Not seeing the work in your studio sell fast enough? Think about smaller, less expensive items, or skills, that can supplement your studio practice.
I’m currently on a mission to grow the income stream out of my studio to free me up from my multiple part-time positions. Also a majority of the new work I’m making is conceptual, collaborative or site specific (aka not for sellable in the short-term). While I wait for the replies, or rejections, of my new pursuits, I am busily making sculptures ready for retail. Just in time for the holidays, I’ll have massive inventory made of little ceramic birds, $18 each, and other small animal sculptures ranging from $45-$150.
I also have a following for my ceramic bats. They are literally flying out the door.
What was meant to be a monumental installation is now a hot item under $100. Surprisingly enough, I constantly receive requests for these pieces. I’m able to make 2-3 in a day, and sell at least that many in a month out of one gallery in town. Now that I know I have established a creation with demand, I must solicit it in other galleries and communities to find more customers. Although I prefer making work that is more challenging to me as an artist, I’ve discovered it’s wise to spend some of my studio time making the work that will turn into cash, and be able to financially support my past and future artistic endeavors. The income collected from my small sculptures has paid for my student loan bills this year!
What are other alumni making to pay the bills?
In addition to her bold and bright art pottery; Meredith Host also creates a line of refurbished dinner plates made new again with decals of brains, cockroaches and skulls that she sells on Etsy and at craft fairs. She also hosts an annual Holiday Sale out of her studio with fellow artists Rain Harris and KCAI Professor Paul Donnelly. In the December and January issue of American Craft, Senior Editor, Julie Hanus, interviewed Meredith about her product line pursuits and her business’s future.
Andrew Lyles’ gallery, Spray Booth Gallery, got its name because it actually has a functional spray booth inside. Andrew is able to sustain his gallery space by offering painting services to artists.