There have been countless times over the years when I have panicked about where the next pay check will come from!
Making a living from your art is not for the faint hearted . But it is also amazing to be able to make a living from your one true passion
As self employed creatives we have to accept that a big part of our job is not knowing what will happen next, and that there will be times when sales take a hit. It is what we do about it that counts, and you may need to think outside the box in order to come up with solutions to this temporary lull.
"Creativity takes courage"- Henri Matisse
I have learned to accept over the years that during a 12 month period there will be quiet months when sales dwindle, people go on holiday or save up for a new piece of furniture or repairs to the house. There will be times when no sales come through for a couple of weeks. This can be very scary, but unfortunately this is a normal part of making a living from art.
Use the time wisely
This quiet period might be a good opportunity to spend time on the admin side of your business - updating your website, shop site and social media channels. Adding new products and making sure there are no glaring errors or glitches across the board is crucial. This will ensure you and your work are as visible as possible amongst the other creatives out there
"Make sure any upcoming events are present on your website and social media, post these important dates out to your followers & customers"
Branch out and adapt
My original paintings are a luxury purchase which is why it has become necessary over the past couple of years, particularly post lockdown, to develop other products and change the way I market my work.
Although the layout costs for new products can be high, if you know your market well enough and do some research first, it could be worth going ahead and putting new products into production. If you are not sure, maybe send out an email questionnaire to your customers to get a feel for what products they would be interested in.
I use mailchimp to keep in regular contact with my subscribers, a good marketing tool and one which keeps people up to date on paintings exhibitions and events. https://mailchimp.com/
in 2020 I decided to go ahead and produce a jigsaw of one of my popular paintings ‘Old Milltown’ as a 1000 piece puzzle. This sold really well in the lockdown period, which was good as my online presence became my only source of income at that time. Check out the jigsaw here https://www.chriscyprus.shop/collections/jigsaws/products/old-milltown-1000-piece-jigsaw
Over the past months I have also updated my online Limited Edition Print collection, to include tube rolled options. This benefits my customers who have more choice and can save money, and also saves me time mounting prints, so i can do more painting! Check out my updated collection here
My customers outside the UK save alot of money in shipping fees which have skyrocketed recently, and can have their print mounted and framed at their local framing shop, giving them the option to match the frame to their home decor
Consider writing a regular art blog
Although it can seem daunting and quite frankly my worst nightmare being dyslexic!… quiet times can be a good opportunity to start writing about your experiences, which you can post on your website and link to social channels. This is a really good way of improving your online presence, and visibility in the mysterious google rankings
Regular blogging can help boost SEO quality by positioning your website as a relevant answer to your customers' questions. So people will search a particular question, and your blog may appear as an answer to this question…
"Keep things simple, 700 words max and try to write about something you have experience of and are passionate about"..
Write about things nobody else is talking about, using important keywords and tags relevant to your business to guide people to your web pages.
You can see more about blogging for SEO optimisation in this article by Hubspot which goes into much more detail
in the meantime, keep producing your best work and putting it out there for all to see!