Originally, I started Suter Design & Co. and new job as an artist because I wanted to share my journey and maybe add value to those who want to do the same. I wanted to figure out how to be a successful artist. For me, success is defined by the ability to make a comfortable living (paying the bills, being able to go on vacation, providing for the family… etc.). I realized that somewhere along the way, my focus became what artwork/content could I create that would convert directly into a sale. I lost my focus on sharing what I was learning and what I was passionate about. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with an artist wanting to feed herself and her cats. Basically, I don’t like the current direction of my marketing and I don’t want to just be along for the train ride.
Right now, I’m reading through Sara Tasker’s book, “Hashtag Authentic”. One of her prompts is answering the question: “What am I passionate about?” Looking at my own IG, I’d say I’m passionate about landscape embroidery. This observation drives me crazy. Yes, landscape embroideries are a good thing, but it’s so stifling to think that’s going to be the rest of my career! I’m passionate about art and making art, but I’m also passionate about the story behind the artwork, the inspiration, the memory. I’m passionate about traveling and experiencing nature. I get so much joy and adrenaline learning something new. Being a successful artist means failing and making mistakes and learning from them. It’s about the messy studio and embarrassing first attempts.
I’m so afraid that I’ll lose the hard work I put into building my presence and community on IG, that I’ve boxed myself into something I don’t want. No more. From now on, I’m going to strive to be multi-faceted. I’m going to share all of the ups and downs, the knowledge and encouragement it takes to be a real life, working artist. Because telling your parents you want to be an artist is already hard enough, but telling them you pay the bills with your art is one of life’s most fulfilling feeling.
In case you’re interested, here are the topics I want to cover when it comes to being a successful artist (note: I will be going through some of them personally for the first time, so I’m not an expert by any means, just willing to share embarrassing stories and stupid mistakes):
-Resources on technicalities: galleries, craft fairs, copyrights, retail/wholesale, workshops…
-Setting up your studio and schedule/structure
-Building an authentic community and support system for artists
-Photography techniques and marketing tips
-Personal experiences navigating the art world