The hub for artists who dream big and will settle for nothing other than to create their own art into this world. Whether you're a henna artist (like me :) ), make up artist, calligrapher, baker, film maker, poet, stylist, photographer or whatever profession that maybe - if you fall under the spectrum of wanting to make a buck out of the service or product you're offering then this is the blog for you!
I remember when I first quit my stable 9 - 5 job, family, friends and those who were dearest to me told me I was making a big mistake. Not because they want to put me down, but simply because we're all programmed to believe that the only way we can put food on the table is by HAVING A STABLE MONTH TO MONTH PAY CHECK. And while that works for some people, this was not the lifestyle I wanted to lead. Sure, I was doing henna on the side but after clocking out from work, performing the house chores, paying the bills and all that jazz, with whatever time I had left I'd be able to pour my soul into some art. So I took a really hard look at myself and asked: is this job really making me happy? do I really want to spend the rest of my life profiting someone else's business and counting down the days to when my next vacation is? So the truth is, the issue was three fold: the passion that drives me, the time I'm investing and the money I was making. I get it, people get uncomfortable when the issue of "money" is brought up, but why do we stick it out in jobs we're not fond of if it wasn't for the monetary value (if even!).
Rambling aside, the world of ARTREPRENEURSHIP by very definition is combining art and entrepreneurship. If you're looking to be your own boss, getting booked for the services you offer well in advance, or having your products SOLD OUT, fulfilling the very passion that people tell you not to do - well my friend, you and I have SO MUCH in common. So here's the breakdown of how you can and how you should do it.
1) HONE YOUR SKILLS
I know, so obvious right! I always hated when my mother told me "practice makes perfect", but you know what, she's totally right. You should always listen to your mother (or most of the time at least). You really got to perfect that skill of yours before you offer it to the world. Wherever your passion resides, it's super important to get inspired and choose your idols wisely. See what they do best, how it works for them and how you can implement similar techniques. That's not to say you should plagiarize their work, claim it as your own and call it a day, but rather absorb the things they offer and see how you can create your own sense of style. Being patient is key! and boy, don't we all know that practice requires a great deal of patience. If you find yourself saying things like "I don't really have the time to practice" or "I don't have the right materials", I hate to say it to you, but you're not passionate enough about your work, and if you're not passionate about it then no one else will be.
CHANGE THE "I DON'T HAVE TIME TO PRACTICE" MENTALITY TO "HOW CAN I MAKE THE TIME TO PRACTICE?"
Positive language is always key in developing the right foundation to your artrepreneurial path. By just adopting that linguistic of "I can't" to "how can I?" you're knowingly or not, opening your mind to finding ways in making it happen.
2) ASK FOR FEEDBACK
Getting others feedback is detrimental in bettering yourself. I'm not saying get feedback from your family and friends, cause believe it or not, they will be easily impressed. They love you right? So they'll always want to be your best cheerleaders. But what I really mean is...
TRY TO SEEK PROFESSIONALS IN YOUR SAME FIELD AND SEE WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY ABOUT YOUR WORK
They will have a much better eye at evaluating your work and advising you what you gotta improve about it. I know there were times where I was super proud of something I made sharing it with a fellow artist and only getting it ripped to shreds. Did it break my heart? You bet. But did it help me improve? 100% mister. Be sure to set that ego aside and really try to take criticism with a grain of salt, because trust me, it will only help you do better!
3) TRAIN YOUR BRAIN
So when I first started, I figured my skills in henna is enough to start my business. I WAS DEAD WRONG! Starting your own business (without a team too, I might add) has a HUMONGOUS learning curve that no 'stable job' will ever teach you. That's why TRAINING YOUR BRAIN is super super important.
YOU SHOULD REALLY EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT A VARIETY OF THINGS. DON'T LIMIT YOURSELF TO JUST YOUR CRAFT.
After I quit my job, I had no plan other than seeing how I can book more clients. While that was all well and good, I was still struggling massively to get my calendar full. So there were times where I'd have packed weeks and times where I was hardly booked at all. For a cold country like Canada, winter season is pretty much dead for a henna artist and you can imagine why. That down time was crucial in cultivating my education. I was able to allocate time to reading, listening to PodCasts, attending seminars and live webinars and BELIEVE ME when I tell you that not only has it enriched my life, but it became the foundation of setting my business. I was able to understand marketing aspects, photography tricks, social media engagement, financing and all these things that come along with the territory of being an artrepreneur. Do not cut corners on this. There's a wealth of information out there, for free too! you just gotta go out there find it and implement it in a way that will cater to you and your business.
4) INVEST IN THE RIGHT THINGS AT THE RIGHT TIME
Another pretty obvious point, right? You'd be surprised how much potential artrepreneurs sweep this under the rug - heck I don't blame you, I was one of them. You want to put yourself out there without having to cost yourself an arm and a leg, because let's face it, you still don't know if you can make it big yet. I totally understand, which is why it's important to invest in the right things at the right time. So here are examples of do's and don'ts.
DO invest in your education as either an artist or a business owner. Before you're out there doing your thing, it'll be a whole lot easier if you educate yourself first. You'll find many tycoons who've created webinars and syllabuses provided at teaching you and giving you the shortcuts to success. I know you think Google is your friend and it's free, which is totally true (I LOVE GOOGLE). But sometimes it won't get the information you need in the way that caters to you specifically. Purchasing mastermind classes maybe a cost now, but it's a bigger cost if you spend too much time trying to figure it out on your own.
DON'T pour all your money in equipments or fancy tools right off the bat. Getting that super expensive DSLR camera won't necessarily make you an excellent photographer if you haven't honed your skills yet. I'm not saying you should be cheap, but you need to ask yourself, is this investment going to benefit me? Whatever you buy before you start your business is already an expense eating at your profits. So whatever product you sold, or service you offered, the money you landed on that is already negated in your expense column.
5) BE PATIENT
I fell victim of this way back, thinking there was that "secret recipe" to success. The truth is, there isn't.
YOU CAN'T "NUTTY PROFESSOR" YOUR WAY TO SUCCESS
Unlike the nutty professor, you won't have that killer body overnight, so why are we expecting that once we hit publish on that website that people are going to pile up to buy what we're offering. I'm afraid it doesn't happen that way. It's no lottery, and if it was it'll go by as easy as it came. You'd just be a one hit wonder and that's not a sustainable way to run a business. You just got to stick with it. There are days where you'll feel on top like nothing is going to stop you and other days where you're doubting yourself all together. Say it with me, PERSISTENCE ALWAYS PAYS OFF. I once read an analogy and it truly resonated with me. You'll never find a baby grabbing on the couch for dear life trying to take his/her first step and after falling wonder "nah, maybe walking isn't for me". Stick with it sugar. The rewards will reap later.
So there you have it my friend. Cancel out that white noise of 'having a full time job is stable' mentality or that artists are always categorized as unrealistic dreamers. You just need to find a recipe that works for you and if you stick to it, you'll never look back wondering.