Hip hip hooray! It's Small Works Career Day!


Even though we've all been enjoying the thrilling ride provided by the stock market of late,

(raise your hand if you still have money)

we can't really be sure what's waiting at the bottom of the hill. So I thought it would behoove us to explore some possible career options.

Just in case selling embroidery becomes,
you know

I talked to a friend who told me her artist mother spends the down time at shows (and every ride home) planning how she's going to remake her business.

I thought I was the only one!*

(*see symptom #2 of P.B.S.D., desire to define/re-define career goals,
previous post)

As I've mentioned before, I'm planning a new line of work in a new medium to debut in December (in addition to my wool works), but before I make any concrete plans, perhaps I should look around a little and weigh my options.

So I've invited a panel of career experts over to just bounce ideas with me.

You can ask them for advice about your own career,
if you'd like, as well!

(And please feel free, blog friends, to chime in if you know of any promising career opportunities for a person with my skill set.)

Don't be shy just because I've brought in 18 Experts!

Since I've been thinking along the lines of a new product, perhaps I should explore a whole different kind of product?

For instance, I didn't know . . .

there was Money in Hamsters!

Chelsea had hamsters,

(Oops! Editorial note: Since publication I have been reminded that we actually had guinea pigs, which could explain why there was no money in them . . .)

but they didn't come to a happy end (allergy)
nor did they finance her college education, now that I think of it.

But Everyone wants them!

Laboratories use thousands!
(wait -- that doesn't sound like a happy end either) . . .

Now here's a "capital-I" Idea!

Every car owner must want sensational
"Wipe-to-Clean" Plastic Auto Seat Covers!

And EXTRA! I can get my own set FREE!

. . . which could come in really handy with this guy around.

And I've been so cranky about the loss of flight benefits ever since my husband left his airline career . . . maybe seat-cover benefits would help ease the sting?

Or since the Minnesota winter is getting a little long
(and I can't fly free to New Mexico whenever I wish anymore),

perhaps I could bring a little sunshine indoors . . .

and grow trees on the kitchen counter!

To Grow All Kinds of Trees!

But even though I've given up cooking since the kids left, I still need all my counter space for painting polka-dots during Framing Week.

Perhaps I could change the way I frame my pieces . . .

and start using (and selling!) Suede Paint??!!

Now there's an idea that not only COVERS EVERYTHING! but could earn me big money and transform my artwork, all with the push of an aerosol button.

Realistically, Russ could object to everything in the kitchen being covered in Flok-Kraft
(because he still tries to find a meal in there occasionally)

but he couldn't possibly object if I used the kitchen to learn . . .

Meat Cutting!

In fact, I think I've heard him remark during past Framing Weeks that PEOPLE MUST EAT!

But I don't particularly like meat.
And it has to be really really well done.

Is there a future in cutting really really well-done meat?

Perhaps I should try to do something that will improve my mind.

Stretch me in new ways. I used to be good in science.
In fact, I got offered a Geology scholarship but wanted to pursue a literary career.

Might I have taken the wrong fork when those two roads
diverged in the wood?

It's worth considering . . .

I could become a NEON Expert!
(It does worry me a little that his head glows like that.)

Or I could do something with serious income potential . . .

and learn to build Atomic Bombs.

Sure it might seem complicated, but "Fireside Atomics"
promises to explain it
"the way a recipe for pancakes is set down in a cook book!"

Now that sounds like a kitchen-based business, doesn't it?

And it's "written in a breezy style by a popular lecturer and public relations man . . ." so it could make for entertaining reading when I've finished Nancy Drew.

I don't remember a whole lot about science, but I do seem to recall that building an atomic bomb in the kitchen could also lead to
neon head-glow.
And there are homeowner covenants in my neighborhood.

I suppose I need to do something less dangerous, more ordinary . . .

like look around my yard for the Fortune in Gems
waiting to be picked up all over the U.S!

How many times have I tripped over a rock in the yard but not bothered to brush off the dirt and realize that it was an
enormous alluvial diamond?

Or perhaps I should stop re-watching "Monk" episodes while I work, and do something really useful like . . .

become a fingerprint expert!
Certainly I've absorbed enough information from Mr. Monk to give me a head start?

Rats . . . It says "be sure to state your age when sending for book."
Do you think they're taking neurotic middle-aged women?

I could work on getting rid of some neuroses by studying to

Become a Doctor of PSYCHOLOGY!

At Home in my Spare Time!

From the College of Universal Truth!

I don't know . . . do you think that sounds reputable?

Hey, wait a minute! Here's an ad I like:

I could be an ARTIST!

And it says $60 - $75 per week, which sounds believable . . .

But wait. Isn't that what started this career angst to begin with?
Maybe I just haven't tried the right kind of art . . .

This ad says I could "cash in on my sense of humor."

People MAKE MONEY combining art and humor?!

I'm going to "write today for full particulars."


Amelia and Justin said...

I think you should try to find a way to make money writing blogs :)

I'm kind of right there with you about the whole economic troubles affecting your chosen occupation. It's getting a little scary here for music teachers... Thanks for the ideas. I'll have to look into the Atomic Bomb making - it sounds extremely promising.

susan m hinckley said...

Alas, if I could only find a way to make money writing blogs, I could not only justify my addiction but also earn enough cash to buy the next season of Monk when it comes out on DVD!

Don't worry, they'll know a GREAT music teacher when they see one.

Anonymous said...

sorry i had to run some errands, so did i miss you on cnn's career counseling feature today?

ever since i read this earlier, i keep wondering whether hamsters could learn how to build simple atomic weapons...

but what really caught me is that tidbit about your new work in a new medium...very intriguing!


april said...

seems like you're having fun with those popular mechanics magazines. i kept wondering while i read this post how many times you smile or laugh while reading these classic magazines. it sounds like a lot of fun; although i'm sure lots of digging is required to find all these gems that you share with us.

a sincere suggestion would be to offer some items in a different price range at your booth (for those, like me, who can't afford a painting but absolutely adore your work - no worries i've already started saving $ for next year now that i know the price range). i'm thinking those fantastic christmas ornaments you made would sell nicely. (i know it's not pieced together, but it captures your style). i'm regretting that i didn't buy the $15 fingerless gloves at this booth where i absolutely adored the $100 scarf that was out of my price range. i almost bought because i loved the stuff and the gloves were all i could afford.

finally, glad that "surprise" picture found a good home. it was a gem.

susan m hinckley said...

LuAnne -- CNN has not called to invite me to appear on their program but I'm not giving up hope.

April -- (and anyone else who can't afford my work, which at present would include me!) I thank you for your kind words and especially your saved pennies and wish I could give a piece to everyone in the world who wants one!

I can tell you that introducing lower-priced work is quite tricky, because you run the risk of ruining the market for your original work. And selling them in the same booth doesn't work at all. So we've been thinking for a long time about the best way to do it, because nothing would make me happier than to have something everyone can afford, but on the other hand I'm pretty devoted to the process of producing my high-end pieces and certainly want to continue it. The reason I've picked Chicago to debut the lower tier is that I feel I'm well positioned to make it work at that show, and I'll just be prepared to not sell much of my main work. An experiment, of sorts. But really we're going to have to figure out completely separate distribution channels, via wholesaling or the internet, or moving my big pieces to galleries -- don't know for sure but changes are in store.

As for your fingerless gloves, I always think it's curious what I regret not getting -- I never know for sure what it will be until I've gone away. Then I see what calls to me. But alas it's often too late!

susan m hinckley said...


The "big-brothers" who monitor the internet may soon be banning us from purchasing hamsters as a result of that suggestion. Stupider things have happened.

Jake and Chelsea said...

hey, i didn't have hamsters! i had guinea pigs! and they were so sweet. who could forget dear little pinner? his time was so short. and good old mr. black. what a good friend i had in him, and a wonderful life he had after he left us. he met the love of his life, duchess, and had many beautiful little guinea pigs. guinea pigs to me are less rodent-y than hamsters. more like bunnies.

and i appreciate the career suggestions. goodness knows i need them.

susan m hinckley said...

Wow -- holy mid-life brain gap, Batman! Of course you had guinea pigs! I remembered the names, just not the type of animal . . . scary. And Mr. Black did have a good life and great progeny, but it didn't work out well for the two of you.

I just listened to a show on NPR about the "recession graduating class" and I'm feeling quite hopeful for you. It's looking good for government jobs, in particular, and a green degree has to be a good starting place for a government job, doesn't it?

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