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 moo.com, 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.