Portrait Project and Museum Exhibition with Lisa Kovvuri (Podcast)

Little gives me more pleasure than watching a client successfully attain a major goal.

In this podcast episode, I share the story of Lisa Kovvuri, with whom I worked in my Art Biz Inner Circle as she was starting her project, The Portrait Experience.

We discuss:

  • How The Portrait Experience was conceived and executed at Whistler House Museum of Art.
  • How she found people to sit for her.
  • What she learned during the process.
  • What’s next.

We also find out that most of the paintings have since sold.

It’s been a joy to watch her progress and the ultimate culmination of her efforts – the opening of her museum show.

I hope you are inspired by this conversation about how Lisa accomplished her colossal goal. Listen now …

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You’re Probably Going to Fail

My definition of failure is not taking a chance. Not risking it. Playing it safe.

Everything else that other people might call failures, I prefer to think of as lessons.

Failure would be giving up without absorbing the lessons that might contribute to my personal and professional growth.

You’re probably familiar with this well-known quote:

What would you attempt if you knew you couldn’t fail? – Robert Schuller

It’s a good one, huh? What would you try if you were assured a successful outcome?

There’s zero risk, so why not?

I’ll tell you why not. Because it doesn’t sound like fun. It’s a gimme. There’s no adrenaline rush or sense of accomplishment if you already know the outcome.

I like this updated version:

If something is important enough you should try, even if the probable outcome is failure.
Elon Musk

In other words, what do you believe in so passionately that you are ready to take a chance on it even if your success isn’t guaranteed?

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7 Ways to Expedite Your Breakthrough

I hope you’ll agree that breakthroughs come in handy. Yes?

It’s pretty awesome when the perfect answer appears or that nagging problem is solved. Suddenly, the barrier is removed and you can make progress.

You can’t identify the moment that a breakthrough will happen, but you can prepare yourself for it to come.

Breakthroughs happen as a result of doing the work and being present. Here are 7 ways to accelerate the process.

1. Solve a problem.

Any problem! Art is about solving problems.

How can I balance the composition?

How can I make this with less expensive materials?

How can I convey this or that emotion?

Faith Ringgold was researching shipping options for her paintings when she realized that if she just painted on fabric, without the support, she could roll it up and easily ship it in a tube.

2. Challenge yourself.

There’s very little motivation in the daily grind: update Facebook, schedule a few tweets, send a newsletter, write a blog post, work in the studio. If you’re not careful, you can get stuck checking off menial tasks without doing something extraordinary for your art and for yourself.

Pick a color or

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Self-Portrait: What You Do and Who You Want to Be

How do your close friends describe you?

How does your family describe you?

How do your students describe you?

How do you describe yourself?

All of those descriptions might be true, but they might also mask your potential.

If you grip too tightly to the stories of who you think you are, you’ll never be open to what you can become. [Tweet this]

For example, 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.

My reputation so precedes me that often the first thing many people do upon meeting me is apologize for their lack of action.

It’s cool with me if I inspire the need for action in artists, but I have many other sides and so do you.

We get to make our own self-portraits.

Who Do You Want to Be?

A number of years ago, I began

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Creative Organizing with Heather K. Powers (Podcast)

I used to teach an online class called Organize Your Art Biz. I quit teaching it when I realized that there’s no such thing as the right way to get organized.

My guest for this episode of the Art Biz Podcast, Heather K. Powers, figured it out long before I did. As the founder of Creatively Organized Spaces, Heather customizes solutions for organizing systems and storage for her creative clients.

In this interview, Heather and I discuss:

  • The stereotype that artists are inherently disorganized.
  • Her philosophy for helping artists get organized.
  • The biggest pain point artists have when it comes to organizing.

Heather also shares a number of tips, including:

  • Know what you want before you start organizing.
  • Schedule time for organizing (3-4 hours at a time seems to be a sweet spot).
  • Make a plan before you go buy a lot of containers.
  • Create work zones.

LISTEN NOW …

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7 Ways to Segment Your Mailing List and Make It More Useful

Ever worry about bothering people with your emails or postcards?

You’re not alone. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to do right by your trusted fans. You know what it’s like to receive tons of email and don’t want to contribute to the overwhelm.

Even though everyone on your list has opted in to hear from you, it still doesn’t feel right to email so many people so frequently. I get it. And …

There’s a solution to this dilemma: Send emails only to whom they are appropriate.

In other words, target your messages to the people who want and need to hear from you rather than sending every email to every person on your list.

Email marketing platforms like Constant Contact, MailChimp, and Emma have the capability to segment an email list. Depending on your platform, you might find these features under Groups, Segments, and/or Tags. Some platforms use multiple names.

If you haven’t used this feature, the first step is to research how to segment a list inside of your email platform of choice. It’s worth it even if you have to pay a little for it.

After you’ve done that, you can make your list more useful by segmenting it in multiple ways.

7 Ways to Slice and Dice Your List

Your list segments will vary based on the messages you are sending, but these are the 7 types of segmenting that I suggest frequently to my Art Biz Coach clients.

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How to Feel More Abundant in Your Life and Art

Margaret Warfield painting

In this blog post I encouraged you to consider how your frugality might be hurting your art business by sending the wrong message to potential collectors.

At the end of that article, I posed 3 questions for you to think about, which we will now look at in depth. The intention is to ensure that you are not only living with an abundant heart, but that you are projecting that way of being into the world.

1. How do others treat you?

Perhaps a better question is this: How do you allow others to treat you?

For example … If you’re a member of an artist organization, what is the room like at your artists’ meetings? Is it dark, gray, and lifeless?

Do something to combat the drudgery and nurture abundance throughout the organization. Ask members to bring snacks on beautiful trays – preferably handmade by an artist – instead of paper plates.

Assign alternating people to arrive early at each meeting to clean the room and serve as welcoming hosts.

You can be the catalyst for change within any organization to which you belong.

We teach people how to treat us by

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Are You Too Frugal?

I am tired of watching artists and arts organizations live on leftover scraps.

Mind you, the organizations and agencies aren’t cheap with the patrons and board members with the big bank accounts. They are cheap with the artists, without whom their passionate interest would not exist.

Artists, in turn, grow to feel they are not worthy of more.

Don’t get me wrong. Frugality isn’t inherently bad. In fact, it can be good.

I don’t believe in spending for spending’s sake or in extravagance.

But frugality becomes detrimental when it feeds the notion that we are not worthy of more.

Many of my clients develop this sense of unworthiness that is perpetuated by the very organizations that were created to serve them.

I confess that I behaved similarly in the past.

For years I have been writing about how artists can show that their work has value. But I continued to allow the organizers who hired me for workshops to do things “on the cheap,” and I was doing the same with the workshops and events I organized myself.

How can I save money? was my modus operandi.

My first workshop, in 2003, was held at an office building that a friend managed. I recall my parents (!) picking up and delivering boxed lunches to the group.

At a much later workshop, I ran my team ragged making coffee all day long – trekking repeatedly to the kitchen on the other end of the building. Coffee! Because I didn’t pay for a venue that had food service.

No more. I began attending

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How Two Artists Self-Published and Are Promoting a Successful Book Together (Podcast)

As an author, I know it’s not easy to write a book. It’s hard enough to do it on your own, but what if you have a partner?

I was intrigued to learn how Rebecca Crowell and Jerry McLaughlin came together to write their new book Cold Wax Medium: Techniques, Concepts, and Conversations.

It’s a gorgeous tome that has quickly become the go-to resource for anyone who wants to know anything about cold wax. (We were talking 2nd printing already!)

In this episode we discuss:

  • How Rebecca, in Wisconsin, and Jerry, in the Bay Area, collaborated long distance.
  • How they funded the book’s production.
  • How they divided the writing process.
  • How they are marketing (successfully!) Cold Wax Medium.

I also asked them to share advice for other artists who might be interested in writing a book.

Please enjoy this behind-the-scenes peek at how this book has become a hit.

LISTEN NOW…

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Revive Your Blog

I have witnessed a large number of artists build successful blogs. I have also, sadly, watched even more artists’ blogs falter.

There is plenty of room in the blogosphere for meaningful artist blogs.

With this article, I’m calling on all artists who have it in them to revive their blogs – to recommit to the practice of blogging and the art of improving what you write and share.

Why Blog?

1. Blogging adds fresh content to your site.

Your content is built on a virtual space you own – not Facebook, not Instagram, not whatever-the-next-great-social-media-site-is. It powers up your site rather than turning over the traffic to one that you have no control over.

You can always share your blog posts to the social media channels, but the traffic will then point back to your site.

2. Blogging helps you grow as an artist.

You learn a lot about your art and your goals as an artist when you blog and interact with people.

Almost every artist I know who blogs regularly has shared with me that

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