It's been a while, I've been busy. Busy setting up my studio, writing my business plan and generally getting my act together. A lot of people have been asking me "what exactly ARE you doing anyway???" I know it all seems very mysterious, but here's the low down. . .
After I was laid off, I was 'invited' by the Employment Department to attend a 3 hour orientation where I was quizzed, assessed and handed a stack of forms to read and fill out. One of those forms had a little blurb about a little known program called SEA; Self Employment Assistance. I liked the sound of that and came right home and called the Salem office about it. Turns out that if you have a business idea that the state deems viable, then you can apply for the SEA program. If approved you can continue to collect Unemployment Insurance while you are developing your own business, (and you are exempt from having to submit the required 3-5 applications a week to find gainful employment). I applied and was approved! WOW! So, what's my business? I'll get to that.
I was assigned an advisor and given 30 days to come up with a business plan. At first all I knew was that I have an overwhelming creative urge to make stuff. In art school, I chose to major in Illustration because it seemed like the practical way to make a living with my art. Unfortunately, I never pursued it. I got distracted; got married, bought a house and had a baby. I had to find an immediate way to make a living, (to pay the bills) and I did -for 9 years! And then the comfort of steady employment came to an abrupt end and I find myself going back to the drawing board (pun intended!). The challenge is: how do I channel my desire to "make stuff" into the framework of a 'viable business'? I'm still getting to it.
There have been lots of little things happening lately that seem to be happening for a big, meaningful reason. One of the first was meeting; Bridget Benton.
I had actually met her before (on the phone) last summer, when I was seeking creative counseling. She had only been working for the Small Business Development Commission for about a month before being assigned to my case. What a blessing and incredible stroke of luck to have such a kindred spirit help me find my direction! I spent four weeks researching my target market, doing competitive analysis and financial projection worksheets -ouch! It all finally came together, and I submitted my plan last Thursday. I won't bore you with the whole thing, but here's the heart of it:
BoneWerx is the Mixed Media Art and Illustration of Alea Bone. A funky fusion of painted, collaged and recycled elements seamlessly combined to create engaging ‘Werx’ of art that honor alternative cultures, folk art traditions and celebrate our humanity.
Alea Bone is the sole proprietor of BoneWerx and is responsible for creating all of the artwork and commissioned illustration services. Alea’s ‘BoneWerx’ will be shown and sold in multiple formats and venues:
Original BoneWerx will be sold in galleries, boutiques, craft events and on Etsy.com
Reproductions sold as note cards, stretched canvas reproductions and high quality archival prints.
Freelance commissioned illustrations sold primarily to book and magazine publishers.
The mission of BoneWerx is to create a sustainable career for myself, while inspiring the minds and hearts of others through my unique forms of expression, to promote and stimulate interest in the arts and advance visual communication as a vital cultural force.
To establish itself as a viable and prosperous business, four goals BoneWerx will strive for within the first year are:
Sell at a local craft fair.
Develop an Online presence and store.
Show/sell work in a gallery or local boutique
Publication in an Illustration Annual.
There's a lot more to it, but I think that pretty much sums it up. Now you (and I) have a general idea of what I want to do -and how I'm going to do it. For a great example of the model I'd like to follow, check out: Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw. She has some really cool art and illustrations, a few books, a blog and a great line of products for sale. The clock is ticking faster than ever now, I've got about 2.5 months left to get the ball rolling before I exhaust my unemployment benefits. It will be interesting to see what happens!
Now that I've got the Road Map, I'm Ready for the Trip!