My goal posting this as I've stated many times is mostly to help me confront them and may be help other artists confront theirs. Numbers have a wonderful (and horrible) way of delivering the truth.
Last year, from painting and workshops I made a total of $36,530 . Sounds good! Call the tax agents!
Not so fast. That is the gross.
After gallery and venue commissions, I only took 63% of that gross: $22,960$ . Uh-oh. That is also subject to taxation and I haven't done my taxes yet so I expect even less.
And then there are the pervasive Expenses. I am including the following categories of expenses:
Framing, Art Supplies, Entry and Membership fees and Studio rent. I am also accounting to a certain degree for some meals and gas while on painting trips. This expense list does NOT include things like rent, groceries, insurance, cell phone, etc...
So after expenses I am left with an optimistic 9K for the whole year. Not so good anymore. About 3,000 dollars below poverty level for a family of 1 actually.With the 13K I got from unemployment insurance for the year (try living on that), I've been able to cope.
The good news is that I sold of lot of artwork. The bad news is that I won't make a living selling it, at least not yet. The good news is that I can see people respond to my artwork . The bad news is that right now I am devoting all my energy to finding a job, retraining as a paralegal and taking Maya and Nuke and Photoshop classes.
On a side note: After seeing the Zorn exhibit in San Francisco through the prism of my situation, I realized that fabulous careers in art are usually made by great artists, duh, people whose amazing talent spoke for itself -first-. (Sorolla, Sargent, Zorn, they didn't need to advertise... lucky them.)
Marketing is great and necessary, it can make the difference between doing what you love and staying put in a lousy job. If a painting takes your breath away however, that's its own advertising. While I like my paintings well enough and I think I should promote them, I need to get better or win some awards or both. At least until I can spend the money on ads.
In any case, these numbers are exactly what I needed to make decisions going forward and finish the rest of my business plan. If I can't paint, life has little to offer so back to looking for a job. Oh, and here is a painting, just for kicks.
|"The Castro, San Francisco" 9"x12"|