Fall is the beginning of my year.  It always has been.  In the first place, I’m Jewish, so I celebrate the new year in the fall rather than in January.  I take stock and make my resolutions in the fall.  Fall is also when school starts, and when people come back after having a long break.  Fall is when I naturally feel compelled to start in new directions and when the economy begins to ramp up again.

This year my main goal is to take those new directions and make them more, um…directed.  I’m trying to set clear, achievable goals for … Read more »

workshopI really respect doers.  As a thinker-planner-worrier-maybe-eventually-doer I admire people who seize opportunities immediately and run with them all the way to the finish line.  Kelly Malone of Indie Mart is one such doer.  Last night I attended an open-house event at her new space called “Workshop,” which is a community art and activity space that holds classes, get-togethers and large-scale craft equipment.  It’s already got furniture, signage, and an awesome room divider made of old windows.  A week ago she didn’t even know about this … Read more »

I got a lot of etiquette questions this week, so I’m posting all the answers below:

I’m just starting out, and I have lots of questions I’d like to ask successful business crafters. What’s okay and not okay to ask about?

In general, it’s okay to ask about process, not product, and it’s always best to ask for help from businesses that don’t compete with yours. For example, if you sell plush toys, it’s not okay to ask another plush artist where they get their fabric, who their distributor is, or what consignment stores they work with. Instead, try … Read more »

Reading blogs is great, but sometimes you want more.  Sometimes you want to be able to ask questions in person, as they come up.  Sometimes you want to be around other people who are struggling to do the same things you are.  Sometimes you want to learn a little more interactively than you do by just reading.

That’s why on Saturday, April 4th, I will be co-teaching a crafty business workshop with Jamie Chan (Bazaar Bizarre, Mary Jane’s Attic, Urban Fauna … Read more »

If I want to transition into doing more editorial-prop-type work, I’m going to need to beef up my portfolio.  I’ve already done some work for book publishers like Chronicle and Scholastic, but most of it’s not very sophisticated, being geared mainly toward the kindergarten crowd.  My portfolio needs a lot more examples of the kinds of projects I’d like to get hired for.  It needs to demonstrate that I’m capable of handling more complex work of various scales, while appealing to the needs of marketing and art directors.

I’ve therefore begun an on-going … Read more »

How do you make a living off your art?  That, my friends, is the $50,000 question.  There are the standard models we all know about, but they’re all deeply flawed in the same way: in order to be successful, you need to spend most of your time on non-creative endeavors.

Take the typical gallery model, for example.  Unless you are sponsored by some incredibly well-connected patron, you need to go to graduate school, network like crazy, and then apply for shows, grants and residencies with the hope that you will secure one out of fifty.  All of this while maintaining some … Read more »