I started selling my art nine months ago, and in that time I’ve learned over and over again that it’s a lot of give and take. You can’t force it all to work out, you can just put your heart and soul into it and hope for the best. And you can learn. Learn how to tag items so people find them easier, learn how to put value on something that is priceless to you, learn how to do things better.
I wasn’t new to owning a business when I started selling art. But I was new to putting my visions out there for the world to see.
I’ve seen many things change in these past nine months. One of the scariest things I did was decide to go to college. But I did it on my terms, not because someone else told me I needed to, and that’s why I felt like this was the right time. Not necessarily because I’m 100% ready, but because it was a decision I made that seemed to make sense. It was the same way when I started Halcyon Evergreen.
Guys, I’m going to say it. This art thing has been both inspiring and exhausting. I think it’s a reflection of this life thing. I don’t have it all figured out, I’m always learning new things, and sometimes I just don’t know. But it’s also beautiful. It’s beautiful.
If you’ve been thinking about putting your art out there for the world to see, your writing, your music, whatever it is that makes your soul happy, this is your sign. This one’s for you.
There will be times of doubt. Sometimes you’ll wonder if you’re talented enough, if you’ve got what it takes, if it all even really makes a difference.
I promise you, it does.
I can’t give you a clear cut path to success, but I can tell you a few things I’ve learned along the way:
1. Don’t worry about being perfect. Your work will improve as you continue to create, so one of the best things you can do is just keep making things. Your photography will improve as you take pictures and learn. There are so many resources out there to help you, which leads to my next tip…
2. Research. This will be one of your new best friends. It’s how you will learn things like opening an Etsy shop, the best tags to use, how to build a website for yourself, shipping methods, and just about anything else you need to know. You’ll need to decide what platform you want to sell on and if it’ll be through an outside source or directly through your website. You’re going to have a lot of questions getting started, and most of them can be answered by doing your research.
3. Decide what it is that your work means to you. What is your ultimate goal? People can tell when you actually care about the things you’re putting out there, and it’s why people say that success and passion go hand in hand. If the passion isn’t there the motivation won’t be either.
4. Network. Connect with other makers and creators. Make an effort to comment and actually reach out to them. And please, please don’t advertise on a page that isn’t yours unless you have permission.
5. Know the legal rules and stipulations for owning a small business in your country, state, city, etc. This part sucks, but it will make your life so much easier. I spent a lot of time figuring these things out but it gave me peace of mind and made tax season so much easier.
6. Just do it. You’re probably not going to feel 100% ready, but I like this quote from Lemony Snicket: “If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.”
If you’re not already following me on Instagram, I post my art and other updates: @halcyonevergreen