Life is a Lemon, So I Made Lemonade
Even before I turned 30, I had achieved more than what most people do: A high-profile job that paid me almost a six-figure salary and a closely-knit family to turn to. That’s when my life came to a standstill for almost a year. I was driving home from work and met with an accident that left me confined to a wheelchair.
Although my family was very supportive, I did go through phases of severe depression. It took me six months to gain the courage to visit a supermarket in my wheelchair. Being at home all the time, I turned to my erstwhile passion for painting, and soon my apartment was filled with canvases, paints and brushes. That’s when it struck me. I could make a career out of my passion. So, I started my journey to sell my paintings and become an entrepreneur.
My Recipe for Lemonade
I began by registering my business with the government and the IRS. I conducted extensive research online to find out about the income tax obligations for my business. Since the process and amount differ based on the structure of the business, I consulted with friends to finalize my business registration. I downloaded the list of the forms to be filled by different entities from the official website of the US Small Business Association.
The most challenging part of my business was pricing my artwork. The first method that struck me was to include the cost of materials and the time I invested. However, if I were to price my paintings at the hourly rate I commanded in my high-profile job, I’d never be able to sell one! An article on ArtBusiness.com suggested that I consider prices of artwork similar to my own. I searched online and even spoke to some artists pretending to be interested in buying their paintings! I negotiated to see how flexible their pricing was.
I spent a lot of time creating a logo for my business. I could have hired a professional, but being an artist myself, I decided to take on the challenge. I read extensively about making the logo effective, unique, capable of delivering a message, visually enticing and memorable. I checked out the latest trends in design (including the return of retro and dual tones) and the emotions associated with different colors. I even visited the art logo page of Pinterest for ideas! Many mind maps and mood boards later, I had a logo that represented me.
The next step was to create a website where I could showcase and sell my paintings. This was a really exciting experience. I worked closely with the creative team of SEMGeeks as well as their developers. They not only understood what I wanted, but took the time to educate me on the latest developments and made suggestions to ensure my website is appealing, robust and scalable.
While my site was being created, I attended a short online course in photography. This helped me take lots of pictures of my paintings at home. I took some of the bigger paintings to a studio and got great pictures taken.
My site is about to go live and I am really excited. I don’t know how I will handle my emotions when my first painting is sold online!