Thursday, August 6, 2009

My purpose as a blog.

I've been giving this some thought, and I've decided what the focus of this blog will be (rather than aimless rambling, which is my usual tendency). I'm going to use this to document my process, both as an artist and as a small business owner. That might sound kind of stuffy, but hear me out.

I started going to school for art 8 years ago. I was first a painter, and then a ceramicist. At some point, I knew I wanted to make a living as an artist - I couldn't see myself holding a normal 9 to 5, and I'd always loved creating things, whether it was made out of paint or popsicle sticks. Towards the end of last year, I opened an Etsy store and began selling simple recycled ceramics online. I was just kind of tickled that I could take drawings of creepy bugs and octopus tentacles and whatever else I wanted, and pop them onto fancy teacups and thrift store coffee mugs. It also gave me an opportunity to draw, something I love but don't always do when I'm making stuff out of clay.

I really enjoyed being able to make some extra money with the Etsy shop, but I couldn't give it my full attention because I was focusing on my final year of art school. After graduating, I finally told myself "This is it. If you're gonna do this for a living, do it now, while you have the time. You have no classes, no job, and no kids. If you don't do it now, you never will." So, I set up my studio in the kitchen, put new stuff up on Etsy, and applied for a juried show (Oranje Indy 2009). I started researching how to make my online store better, and tips for art and craft fair displays. I started trawling thrift stores for ceramics, wheel throwing some pieces myself, and finding used objects I could fix up for my table displays at the next fair. And some of my serious art (not the thrift store stuff) actually started selling on Etsy (Woohoo! People like my work!)

I get really excited whenever I'm researching anything I'm into, so I've been a little obsessive with this whole starting a business thing. But I'm learning a lot as I go. I read up on microloans for new small business owners, and researched ways to make signs, banners, and the best place to get business cards made (my vote so far is, by the way - those mini cards are just too sweet!)

I'm looking forward to the day when I can look back on this blog's beginning and say to my husband, "Hey Nich! Remember back when you were screenprinting old t-shirts in a leaky basement, and I was wheelthrowing cups in the kitchen next to the litterbox?" (don't ask). I'll be able to see where I've been, both as an artist and as an entrepreneur. Hopefully I can find a balance between business and pleasure, and not lose my soul in the process. And hopefully I can share the things I make, what inspires me, and whatever new processes I'm playing around with as well.

And maybe someone else will come across this blog and learn from my mistakes, get inspired, and do something they love too.

So wish me luck! This is just the beginning.


The Awesome Rawsons said...

i was pretty sure that i commented on this post! maybe a wrong button was pushed and it was sent out to the endlessly vast cyber world to be lost forever. Anyway...
I have realized lately my need to identify and label...EVERYTHING. Most of the time it comes down to this: What/who is this? Will/they it hurt me? How will I deal with them/it? How will it/they reflect upon me? I'm realizing this because its proven wrong and stifling in my life. Sure, it safe, but what happens when I label too quickly? Before I get to know it/them?
I do this to myself too. I'm this and I'm that. I box myself in and only expect or live up to the measure of which i've labled. Sometimes I feel guilty that my blog is called "the awesome rawsons" and it not awesome nor about the rawsons. It tends to be more about my thoughts and feelings rather than a day to day chronicle of events speckled with happy pictures. Sure, it has that too...and i tend to feel obligated to put those there because they get the most response and I feel self conscious about not giving the people what they want. I've even considered changing the name of the blog to something implicating only me and not "the Rawsons" as a whole. But then I listen to the little voice that says "who gives a flip?! this is YOUR blog and if its about Sadie's first poo in a toilet accompanied by pictures and audio clips or my feelings about losing myself to a new life i never expected, its okay." I don't need to define purpose in all things. Some things...just...ARE. I hope you allow your blog to blossom and flourish into whatever you need at the moment. Whatever...whether business, art, or personal allow you to feel fulfilled and free.
love you.

Lori Leaumont said...

I love you too. I guess I just feel like I want to have some reason for doing this, or I'll use interest. I do a lot of free association aimless journaling, and as much as I enjoy it, it's become more and more difficult for me to write something coherent. Now I just write without any sense of editing at all, and I can't tell if anything I write is any good anymore, or enjoyable to anyone but me. I can't help wanting to put writing online that people would actually want to read. I feel like I publish enough personal stuff without a purpose around facebook and whatnot.

On the other hand, I totally understand how you feel about needing to label everything and feeling like you have to live up to all your ascribed labels. I'm INCREDIBLY guilty of that. I don't seem to have any sense of identity anymore, which is why I think I'm trying to find some focus. It's very confusing... and I think I stick myself with the "artist" label in a lot of limiting ways. Not sure how to break out of that, but I'm trying.