crossposting - ideas, suggestions & advice on starting pet portrait business
I have begun painting people's pets and over the holidays I have been swamped, which is a good kind of busy!! I'm worried about keeping the work coming in after the new year. I'm hoping once the pet portrait gifts are given they'll be shown to others that hopefully work will be generated from word of mouth. I'm putting business cards & postcards at vets offices, kennels, groomers, grain stores, grocery stores, tack shops, barns and pet stores. I've advertised on Craigslist and I'm looking into Etsy. I was wondering if I'm missing any place else that I could try?
This new journey has been very exciting yet scary, I lost my job and I'm hoping to be able to find a job where I can work part time and still paint part time, that would give me some income security yet allow me to still pursue my passion - painting! Painting people's pets has been an unexpected blessing, I have met some very nice people through my art and it's so much more rewarding than the job I had, not to mention very therapeutic. Sorry, I rambled on, just excited right now. If anyone else has any other ideas, suggestions or advice I would greatly appreciate hearing them.
Thank you for your time & help, Lisa
I see the paintings on Facebook and I wanted to say they are amazing! I will be coming to you in the future. Since they are personalized and make such great gifts I would recommend getting out- maybe to different shows. The big horse expo is coming up, maybe get a booth and show off your stuff? Another option could be to give away personalized painting as show prizes, I know I would LOVE to get one. You could talk to some hunter shows and events, it would be good to branch into those markets. Another idea would be to open up a Facebook page to showcase the best work you have done, along with prices, options, and steps to contact you. Good luck, and I look forward to seeing more great paintings.
Thank you Smilesthepony!! I greatly appreciate the compliments on my work, my biggest obstacle is my own confidence, positive feedback really helps, thank you! That is a great idea about different type shows, that would really branch my work into many different areas!! I wonder how much a table would be at the expos? I'm trying to keep my overhead low for now until this takes off. I know some craft shows demand high prices for space & then some even request a percent of your sales on top of that. Some else also recommended me donating paintings for awards at rides, that sounds really cool too!! I better contact some ride managers this spring!! I like your suggestion of a FB page, I will have to seriously look into doing that. I have gotten some work through FB. Thank you again Smilesthepony your ideas are awesome & hearing others feedback truly helps give me better insight what people want & are looking for, thank you!!!
Talk to your local shelters, the SPCA/Humane Society types. Around here they have lots of pet walks or expos where a booth might be useful. Also see if they do any types of benefits or dinners with a silent auction, and donate a portrait for the auction. Maybe consider local dog training clubs as places to advertise, sponsor a trophy at one of their trials, that kind of thing. And, not sure what your area is like, but if there are any cute little artsy home decor boutiques, maybe offer a couple "generic" portraits for sale; those types of boutiques will usually post info about the local artist. I'm the kind of person who would buy a portrait, and those are the places I'd pick up info on artists.
Good luck! I envy those with creative talents. I just take pictures of my dog with the Hipstamatic app on my phone and call them art.
Thank you KTRider, you gave me many great ideas, I jotted them down in my notebook I'm keeping with people's suggestions & advice, I greatly appreciate everyone's feedback! I love the idea of contacting the shelters, maybe I work out a way that part of the profit goes to them, this would be so rewarding. I also like your idea of the benefit dinners with a silent auction, that's a very good idea! Thank you for taking the time to post your ideas!! I never even thought of the dog training clubs, that's brillant! You have my creative juices flowing now!!
Thank you Smilesthepony!! I greatly appreciate your offer to help me with my art, that's incredible sweet of you!! Right now I'm working on some orders that weren't for Christmas so I doubt I'd be ready for the winter horse expos, but maybe by spring I'd be ready to hit some horse shows. I will keep you posted, Thank you again for you incredibly nice offer to help me!!! Hope to see you at some rides in 2012!! That's if I ever get to ride, been to busy painting, lol!!