Innovating Through Artistry

Artist Turned Entrepreneur

In Interesting Articles, The Idea, WEBSITES & BLOGS on August 25, 2008 at 9:26 am

By Roger Pierce — www.bizlaunch.ca

Making money from art is challenging. Many talented people fail to make a decent living by getting wrapped up in the romantic notion of the starving artist.

By looking at their art as a business, it’s possible to change that perception. “I’ve always been an artist, but I’ve become more professional since I began making Sock Monkeys,” entrepreneur Robin Polfuss says.

Polfuss owns RoRos Eclectic Sock Emporium , creating and selling a variety of high-quality hand-made toys, puppets and silk-screened clothing. Her most popular product is a “Sock Monkey,” a stuffed animal made from a single pair of wool socks based on a historic design that dates back one hundred years.

“I put an enormous amount of love and joy into my creations,” Polfuss says. “My toys are for fun people, collectors, gift givers, babies, people of all ages — anyone with an imagination!” Artisans must understand that nothing sells itself, so it’s critical to develop a plan to get those paintings, photographs, sculptures or other creations out to people who will buy them.

Like any entrepreneur, an artist should also allow time to “run” their business, setting aside hours for non-creative work such as banking, administration and bookkeeping.

Polfuss says one of the best things she did to adopt a business mindset was to create a proper work environment. “I took over a room in my apartment and turned it into a studio/ office,” she explains. “I have space to sew, room for my inventory and a place to do paperwork. It makes me feel much more organized and professional.”

While she’s been making art her entire life, she considers herself “officially in business” for less than two years. “I look at what I do differently now; I make sure there is money coming in so I can keep creating my work,” she says.

Polfuss sells her wonderful creations at arts and crafts shows. She’s busy preparing for the One of a Kind Christmas Show held at Exhibition Place in Toronto Canada from Nov. 24 to Dec. 4. Her booth will be located in the “Rising Stars” section.

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