The first thing on the Art-Biz task list for today was to get some good photos of the Raven. I took it outside for some photos in natural light. Here’s the final ‘done’ image. I’ll use this photo for all of the marketing images, and for the print images. So the next step is to take it to Photoshop and resize and format for all of the various ways I’ll need to use the photo. The painting itself still needs to finish drying completely so I can varnish it, then I’ll frame it. Detour for a Thirsty Raven goes to the brewery to hang in a show for the month of July.
What do you like about this painting? I love the old-world colors. And I like the way the raven has had to get creative in order to get a sip. There were no photo references of a raven making these contortions, so I had to improvise with leg and foot placement. The tilt of his head was not available in a photo anywhere, either, so that was a struggle to get right. I like that all of those elements seem to have worked. And, obviously, he had to press the tap before the flow began. What a crafty, sneaky thief.
Natural light makes all the difference in getting a good image, but it needs to be done when the sunlight isn’t real bright and mornings are good for that if I get to it before the sun gets too high over the hill.
Detour for the Artist
While I could probably just paint and work on my art-biz task list all day every day, there are other things to do besides that. Admittedly, housework does seem to fall to the bottom of my task list except for the everyday things we absolutely need… like food and clothes, haha. But aside from that, I have a little American ginseng business and this is potting season for all of the seedlings that are coming up right now.
So, after getting the photo session for the Raven done, I checked on the ginseng garden. It’s a good thing I did, because I found that the cows had been in there. They knocked a bunch of things off of my potting table onto the ground, so I did a bit of cleanup. Then I noticed they’d knocked a bunch of the pots out of the retaining bed they were in, and dumped a few. So cleanup and repotting there.
I’m waiting on a delivery of earthworm castings to mix in with the coconut coir I use for potting blend. So I couldn’t do any transplanting and potting today. Hopefully that will be on the task list for tomorrow, though, because I want to be able to get busy selling those little guys.
Shipping Orders – A FUN Art-Biz task list item
This is my favorite part of art-biz work that isn’t actually painting. Selling artwork! An original sold last week and the buyer needed me to wait until Monday to ship it. So I did that this morning. Then over the weekend, I had an order for a print come through my online store. So that one got packaged and sent out this morning, too.
Then after I put those packages in the mail to be picked up, once the mail was delivered I found that my Raven canvas shopping bags had been delivered. So those needed to be repackaged and sent out. The mail won’t pass again today, obviously, but at least now those packages are in the package box waiting to be picked up tomorrow.
Listing Shop Items
Once I have a product ready to sell, then there is the work of listing that item on my shop website. Unfortunately, this is pretty time-consuming and it’s not on my favorite to-do list. But it has to be done if I intend to ever sell anything. So, I made product listings for some Soul of the Ozark paint sets, and for prints for the Raven painting, and the On Down the Road painting. The On Down the Road painting is the original that sold last week. Before I packed it up to ship, I made a good image of it so I can make prints.
Part of the listing process, and the most time-consuming part, is generating SKU’s and UPC codes so my Square inventory and shop and studio inventory all agree with each other. I often do this long after creating the listing for the product, because I can still sell the items without those codes. But if I want Google to pick up my listings and show them on search results, it needs the codes.
Since I made some sales, the business could afford for me to order some supplies I need. The most critical at the moment is paper for the art printer. So I placed an order for a 40′ roll of archival paper for my prints.
That’s the only supply I could order today, but it was an important one, so all is good. There are bills coming due over the next few months related to keeping this website and the shop, so the rest of last week’s sale is going towards that.
An Art Biz Task List helps to keep a healthy Art Biz
If I didn’t keep a task list and records, it would be hard to know how to set priorities when it comes to spending any money the business makes. I have a developed a really good excel spreadsheet for keeping expenses and income records, and it has been a life-saver for the financial part of running this art business. It especially comes in handy at the end of the year when it’s time to file taxes, and even more so for filing quarterly sales taxes with the state. Because it’s been so vital to me, I turned it into a product, too. It’s a downloadable file and inexpensive. So if you’d like to try it out for your record-keeping, you’ll find it below. The entire thing can be customized to suit your needs, but it works like this for me.
Madison Woods is a self-taught artist who moved to the Ozarks from south Louisiana in 2005. In 2018 she began experimenting with watercolor painting, using her local pigments. She calls them Paleo Paints. In 2023 she began her journey into the world of oil painting with those same pigments. Her paintings of the Ozark-inspired scenes feature exclusively the lightfast pigments foraged from Madison county, Arkansas. Her inspiration is nature – the beauty, and the inherent cycle of life and death, destruction and regeneration. Wild Ozark is also the only licensed ginseng nursery in Arkansas. Here’s the link for more information on the nursery end of life out here.
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