Making a Living as an Artist: what works for me.
My fall classes started last week, which always leads me to start thinking about how fortunate I am. I had no idea, years ago, when dreaming of becoming an artist, what that would look like. And now here I am, enjoying an active art career that is so multi-faceted. I'm definitely never bored!
Because I homeschool my kids, the mornings are taken up with their education, and unless I get up early (which I often do), I don't get to work on my business until afternoon. Mondays I try to paint, since I have painting class on Tuesday nights, and I always teach better when I am actively painting. Often there is a lot of studio tidying to do as well, as I tend to have trouble cleaning as I go. I also receive at least one box of art or craft supplies into the studio every week, and am running out of space to put it!
I love teaching watercolour, and I've found I learn a lot through teaching. It's a good way to really explore how I paint and why I use the methods I do, and then learn how to verbalize the process. And I love the social part of teaching! I get excited about meeting new students and I like every one who comes. After all, we share a common interest!
Because I enjoy sharing my studio space, it can be hard for me not to overschedule myself. I teach craft classes on Thursday evenings, and one Wednesday per month. This week we will be making a cookie sheet calendar of my own design. I've taught this class at least four times before, and it's fun! A great way to introduce non-crafters to paper craft, and get them hooked to come to ALL my classes! I'm a classic paper craft enabler.
Also on my business agenda this week is managing my gallery shows. The Peace Watercolour Society is having our annual show on October 6th, and I have paintings to be framed and prepared for the show. I'm checking every day to see if submissions to another local show have been accepted, and I need to catalogue my unused frames and be responsible for a change and paint to fit the frames I have.
I try to make time every week to work on the web design side of my business. In addition to managing my own web site, I have four other clients that I design for. It's not my favourite art business role, but it helps pay for art supplies and my new studio. I'm planning to buy the flooring for my studio this week.
I've been asked a lot this fall about teaching kids' classes, and drawing classes, and they all sound like a great idea, but truth be told, I'm maxed out. I'd love to do them all, but for now, I'm going to stick with a program that has me feeling blessed. Blessed to be able to stay home with my children, to homeschool (which we all love) and to maintain an active and interesting art career that is fun and fulfilling.