Thursday, May 08, 2008
Artists In Business
I have not lifted a pencil for nearly a week apart from last week's portrait class drawing two young boys. However Gine, Martina and I did attend the Artists In Business Workshops held in Hastings on Monday morning. We arrived early at the venue in the freezing rain and found our way to the conference room where the event was to be held. I didn't know any of the other twelve artists there although I did recognise a couple of names. The facilitator of the workshops was Lani Morris, an artist herself with a business degree and experience in how to earn a living from creativity.
I have never attended workshops before so had little idea as to what went on in them. There was quite a bit of participation required the first day with the obligatory intro to the group which I found daunting. It was interesting to hear how so many other people had similar problems finding outlets for their work, deciding pricing and with being taken seriously. Lani didn't pull any punches and by the end of the day I had a completely different view of what I do and how it is perceived by the public.
The second workshop was held on Tuesday afternoon and concerned marketing. Lani had us brainstorming about what people need in their lives and how we can fulfill these needs with what we make. There was an emphasis on having a "bread and butter" line of items you basically churn out for the market which is separate from the fine art side you would send to a gallery. I have come to the realisation that my hand painted jewellery is my bread and butter line although Lani feels my small paintings could have a ready market as well.
Towards the end of the day we were told to buddy up with someone, tell them our goal for the next fortnight and they would help chivvy us along and visa versa. Gine suggested we three CHB people should work together as we see each other every week. My goal is to complete jewellery I have promised to both Waddle Inn and Katz Gallery to bring in some ready money. I have also offered to help Martina with a website for her work.
The afternoon went so quickly it was incredible. We were so inspired we talked all the way home. Just as well we kept occupied as poor Martina's car kept overheating and we had to stop to put water in. At 5pm we were sitting on the side of State Highway 50 with steam pouring out from the radiator. Several cars passed by and not one person stopped to help or see we were OK. So much for Central Hawkes Bay chivalry!
I didn't get home till 5.45pm so was busy feeding everyone in the dark. It proved a very long day but my head was still buzzing with ideas and I couldn't get to sleep until late. The next day I was so stiff I couldn't face going to painting so stayed at home huddling by the fire. I now have a good idea of what I want to portray in my art and how I want to sell it. Hopefully the next two workshops will clarify how to go about doing this.