Own Your Ambition

Geri deGruy's Equanimity

“Ambitious artists hire me because they want more recognition for their art and support as they get their art out of the studio and into the world.”

I strung together these words during a small group discussion at a conference. One of my Inner Circle members happened to be sitting next to me and flinched at the word choice: ambitious. (You should have seen her face!)

Then she challenged me on it. The word just didn’t sound right, she thought.

I said, “You’re ambitious. Don’t you think?” She thought a bit, and agreed with a little hesitation, “Yes, I probably am. It’s just the word I have problems with.”

Ambitious Artists

Definitions of ambition include:

– A strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.

-A desire and determination to achieve success.

– An earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment.

If you don’t see yourself in any of these definitions, you might want to rethink your path as an artist-entrepreneur (all successful artists are also entrepreneurs).

Without the desire, there’s no

Continue reading…

Nestle In to Your Artist Community

Christine Porter's Feeding Time

As a student of art history, I love reading about communities of artists that evolved organically over the centuries. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall in the Cedar Tavern in the 1940s and 50s!

Oh, to have been a fly on the wall in the Cedar Tavern in the 1940s and 50s!

I believe that an artist’s work is better when there are other artists around to question, critique, challenge, and, yes, to praise.

Artists’ communities are all around. Among other spots, you’ll find artists’ communities in:

  • Coffee shops and bars
  • Residencies
  • Classes and workshops
  • Conferences and events
  • Online (pick your favorite spot)
  • Studio spaces
  • Creative workspaces

Search for a group where you feel at home and nestle in. If you come up empty, you can always start your own.

The Value of Community

There are at least 5 key reasons to seek out and become an active part of an artists’ community.

Continue reading…

How Do You Take Care of Yourself? (Curious Monday)

Blue painting of birds by Bill Jacka

We’re busy.

Busy in the studio, busy at home, and busy in the office. Everyone is so busy that it’s a boring topic. I’ve even made it an important goal to never utter the words I’m so busy.

But lots of the busy-ness involves sitting on our butts. And when we’re not doing that, we might just be so involved in deadlines and commitments that we forget to eat.

None of this is good.

Today’s big question originated from one of my Inner Circle members: How do you take care of yourself?

Continue reading…

Why You Need an Editorial Calendar (and How To Make One)

©Kristen Watson, Digital Immigrant. Used with permission.

An editorial calendar is a roadmap for your marketing content.

An editorial calendar buys you peace of mind because you don’t have to scramble for what to say or share. Ideas are stored and worked on over time rather than in a panic at the last minute.

Wouldn’t it feel great to have ideas lined up for your newsletter or blog for the next six months?

Another big reason to use an editorial calendar is that it helps you remember the important things you want to say. You know … those things you forget about until immediately after you’ve clicked the Send button?

For example, let’s say you are teaching a workshop six months from now. You would add promotional content to your editorial calendar for the month or two prior to your workshop, and perhaps even before that time if you had an early registration period.

Those are placeholders for the future. When that time comes, you just

Continue reading…

What's Your Social Media Schedule? (Curious Monday)

Creative Content Camp begins on June 17. For 6 weeks this summer, artists are going to be developing loads of ideas for their newsletter, blog, and social media platforms.

One of the things we do in Content Camp is create an editorial calendar so you know what you’ll be posting and when.

This naturally got me thinking about what your social media schedule is like.

How frequently do you post? And to which platforms? Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Pinterest?

What time of day do you post?

Do you schedule posts or always post live?

What types of things do you post?

Continue reading…

About Curious Monday Posts

Curious Monday is a weekly question that is sent only to subscribers.

I’m curious about how you live your life as an artist, how you juggle the demands on your time, and what you’re thinking about.

I hope you’ll read the responses from other artists.

Maybe you’ll get some fresh ideas or even feel a little more connected as a result.

Feel free to leave suggestions for future Curious Monday questions in a comment.

Continue reading…

Seeking Inspiration While Topic Hopping

©David Holland, Guthrie Thunderhead April 27, 8:43:15 p.m. Oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches. Used with permission.

It’s Friday.

My calendar says “Writing Time.” Every Friday at this time is blocked out to write. I like going into my weekend knowing that I have written something that will contribute to next week’s newsletter and blog post.

I wish I could say it’s as easy as marking off to write, and it will happen.

It doesn’t always work that way for me. Actually, it rarely works that way for me.

Today I don’t feel like writing. I don’t feel like doing much of anything.

Everything seems to distract me. Do you know this feeling?

Continue reading…

Have You Lost Friendships Because You Are An Artist? (Curious Monday)

Painting of 3 women by Pam Beer

Living the life as an artist is hard enough, but it’s made harder when those we’re close to don’t support us.

We need people around us who can support us emotionally – people who believe in our message to the world. It really stinks when friends and family don’t believe in our goals.

Have you lost friendships because people couldn’t support your life as an artist?

Continue reading…

Awe Your Collectors With This Follow-up Plan

Converse shoes

You might be leaving money on the table.

People who buy from you once – whether it’s a work of art or your teaching services – are more likely to buy from you again than people who have never bought from you.

It’s less effort to nurture relationships with people who already know, like, and trust you than to find new people to share your art with.

Take care of the people who have purchased from you. Show them you care now instead of contacting them only when you want something from them.

One of the biggest mistakes artist-entrepreneurs make is not following up with people who have given them money. Here’s a plan to awe your collectors – not just once, but over the course of your relationship.

If you sell art from your studio, rather than through a gallery, you have no excuses for not following up appropriately. You have the name and contact information of your collectors. Gallery artists envy you because that data isn’t usually shared with them.

Follow this plan to stay in touch with collectors.

Continue reading…

5 Recommendations for Online Success

Marcie Scudder's On This Very Day photograph

It used to be that the only way artists knew to promote their art was to send 35-millimeter slide packets to a gallery. That was about $30 worth of slides with first-class postage and a return envelope with the same amount of postage.

It was expensive, and the packets often disappeared into the ether. Lots of money down the drain, and artists complained.

Now you can instantly promote your art through any number of online portals – for FREE!

Artists continue to complain because now there are too many options. You could spend all of your time online promoting your art instead of making it. Bad idea.

You’re an artist, and artists make art. Without the art, you have nothing to promote and no way to earn income from your art.

Instead of wasting a lot of time online, learn to spend your time wisely so that your efforts are rewarded and not squandered. Dedicate your online time to creating the most valuable content you can possibly share with your admirers.

Quality over quantity.

Here are 5 recommendations for content creation success, which lead to online success.

Continue reading…