Oh, hi! I didn’t see you there. Imagine me peering over a mountain of works of art, many on paper, many framed, many on canvases of a range of sizes. That was how it was. Is. Won’t be soon.
I have a monster under my bed – perhaps I can even write that as past tense now – I had a monster under my bed. The monster is my own art work and it grew and grew with every piece I completed until it terrified me day and night, ate some of its own (we’ll call that “storage related damage”), and generally became the most ignored part of my working life. Well, that and my bookkeeping, but that’s for another post entirely.
This monster has been made smaller, teeth filed down, claws trimmed and buffed to a presentable sheen. In fact, the monster who scared me so for so long is almost not a monster at all anymore, but rather an increasingly organised series of stored works of art, ready and catalogued for sale.
I have a serious aversion to spreadsheets, data, numbers, and the like. Hardcore anxiety ensues when I am in proximity of anything resembling accounting. I am a creative, dammit, not an accountant. Well, I’m becoming a little of both through the painful exercise of getting my shit together and I couldn’t have done it without my best friend, Pete. See, where I fall down, he stands tall. Numbers, spreadsheets, graphs… he eats it up. It feeds his brain and data in his hands becomes a purring kitten rather than that monster I see.
Through a stressful few sessions involving hours of properly preserving and storing, thumbnail snapping, measuring, and data entry of my art, I now have the beginnings of a proper business. Oh, I was and am a selling artist and teacher/tutor already, but now?
Now I can do business.
I have not managed this level of proactive business organisation in my life, let alone the last nearly two years of ramping up my body of work.
Turns out, I have a shocking number of good, saleable pieces. I have stuff I forgot about. I have tens of thousands of pounds of viable merchandise. Who knew?! I sure didn’t. And how does one market and sell what one doesn’t know about? Yeah, doesn’t work, y’all. But now I have a fighting chance.
I’m still cataloguing work today, unaided, and without managerial prodding. Feels good. I am not a cowering ball of anxiety in the corner about my mountain of work anymore. You have no idea how liberating that feels and how confident I’ve become in just a few days. Also interesting to me is the way I can now see on a graph the price curve of my portfolio and where I might want to target when creating future works. That’s useful. I never knew I could have that kind of information available to me. I was too busy seeing the sharp teeth of that monster.
Thanks, Pete. I couldn’t have done it without you. I would’ve exploded with anxiety in this process on my own. In fact, I have in the past. A few times. Hence, my giving it up and drowning in my own work and fear.
I promise I’ll make it up to you. How about in sales?