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Tag Archives: craft business

START

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Art by doodles.

Lately it seems like almost everyone I talk to around my age, is stuck on some variation of this problem:

(Imagine “THEM” as group of 20-somethings screaming)

THEM: I DON’T KNOW WHAT I WANT TO BE WHEN I GROW UP AND IT’S STRESSING ME OUT.

ME: you don’t have to know what you want to do with the rest of your life, just start doing something you care about – and start as soon as possible.

THEM: I KNOW, BUT STARTING IS THE HARDEST PART.

These are smart, passionate, talented, people so why is this happening?

I realize that this is a symptom of being in your 20s, but it sure seems like my generation is hitting this particular brick wall again and again.

I don’t always feel inspired, in fact I literally NEVER feel like blogging, but I always feel proud after I’ve finished a post… Not because I think I wrote some sort of amazing gift to society (LOL), but because it’s something I always thought I couldn’t do, cuz of my dyslexia, and this will be 135th post! So suck on that personal bullshit!

All that being said, I still think if someone locked me in a room with a typewriter, and said I will free you once you’ve finished a novel of at least 100,000 words I would jump out the window… A blank page is one of the scariest things that exists.

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Photo by me.

Starting is hard, it requires a lot of self-discipline. Hopefully once you’ve started, at some point in the process you’ll drop into your flow — and that is a beautiful thing.

(by flow mean your artist groove, not your period!)

START every day, and think of finishing – as optional… but personally I find finishing a lot easier.

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” 
~ Kurt Vonnegut

October 1st

Autumn Sun Rag Rug — available in my shop

Today marks my one year anniversary of moving out of my parents’ house and the one year anniversary of me supporting myself entirely with my craft//art. YOU GUYS — I’M DOING IT!!!!

So how did I do it?

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1. Before I moved out I saved up an emergency fund, so that when I left home I’d have safety net. When you’re selling art//craft and running your own business, money won’t come in steady chunks —

(sometimes I sell 3 rugs in a day and sometimes I sell nothing for 2 weeks), be prepared.

2. Talk to the people who do what you want to be doing. I’ve been fortunate in that my parents make and sell art for a living but I’ve also sought advice from successful artist such as Shelly Klein & Faythe Lavine.

3. Know exactly how much you need to make to cover your set expenses, rent, bills, food, supplies, etc.

Art by Tom Moglu

4. Keep track of how much you make//spend, I have a book that I write every single sale or purchase, that way I know when I can spend and when I really shouldn’t.

Photo by blomadetroit 

5. LIVE CHEAPLY – I’ve addressed how, in this post (Rich living for small paychecks).

6. Spend half your time making, and the other half split between publicity, blogging, Flickr, Tumblr, Facebook, and selling, Etsy, Craft fairs, Stores, custom work (you can’t just be an artist you also have to be a publicist and a salesman).

Art by sol ▲nna

oh. and also, you have to be a photographer…

7. Love it enough to work REALLY, REALLY, HARD.

8. Be brave, if you are your own boss there will be no one to blame but yourself.

9. If you’re doing something you’re proud of – every small victory will give you the energy to move forward.

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Business Plan

Photo by me. Check out my shop for this rug’s availability.

I love working hard, that is I love working hard at what I love.

I have been bust’n my ass this month and it’s paid off, I’ve beat my personal record for monthly income!

At this stage in my development I need to get serious about writing a business plan instead of just drifting week to week without a definite path. (Why is it so scary to write a business plan???)

Art by Nathaniel Russell

There is absolute power in knowing  who you are, where your going, and what you want, I definitely have 2 out of 3 most of the time….

Since I moved out of my parents house ( October 1 2011) my focus was completely on the question

“can I actually do this for a living???”. Well the answer (after a long bumpy learning curve) is Yes!

But now what?

How far do I want to take it?

What direction do I want to go in the long run?

This is what I will be mulling over this week…  Send me good vibes ( ;

All successful people men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose.
~Brian Tracy

All endeavor calls for the ability to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan, endure the last hours toil. The fight to the finish spirit is the one… characteristic we must posses if we are to face the future as finishers.
~Henry David Thoreau

Fawn & Fable

My Dear friend and house mate Rachel Mckay astounds me every day with her talent and drive. She is an Americorps member teaching an after school program in one of Grand Rapids toughest neighborhoods. She uses every other second of her days crafting.

An accomplished photographer, book binder, sock knitter, print maker, illustrator, painter, lace maker, spinner and countless other things!  She also works really hard promoting food justice here in GR.

Last year she started a gardening work shop at the Barefoot Victory Garden for kids at risk of obesity and plans to do it again this year. I’m so lucky to have Rachel in my life ♥

Check out her ETSY Fawnandfable

Flickr Fawnandfable (She shoots mostly film)

2012

My new year resolutions (in no particular order)

1. Blog more.

2. Add new items to my Etsy Shop more often.

3. to keep my space clean.

4. Take more pictures.

5. Wake up at 8 every morning.

6. To be Brave.

7. Learn to truly love my self.

8. Make kombucha twice a week.

9. To learn to be a better writer.

10. do more Traveling.

11. To teach my younger siblings to knit.

12. Dance more.

13. To preserve more food this year.

14.  Get my own chickens.

stitched

This is a little patchwork pice I made a couple months ago, it got stained but I like it better that way ( ;

I’ve been slowing it down this month by knitting hats, cooking good food, and reading books. I cleaned my room today and everything just feels right in a way it hasn’t for a long time. Tonight I am going to the DAAC to see the wonderful Michigan band Breathe Owl Breathe they are playing today and tomorrow so come down if you can. Grand rapids is growing, it seems like every day more artistic young folks are moving here (heart swell) ♥

Pic by John Hanson

This is SASS fest last week it was really sweet.

Craft Through The Frustration

Photo By Britt Willis 

I’ve been feeling stunted in my creative process lately. Like everything I make is ugly or useless. It seems like when it gets to this point I’m usually about to have a break through. You just have to power through it and just keep making stuff. Don’t look at flickr for ideas (it’s a trap) you will be on the computer forever. I’ve been using my sewing machine a lot trying to get the hang of it and its driving me crazy, most of the time I just want to through it out the window! I know I have to get comfortable with it because sewing by hand is holding me back. When it comes to making things I believe in quantity not quality (seriously) the less you worry about perfection the more you make. You become good at something by doing it all the time and not giving up even when you can’t stand it, and that’s really hard! I’m trying to craft through this dry spell send my your good vibes ( ;

also Check out this tumblr. Hanging Rock Comics I am still a teenager for a couple more months….