Learning as we go
It's hard to believe that we have been at this "art" thing for over six years already. What started in 2014 as a potential retirement activity has turned into a full-time pursuit. As I am a "learn as you go" type of guy, I've slowly picked up some tips and tricks that have improved my paintings, my work flow and the Birdsong Studio customer experience.
Heather and I are both committed to constant improvement. Behind the scenes, we are always trying to make things more efficient. The mundane but essential activities that happen to keep this art business moving forward are many. Heather does an excellent job managing the financial side of things: invoicing, accounts receivable, payroll, tax filing, bookkeeping, etc. I'm literally clueless when it comes to all those essentials. I make sure that we have a healthy stock of cardboard, bubble wrap, and packing tape for all the shipping that we do. Together we monitor other supplies like paint, brushes, canvases and all the assorted tools and materials that we need to have at the ready at all times.
We also do our best to put our work out there on the various social media platforms. While I have over 7,000 people that "Like" my Russell Thomas Art page, only a small percentage of them see posts on their newsfeeds. It's always a challenge trying to post things that reach larger numbers of people. The Facebook/Instagram algorithms are hard to predict. We have learned that hosting online auctions is a good way of both attracting potential customers and making sales. Our latest is a little different in that we have launched it very early, allowing clients to view the entire inventory of gallery canvas prints on offer weeks ahead of the actual auction. It's important to try new tactics. It is through trying that our business has slowly improved.
I can't even begin to describe all the things I learn painting every day. I learn through doing. That might be part of the reason that I paint so much. I have an intense determination to improve. After almost 1,500 painting completed in 6 years, I'm slowly getting better. That said, I still have an infinite number of things to learn, which makes the prospect of my lifelong journey with painting so exciting.