I’m a new artist trying to ‘start over’ at 44. I wrote once before
('I miss this work’
and received helpful feedback. I’m hoping you won’t mind lending
some guidance again.
In my last email I talked about wanting to make a career change from
my tech job back to self employment but I was feeling uneasy about
taking the plunge and leaving a ‘secure’ job. Ha! Well it was
taken out of my hands, so to speak, and I was laid off last October.
(watch out for what 'ya pray for - you just might get it!)
So now I’m giving it my best shot. I took the severance pay and
trained at Revere Academy for several weeks, set up a workshop at
home, and wrote a business plan. On a tight budget - I don’t have
to see income from jewelry sales until August. My plan is to make
jewelry and build up an inventory, and then start selling retail
this summer/fall through some combination of a website and art/craft
shows in the SF bay area. I like working with stones and I have
some good ones I had stashed away from the 1980’s when I used to run
a small jewelry business with someone.
So I should be making jewelry day and night, burning the candle at
both ends. But I can’t seem to find a groove. I keep starting and
stopping. Its a tad embarrassing to admit - but I know if I don’t
speak up, my fears will start growing roots.
What’s happening is I start with a stone I want to work with and
either I can’t find a design I’m excited about; or I come up with a
design but it turns out to be harder than I thought and I get stuck.
After struggling with it for awhile I get frustrated and put it
aside and work on something else. I have a growing pile of
incomplete designs. When I was in this business before I had a
skilled partner who worked nearby so I could get help whenever I ran
into trouble but now its just me. I didn’t expect this to be easy -
but I’m not sure how to get moving and keep moving. I feel very
fortunate to have this opportunity and I don’t want to blow it.
I also wonder if I should take some of the practice exercises I
learned at school and do them during some part of each day. Do you
think its better to practice new skills in practice projects, or
just apply new skills in actual production? I guess I’m feeling
under pressure to make all of my time at the bench be production.
So I would sure appreciate any suggestions you have on how you start
moving and stay moving. Also, I would sure appreciate having a
someone or two that I could turn to with fabrication questions. I’m
not sure if I can use the list for that or not. I mean - I don’t
want to misuse it.
Thanks a lot for participating on this list. I use the archives to
augment my training on everything from soldering tips to business
questions to shop safety. I sure do appreciate it.