I am pleased to celebrate this date as I have started my first business and kept it going for four years. This year the government has given grants linked to business rates as I now rent half of a bricks and mortar property so the future of the business is secure however long before shops can reopen and even one day social distancing is not needed an I can have an Art for fun table in the shop again on my days.
Why start an art business
Well, as many of you know I left my first career after my mental health could not cope with it anymore. For years I had always told myself that teaching was all that I could see myself doing. That theory has now been shelved.
I wanted to have something to do and my art which I had been doing for 18 months more actively helped me as a therapy but also I now lived in an area where art has a higher profile.
The aim to work part time and the first hurdle:
Would my art sell
Friends and family had occasionally said previously that my work would sell but you never know if they are just being nice. So if I was to make a business with my art this was the first major step.
Well the answer to this has far exceeded anything I could have hoped for, yes people will buy my art and increasingly some people will ask me to produce some original work for them.
Where can you sell art
Year 1, I sold work to Swanage Information Centre, I did craft fairs locally, I took part in Purbeck Art Weeks and had an Open studio. I also rented a beach hut in December and it worked.
Year 2, I started to have work at Purbeck Artisan Yard in Wareham so my work could be seen all year round. I did the other events again and was a little better known this time.
Year 3, I rented half a shop without any forward plan to do so, same local events but not the craft fair now.
Year 4, I withdrew from the Artisan Yard as it wasn’t working as well for me but the shop in Swanage is. Oh yes, and a global pandemic which has disrupted things but not stopped the art selling. In November lockdown 2 I worked through a series of commissions over 7 weeks. Now in lockdown 3 I have completed two commissions and have 3 more on my books at present.
The future? Shop in Swanage and maybe gradually I can get more online sales but we will see.
Can I cope with running a business
It would seem so. I always advocated that life was full of lifelong learning and shared this with pupils. Taking a completely new direction in life, being a self taught business and a self taught artist has brought stress at times but I continue to learn. I have a better perspective about when to slow down. I work part time so aim for a maximum of four days a week. Like teaching and a subject specialist there will always be far more to learn than I have time or inclination to do.
I will however continue to enjoy being an artist, drawing new,pieces, wearing colourful outfits, playing the big kid at times. My ‘art for fun’ approach works for me.
So thank you for the first four years and let’s see what I am doing by our fifth birthday in 2022.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-123416164-4659-6044bcf44ef52' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=123416164&post_id=4659&origin=andyknillart.com&obj_id=123416164-4659-6044bcf44ef52' data-name='like-post-frame-123416164-4659-6044bcf44ef52'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>