Category Archives: Traveling Artist

Setting Up A Small Business In San Jose

Now I have my work visa I can reopen my etsy business… So heres how I did that. This is just advice and a good starting point, but please check for yourself as rules and laws change. In California setting up a business is a little more complicated as they have more rules than most of the states in the USA.

So Where Do You Go First?

Step 1. Advice

If your a complete beginner then a great starting point is Score They are brilliant they have lots of courses to get you started and your learn everything about different types of business entities, business planning, marketing and more. You can also arrange to have a mentor with them too.

Before I could reopen my etsy shop, my first port of call was the local town hall for advice and mine was San Jose City Hall. They will tell you to obtain a sellers licenses and a Fictious Business Name. Once you have that then you can register your business for tax with City Hall. There are quiet a few other steps and it can be confusing so heres a breakdown of things you will need to do, depending on your business. I work from home and sell on line so this is what I did.

Step 2. Register Business Name: County Clerk Recorder 

Address: 70 W. Hedding Street, San Jose, CA 95110

When registering your business name it all depends on a few things…. If you use your name for your business you do not need to register that. The best advice I can offer is to go direct to Small Business Ally, I got this information from San Jose Town, but your advised to email them first, you just can’t go in and expect to see him or her. For City of San Jose, its:

Juan F. Borrelli, AICP he is there Small Business Ally.

www.sanjoseca.gov/businesscoach

Step 3. Sellers License – Sales & Use Permit (Seller’s Permit) FREE

All businesses selling or leasing tangible property must obtain a Seller’s Permit. I got that from the “State Board of Equalization”

Address: 250 S. 2nd Street, San Jose, CA 95113,

When applying for your sellers licence you will need

1. Bank Address:

2. Suppliers Address: e.g. I used Michaels for some of my supplies so I used them.

3. Fictitious Business Name which lasts 5 years or if you use your own name you don’t need to apply for a Fictitious Name (but please check for yourself as rules change and every city has its own set of rules.

4. Tax ID also known as EIN – I don’t use this atm as its just me, but I might change later.

A Heads up currently the Sales Tax rate in San Jose is 9.25%

Step 4. Registering for Business Tax

You obtain this from your local Town Hall. Mine was San Jose City Hall.

In the reception they will send you to counters 1 and 2 (they may change this in the future but its a heads up) The guys and girls there are very helpful  and they will give you a form to fill in. Registering your business costs $250 a year. You only have to register once, but this fee is payable every year. There do offer a waiver if you earn less than $23,000 a year, and theres a form for that too.

Step 5. Learn More About How Sales Tax/ Use Tax Works.

Go back to the “State Board of Equalization” they have a few free courses on sales tax and more and will help you with everything you need to know for filing sales taxes and Use Tax.

Step 6. Setting up a Business Bank account.

As I run a small home creative business my best advice in the early stages is to find a business account that charges you no fees or low fees to start up. I personally would use a credit union. I use Keypoint Credit Union, they offer a FREE Business account with no fees.

When setting up your account take all your business documents with you, they will need to check over all your credentials.

Sellers License.

Business Registration

Work Permit EAD

Social Security 

Home address, Business address if different

Step 7. Find A Good Accountant.

At the end of you need to file your schedule C for business, I was referred to my accountant and he is brilliant. As a newbie to the USA and filing taxes here, its a must to start off with your right foot forward…

Once I contacted my accountant he called me and talked me through my taxes. He gave me a list of items he required on the form filling so he could fill in my forms, and do my books for me at the end of the year.  My first year completing my tax was painless.

Never be frightened to ask questions every step of the way when dealing with your business and as a newbie in the US everything is run differently here its not like your home.

Step 8. Keep Great Book Keeping…

Moving to San Jose, Silicon Valley, California USA & Closing Down My Business for 90 days.

I’ve been living in the San Jose since May 2016, I’m all settled in now sort of 😉 This is my first blog in a very long time. Its not been the easy moving to the other side of the pond and settling into a new country, but it has been made a little easier as we relocated with Apple and they have helped us every step of the way. Relocating to another country permanently is not like being a full time tourist. Its a lot of paperwork (mountains of it) and waiting its taken over two years to get our green cards. Taxes are hIgh here and learning an alien tax system is mind boggling you definitely need an accountant to make any sense of it. 

We had two options of moving to the USA with a company and one is with a H1B Visa or an L1/L2 visa. We came in under L1 and L2 spouse visa, this was great for me as I only had to wait 90 days to work, while I applied and waited for my Work Visa.

H-1B Visas means the spouse of the partner who comes into the USA cannot work for 2 years. This is pretty terrible in many ways for families moving here. Silicon Valley, California is a very expensive place to live, despite the good wages in the Tech industry, you do need two incomes coming in to help pay for the high prices here for everything. Another issue which is hard for the spouse is they have to give up there job or business… Having to close the door to your much loved business and all the hard work and love you put into it can be devastating. so I’m glad we did not come in on the H-1B Visa. More info on H-1B Visa

L-1 Visa is a another option of moving to the USA as an employee who has worked for company for at least 1 year.  More on L-1 Visa.

Beautiful Sisters, Custom Portraits

sisters

I decided to call this work “Beautiful Sisters” I’ve been taking a break from my normal art works, just to bring some element of change back into my work. Over the last month I have been going to my local coffee shop to draw and get myself out of the condo and start meeting people. Normally I work from the condo and it can get pretty lonesome at times, as well as very stagnant, so these outings really do brighten up my day. Working more with sketches will really help me perfect my art, the more you draw the better you get. Sketches don’t take very long either. I’m loving my new routine and I’m making new friends and people I know are loving what I’m doing as they didn’t even know I was an artist. So its really cool to share this with them, and makes me feel good about myself and is confidence building 😉 I know you might be questioning me here about my confidence, but its true I really do need help sometimes, especially as I work alone a lot. The encouragement, advice and criticism helps me to grow as a person and perfect my art too. After all my art is really about inspiration from all directions, from you to me. Life would be pretty dull without it.

I know this particular sketch looks more finished to the eye, than a just quick sketch, but thats because I like to sketch lightly first using a H or HH pencil to get the feel for the composition, in this piece I get the feel for the flow whilst working in a harder pencil so I can figure out where I’m going with it. Once I’m happy I switch over to 2B or 6B pencils, because they are softer and darker I can shade in the details quite quickly. The more I’m sketching the more confident I’m feeling about taking on more complicated pieces.

For the foreseeable future I definitely want to get out more to sketch and I really want to get some classes going myself and teach others what I know and give something back to the world. I’m not sure where I can do this yet, but I’m hoping if I’m on the right path then maybe doors will open, either with a little help for me or you. Normally working on your own can be lonesome so this is an ideal opportunity to really meet new people, combining art and making new friends.

For the next 6 months I will be in Queenstown New Zealand, so if you fancy meeting up and having some art sessions, contact me here and I will let you know whats coming up.

If your interested in commissioning me to do a portrait for you then contact me here I also have a listing over on etsy for this particular sketch and there is also some more info on commissioning artworks.

Thanks for reading, please pass this on to anyone who maybe interest.

 

 

Different Ways To Earn A Living Online

pac

On my last post about traveling-a-total-rethink-of-how-to-do-business I spoke a little about different ways to earn a living on line. So heres a quick refresher.

  • Commissions
  • Website design
  • Sales
  • Tattoo Flash
  • Competitions, always brings in commissions too ;)
  • Logos
  • Book Illustrations
  • Royalties from sites like Zazzle and licensing my art
  • Affiliates although I don’t earn to much from this, but every little helps.

Website, Gallery, Shop

If your an artist like me, then I’d start with your own website, this is your portfolio a showcase of your work and products. Make it professional. Over the years I have taught myself to build my own website, which allows me complete control on what I want to do and show. I’m not a programmer but there are plenty of websites that have basic websites you can use and customise. I use rapid weaver for macs and I’m happy  with them. Doing it yourself can save a lot of money to begin with especially if you don’t have alot of money. If you have the money then you can pay someone to do it for you, which will free up your time to create.

Now you are thinking of your website, you want to think about what you want from it. Your website can be your portfolio, shop, blog and connection tool. People want to connect to you and trust you, if they are parting with there cash for services and goods then they need to know you. To be honest this is the same for anywhere online or in this world.

Shopping Sites

I use Etsy as its especially for artists. Its free to open a shop all you need is a paypal account and a bank visa card. Etsy makes its money when you list an item and that costs $.20 per item and they make 3% on a sale,  I love it. Its simple to set up and use, with online community and help every step of the way. A lot of folks use this as there main website. As an Etsy store holder you get regular emails on all kinds of advice too.

Etsy I love this place and this is where I sell most of my products

Ebay – I personally don’t use, but other artists have made a success with it so its worth mentioning.

Zazzle – A free shop where you can upload your art and put it onto all kinds of goods and make money when an item sells as Royalties

Deviant Art – upload artwork to sell prints

Society6 – upload artwork to sell prints, iphone cases, pillows and more

Online Free lance jobs

When I started out I got work through people I met, but this was difficult as I was always moving on, eventually I found Elance, a site a lot like a job center where you could find work and bid for it, this was really great for me as it was free to start up. When I gained the courage I would pay $10 a month for 20 credits which would allow me bid for 20 jobs worth up to $500 a job. Through elance I found another site called createmytattoo, which is where I mainly get a lot of work today designing tattoos, my bread and butter money. Greats sites to look at to start are…

Elance

Freelancer

Freelance Switch.

There are so many sites out there now that you can almost find anything that suits your needs. More and more people are getting online and our technology is changing fast. And the internet has given us new opportunities that were never there before.

Competitions

Designs By Humans – Competions for designing t-shirts.

Create My Tattoo – Design tattoos

This sums up some of the sites I use to do business and help my business grow, and this is just the beginning. There are many other websites out there that do similar things that I have not come across  as yet, one thing I can be sure of is change and how you buy your goods today can change tomorrow, but one things remains to be the most important in this world and that is trust within business, so always go above and beyond when you deal with your future customer. When the put there trust in you and you give it back they will come back for life.

Past Posts On Traveling Artist:

Part 1    Introduction To Becoming A Traveling Artist

Part 2    Why did I leave the Uk? Sun, Sand and Beaches

Part 3  Traveling A Total Rethink Of How To Do Business

 

Traveling A Total Rethink Of How To Do Business.

Even though you will get to live in some awesome places it definitely is not all fun and games. You have to work for a living, also you need to feed your creative soul. We all want some purpose in life you may find you might not need to work a five day a week job. But instead you want more time to enjoy the finer things in life and live in the moment. I’m a firm believer that work should not consume more than half our life in order to have that balance between work and play, especially if you don’t enjoy your work. I’m lucky I enjoy what I do, or at least most of the time. If you have the ideal job then you may want to work more. It all depends on what you want from life.

Not many of us have the chance to dream and really know what we want from life, and its something that lies beneath the surface of our mind. My advice is get to know the real you, taking more time to really think about what you want from life, not just in work but in play. The next step is to figure out a way to get there.

One thing traveling has taught me is I need less in this life, I don’t own a car or a house, so this allows me more freedom to move if I want, because none of these things hold me down. This enables me the chance to live in countries that cost less to live, which allows me to save more and prepare for the important things in life, like my health and my loved ones, I cherish the experience more.

Don’t get me wrong if I was a millionaire I would have a Harley Davidson Rocker with all the whistles, then I’d go for the Dodge Charger, perhaps I’d have the villa on the beach. Maybe one day I will, but I may rent or hire it instead from the interest my money makes else where.

The best things about traveling especially in Asia is we can afford a nicer lifestyle.

If you want to travel and work at the same time my first bit of advice, is to get started before you leave, this will give you the chance to see if you can make things work for you before you go. Once you have a new routine and you are confident you can make a living online, this will make the experiences of traveling more enjoyable and you won’t be stressed out about making money. I speak from experience here, I did not figure out  a way to work online, and I hit a few emotional blocks inside my head. I run out of money early on in my traveling.  I like earning my own money so having to rely on my partner was tough, but I was fortunate enough to have a partner who was not worried about me earning money, while I went through the transition.

When I started traveling I had no idea on how to earn a living on line, or what I wanted to do, plus I really was not that computer savvy.  I didn’t have the confidence to talk to people online. But with one step at a time and a partner who knew the ropes, and help guide me along my path I got there. My writing was a problem too, I didn’t know how to write my feelings down and I made spelling mistake after mistake and I still do. I’m not a writer, but I know my experience and if I can help anyone to be inspired to do something for themselves? then thats all that maters right? After all I’m only human and we all make mistakes, its what we learn from them that counts.

Today 7 years on and I have overcome those fears and many others, but I’m still learning and adapting to my life moment by moment.

Think about what you want to do and research to see if you can do it. Starting an online business before you travel will be like walking before you can run, you will need confidence that your idea can work. If there are any ideas or questions that springs to your mind, Google knows just ask! Information now is there at a push of a button, and people with experiences are behind those buttons. It may be a cyber world but its very much organic behind the scenes.

Here is small list of jobs that can be done online:

  • Artist
  • Graphic Designer/Illustrator
  • Programmer
  • Marketing
  • Legal
  • Engineering
  • Admin
  • Writting
  • Consulting

Online jobs elance this link will break down this list and show you more of what can be done online as well as give you examples of jobs you can do.

Today it is getting easier to work on line, the most important thing to have online is an Paypal account (or something similar) an online bank account which most high street banks have now, a friendly bank that you can use overseas, most do, but some have better rates than others. So now you have those two in place you can access your money and get paid for work, all you need is a job. If you have an online internet job already then great, you can get packing.

If you don’t then you need to think about where you can work. Online freelance jobs can be a great way to start earn a living. Heres a list of the different ways I earn a living online at the moment.

  • Commissions
  • Website design
  • Sales
  • Tattoo Flash
  • Competitions, always brings in commissions too 😉
  • Logos
  • Book Illustrations
  • Royalties from sites like Zazzle and licensing my art
  • Affiliates although I don’t earn to much from this, but every little helps.

Other References

Location independent Lea and Jonathan Woodward on independent lifestyle coaches

4 hour work week Tim Ferriss on setting up a business and outsourcing work

Next: Different ways to earn a living online

Past Posts On Traveling Artist:

Part 1    Introduction To Becoming A Traveling Artist

Part 2    Why did I leave the Uk? Sun, Sand and Beaches