Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Passion for Business and Art

Ok, so this is the month I am supposed to be writing, and writing about passion. I did a softball toss earlier this month about a passion for Scotties ... but you guys all know I am nuts about my pups.  Today I want to talk about my own personal passion for business. I know ... I can hear some of you yawning already. If you are an artist reading this please stay with me on this.  If you want to make a living at art you have to develop a true passion for business and see the unlimited possibility in that arena for creative expression.

I will admit that I am very lucky because selling comes easy for me. When I was a little girl we played games that we created ( no video games back then ). Anyone over 30 will remember the adult world games we would play out as kids ... for boys it was war and Cowboys & Indians ...  for little girls it was house, ballerina, school teacher, and my favorite "store".  Yep, I loved pretending to run a store and sell things. I think I even had a toy cash register.  So I think selling is in my genes, playing house ... not so much so.
Yep ... that is me in the center ...  right behind the "toll sign" 
We were charging 50 cents to enter the drive way.

I spent a lot of years after college behind a register selling other people's things. I had the typical jobs for a 20 something gal with a fine arts degree ... I sold clothes, fine jewelry and even plants. My favorite jobs were in the area of visual merchandising and I had the pleasure of using my creative skills to sell high end luxury items for Neiman Marcus and plastic containers for the Container store.  Yep for about a decade I sold a lot of "stuff"  that had no real meaning to me. I did learn how to organize stuff at The Container Store though and that is invaluable.  In the early 90's my Mom died at the age of 54, I realized life was short and I started working for myself and I have never looked back.

If you think selling yourself and your artwork is hard try standing at a jewelry counter for 8 hours a day in pantyhose and heels.  That my friends is hard work.  So no more whining about how hard it is to sell yourself people! Get out there and do it, the alternative is just no fun ... I have been there and done that.

If the concept of "selling" is just too crass or intimidating for you then please take a tip from Alyson Stanfield and think of it as "sharing" your art with others. I am going to quote her here because this sentence is just flawless: "Until you are excited about sharing your art, how can you expect us to be overly eager about looking at it or buying it?".  Ms. Stanfield has a  spot on post about "shameless self promotion" this month on her blog, please go check it out.

So there is my deep "shameless" confession for the month ... I am passionate about business! I love art and it feeds my soul. Business, well it feeds my belly.


AutumnLeaves said...

Rebecca, your words are so wise. I must say that we also played teacher, office, and store. I can't remember playing ballerina (odd, because I sure love the ballet and dancing)...

Anyway, I so agree with you in theory. That all said, I'm not at all comfortable with selling, especially myself! LOL Then again, I don't have product worthy of selling. (Honesty, thy name is me.) Still and yet, an invaluable lesson!

Melissa and Emmitt said...

what a great post rebecca!

melanie and i used to pretend we had our own store too. we would buy all the receipt books and ledgers in the office supply section of the drugstore and go home and sell sell sell. :)
remember carbon paper?


Rebecca Collins said...

lol ...carbon paper, yep. Oh I can so see you and Melanie as little girls ...scheming and planning out your empires! Glad to know I am not the only one that was playing store back then:)

cbmosaics said...

A 50 cent toll to get in the driveway, LOL!!! I love it! Great post, Rebecca. I love Stanfield's book, too.

Rebecca Collins said...

Thanks Christine!

Helen at summerhouse said...

Great post and just what I'm looking for too. We are busy trying to get our art biz going and I am always researching. Will check the sites you recommended right away. As you say better to sell your own "stuff" than stand for hours trying to sell someone else's.