I am happy to say that I am finally able to launch a new series of blog articles where I introduce you to each Tribe Online member.
I have wanted to profile our members since I very first opened but as I technically didn’t have a membership to start with, it didn’t happen. However, now that Claire and I have launched The Tribe Online we have a fantastic group of women that I can profile here so that you can get to know the kinds of women and businesses that are part of our Tribe Online membership. So we will start with the wonderful Laura Segan who is a very talented mixed-media artist and art therapist.
Laura, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am an artist and art psychotherapist and I live and work in Dartmouth, Devon. I originally studied Fine Art Photography, before training as a teacher and living in several different countries and teaching Art and English in my 20s. I moved back to the UK in 2015 and studied for a Masters in Art Psychotherapy and now split my time between my art making and art psychotherapy work.
When I am not working you will either find me in my garden, growing fruit and veg, in the kitchen, baking delicious things, or at the beach. I love being in nature and feel really lucky to live somewhere with so many beautiful outdoor spaces.
And what about your business?
I have made art all of my life, but I only really started to think of my art as being a business recently. There is this curious thing at art school (or there was when I was there) where you are taught how to be an artist, but not any of the skills to be able to sustain yourself financially from it. It was only when I had another income and equally enjoyable other career running alongside it, that I have had the time and space, financially to be able to sustain my art practice as well.
What has been your biggest achievement so far in your business journey?
I have been accepted for three exhibitions this year so far, and have been accepted for an artist residency in Belgrade in September. Applying for these things meant that I had to put my artwork out there into the world a lot more than I have been used to doing, so it feels like a huge achievement.
What is your ultimate aim for your business? Your dream scenario?
My dream scenario is that I will be able to sustain my art practice alongside my art psychotherapy work, and that they are both financially viable. I would like to be able to make the work that I love, and have it appreciated by others. To be able to do the things I love.
What is the biggest challenge you find in running your own business?
I find that the biggest challenge for me is organisation and deadlines. I have a busy week with multiple roles, and having a planned out diary is key to keeping on top of things.
How has the pandemic and multiple lockdowns affected your business?
For my art business, it has had a positive effect. The pandemic has given me more time for art making and applying for exhibitions and residencies that if I had been driving to my different roles, I wouldn’t have had. It has allowed me to really reflect on my art making and the parts of my work that I really enjoy. It has given me the time to engage in a more meaningful way with my art practice and be more authentic as an artist.
What changes if any have you implemented as a response to the pandemic?
A lot of the work I have made over the Pandemic has been processing the emotions that have been coming up as a result of the isolation and anxiety of living through COVID-19. It has informed what I have made and how I am exhibiting it, e.g. online exhibitions. I also had the time to open an online shop on Shopify as I wasn’t able to attend any markets in person.
Do you have any exciting plans for the future?
I am really looking forward to working on a few new projects and some upcoming exhibitions. I am cautiously excited about the residency in September, which I have all of my fingers and toes crossed will go ahead. If not, and COVID rules do not allow international travel at that point, I will be able to reschedule it, and look forward to spending a month focusing solely on my art practice when I can get there.
What made you decide to become a Tribe Online member?
I was increasingly missing the camaraderie of working in physical spaces. Of being able to share the highs and lows of my work with others, and share knowledge, ideas and skills. I had wanted to visit The Tribe when it opened and didn’t get a chance before COVID hit, and regretted it.
What have you found most useful about being part of a coworking community?
The skill sharing and sharing of knowledge. Stacey and Claire are so knowledgeable about a range of business topics. I learn so much from the weekly calls, and the talks. The group is a range of different businesses so the other members of the group also have so much knowledge to share.
I like being able to share wins with the group, as when you are working remotely they can often go by unmarked. It is so nice to see other people’s wins in the group and watch as people implement ideas from the calls into their buisness.
If you would like to find out more about our wonderful Tribe Online member Laura Segan and her work, you can find her in the following places.
Stacey Sheppard is the founder of The Tribe, a small community-driven coworking space in Totnes that caters to creative, growth-oriented female entrepreneurs by providing an inspiring working environment designed to foster collaboration, connection and community.