I have been involved in some type of art business since leaving school (more than a few years ago).
My first business was a basement ceramic studio which led to employment as a designer with a major ceramic paint manufacturer. The next business was a full service craft shop near a busy mall which led to owning two craft shops in separate towns. At that stage, I had enough time and energy to also do craft shows on weekends selling painted shirts and pen and ink paintings.
I was teaching a variety of craft techniques at the shops when a friend insisted I take a painting class with Joyce Howard. This led to taking classes with Priscilla Hauser and her irresistible techniques to learn and teach. I decided I would have to narrow my creative desires or give up sleeping.
Now, I don’t remember how I had time, but somehow along came marriage and a baby – so one craft shop was closed when along came another baby – well, I could only fit one kid in a back carrier while teaching classes so the craft shop was sold. I needed to express the creative urges so we built a backyard studio where I taught painting classes for seven years along with teaching at arts associations and being part of an artist co-op. This led to joining The Society of Decorative Painters and teaching at trade shows.
This made way for the mail order packet business and teaching seminars. Along the way I picked up a “temporary” job designing artwork for commercial tins which lasted for 12 years. This was a great part time job as I could continue to do the trade shows however the tin painting and packet business soon took over my studio.
At some point a dear friend asked me to help create a teaching studio for the arts in a nearby town. After two years working with Artful Hands Studio in Ohio my family made the decision to move to a warmer climate in South Carolina. Well, I had spent many years in one location as a collector of creative items and supplies. (I don’t collect fine art, I collect fine art supplies!) so deciding which items I could part with was a dilemma.
There were several sales, donation trips, and moving of boxes before furnishing another home and building a new studio. Over the years, I have had many wonderful learning experiences with a wide variety of teachers not the least of which were and continue to be my students or as I prefer to call them my “co-creatives”. I am blessed to be able to continue teaching, designing and learning in a creative business that I enjoy so much.