Today we are introducing you to Liz, an artist and owner of an illustrations small business, Ebb Draws, in Gawler TAS.
When Liz finished her Fine Arts Degree with Honours at the University of Tasmania, she knew that her dream was to create an illustration small business. She wanted to find a way to be creative and support other small businesses to bring their ideas to life. COVID-19 meant that she had an opportunity to focus on her art without distraction. Today, Liz is supporting people to create unique visuals with her illustrations.
“Penelope, my Many Rivers business coach, has a wealth of knowledge of who is on the Northwest coast of Tasmania and who I should get in touch with. I am really, really grateful for the support Penelope and Many Rivers have given me.”
Continue reading about Liz’s journey with Ebb Draws.
My business is called Ebb Draws. It is an illustration small business and I started in September 2020. I had the ABN before then but it wasn’t until September that I made the decision to make this business full time. I started doing custom illustrations for individuals such as portraits and products such as cards and prints. Recently, I have changed focus to do more branding and commission pieces with small businesses. I work with people who want to connect with their audience or community in different ways. It means that I am getting out of my studio a bit more and doing workshops and fun stuff like that.
Starting Her Illustration Small Business
After I finished my Fine Arts Degree with Honours at the University of Tasmania, I joined the NEIS program. This is how I got in contact with Penelope, my Many Rivers business coach. Doing the NEIS program really helped me focus on this business rather than going back to waitressing which is what I was doing during uni. This would have been hard during COVID-19 anyway.
For me, COVID-19 meant that I could stay in my studio and do a lot of paintings. It was a creative time for me. I made new networks of people online during this time. Stepping out of lockdown and doing the NEIS program straight away was quite a clear transition for me.
I went into business because I see myself as an artist and that is what I love doing. It has been quite a process to find the confidence to do it full time. I got to the point where I thought, ‘I just need to give this a crack!’ With the direction that my business is going, I am working with people who want to try something a bit different. I like making the visuals for their projects.
Working with Many Rivers
It has been amazing, it really has! My business has gained momentum and is on a bit of a roll at the moment. I feel like this is all to do with Many Rivers and Penelope’s support. We started with my business plan, looking at my cashflow and what my services are. Over time this has changed as my business grows. Penelope meets with me almost every fortnight. One of the big things that she helped me with was my wording in my quotes. The fact that I was able to run this past her meant that I could gain a bit of confidence in what I was quoting and my prices. I found professional language that I can use around that.
Many Rivers’ pro bono legal support drew up contracts for me for my commissions which has been helpful. Penelope has a wealth of knowledge of who is on the Northwest coast of Tasmania and who I should get in touch with. I am really, really grateful for the support Penelope and Many Rivers have given me.
I think having her as a mentor to run things by is the most useful assistance. Sometimes I think that it is a bit too good to be true!
Drawing up contracts for commission pieces and having confidence in them has been the most challenging part of having my own business so far.
I now feel confident to talk with clients and tell them what I am offering. Penelope helped me with a large commission with the Council. That was a massive achievement. They then asked me what it would look like if they employed my services for some visuals for an upcoming project. After Penelope’s support, I was able to write up this quote myself. The fact that I was able to do that and get the gig was a big milestone for me.
It gives me a lot of freedom but within that I need to motivate myself. That is something that Penelope has helped me with too. She has supported me to create my own schedule around exactly what I need to complete a project and making sure that I block out the time. It means I am my own boss, and I am on my own. I have figured out that I need to have human contact at least once a day. It’s all very simple stuff but I make sure that I book meetings throughout the week so that I am actually getting out and seeing people.
I have a fine art practice and I think that I want to bring that into my business. I think I want Ebb Draws to fully support my creative practice. So I am working on streamlining the business processes and booking gigs in advance. I am making sure I am trying new things and collaborating with interesting people. I think that is my goal – to do interesting things and be around interesting people in terms of making art and beautiful things.
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