This morning I am feeling overwhelmed by my gallery, even though there is nothing to be stressed about. I need to come up with names for the next eight shows and make sure the dates are straight. I need to get high res photos of the work going into the shows as well and get them out for advertising. Why this is stressful to me, I have no idea.
Secretly, I am wishing a little bit that I hadn't taken on such a huge gallery space. I feel that by expanding the gallery side to be as huge if not huger than the tattooing side of my business, I have inadvertently created two businesses. And it is a lot of work to keep both sides functioning well! Fortunately I have help, and thank goodness for that. I need to take some time and reevaluate what I am doing with the gallery side though, and how it relates to the tattooing business so that I can integrate the businesses back into one whole.
By trying to get gallery shows happening that are outside of the scope of tattooing, I might be watering down the potency of what we offer. Then again, community involvement is and will continue to be great for us. I love being able to have the space to offer workshops to the public. I love combining traditional art with tattoo art. I think it is important and want to keep offering that. I think I'd like to be less concerned about the shows, though, since they aren't the focus of my business, and with the way we advertise them they give the impression of being the focus of the business.
Having a show to talk about every month is great, and an opening does bring in the public. How can I bring the focus more towards tattooing? Would it be better overall for the place to slim down on workshops so we can focus more on tattoos? Selling the workshops is difficult, though really fun when they happen. I'd rather spend the effort on paying clients though rather than on getting folks in for a workshop that will cost me money and time to regulate. All of this is interesting to consider.
I am feeling that I am only one person, and it is difficult for me to be tattooing and promoting that while simultaneously trying to get the gallery to be a premiere space for talented illustrators, which is where I want to go with that. It's two full time jobs. Having spread myself thin for both over the last year in particular, I can honestly say I just don't have enough desire to do both well. I want a life outside of my studio. Continuing to put the same level of effort forth as I have been will result in me losing my relationship, as well as ensuring I have no time to do anything other than work. I don't want to be a slave to something that is supposed to be wonderful. And I want to be good at what I do, or at least have the energy to put forth my best effort to it. For me, that is tattooing. I don't actually want to worry about the gallery that much. I want that to be a fun space, not a burden I want to avoid.
Soooo. . . time to figure out how to transition that space over this year so that it stops being a drain and becomes a joy again. If I could get it to eventually just be a display space for our work where we can host workshops, that's awesome. And Skin to Canvas, of course. But I'd like the promotional part of the gallery to reduce. Hmmm. I'll think more on this. I might be on to something.