Molly McGuire | Episode 380
Molly McGuire graduated with a BA in ceramics from Central Connecticut State University. Molly’s work is focused on texture and creating a tactile experience in everyday objects such as mugs, cups, and lamps. When Molly is not creating, she serves as the gallery coordinator for the university and works at a local museum.
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Molly you are working three jobs. How do you find the time to be creative?
You just have to make time. I have a book where I have a calendar and I write everything down and it really helps. It keeps my brain organized. I learned through trial and error that if you don’t make time for your artwork, you don’t do your artwork. I am running for city counsel as well in my town, so as much as I have to dedicate time to that I had to say that my artwork is really important to me and makes me who I am.
Where do you think creativity comes from? Do you think it comes from hard work or do you think you are born with it?
That’s hard. I mean everybody’s different. I think it’s both. I know that’s a bit of a cheesy answer. Of course it’s there. Some people are born with it but it takes hard work to develop it for sure. Maybe it is just there, but you have to work at it to make it better and make it what you want it to be.
You mentioned you are trying commission work. How do you balance the desires of the market and the desires of the muse?
Typically people who have seen my work on Instagram or they have seen other people who have my work, so they will want a mug with spikes on it or a necklace with spikes on it. But it did just get a commission for plates and she just wants white plates. People ask, do you want to do that? Make just white plates? On one hand I’m fine she wants white plates but at the same time it’s true, I want to put spikes on it. So it is a balance between what people will want and I don’t know if I ever did step into the market a little more, I would probably have to draw a line about what I want to do.
You mentioned that you do really well at fairs. I want to ask you about your selling skills. Is that something you had to learn to do or is it something that just comes naturally to you?
I think now I am a lot better at it. I am a lot more confident just because I know there will be that person who really likes this mug and really likes the spikes. Of course when I first started out it was really nerve-racking, but I also really like talking to people. I am good with connecting with people, I enjoy that even if they are not buying something. I want them to walk away enjoying that conversation with that artist. So I think I do have a natural ability to connect with someone and make conversation and learn about them as they learn about me. That is an important part of someone wanting to buy your work.
How do you get the courage to move beyond talking to selling?
I think just the confidence in your work. You know it’s worth what you are selling it for. And I think that wasn’t natural for me. I started my work really under-priced. Even now I am trying to bump my prices up. It is hard to do, ask people for more but it is important as an artist to learn that. I think as you do that you get more confident as people are still buying things.
How do you know when it is time to bump up your prices?
When people can’t believe you are selling it for that amount. It is also a question of how badly you want to sell all your work. Do you want them to fly off the table or do you want to wait for those people to come by. I think that is the balance I have been trying to find now.
What do you wish you would have done differently five years ago?
I think I was just starting out…man that’s a good one. Maybe I would have branched out a little more. I spent a good amount of time being nervous about finding what I was going to do and luckily ceramics was there to kind of catch that. I was a completely different person five years ago. I was much more timid and quiet. I do think ceramics has helped bring that out, especially selling and meeting all these new people and gaining confidence in my work and the things I do. If I could tell myself what to do five years ago I would say, Just get out there and talk to people, they are not scary and they are not going to judge you. They all kind of feel like you.