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Opening my mail today, I saw some new posts on the ‘Quit your day job’ series. It was encouraging to hear of stories of people overcoming odds in their life to start their own business. It reminded me of a conversation I had yesterday.

I was walking over to some nice chairs to study on yesterday, over the hills and far away (literally, since NUS is on a hill) when I met my friend S, who was going to get some coffee to perk himself up. We talked about chairs first, like which chairs we liked and which we didn’t, because he was surprised I was going over the hills and far away when the chairs in the library were pretty good. Of course, I was begging to differ…

Anyway! I don’t know how, but the topic of conversation came to me selling art, because I was going to graduate and all. And he was saying that I should start small, get a booth in NUS first, then sell local, then sell global. That was all very encouraging to hear, given that most practical Singaporeans raise their eyebrows at such an impractical notion. But S is not a Singaporean 😉

Then came D, who was waiting for his high-class $5 coffee to be brought over. He was saying that the market is so saturated (many Singaporean ‘aunties’ or middle-aged women are selling jewelery that they made) and that it was hard to survive in such an industry because of competition resulting from the low barriers to entry.

What all these suggest to me is that it’s possible to go into this business, but it’s going to be difficult. I think I would have to go and get a real job first and save up some money to last me for at least a year. I will also need money for certain start-up costs like, at the back of my mind, some professional website design, a new camera or money to engage a professional photographer, a die-cut machine, design software…

And I have a feeling, that that is not the real obstacle at all. The real obstacle is the fear of jumping into the deep end of the pool, and hearing from those who wouldn’t jump in about just how deep it is.




4 responses »

  1. You could do the art business as a side-line?

    Or maybe, find a part-time job and do your art stuff with the rest of the time?

    Of course, the best will be working in those shops which do paper art. You can do both. =)

    • Hey Jon, thanks 😀 those are viable suggestions. I don’t think I can just jump in not knowing whether or not there is a market for what I make, so I’ll have to try it out on the side. 🙂 Yea man, hoping to find the dream job that is not mindless, would pay enough and still allow me to pursue art on the side.

  2. I agree with Jonathan, you should work with an art shop to learn about what goes into running an art business!


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