Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Effectively Organized: Shifting Mindsets and Studio Hours

I've started a Master Class with the intention of transforming my Hobby to a Business. One of the big mental shifts is "studio hours" where I schedule the time I make art. This has been a long mental shift. The first time I heard of setting studio hours was last year, but I had been thinking of the shift as I tried to set up and organize my art business.

Making Jewelry as a Hobby

When I started the jewelry-making hobby, I just dove in happily and made jewelry for hours upon hours. I especially developed a love for making lamp work beads. At the time I was learning to make lamp work beads, it proved to be a welcome respite from a stressful day job. Focusing on the torch would help me turn my mind off at the end of the day.

Hobby Business

Then I started making too much jewelry to wear myself, so I started selling it. Not a lot. Sometimes it surprised me that people would buy my jewelry, but I did sell. This stamp fits me perfectly.

Then I started moving around a lot. Had to stop lamp working. I moved over to polymer clay and had to start over with learning a new medium. Eventually I started getting the hang of polymer clay. Then I moved again. I've been trying to get my art business going again and get distracted by moving or my health issues. But still with an eye to starting the business.

It was during this transitional phase that I started sitting down and figuring out how much jewelry I would have to sell to make a living. It was a lot.

Hobby Business to Real Business

Now, I'm buckling down to shifting my mindset from an accidental hobby business to a deliberate art business. I knew I would have to shift from the mentality of just making whenever I wanted and when creativity struck (which was often, fortunately). I started thinking about the challenge of setting up a pattern of production that would be both profitable and enjoyable. It started making me nervous to lose the joy of just creating for creating's sake. I've explored a number of different pathways to potentially create multiple streams of income so I'm not completely dependent on jewelry, which is a very saturated market.

Now, the big challenge is setting up studio hours... habits of making art, even when I'm not in the mood, learning to manage creative droughts, figuring out how to capture the creativity when it hits, setting up my business to handle illness, distractions, moving, etc.

My workspace with work in progress...

Here are some beads from a studio session on Saturday and Sunday. I'm getting stuff I like and can use!

So, do you have a hobby business or do you treat your art business as a real business? How are you handling studio hours?

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