Hi there! I’m Kate, former graphic designer of many, many years and now full-time artist running my own business. And you- maybe you’re a creative, too. You like to create beautiful things. Or just look at beautiful things. Maybe you’re an artist. Or maybe you just collect art, appreciate and love it. Maybe you work in advertising. Or just interested in advertising. Maybe you’re a designer, an artworker. You use Creative Suite. You want to learn to use Creative Suite. You make stock imagery. You want to get into stock imagery. Or maybe you just left uni and want to know more about well, everything. You’re a photographer, you’re a- you get the idea.
I’ve worked in the creative arena in various roles for all my adult life, that’s twenty years (what!) of experience in art, design, finished art, advertising agencies, photography, stock imagery; and almost everything I’ve had to learn has been on the job. I’ve worked with different types of people, good and bad, who have all in some way or another shaped my career and personal outlook. I can remember some critical moments at work where I was taught something by someone with oodles more knowledge and experience than me and it changed my life.
By no means do I know it all, but I do know I’d like to share. Sharing is helpful. I know how it feels to have no idea what you’re doing but somehow you got the job done. That has meant picking up a whole range of skills, both technical and creative. And philosophical! One thing I can admit, there’s nothing like growing up at the same time your career is, so I thought I’d start to collect some useful tips and tricks, all hard won, all happily shared.
I’ve been an artist full-time for four years now and I also grew up with an artist in my dad so my whole life was spent in awareness of the industry in one measure or another. So now, as a small business owner and artist, there’s a lot of hard work, sweat, tears and grit that have gone into my young business and I willingly share all the pain and the joys with anyone who wants to know. Running your own business is hard enough but running a business that is all about art and the peripheries is a whole other thing entirely. How is it done? How can an artist make money? I didn’t know artists could make a living out of their art! That last one is often declared with a bemused look on their face as if such a career is something out of a fantasy land. Au contraire!
In the main industries I’ve worked in, art and advertising, I’ve met too many people with too many questions, questions about things that they need to know, they should know, they don’t realise will make their day; if only they had found it out before! Simple things. Where do you ever learn them? The hard way, mostly. I’m still learning, I love learning. I love creativity. As a designer I used to love finding out that the latest version of InDesign has made tables easier to work with. Loved picking up another keyboard shortcut. Learning another thing about Microsoft Word- actually, that’s not so much a love as feeling like you’ve won another battle in the war against every designer’s least favourite program. And now, as an artist, I love developing my skills and reaching new thresholds in my craft, new areas of creativity and abilities. I love discovering new artists and seeing the possibilities of beauty on a canvas. And I absolutely love how art can connect me to a fabulous community of collectors and kindred-spirits.
There’s a real ‘art’ to learning, pun totally intended, it can in itself be a beautiful and rewarding thing, if you learn to appreciate it. So if you’re interested, I hope there’s something here that can help inspire, inform or just make you laugh. I’ve got a few general tips about the design and advertising industry here and there, I can’t ignore what fifteen years taught me, after all. But you’ll also be able to come along on my journey as an artist and what it takes, for me anyway, to be a creative. Plus, as a practical matter I’ve been through a few career crossroads that plenty of people can relate to and one of my passions is to help other people see that there is more to life than drudgery – you can be brave and follow your passions and these don’t have to mean quitting your day job, they just mean surely you can make time and space to add some colour and joy to your life rather than neglecting the part of you that wants to shine. If any of this intrigues you, peruse away!