Running your own creative business is a constant battle between maintaining your creative identity, and ensuring that the business is able to survive past the next three months. Money still seems to be such a taboo for artists, but it’s really important to have open and frank discussions about it. I mean, if you don’t make a living from your art, you won’t be able to continue making it (unless you’re fortunate enough to not have to worry about making a living). As much as I don’t want my making to be dictated by what people want to buy, I also have to be realistic and bear it in mind.
For me, the ability to run classes and workshops at SkandiHus has drastically reduced this pressure and shifted the financial burden away from my own work. I have never wanted to mass produce my ceramics, it isn’t something that I enjoy and I have found that once you get stuck in that cycle of making, it becomes impossible to find the time to develop new work or experiment with new techniques, which is what I love to do most. The income from our classes plays a large role in the financial model of the studio, which is something that I have always been upfront about because I think it is important for other makers to be able to understand how different studios are making it work for them.
In the current economic climate, with the saturation of makers in the creative industries at such a high, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make a real living from selling your work. I am incredibly fortunate to have an alternative stream of income for the business that supports my making, and gives me the freedom to create on my own terms. Running classes has also been an enlightening experience for me, as I truly love teaching. There is a great relief sometimes after a day of solitary creativity in my studio, to open my doors to a group of new people with fresh minds, and a different perspective - it stops me from getting stuck inside my own head. It is also a great privilege to be able to pass on my skills to other people, and hopefully pass on a sense of peace and mindfulness also. Making my own work will always be my first passion, but running the business has opened up new challenges, opportunities, and a great sense of joy in itself.