Took the day off last Friday to try to grow my brain a little. One of those things that I think is important to do occasionally. It doesn't always work out but, I'm happy to say that this time I hit it out of the park (not my brain)
I attended a day long workshop at Blue Ridge College in Weyers Cave, VA that was co-sponsored by Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development. It was called, Make Your Art Your Business. I had a great day... got too meet tons of local and regional artists, listened to some experts who have been making a living with their art for as much as 30 years and got to share ideas with a roomful of people who are passionate about what they do.
One of the most important things I took away from the day was that too many artists don't take themselves seriously as a business. Being an artist isn't like any other job - there is a lot of emotion attached to what you do, sharing a piece of yourself is serious stuff. It's important to decide whether you're a hobbiest or an artist trying to make a living. Neither one is right or wrong, its a personal choice. But if you're an artist trying to make a living then you better have some decent business sense.
You need to know what a Business Plan is - you should have an Artists Statement - you need to know about marketing, taxes, credit card sales, shows, expenses and the worst part of all..... PRICING YOUR WORK!!!
If you don't know some of this stuff.... be smart, contact your local small business development center (there are over 10,000 offices in the US) and make an appointment!! I'm so glad that I did this. I feel so much more confidant about my work, my goals and myself.
Get smart - its good for you.