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5 Secrets to Growing a Profitable Creative Business (while working 3 days a week)

Maker | Emma White – Abstract Landscape Artist

Make Art

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Emma White is an incredible Abstract Landscape Artist who has been exhibiting her work for over 10 years now and studied a Diploma of Visual Arts, a Bachelor of Fine Art & also her Masters in Teaching and Visual Art and Design. Her work is unique and her story wonderful! In this episode we talk about what a day looks like in the life of an artist, what inspires her, how she gets her work seen, how she juggles wearing the artist hat and the business hat. I hope you enjoy this chat that we have together.

EMMA’S JOURNEY

Emma is a highly impressive painter and business owner based in Melbourne. Being born into a creative family, her love for all things art has been fostered as she grew up. Her love of arts led her to study a Diploma of Visual Arts before beginning her apprenticeship as a tattoo artist. From there she studied further, completing her Bachelor of Fine Art through the Victorian College of the Arts. After putting in much time and hard work into her paintings, Emma began to get her work shown in exhibitions and now has gallery representation helping give her business that extra boost. Continuing to push herself, Emma is also currently in the process of completing a Masters Degree. How cool is that?!

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE INTERVIEW

In Emma’s business, there isn’t really a “typical day” for her. Depending on the day, she could be in her studio, buying supplies, working on a private commission or looking after the business side of things. But, the days she is in the studio, she treats it as anyone else would treat a day at work. She likes to get up early, start slow and maybe read for an hour. Then once she is up and moving, she will walk to work while setting her goals for the day and listen to a podcast. Emma likes to make a point of taking her day seriously by avoiding social distractions and usually spending 8 or 9 hours in the studio.

Emma has faced a variety of challenges in her business, but one of the biggest one is that her business is not of the nature of making a regular income. At times she can struggle to know when her next sale will come through. Over a period of time, it could be 6 months before she has a body of work ready to be sold. To overcome this challenge, Emma likes to keep other forms of work on the side to give herself a more steady income.

Another big challenge for Emma is time – finding the right amount of it. You can’t do everything at once. Emma has put a lot of hard work into her business. She has spent years studying, sacrificed time for other things as well as money. Creative endeavours require a lot and sometimes require sacrifices too. I’m sure this is something you may have noticed in your business too.

Emma’s key to having her work seen and getting paid what she is worth is making what she sees to be quality work. Emma says that working hard, taking yourself seriously and having confidence in your work can make a huge difference. Believing in yourself helps others to see and value the worth of your work. Having this confidence and being successful did not happen for Emma overnight – these things take time. Having confidence in herself and her work helped Emma to have her work shown in exhibitions, then from there get gallery representation. Again, this took time, confidence and hard work. But it was a positive step for her business that helped to give it a boost towards success.

Emma finds the majority of her customers through her gallery, but second to that would be through Instagram. It is a great platform for her to post a picture of an artwork that is available for sale and people can message her to find out more and make a purchase. It is a great platform which makes it easy for her and anyone to connect with clients. 

Emma finds her inspiration for creativity from the landscape. Being in the landscape is what indirectly informs her paintings. Making memories and experiences in a landscape is what she takes back into the studio with her to inspire her pieces of art. Everyone is inspired by different things, but getting out into the landscape can be a good place to start. For Emma, doing a three year degree also helped foster her creativity, but that may not be for everyone. Other options could be taking a ceramics class or joining a live drawing group. Find what makes your heart sing and use it. 

Emma’s one tip for people who want to foster and develop their creativity is to just give it a go. No one thing works for everyone, but giving it a try is the best place to start. From there you can discover what inspires you, what you’re best at and what you enjoy most. Having a creative space where you can practice your creativity is also highly important to getting into the right mindset and fostering creativity.

WHERE TO FIND EMMA

The best places to connect with Emma would be through her Instagram and her website. From both of these platforms you can reach out and get in contact with her – she would love to hear from you!

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