This week I had the opportunity to sit down with local potter, Ryan Mitchell, of Gangbusters Pottery. Having recently become self-employed, I've decided to hear from other makers about how they manage it all. So each month, I will be visiting a new local maker to hear about their process, story, and tips for us newly self-employed makers.
Ryan, a one-time biology major, states that he found his passion in college while taking a ceramics class. After doing various side jobs such as farming, he decided to pursue his passion full-time and hasn’t looked back.
Ryan’s tip for those newly self-employed: diversify your income sources. Ryan recently moved into a bigger studio space and although he’s excited about what’s to come, financing it all can be stressful. Ryan’s new space will allow him room to have his own art gallery and shop with retail hours. He will also hold classes for small groups that want to come in and make a piece of pottery while enjoying some wine. Yes, please! Ryan also participates in several markets and shows throughout the year. He teaches adult classes at the Emerson Cultural Center and kid classes at local elementary schools. Ryan’s work can be found in various coffee shops around town, art galleries, and other retail spaces. Ryan’s greatest fear is “how will I pay for everything.” However, he believes that by diversifying what you do, you can off set the slow season from January to April and make ends meet. Thanks for the tip Ryan!
You can find more of Ryan's work at www.gangbusterspottery.com
Stay tuned next month as I visit abstract painter, Cherlyn Wilcox.