These are my top five tips for artists, artisans, and craftspersons.
Do what you love. If you love it, you will pursue it in a way that connects with your inner spirit. If you are passionate about it, people will feel the energy you put into it and will respond. If you love it, you will move beyond the rejection letters, horrible craft shows, and moments of feeling invisible.
Challenge yourself. To grow, experiment, stretch. Take classes, read books, make crazy art you think no one will understand. Learn from those who have mastered your craft. Learn from life. Take it all in – the color of sky, the touch of breeze on your skin, a well turned phrase, graffiti – and express it.
Give freely. Have an open heart and be glad to share what you know with others. Contribute to the body of knowledge in your area of expertise. Join guilds, clubs, or societies in your medium and participate. The universe rewards the cheerful and generous giver.
Understand pricing. The business side of art should not be ignored. Know what you put into each piece. Value yourself and your unique contribution. Take time to understand pricing structures and models and never sell yourself short. Be fair.
Care – really care – about the customer. Treat every customer, really everyone you come into contact with, the way you would like to be treated. Be polite, prompt, and honest in your communications. Bend over backwards to handle problems. Have that little extra polish when it comes to packaging, business cards, and other materials.