Apr 122010


Cathy Shaw - Arrowhead Trading Company

I spent a few days recently with friends in Texas. One in particular is Cathy, a stained glass artist I have known since college. She has worked at her craft for many years, honed her business processes and clientele and teaches workshops in Stained Glass. In other words, she has her act together.

I view her business approach, the passion she applies to it, day in and day out, as a great example of what it takes to be successful at your craft. Thus the reason for this blog post.

Creating is a business and like every other trade, requires commitment and long hours to achieve a measure of success. The difference here is the ability to endure and survive in a trade you are passionate about. Where work is not considered as such and your output is a labour of love.

Whether you are a stained glass artist, a potter, a baker or a photographer, there are no shortcuts or secret codes to success in art. It takes hard work as in any business and a nose to find the next opportunity.

I had been asking her if I could come by her studio and photograph her the next time I was in town.

She gave in, finally. The timing was right for me. Cathy can be contacted at coolglass@gmail.com.

I shot the studio photos using either the Elinchrom Quadra system or the Lastolite Ezy-Box softbox, with a Tri-Grip bouncing the ambient light, which there was plenty of. So much so, I masked the principal window outside with a Westcott One-Stop Scrim to assure a more balanced scene.