VERY different skills are required in being an artist and being a business mover and shaker.
Many would say they are mutually incompatible but artist Carla Moss proves them wrong.
Working from the East Street Arts Patrick Studio in Leeds, she has made sure she has developed the entrepreneurial skills needed to promote her work across the world.
Ms Moss, who trained in Fine Art at Reading, was brought up in Leeds and enjoys working there. She has had residencies in London and Kazakhstan and says her work is inspired by the environment.
But she has also developed her business skills over the years and has become a business and life coach supporting other artists.
She told the YEP: “I work mainly with creatives, and keep in contact with them via Skype.
“I trained in business and life coaching a few years ago.
“I really love seeing others develop and getting passionate about it.”
Having a coach herself, Ms Moss says it has benefited her business and says she tries to help her clients “discover their own” solutions.
She says that she has always wanted to explore her art for a living and believes that working alongside other artists at the Patrick Studio has helped motivate her.
She said: “I have never wanted to work for someone else because my art has always been important to me. But talking with others I find it has the element of teamwork.
“It’s a really good place to work and it’s good to be with these other artistic disciplines.”
Ms Moss is on the committee of the Leeds branch of the Federation of Small Businesses which she says is useful. She said: “I think the business side of things is very helpful because it’s a different way of working and a different perspective.
“There is so much doom and gloom in the media that it’s nice to meet people who are surviving.”
Ms Moss admits that going into business and having to sell to survive is a challenge for many creatives who may find marketing, tax and the profit motive difficult concepts to come to terms with.
She said: “If business was just solely about making money then I suppose there is a bit of a conflict because the art for me is working with materials and discovering what happens if I do this and this. It’s not about whether it will sell.
“I could not just live on commissioned work in terms of my artistic practice.”
She said that her advice to other artists would be to “learn as much as you can as you go along.
“There is always more to learn.
“If you are pessimistic about something, just give it a go.
“There are always people out there who like your work as well as those who don’t like your work. It’s always easy to remember the people who don’t like your work but there are lots of people who are interested.”
Ms Moss can be contacted at www.carlamoss.co.uk and www.opendoorcoaching.co.uk.