Thursday, July 8, 2010
Recently, since I make an effort to come up with quality thoughts and input; on a more frequent basis, I have received quite a few e-mails concerning the same issue. "Can faux painting sustain a family, can I make a living, or do I need to find a "real job"?
Faux painting is very good to me, but it is not a "Get-Rich-Quick" and "Instant Riches" concept.
It's hard work.
It's physical, it hurts at times, it takes practice, it takes new designs and continued education. Be prepared.With that said, it's also wonderfully creative, rewarding, fun and done properly you can make an excellent living.
Your questions deserve more than a simple yes or no. I am on the soapbox now. But I stand here in the most caring way possible. You have to be serious about this as a career, just as you would a nurse or a teacher or a retail manager!
I didn't have the luxury of a second paycheck. I was on my own and that proved to be a blessing in disguise. You do not just become a professional faux painter overnight any more than you win in Powerball. Wouldn't it be nice? Yes, you can make a lot of money! But ask those who do make money how much blood, sweat and tears they have given to come to that point.
I own a small, private faux finish school. As a bonus to our paying students who come here to attend class, we send out business work modules 4 weeks prior to class. I schedule a Webinar and chat trying to help out with business planning before the hands-on class starts. This is the NOT FUN part of being an artist. Not everyone gets the "business end" of being an artist. You will do way more than create gorgeous works of art for your clients - you will be your own CEO, CFO and CIO. (Do you know what those acronyms mean? You should.)
It's beyond my comprehension how many students come to class totally unprepared. Right then and there I am thinking "what's going on?" You are trying to start a business and you are not prepared! Are you in la-la land? Who do you think will do this legwork for you? It's your money you invested to start this business and you come unprepared.
Sorry, I had to say it. Don't get me wrong, I am not here to dampen your excitement, because it is a wonderful profession. But, I want to be clear and not beat around the bush. It isn't hearts and flowers. It isn't always fun. And it isn't about just being able to go to a workshop at a big box home improvement store and then pretend you have what it takes to create art to support your family. Someone has to be brutally honest and I think you asked me the question to get my honest response.
That being said, here are my suggestions:
- Get to a good school. You'll have to invest in your education. Are you worth it?
- Practice, practice, practice.
- Study, study, study.
- Have your school, Score and SBA help with your business plan (80% businesses fail, because of lack of a business plan!)
- Go the extra mile with your clients.
- Don't forget to market yourself.
- See what others are doing in your area and do something that sets you apart from them.
- Learn a new skill - or create a new one altogether!
- If you don't have any news, make some for yourself.
- Talk to successful faux painters and investigate what they did/do to become successful.
- Practice some more. Study some more. Then do it all some more.
If all fails, you can always drop me an e-mail. Not that I am the most successful faux painter, there are others who a more successful (measured by income) but it's way enough for my lifestyle.
Take care of business and be safe.