Many people, outside the professional craft world, see what we do as a gentle, highly enjoyable and stress-free lifestyle choice. Occasionally this might be true but usually my reality is far from it.
How I would love to spend my time sitting around dreaming up fabulous, fresh, new creations! However, for me designing new work is squeezed between doing my tax return and scrabbling around the dusty studio floor looking for the tiniest of things that I have lost (not very glamorous, I know). Most days I am in a constant whirl of balancing the different elements of running a business, because that is what has taken over in my case; the business. There was a stage when the business aspect played second fiddle to my needs as an artist, there are times (like now) when I become a little production line of smaller pieces for the impending Christmas rush. Eight years ago as an idealistic art student I don’t think I fully appreciated the balancing act that I now find myself embroiled in.
Perhaps most other people are just better at dealing with lots of things at once? Or do they struggle with this balance too? I know that there are grants out there which help to sustain makers through larger projects and so take the strain away from the money making side of things. But I suppose that emails would still need to be replied, invoice’s made, payment’s chased, suppliers argued with etc etc……
Don’t get me wrong, I am at my happiest when I am in my studio creating an extravagant new piece. The problem is the constraints place on my time by the demands of keeping on top of the mundane and everyday tasks involved in the running of a business and, currently, I am not sure how to remedy that.