Let me tell you a story about the first time I realised I could really make money from my ‘art’.

by May 8, 2016Art Versus Money, Commissions, Make Money From Your Art, Sell What You Have, The Three Creating C's0 comments

Let me tell you a story about the first time I realised I could really make money from my ‘art’

In 2004 I set up Northern Irelands’s first contemporary jewellery gallery called ‘Gold-digger 79’. GD79 was to be a challenging concept gallery introducing NI to the fabulous world of ‘contemporary art jewellery’. This was against the advice of just about everyone I talked to who told me ‘I’d never make it’ and that ‘there was a reason why there weren’t more businesses like mine’!

I did make it…but that’s another story!

At this time I mainly made ‘concept’ or ‘art’ jewellery and I rarely worked specifically to commission – although I had made a number of pieces for family and friends. My mum asked me, ‘What if someone wants you to make something for them?’ I replied, ‘Tough luck, I’m not doing commission work. They’ll have to take what they get!’

What an attitude!

Then I met my first set of customers – two ladies – each wanting ‘a piece of my own work’ but ‘tweaked’ to suit their own styles. One wanted a remake of a brooch I’d made for my degree show and the other wanted a Frond Leaf necklace. Neither of the pieces were ‘boring’ and in fact both pieces were a total reflection of my own design style.

Dots Pearls

Dot’s Pearl Necklace based on my Frond Leaf Collection

Ettas Brooch

Etta’s Brooch based on a brooch I made for my degree show in 1996

This is where my business head seriously kicked in. Both ladies were willing to pay for my time and my materials! I made the pieces and the elation I felt when I was handed money in exchange for my work was amazing – I still get that buzz! That’s right – I still enjoy getting paid!

Now 12+ years on, I can tell you that I make my living pretty much entirely from one-off custom made jewellery designed individually for each unique client. My work is highly priced and my clients are willing to pay! In fact I have a long list of loyal customers who have ordered repeatedly from me for years.

BUT, I had to change my mindset to get here. In this instance, for me, clients wanted me to make items specifically for them. I took a look at what was actually working in my business and what people where willing to pay for and I concentrated on that.

A philosophy I still follow today!

So what parts of your ‘art’ do you create or make that people have bought to date, why do you think they bought from you – can you replicate these sales or identify the type of pieces you sold?

#sellyourart #makemoney #changeyourmindset #mentortip

So I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below & if you liked this post then please share it with a friend and spread the love!

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