We have been doing our best to have relaxed evenings since we moved to our flat/ maisonette. We watch some tv or recorded tv and then have time with music on and it works. Generally my sleep is improving.
Today I had gone to bed earlier, slept well but woke early, how could I distract my brain as wide awake? Look at some spreadsheets ?!?
On the computer I have some copies of my stock and sales from previous versions as the documents have developed so I found myself reflecting on how my art sales have changed and have been very pleased with the results.
I started this art ‘business’ as a hobby which gradually extended into a business. All the way through my sales target has been to ‘sell some art’ but not get tied to figures after too many years of stress linked to such ideas when in teaching.
I am a retired teacher, admittedly early retired and I have a work ethic which means I have to be doing some form of work still, I am not ready to stop working. My mental health breakdowns that led to me having to end my teaching career stop me doing anything that is too stressful as my mental health still fluctuates greatly at times but is vastly improved from its previous state.
So the aim is to develop a business selling the art that I enjoy drawing. I am not interested in just drawing work that will sell, it has to be something that interests me and possibly develops my practise in drawing particular things like winter trees, the sea. I have invested my own savings to start the business and until this year with Covid-19 related business grants I have taken no loans to support the business.
I have gradually worked at building local awareness and people know that I will be at particular events. I have done an open studio for Purbeck Art Weeks from 2017, 2020 cancelled. I have been an Artisan on the Beach on Swanage seafront in December since 2017.
As my art is self taught, a therapy for me, my message and core belief is that art should be for fun whether doodling to distract yourself or painting a piece to sell. I have no art qualifications, I didn’t go to an art school. I have ‘just’ drawn lots of pictures – for over 25 years as a geography teacher from chalkboard to whiteboard to interactive whiteboard. I have sketched and kept a record in sketchbooks since 2015. As I have my teacher pension I am not under a financial pressure to sell to make money to live on. My work sells at very reasonable prices in fact for he amount of work involved it is probably far too cheap but I want art to be accessible and my journey is working.
I am a big kid as those of you who know me will confirm. I like to mess about behaviour wise. I wear a variety of hand drawn outfits and hats now to draw attention to my art. Basically I have fun doing my art which makes it a lot easier to encourage others to do the same be they 4 or 84.
So last November the whole art business took a new jump. A shop unit became available and i and another local artist I knew agreed to share it 50:50 time wise for shifts and space to display our work. Since November 2019 my sales have changed dramatically. I have done a range of new pieces in both style, size and media to try ideas out. I have also learned to be a shopkeeper 3 or 4 days a week which gives me lots of face to face contact with people which I greatly enjoy. The ‘Art for Fun’ philosophy has been one that I have encouraged through the shop until social distancing stopped it – I had a table for anyone to come and draw at. I have materials, pens, ideas, … it was becoming better known and more people were coming to have a go. I really miss that aspect and it is the thing I most want to return to when it is eventually considered safe enough again.
The only change in sales target realistically is to cover the rent and electricity bill each month so I now need to take at least £300 per month. To be honest I haven’t focused on that and I haven’t had to as even in poorer months the other months cover the deficit.
So, some of those figures I read today…
24/11/2019 first month in shop
Business start selling art February 2017
Greeting cards – total sold to date = 2124
Top 6 sellers have over 100 units each, top 2 have over 200 units each.
21/12/2020 yesterday in shop
Greeting cards – total sold to date = 4092
Top 6 sellers all have over 200 units sold, top selling design now sold 460 units. After top6, next 7 designs have sold between 100 and 200 units
24/11/2019 – sold 77 prints
21/12/2020 – sold 145 prints
Original artworks (various sizes, media etc)
24/11/2019 – sold 57
21/12/2020 – sold 172
Currently have exceeded sales for whole of 2019/2020 and 4 months ahead on sales going to April 2020 equivalent. (Without counting government grants received for lockdowns).<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-123416164-4340-607907eea09bc' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=123416164&post_id=4340&origin=andyknillart.com&obj_id=123416164-4340-607907eea09bc' data-name='like-post-frame-123416164-4340-607907eea09bc'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>