Creating a website was not easy for me and I had little experience in building it
A friend recommended Wix, so I registered with them hoping to make my own. It was a difficult task which took a lot of my time. I connected with an old school acquaintance who was a freelance web designer and he helped me out for free. offered
The website displayed a gallery of my art, with a contact form for people to request commissioned paintings, but you could not purchase my art directly from my website. My best friend was a photographer who took some great pictures of me and my art, he’s also a graphic designer who made my first logo design for free. Along with custom painting and invoicing, I keep track of paper receipts by hand. It was too difficult to manage on my own so I finally hired a bookkeeper who now manages my invoices, monthly reports, taxes etc.
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Last year, I invested in a professional web designer/brander to help me build a new website, a design refresh that really reflected my brand and my target market. I currently have an e-commerce website
The main expenses are art stuff and my time is precious. Canvas and paint are not cheap. I learned to use Instagram for the first time and realized I was late learning the game of growing followers, hashtags and other Instagram stuff.
Initially, I used it as a public photo album of my art, but learned that selling it could be an adventure. I started posting personal experiences, got a glimpse of my studio process and learned about hashtags. Before I knew it, my Instagram followers were gone. I was able to sell my art directly from Instagram. Through the posts, through my stories, people were asking if my paintings were for sale before they were listed for sale. , it was amazing
I think word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool. Over the past two years, my business and brand have gained a reputation.
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I always like to ask my customers, “How did you hear about me?” My top reactions are via Instagram and a friend. Lately, I’ve been learning how to use subscribers to my website (as a new tool I’ve never used before) and staying updated with my business through newsletters. nurtured them.
I also plan to learn more about FB advertising, which I haven’t, but have heard great things about. Constantly posting on my Instagram and keeping up with my engagements has helped me buy my art.
I like to present new artwork at art shows and craft fairs based on the holidays. For example, at Christmas, I’ll paint ornaments. Existing customers will return the favor by purchasing this item.
To this day, InnerGlow Art is profitable, and while live art shows and art festivals have helped a lot, we haven’t committed to doing many shows this year since our second child. In total, as of January 2017, we had approximately $113k in gross sales and $46k in expenses. We try to be between 70%-90% on gross margin
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Expenses include expenses
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