Art In The Time of Covid
Updated: Mar 26
My name is Leo Charre. I am an artist living in Charlottesville, VA, USA. I am in my forties, I have been earning a living as a visual artist for the last 8 years. My primary sales are online- I sell and ship art world wide.
As a self employed artist primarily selling work online and shipping- I am learning about how to adapt and move forward as the global Covid-19 pandemic takes hold of our world.
I aim to share what I am learning and assist other artists in this anxious time.
Today, I have decided to start doing so. My knowledge is limited- but I feel I have learned enough at this point to begin to share. This will be a work in progress. I will need the help of my fellow peers to highlight important questions, point to sources for answers, and help us encourage each other.
I love this imperfect world. And what I may have to offer as resource- I want to share.
I spent the last weeks with a very dark outlook and now I am seeing some light.
These are things that may be of interest for any questions you may have.
I'm a native Spanish speaker- I have sloppy Portuguese, and I'm fluent in English.
I've worked as a web designer, graphic designer, video game concept artist and video game artist, free software developer. I have coded perl, bash, php, html, sql- I use macOS, iOS, linux. I've developed document management systems, worked with OCR libraries etc. I no longer code but my work is on CPAN. I no longer create websites for other people but I will assist with resources if the circumstances require it.
I have build over 100 websites for clients and organizations, professionally. I have made and managed sites in html, php, wordpress, wix- my first site was in tucows, if you know what that was.
My website runs on wix platform.
I am formally trained at VCU, SMFA. I am proficient in oil paint, watercolor, graphite, pastel, gouache, graphic markers, inks, ank acrylic.
I have sold art on the street, a little bit in galleries, I have run a retail gallery with fellow artists for over 1 year. Today 98% of my sales are online. I have hundreds of collectors and many consistent collecting clients mostly in the United States and Europe.
I work at home- I have a studio in the beautiful city of Staunton, VA, USA for when I am able to paint large. I have shipped a lot.
A lot of art people say huh? Taxes? That may be because you my friend, are selling very little and yet have to grasp the reality that you are a part of the economy just like every brick layer, lawyer, and taxi driver. If all goes well- you won't be able to hide the money you make. This is painful but it's a reality of life. Eat that turd sandwich as a given and let's move forward. I am self employed and currently in the United States that means getting Uncle Sam's junk hit me in the face at 15.3%. That means every $1k coming into your pocket- you give $153 (so we can bail out corporations in this time of need. Maybe they'll use some of that money to subsidize the oil industry and financial institutions as well. If you don't like it- VOTE.)
Areas I may be of help in.
How do I get more viewers/sales via instagram. Should I post prices on my work?
How do I sell on ebay.
How do I sell on my website. How do I make a website or have one made to sell art?
How do I ship my art?
How do I take payments online for my work, how do I invoice a client?
How much should I charge for my art, my shipping?
Your Qualifications (for personal assistance).
On an individual basis- I am willing to look at your situation and provide consulting if I am able. This may include going over your online presence, custom attention to your business model, phone time.
I will not squander my finite resource of time on people who, are well off, or don't really make and sell art. I will prioritize on your ability to make and sell art, and your financial situation. I will charge you for any time- very little if you can prove you need it $15 an hour of my time. If you don't need it, I will charge you your first born and $125 an hour.
Be aware I am not seeking work in the field of consulting. Proceed with caution.
Before you even ask for case by case attention, I expect that you;
Already make art.
You have sold art before.
You genuinely need help and or encouragement.
If you contact me for personal help with your specific setup for this career- your email must include;
A brief introduction including, any formal training, your mediums employed. Do you already sell online, how often- state your anxieties and what you're concerned about moving forward.
Plan of Action.
I aim to provide a series of blog posts and collection of resources pertaining to strengthening and or maintaining a visual arts retail income. I will try to keep my ranting down, and politics scant (and I will often fail, see above).
How you can help me.
Ask questions- highlight issues, state your concerns, if I can answer I will write on it and share. If it's relevant and I have no answers I will research and post. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, please include the words 'art' and 'covid' preferably in the subject or body of the email. (Yes, I'm confident in Bayes filtering.)
I will post this to reddit for discussion and on Instagram where I may reach other artists.