Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Crafty Living?

Rosalinda Cuckoo Clock
Jewellery designer Liana Kabel asked a question on Facebook yesterday "Can you make a living from Craft? Yes/No?"
I jokingly answered "You can if your family likes two minute noodles", meaning you can survive, just, but it won't be a glamorous lifestyle!
When I married my muso husband, I was the one in a "real job", teaching Art at an inner city high School. My own art came second. Now Mr BJ has a real job, and his music is a secondary income.
I am doing OK , but with growing kids, we have had to juggle back and forth between jobs so there is always a stable income...because unless you are in a small percentage of the industry, NO-ONE I know can survive solely on their Artistic pursuits.
A tiny bit depressing, but the positives usually out way the negatives. The main plus being the amazing buzz you get when you are living a creative lifestyle. Even though there are lean months , the motivation to keep trying and not have to go back to a day job, keeps me plugging away!
And then there is a greater type of motivation. When you find out that somebody has bought your Big Bird O' Paradise...YAY!
Bird O' Paradise
And of course it's fun playing around with crafty colour.Rosalinda Lino Goodies


  1. It's a tough one for sure. Upsides and downsides to living both ways. It often seems to me that you can have time or money, but never both. I'm hoping to prove myself wrong someday.

  2. When I became a single mum four year ago I was very surprised to find that I did make enough money from my creative business to survive. Although there wasn't much extra cash, and I'm sure I worked A LOT of hours for the money I was making.

    From the beginning of starting my creative business I was aware that solely hand making things for a living was unsustainable. So I built a few safeguards in. For example, I labelled what I did "art . design .jewellery" so I would have plenty of room to grow, and (yes) charge more money for what I did. I also spent time learning things which related to running a business, which I thought I may be able to trade off in the future - teaching etc. I guess the idea was to have product and service.

    Before I could start offering my knowledge as part of my business I got offered a job (last year) to mentor women with their businesses through Which was pretty much what I wanted to do on my own and a direct result of my own business. Lucky? There certainly was an element of that.

    Now I have a job (the first one in 15 years!) and I still make things and sell them. Although the balance is still not perfect, I don't think it ever was, or ever will be.

  3. And you can if you like working every hour.... and don't expect to get a mortgage or a new car.

    I've made my living solely from craft for at least 15 years, and I've had both lean times and boom times.

    The real challenge is to make a sustainable business. Not impossible - but very challenging. And those little triumphs (big sales!) and the joy of creating things you love is what it's all about.

  4. I think I'd be most happy with a foot in both camps. I'm most certainly not a risk taker when it comes to finances. I'd love to be able to work part-time in a job and part-time in my craft business, so that I least I have a bit of a back up for the lean times.
    Having said that, I completely applaud everyone who is brave enough to take the risk and go for it!

  5. That hoot owl on the clock is the cutest!

  6. Great post, Liz. It's a topic that I've often wondered about. I'm not even close to breaking even with my craft but something I would love to be able to do.
    Thanks, Liana, for sharing your experience won wisdom on this subject and a big pat on the back for all of those giving it a go. ;o)


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