Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in fine arts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chrilz, Artist located in Detroit, MI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a contemporary figurative artist based in Michigan, working in a blend between Neo-figurative and Neo-expressionism and utilizing the human form as my vessel of expression. My work centers on human nature: our experiences, emotions, interactions, and greater life narrative. My customers are those who resonate with the work. For some, that means investing in original pieces, and for others, that means supporting me via a monetary donation or monthly contribution through Patreon.
Tell us about yourself
I felt called to pursue art as a career at the end of my second year of college after much thought and discernment. There was a tugging in my heart to express what I was given, and despite the challenges that I knew would accompany this path, I simply couldn't resist what begged to be produced from within me. That inner need to create continues to thrive day by day, and it is something that--against all the obstacles--manages to persevere in my spirit one day at a time.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
In the midst of a very turbulent career field and a seemingly impenetrable art market, I believe success for me manages to be how I have continued to produce work that is honest and sincere to my practice despite the temptation to appease buyers. It means the road is far more difficult when not bearing in mind those who have the money to invest in my work, but it is a worthy challenge when I uphold that sense of integrity towards my inner need to create, I believe.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The financial instability of a career in contemporary art is often the most incredible hurdle. There have been incredibly barren periods with no sales for months that have been challenging to navigate. As a young artist, connecting with an audience is a herculean task at times, and trying to stay hopeful and avoid disappointment proves almost as difficult as the lack of income.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
It is entirely necessary--for those specifically wanting to pursue a career in art--to ensure you are producing what is honest and authentic for you. Chasing the buying crowd will ultimately result in a lack of fulfillment and push you away from this field. Likewise, being aware of the real, material challenges that come with this path is very key. As a final piece of advice, be prepared for lack of response, especially when sharing your work online. There are periods when it can seem as though support from others is incredibly nil, and staying the course through those times is difficult yet imperative to maintaining one's artistic practice.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I hope anyone reading this will consider spending time viewing my work via my website or social media platforms. If you feel moved, please do not hesitate to share that with me personally. And likewise, do not hesitate to invest in my work if you connect with it. It is an incredible honor when a piece is welcomed into the home of another to be experienced and treasured.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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