Mackay artist Fiona Flohr has been part of the Makers' Shopfront journey since 2019 and participated as a mentee in the CQ Shopfront Artisan in Residence program at CQUniversity Mackay City Campus with ceramist Pru Morrison. We have seen Fi go from strength to strength developing her practice and her products.

We recently interviewed Fi who is now a member of our Shopfront Makers Membership Program.

How did you come to be an artist and choose this as a career path?

I didn’t know I had an artistic streak until I moved out west and joined the craft and pottery groups about 24 years ago. I’d always loved people and travelling. Choosing art as a business career happened slowly - first creating for myself, then for sale at markets and moving into teaching workshops. I also have been working with community organisations and schools teaching a range of workshops, designing costumes for an international ballet and now 3rd year into covid, really focusing on Art, Health and Wellbeing Workshops.

Can you please describe how you were involved in CQ Shopfront and the benefits you gained from it in making decisions around your business and products?

Being involved with CQ Shopfront gave me the opportunity to attend:

  • the regional meet up

  • webinars

  • attend online workshop series

  • online mentoring sessions

  • attended 2-week artisans in residence with Pru Morrison which changed my whole career path, helped me find focus and gave me inspiration and support

  • attended the Makers Shopfront Artist Forum in Bundaberg

I also attended Artlands in Toowoomba, participated in mentoring with the RASN Creative Business Champions program and I am now a member of Makers' Shopfront.

All these experiences were amazing. They enabled me to meet new people, learn new things, network, pitch my business and expand my horizon.

My eyes are wide open now to the types of things I can do with my business from designing new exhibition ideas, workshops, products to sell as well as that support I need as a solo artist who lives regionally to push me to make decisions and move out of comfort zones.

What are you looking forward to most in your arts practice in the next 12 months?

The next 12 months I look forward to being part of the 2022 Flying Arts Alliance Facilitator Team; continuing to create my new ceramic product range and merchandise; travel and teach workshops as well as continue developing my exhibition idea.

Can I fit that into 12 months?

What tip would you give to someone who is taking their arts practice to the next level of considering themselves a business?

My tip would be to keep your eyes wide open, look for opportunities they are out there, talk to people, attend forums, sign up for mentors, put your hand up for anything that comes your way. It’s all a learning opportunity and who knows, you might meet some great people and have some great ideas while you’re at it.

Don’t give up it all takes time.

Thanks Fi! We look forward to continuing to see you sparkle and shine!
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