Your Weekly Work Rhythm (Curious Monday)

Metamorphosis

Some time ago, I learned to block out days for no scheduled calls or appointments.

These “free days” are rarely free, but they allow big chunks of time for tasks such as writing and planning. They are usually Mondays and Fridays, which means my Tuesday-Thursday calendar is pretty jam-packed.

I prefer afternoon client calls to morning client calls so that I can catch up with my team in the mornings.

I leave Monday mornings for recombobulating after the weekend, and Fridays for writing and art-viewing.

How about you?

How do you organize your week for maximum productivity and inspiration in the office and studio?

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4 Steps for Saving Money on Your Artist Website

khalsa-amanda-pendant

Ready for a new website?

Yes, you could do it yourself by using any of the template sites available. But when you take the step to have a site thoroughly customized to your branding and goals, there are things you can do to lower your monetary investment.

Designers can’t pull together a design from nothing. They need you to do your part.

When you do this, you will save money and have a more harmonious relationship with your designer. Here are four steps to get you started.

Step 1: Research

Look at other artist sites. When you find one you like, deconstruct it to figure out why you’re drawn to it.

When you’re on a site that you find attractive, is it because of …

– Colors?

– Font (styles and sizes)?

– Navigation?

– Layout of pages?

– Text/stories?

– Image sizes?

Also, know which features you want on your site. Do you want a blog? An eCommerce platform? Email sign-up?

You should also be researching your designer in this phase.

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Getting It In Writing (Curious Monday)

Pastel Portrait by Gillian Lee Smith

Doing business on a handshake seems to be the easiest and best way to do things – until we realize it was a really, really, really bad idea.

Putting terms and conditions on paper will save your butt.

And … I know that artists don’t always go to the trouble to get things in writing.

So, here’s what I want to know.

What situations/projects/venues do you have contracts for?

When do you do without contracts?

Have you ever been in a situation in which you would have been better served with a contract? (You kicked yourself by not having a signed agreement.)

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How to Turn Your Collectors Into a Sales Force

irwin-holly-salon

You have a sales force right under your nose: your collectors.

The people who loved your art enough to buy it and live with it are your biggest fans and are probably itching to share your art with their friends, families, and colleagues.

Help them out!

Your first step to turn them into an art-selling brigade is to stay in touch with them. Sending email newsletters, private emails, postcards, and holiday and birthday cards keeps your name in front of them.

People are more likely to remember to recommend your art if you remind them that you’re still working in the studio.

Here are some ways you can make it easy for people to promote you and your art.

Suggest an unveiling.

Collectors are proud of their acquisitions, especially if it’s something they’ve commissioned. Gently suggest that they host an unveiling of your art.

With their friends in attendance, you can yank off the black fabric and give a little talk about the piece.

Be ready with business cards, brochures, or flyers about your work.

Have a show in a collector’s home.

Everyone likes to help out artists! If your collectors live in homes that

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Don’t Even Think About It: Overcome Decision Fatigue

swenson-karine-spots

Every day takes too much thought. – Gwen Meharg Gwen left this comment in our Art Career Success System private group. I was struck by her insight because I had been reading about this at the time. “Decision fatigue” is a real phenomenon in contemporary society. According to researchers, we make over 200 decisions per day about food alone. Just food decisions! I don’t know about you, but all of these decisions wear me out. As an example, I spent 3 months last fall researching espresso machines – dreaming of holding the perfect cup of coffee while still in my jammies. But I could never click the button to buy. My husband took me out of my misery. He decided on one, bought it, wrapped it, and put it under the tree. Best. Gift. Ever. No decision (on my part) was required. Don’t get me started on making travel reservations. I can’t stand to make plane reservations or to find a hotel. What if I book “the wrong” flight or land at the wrong airport? Don’t laugh. I recently did this when I was confused about a small airport name, and it cost me a lot of extra driving time. I contend that we’re happier when

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Looking for a Breakthrough? Keep Working

webster-deborah-bubbly

The history of art is a history of artistic breakthroughs. Consider these significant achievements:

– Scientific perspective

– Oil painting, and then acrylics

– Abstraction (Gasp! Art doesn’t have to be a window on the world?)

– Photography

– Collage (Huh? Glue paper on top of paper??)

– Constructed sculpture (rather than carved or modeled)

My Breakthroughs

My first artistic breakthrough came in 1974 when I rendered a blue jay and cardinal in oil pastel. I’m an artist, I thought.

I wasn’t looking for a breakthrough. I didn’t even know what one was at that young age. I was just trying to make a pretty picture that my grandmother would like.

I had another breakthrough in college when I realized that I liked my art history classes better than my painting classes. Again, I wasn’t looking for a breakthrough or to change my major. I was merely trying to make it through another semester.

My biggest breakthrough came in 2001-02 when I listened to artists who were looking for help with their careers. I could never have imagined this line of work that has been so rewarding.

What Needs to Break?

The dictionary defines a breakthrough as …

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Assuming Traditional Female Roles with an Art Career (Curious Monday)

bluethner-elsa-hardact

Is it harder to be a woman and have an art career?

I’m not talking about the fact that the art world is still male-dominated. I’m talking about juggling roles that are perceived to be held traditionally by women with your career as an artist.

Do you find it difficult to be wife, mother, caretaker, carpool-driver, housekeeper, and have an art career?

How or why is it harder to do this as an artist than if you were in another business?

What would make it easier? What could you do differently to make it easier on yourself.

And what about you guys? What do you think?

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Getting The Difficult Things Done (Podcast)

skantzos-laurie-bells

This month I asked artist/author/coach Cynthia Morris back to the podcast to discuss a topic that comes up often with my artist-clients. See if this sounds familiar.

You have things you don’t want to do. It’s painful to even think about tackling them, but you know that you need to work through them in order to move forward.

How do you do it?

In this episode, Cynthia and I talk about how to accomplish things in your art career and business that you don’t enjoy doing.

I was particularly interested in the discussion we had about happiness v. satisfaction.

Listen in and then please leave a comment to let us know you’re listening.

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In Your Wildest Dreams (Curious Monday)

hersh-nanci-reef

No matter how many checklists you have, you can’t begin to fathom the crazy things that could happen … the wacky things that people will say, think, or do.

Has anyone ever installed your art upside down?

Has anyone ever put a weird clause in your contract?

Have you ever [fill in the blank]?

I thought it might be fun to hear about the crazy things that you’ve encountered in your art career and business.

It’s impossible to be prepared for every situation you might encounter in your art career, but hearing first from other artists might help you be ready for the unexpected.

Please leave a comment below.

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Improve the Visual Impact of Your Email, Blog, and Website

martin-mary-angel

Your emails, blog and website have the potential to engage readers or turn them off.

How can you design your content so that people keep reading and look forward to hearing from you?

You’re creating a composition not only with your art, but also with words and design elements.

It’s an empty wall on which you showcase your work. Let me emphasize that: The focus should be on your art, not on a decorative font, logo, or the colors you choose.

Every decision you make when creating online content should be about elevating the art.

Having said that, you can elevate the art and retain readers’ interest with these tips.

Images Make An Impact

You are so lucky. You sell something that is visually interesting to look at. This is a big plus in today’s world of online marketing because images have become paramount.

Exploit this advantage!

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