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Tax season (Ugh)

So it came, it's lame, and sometimes the rain in Spain falls (mainly) in the plain.

I think here's as good a place as any for a small business tax forum to discuss our strategies for maximising our refunds, what forms to file, who needs to file, what's considered a deductable, etcetera. I only know about fursuit-y type things for deductions, so I will start things off.

I'm filling out a Schedule C(1040), a schedule SE(SUPER IMPORTANT if you don't have a 'primary' job) and of course a 1040.

Schedule C part 2 is super nice this year, with a well detailed expenses form and (part 3) cost of goods form.

The only things I can say that aren't obvious are remember your vehicle counts as a work vehicle so maintainence and gas can be deductable under certain circumstances, and convention expendatures can count as advertising/business deductables!

Business Cards

Hey guys,

Has anyone noticed anything in particular that makes people more likely to keep your business cards as well as to actually keep you in mind?

What do you put on your cards? Do you stay simple with just a name and web url or do you give out everything? Do you use a piece of art on the back of your cards?

Who do you recommend for printing business cards and other marketing materials?

Lets get some brainstorming going on here?

What's the going rate for conbadges?

I need some help with pricing, specifically for conventions.  I'm pretty new to the furry con scene, my first one ever being last year's Further Confusion.  I made the mistake of WAY undercharging for badges, and filled up much too quick.

So I'm wondering what a reasonable price would be for fully-rendered watercolor conbadges, laminated 3x4 size.  Something roughly like these (the samples from last year).  If it makes a difference, I'm specifically wondering about at-con rates for badges that will be finished and ready for pick-up by the next day.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Writing Literature

Hey guys,

I read recently that the sales for books IRL are down because of e-Books and I find that completely understandable.

However, I have had my own 'how-to-draw- book project planned for a while and have my own concerns about it. My original customer base that I'll aim for is furry/anime artists and convention artists but I want to cover more than just drawing...

Would you be interested in a HTD book/series if it included additional information like
  • Selling/Marketing your Artwork and Expanding your customer base (Selling online, printing services vs. printing at home, how to price your work, etc)
  • Convention Tips and Tricks (Typical convention AA, setup and selling techniques, etc)
  • DIY Art Products you can make (buttons, charms, jewelry, etc)
  • General Species Study Chapters (Differences in species, reference study techniques, a 'scientific' approach at mythological creatures, etc)
I'll likely plan on selling the books as e-books, books on CD and have a few physical copies printed through Lulu or something.

I'd have a few lessons published online for free and then have most of the material for sale.
What sorts of other art-related info could people want?
And would you even be interested in this sort of thing?

The reds have invaded, get to the fort!

Whats with all the russian posts lately with no reply option available?

New to the Community

Since it sais we are allowed to introduce ourselves, i feel i should at least do that for now.

My name is Temrin. I am currently a Web Design student but also a furry artist. Art is my only means of income and amazingly enough I've been able to scrape together what i need month by month with the help of the amazing people who have commissioned me.

I have an official business portfolio website in the making in hopes to have a place to display wider variances of my work, especially when i get into more of my web and graphic design work.

I've only considered myself a REAL part of the furry community (online and offline) for about 2 years. I have been drawing anthropomorphic and Fantasy artwork since grade 5 but never really knew about the communities online. (Unforunately when i did, i was opressed my by parents as well as the boyfriend at that time. They were both very, discriminitive of my art in some ways.) Now though, i live with roommates who are all int he community and I've never felt more connected. My parents have really come around and accepted my artwork and now are proud that i can support myself with it. (at least most of the time.)

I've only just started getting into the Convention scene so i am not very experienced. I've been to Rainfurrest twice ('09 and '10 ) and plan on going again every year from here on in. This passed RF was my first time dealing at a furry convention and it was a blast. I have dealt previous at an Anime con but due to circumstances beyond the staff's control me and many other artists got shafted and business was so very poor even for those famous artists who make thousands of dollars in one weekend.

I have also been to Howloween (Vancouver BC) and will be there this year as well. There is no dealing at this venue as its a one day con and the hotel doesn't allow it. But it is a great place to hang and meet local furs. (Its like a giant day long furmeet. With a bowling after party the next day.)

I've dabbled in fursuit making but with time constraints of making a living off digital/traditional art commissions and having school every other free moment i haven't had the time to delve into it more. Even if i did i think i'd only do it for fun. I've always loved costuming since i was little and so i find the process of fursuiting very relaxing for me. I wouldn't want to ruin that by making it a job as well as everything else. (Everyone needs a little fun in their life :3 )

You can find me in many different place online but i only seem to update two major galleries.
Deviantart and Furaffinity. (commission prices and status are stated on the front pages of both. DA: Under the journal, FA: Links in the profile area)

I also have an Inkbunny account that is updated with only prints so that they are available to any who may be interested. (its cheaper then Deviantart too! )

I don't use my LJ account other then receiving messages and sending messages and community posts but links are supplied on my journal to where you can find me.

If anyone has any questions for me i'd be more then happy to consider answering if i can :3

~Temrin
Hey all.

I've been kicking around the idea of openning up an art studio and becoming a full time artist in my own right.  While there are a few snags that I can work out through research (like how to file taxes, insuring your merchandise, how to pay employees, etc) there's one thing I can't figure out on my own.

So full time artists and fursuit builders, what do you do for your health insurance? 

I have a monthly perscription that I can afford without having to purchase insurance, but I -do- however, have to go to the doctor once a year to renew it, and that would be a huge expense I probably couldn't afford.  Then if I got sick, I would take a hit in lab fees, hospitalization, ambulance rides, etc.

Thanks for your input.

xposted to artists_beware 

Any advice for selling at conventions?

Hi everyone!  I am brand new to the fandom, and relatively new to selling art in general.  In January I'll be heading to Further Confusion and selling in the dealer's room - this is my first ever furry convention.  I've just about gotten the hang of anime cons, and was wondering how/if fur cons differ and if there's anything I should do in advance to prepare.

Typically I set up a small display board with a few sample pictures fitting the con's theme and a commission price list, and have business cards and a binder of prints sitting on the table.  Then just chat with people as they come by and work on commission art.  I tend to do very well on commissions but not sell much premade stuff or prints.  Are there any types of premade merchandise that you've had luck selling at cons, or any tips on making a better display?  How about things like badges... should I come prepared with badge holders and lanyards/pins or do people bring their own?  I'd like to get started stocking up on supplies sooner rather than later.

Also, on the topic of pricing -  any ideas on the going rate of commissioned paintings like this or this?  I have been charging around $30 and getting plenty of business, but think that maybe I'm undercharging.


Anyhoo, sorry for the barrage of questions and thanks in advance for any advice!

Etsy

I know a lot of folks have a lot of success with Etsy.. I'm not doing so hot with it.

I imagine I must be missing something.

When you have an etsy account ( or any online selling platform similar) how do you promote it? Where do you promote it?

Is there anything I can do to better utilize this tool?

Thanks!

Bookkeeping?

I plan to start keeping tighter records of sales and spending, but as I've never done any sort of bookkeeping before, I'm not really sure how best to go about it.

I got a filing cabinet and some folders, and I've started recording things in excel. But does anyone have any tips on how best to keep things organized? Any strategies or organizational anecdotes?

I'm also wondering if it's more standard to organize your filing cabinets by month or by "type" (as in, supply receipts, misc receipts, sales receipts, etc). I'm thinking probably month, since taxes are done every three months, but that seems like it will get very messy and disorganized. Insight?