Old Ends : New Beginnings

Recently I have been struggling with what to do with the rest of my life, and the only thing that has retained my focus and interest and that seems like a viable option as a career is my art. I have recently graduated and completed a degree in Media and Cultural Studies, and now I have a little part time job to keep the money coming in, however no ‘big’ jobs have inspired me. I am keen to really make a go out of being an artist and am viewing 2013 as a new beginning – for my art, career and general lifestyle.

I am finding this new beginning a little daunting – there is so much to learn and so much of the unknown and sometimes I feel like crawling into a little hole and hoping something will just happen and suddenly I will be a professional artist. I am fully aware that won’t happen however, and unless I’m proactive with my art nothing will happen and I may miss invaluable opportunities. My good friend Bea (a very talented professional artist, you can see her work here) wrote an incredibly useful document on how to make it as a professional artist, which I will show in a new post. I am going to use this document a little like an artist’s bible, and hopefully I can go about making fewer mistakes than I would have without it.

The main issue is making money from my art. I was unaware of how much business is involved in selling art and especially promoting myself as an artist. I think this is the area I will find most difficult, but I am determined to do this and if it doesn’t work at least I know I will have tried. At university we had some seminars on networking and how to go about getting your name known but I have had little practice, if any at all. One thing Bea said when starting out is to recognise which steps you need to take and make note of the most important steps and then go from there. Here are a list of my aims and steps for next upcoming months:

+ Start building up a substantial portfolio of work and stock
+ Create an Etsy shop
+ Create a Facebook page
+ Gather as much information as I can from friends who have become professional artists
+ Find a good, reliable printer
+ Get in touch with local fairs etc. about exhibiting my work
+ Create a schedule/timetable/routine for myself to keep myself motivated and working hard – if I’m going to be even a little bit successful with this I need to treat it like any other job – no more sleeping in late, no more putting it off because I don’t feel like it.

The reason why I have chosen to make a go of this is because I feel like my art is the only thing I ever been good at, and even though I didn’t do an art degree (I didn’t want to ruin my love for it by carrying it on in education, I was already starting to see it as a chore at A Level, and it showed in my final grade), I haven’t found anything else that has quite captured my imagination in the same way. I am fully aware it is not going to be easy but I’m hoping it is something I will enjoy and simultaneously my skills should improve too.

I know of so many people who hate their jobs and if I can create a life and career for myself that I love then I couldn’t be more grateful. The last few months I have got stuck in a bit of a rut, not knowing what I do to do with the rest of my life or who I want to be – everybody always said going to university would be one of the hardest changes to go through but I am in fact finding -leaving- university the hardest change I have had to deal with. For the first time in my life I am not in education, I don’t have somebody telling me what to do and as a result I feel lost. So I am doing this not only to make money but to also feel happy and satisfied with the person I am. It is the days I sit around doing nothing where I feel most sad so the more proactive and motivated and creative I can be, the better my mental state will be and the stronger my growth as a human being will be.

I am also going to aim to maintain writing a blog as being a blogger is also something I revel in, it keeps me focused and allows me to recognise where I’m going wrong and what I’m doing right, what I flourish at and what I fail at, and so on and so forth. Stay tuned to see some progress (hopefully!) :)

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2 thoughts on “Old Ends : New Beginnings

  1. Good luck with your plans for the new year, I know people that did degrees in things they loved and they ended up, as you said, losing the love for it somewhat, and never being able to go back in the way they think about/view the subject. But as you also said it’s good for jsut keeping you motivated and focused on tasks, I have tons of free time currently and find it more difficult to self motivate myself to do things, and just go “o i’ll do it tomorrow, or later, I’ve got loads of time” and the weeks just fly by and I feel a bit crap. I need to get back on the horse this year with tunes and things aswell as my poker.
    GL again byeeeee

  2. Good for you Sophie, we both really love your art so I’ll be checking out that Etsy shop! Shout if you want any advice on the web or being self employed. (Both of which I know too much about) I’m looking forward to reading this during 2013 and beyond!

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