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Setting Expectations:Self and Others

I have the unique opportunity to not only be starting my own business, but I am working part time with a couple who have started a new business. One thing I appreciate about them, besides being great people to work for, is that they are transparent when it comes to trial and error. They include me in some of the event planning and it is easy to find ourselves overthinking what would work, and what date, and how to advertise. These are all valid questions but it is true is some cases to throw things at the wall and see what sticks.


This summer has been a fun ride of moving pieces around... my schedule at my job versus my art business. I have found more and more that most craft shows, as much as I enjoy getting to meet new people, is not the best use of my time and resources. I also have looked into branching out into other types of commissioned work. And some of that for now is sticking to the proverbial wall. Let me share...


  1. Live Wedding Venue paintings: offering to come early to the reception location to paint the venue, then during the party, to paint the bride and groom in as the guests look on. I have practiced it at home several times and I already do open air work. I posted this new option recently and already have two confirmed weddings and others interested.

  2. Windows: I have previously painted holiday windows at several locations the past two winters and I plan on taking on more this coming season. This summer I have been hired to do window promotions at two businesses. It's becoming easier to plan and execute. I need to decide soon to what extent I would need an assistant to complete certain projects.


  1. Murals: I have done large set and backdrop paintings for summer theatre in the past. Going big is actually easier than smaller paintings, in my opinion. The challenge with murals, especially indoors, is timing and also working through the vision of the location owner. There are rough drafts to create and alter, not to mention ladders and larger amounts of paint. Murals, if priced right, not only are decent income, but create a lot of exposure for your business, during and after the project is complete. I did not have murals in my list of services originally, but an artist is an artist.

When I think about setting expectations for my growing business, I have to keep in mind not only what a customer or art collector is looking for, but also what I truly want to see my time evolve into down the line. For a customer, we discuss sizes, prices, where a piece may be displayed, or what pet, portrait or location they are looking to memorialize.


For myself, I think longer term about the income from certain projects or events I host and how long I think those will be fun and beneficial. I also think about what I can cut from the list of options when my own original art becomes the main source for my business. It is too soon to know what those are, but still needs to be a part of my conversations with myself, my coach and my family. For now, having the ability to host paint events, create murals and windows, and create custom commissions are allowing me to have the resources and time to build up my collection and help me grow as an artist, plus all those events and commercial projects put me and my art in front of new audiences.


Right now life looks like a big empty wall to be tossing things. I plan to have fun throwing things and watching to see what sticks. Give it a try in your life!


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Allow me to share this disclaimer first: where I am right now in my life and this growing art journey is filled with appreciation to God and all those who have played a part up to this point. I am sti