Thursday, August 5, 2010
Ceramic career path for the directionally challenged
So I've been occasionally thinking about which direction I've taken in clay, what kind of work I make and what kind of work I might make if my direction would change. Lots has changed for me since I first embarked on this venture of 'making a living making pots'. I no longer have the initial desperation that I first had about applying for shows that I once did. I no longer feel like I have to prove my work to anyone, be it clients or galleries or peers. Without those initial drivers that seemed to plot a course for me, I've been asking myself which route I might take.
I guess I feel as though navigating one's way through a career as an artist, or specifically a ceramic artists, is confusing and at times difficult. It's like a 'choose your own adventure' book with a number of different outcomes, none actually guaranteeing that you will be able to make a living at making pots. Sometimes I feel like I'm directionally challenged. Which adventure do I want to take? The production potter adventure or the one of a kind adventure? Selling directly to my customer base or selling through a gallery or shop? Selling consignment or wholesale? Custom orders? Get my Masters and teach? Do I think like a business woman or like an artist? Should I make more work, up my sales, raise my prices to finally pay myself a decent wage?
I know that it takes a number of decisions within this to make a go of it. Nearly every day I get to make a decision about it and frankly, at the moment I'm just glad to be on that road. The road where I get to choose my own adventure...