In November I was notified of acceptance into a pilot program with the Small Business Association. A statewide program for 50 artists called Access to Market. The 4 goals of the program for each artist is 1. Professional images of art, 2. A website, 3. A personalized business plan, 4. education on moving our art or craft into a wider market.
The first class was held earlier this month and covered product development and placement. Although there was a mix of artists/crafts people who produce for wholesale markets, there were also artists/crafts people who create one of a kind pieces. The bulk of the presentation focused on creating for the wholesale market with adapting those ideas where applicable for artists, like myself, who create solely one of a kind pieces. When I posed the question to the organizer, it was her belief that artists should have a foot in both worlds but ultimately each of us would decide our market.
I left there questioning if I should aim for a foot in both worlds and if so, what would be my wholesale items. I've pondered this for weeks now, but keep coming back to not wanting to wholesale. It would not be remotely appealing for me to embrace a "production" mindset. Creating 500 artsy pot holders, or 500 scarfs, 500 textile bracelets, etc. is not enough honey for a dime is what I repeatedly return to after pondering the questions.
I create one of a kind pieces. This is how I want to spend my time. I explore new ways to work with cloth in creating my quilts. This is what is important to me from the bottom to the top and back down and up again. Time is what I have in abundance, but what I do not have in abundance is physical capacities even though I push as much as I can. Do I want to sell my quilts, yes!, yes, I do. Exhibiting is vital to me and ultimately, I want 2-3 galleries around the country to carry my work. I want to have 1-2 interior designers to consider my work annually for their residential and corporate clients. And lastly, I want to be involved with teaching or demoing with outreach groups via non-profit organizations. End of story.
So what will my goals be for 2013? Give me a few more days and I'll let you know...
Negotiating Study (c), 2007, 125.