Friday, June 15, 2007

Claudine Hellmuth

Claudine Hellmuth is a mixed media collage artist who has her artistic hands on a variety of projects-from custom artwork, scrapbooking products, to instructional dvds. In addition, she’s an author of the best-selling book Collage Discovery Workshop! and the newly-released second book Collage Discovery Workshop: Beyond the Unexpected! She is indeed one busy indie entrepreneur!

“ I went to the Corcoran College of Art + Design and graduated with my BFA in 1997. After college I worked as a web site designer until 2001, [after which] I went into business full time for myself. Yay! I wear many hats in my business: I am an artist, author, workshop instructor, illustrator.”

Signature Product
“ A big part of my business is creating custom artwork for people using their photos and incorporating them into my work to create something special for them.”

Typical Customer
“My typical customer is female between 30-50, usually hip, arty and fashionable and likes to have unusual things in their home.”

Minimal Start Up Costs
“I didn’t really have any start up costs. I started working on my business while I was still at my full time job so when I got laid off, it was a fairly easy transition because I had managed to build up my business enough where it was a full time job all by itself.”

Selling Products
"[I sell] on the internet and in a couple of galleries. I sell through my own web site, but I want to build a better store to sell more products there. I am thinking about getting an Etsy store and debating whether it would be better to do that or just have my own store on my own web site. I did sell through Ebay for a little bit too.”

The Delicate Art of Pricing
“That’s the million dollar question! I price [my products] at what I think I would pay for something like that. People tell me my prices are way too low, but then the artwork is selling well right now, so I feel like it’s at a good price. I play with the pricing every once in awhile to see if I can raise prices and keep the interest there.”

Effective Marketing Techniques
“I market through the internet and blogs (My blog brings me a lot of business and it’s free!) I also send out press releases to magazines [and other publications] to try to get print press coverage. I just started a really big press release campaign and am hoping it will turn up some results for me.”

Emotional Challenges
“I think the most challenging part is being scared if people will still want what I have to offer and what happens if one day they don’t …Worrying is the most challenging part of being self employed for me.”

Recommended Business Sources
Creatively Self Employed is a great book to read. It has interviews with tons of other creatives who are all in the same boat, so it makes you feel better about the challenges of having your own business. You are not alone.”

“I also hired Dawn of to help with my press release, She has a press release writing service with very reasonable prices, she wrote an incredible release for me.”

Inspired by…
“Materials and playing with art supplies. If I am uninspired, if I start playing with paint and paper, the inspiration usually follows.”

Words of Advice-Baby Steps
“[Do] not feel that you have to do it all at once, just take baby steps toward your goal, stay in your full time job and build your business on the side. You don’t have to do one or the other, you can build your business and then when the time is right you can go for it!”


Claudine Hellmuth
2457-A. South Hiawassee Rd PMB #106
Orlando, FL 32835


claudine hellmuth said...

thanks for the wonderful interview :)

kelly said...

claudine's art is wonderful. Thanks for the tips on creating a business.

Jennifer Perkins - Naughty Secretary Club said...

Hey great interview! love claudine and love tips on running an Indie Biz.

Linda Woods said...

WOW! A great interview and wonderful advice from Claudine :).

michelle bernard harmazinski said...

Awesome advice from a fabulous artist. I'll be using some of it myself as I try to make my art into a business! Thanks for sharing, Claudine. said...

Yes-Claudine is a pleasure to interview. I was glad to know more about her business-she has really great tips!