I had to post this article, mostly so I know I will be able to find it again. It’s a long, dense read, but well worth it. I’m totally in the zone for this article, which I found via the Facebook group Critical Craft Forum (moderated by Namita Wiggers, I highly recommend it). For the past 8 weeks I’ve been neck-deep in the business end of this pottery business, participating in a 10 week course for solo entrepreneurs through the Small Business Development Center and Portland Community College. I’ve been slowly but steadily building my business over many years, but I’m tenacious now. 2016 was a really good year, incredibly validating, and just frustrating enough to make me see I just need to be my own boss.
Like a lot of “how to be a successful artist”-themed articles, this one can’t really give you a blueprint. To its credit, it does not even try. This may seem like a cop out at first, but the truth is there are way too many definitions of “artist” to make one formula applicable to all. Or even the majority (Hell, there is no majority. Maybe way back when, before Warhol and Duchamp, but definitely not in this gatekeeper-less world wide web age). And with that, Alexis Clements provides a great conversation starter. I can see this article used to kickstart idea generation in a professional development workshop scenario and imensely helpful in a classroom or mentorship context to prepare emerging artists for the realities of making a living with a creative practice.
I’m gonna read it again and will surely reference it as I move closer and closer to becoming my own boss full-time.