Catie Miller | Episode 322
After graduating from Minnesota State University Moorhead with a BFA in ceramics and a BS in art education, Miller was chosen for a two-year artist residency at Red Star Studios in Kansas City, Missouri, where she refined her ceramic practice. Her artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and included in publications such as Ceramics Monthly. Since her return to North Dakota, she continues to embrace many opportunities to work within the art community teaching and coordinating classes for artists of all ages. She currently works as a studio potter from her home studio in Fargo, North Dakota.
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When putting together an event how important is having clear goals for staging that event?
I would say pretty important. Most event planners are pretty organized. So not everyone in your group has to be organized but if there is one person that can kind of take the lead on it then that really helps.
How do you come up with the initial seed money that you need for the event?
Somebody just kept receipts and they were reimbursed, for the first event. It wasn’t a huge investment when we first started.
How do you scale one event to the next event?
Well I think there has to be a balance. The mug market was something that was really affordable for people and not every time you buy a piece of ceramics are you going to get a gourmet cup of coffee either. So I think it was a good introduction to the community but we also want people to know that we are artists and we exhibit and not everything we make is mugs. So we want to plan different types of events. We would like to do some community outreach too and not always be about sales. We just kind of look at our group and see what they want to do.
How do you go about delegating the tasks?
People just volunteer for what they are good at. It’s pretty easy actually. At least in our group it is.
How about budgeting? How do you guys come up with a budget for your project?
We don’t have a very specific budget. For this exhibition that we are working on for 2018, that is going to require a little bit more of a budget.With 30 more artists we need to think about how the work is going to be displayed, so we are thinking within a budget for that.
How about oversight? Is it important to have somebody that is the spearhead that helps to make sure everybody is getting their stuff done on time?
Yeah, or a couple of people that can divide that role is really helpful. And I think it is good to rotate through that too. One person doesn’t have to do the same thing for every event.
You’ve been a full-time potter for awhile. What has been the best thing you have learned about running a business since you quit back in June?
You have to love the business side. This sounds silly to some people but I really love shooting photos and packing a shipping work and entering things in Quickbooks. I love all that stuff and I love making things too. I think if you really want to make a go of it you gotta love it all. It’s required a lot of planning too. I have been buying equipment since I graduated from college four years ago. I have a sink trap and I don’t even have a sink, you know. But some day when I have a sink I will have a sink trap because I keep investing.