Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in fine arts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Cory Favre, founder of Cory Favre Art, located in Roseville, MN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a fine artist; my work mostly consists of oil paintings and mixed media pieces. Inspired by politics and social issues, especially those concerning women, my work walks a line of humor and seriousness. I believe that my collectors connect with the personal nature and upbeat look of my pieces. My paintings and my customers are smart and sassy!
Tell us about yourself
I have always been an artist. I remember as a kid always drawing and coloring and telling everyone who asked that I would be an artist when I grew up. And guess what, I made that happen! Through a lot of hard work and dedication to my practice, I am able to do this full time. I feel like I am finally getting to a place where people recognize my work, which is such an amazing feeling. It was definitely tricky getting the hang of how the art world works; that took a lot of time to figure out, it is not something that's taught in art school. There are still days when I get confused, but I feel more confident as time goes on.
A huge inspiration to me is my kids. I am the mother of a five-year-old, an almost two-year-old, and we are expecting another in August. Since becoming a mother, the creativity has just been flowing as I had never experienced prior. I would go through long bouts of artists' block, which would be frustrating. It was like I finally figured out what my work should be about, and it has grown in amazing ways ever since.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I believe getting to a place where I can do my art full time is the biggest accomplishment. It has taken me years to get to this place. Being an artist takes a whole lot of will, practice, determination, and thick skin. This industry is full of rejection, but pushing through it and believing in what you are doing is key. I am happy that I kept going.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Time management. Hands down. As a parent of small children and the sole person running my business, it's A LOT. I struggle with this weekly. I do my best to schedule everything out, but as any parent knows, that's often just a fun experiment. I manage by asking for a lot of help from my husband and my extended family with childcare when I have deadlines to meet. I believe that being ok with having help can be something that is difficult for a lot of women to ask for, but it's worth it! I wouldn't be able to get my work done if I didn't have help. It gets tricky sometimes, especially during a pandemic, but I have been able to make it work so far, and I am grateful for the people in my life that help me make my dreams possible.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Be confident in what you do. If you are ready to start a business, do it! I'm positive that whatever it is that you make or do, there will be an audience for it. People will connect to your confidence and sincerity.
Things will get hard and overwhelming; remember to take care of yourself as well. Burnout is very real no matter how much you love what you do.
Breaks are necessary! Having a friend that can relate to you is a plus!
If it's an option for you, try and take some workshops on what you do as far as making it a business goes. I know in Minneapolis, there are a lot of great resources for makers and artists to bone up on legal issues, writing proposals, put together business plans, etc. A lot of them are free; I would tune into your local associations and see what is available. I know that helped me in the beginning when learning how to write grants and statements. I had no idea what I was doing, and these resources were invaluable.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Running a business is hard. I have an extensive background in management, and I have to say running my own is harder than any of them but also way more fun. I wear all the hats, creator, writer, web development, social media coordinator, money management, packaging, shipping, etc. It is easy to get overwhelmed, but I am so happy to be where I am. I just want others to know that it is possible to do what you want to do with help and dedication.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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