Planning to Start A Home-based Art Business, What To Consider

Ikat By Anita Hummel, Anita Louise Art

So you have decided you want to work from home? Or maybe you want to be your own boss and sell your art for your full-time or part-time income? One of the most logical places to start this is from your home.

If you are considering starting a home-based art business you should first try to understand what your goals are in starting your business. You need to also be sure that you have a place in your home where you can operate your business from. But, all of this will not matter if you are not producing high-quality artwork. Once you have decided these things, then you can start to make a carefully laid out plan.

Here are some things for you to consider and look at before you actually start your home-based art business.

Know Why You Are Starting The Business

This may seem like a very simple and basic thing, but first, you need to understand why you are starting the business. And when you understand why you are starting the business, then you need to also understand your goal in having the business in the first place.

Here are some very basic but important questions you must ask yourself.

Do you want this to be your full-time income?

This is a major question that you must ask yourself. Earning a full-time income from your art is not easy. There are a lot of people who have tried and also failed in the process. Many great artists throughout the ages almost starved to death or died in poverty while trying to earn an income from their art.

Running an art business is the same as running almost any other business.

Yes,  you will need to paint, but paint and produce a lot of great quality art that people will want to buy.  You must also have the ability to be able to promote yourself and your artwork, while at the same time mastering skills that any small business owner must master like accounting, inventory management, shipping, and other supply chain issues.  

This is perhaps one of the hardest things for most artists to understand.  Running your own art business is not only about the art, but is also about the business side of the art.

This is because the success of your home-based art business can also be as much about things like how you promote yourself, how you price and supply your artwork, and how you understand how to run a small home-based business.

This is also the reason why so many of the great artists who were successful during their lifetime also had a manager or promotor that helped them promote and manage the business side of their art.  When starting out as an artist you are usually not able to afford this luxury and you will need to handle this side of the business yourself. 

Some artists may also look for a gallery or a licensing agreement as a way to sell their art. They want someone else to handle promotions and sales. But as many art galleries may be closing their doors or going to only online sales, having someone handle all the promotions and sales for you – especially if you are a beginning artist – is not very realistic in today’s world.

Will Your Art Be Supplemental Income?

Maybe you already have work you are successful at,  but you also love to paint.  So you want to turn your hobby of painting into a side business that can give you some supplemental income. Or maybe your art income will be a second or supplemental income for your household.

If you do not need to depend on the home-based art business for your day-to-day economic survival, this is generally a much easier way to start your business than someone who needs to have to make a full-time income off their art.

You will still need many of the same skills of running a small business but you will not have the stress of having to make the necessary income just to economically survive through each month.

It All Starts With the Art

No matter how careful your planning is, a good business always starts with the product or in this case your artwork that will sell.

So if you are not consistently producing good quality artwork that people want to buy, it will be hard for your art business to thrive.

The art or more importantly the quality of the art is where the success of your business will start. Without good quality artwork, you really cannot expect that you can create a successful business or career as either a full-time or part-time artist.

From the onset, you need to be very clear about what kind of art you will be producing and who you will be making it for. You should have some understanding of your audience. The audiences can change over time as your artwork may evolve or change, but you still need to have some kind of idea of who your target audience is.

If you do not have an idea of who your target audience is and why this particular group may want to purchase your art, you may need to consider continuing to work on your artistic style until you have a clear indication of who you are as an artist and who your audience is.

Designate An Area of Your Home

When you are looking to do a home-based art business one of the first things you need to look at is how feasible it is to do the business in your own home? This can really make a difference as to the success or failure of your business venture.

If you need to do all your painting either outdoors or in a high traffic area of your home as your kitchen, this could really limit how much painting you are actually able to get done. The more you paint, the more chances you will have for sales. So if you are already limited by how much you can paint this will also limit your overall sales.

If you are planning to sell prints of your art on a site like Redbubble, you need to understand if you have the ability to photograph your art to the quality that is needed to put your art on the site?

For more information on selling your art on Red Bubble, you can read our blog called The Pros and Cons of Selling Your Artwork on The Red Bubble Website by clicking here.

When you are considering a home-based art business, one of the most important things you need to look at is where will your business be located in your home.

You may not think this matters, but over the long term, this can be the difference between the success and failure of your business. I worked from my home for many years and I always found it easier if I had a room or section of my home that was designated as my office or work area.

I have a corner of my house that is exclusively for my painting. If needed I can easily leave my painting up on the easel to dry without disturbing anyone. I also have a room for an office, so that in the evening when I am done with my work I can close the door and leave my work behind in my room that is my office

If you are not able to do this in your home, you may find it very hard over the long term to work from home. If you have children and a family or a roommate this can complicate the matter more if your work is always in the space they are also living. So before you start your home-based business I suggest that you also think about how the home-based business will work with your present living arrangements.

Start with a Plan

No matter what kind of business you are staring you need to start your business with a plan in mind. You need to carefully think about how the business will operate.

These are all areas that you must look at before you get your home-based art business off the ground. Here are some questions to ask yourself when you making plans about your home-based art business.

  • Who will I sell my artwork to?
  • How will I sell my artwork?
  • How will I bill and invoice my artwork?
  • What kind of legal entity will I use for my business?
  • How will I market my business and artwork?
  • Where will I store my artwork that is ready to be sold?
  • Will I sell originals or sell prints?
  • If I am selling artwork prints will I print them myself or use a company to print, sell, and ship them?
  • Will the art be framed, rolled, or unframed?
  • If framed who will do the framing for me or will I do it myself?
  • Will I ship it myself or use a fulfillment center?
  • How will my artwork be packed?
  • If someone wants to return the artwork, how will I manage this?
  • What is something is damaged in shipping, how will this be handled?
  • Will I have any branding hangtags or other information on the artwork that is sold?
  • What is someone wants a special commission work, how will I handle this?
  • Will I sell my artwork on my webpage?

These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself when you are starting a home-based business. These are similar questions that any business needs to ask themselves from 1) what I am selling? 2) what method will be used to sell my product? 3) how will I handle the entire sales traction from start to finish?

If you are an artist, starting a home-based art business is a wonderful way to be able to sell your artwork. But with any kind of business, you must first take the time to properly prepare and think about how that business will actually work in your present situation.

How Can I Properly Brand My Art Business?

We have outlined four easy steps that you can take to help you brand your art business. Each of these four steps will help you to not only define the goals for your business but also to understand who you are selling to. It will also help you to properly identify your customers and what motivates them to buy from you, so that you will know how to more effectively market to them. And finally, having a proper art brand will allow you to consistently market to your targeted customers in a way that will help to drive your sales.

To find out more about how to properly brand your art business, you can read our blog on 4 Steps To Help You Properly Brand Your Art Business by clicking here.

Should I Have a Website For My Artwork?

We believe every artist should have a website for their artwork. Websites are so popular that having a website is no longer an option for any creative person or business and is now a necessary expense. But there are several things you still need to consider as you create your website and artistic brand.

To find out more about things you should consider for your website and artistic brand you can read our blog called Creating An Artists Brand and Website, What You Need To Know by clicking here.

Anita Louise Hummel

Hi, I am Anita Louise Hummel. I am an artist and a blogger. I paint mainly oil paints. I love to paint women, animals (mainly dogs and cats), and abstracts. I use a lot of gold and silver leaf in my paintings. I also love to blog about anything to do with art, business, Procreate, and all the wonderful artists that inspire me.

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