It’s scary to step up – to think bigger about what you’re capable of – and that’s exactly what I’ll be asking of attendees at Art Biz Makeover next week.
There’s very little motivation in the daily grind: update Facebook, schedule a few tweets, send a newsletter, write a blog post, work in studio. If you’re not careful, you’ll continue to go through the motions of life without doing something extraordinary for your art and for yourself.
©Joey Feldman, Vicious. Pen and ink on paper, 28 x 20 inches. Used with permission.
In honor of the witching season, I ask you to scare yourself a little. Give yourself a challenge that motivates you to get out of bed and into the studio every day. Take on a quest.
Anatomy of a Quest (with Examples)
According to Chris Guillebeau, author of The Happiness
Alert subscriber Clay Cantrell sent me the quote in this image some months ago, saying that it reminded him of me.
The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do. [Tweet this.]
I tracked down the quote to, as best I can tell, fitness guru Bill Phillips.
I wanted to share this with you because I can’t think of a quote that is more inspirational for me right now, and I hope it serves you.
Who I Am
You know me as someone who is a no-excuse-action-taking-don’t-stop-working kinda gal. I have never had a problem taking action.
But that’s only a tiny part of WHO I want to be.
Who I Want To Be
Over the past few years, I have loosely been seeking some form of spirituality. “Seeking” isn’t really the right word.
The darnedest thing about having a website: just because you build it doesn’t mean people will come.
Creating a website is just the first step. Now you have to get people to visit it, and driving traffic to your site is an ongoing task. It should always be top of mind.
©John-Michael Korpal, Twig Balloons. Mixed media, 6 x 8 feet. Used with permission.
See if you could add some of these ideas to your marketing mix and get more eyes on your art.
Best, Basic Practices
1. Write a newsletter article with a hook, which requires recipients to visit your site to read the end of the article.
2. Tell people why they should click. What’s in it for them?
3. Give something away to people who visit your site and sign up for your list.
3. Mention your website address
When you own your own business, it’s important to look at expenses as well as income in order to remain profitable.
I looked into various (not all – not even education or supplies and materials!) expenses for artists and thought it might be interesting to share the results. Feel free to add to our completely unscientific list in a comment on the Art Biz Blog.
Maggie Ruley’s Key West studio. Used with permission.
These numbers are based on responses I received through Twitter and Facebook. (sf = square feet)
Central Virginia (476sf): $355/month Key West, FL (750sf – 3 rooms): $1600 for studio + store front
Ravenswood, Chicago, IL (600+ sf): $540/month Downtown Chicago, IL (sf n/a): $485/month Gages Lake, IL (1200sf): $500/month with utilities
Albuquerque, NM (175sf): $200/mo in nonprofit art center, includes utilities, not air-conditioned Colorado Springs, CO (400sf): $455 includes utilities
San Francisco, CA (154sf):
This article is an edited excerpt from the soon-to-be-released newest edition of I’d Rather Be in the Studio.
This Quick-Start Manual outlines the key areas you need to work on if you want more blog visitors. And who doesn’t want more blog visitors?
Focus on Content
More than anything else, good content will attract people to your blog. Create a regular schedule – perhaps once a week in the beginning – of writing and posting images of your art. Readers need to know they can depend on you.
Feature other people on your blog, like loyal blogger Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson did (above image). It encourages those people to share with their followers. I was so happy to see this nice write-up of my visit with
The reason you’re out of ideas is that you’re out of practice.
I was so proud of saying this to a client the other day that I asked her to hold while I wrote down the quote.
I knew to write it down because I’m in the practice of gathering ideas for my writing. I have a regular writing schedule. I can’t say the same for a studio schedule.
No Studio Practice
When Barbara Gilhooly and Ayn Hanna called for “heart art” for their commitment ceremony, I wanted to make a heart for them so badly. I stewed over it for three months before giving up. I had a twinkle of an idea, but no vision for making it happen.
Barbara and Ayn in front of the wall of hearts, a beautiful ceremony that I had wanted
Do you ever wonder what a regular marketing schedule for your art would look like?
Every week I comb through the hundreds of ideas I have for articles because I always find something new. Something that didn’t strike a chord a year ago suddenly calls my name.
I found this request deep in my filing system: I find it helpful to be reminded of what I can do or perhaps really should do on a daily, weekly, monthly, etc. basis.
©Jane LaFazio, Artichoke Family. Watercolor and color pencil. Used with permission.
The cheat sheet that follows is for Julie and everyone who finds comfort in knowing what to do and when. Here is a simple marketing schedule to follow.
Read something about art to fill your content well and to be inspired.
Update your status on your Facebook
I struggle for ways to acknowledge this solemn anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks.
Should I ignore the date on my calendar, or try to write something profoundly moving?
©Gail Haile, Setting Sun Mandala. Photo collage. Used with permission.
Usually I ignore the date in my emails and on my blog, which seems more appropriate for my audience. This year I had an idea to use this space to focus on one of my top values and priorities: community.
Community is a value I absorbed from my mother and is something we cherished following September 11, 2001.
The Strength of Artists as a Community
I am inspired by a quote from Christy MacLear, Executive Director of The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. In a 2012 article in The New York Times, MacLear said of Rauschenberg:
Bob wasn’t all that interested in