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Ryn Shell: Internationally acclaimed artist, formerly of Buninyong Gallery. Author of historical fiction mysteries set in Australia.
Over the next few articles, I will discuss what is important when you have made that momentous decision to start your own online business, peddling whatever it is that you are good at, or would like to offer to your potential customers.
The internet has given many of us, who previously couldn’t even consider the possibility of working from home and for ourselves, an opportunity to do just that. For me, as an unknown author, I know that my book sales, initially anyway, are unlikely to keep that nasty, financial wolf from banging on my door, demanding his pound of flesh. So, it was only logical I cast around looking for business opportunities to parlay my skills and abilities into cold, hard cash.
The first thing I needed to consider was – What are my skills that someone else may want to purchase? I mean there’s not a lot of point in offering your skills as say, a massage therapist, to someone living in a different country, now is there? (Unless they’re offering to pay for your air-ticket, of course. Maybe you’re that good with the old muscle manipulation – but I suspect not.) So, that’s the first issue to resolve in your mind, before starting out. Not just, what am I good at, but what will other people pay me their hard-earned income, to do for them?
For me, it was a dilemma. In a previous life, I was an accountant and that is a VERY marketable skill. However, the whole point for me, in taking up writing full-time. was that it was what I wanted to do. It was my joy and my pleasure – my bliss! To have set up an online business offering accounting & financial services and advice might well have been profitable for me, but it would have been a retrograde step, back to a world I gladly left behind several years ago. No, for me, whatever service I offered, it had to be, in some way, related to writing.
So, step one – determine your skills, your bliss, and your potential customers. That is what you do first. Once you are clear in your mind, what services you want to offer, you can move on to step number two. In my case, the obvious choice for me was to offer my skills as a proof-reader and editor. I had worked, a few years ago, as a print journalist for a newspaper and had honed my skills at editing during that period. Also, as an avid reader of self-published authors, I was aware many of the so-called “editors” peddling their wares in the marketplace, were frankly awful and expensive. In fact, I remember having a discussion with an author, after I’d read her book and quietly suggesting to her that she might want to get a good editor to run an eye over the manuscript. It was full of typos, missing words, and inappropriate words. I was horrified when she told me she had already paid a “substantial” amount of money, to have it edited, before publishing. It was clear to me the “editor” had done nothing more than run the manuscript through the “Word” spellchecker. Obviously, that was all. There were no “spelling” errors in the manuscript per se, but there was a veritable heap of inappropriate words, missing words, and misplaced words. I realised there was a niche in the market for quality, professional, low-cost, accurate, and timely editing and proofreading services. That’s where I would make my pitch, I decided.
Okay, so now you’ve decided what you want to offer in this giant, marketplace called the Internet, the next question is; Step number two – What are you going to call yourself?
Be sure to check out the next article, when I discuss that most important of questions: What’s In A Name? It may well surprise you that choosing an appropriate name for your online business is actually one of the major keys to your online success.
Until then, keep dreaming and keep dreaming big. “If you don’t have big dreams, big dreams can’t come true”.
I am an expatriate New Zealander, now living in the Philippines with my beautiful wife and two lovely daughters. At age 55, after careers in Journalism and finance, I finally discovered my true passion in life – writing. I am now a full-time author who has written or co-written seven novels, across differing genres.
My latest project is a Historical Romance set to the backdrop of the Philippine revolution of 1896, against the Spanish.
I believe in the power of the written word and the mantra that I live by and finish each of my blog posts on my website with is:
CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY!
EMBRACE THE OPPORTUNITIES LIFE PRESENTS TO YOU AND ALWAYS, ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!
HAVE A GREAT LIFE AND SPREAD THE LOVE!
CHANGING THE WORLD – ONE READER AT A TIME
GRANT LEISHMAN'S NOVELS
I love that Grant Leishhman doesn't pump out formula plots, as I love originality. As he is a proofreader, you can be certain his books are skilfully written. You'll be certain to enjoy them. I've not been paid no express this opinion of Grant Leishman's books or for promoting them here. I do this to encourage great writing talent.
Cheers, Ryn Shell, author and artist..
The Artist’s Way of Holding the Pencil. Position A. Gliding on the little finger.
The Artist’s Way of Holding the Pencil. Position A/ Gliding on the little finger.
Hold the pencil firmly but lightly two make sure your hand is 2 to 3 inches away from the point and you do not have a vice like grip on it, as that would restrict free movement and while it might allow you to write it prevents the flowing movement across the page required to draw well.
Position A shows the artist resting the little finger on the paper and holding the pencil loosely between thumb and the top two fingers then drawing by sliding the hand along the paper guided in the distance away from the paper by the little finger. If you are covering a small area, you can just swing the hand, from the wrist, if covering a larger area, swing the arm and slide the pencil along using this little finger as a guide.
Practice makes perfect. It is a myth to believe that we are born talented. We may born, with the desire within us to apply ourselves to things we love, learn and practice harder at some things than others, less interested in them, might do and so we become talented. Every one of us has a strong creative urge, we are all, artistic. Some of us have just developed these skills, more than, others. If you want to become an artist, you can. You do not need to be talented to start, you need to have the desire, to learn and practice. it is your teacher who needs to have the talent to show how, explain why, and constructively critique the students work, in order for you to advance.
Hold the pencil firmly but lightly 2" to 3" above the point. Never grip the pencil tightly. In drawing your hand needs to be loose to move freely over the whole paper so you work with sweeps of your hand and arm.
Practice these hand positions; I will give you some pencil movement exercises next. "Happy drawing."
Swing the pencil in circles. Then swing the circle the other way.
I come from a family of creative artistic people and all those I knew aside from my sister and myself, did themselves a great deal of harm by neglecting their body's health through a life of sedentary work due to an obsession with their art. Artist's can be healthy and creative but it requires learning life balance, something I am constantly working on.
My early influences concerning art were all positive. No one ever told me I could not be a success as an artist. I always believed in myself. I had the evidence before my eyes that art and artists could achieve greatness and talent that was appreciated and valued by society.
I never knew of the struggles of artists who never made a success of their dreams. My only experience with artists involved the finest examples of art and work ethics and to witness, through my family’s activities, that success was a total package, requiring public relations skill, good business practice and long hours that usually continued into regular sleeping hours.
I also experienced firsthand that working long hours and multitasking was hard on the families of professional artists. That is why I put professional painting aside for almost a decade and did other work while my children were young. I also witnessed how the demands of the creative professions can have a negative effect on the health of many artists. That raises issues I write about. Artists need to practice life balance and well as drawing circles for a well-rounded healthy life.
Please use the comments section to communicate with me.
My online art students, please ask questions, and I'll strive to assist you to learn, at your pace, through both tutorial demonstration videos and written notes added to these existing pages.
"Ryn Shell is an author and internationally successful award-winning fine artist. Her stories are timeless, her paintings are elegant and beyond fashion"