Art Sale: After

I won’t keep you in suspense (because I’m sure you’ve been biting your nails about this for days)…

My very first art sale was officially a success.  Woohoo!!!  I was so nervous the day before.  My table neighbor at the sale said that her first art sale was like putting her underwear out for everyone to judge, and I kind of agree.

shop

In my online shop, people can look at my work and decide what they think in a far away land totally apart from me.  But at the art sale, I was sitting one small table width away from all of my judges.  Fortunately, they were polite if they didn’t love my stuff and kind if they did.  It was such a relief.

Amid the mass of polite folks, there was even a troop of very adorable Girl Scouts who asked me all about my work and took a huge chunk of my business cards.  It took a while to explain how I’m inspired to paint and help each girl get the color of business card that she most loved.  That was one of my favorite moments of the sale hands down.

So art sale complete, I immediately got on a plane (well, not immediately, but at 5 AM the next day) to Colorado to visit my parents and do a bit of work for them.  It’s a pretty great story, and I’ll be working through that project for weeks to come, so I’m sure you’ll hear about it soon.

In the aftermath of the sale, I’ll admit that my online shop stats are a bit disappointing.  Hundreds of people took a gander at my stuff in one day in person, and that energy rush was pretty great.  Now I just have to figure out how to get similar views in my little corner of the online world.  (But before I find success like that, I need to have the print shop replenish my stock a bit… one step at a time.)

P.S.  The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (art sale location extraordinaire) is staffed by wonderful people, and I highly recommend it as a spot to visit if you’re in the area and haven’t been there lately.

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The Unfun Side of Starting a Business

I’m still a long way from “opening up shop,” so to speak.  I’m painting and finding out about printers in the area who might be a good fit for my painting reproduction needs.  The painting is fun, and I generally feel like I’m making progress on the printing situation.  The technology makes sense, and I understand why certain papers and printing techniques are more expensive and thus more valuable.  I get that.

The problems do start with the printing though.  Even though it makes sense to me on a general level, all of that printer stuff means tons of cost/benefit analysis.  Do I need my paintings to be able to stand up to UV rays and fluorescent lighting for 200 years?  Or can I go with the less expensive but still nice options that will stand up to the test of time for about, oh, 50 years?  Will people value a reasonable price over archival quality?  What in the world am I doing?!

But today (with those questions and more swimming around in the background), I worked on conquering a bunch of things that I didn’t even see on the horizon until very recently.  I got an Employer Identification Number from the IRS (even though it’s borderline unnecessary for my exact situation, there are potential perks to having an EIN).  I registered my business with a start date of next month with the Virginia tax folks.  I found out the state and local tax rates and set up my online shop to accommodate those taxes.  I signed up for an account that gathers my sales numbers from Etsy to help me report monthly taxes in the future.

I had a mini panic attack while doing all of those things.  I recovered a bit when I submitted information to the right folks.  I sighed loudly.  Peanut sighed sympathetically (also loudly).

So that’s where things stand.  I’m so glad to have the first steps of the business side of things behind me.  I also feel like I need a drink, but it’s noon-ish, so I’ll have some coffee instead.