Shilo writes: Hi Lisa! I am an artist who wants to start her own art business, but my problem is that I have so many different things I feel I *could* do, that I don’t know what I *should* do. I love so many different types of art from sewing dolls to drawing stickers, that I just don’t know how to make a decision and focus. I worry about “wasting possible potential” if I only do one thing, then I also worry about appearing scattered and unfocused if I do lots of things! Do you have any advice for how to focus ones art path? Did you ever have troubles deciding on just what kind of artist you wanted to be known for? Thanks for reading!
I can SO relate to you! When I started out, I wanted to do EVERYTHING! I liked to crochet, I liked to sew and make stuffed animals, I liked to do mosaics and pretty much any other craft you can think of. If it wasn’t food related, I wanted to make it! I seriously hate cooking. For me, I wanted to sell crafts too, but this was back in the early 2000s when most of the shops that sold hand made items were going out of business. It seems like they are popping up again (YAY!!! I LOOOVE handmade stuff!!), but for
I wanted to sell crafts too when I started out, but this was back in the late 90’s/early 2000s when most of the shops that sold hand made items were going out of business. It seems like they are popping up again (YAY!!! I LOOOVE handmade stuff!!), but for me it wasn’t practical to keep putting so much time in crafts when I was getting more business selling paintings. I could have a painting done in about the same amount of time some of the crafts I was making but the painting would sell for more than ten times as much as the craft. That just didn’t make sense for me on the business side to continue with the crafts.
At this point, I would say the choice would depend on where you’re planning to sell your items. If you’re doing art and craft fairs, the type of crafts you make may help draw buyers to your booth to see your paintings too. Especially if you can follow a theme across the crafts and paintings. I’ve people who make poseable fantasy creature dolls and sell them for thousands, so it’s not that there isn’t money to be made on that sort of thing. The important thing to remember is creating a brand for yourself and somehow figure out how to tie your items together. If you’re a wildlife artist, then maybe crafts centered around wildlife would also be a good fit.
I suspect as you continue creating and selling that you will start to lean towards making more of whatever sells most. I do believe that there is truth in the idea of “Jack of all trades, master of none”. If you’re spending too much time on crafts, then you’re not going to progress as far technique/skill wise as you would have if all that time went into your fine arts. On the other hand, for some people, to do the same thing again and again will cause them to burn out, so mixing crafts with fine arts can be a great way to avoid that. It all comes down to the individual and what works best for you and what you’re most passionate about.