Small tweaks that make all the difference
Ceramic artist & entrepreneur Trayci Tompkins shares her thoughts on Business agility as an artist – with readers of the Ceramics Southern Africa magazine.
Sometimes all it really takes is cutting off the ‘legs’ to make your jeans more wearable.
I’ve just done that liberating act on a prized pair of England’s finest… and it feels surprisingly good…. simple changes, small tweaks that can make all the difference.
In business, this is the kind of flexibility one needs to keep moving forward, keep evolving. The question is … Are you stuck in a rigid rut or do you have the ‘AGILITY’ to take a leap of faith when faced with change? In business, It’s more than the ability to change direction quickly.. It’s the ability to renew, change and rapidly adapt to market and environment changes in productive and cost effective ways. For many professional artists, the need to stay ahead of the field, and react to global trends is of paramount importance to their success and stability. As entrepreneurs we need to find creative ways to innovate and continuously improve. We need to react to the development of new industry-changing technologies or sudden shifts in overall market conditions.
Luckily for us ‘creative sorts’, agility, flexibility and creative right brain thinking does tend to come naturally. Generally, we have an intuitive gift of knowing how to find solutions, problem solve, and create anew.
The bonus is that our tribe is now sought after in a world where creative thinking is readily making its way into once-rigid boardrooms, onto social media platforms and entrepreneurial projects. Confidently we can celebrate our creative ways of thinking, our curiosity, and inventiveness… and I like that about being an artist in business. .. and let’s not forget, that if you’re a professional and make money out of your art, you in essence adhere to basic business practice.
As an art maker, I never knew my path would lead me into the very public domain of selling and marketing art, motivating artists or introducing ‘ART and CRAFT’ making to people who would not necessarily have given it a try.
But I’m here now, and owning a Gallery and ‘Do it yourself’ Art Bar in a very busy location on the Midlands Meander in KZN, has taught me the valuable benefits of Agility – adapting quickly to change.
In my world things evolve around me with rapid pace. What was desirable yesterday may not be so today. Sitting on our laurels is never an option. Social media and the web has levelled the playing fields. We ship our work worldwide. We no longer really know our competitors like we used to. The psychology of buying has changed. And all too often we don’t really know who it is that our marketing is talking to. At times we simply ‘fish’ with a bigger net.
But in my opinion, the real trick in all of this change is not to become overwhelmed. It’s important to keep your personal focus and core direction. Open your eyes and heart to what resonates with you, then make effective changes.
Trust your instincts, take action and back yourself into the challenge of moving forward. Being stale and stuck is not a healthy, creative place… We are all in this together, and ideally we need to nurture the growth of our industry and fellow art makers who make it the colourful world we all enjoy.
As for the cut off jeans .. well they still have the same designer look .. but with a quirky personal touch for the approaching warmer days… ‘Change is good’ I remind myself.
Published: CERAMICS SOUTHERN AFRICA Magazine. Issue:13/2018