Live the Good Life

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by Debbie Vance

Last week, Design*Sponge featured an interview with Brit McDaniel, ceramic artist and startup studio owner, on her experience as an artist/entrepreneur. Brit says she felt “lost” in her life–she had a presumably non-creative job up until a year ago–and she gave up, went back to school, ran a Kickstarter campaign, and successfully opened the Paper & Clay studio in Memphis.

Sound familiar?

While you writers are probably not looking to open a studio space and sell your handmade wares, I bet you’ve struggled with how to balance (or swap) a non-creative life with a more fulfilling creative one. I think Brit’s interview is encouraging in this regard. As my mother always told me growing up: “Find something you love so much you’d do it for free, then find a way to get paid for it.” (Not to say this is easy, simple, or even remotely doable, but it is an invigorating thought on a Monday afternoon, no?)

I think we can learn a lot from people who put everything on the line to pursue their dreams (and who found a practical way to fulfill them). Challenge yourself to do the same, even if it only means allowing your mindset towards your art to change–from an inconsequential hobby to something worthwhile and vital. Even the smallest of steps can inspire your art and deepen your life.

Live the good life.

“Give what you have. To someone it may be better than you dare to think. ”

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Read the full interview here.

What was the best piece of business advice you were given when you started?

“Get out of your own way!” I’m not sure if that’s specifically business advice, and I’m actually not sure who said it, but I remember it every day.

What advice do you have to new businesses in your field starting out or what are the top three things someone should consider before starting their own business?

Have a big but realistic plan, be prepared to work harder and be more tired than you have ever been, invest in good photography, take full advantage of social media platforms like Instagram, and most importantly, be kind and give back.

Brit McDaniel

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