"When will you get a real job?" - Artist Case Study
Where to start?
How to start?
When to start?
Can I start?
These are only four out of the thousands of questions that comes to mind when you want to turn your artistic passion into your full time gig. I don't feel the need to list more as these four are sufficient for productive paralysis. Don't you agree?
When Charles and I decided to turn our embroidery venture into our full time business we had no plan. We had no business coach or road map. Yet, we made it happen. The wave came and we jumped. With our heads first to be honest.
Entrepreneurship, especially creative entrepreneurship, is an extremely vulnerable route to go down. Thus, what I wish I had had access to from the start was more real-time case studies of other young creatives who tried to make it happen too.
But I couldn't find it. All I could find was a ton of books by hugely successful artists and writers who wrote to themselves "20 years back in time". However, I couldn't fully relate. I wanted to read present time. Social media time. I wanted to read the experience of someone who goes through the process now. Today. Or at least, yesterday.
Thus, I decided to write it myself.
"I've read your book as I was on the train from London to Brighton. It was such a gripping read. I read it in one go and I love the energy and the optimism of it."
- Laure Fraval, Consultant, United Kingdom
"When will you get a real job?", is a real time case study of our first two years as artists and entrepreneurs. What we did, why and how we felt about it and what we would've done differently.The title is simply the most frequently asked question from our surrounding: When will you get a real job?
This book isn't a justification for why what we do is a real job. Neither is it a how-to guide of how you can create your own real job. Nevertheless, it's a book that will give you thorough insight into how the early stage of a creative business (with all that it involves) can look like from the inside. After endless hours of research, I've concluded that some of the best lessons comes from reading, watching or listening to other's experiences.
With an insight into how someone else has dealt with a certain situation, you can easier apply the same principles to your own reality. For example, when you get approached with a big monetary opportunity, how will you respond?
You will most likely have no idea. Nevertheless, if you've read about how someone else did it, you can draw on their experiences in the negotiation of how to go about yourself.
"We all start our creative journey somewhere. I’m sure that not everyone is as lucky as Charles and Elin to start this road with someone, but this is why it’s important to see how other artists did it, what they got through and which decisions they took on the way.
Some of the parts were personal discovery for me and a great topic to discuss with other creatives. I recommend this book for all creative entrepreneurs who want to get an extra view on things.
And you should always remember: Believe in yourself and you will get there as well"
- Polina Laamanen, Embroidery artist, Russia
That is what you can expect from this book.
A raw and straight forward case study of 'Charles and Elin' in first person. You'll get behind the curtains of how it really started. Our philosophies, reasoning and motivation from Charles first stitches in Paris to us leaving the city to pursue artistry full time.
In hindsight I can't help but feel baffled of how much actually happened. For some reason, whenever you're in the midst of something it feels as if nothing happens. This forces you to trust the outcome. Concentrate on the small actions that you can take today and you will have to trust that it amount to great results later on.
Because creative entrepreneurship is no dance in the park. It's no quick fix. There's no one recipe for success. However, it's also not impossible. If we could do it. You can do it too.
Get started now!
"I appreciate you are sharing so much. Often it felt like a relief when I read certain topics. Perfectionism and productivity are also something that I'm dealing with.
The thing you said about asking advice from the wrong people is really smart. I never really thought about it in this way and it's something I want to be more careful with.
Again, I really enjoyed reading it and I learned a lot from it. It's gonna give me some direction on how to work and I might read some chapters again from time to time."
- Claudia Elodie, Aspiring artist, Netherlands
The e-book is available to download for Kindle (e-pub) and as a pdf file.
- Don't wait for tomorrow
- Opening letter from Charles
- The background story
- What to expect?
- Stronger together
- Launch day
- Who's an artist?
- Our first sale
- I was onto something
- Realising that we could make money
- Let's leave Paris
- Who to take advice from?
- Fake security
- Procrastination pro?
- Realise your potential
- Never work for free
- Don't put all the eggs in one basket
- Don't let social media distort your reality
- A deadline is a dead line
- Are you too busy being busy?
- Complementary network
- Value isn't just about money
- How to get your voice heard?
- When can you afford to be an artist?
- Pyramid of risk
- What can you change?
- Personal brand
- The turning point
- Everything changed
- You can do it too
-> Full recording of 1-hour live-workshop " How to start?" + downloadable powerpoint slide
-> Recommended resources
Passionate about creating with her hands, Elin began to share her embroidery journey on Instagram as @petronella.art in 2016. Her work quickly gained large exposure, which has allowed her to dive full-time into the world of artistry. In 2017, together with her husband Charles, she started to teach their take on modern hand-embroidery in Paris, and has since then hosted courses in cities all over Europe.
Since the beginning of 2018 they also released their first online courses enrolling hundreds of students from all over the world. With their first-hand experience, they've realised the power of community and sharing your knowledge, which fuels the couple's motivation to improve and enhance creative learning via Charles and Elin Academy.
Get started now!
Some more feedback from readers...
"I was a little sad reaching the end because this is such an exciting story, I wish it would have last longer!
What I appreciate the most, and that I acknowledge since I follow you on Instagram (Since 1 year more or less), is that I can feel how you (Charles and you) are genuinelly authentic, even though you run a business and make a living. You've mentioned how you were scared that people think that you just want to sell and I have to admit that I'm very sensitive to that,
I tend to reject (maybe too fast sometimes) each time that I have the feeling that some newsletter wants my money too much, even for interesting things, but you do it in such a smooth way that I have nothing to say about your process, in fact I'm even happy when I buy from you. The sale funnel was just an example, but I appreciate your authenticity on a larger scale. It feels like you hide nothing, so we can trust you.
There's a feeling of closeness even with such a big community, and a sense of generosity that is really appreciable. I discover that it's possible to make money and give our best to the people in the same time. I don't know how much this is related to reading your book (and having an increasing urge to step into action), but around halfway reading it, I created my first pair of brickstitch earrings, a craft that I wanted to experiment with since a long time, so this was an accomplishment in itself, and following the advice of your book I was able to ask myself some good questions about the kind of business I would like to create.
I like the way you constructed the story, this is both a biography and an entrepreneur guide. i think that's what makes it so inspiring, as you seem reachable, kind of new in the market and genuinelly sharing, there's this feeling that I can do it too. And even if maybe I won't do it, it makes me feel good in the moment and maybe gives me strength to take a positive action in any way in my life. And that's how you change the world ;)"
- Fanny Zennaro, France
"I was looking forward to this book. I wanted to see Charles and Elin's path, go behind the posts on Instagram and find out HOW they actually did it. And more likely to understand that I can do it, too.
Read it in one breath. The book is full of practical advice and interesting questions to reflect. For example, when you should say "no"? how to stick with your decision and continue the journey with no regrets? I was quite surprised by the story behind it.
Elin vividly describes their experience and inspires readers to start their own path. Thank you for sharing and your support."
- Aleksandra Antonova, @ale_planta