2024 has a good ring to it, don't you think?
Last year was a year of experimenting and learning and it seemed as it nothing really moved forward. My costs went up - I bought a van, started doing some outdoor exhibitions selling work and I continued to add to my range of Formula 1 art building on the work I'd previously done. The year didn't go smoothly or break any sales records. Having said that, it did provide a lot of lessons which should make the current year one to build from.
Getting a van let me at last start buying and transporting materials larger than which led to me finally acquiring and learning how to use power tools. This year I'm going to teach myself how to frame my own artwork which will be crucial for finishing each piece professionally and getting in galleries. Any artist knows how expensive outsourcing jobs like this is and how quickly costs add up, especially if they also have to pay extra for delivery because their vehicle isn't suitable.
Gaining more skills through trial and error allows a business to expand. This month I've begun the process of painting out my garage in preparation to use it as an extension of my art studio and to do some of the messier jobs required from time to time. Having a separate space close to home means less time will be wasted keeping the house tidy and more experimental, messier work can be undertaken which should get better, more interesting results.
A year of stagnant sales led me to find alternative ways to market my work. Learning more 3D modelling skills on software I could try for free let me learn how to create animated footage for use on my Etsy store, equating to a greater conversion rate from customers. To put things into perspective, Etsy are currently seeing less traffic than previous years while having a more saturated market, and so far in January 2024 I can see that despite visits to my store being 13% down on January last year, my revenue is 50% up.
Finally, with the help of my Dad, I also put together a pricing formula spreadsheet on Excel so that I could easily price up and add framed options of each of my prints new for 2024! This stemmed partly from one review I had from a customer who was unaware my prints didn't come with frames. Now there is no confusion as I offer a framed option and having this also added to my January sales.
All in all I'm excited for this year. I heard somewhere that the problem with being optimistic is you think things will work out great so you don't need to try and the problem with being pessimistic is that you believe nothing will work out so there's no point in trying. Often, just doing the things you need to do means you don't need to be either.
Please write to me at email@example.com and let me know what you're taking into this year!