“There is no need for anyone to be a ‘starving artist’.”
My father was an art professor and my mother a freelance writer, neither of them had even a rudimentary knowledge of business. I received a BA in art and jewelry from Central Washington University, without anyone ever suggesting I might sometime want to make a living at what I had studied for four years. I married Bill Richey and we naively created what turned out to be an award-winning jewelry design firm with no idea of how to run a company. And that was the beginning of a long journey on learning the do’s and don’ts, ups and downs, ins and outs of running a small art business.
During my 30+ year career in jewelry I have run a wholesale design business, a retail gallery, participated in hundreds of shows – craft and trade, indoors and out, juried and not juried, dreadful and successful. I traveled for a decade selling our jewelry in every nook and cranny of the US. I have served on numerous boards of directors (SNAG, CJDG, MCA), consult with emerging and not-so-emerging artists both nationally and internationally, teach seminars and classes (including at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC), give speeches and participate on panels, write articles for jewelry/craft publications, write a regular column in Art Jewelry magazine called “Business Savvy” and have a book published by the MJSA Press on running a small jewelry design business called “Profiting by Design.”
“Profiting” won the Gold Award for the Society of National Association Publications in the spring of 2009, and Marlene was awarded the Contemporary Design Group’s Designer Advocate for 2009 as well.
There is a time when everyone needs some advice or a push in the right direction to make sure their business is heading down the right path. Sometimes you need specific insights and information to turn a hobby into a business and sometimes you just need a gentle reminder or reinforcement about a new project or collection your are creating. Whatever it is you require to get your business going in that right direction, I have the experience and expertise to help you along the way.
There is no reason for anyone to be a “starving artist” – there is no glamour in that negative mind-set. As Kate Wolf always so wisely says, “I want you to not just survive, but to thrive!” Yeah!