Risky Business


  • SVS OG

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    Art by Li Xin

    Business involves risk -- daring greatly always comes with a chance of failure and loss. Artists and illustrators often avoid risk whenever possible, but in order to succeed as an entrepreneur and as a creator, you need to take risk. How do you decide if a risk is worth taking? How do you assess your options before starting an illustration project or new work? And how do you prepare yourself for failure and success? Jake Parker, Lee White, and Will Terry do a deep dive into the nuances of business risk from an illustrator’s perspective, and outline several key steps to making sure your business moves pay off.

    Click here to listen and to read the shownotes.



  • @Jake-Parker This is one of my favorite episodes ever, thanks you guys!

    It has me rethinking my choices for tools as part of my start up costs. I think I was way too cautious.

    I think one of the ways I can put these ideas into practice that you didn't directly talk about is with the concepts I choose in my student work. I think I want to make sure I do work that's purposely risky and that might mean going for the concepts that seem less safe.

    And this is to @Will-Terry - I can see what you're saying about waiting with your kickstarter book a little more clearly from this episode. But here's my argument for going ahead with it: that book seems more like what the book Perennial Seller talks about as being something with lasting appeal. I think yours is the kind of book that is meant to have many versions so it seems like it would be different from the usual kickstarter. It seems like it would fit better into the proof-of-concept idea. Or, you know, maybe I'm just impatient. 🙂



  • Great episode, as always guys! I particularly enjoyed hearing you guys talk about your failures, which brings some familiarity to us mere mortals 🤣

    Beautiful artwork @xin-li!



  • Much of this podcast resonated with me. Thank you for another great one. A lot of it is Santosha, just accepting the situation, being content, and not living outside your means for a while. And then you have more funds for powering your business ventures. It feels like if you do those things daily you'll be able to fund projects without freaking out about spending the money. An entrepreneurial spirit is definitely born with some folks. I, too, had a 4th grade business, selling jewelry. Even though it comes naturally for some of us, this mindset can be taught to others or learned, for sure!


  • SVS Instructor Pro

    As you consider these new ventures be sure to check with a tax preparer.

    A recent conversation with mine revealed that deductions for start up costs can be taken years after the purchases were made, when you are (finally) generating enough income to be required to pay taxes.



  • Another great topic! I find it strange that so many artists won’t invest into supplies. I immediately thought about Lee’s new art gallery when everything started closing and working from home became the new norm. I’m glad he’s staying positive! At some point I would love to hear a podcast all about self promotion. More in depth info on mailing lists, postcards, Etc.


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