I work from home. I’m never quite sure how to describe what I do. When I meet people I often get asked what I do. When I tell them I make art they then ask what I do for a living. The assumption is that those who make art make a living by other means. This isn’t always true, but I’ve never met a 25 year old that was self-supportive selling art. So, like anyone else my age, I’ve worked hard to secure a job that makes ends meet and doesn’t drive me insane.
I started an Ebay business about the time I graduated college. I’ve always had a series of small business ventures. Since I was 16 I’ve bounced between selling paintings online, doing custom sewing and selling vintage. I’ve only had one conventional job, waiting tables, and I hated it. A lot of my friends wait tables, enjoy it and are quite good at it. There were aspects about it that I liked, but my introversion eventually got the best of me.
I love what I do now because it provides flexibility. If I want to make more money, I can, because I set my own hours. I can also save up a bit and close shop for a week or two if I want to go somewhere. There’s also a lot to be said for having no commute and being able to work in your pajamas while drinking beer and listening to loud old punk albums all day (not that I frequently do this, but the option is always there). Like any other job, it can eventually lead to lots of drudgery, email answering and screen staring though. Spending most days at home can also be draining, which is why I’ve taken up running as I search for hobbies that don’t take place in my house.
I work for about 5 hours a day, most of which is spent photographing, organizing and listing things. On the weekends I haunt yard sales and estate auctions. I mostly sell costume jewelry and nick nacks but I’ll buy just about anything I can turn a profit on. There’s something about an old country estate auction, early on a cold morning, elbowing your way through a crowd of coverall clad country dwellers to yell out a bid that satisfies the primitive urge to hunt. I’ve bought and sold broken clocks, prosthetic arms, antiquated electronics, absolutely hideous clothing and ceramic figurines that look like something conjured from a nightmare. Every day it’s something different.
I’m thinking about doing a series on tips for starting an online business. If this sounds like something you’d like to see on my blog, leave me a comment with some topic suggestions and I’ll try to address them when I start writing.