When I started outpast2 I honestly had no idea what I wanted it to be. Today, I have a stronger vision of where I want to take it. A vision that is, at very least, more realistic than what I started with. While it's still very scattered in my long term plans, I do know a few things.
1) I know I eventually want a store front. This is actually imperative for how my brain works. I have a very hard time separating my business from my home in it's current form. Having said that, my operations to date couldn't work any other way. I'm blessed to be able to function as a small business working out my home and around my toddler's schedule. For the moment, I wouldn't change a thing.
2) I know I want to do more than just desserts. My degree is in Fashion Design and while I've made very few garments start to finish lately, that is still the area of professional creativity that I get most excited about. Eventually, I want to offer my own clothing line. As a mini goal, I do plan to offer outpast2 merchandise in the coming new year. Simple T-shirts with my logo on them. Not the fashion line I aspire to one day be, but a start.
3) I know I want to work with other local artist. I've stated this before and while I don't have any officially signed on yet, I have contacts who are interested in pursuing a working relationship with me and my little business. The most basic thing about this partnership though is that I want it to be 100% "at your leisure" - so far that has translated to a very slow starting point and that's okay, too. That's how art and stuff happens.
The most important part of my vision though is summed up in the little catch phrase that I've adopted as my own. "Art and Stuff" was about the only thing I could come up with almost 3 years ago when I was starting to set some ideas in stone regarding my little venture. It's incredibly vague and for me it's perfect. I wanted something that left room for growth and change over the years and I think I've accomplished that. This goes hand-in-hand with my dragonfly choice of a logo. The only thought was that I didn't want to be tied down to something that wasn't adaptable for my future endeavors. This I why I don't have a cake or a cupcake as part of my logo. I feel it's limiting in the long run.
Long term plans aside, I do still find these business representations to be very applicable to the cake decoration and custom desserts that I've been lucky enough to offer so far. These things are a form of art all on their own. One that, honestly, I didn't go to school for but am taking certain skills from some of my higher classes and making them applicable to my current business model. I learned this art form from doing it as a job and that's proven to be quite the skill set. Art is, in it's simplest form, something that stimulates your senses. Cake decoration plays to several senses, quite literally. The decoration part of it is highly (if not entirely) visual. Sugar smells sweet and enticing. At the end of the day, it has to taste good. As a decorator, I'm pretty much constantly covered in icing and therefore I feel the sticky side, too. Not to get too corny here, but hearing the excitement in my client's voices and their genuine "Thank yous" is my cherry on top that complete the circle of senses. So my little business that currently offers custom desserts is a form of artistic expression for me. That and the fact that a lot of what I do is either sculpting or drawing... just in a media that happens to be eatable. The creative side of my personality is satisfied when I get to make a cake look pretty and as an artist I need that time in some form or another to stay healthy and happy. Other creatives know what I mean.
So whatever your form of expression is, I wish you the same joys and success I've found in mine. If you'd care to share your creations with me I'd love to see them. If you're a locally based Colorado artist looking to sell a few items casually but haven't got the time to take on running your own business, hit me up to see how we can help each other expand our art. In past cities I've lived in I've found that having a support system of like-minded artists only helps the creativity and I'm all about linking arms to make it happen.