Becoming an Artisan was a path I never intended to take. The reason for doing my degree was to become a better writer, and not only has it done that but it opened up a host of possibilities when I studied Classic Literature. One of those possibilities was this website.
I remember when I was a child, I would draw all the time. My own sister would sell my Pokemon drawings to the local neighbor kids for 50p! Design, create, make, I always took art classes because they were enjoyable to me as I grew up. My degree just helped me to see Literature from a different perspective, one I get to share with everyone. I love what I do. My head is always brimming with ideas, inspired by books I have read, quotes I have heard, and how I can twist it into something artistic.
So the first step is definitely to find something you enjoy doing. Whether that's cooking, woodworking, sewing, knitting, crocheting, painting, printing, papercrafts, drawing, the possibilities are endless. If you choose something because everyone else is doing it, you're going to set yourself up to fail. Some may disagree, but the only reason I say this is if you want to make a professional career out of what you do, why make it less enjoyable? Why demotivate yourself straight away every time you wake up? It could be something you have done for years, or something you have recently taken up.
Which moves me onto the next step. Practice. Practice. Practice. There are plenty of crafting workshops out there to join, you just have to search for them. For the first time ever, people have information readily available at the touch of a finger on their mobiles. It's up to you what you do with it. Whether that's finding a new knitting pattern on the internet, or checking out the local jewelry making course down the road. Once you've taken part, you may find it's not for you and you want to try something else. Click here to find a local crafting course near you. *
Once you start to create and make, your ideas could already be shifting to how you want to sell your product. If you are a painter with original designs, how about making various sized prints? Make them into mouse mats and calendars? You can outsource the printing service for it, so long as there is a need for what you are creating. You can search various craft fairs to test market your products in the area too. Or if you are a baker, how about checking out the food fairs on offer? Here's a link to craft fairs. *
Once you have begun to test your product, you'll be surprised at what is popular and what isn't. I remember I was very nervous about marketing a particular print I wasn't quite sure of, but I had decided to test it and redesign/ refine if it didn't sell. It turned out to be one of my most popular products. Likewise, items I thought were amazing turned out not to sell at all. It's all about knowing your market, and I've definitely changed and learned a lot since I first started.
Also, as an Artisan, you're offering something that is different, quirky, unique. Something a customer may not find elsewhere. What most new Artisans tend to do is undervalue their own hard work and effort in order not to lose a sale. Please do not do this. Remember, it is not just a 'product' but the effort that went behind it to create them. I design everything from the product to the packaging, to sourcing the materials to make the item, correct sized cards and bags and boxes, to listing it, posting and packing the item to the buyer. That's a lot of work, but I love to do it because the customer receives something I made, that THEY liked and that THEY CANNOT GET ELSEWHERE.
So, in short;
- Find something you enjoy doing.
- Practice what you enjoy and join courses.
- Make items you think people would like to see.
- Test your products at local craft fairs.
- Refine your product and know your market.
- When you sell do not undervalue your work.
Until next time,
* Links are for UK based courses and craft fairs.