After completing a survey of my Artrepreneur journey, I reflected on how much I’ve grown under York Region’s Art Council’s Artrepreneur program. I’m tremendously grateful for being a part of Artrepreneur. The lessons I’ve learned, the confidence I’ve found and the friendships I’ve cultivated will remain with me throughout my creative practice.
First Half of My Artrepreneur Journey
If you are unsure about participating in Artrepreneur, here is a documentation of my thoughts through my Artrepreneur journey.
Feeling excited for #artrepreneur 2016! Acceptance letter received – my life changes every time I get one. Thanks for having me!
— Elaine Joy Roach (@treasuredpaper) March 4, 2016
At first, I was hesitant to say anything about Artrepreneur – it still felt unreal.
— Elaine Joy Roach (@treasuredpaper) March 30, 2016
I was very excited and tried to incorporate each lesson into my business practice.
Week 3-4: Artrepreneur & Other Updates
— Elaine Joy Roach (@treasuredpaper) April 20, 2016
My favourite part of the workshop, I ended up writing a few posts as I searched for my creative ignition. I was torn between pursuing an artistic practice or building my stationery business. I eventually discovered that I could unify my various endeavours into one unified practice and website.
— Elaine Joy Roach (@treasuredpaper) April 27, 2016
After Raheela’s presentation, I worked on improving my website into something impressive. I’m still working on sharpening my website.
Second Half of My Artrepreneur Journey
The second half of Artrepreneur dealt with the practical side of business – finances, forecasting, legalities and etc. I also began venturing out of my comfort zone, by attending local workshops and reaching out to various people. Jane Gertner’s presentation planted a seed in my head and I envisioned that I could create social enterprise from the start. I approached and joined Venture Lab for guidance.
I gathered up a little courage and spoke with established stationery businesses at a the Paper Fair at the P.O.
At this point, I was overwhelmed with the lessons from Artpreneur. My biggest personal challenge is pricing. I avoided dealing with this topic as long as I could, until my assignments were due. I’ve only priced about 10% of my product line. I created new pieces of artwork to distract myself.
During the last few weeks of Artrepreneur, I spent preparing for my graduation and expo. I needed everything – business cards,display materials and samples. I also had a chance to share my story with the York Region Art Council board members. Their kind words and encouragement helped me gain confidence for the graduation.
Grateful for the chance to share my Artrepreneur story tonight at Aurora’s cultural center with… https://t.co/YhqF7aYzXs
— Elaine Joy Roach (@treasuredpaper) July 14, 2016
Lastly, here is my post on graduation. I was glad to have my family with me during graduation. It was important that I showed my girls another aspect of me. I miss my fellows but I’m grateful for finding new ‘art squad’ friends.
Yes, I recommend Artrepreneur to anyone interested in being a professional creative, entrepreneur, etc.
After the graduation, I’ve :
- finished reading business books
- reorganized my studio
- tweaked my target market
- organized 5 Culture Days activities
- applied to a few art fairs / shows
- began building my online shops
- reassess my website
The most important thing I’ve learned is to take action no matter how small or slow. One step is better than standing still. I’d love to hear if you found similar programs and how it has helped you grow your creative practice.