On Saturday I attended a wonderful seminar entitled "Turn Your Passion into Profits". There was so much discussed it made my head spin. My friend Julian Hazlett and I rode together. Once there, my very good friend, Debra Riffe, met us. Debra is an extraordinarily talented individual who creates original linoleum block relief prints and needlepoint art which also contains her designs. Her images are fantastic and can be found at http://www.driffedesign.com/ Debra can also be found on Etsy at http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5005930 I thought that was very smart and like the idea of Etsy. Julian's work is at www.home.earthlink.net/~julianhazlett/maxie and he creates amazing tiles with women's faces. He is very talented and I enjoy his friendship so much. It is great to have good friends with whom you can discuss ideas and get other opinions. Julian, Debra and I have discussed starting a Salon. We talked about that may be one way that we could stay more focused and accomplish more. I like the idea. That is one of the things that was stressed in the seminar on Saturday....to make sure that you have a good support group...one that you know will be honest with you about your work, goals, decisions. We learned so much. As I had previously written, I have really been working hard toward honing my business skills as an artist. As my time at my day job winds down, it is time to learn everything I can about doing an excellent job as a businessperson. Sometimes this is mindboggling to me. There is always this juggling act and so many hats to wear. Below is part of what we learned at the seminar which was sponsored by the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham Alabama. http://www.cultural-alliance.com/ The staff of the Cultural Alliance is very helpful and they are so intent on seeing the area artists succeed.
Michael Bell and Bradford Kachelhofer from The Modern Brand, LLC presented at the workshop and they were very knowledgeable. They can be found at http://www.themodernbrand.com/ They were very enthusiastic and had a lot to offer. We learned that you are your number one salesperson...that you represent your art...to inform people about your art at every opportunity; the importance of networking; determining your audience; printing resources and web resources press releases.
It is very difficult to take care of everything when you are the studio owner.....then there is working full time. It is very difficult, but you have to keep your eyes toward your goal, do one thing at a time, and full steam ahead....and no, there are not enough hours in the day. Debra Riffe and I discuss this often. She is a great friend because she thinks critically and doesn't mind being "the devil's advocate". We bounce ideas off of each other and talk about keeping each other focused.
Today, on Monday, I had the pleasure to hear Truett Cathey, Founder of Chik-Fil-A. It was an amazing speech and was very uplifting. Birmingham Southern College, Samford University and University of Alabama in Birmingham Business Schools sponsored his visit. Mr. Cathey spoke of his convictions, both religious and moral. We were greeted at the doors with "the cows" and it was great. He spoke of living your convictions everyday, treat people like you want to be treated, and go the extra mile. It was a great lesson in business and in life. I came away from the luncheon, truly inspired to be a better person.
During this time that I have focused on business a little more, I have realized that I must develop other items so that I will have different price points. I think this is what the value of the Serenbe Commission will be because I will have the opportunity to discover. Now, I am designing smaller pieces. I am not finished with the designs, but am very excited about the prospect of this and it will be good for business.