I often get asked "How do you make it as an artist?" and its such an easy question to answer. "You work really hard and have lots and lots of patience". Well its not quite as easy as that and looking back on the last 21 years since I graduated I know there are many many factors to succeed. I am hoping over the next few months I can give you some tips and advice on what I have picked up on over many many years. I find many people think I have just found success but it really does take many years, yes I did find ways to support my business, I have never had a grant or a loan just sheer determination and stubbornness to never give up!
My studio now is stunning! Craig and I bought her (yes, she is a she) last September and slogged our way to renovating the former catholic church back to how she looked back in the 1880's. Yes we are lucky to have her but believe me she wasn't instant! I started off renting a cow shed (with a cow in it) for 10 pounds a week and as much as I loved it my painting were constantly covered in bird poo so I moved onto an old bakehouse that had been derelict for years. I guess I always loved a project and a building with character and history. After 9 years of the Bakehouse I moved to the Mill, a former weaving mill in the town, I had many happy years there doing the mill up and taking classes, lots of laughing went on inside that building.
many people start their business at home but for me it wasn't an option, our two boys were ever demanding and my oldest son is autistic so I needed the distance even if it was at the bottom of the garden! That way I could dedicate all my time to my boys without the distraction of wanting to work, I always separated the two. Your space is important, you need a place to not only work but to think, plan and guide yourself through potential challenges - my studio has always been the beating heart to my buisness.
Starting any business is always daunting, but you will find if you want to turn your talent into turnover you are halfway there. Believe in you and your product, your skill and your dreams and the rest will follow!