Sad to say this is the last part of the series of Q&A with This One Woman, Emme Hathcock. This is only one question, but her answer is so profound. It is not only for an artist, but for anyone embarking on going into business for themselves. Even if you aren’t in business for yourself, this is sound advice. It moved me to the core.
What advice would you give an artisan who is trying to get into the world of hand made, wearable art?
I’ve made a list of things I’ve learned that I hope will be helpful to others trying to get their art out into the world:
1. Know who you are creating for and always envision that person when you design. To think you will appeal to everyone is to set yourself up for failure. Not everyone will appreciate your art and that’s okay.
2. Stay focused. Always keep in mind how everything you create will reflect on your brand.
3. Register your business, gets a sales tax permit, build a website.
4. Never stop learning. Connect with people in your industry, find mentors, take classes, join groups, subscribe to trade magazines.
5. Do not compare yourself to anyone else. Comparison will drive you crazy, ruin your self-esteem and dampen your creativity. Your talent is your gift to the world and only you have your vision and your story. Live it.
6. Be prepared for criticism, for people who don’t support you, who don’t believe in you or who don’t get you. All these things hurt like hell but will they make you stronger. I promise.
8. Never give up. The only way you can fail is if you stop trying. I have counseled a few artists and the question I hear most often is, “how do you find the time…”. My answer is, “how badly do you want it?”. As HH the Dalai Lama said, “Success is measured by how much you had to give up in order achieve it”.
9. Always. Be. Grateful. Behave with grace and humility. Thank everyone who helps you, who encourages you and who compliments you.
10. Pay it forward. The satisfaction you gain from helping others will make you a better artist and a better person.
And now for my ultimate, and possibly my all time favorite piece of Emme’s. The piece de résistance, the infamous Shattered Mirror Statement Necklace. It’s been featured in 2 fashion shows, editorials, and 2 photo shoots so far. It may very well be her signature piece. I think it embodies everything about This One Woman…Behold: