Thursday, April 25, 2013

                                                                                               Following YOUR Path...

Spring is upon us and starting to show itself in many different ways. It's a season that brings excitement, hope and energy.

It's also a busy time for many ETSY
shop owners like Alison Kurek. We were
introduced to Alison and her shop -
SilentMyloStudio  - a few weeks ago.

Alison has been working full-time on her art for a little while now and is nice enough to let the rest of us watch and learn as she makes her way towards her goals.

Since her introduction, she's gotten involved in some new things that are pretty cool and recently shared some thoughts on a few things that many of us "I wish I could go full time-ers" are wondering.

                                            You can find the introduction article here

 When dreaming of going full-time, many people wonder about things like pensions plans, health insurance etc.... What was your strategy when you were preparing and has it changed since?
   I can’t say I really had a strategy. Being an artist, I had limited experience with jobs that offered benefits; and I was so unhappy at my last full-time position that it really  wasn’t that difficult to walk away from it. Right now I get my health coverage through Healthy New York and I make a small, monthly contribution to my IRA. But I think it needs to be said that I’m single and don’t have children. If I was a single Mom, or if I was supporting other family members, my decision making process would be very different.

Being full time for a little while now, have you recognized "seasons" or patterns over the course of a year that help you plan and prepare for the next year?  What I do is definitely seasonal. My two major selling seasons are summer (outdoor shows) and the holidays. January through March is usually dedicated to developing new work, and the rest of the year is production time. It would be great if I could say that I spread the production work out evenly throughout the year but that’s really not the case. May through September can get a little hairy -- as well as November and December.

Now that we are past the 1st quarter of the year - how do you feel? What are some positives you see so far this year? This is a nerve-racking time of year! Spring is always a slow time for sales. Taxes are due as well as fees for summer shows, and supplies need to be purchased. Aughhh!! But on the bright side, my Spring sales to date have been higher than they have been in past years. And my show schedule is starting to take shape. I’ll be returning to my two best shows of 2012: the Allentown Art Festival and Boston Mills Art Festival (in Peninsula, Ohio). Also, I was wait listed for Cain Park, a very competitive small show in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. My fingers are crossed on that one but who knows if I'll get in.

Since you began full-time effort on your art, how have you changed?
 Hmmm -- Ha ha -- you mean besides being broke? I'd have to say that, in some ways, I'm pushing myself more. Instead of "thinking" about things like making a promotional video about my work I just do it. I also think my work has changed a lot. I always dabbled in different styles and mediums and to some extent i still do -- but I have a "body of work" now. I can easily put together coherent, consistent digital portfolios of images to submit to shows and galleries -- I couldn't do that even a couple of years ago.

                                   Here's a link to the newest video Alison has created.

You mention making new promotional videos, is there anything else you are experimenting with or trying?   I’m starting a one year program offered through UB’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership tomorrow. Our first seminar is on Creative Problem Solving. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Find these and other cool paintings and mixed-art pieces 
by checking out Alison's shop 


We will check-in with Alison again in 3 weeks to get updates on:

-  the shows she has entered

- the Entrepreneurial Leadership program at UB

- as well as other helpful insights on going full-time with your passion!

Coming Next week:

We visit again with Sarah Trumpp of Wonderstrumpet

Written by Al Pilato of harvest woods


  1. I love it! This is exactly the type of info that so many people are looking for. Being a working artist is such a mystery to some people so hopefully you've shed some light on how you make it work. Well done!

  2. The information about the cycles of sales and stuff is priceless information! Thank you for lending your experience! <3

  3. Thanks for sharing your insights again, Alison! Seems you've done quite well at balancing art and business... bravo!