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Airbrushing as a business

Discussion in 'What would you like to learn here?' started by segrafix, Nov 14, 2019.


  1. segrafix

    segrafix Young Tutorling

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    Hi, all! Been airbrushing for many years now, mainly as a hobby, though from time to time, I've done a good amount of selling work while being a full time graphic artist (pharmaceutical advertising). I'm sort of semi retired now, still pick up jobs here and there, mostly apparel, occasional helmets and guitars, etc. and I'm really interested in having a go at making it a full time business. My work is fairly good, Ive posted a couple of things on line and I have a website (segrafix.com), but my lettering IMHO leaves much to be desired (I'm working on that now). I live in Central NJ, and was even considering getting a job at an airbrush shop (hence my concern about my lettering), to work on my chops, but there doesn't seem to be anything local, except a listing I found at Six Flags Great Adventure. Anyway, forgive the ramble, I was wondering if anyone had any advice or resources about getting this hobby up to an actual home-based business, not so much as how to do the art, but more in the lines of business administration, what I need to do to get started, courses I can take, legal requirements, etc, etc. I have pretty much all the equipment I need, shirt press, a dozen Eclipses, easel with filters and fans, so I believe I'm good to go with that. Thanks in advance!
    Tocean, jord001 and doc1 like this.
  2. musicmacd

    musicmacd The Createx Bandit Very Likeable!

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    Sounds like you want to paint t shirts and hats? Would that be right? If so the Airbrush circus would be a great introduction to the people in the business!
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  3. Mr.Micron

    Mr.Micron Royal pain in the air hose Admin

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    You might try to contact Nubs http://www.nubgrafix.com/contact being he lives in New York State.
    But for me I gave up that dream being working with customers and some of the things they ask you to paint and copyright laws on Disney things I gave it up LOL
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  4. Tocean

    Tocean Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    I made a thread talking about the shirt biz couple years ago and someone posted a guy working a carnival, he was pumping out hats, basketballs, shirts and I realized that was something I did not want to do, would of been a cool job in my younger years but not now. The guy had a pretty good set-up in a trailer someone working the counter while he sprayed away.

    Business wise I guess it depends how far you want to take it, laws are different state to state, look into a DBA(doing business as) and then LLC, see what would work out best DBA may be a way to start, LLC means if someone sues you(say someone trips over your airhose and breaks a leg) they sue your business keeping your personal assets safe, and if spraying around people I'd definitely get some insurance.
    You don't really need any courses and beware of scams they are out there - getting some company to set up your business is a waste of money, if you're not comfortable setting it up yourself pay an accountant and get advised how to file your taxes. LLCs you might have to file a annual report(pay money), you may also have to get a business license for your county yearly. You should be able to google all this for your state.

    Find New Jerseys Division of Corporations website they should have the information you'll need.
  5. Ttxela

    Ttxela Needle-chuck Ninja

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    I've had a couple of people ask me to do things for them. One of them I did and the chap paid me so I guess that means I'm in business :p the other I haven't quite summoned up the necessary time and skill to complete yet but it's on the list.....

    On others advice I opened an Etsy shop for some of the stuff I've already done, a good few people look at it but no-one has bought anything so far.

    I've never seen anyone airbrushing T-shirts or hats in the UK. I didn't realise it was a 'thing' until I started to read stuff and look at videos online, it seems like there are a few people here doing helmets, bike parts and the like and possibly a few cars. I used to be active on the Jap car scene and don't recall seeing much airbrushing at all, mostly people were wrapping or applying vinyl graphics with a bit of hydro-dipping thrown in.

    I'd love to make some money out of airbrushing, not to become a millionaire but mainly so I could justify spending more time doing it and perhaps get a better space to do it in. In my head the limitation is my skill level, being only a beginner really - however I get positive comments on what I do. Typically people will say 'wow, that's good you should sell them' - then when i tell them they are for sale there is a bit of mumbling followed by some wandering off.......

    My long term plan is to get the mortgage paid off (getting there!) then drop my full time work (boring office job) down to 3-4 days a week then I can spend more long weekends airbrushing and travelling in the van. If I can bring in some pin money so much the better.

    I get the feeling actually making a full time living off airbrushing in the UK of a sort that might support a family/reasonable lifestyle might be a bit of a challenge?

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