At the beginning of this semester, I ordered Art/Work, a comprehensive guide by Heather Darcy Bhandari and Jonathan Melber —a director/curator and arts lawyer— that discusses all the necessary steps that are within your control to help shape your career as an creative professional. Having already graduated with a bachelor’s degree with a focus in art, I feel the pressure to get started on my path the moment that school finishes next spring (or even during my final semester). Essentially, I want to have all my proverbial ducks in a row.
A lot of the information so far has been something I know, or something I know I should be doing. As far as collecting receipts for taxes, it outlined things I wasn’t aware of (and also demanded I get an accountant). The same goes for a graphic design, a website designer and anyone else that should be contracted out to do work that is keeping me away from studio work. Luckily, I don’t need to build a website (as I already have one) but I did need to hire a graphic designer. Why? A) my business cards are ugly and B) I have really talented friends. I’m trading some art work for the talented Nicole Tennison of Tennison Creative. I trust she’ll do a much better job of my marketing material than I can.
Another thing noted is that commercial sites should be kept separate from portfolio sites. I have moved my store in it’s entirety (albeit breaking it temporarily in the process) to another domain. It’s still accessible via the old one for now, but redirects to the new one whenever you click on links. With this in mind, and some of the suggestions made concerning the portfolio site, I’ll be doing a pretty big overhaul of my site and blog come May. I figure if I will be working less and only taking one class, I can focus on the business side of my practice.
With that in mind, some of the other books I’m taking a look at are going to lend a hand. In case anyone is looking at doing their own reading, here’s a list of what I’m working on:
Documents of Contemporary Art: The Market edited by Natasha Degen
I’d rather be in the studio! by Alyson B. Stanfield
New Markets for Artists by Brainard Carey
The Studio Handbook for Working Artists by Ted Godwin
The Business of Being an Artist by Daniel Grant
Taking Aim! The business of being an artist today edited by Marysol Nieves
I haven’t bought any of these titles (except The Market) — but I’m lucky enough that Emily Carr’s library had these titles. I wanted to check these books out “risk free” first and that if they prove to be useful resources, I’ll order them later. I ordered Art/Work on a whim to begin with, but I highly doubt my luck would be so good with every book. If any of them are fantastic, I’ll be sure to let everyone know.
As I mentioned, one of the items that I’m working on is keeping proper receipts for taxes. This means supplies that I’m not buying for school. Unfortunately, in the past I’ve done most of my Blick/Opus/Daniel Smith/Currys/enter supply store here purchases all on one order, not separating school and practice. This year I made a change and ensured that purchases intended for my practice versus purchases intended for school were separate. Since I’ve added up my receipts for the year thus far (essentially, two months), I’ve been shocked at my expense total. Unfortunately, I’m running out of supplies I use often already. I’m fairly certain that because I’m using liquid and fluid acrylics which dry very fast, I’ve had quite a lot of wasted product. I need to be more diligent about avoiding waste, and also be more careful about placing orders without exorbitant shipping costs. The last time I ordered from Blick, my shipping and customs charges tacked on an additional $150 plus, which is a little outrageous. I’m being more strategic about my next order and despite a small slip up this week, trying not to make additional purchases at high-priced Granville Island stores (which defeat any money-saving techniques I’m trying to use).
In other news, I’ve got several new pieces on the go. I look forward to sharing them with you all soon!