Fine art teacher Maria Paly is tired of working at school. She did not want to adapt to the standards that were imposed there, and four years ago she created her own studio "I want to draw!"
There, children and adults are taught to draw in a variety of genres. The first two years, all revenue went to rent, and last year, finally managed to get a plus. Now Maria is going to open a second studio in St. Petersburg.
Field of activity
30 000 rubles
The founder of the studio "I want to draw!"
How it all began
I have two higher educations: I am an art teacher and a journalist. She started working at the age of 18 as an art teacher in a kindergarten. Since then I have been teaching drawing - for more than 10 years. Then I simultaneously worked as a journalist on Internet television, wrote scripts for children's programs, and worked for two years on the radio as a publishing editor. And after that, I returned to school again, because I missed you.
I did not succeed in working there for a long time: I did not want to adapt to the standards and lose all my personality. At this moment, I really wanted to make me and the people around me feel comfortable doing what they love. A person becomes happy just when he does what he knows best and shares his knowledge with other people. And I realized that it would be best if I started to teach fine art, but without any rigid framework and rules.
In April 2009, I drew the logo "I want to draw!" and started a blog through which she found my first students. I taught classes at home. Over time, my apartment ceased to accommodate everyone, and a friend suggested that I use his office for free on weekends. For the lesson, I then took 300 rubles.
A few months later I earned about 30,000 rubles - and for 18,000 rubles I was able to rent a small room on Taganka for a month, where I could already conduct classes on weekdays. The rest of the money I spent on materials. There were built-in wardrobes in the room - there was no need to spend money on furniture for storing everything you needed.
A year later, we moved to Brestskaya in a slightly more spacious, but also more expensive room - by that time the money earned was already enough for expansion. We tidied the new studio ourselves, painted the walls, and came up with the design. After some time, we hired a cleaner, before that I myself was cleaning.
The main profit we bring events in restaurants
and shopping centers, festivals, children's parties
The first two years, everything that we earned went to rent. It even happened to take off with colleagues and borrow from relatives to cover it. During this time, I allowed myself a vacation only once - I went by bus to Bulgaria for 9,000 rubles. But by 2012, our turnover was already 2 million rubles, and we managed to get a plus - we have about 100 000-150 000 rubles profit per year.
Usually, with money we earn, we buy promotional materials and try to improve the conditions in which we are. For example, they put batteries in the winter, ordered several boxes of branded pencils (they cost 60,000 rubles), made bags and hoodies with logos (each costs about 1,500 rubles). This is not to mention business cards, guest cards and flyers - they are ordered constantly throughout the year.
The main profit we bring workshops and events in restaurants, shopping centers, festivals and children's parties. We draw cartoons with children, sculpt from salt dough, make costumes and make-up for impromptu performances. In fact, it all started with charity projects, in which we participated quite often.
We wrote a lot about them on the blog, posted photos. At some point, they started inviting us to commercial projects. We worked with the Nickelodeon channel, Auchan and Roxy stores, the Jean-Jacques restaurant and the Ragout cafe. This summer, our external workshops work in the restaurants Osteria Bianca, Luce, Donna Margarita. We have another format of work - visiting camps. Clients pay for accommodation and classes and go to Greece, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Spain, and Ukraine.
As a result, for the first three years we were everywhere wherever we were invited: festivals, events, even agreed on a small budget. Twisted, took part of their materials from the studio.
Search for guests and hosts
People learn about us through social networks and word of mouth - we do not do any special advertising, we don’t even have a street pillar. For the most part, adults come to us, mostly girls, less often guys, mothers with children. On average, every day in the studio from 5 to 20 guests. All from completely different professions: designers come to practice drawing, someone prepares to enter a university and collects a portfolio, someone just always wanted to draw and finally found the time, someone wants to do crafts with their own hands. Foreigners come - we all speak different languages well. By the way, in our studio there are no “students” and “teachers”, we have “guests” and “presenters”.
Now the studio has eight presenters. There is no pronounced seasonality in our business: the guests leave for a week on vacation, but then they return to us, and if the leader is away, they go to another.
A one-time lesson in the studio costs 1,000 rubles, a subscription for 10 lessons - 6,000 rubles. In addition to different variations of drawing and oil painting, gouache and watercolor, we also have a sketch, portrait, scrapbooking, but the most popular activities are oil painting and graphics. Most people in the evenings, from 20 to 22 hours.
Leading to "I want to draw!" receives 50% of the cost of the lesson. In addition to specialized education (all leading ones have diplomas of an artist, teacher or designer), the main requirement is to offer an author’s program for at least five classes.
Four years after the opening, I continue to do everything myself: I write on the blog, answer calls and letters, and keep accounts. While there is no way to consistently pay someone for this work. We engage a professional accountant only to help with our restaurant contracts.
"I want to draw!" became a conveyor of the leaders who began to open their schools - there are already several such people. It's great that our work model helps people to be inspired and create their new projects.
At the moment we are working on the opening of another workshop "I want to draw!" on the Southwest. Especially for this, we are now registering a trademark, however, it takes a very long time - the process has been going on for about a year and a half. In addition, we have already received several offers to open other studios in Russia under our brand. We are thinking about this issue. We plan to open a studio in St. Petersburg.
When you start something, go wherever you are called, go to meet people, even if you are offered a lower budget than you planned.
Don't be afraid to do some things with their own hands. There is nothing wrong with making calls yourself, writing letters, and cleaning the office. But you should not be afraid to trust people with some kind of work.
Text: Galina Shmeleva
Photo: Elena Tsibizova