Labors of love

This weekend I spent a lot of time on the administrative aspects of this little art biz. Making tweaks and adding functionality to this website, setting up an email newsletter and automating as much of that as possible, starting a Facebook page, converting my Pinterest account to a business account so I could get some analytics, doing keyword research and updating my Pins accordingly. Oh, and I decided to throw $10 each at a Facebook and Pinterest ad campaign. It was half-assed but I kinda just wanted to test how it works and get some baseline learnings for the future. I also bought a cheap tripod so I can start photographing my work more professionally than laying it on the floor by the natural light from the back door. I mean, I didn’t get a marketing degree instead of an art degree for nothing!

I don’t really know why I did so much with it this weekend – I’m not hurting for sales yet as I’ve got enough commissions to keep me busy till Summer. With a full tome job at Hallmark I only have so much spare time to paint. But I’ve noticed my energy fluctuates not only in quantity, but in kind. Sometimes I just want to make art, sometimes it’s writing and words, sometimes it’s planning and brainstorming, and this weekend it was let’s just make sh*t happen! And then there’s sleep, but I’ve noticed sleep goes much better if I’ve done something from the list above. Needless to say I’m pretty proud of my progress and kind of glad to have some of the basics out of the way and a good framework to market my work moving forward. It’s fun to fiddle and play with this stuff, and I’m both amazed and grateful by how much technology is at my fingertips to get my art out into the world. We live in truly fascinating times and it’s a reminder to celebrate the GOOD that technology and social media does for people.

But now I’m like a kid waiting for the cookies in the oven to be done. Opening the oven nonstop to see if the cookies are ready. I refresh my analytics on all my channels every 5 minutes wondering if I’m a famous artist yet. Or more realistically if someone submitted an inquiry for a painting or signed up for my newsletter. I’m giddy with excitement with every impression or click and it’s all just kind of silly. In reality I know it will take time to build traffic and an engaged audience, but maybe it’s just that instant gratification that I did it right. I’m my own web administrator, marketing manager, and IT department, so seeing clicks and data flowing into the analytics is validation.

There’s also a lot of excitement and impatience over here, honestly. I don’t know what the future looks like. Will this always be a side hustle, and if it becomes something more, will I be brave and ready and responsible enough to take off? Or will I just taxi this runway forever, playing it safe with the day job? A girl can dream, but what if there really is a future where I get to make that choice? At times I can see it and feel it, and other times it’s a figment if my imagination a million miles away. In the meantime I’ll just keep flowing through my energy to create and put it out into the world, and try to just enjoy the process. I’d be lying if I said this isn’t a lot of fun!

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