Q's and exercises from Grow Your Handmade Business

Questions from pages 28,29, and 33

How many hours weekly do you want to work on your business?
50 hours

How many hours weekly can you actually work on your business?
Around 40

Where will you do this work?
Anywhere; I enjoy a change of scenery, but preferably in a studio at home.

How much money will this business need to get off the ground/grow?
$5,000-$10,000

How much money do you have to actually contribute to this business?
$10,000 at least

Do you have all the tools that you need to make this business successful?
I’d like to think so, but I’m keeping external responsibilities in mind, such as printing and editing.

What systems do you already have in place that can help make this business successful?
Networking, in process of making a website. Cards. Launch party set up with local brewery.

What makes THIS your dream business?
To inspire; to use my time in my own life how I want to; To do what I love (storytelling and creating)

If you were applying for a job at your own business, what qualities and qualifications do you possess that make you a good match for what your business needs?
Doing it for the passion and not the money.

Do you have weak spots in your skill set? How can you work on them?
Many…Focusing; saving moving; being realistic. (focus, budget, be realistic)

What makes you deliriously, over-the-moon happy when you envision your business life?
People liking the comic and wanting to see more; People to laugh while reading/looking at it.

Do you see yourself being able to personally grow as your business grows? Will it offer you challenges that are a good match for your personality and working style?
Yes, becoming a better artist and improving my sense of vision. It will offer challenges that are both good and bad for my personality and working style. Good, because I love to research and challenge myself with visual detail. Bad, because I like being around people and doing physical work, and with this, I wont be able to fulfill that aspect of myself.

Speaking of working style, do you know what yours is?
It’s hard for me to stop an art project once I’ve started, but breaks and walks and interaction are a must. Enfp.
Do you have professional and personal support –people whom you can talk things through with or lean on if you have a problem?
Personal for sure. Professional, a fair amount.

Have you ever worked for yourself? All by yourself? What did you like about it? Did you find anything especially difficult?
I have not besides commission work; I like it a lot and it is more personal for me, which I enjoy. I found pricing somewhat difficult, but I worked it out and gave myself a number to charge an hour.

What motivates you? What really gets your going?
Looking at other comics and artwork, along with being out in the city and nature really motivates me. Also, when I finish a piece, and I’m very happy with it, that just makes me want to do more and more.

If you didn’t make this business happen successfully, how would you feel?
I would keep trying and keep putting out work and comics; This is one of my life dreams and I’ll never “give up” on it. There are an endless amount of stories to be told, so the possibilities are endless. Sure I would feel bummed, but I would keep going nonetheless.

And last, but perhaps most important, how would you feel if you didn’t even try?
I’d feel like I lost passion, because that is the only way I would stop trying.

My strongest creative skill is: My imagination and desire to depict a narrative.
My favorite thing to sell is: T-shirts I design.
My most popular product is: tattoo designs.
When I look at the list of things I need to do for a normal day-in-the-life of my business, the thing I want to do the most is: create.
My weakest skill that I use is: figures and design.
My least favorite project or product for my business is: coloring.
I love it, but I hardly ever sell: watercolors.
If I never had to address costs for my business, it would be too soon.

Due april 6th:
Page 41 short paragraph):
Right now I am at my starting point. I’m a bit anxious about it (mostly because I would like to invest more time into it, but it’s hard to do that with school). But I know when I’m done with school, it can be my main focus. My biggest concern right now is that I wont be able to focus on school, because this is all I think about when I wake up in the morning, throughout the day, and before I go to sleep (pages, panel ideas, cover ideas), because all I want to do is draw. When I’m done with school, I suppose my biggest concern will be that I won’t have as much time with friends, family, and girlfriend if I’m running such a new business, but nonetheless I will work my hardest for the business. I want to improve on juggling multiple things and not getting so stressed out. I’m gotten sick a couple times this senior year because of stress, and I know it’s not worth it, so I want to learn how to be more stable In that sense.

Page 48 (brief summery of exercise):
Visualization exercise: I wake up next to my girlfriend, and she’s still sleeping because she doesn’t wake up until noon. I walk downstairs into the kitchen with Spanish style tiles and a lot of windows to let the sun in. I check my phone and already have a few texts from Aaron (friend and business partner) that show me different artists’ work to inspire me. I look at them and get inspired and stoked on researching/drawing for the day. But before that, I check emails and then I count how many comics I need to ship out. I go back upstairs to bother Halynn, and I’m successful at getting her up! We have coffee and smoothies for breakfast while listening to a James Cotton record, and I dance around as she laughs at and mocks me. Then I head to the studio, which is connected to our little house.

Due april 11th

Answer Q’s on page 54-55:
Why are you in business? I want to bring stories alive for people and give them the same excited feeling I get when I read comics.

What is at the core of what you do, and why do you do it? I create comics and other art pieces, and I do it because I have to create; it’s the only way I can survive as myself. Life wouldn’t be worth it if I wasn’t happy, and that’s one of the main things that makes me happy, along with helping other people be comfortable and happy.
When you take a look at the big picture of your business, what is the connection between everything you do and every product or service that you offer? I have to draw and color and finish everything.

Complete exercise 1 & 2 on pg 61:
Saying no: I agreed to do a design for a local restaurant and bar, although I’m much too busy to work on anything outside of school and the comic. So if I were to be asked again, I would tell them that I’m excited to help them out with anything after school is done, and tell them that I’m just too busy right now.
I feel like a lot of what I do is for other people, and I don’t necessarily get asked to do them. I was raised to always put others ahead of myself, and it’s hard to shake that when you witness somebody needing a hand. I don’t not want to do things for other people, that’s who I am and I don’t think art will ever get in the way of that. I can try my best to focus on myself on my business, and take steps to only help people that are really in need.

Complete exercise on page 72:
Goals that I’ve completed:
Complete one book
Complete two books
*Make sticker designs
*Get a pin maker
*Get better at line work
Be able to do linework with a brush and ink

Goals, intentions, and tasks 72-79: Make a list of two goals, followed by intentions and tasks for each:
Finish two book:
Work 5-7 hours a day on strictly comic art
Research, research, research
Sketch composition ideas whenever possibly
Create color palette for second book
Create books:
Teach myself InDesign
Figure out layout
Research layout designs

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