Abalone shell with Black background.

The Creative Catalyst

At the beginning of 2023 I was fortunate enough to receive a grant for a mentorship program through Arts Tasmania, with Caleb Nichols-Mansell, an experienced entrepreneur and business owner. The main focus of the mentorship was to help me develop my arts practice from a hobby into a sustainable business. With Caleb's support, I aimed to gain a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to run an Aboriginal Arts business successfully.

During the mentorship program, I hoped to gain insight and knowledge on various aspects of running a business, including creating a website, designing a store, and identifying relevant laws that may affect my business operations. I also wanted to learn how to build a successful business model that aligns with my values and goals.  I had been working also with Empower Digital where i undertook an intensive course to learn the ins and outs of Shopify (this platform) that I would use to build my website, host my online store and be a source of information about me and my arts practice.

With Caleb's guidance, I learned more about the challenges and opportunities in the Aboriginal Arts industry, and how I could leverage my unique skills and talents to build a successful business. Overall, my goal was to gain valuable skills and knowledge that would help me establish a sustainable and profitable business in the long run but also be authentic to myself without crushing my artist passion and drive.

We met for scheduled zoom catch ups. The schedule covered the topics outlined above as well as subjects that had come to light over the time of our sessions such as current events (the Yes/No Vote) or issues that were particular to our Community or the Arts space in general.

This experience has been invaluable in helping me to build my self-confidence and in helping me develop my professional skills. It has also enabled me to gain insight into Caleb's perspective and way of working, which I can incorporate in my own work.

This grant has helped me develop professionally in, invoicing/bookkeeping, brand building, leadership and management, resilience, and emotional maturity. Identification of opportunities, dealing with imposter syndrome, problem-solving, community navigation, marketing, grant opportunities, and grant writing tips. All of these skills have enabled me to create a more successful and sustainable business.

I am now more capable of tackling challenges that come my way, and I am confident that I can successfully navigate areas of the industry that I would never have considered.

I have also become more confident about taking on new activities and taking on more responsibilities. This has enabled me to make more informed decisions and to take risks when necessary, which has resulted in greater success. 

Caleb and I have developed a strong friendship that makes it possible for me to utilise his knowledge and skills even after the formal mentorship has ended. In addition to being designed for me, the mentorship also provided me with a chance to share knowledge with Caleb about topics he was unfamiliar with, which made learning more reciprocal. This experience has been invaluable in helping me to build my self-confidence and in helping me develop my professional skills.

This mentorship has been absolutely amazing and I thank the Tasmanian Government and Arts Tasmania for their support and opportunity that this grant has given me.

If you or someone you know has an idea on how to expand their personal development or arts practice, give the team at Arts Tasmania a call.  They are only too happy to chat with you and help you develop your idea and make it come to life.  Arts Tasmania also offers other grant and funding opportunities so be sure to head over and subscribe to their mailing list.






Other resources and support I have accessed during developing my business have been:

Caleb Nichols Mansell - Blackspace Creative



Empower Digital 



Many Rivers - Anthony Whish-Wilson



Indigenous Business Australia



Black Wattle Country

Priscilla Beck

Arts Advisor & Program Manager





"This activity was supported by Arts Tasmania".

Supported by:
Tasmanian Government logo


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