COVID-19 & My Art Practice - T.Schlossberg 5/11/2020
Like many of my friends and colleagues, my art practice has been hit hard by this deadly virus. Last year was spent setting up 2020 to be a profitable year with a comic convention every month, and venturing to take my business out-of-state for the first time. I was excited about the opportunity to expand my business, share my art in new areas, and grow my fanbase. Alas, that is no longer to come to pass for this year. At first I was upset and fraught with uncertainty, it was time to turn into this skid, and take control for the future of my business.
Thanks to the Disaster Unemployment Act for self-employed or sole proprietorships such as myself, it gives a little relief and allows me to review my business plan, and think of various ways to diversify my business. Like many artists, my income is 95-98% dependent upon in-person sales. Online sales are virtually non-existent despite having a store. So how does one flip that script during a crisis and economic downturn?
I decided to use my DUA time to focus on projects normally put on the back burner due to lack of time. Having a convention or festival once a month or twice a month, taxes your resources to keep your product fresh in a saturated market. These projects have been on my mind since I started the Comic Con circuit realizing one cannot keep such a schedule up forever without neglecting family, friends, and self. Rather than dwell on lack of sales, it is time to draw and write my books, create passive income with fabric design using original art, and create process and online how-to art videos. There are other areas I may delve into that include licensing, but I need to figure out how that fits into my overall persona of my business.
Doing all of this while my family is working and schooling from home can be daunting, However, it will not stop me from keeping my business moving forward and diversifying. It will not tarnish my spirit. Keeping going is paramount. Recognizing that I am not alone in this also helps. While I expect the conventions and festivals set in the fall to also be cancelled, I hold out hope that my new projects will help fill the void.