I was going to set up a new blog entitled ‘Art as a Business’, but then thought that it would probably be a very short blog.

I’ll just continue with my plan and see what happens.

The printed canvases arrived yesterday ( well, they were actually delivered Monday, but I had to keep arranging deliveries until I had a day off) I loved them. If they don’t sell at the Open Studio, I’ll put them on my own wall. It will remind me of all the work I’ve put in to that installation.

I asked if I could put a canvas of the work boots installation in the store where I’m showing at the Barnaby Festival and got a flat ‘No’.

No way of earning money there then.

Still….things have been set in motion for future changes and that’s the most important thing,


Still none the wiser about tax…. is it really such a no no in the field of discussion? Why haven’t I just given them a ring to find out? Hmmmm…. Fear of being taxed for earnings that I haven’t made perhaps?


I did have a good think about my work, and to many people’s horror, I have decided to try to combine my unsellable installations with the more commercial side, by printing images of them onto canvas. I will also explore other areas of printing, but if they do sell, I can continue doing the same type of work and not worry so much about doing them for nothing.

The best solution here though, would be that the galleries actually pay me to have my work there, but in the mean time, I’ll just have to make the best I can of the situation.

The Open studio is now just 5 weeks away and although I’m really trying to make my work more appealing to a wider market, it is a struggle. I’ve been making collages and some cards, but I don’t really know if my heart is in it. It’s really hard to break out into a different area.

I read an article recently about Open studios and it made a lot of sense I suppose. http://eaststreetarts.org.uk/news/eight-reasons-why-you-should-participate-in-open-studios/ it has made me glad that I am at least making an effort.

What do other artists do about sales by the way? I mean sales over what buyers would comfortably carry around with them? Do I now need to look into taking credit card sales? Sigh… I feel such a novice in this making a living lark. It was so much easier when I didn’t think about sales :-(


Tax or not? It’s a question I’ve been asking many artists over the last few weeks and everyone it seems, has a different answer. Most haven’t got a clue (which is a bit worrying)

So – if you are not a self employed artist and pay tax in your ‘normal’ job, do you register with the HM Revenue in the small chance that you may sell work?

All that I could find in a-n’s Knowledge Bank is a Q & A:

Q I’ve started to pick up commissions and paid work, but at what point do I need to register as self employed?

A You are required to register as with the Inland Revenue either when you have started trading – i.e. exchanging money for goods or services, or when you start advertising. As an individual artist you can register as a sole trader and pay tax through the Self Assessment system, you will also pay National Insurance contributions. You can register online and find useful information at www.hmrc.gov.uk

But again – what if you are not self employed and don’t actively seek commissions , paid work or try to sell outside? Apart from being an idiot for not attempting to make a living – should we register as we are seen as trading because we ‘put our work out there?’

I’ve been told you can earn a small amount, but can someone please clear this up as its all a bit vague?


While I’ve been carrying on with my normal routine, something about NY pops into my head. Random things trigger memories….like the snow on Fargo…packaging on a delivery…words from a song…….all bringing fond memories of events, but also reminding me that things should change.

So instead of working through a rare few days off as I normally would, I went out. From a non art related lunchtime meeting involving lots of cake to an evening amateur dramatic production of a murder mystery. Something I would never do, but the opportunity popped up and I took it.

Apart from shopping for art supplies (is that actually counted as work?) I’ve done nothing. Will I feel guilty – or worse still panic because I’m now behind schedule?

At the moment I don’t care.

I’ve been reassessing everything since NY. Things that I hadn’t thought of before. I don’t know if it was because I was mixing with a different set of people, being in a different environment, or just simply because I had the luxury of time, but I know that all of this work without pay (and sometimes without pleasure!) isn’t what I want.

The Open studio tour is looming…. I don’t know why they call it that as I don’t think many artists are actually opening their studios and showing their method of working. It’s more a chance to find a venue and display work that is framed and ready to sell. The emphasis is very much on sales.

I don’t sell work.

Or rather….I didn’t sell work, but now I must try to. The pressure is killing me. That’s probably another reason why I’ve done nothing this weekend. (Nothing as in work – I’ve actually had a really good time otherwise!)

I’ve been flicking through ‘Steal like an artist’ by Austin Kleon on Amazon. Like ‘How to be artist’ by Michael Avatar … it’s one of those books I see in lots of bookshops, and think ‘how dare they tell me what to do’…but then take a sneaky peek anyway. It’s full of things that have been said before and a little clichéd, but it’s funny and has lifted my spirits. Sometimes it’s good for someone to state the obvious for you to take notice.

So I’m back in work tomorrow and what have I achieved after 3 days off?

Hmmm…quite a lot actually.