Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in arts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chris Foster, a Contemporary Art Painter based in Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am an emerging artist living in Winnipeg, Canada. Originally my customers were local Winnipeggers who came across my art during my home studio tours, my website, or my blog. As I continue to grow my art inventory - I have gained a few thousand social media followers who have translated into website subscribers and buyers that are living outside of my local area within Canada and the U.S.
Tell us about yourself
This was not something I ever aspired to be doing - however, from the very first workshop/class I took - I was hooked. I absolutely loved being creative and creating products that made me smile. What started out as a small hobby - became a passion. Creating your own business product - from conception to development to output are not terms you usually think of for an art business. However, that is exactly the process that takes place. It is easy to stay motivated when you feel good about how you spend your hours and you can't wait to start working on your newest idea.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think my biggest accomplishment would be that I haven't lost the passion for what I do and that I am constantly learning from so many wonderfully skilled artists who are so generous with their time. I have only been painting for a few years now, and I see the improvement in my efforts as I strive to be more accomplished. As a business owner - and not just an artist - creating my own website and my blog - which is one of the top 20 Art Blogs in Canada based on Feedspot, has been very satisfying.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Reaching a new audience is difficult and one you are always working towards. Like any company - you need to increase your customer base - keep on top of trends, and have an inventory. An artist is a single entity - you are creating the art, posting a reel on Instagram, writing your newsletter, and licking the stamp on the envelope. You are all facets of your business, and you need to keep up - to be relevant.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Take the time to create a good business plan - I come from a corporate world - an art business isn't that different from any other.
- Take every opportunity to talk about your work - your product - or your service. If you don't - who will?
- Never stop learning about how to produce a better widget - whatever that may be. Read the science, stay on top of trends, be adaptable and learn new skills. Being relevant and having what people want is your end goal.
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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