HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE! Apologies for the abrupt and long absence, and my failure to post anything since September (?) of last year. Life and distractions happened. Hoping to make it up to you with more videos and more art and art business learning in 2020! In this video, watch me work on the Australian Magpie from my Black and White Wildlife collection while I take you through my art business plan for 2020. I’ve been slowly learning and growing as an artist in the last years and in 2019 especially, but now it’s time to step things up and really get into the business of art. If you’re in a similar stage of your art journey compared to mine, take note as I discuss my 3 points of focus for 2020. You may pick up some good ideas for your own art business!
TITLE: Australian Magpie
COLLECTION: Black and White Wildlife
DATE CREATED: December 2019
SIZE: 7″H x 5″W
Hi, Everyone! It’s Marose here, I’m an artist from the Philippines. wishing everyone a Happy, Happy New Year. It’s 2020!
For my first video of the year – this is a timelapse video of me working on the Magpie piece for the Black and White Wildlife collection that I started on right after Inktober had finished. It started as kind of a personal joke because I was so eager to start painting in color again after a month of restricting myself to working in Black, White and Gold ink for inktober, and the first thing I thought of to paint was a Black and White Panda of all things. So from there I just kept going and began painting other animals with black, white or black and white markings. And this Australian Magpie is now the fifth one in this series.
This is a mixed media piece wherein I used watercolor, colored pencils and some ink on Strathmore Toned Tan Mixed Media Paper. Complete List of Materials can be found in the description.
Anyway, while you watch me work on this I wanted to also talk about what 2020 looks like for me. I think 2019 was the year of me really owning being an artist. To clarify and – for the new subscribers here especially – if you’re not familiar with my artist journey so far, I’ve always loved to draw and paint but life events and career choices led me away from making a career out of art early on, and I actually studied to become a veterinarian and canine behavior consultant and I now manage a small dog training business. And it wasn’t until recently that I finally found my stride, really settled into who I was as a person and also was able to create my own schedule, and I began to reconnect with my artist self, which I’d almost abandoned at one point, if you can believe that. Anyway, long story short, I started to draw and paint again after not having done so in a really long while and I realized that I wanted to give this time… more than this just being a hobby or a side-business. So that all started in 2016, and 2017 was when I built up a lot of my skills in traditional art, especially watercolors, and by 2018 I was starting to take on commissions for Pet Portraits, and I also worked on this fundraising project for a local dog shelter here in the Philippines – I made a calendar of Pet Portraits for them and I sold the calendars and donated the profits to the shelter. And I’m really proud of the work that I did there.
And finally by 2019, I found the confidence to really own being called an artist or allowing me to call myself an artist because it seemed kind of awkward at first because I didn’t have a solid body of work to show for. And that year, I also started to develop more of personal style, although it’s still pretty much in development, and I grew more familiar with what kind of subjects or what kind of artwork I really liked working on.
So presently I’m really into nature and wildlife art as you can tell if you’ve been following me for a while now. I do have interests in other subjects, but right now I’m mostly stuck on this. And I really want to carry on with wildlife art in 2020 or at least for the start of this year.
More specifically I do have a list of things that I do want to get done for 2020, because where 2019 was the year of owning it as I like to call it, 2020 will need to be the year of stepping things up. I’m already aware of some trials early on in the year that I’ll be dealing with, and I really want to meet things head on, with a lot of determination but more importantly with an actual plan already in mind or already in place.
So if you’re an artist in a similar place as I am right now and you need some ideas, you may want to take notes, guys, I narrowed it down to 3 things that I want to focus on or that I want to do better for 2020 as part of stepping things up and growing towards being not just an artist but an artist with a steady income.
So these are my 3 points of Focus for 2020. Some of these things I already started working on in 2019. They’re not sequential but more like I have to be working on these in coordination with one another.
One is “Stepping Up on Organization and Planning, Two is “Stepping Up On Creating My Personal Brand” and Three is “[Stepping Up on] Creating Reliable Income Streams.
So let’s go back to number 1 which is Stepping Up On Organization and Planning:
So I started with Organizing My Spaces. For 2019, I’d already started organizing some aspects of my life, the spaces around me, the things I owned, minimizing down to a lot of the essentials, getting rid of stuff that was weighing me down, and making sure I didn’t acquire any more than I needed. And I did that for my physical and my digital spaces as well. So that’s where the organization part started for me.
And so from there I’m now more into Organizing My Art Workflow or My Productivity. Because I’m now more aware of how much time I need to get things done, like, how much time I need to work on a certain sized piece of artwork or to finish a project, I feel like I can plan things better by giving myself appropriate blocks of time to get from concept to a finished piece, but without neglecting the extra time that I also know that I need for my other work and for resting and spending time with family or friends. So my art workflow is now much more efficient. And as part of keeping things going with productivity I’ve also already begun collecting inspiration for the months ahead – looking at photos, looking at other art, just observing things in the world from an artist’s point of view. Not all of my projects are laid out already, because I do want to remain flexible for this year – because I know myself well enough that I expect to get bored if I know too far in advance what’s up next – but I’ve been continuously adding to the ideas and potential projects that I can pick from to keep staying productive.
And so now because I expect to have increased productivity, I also need to stay on top of Marketing and Sales. And I want to be ready with the spaces where I’m going to put up my artwork and products – which essentially refers to my website and social media pages. So that once I’m done working on a piece all I have to do is take a photo, edit that, apply a template, and upload and oila it’s on the shelf ready for the consumer or potential art buyer to view and potentially buy. Because up to this point, I’ve missed a lot of opportunities for where I show people my art process and the finished product but I don’t capitalize on their excitement about the art to give them that extra push to invest in the work and so that I make an art sale. And that’s really something I want to work on. So that when somebody asks me “Is this piece for sale?” or “Where can I get prints of your work?” I can immediately send them to where they can view the art and products I have available and make any transactions really easy for them. And related to that I’m also now more prepared to deal with the logistics of packaging and shipping pieces especially for original artworks, which is one of the things before that prevented me from immediately proceeding with a sale, it’s because I wasn’t sure if I could actually deliver a piece, like, literally have it delivered to a customer. But 2019, I learned a lot about these logistics and I have the materials I need or I know what materials I need for displaying, packaging and shipping things and currently while I’m considering producing my own printed works, I plan to outsource that to online shops like RedBubble for now.
Moving on and related to the marketing aspect of things, I really want to stay on top of my social media output for this year so I can steadily share my work process with you guys, my finished pieces and promote my products over various platforms not just on my website. But most importantly I want to get to a level of organization with my social media content that doesn’t overwhelm me but instead frees up more of my time. And I’ve been finding that time blocks are the best way to do it, and I’ve been trying to commit to dedicating a certain amount of hours or days at the beginning of a week or month or even of a quarter of a year to planning and producing content in batches and to then just scheduling everything so everything rolls out more or less on autopilot. And I already got started on this as well by preparing certain templates, monthly digital folders wherein I just plan to drop in categorized content so everything is already in a schedule once its produced. So yeah I think I’m way ahead of the game so far for this year where organization and planning of my social media is concerned.
And so moving on to number 2 of my focus points for 2020, that would be Stepping Up on Creating My Personal Brand
And that’s a concept that’s actually really uncomfortable for me, I’m extremely, extremely introverted and if I can avoid staying out of public scrutiny and having random spontaneous interactions with people that I’m not really that close with, I will always choose to do that. I would love to live in a world where the art just speaks for itself and all I have to do is put that out there. But obviously that’s not how our world operates in this day and age, and obviously a business is not going to work if it doesn’t have a face that people can connect to or that they can trust. So over the past year, I’ve tried to get comfortable with the idea of sharing more of myself. The fact that I can do voiceovers and not be shy about sharing these YouTube videos of me with these voiceovers is already a big deal for me. But still I can’t say I’ve been incredibly successful coz I still tend to put a wall up around my personal life and opinions. But maybe for 2020 you’ll get to know me more intimately than ever before. Maybe. And that might just mean you’ll just be seeing more of my cats because that’s pretty much as far as my social circle extends these days.
And alongside that I also have to deal with the fact that community matters if you want to affect change. There are some things I really strongly believe in like the fight against Climate Crisis, the effect our lifestyle has on wildlife and ecosystems. And finding my voice and standing for things won’t really matter at all if I can’t get people to believe in the things that I do, and the way to do that is to connect with people. So, yes, while this is an art vlog, I want my work and whatever personal brand I develop around my art to be socially relevant and impactful and so you will likely see me get more personal and become more vocal about the things I care about…beyond just my cats and dogs.
Moving on to number 3 on my list I want to Step Up on the Creation of Income Streams from my art and art products. None of this will matter at all if I can’t get a decent paycheck out of my efforts because I do have obviously basic necessities, of course, and I do have people and animals depending on me, so a steady income is a must. So that’s my third point of focus for this year is creating reliable income streams from the art and art products that I produce. Of course, I still have my dog training business as my primary source of income and I still plan to devote time to that and do a good job at that but I want my art and art work to be able to pull its own weight so that it justifies the amount of time I give to that and I get more out of it than just the satisfaction or fulfillment that comes from creating art. So some of the income streams that I want to build up are selling of original art, print products which for now will probably be outsourcing through places like RedBubble although I do want to eventually be able to print and produce my own stuff. And I’ll still be taking limited number of commissions throughout the year especially of pets and people because I do still enjoy that process as well. And if I can build up this YouTube channel and my other social media platforms or presence, I also plan to look into ad revenues and affiliate links.
And there you have it, those are my 3 points of focus or goals for 2020. Like I said, if you’re in a similar stage in your art journey wherein you’re ready to step things up and really make a career out of being an artist, it might be useful for you to take notes and follow me along so we can learn things about the art business together. If you’re already ahead of me on this path, I’d appreciate any input or advice that you can give. So leave your feedback in the comments section if my lengthy talking gave you ideas or inspiration for your own journey or if you want share your words of wisdom.
Wishing Everyone A Productive, Meaningful New Year! This Magpie is done and I hope you enjoyed watching me make this piece and listening to my thoughts at the same time. I’d really appreciate if you subscribe and share about my artwork to your friends and families. Thanks again for staying tuned, guys. Here’s to 2020! I’ll see you in the next video. Bye!