Learning and TeachingWhen I first started my business as a full time career in 1991, I loved doing art shows. The excitement of travel, meeting new people and going to new places with my work was exciting. Everything seemed new and there was so much to absorb.There were so many surprises! I had no interest in doing wholesale, partly because I wanted to see where my creations were going to their new home. Also, I did not the the idea of doing repetitive work.
As my business grew, I began to do wholesale shows.
Being in galleries and designing for a catalog became an entirely different experience. It took some getting used to, but began to provide me with a little more predictability in my life. Unlike art shows (where one never know if you will be accepted, if the weather will be favorable and if the interested collectors will come), filling orders added an element of predictability to my life. I found that a little predictability is a good thing. I developed a new market of collectors and had the delightful experience of meeting some of them at the shows I was still doing. It is not uncommon for someone to come in my booth and declare, "Oh I know your work. I have a piece of yours that I got from ....."
The next step seemed to be starting some sort of online presence. I have to be honest, I hated this idea. I am not an individual who favors technology. It intimidates me. I have a cell phone that I rarely use. I use it so infrequently, I seldom give the number out because I can go days without checking it. But, this is the 21st century. It was time for me to get on board. It hasn't been so bad actually. I've even connected with some pretty incredible people who have been patient in showing me around cyberspace. I have:
a Facebook page
a twitter account
I am on Linked In
And you can shop for my current works on etsy
Then I began to hear from people, "You should teach. I would love to take a class from you!" Being mostly self taught, this prospect sounded entirely frightening! Many of my techniques are unconventional and NOT what you would be taught in any formal training. In fact, some of the things that I do are probably discouraged! But eventually, if you hear something often enough, you figure that the universe is trying to tell you something. This year I began to teach at Quench Jewelry Arts in Minneapolis.
And I have discovered that I absolutely love teaching! I have so many ideas plus it gives me a real chance to do experimentation, to try different
techniques, add my own twist and pass that knowledge on .Teaching is the newest path on this crazy fun journey if being an artist.
Have I mentioned that I love my job?