On Work

Approaching the end of my first month as a self-employed artist, there is a lot to reflect on. Briefly, I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard, and also I don’t think I’ve ever been happier. ‘Work’ means something different now. Primary goal for next month is to get better at managing my work/life balance, which is difficult when work and life have essentially become the same thing.

‘Work’ means this, among other things:

Thread dyeing in progress

It also means wearing a variety of different hats from one minute to the next. Some of the jobs I’ve done so far this month are Sales Manager, Marketing Manager, Accountant, Goods Inwards Manager, Customer Service Manager, International Relations Manager, Tech Support Assistant, Logistics Manager, teacher, photographer, copy writer, proof reader, film director, video editor, sound engineer, dyer, content creator, and researcher. Haven’t had time to do any actual art yet.

But it’s a glorious feeling to wake up every morning filled with excitement for the working day ahead.

There will be thread in the shop soon (ish) – when I can get all of these skeins wound and sorted:

Textured threads
Cotton threads (they’re not all green!)

Here’s my Heath Robinson style skein twister. It’s a tiny hand drill I used to use years ago when I made miniatures, with a bent paper clip where the drill bit should be. The board is thick foam with a pencil stuck in it, clamped to a stool so it doesn’t move. I should probably patent it.

Unpatented Heath Robinson skein winder

I think some of the Teachable teething problems have been resolved now, and so far people seem to be enjoying the online course – I’ve been assured by several students that it isn’t only for beginners, which makes me very happy.

I’ll let you know when threads are available – it will take as long as it takes, but probably (I hope) some time this week. The shop will be temporarily closed while I list the threads, but it should only be down for a day or two. I aim to have threads in the shop every month from now on, if I can. The first batch will be UK post only, just until Royal Mail gets through the backlog of delays caused by strike action in December and the cyber attack earlier this month. From next month I hope to return to international shipping.

And on that note, it’s back to work for me.

Author: Karen

Textile and mixed media artist

12 thoughts on “On Work”

  1. You may have already written about this in a previous post but I’d love to hear about your decision to become a full time artist. What made you take the leap to leave your job and pursue your creative work?

    1. It’s a long story, spanning 40-odd years. I’ll tell it some time soon 🙂 I’m glad I finally made the leap.

    1. ha! I do like being my own boss. I’m definitely an improvement on my last one 😆

      1. Now that, I recognize. We told my Dad when he became self employed when I was 11 that if he had trouble with the boss now, he’d _really_ be in trouble!
        Wishing you every success and happiness in the adventure!

        1. Ha, I’m in trouble with the boss most days already 😆 thank you so much for your cheerleading and good wishes. Looking forward to what lies ahead (I think! With due trepidation and humility…)

  2. What a lovely pile of colour! I have a little black cord winder which is no different to your drill really. Very resourceful.

    1. I think I’ve seen the cord winder and just wondered if I could improvise with what I’ve already got. It works well enough.

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