Sunday, 28 June 2009

Do YOU Have What It Takes?

Being a self employed artist sounds as if it is the ideal job but do you have what it takes to be a successful arts business? In a previous post our guest interviewee, Patti Ursel, said the following:
"Being self employed has its benefits and negatives and surprisingly it can be the same thing. Setting your own working hours can be a big benefit but because you can set your own hours everyone else finds ways to pull you away from your schedule. Its so easy to say yes to a coffee or shopping date when you don't have to ask a boss for permission to leave.
Being able to work until 3 am instead of a 9 to 5 seems like a treat until you MUST work until 3 am because you have a deadline.One of the hardest aspects of working out of your home is the lack of immediate feedback and interaction".

How do you assess whether you have the ability, stamina and discipline to be a successful self employed artist?
Take an objective look at yourself, your art/craft and your business. Ask yourself the following personal questions:
• Can I make enough art on demand without getting bored?
• Would people buy my style of work?
• What's the competition like?
• Is my work good enough to sell?
• How fast can I get a range ready to sell?
• What are the costs of making my product?
• Will my “other” life stop me from becoming successful?

How honest have you been with yourself? let's say you make teddy bears:
- it's fun making the first ten - will it still be fun when you have made your 100th?
- Do people want jointed teddy bears or are people now buying more sock toys and kawaii?
- Who else is out there making teddy bears and soft toys?
- What is the quality of my work? Is the quality of my 100th teddy bear as good as my first?
- Am I prepared to work late into the night to meet a deadline?
- Do I know how much it costs in materials, time and equipment (and possibly overheads) to make one teddy bear? how much does it cost to make twenty?
- Where would I rather be - making teddy bears or down the pub with my friends/visitng family/taking the children to the park? (This one is about life/work balance and other commitments).
Have you seen the UK TV show Dragon's Den? (Shark Tank USA) This show spells out the most obvious glaring mistakes that people make in business and that is: most people fail to secure backing from the dragons because they either don’t know their business inside out or they have unrealistic financial targets.
But that's not us, is it folks, because we KNOW the who, what, where, how and why of our business and we know how to manage it. We know when to crank up that work ethos and when to wind down and make time for ourselves/family - don't we?

In a future blog we will be discussing business partnerships - Made in Heaven or a fast road to Business Hell?


  1. This is just the inspiration I needed! I've been meaning to redo my website to enhance the SEO and its photos (unfortunately my laptop just fried its motherboard on friday). But I've got lots of little things to do and lots of illustrations to finish. So thanks for the boost!

  2. Yep I passed