Artsy Living

March 13, 2009

My inbox was recently sent another goodie from Artella that  I wanted to share with you.   It is from The Complete Idealist’s Guide to Growing a Creative Business: 37 Ways to Really Make an Artsy Living by Artella Founder Marney K. Makridakis. In these uncertain financial times, using your creativity is a must have survival skill! 

The Complete Idealist's Guide to Growing a Creative Business

The Complete Idealist's Guide to Growing a Creative Business

I remember after finishing graduate school, I had a pretty low paying art therapy job that barely made ends meet.  To supplement my income I got involved with the artist community on eBay and started selling my art, which really was a great experience. Not only did I make extra money, but I met so many neat individuals who were interested in similar interests and inspired me in so many ways .  I have really good memories of those eBay selling days, think of them often, and still use the fundamentals of this experience today. 

This experience pushed me to start my very first website,  Dolls of Travesty where I could refer my regular eBay customers to and order more creations that were not up for auction. My friend Mark bought me the dolls of travesty domain name as a surprise and this really got my excitement going about possibilities- definitely an “a-ha moment”.

Between this website and eBay I would get commission orders for dolls,  including a bulk voodoo doll order from the guys who made the Blair Witch Project (Haxan Films) when they launched a short lived show called FreakyLinks on FOX back in 2000.  I remember getting the check from Haxen with the cool Blair Witch tree branch logo on it and thinking it was amazing that my dolls had reached this realm! It’s still unbelievable to me-! Actually they are still for sale here, if you are interested in checking the FreakyLinks site out! (Wow, I can’t believe they are still there!) Ah… the good old days!

So obviously this subject of using your creativity for an artsy life  is close to my heart….  🙂 To help you with your own creative brainstorming,  here’s a peek to some of the content that I enjoyed reading from Makridakis about finding resources that fit you and your business ideas:

1. Ask–  Inquire with those colleagues you trust  what resources have been helpful for them in their pursuit of developing new ideas, their business, and work.  Also research and learn more about businesses you look up to and want to model your own endeavors after.

2. Listen to your body– When researching and looking at resources, remember to pay attention to your “gut” and how your body is responding.  What energizes you and gets you excited?  Makridakis suggests to also pay attention to feelings of doubt, anxiety, and “a-ha moments”.

3.  Be a magnet to your excitement– Let your passion, excitement, and enthusiasm lead you to your resources, people, and tools that will help shape and build your idea.  Take a look at what truly motivates and interests you, as this will help sustain your strength and commitment when faced with challenges and struggles.

4. Know your core values– Do the resources and connections you are interested in support what is important to you?  Are they a right fit to what you value?

5. Play with serpendipty– Makridakis recommends having fun with researching and finding resources by inviting serendipity through a simple keyword search of your idea on-line.  Try googling words connected to your idea and see what kind of brainstorming comes from this!

6. Read testimonials of potential consumers and pay attention to how you feel– Do some market research on your idea and target those consumers who are really invested in your idea vs.  superifical commentary.

7. Avoid making choices only by price– Carefully consider and balance cost with quality. Look for cost effective ways to promote your business without spending a lot of $,  but don’t settle for going cheap either.  I am a big fan of using the Internet to help spread your ideas, special project, and business!

8. Look for “creative” specialties– Partner and collaborate with creative individuals and groups that have proven to be successful and have similiar thoughts, goals, and excitement about your interests. 

9. Work with fewer resources rather than more- Look for resources that cover the bulk of what you need- i.e. a couple of really good books with lots of information vs. having many, many resources to keep track of and go back to.  Streamline the resource gathering process.

10. Learn your own personal learning style-Look seriously at what works best for you in learning and guiding you in this process.    Makridakis suggests if you are a visual person, to pay attention to illustrated books  that contain a lot of this content.  Do you need an audio program?  If you enjoy learning with others, do you need to take a class or join a group? If you find that having individual attention is helpful for you, maybe consider working with a consultant or coach.

Have fun, remember to keep the creative juices flowing, try something new, or develop an existing idea or business further! 



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