March 20, 2006 in Art as a professiontopics:

Things are definitely getting busy around here! As I mentioned before, one way I make a living from my art is by creating ketubot (a ketubah is a fine art wedding contract) which combine my photography and typographic design. The business has been taking off, and interest in my ketubot has growing like mad. This is pretty exciting, but it also presents a challenge. When you get so busy running your business (taking new orders, answering questions, creating the ketubot), it’s easy to forget that you also need to grow that business as well. And for me, growing my business means creating new art.

Being able to create art as my livelihood is the whole reason I started this business. Creating new art is also the engine that drives that business forward, fueling new ideas and opening up new opportunities. So having time to make new art is vital to the growth of my business. But likewise, having a successful business is vital to having both the time and the resources to create new art. It is a delicate balancing act.

Last year, I didn’t handle that balance as well as I hoped. When business got busy, the creation of new art fell by the wayside. For months, I created nothing new as I busily focused on the business of selling ketubot. The business grew as a result, but my creativity foundered. It wasn’t until the wedding season slowed down that I was able to take a deep breath and return to my art. But by then I was so out of practice, so in a “business-only” frame of mind that it took me weeks of frustration to get back in the groove. So this year, I want to do things differently. As busy as the things may get, I want to constantly be making new art — even if it is just for an hour a day. My goal is to find a balance between both running and growing my business — between selling my art and making new art. I think both will thrive as a result.

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