Having an art-based business isn’t all just fun, games, and flinging paint around.  In fact, painting is just one part of it.  My weeks tend to break down into “studio days” and “administrative days,” i.e. this week, Monday and Tuesday were definite studio days as I was busy painting some stones as well as a special portrait (possible post on it later).  Of course, it’s always fun to just spend most of my day painting, but I can’t do that all the time.

Let’s get down to business to defeat the Huns paint some watercolors!
However, yesterday and today are administrative days.  Because artists have to do taxes and accounting too.

Yesterday, “administrative day” meant designing print materials for craft shows: fliers, order forms, price signs saying things like “Notecards: Pack of 5 for $x” and things like that.  It also meant editing images for prints, and getting prints made of Reginald and Kashi, which will be donated to a raffle at the theatre company where I do shows. (Tax write-off, yay!) Sometimes my admin days include updating my website, applying to art shows, contacting galleries, buying supplies (or doing some online price comparisons and research prior to buying certain things), rounding up receipts of what I spent on business expenses and entering those into a spreadsheet…basically anything that isn’t painting.

Terribly exciting, I know.
 But you can’t NOT do these things, as a small business.  Especially if your business is pretty much a one-man band, where if you don’t do it, it doesn’t get done.  So I do have to do things like keep track of my expenses and file away receipts, because I don’t have an accountant, stay on top of my social media and ads because I don’t have a marketing manager, and run my own website because I don’t have a webmaster.  I wouldn’t really need to farm out these jobs, though, and nor would I really want to at this point.  I mean, maybe if I got to the point where I just HAD to spend 40+ hours a week just painting in order to fill the scads of commissions I was getting…but I don’t see that happening for a while.

The other perk of working at home: this is my office mate!
And you know what?  I kinda LIKE doing all this businessy stuff!  I can see how some creative people wouldn’t be good at the left-brain stuff, like spreadsheets and filing, but I enjoy it in a weird way.  It makes me feel more productive and better about the direction my business is going: I know I’m doing the things necessary to help the business grow, and I know all my ducks are in a row because I’m the one lining up the ducks, as it were.  And of course I also enjoy designing marketing materials and other graphic-designy stuff for myself…that takes creative skill of a kind, too, even if it’s not painting.  So this kind of thing suits me just fine.