Ep.122: How to start an art business, with Stephanie Krist (Fired Figments)

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Feb 28, 2018 •  Interviews

Hey, guys! In this episode, I am chatting with Stephanie Krist, the owner of Fired Figments, a handcrafted ceramics. She studied Studio Art and business administration. Stephanie sells her fantasy dragon creations online and on art shows.

Get in touch with Stephanie

Key Takeaways

“Put yourself passionately in charge and get what you want!”

Resources mentioned

💡 Please note: We are supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you! For more info, please read our disclosure.

Special thanks to Stephanie for joining me today. See you next time!

All artworks by Stephanie Krist, used with permission

Keep on reading: Choosing the Best Sculpting Clay and Tools in 2022

Episode Transcript

Announcer  

Creative, artistic, happy! That’s you. There are endless possibilities for living a creative life. So let’s inspire each other. Art Side of Life interviews with Iva.

Iva Mikles  

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the next episode of Art Side of Life where I chat with inspiring artists five days a week. My name is Iva, and my guest today is Stephanie Krist. And in this episode, you will learn about how she started her business and why she makes art.

Stephanie Krist  

When I was in high school and like looking at colleges, my teachers and peers, they all told me I was wasting my brain. Because academics came pretty easy to me. And they all told me oh, you should be a doctor. You should be a lawyer. And I was like, but those things they don’t you know, they don’t do anything. For me. It doesn’t fulfill me art is what challenges me and what fulfills me.

Iva Mikles  

Stephanie is an owner of fire hydrants and handcrafted ceramics made in Rochester, New York. She has a bachelor’s degree in studio art with minor in Business Administration. Stephanie sells her fantasy ceramic creations inspired by Dragons Online, and on the rise, ARCHOS. So please welcome Stephanie Christ, and let’s get to the interview. So welcome, everyone to the next episode of Art Side of Life. And I’m super happy to have Stephanie here. Hi.

Stephanie Krist  

Hi, thank you for having me.

Iva Mikles  

Oh, my pleasure, I’m super happy that it took time and joined us here to bring more inspiration. And let’s talk about directly about your background and how you got to creations and art in general.

Stephanie Krist  

Sure, I mean, as a kid, I always knew that I was gonna be in an art field, I had a very creative mom who got me into just you know, rubber stamping, making greeting cards. And then my dad, he was an engineer, but he was also very good at drawing. As a kid, I used to bring my picture books up to him and ask him to copy the pictures from him. And he could do it perfectly. So I was always into art. But for most of my life, I thought I was going to be an interior designer. But then when I got into my junior year of high school, and it was time to start applying to colleges, I kind of got cold feet. Because I was worried that I was sort of romanticizing the idea of being an interior designer, and that you know, wasn’t going to be like the home improvement shows on TV. And so I wasn’t going to actually like doing it. So then I ended up going to college for art education to become an art teacher. But after my freshman year, I kind of realized that really wasn’t what I wanted to do. I just thought it was sort of a safe avenue to go down. So then I changed my major and I double majored in studio art with a ceramics concentration, and art history. And then I got a business minor. So I was all ready to, you know, go and start my own business. So that’s where it kind of happened. And it’s, it’s kind of funny, because I would have never expected ceramics to be what I got into. I took my first ceramics class in high school. And I mostly hated it. I especially hated the wheel. But that was because we only we only had like six wheels in the classroom. So each student got two weeks on the wheel. And that was it. And two weeks really isn’t enough time to learn how to do it and the teacher wasn’t very hands on. But then when I took my first pottery class in college, I was throwing better by the end of the first class than I was, you know, the two weeks in high school. So I kind of you know, ended up falling in love with it and decided that’s what I wanted to do.

Iva Mikles  

And what would you say the teacher on the last class with you had was the your, like, biggest inspiration or mentor to kind of get you into it? Or did you have some other people who inspired you? Maybe were already professional in the field or?

Stephanie Krist  

Yeah, it was mainly it was mainly my professor, you know, cuz I had him for any ceramics class that I took. That was who was teaching it and so that’s where I learned most of my skills. And then from there, you know, I started looking into other ceramic artists and you know, I found inspiration that way. Um, But most of my inspiration actually comes from. There’s a book series called The Dragonriders, of Pern by Anne McCaffrey. And she’s a big name in science fiction fantasy writing. And my dad would tell me the story is from the books before I was even old enough to read. And so that’s kind of what made me fall in love with dragons and fantasy. And then the ceramics were kind of, since it’s three dimensional, I was able to make dragons and make these fantasy things that, you know, it’s kind of the closest to reality that they can become because it’s it’s three dimensional, and you can touch it.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, definitely. And when you mentioned your father, and also your mom, that they were both like creative, what was like the best lesson you’ll learn from them?

Stephanie Krist  

Oh, that’s, that’s tough. Cuz they were both more like Hobby artists. So I didn’t really learn any art lessons from them. But again, in college, I had, you know, like three professors that gave me the best advice that I’ve ever, you know, that I’ve, like, carried with me throughout everything. The first one was my like drawing one professor foundations of drawing, we came into class one day, and she had this beautiful figure drying, charcoal figure drying, she had just done the class before. And she stood in front of our class, and she just shredded it into tiny pieces, she just ripped it up. And everyone’s you know, eyes open, like, can’t believe she did it. And she was teaching us that it’s important not to be too attached to your artwork. And that, especially when you’re in school, what’s more important is the lesson that you’ve learned while creating that artwork, instead of the artwork itself. And, of course, after that class, I actually went and picked up all the pieces, and I taped it up and hung it in my my dorm. But eventually I learned what she was trying to teach us and being objective to your artwork is helpful. It lets you improve your work, it helps you price correctly, it helps you be able to let it go when it sells and you don’t have a meltdown every time you like drop something, or the kiln ruins your pottery, like you have to just be like, Oh, that’s okay, I’ll make it better next time. And the second advice is from my 2d design professor that I also had freshman year and he kind of said something that I had always felt but didn’t have the words for and he finally gave me the words for it. And that was that he said, when people asked me why I do art, I tell them because it’s the only thing that challenges me. And when I was in high school and like looking at colleges, my teachers and peers they all told me I was wasting my brain because academics came pretty easy to me and they all told me oh you should be a doctor you should be a lawyer. And I was like But those things they don’t you know they don’t do anything for me it doesn’t fulfill me art is what challenges me and what fulfills me and you know, if you feel an artist inside of you, you have to just make sure you listen to that voice and don’t listen to the naysayers but then my ceramics Professor he’s the last advice he always said you don’t have to be perfect you just need to know how to fix the mistakes you make. And he was talking about you know, throwing on the wheel and sometimes you have an air bubble or you knock it off center and that’s okay as long as you know how to bring it back and but I think it kind of applies to life as well because it’s you know, if you get kicked off center and life you don’t have to scrap everything you’ve been working on you just need to take the steps to get back on track

Iva Mikles  

Yeah or know as well how to get there right so if you know where is the mistake and how to do it later on maybe without that Mr. Again. Yeah, exactly, as you mentioned, and how was it when you decided you want to take this as your own business? Or did you have like some jobs in between when you finish the uni and just going directly to your creations?

Stephanie Krist  

Yeah, I did have I worked at a like handcraft did jewelry and gift store like high end store around here? And I worked there but I knew right Get away coming out of college that started my own business was what I wanted to do. I’ve always had like an entrepreneurial spirit. When I was in fourth grade, I ran an assembly line during recess and like sold little things that I’d make my friends make. And then, when I was a senior in high school, I was on a program called Young Entrepreneurs Academy. And they taught you basically, everything you needed to do a business, we wrote a full business plan, we presented it in front of investors, and they gave us real money that we use to start, you know, these businesses and I didn’t stick with what I started then. But it gave me the foundations to be able to start a business. This funny when I was taking my business classes in college, I kind of already knew most of the stuff because I had done this this program. But I basically started by trying to find a studio and there is a building local to here where you can rent out studios, and I didn’t have a kiln at the time, but then I found another artists that did, and I would rent kiln space from her. So I would make everything in my own studio and then take things to her kiln and fire them. And then as my business progressed, I actually had some good friends of mine who had a kiln that they weren’t using. So they gave it to me and I’m forever grateful for that. And it’s it’s, you know, just been a slow build and learning as you go. But

Iva Mikles  

and did you do it like leveling up kind of splitting the time like, Okay, you had like part time job and then starting a business? Or did you quit your full time job and then went directly to the business?

Stephanie Krist  

No, it was a part time job. And it actually, I started working in a studio and having the part time job at the same time right away. But for the building I wanted my studio in they have like a long waitlist for studios to become available. So I actually shared space with some friends that were already in the building for a while until studio space opened up. But I was working the part time job and in that at the same time, and I actually still work a part time job, but it’s somewhere else. And that’s actually it works well for me. Because the part time job I work now it’s from like one o’clock in the afternoon until five o’clock. So it’s only four hours a day. But it helps to keep me on a routine because I know if I want to get work done at the studio, I have to go to the studio in the morning because I have this obligation in the afternoon. And for plotters, you’re very prone to like repetitive movement injuries. And I actually got like a ganglion cyst that came back two or three times. And that was just from like, the repetitive movement. So the fact that I’m like forcing myself to take a break in the middle of the day, my sister hasn’t come back since then. So that’s been good. And when I when I worked the other part time job, it was for eight hours a day, but only like two or three days a week. But the problem was on the days that I did work, I didn’t want to go to the studio, because I was already going to be working eight hours. But then the days that I didn’t work, I wanted a day off. So I still didn’t go to the studio. So I wasn’t I didn’t have great production back then. So now that I have this other job, and it’s four hours a day, five days a week, I know exactly what my schedule is gonna look like. And I can build around that a lot easier. Yeah,

Iva Mikles  

definitely. And it’s also good that you know now how it works best for you like how to design your day and how you can work on your own stuff. And when you mentioned the part time job and like the basically the income, how does it look like for you? What is the combination of incomes? What is like a percentage split? Maybe what do you leave from basically?

Stephanie Krist  

Yeah, it kind of it kind of changes month to month. The part time job covers like the majority of my living expenses, and then when I when I make money from my business, I try to keep most of it in the business. But kind of the formula I’ve been using is I look at how much I’ve made for the month from the business and I subtract my monthly expenses, which is usually just my rent is my biggest monthly expense and I take that out and then what’s left I Let in half and half of it stays with the business. And half of it, I, you know, usually I’m putting into savings or if it’s, you know, holiday times are coming up. So I’ve got to start buying presents for people. So that kind of kind of goes to that. But I’ve been pretty lucky the business. It’s, you know, I started in the summer of 2015. So it’s only a little over two years old. And it’s always been able to support itself. But this year, I saw being able to start to support me. So then maybe in the next year, it will completely support me and I’ll figure out a schedule without a part time job. But I also I like having a mix of things to do during the day. So I’m okay with having a part time job.

Iva Mikles  

Oh, perfect. And because also, when you do a part time job, you can also meet people and just have a different work life guy. No.

Stephanie Krist  

Yeah, you’re not just alone in your studio all day.

Iva Mikles  

And so how do you sell your artworks and pottery and basically everything what you create? Is it on Etsy, if you can mention for the audience, and how did you find these platforms?

Stephanie Krist  

Yeah, most of my sales are through Instagram. And I’ve actually, I’ll do like flash sales. And I’ll just post on Instagram that something’s for sale, and whoever comments first is the one that gets it. And then I send them an invoice. And that’s how I get paid in that way. And for the invoices, I use square, which is like the same thing people use, you know, in their smartphones to take credit cards in person and stuff. So I’ve been using that. And then for awhile square had an online store option, and I was using that. But I was starting to feel it wasn’t very user friendly. And even though even though I can ship internationally and square can accept international credit cards, for some reason on their online store, they wouldn’t take international orders. So I wasn’t happy with that. But my web site has been hosted by Squarespace. It’s a little confusing, but there are two different things. And so I recently just moved my online store to Squarespace. And I’ve seen a huge increase in sales on the online store than when I was on just square. So online is where most of my sales are. I also do some local, like art shows and art festivals. And it’s just, they’re a whole different beast than online selling. And I feel like there are a lot more work because you have to build up an inventory and you’re never completely sure how much you’re going to sell so you don’t really know what to prepare. So you build up all this inventory, then when it comes to ceramics, I’ve got to wrap all that inventory so that it doesn’t break in travel and you know, take it to the show, do a setup and then you usually sitting there for six to eight hours. And for me right now, sitting at my computer editing photos and putting them online takes less time and gives me a higher reward than selling at shows but I still like to do it sometimes. And now that the fall and winter coming for the holidays, I have a few shows lined up but I hadn’t done any since April. So I kind of had a rotating inventory because I would make things sell it online and then I was back to zero but I have a show this Saturday so I’ve actually been working nonstop to get inventory back up and also like at shows more basic pottery sells than it does online like online people don’t usually want a spoon rest but at the shows the spoon rests are like one of my highest sellers because they’re you know, like a low price range and easy gift idea. So like I have to make a completely different set of inventory for selling at shows than I do for selling online.

Iva  

Yeah. Do you have like the best seller as well online? Well, like favorite mug or something which people buy all the time?

Stephanie Krist  

Yeah, well what I’m like most known for are my dragon mugs. They’re kind of what really like skyrocketed. My business. I was, you know, started out and I was making things that I thought people wanted to buy. And then I finally made something that I wanted to make, which was the dragon mugs. And it had a way better response than I ever expected. And so those have been like my top seller of all time. It’s kind of their my bread and butter. That’s what, that’s what I make most of my sales from are the dragon mugs.

Iva  

They’re super cool. That’s how I also found the only thing I was like, Oh, these are so cool. Thank you. And so do you have also like a favorite color of the glaze or something you use often or?

Stephanie Krist  

Yeah, I like um, personally, I like greens. So I have my lime green one that I’m drinking out of right now. And I have like a dark green glaze that I really like. But also, if you look through my work, I’ve got my like cookies and cream colors, and then also my blue galaxy. And I think those look really awesome. I get all my glazes from a place in Syracuse, New York called clay scapes pottery. And they’re the colors that I get from them are mixes like recipes that they’ve made. And in ceramics, there’s kind of a stigma that if you don’t make your own glazes, you’re not like a real Potter. But I don’t, I don’t like that idea. And I’ve chosen to buy my glazes for health reasons. Most of the like powders of the minerals and things that are in glaze. In their powdered form, there are carcinogens, and if you inhale too much of them over your lifespan, you’re probably doing some damage to your body. So I try and reduce the amount that I’m exposed to that by buying it, you know, the powders, pre measured out and everything. And that way, I’m not pouring a bunch of different things. And it’s coming up in a puff of smoke into my lungs. And even when I use the pre made recipes, I still wear a respirator whenever I’m dealing with like the dry ingredients just because to me the risk isn’t worth it.

Iva Mikles  

It definitely doesn’t sound like Yeah, and what about the clay? Do you have like, favorite brand of your basic materials? Or you take it like online or locally? Or how do you do? Yeah,

Stephanie Krist  

I go I go to a place locally that in college, we used to go to this guy’s shop and we did wood firings, which is this really cool process where you’re actually firing your pottery in a wood burning kiln outside. And it takes about like 18 hours, you’re constantly stoking it with wood to get it up to temperature. And we always had these like fun days of taking shifts doing that, you know, it’d be from the professor’s would get there at two or 3am and start and then the students would start coming around like 6am 7am. But we would like cook burritos in the coals and baked potatoes. And so that was always fun. And so I wanted to continue supporting that business when I got out of college. So I buy all my clay from him. But the brand that I use is called standard. And the clays number 225. It’s like a brown clay. And yeah, it’s it’s worked for me like I haven’t had to experiment with too much because I was happy with it. So I didn’t really look elsewhere.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, perfect. Yeah. Because I have to try. If you like when you start creating or like your creative process looks like that you have already a vision and then you start directly with the pottery, or I mean with the clay or do you do the like sketching before and just the ideation

Stephanie Krist  

sometimes I make sketches when it’s going to be a completely brand new idea. I am not great at drawing because I haven’t had to do it in a long time. So my sketches usually aren’t that great, but they’re enough that like I sort of know what’s going on. But I’m always the best at just starting to make it and if you know something doesn’t work, I rip that piece off and work some more and it just kind of builds that way.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. And did you have like some maybe favorite books when you were learning about pottery or creativity or just inspiration in general?

Stephanie Krist  

Yeah, I mean, since I went to school for it, I didn’t have to do a lot of research on my own reading books or anything. I when it comes to something so physical, I think it’s easier to see some one doing it in person. Pictures and books, you can only figure out so much from them. And now it’s great. Like, there’s YouTube videos where you can watch people throw pottery, and I have actually learned some new techniques by watching YouTube videos. But I don’t have any like pottery books that I really turned to or anything like that.

Iva Mikles  

Do you have maybe some other inspirational books? What you mentioned with the dragons, or maybe some other inspiration, what do you have, like mainly now or something strange, which inspires you.

Stephanie Krist  

Um, I mean, the, the books I mentioned before, those are really, you know, been like, the main inspiration through my life. I, you know, started doing some Harry Potter inspired wizards. So of course, I’ve I’ve read those and have been a fan of those. But it was really, you know, even like some fantasy movies, like the Dark Crystal, or there’s the sort of obscure movie returned to us. That’s a sequel to The Wizard of Oz. But it’s like totally different actors. And it’s really bizarre, but I like always loved it as a kid. And it’s got some, like, weird creatures in it. And those were also something that sort of always inspired me. But those are the the main things that now I mean, really, where I get my inspiration is scrolling through Instagram. And it’s not really that I’m looking for like a design or a style that I want to make. But as I just get inspired by seeing that there are so many great artists out there creating things every day. And seeing that they’re working makes me want to work. And so I just get inspired by the fact that people are making work

Iva Mikles  

perfect. Then going back to your like brand there your creations. Do you have like, idea and vision which goes always through your, your creative process, like you have like fantasy and dragons, what would be like your elevator business pitch, you know?

Stephanie Krist  

Well, like on my website, I say that I’m aiming to bring a little magic into your everyday routine, through whimsical pottery and sculpture. So that’s sort of like my, you know, elevator pitch one sentence thing. And, you know, like, all that I can think of is like, what’s more magical than, you know, having a little little dragon friend on the side of your mug while you’re taking a drink and, and when I sell these, I actually also give them birth certificates that that gets sent out with them. And it kind of says, you know, the, they’ll be like a little guardian for your favorite drink in. And so it’s just, it’s just really my way of bringing like my imagination to life, which is why I call it fired figments. Because it’s kind of like the figment of your imagination.

Iva Mikles  

Oh, perfect. Yeah. Like it also with diverse certificates. And do you give them names, or the customers give them names later

Stephanie Krist  

on? Usually the customers give them names. I try not to because I know if especially with like my dragon sculptures that have a little bit more personality than even the mugs do. I knew if I gave them names, it would be a lot harder to part with them. So I just, I just make them and then it’s great, though, to hear the names that customers have given to them. I always think that’s really cool. That’s one of my favorite things. And one of the reasons I do still do art shows is because I love seeing customers face to face. At one of my very first art shows, I had a woman buy two little dragon figurines, and she told me that you know, she was pregnant. And it was the first things that she had bought for her like baby to be in she was going to have a Harry Potter themed nursery. And so those were going to go on the nursery and I was just like, that is so cool. So it’s like it’s great having that emotional connection to the customers. And that’s why like, I hate that I don’t get that as much with online sales, but that’s why I love seeing customer photos and them showing you know how it’s is being used in their home. And then that’s when I do find out like the names that they give their, their dragons and

Iva Mikles  

things really nice. That’s perfect. So most of your customers come through Instagram or your or your website, as you mentioned. Yeah. And if you kind of think about like, Is there something you wish you knew before you started your whole business or like advice to younger self or other younger artists that wanted to start something like this?

Stephanie Krist  

Yeah, for the business side for me, I felt pretty prepared since I had taken all those programs as a kid and, and had the minor in college. However, like outside of the business classes in just like my art classes, I felt like they put a lot more focus on being a fine artist and like making conceptual work. And if you just wanted to sell things commercially, it was kind of like, looked down on. So yeah, yeah, so I think, um, I wish that like, the art classes had taught more about selling yourself as an artist, like, I think the graphic design students like, yeah, they had business days where they would have interviews with local graphic design companies and stuff, but you didn’t really get that as a studio art major. I guess my advice to younger artists would be to find a community where I live here, Rochester, New York has a pretty open art community. And we actually have like a Facebook group that’s called Rochester insiders and, or Rochester, our insiders or something like that, um, and a bunch of business art people are on there, and you can kind of crowdsource questions and you just post like, you know, hey, it’s my first time dealing with sales tax, can anyone help me, and then you’ll get a bunch of advice. So definitely finding a community helps. Because a Google search can only take you so far. But if you have people that have done it that you can access, then you can get help from them.

Iva Mikles  

So how would you search for the Facebook groups? Would you search like art community or the name of the town where the person live? Or, you know, like, if you are in the area where there is not so much art? How would you find your new community? You know?

Stephanie Krist  

Yeah, I mean, I think searching by location is definitely going to be your first bet. And like our group, it’s like a private group. But I think when you search for it, you can like see a certain amount of information on it. And then you just have to request to be like, accepted into the group. And so with, with ours, usually, it’s, you know, someone in the outside world first and they kind of like refer you to the Facebook group. But if you’re having if you don’t know anyone in person, and you’re having trouble searching, I don’t know.

Iva Mikles  

It’s more like, you know, the whole networking thing, if you are maybe more introverted, or just like looking to expand your network, because also to find new paid jobs or new customers, or what would be your advice about the networking when you’re starting out?

Stephanie Krist  

Yeah, I mean, I guess you kind of have to fake it till you make it. I’m pretty introverted, too. So networking in person isn’t my favorite thing. If you do have, like local art shows, or open studios, that you frequent. If you can just work up the courage to talk to someone who’s in the same medium as you and ask, you know, do you have advice on where to get supplies? Or how did you get started? Artists are usually pretty friendly. So, you know, what’s nice about being online is you can kind of make up a persona for yourself. So networking online is a little bit easier. And especially since you can like send an email and then you know, maybe you’re waiting a day before someone responds to you. And then you can also sit there and type up your email for an hour making changes until you’re like, Yeah, this is what I want to say. You know, you just you got to put yourself out there if you don’t, you know, make the effort. You’re not gonna you’re not gonna get any results if you’re not taking any action.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, definitely. Do you have also something like a bass reach are like, not really productive or you’re not motivated? And if so, what do you do them?

Stephanie Krist  

Yeah, what’s what’s nice about running an art business is there’s always the art side to it. And then there’s the business side to it. So there’s definitely days where I come into the studio. And even though I’m here, I don’t really feel like getting dirty in the clay. And it’s funny. Anyone that like throws pottery will tell you that the wheel knows when you’re having a bad day. And that if you try to throw when you’re having a bad day, you’re just gonna get “beep”, like, you’re not gonna make anything good. So it’s like, if you’re sitting there feeling like I don’t want to throw today, just don’t even do it, because you’re not going to be happy with the results. So on days, like that, I usually have something business related that I can do instead. And like, I actually like doing spreadsheets and things like that. So I take that as a welcome break from the pottery. But I mean, my work also comes on sort of a cycle. So it’s like, I make things that I have to wait for them to dry. And then I do all like, they get fired in the kiln once and then I glaze them and then they get fired in the kiln again. And then once they come out, oh, it’s time to photograph to measure how many ounces the mugs hold. And then to make like the store listings. So since I sort of always have a cycle of things to do, I’m not getting bored, because I’m not always doing the same thing.

Iva Mikles  

Oh, that’s true. Yeah. And do you have something which simplifies your life you cannot live without, you know, like, special planner or something else? Yeah,

Stephanie Krist  

well, um, I was reluctant for a long time to buy this item called a Giffen. Grip. And I brought it I said it next to me. And it’s this thing that you use when Tremaine your pottery, because like, after you’ve thrown a mug on the wheel, you’d have to wait for it to dry and then you flip it over. And that’s how you’re carving like the foot ring into it. And before, I’d have to, you know, like put it on the wheel and manually find the center of it, because if it’s not centered on the wheel, you’re gonna get like a wonky cut on it. But what this, the Giffen grip, what it does is, you just set the mug down, and you like spin the top, and it has these arms that all come in and itself centers the mug for you. And for the longest time, I was just like, oh, it’s probably not worth the money. Like, I don’t know if it’s really going to work. But then I finally like, bought it. And it’s completely changed, like my production schedule. It’s probably, it’s, it’s more than cut in half the time it takes for me to trim. So that’s like, the number one most helpful tool in my studio.

Iva Mikles  

And this was like a recommendation from other artists or you found it online somehow.

Stephanie Krist  

Yeah, a lot of a lot of artists use them and rave about them, which is how I kind of found out you know, like, you go on Instagram, and there’s usually a video of someone Tremaine with their different grip. And so I just I knew about it from that way, but I was just still unsure if it was for me. And then I was like, You know what, I’m gonna try it. And I’m so glad I did.

Iva Mikles  

And did you have also some, like, difficult time in your career so far? Or like the worst moment of your whole art journey? And if so, what do you learn from

Stephanie Krist  

it? Well, the interesting thing is, it’s been more of my personal life. That’s been a mess. Wow. In my business. About a year and a half ago, my dad died after struggling with cancer for like two years. And the thing about that was I had a show scheduled for two weeks after he had died. And I decided to still do the show. So it kind of forced me to, like, get back in the studio, stay focused. And, you know, just get ready for the show. And then this past March, it was coming up on a year since his death and my apartment burned down. Yeah, I lost everything. And I had that same show scheduled For the end of April, so this time I had like a month instead of two weeks, but it was again, it was just like, No, I’m still gonna do this show. So it’s sort of like my ceramics has been like a rock or my foundation, instead of, you know, really having troubles with the business. It’s been the business helping me with my life troubles. And because I kind of think like, if I didn’t have those shows, if I didn’t have a reason to get back in the studio, I would have taken too long of a break. And it would have been a lot harder to get back into it. But since I had to, like force myself, to get back to work like, that really helps me deal with other things in my life.

Iva Mikles  

Definitely. So sorry to hear. And as you as you said, like, yeah, that the business can actually help you to focus on something else and just keep going, right? Yeah, absolutely. Oh, definitely. And then, yeah, the hard to transition from this, obviously. Let’s talk about maybe about the future. And what did you imagine yourself doing in like, five to 10 years? And just thinking about what would be your dream scenario? Where would you like to be? And like, you cannot fail in these these like, awesome.

Stephanie Krist  

Yeah, yeah, I, um, I’ve, you know, always wanted to create art. I’ve always been passionate about being a maker. But I’m also very passionate about supporting local artists and giving a platform for other artists to succeed. And that was definitely helped. By the time that I worked at the, you know, handcrafted gift store, it was always like, it was all American made. pottery, jewelry, wood, like everything. And so it was cool to see like, behind the scenes of that, and I think down the road, when maybe I don’t want to spend as much time on the ceramics, I’d love to open up a store like that. And, you know, maybe even provide some entrepreneur trading training to artists. The one thing that I’ve always thought about is, there’s all these, you know, scholarships to go to college, when you’re looking at doing things like engineering or pre med and stuff, but not as much for the arts. And I always thought if I did have like a consignment store, I would have something called like the scholarship room, where I sell artwork from high school students, college students, on consignment, and the you know, the catch would be that the money that they earned from that would go into, like, serve a scholarship fund for them in that it had to be used, like on school. And you know, if someone wants to steal that idea, go for it. Because I mean, the more people supporting the arts, the better. So I think I think that would be really cool would be to have my own store, eventually, where I’m selling other work as well as my own. Yeah,

Iva Mikles  

that sounds great. And just this upward, like starting artists. That’s amazing. So hopefully, that will be available soon. Yeah. And my last question will be about far, far future. And I would like to know, what would you like to be remembered for in like, 100 years?

Stephanie Krist  

Yeah, I was, I was thinking about that question. And really, what’s most important to me is that I want to know that people enjoy my work while I’m here. Like I kind of talked about meeting customers at shows and how special that is. And that’s really like, it’s my happiest moments in my job. It’s like, what makes it all worth it is hearing the stories of life, why someone has fallen in love with an artwork that you made. So that’s, that’s just the coolest thing. And, you know, it’ll be great to think that maybe a mug someone bought from me now is going to be passed down for generations. But if I’m not there to know it, you know, I’d rather I’d rather know now that it’s been enjoyed.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, definitely. That’s super cool. Because if you have something at home, which you really enjoy, that’s like, super nice message as well. And if before we say goodbye, maybe you can share last key takeaway or, like, last piece of advice.

Stephanie Krist  

Yeah, um, I know, one of the other questions that you had was like a quote that that we like, and so mine’s a little bit explicit. But the quote is, this is what I want, mother. It happened for me. And it’s from song lyrics from the song called help by the front bottoms. And I think as far as like affirmations go it kind of like encompasses how I try and go out and get things and it really boils down to like, if you don’t put yourself like aggressively and passionately in charge. How do you expect to get what you want? So like, you just have to just really go after what you want. And that quote, I know that means it to me.

Iva  

Perfect. And thank you so much again for being here and inspiring others. It was so nice.

Stephanie Krist  

Yes, thank you for having me. I had a great time. Oh,

Iva Mikles  

my pleasure. And thanks, everyone for joining and I’ll see you in the next episode. Hope you guys enjoy this interview. You can find all the resources mentioned in this episode at artsideoflife.com. Just type a kid’s name in the search bar. There is also a little freebie waiting for you. So go check it out. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a review on iTunes, hopefully five stars so I can read and inspire more people like you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our site of life book cast, because I post new interview every single workday. If you want to watch the interviews, head over to artsideoflife.com. Thank you so much for listening. Don’t forget to inspire each other. And I will talk to you guys in the next episode. Bye.

Announcer  

Thanks for listening to the Art Side of Life podcast at www.artsideoflife.com

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, founder of Art Side of Life®, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 I've worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways, so I've made it my mission to teach you everything I know and help either wake up or develop your creative genius. Learn more about me.

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