5 Steps to Turn Your Artwork into a Small Business

There are only about 50,000 people in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that make a living through creating artworks, doing performances, or writing. That’s a pretty small number when you consider the number of people who work in the United States!

Does this mean you can’t turn your artwork into a small business? No, but it does mean that you need to put in plenty of work to do so! Starting a business with your art is not impossible, but it’s a competitive field, and things might move slowly for you at first. Here are five steps you need to take to turn your artwork into a small business:

1. Figure out who you’re selling to. 

You can either sell fine art through a gallery, or you can sell artworks directly to everyday people. Selling through a gallery will net you bigger prices for each work of art, but it can be difficult to sell many pieces in a year – or even to get a gallery to represent you before you’ve already made a name for yourself! Selling to everyday people requires that you be your own salesperson, and you may end up selling mostly prints of your artwork instead of original pieces.

The method you decide to use will really depend on your personality and goals. If you want to make a name for yourself in the world of art, you’ll want to go through a gallery. If you just want to have fun being creative and make some money doing it, it may be easier, in some ways, to sell directly to everyday people.

2. Figure out where you can get your name out there. 

There are lots of ways to display art for the public. You can talk to local business owners to see if they’ll display your artwork with a small business card and price beside it. It’s a good way for them to get a free rotating display of original, local art for their walls, and it’s a good way for you to start finding customers.

Lots of local businesses will put your art on the walls, though some might ask for a commission if you sell a piece to their customers. Doctors’ offices, lawyers’ offices, car dealerships, coffee shops, restaurants – pretty much any local business that doesn’t have strict franchise laws regarding what it can put on its walls is open game.

3. Get a business license. 

In most states your first couple hundred dollars of sales aren’t taxed, but after that, you’ll need to pay taxes on your sales. For this, you’ll need a business license. You can usually apply online through your state’s business department, and it normally doesn’t cost much at all.

You might also want to consider getting insurance for your artwork, since it can easily get damaged in traveling to shows and such. If you plan to expand your business into doing murals or other things that would take you into people’s businesses or homes as an entrepreneur, it’s a good idea to become bonded and insured, which means you’ll be able to cover any damage you might happen to cause on someone else’s property. You can find out more about all the business-y aspects of selling your art online, or see if there’s a business support organization in your community.

4. Decide where and how to sell. 

Lots of artists these days are using websites like ArtFire and Etsy to sell their work from online shops. This can be a good way to get a web presence, but it’s also difficult to compete in this type of environment. If your artwork is better experienced in person, figure out how you can help people do that. Traveling to local and regional arts and crafts fairs can be a good way to do this. Many vendors say they don’t get a ton of sales at the fairs, but showing their work in person and handing out business cards ramps up online business and custom orders.

Just be sure that the arts and crafts fair suits the style of your artwork. Modern fine art wouldn’t do so well at a fair geared towards country crafts. If you aren’t sure, head to the fair the year before you decide to purchase a booth, or talk to other vendors to see if you’d be a good fit. Many fairs and shows are juried, which means you have to be judged by a panel before they’ll decide to let you in. Getting into a juried show can make a big difference for your business, as they often cater to more upscale clientele in a particular niche.

5. Market your business. 

Business cards are a must-have, and there are plenty of online printing companies that will print your business cards for next to nothing. You can also do a postcard marketing campaign with people you, your friends, and your family members know. It’s not always super successful, but it can get the word out about your business and website.

It’s always a good idea to use blogs and other social media to grow a new business in this market, too. You can blog about your experiences as an artist and connect with former and future customers in these ways.

It can take some time to start an artwork-based business, but it’s definitely doable. Take things slowly, and learn to think about your artwork as a business. Remember that this is a competitive niche, so don’t expect your artwork business to turn into a full-time venture overnight.


Abigail Hall helps small business owners including artist and performers compare business credit cards at CreditDonkey.  For new business owners, read her blog to learn how to evaluate credit card applications and deals.  Remember, with hard work, dedication, and creativity, though, you can become one of the few people in the US making a living off of your creative passions.


Where to Find Logo Inspiration Online

Where to Find Logo Inspiration Online

Whether you’re a graphic designer or simply trying to brainstorm designs for your own company logo, looking at successful logos from other designers can be an excellent creativity boost. Once you get an idea of what you like and what works well, you can create your own design with ease. Here’s 10 places to search online for great logo ideas. As an added bonus, many of them allow you to contact the designer, so you may be able to hire an artist whose work you particularly like.

1. LogoPond is a popular and well-known site for sharing and displaying logos. You can search for specific logos or simply browse the gallery for ideas.

2. LogoMoose showcases the best logo designs from around the web, allowing visitors to vote for the best designs. You can search the gallery by ranking, and even see what logos have won awards.

3. LogoLounge tracks design trends and industry news. This site gives you a great opportunity to see what’s successful in popular businesses worldwide.

4. TheDesignInspiration is, as the name suggests, a place to search for inspiration from logos, photographs, graphics, and fonts. If you see something you like, you can visit an individual designer’s website for more.

5. LogoSauce runs regular logo competitions, and you can check the “Top 6” best logos at any time for an idea of what’s popular.

6. Logo of the Day professional screens and judges professional logos from around the world and displays the best nominations publicly. Anyone can suggest a logo, and you can also review the month’s logo archives for even more ideas.

7.DeviantArt is a popular site for artists and designers to show off their best work. If you like what you see, you may be able to contact the artist directly through their page to get commission information.

8.Logo Design Love is a website built for designers, not just to provide graphic ideas but also as a resource for articles and news topics related to design.

9. Brand New is a site focusing on corporate branding and marketing strategies, with a design angle. Visitors can peruse articles, headlines, and designs for inspiration and branding strategies.

10. LogoLog is a design blog focusing on interesting and unusual logo designs. If you want to think outside the box and come up with something truly unique, the designs here may be a great starting point.

Whether you’re searching for inspiration by looking at successful corporate designs, browsing freelancer portfolios, or reading design articles, browsing a design website can be a great way to free up your creativity and come up with a truly unique design.

Having the right logo can make all the difference in the world. Avery Petersen, a small business consultant, helps his clients find the best logo designs at affordable prices. Logomojo.com has proven to be the best option time after time. Click here to find out how you can get your own designs that fit in your budget.

Hiring – Energetic Secretary

We are HIRING!

Due to the increasing workload, Virtary is now looking for an energetic secretary who can help us on daily administrative duties.

If you are:

  • Female (20 – 28 years old)
  • Strong English written and spoken
  • Graduated from secretarial academy
  • Technology freak who is not afraid of working long hours
  • Result oriented and has an extraordinary skill to manage daily projects
  • Since this position is NOT virtual, so candidates living near Virtary office area will be preferable.

To be considered for this position, please send us the following details:

  • An introduction email in ENGLISH contains of 3 short paragraphs telling us who you are and why you think you are good for this position
  • Short curriculum vitae telling us your biodata, education and job experiences (if there’s any)
  • Your image

Send the above to email:



Please DON’T send us any attachments in PDF format, or your application will automatically be deleted.

The acceptable form is only WORDS document.

Deadline for application submission:

January 30, 2012

Only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

Thanks and looking forward for your application 🙂


Happy New Year 2012

Here we go starting a new year again. Last Friday, January 8, 2012, finally we made a sort of weekend getaway.

All Virtary core team went together and had fun for a couple of hours at Tribeca, Central Park, Jakarta.

This is actually our late New Year celebration as our schedule is quite full and nearly didn’t get a chance to do anything else except works!










This year, we have got some new roles coming over, and actually a simple weekend getaway is just a way to motivate us that we should do better for the upcoming challenges.

It’s been a great honor for us to work with all clients, especially those who have been with us in the last two-years.

We really thank you for the trust!

We wish you a happy prosperous New Year 2012 !



Entrepreneurship Seminar

Dec 7, 2011

I was invited to be the speaker for Entrepreneurship Seminar conducted at Technic Faculty – University of Indonesia.

Thanks for all Technic Faculty students for the invitation. It was nice to meet all of you in there.




1 Sell Yourself Online!

I realized since the first time I became a virtual assistant that this job needs more than just, “Years of professional experiences in administration, secretary or personal assistant”. As a matter in fact, I think it needs a strong marketing and selling skill to market the services.

Working as an independent contractor makes you stand alone and your career fully depends on how well you attract projects to come up. Project means money, no project means end of the line. It’s as simple as that.

That’s something that sometimes most contractors forgot. We concentrate and focus on our skills but simply forget how to market the services. I understand not everybody has marketing sense, not everybody can sell. Yet, actually no one was born with the skill either which means it’s something we can learn.

As Einstein said, “I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious”
It’s true. Marketing is not a talent, it’s a skill that anyone can learn and get it advanced.

You might have been very advanced with the special skills that you are going to offer to the clients.

But if you don’t know where to find and how to offer, then everything will become zero.

You might have been years working as multi talented designer, but if you don’t know how to approach new clients and gain more projects, then your business simply will become static then finally collaps.

So, learning marketing is very important when you enter the virtual assistant business.

I know many of us have been running social media marketing activities for clients, some are quite experts in SEO, many are great in writing sales copy. So, why don’t we run the strategy and prepare the battle plan for ourselves?

If you are joining outsourcing websites like Odesk, Elance, Guru and so on, create attractive profile, set up your specialization, send out different and killer proposal instead of the canned response ones. Be different, be unique. Price yourself wisely. Not always the cheapest that will get the project, and not always the most expensive is high quality. So, learn your lesson.

If you are non outsourcing websites member, research and identify who will be the most potential market for you, who will benefit the most by using your service. After you know who they are, find them and get a way to approach them in a favorable manner.

I always love to think in a systematic way based on the old scheme of 5W +1H.








That’s actually an old fashion method of doing marketing, but it really helps me on many way, including finding the most effective strategy to market my service. By doing this systematic questioning, it would be easier for me to identify and finalize what steps that I should take on next.

Virtual Assistant profession needs more than just years of professional experiences. You don’t have to be executive secretary, do not need official certifications, what you need is eagerness to learn, the capability to survive, the professionalism to accomplish project by project and many times, crazy ideas to market yourself and services 😀



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