Business You Is Looking After the Artist You

Guest Blogger: Heidi Spiegel

In my mind, I have created two characters: the Artist Me and the Business Me.

One is committed to making art, while the other believes in the art enough to support and promote it.

This is the result of a mental shift I made during the Art Biz Coach Blast Off class, which addresses the artist as well as the business of art.

It has helped me balance making art with marketing art, while also attending to personal needs and financial needs.

Heidi L. Spiegel

© Heidi L. Spiegel. Inside the Tuileries (detail). Pencil and collage on watercolor paper.

So, keeping myself in good health, exercising, and eating right are good business moves. Likewise, completing 5 tasks each day to market my art, setting aside time in the studio, and researching a project are good for the business.

I’m training my mind to ask: Is this good for the business? Is this good for me?

This practice is totally unrelated to my creative self, which means that there are less emotional ties to many of my decision-making tasks. The emotions are where they belong: with my art-making, and not in the business-making.

This was a breakthrough.

It helped me to understand that the Business Me has my Artist Me’s best interest in mind. The Business Me is eager for the Artist Me to succeed.

The challenges related to making a living as an artist are still overwhelming. But allowing myself to step back and ask “Is this good for the business? Is this good for me?” has removed much of the emotional frustration from the equation.

Try it!

About the Guest Blogger
A native of Hollywood, CA, Heidi Spiegel‘s art focuses on transforming various found papers into illustrative collage images. Her artwork can be found in private collections throughout Los Angeles and in Europe. Recently, Heidi has expanded her art career overseas and lives both in the US and in France.

The Blast Off class Heidi refers to in this post is starting up again on January 11. We’d love for you to join our New Year launch.
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10 comments to Business You Is Looking After the Artist You

  • It’s important to recognize these two roles and differentiate them. Otherwise, you become so identified with your work and business that you are emotionally entangled and can’t take care of either.

    I teach my clients about stewardship. You, whether you are a visual artist, a writer, or a coach, are the steward for your business. Your business (and your work as a whole) needs you to detach so that you can take care of it, cultivate it, and, ultimately, thrive from it.

  • [...] this article: Business You Is Looking After the Artist You — Art Biz Blog Be Sociable, Share! Tweet This entry was posted in Business & Industrial and tagged [...]

  • Thank you Heidi for a great article. As a Freelance Illustrator, I definitely faced a lot of challenges balancing ‘making art’ and ‘marketing art’ when I first started my business.

    Researching 5 simple marketing tasks and implementing them routinely is definitely a good way to avoid spending too much time on the business side of things. And done consistently over time, these simple actions could yield amazing results for any freelance business.

    Thanks again for the share!
    ~Christina

  • As a member of a two person household making their living as artists, discipline and balance seems to be the most important aspects of this career. Discipline to continually create art and continually market art in equal measures, discipline to live within your means, discipline to spend time every day to learn something new about your art or the art market, and balance to make sure that there is time in your life to enjoy family, friends, and nature.

  • Heidi, I think there are three Heidis from reading this…Business Heidi, Artist Heidi, & Healthy Heidi…(Healthy Heidi needs to exercise, eat right & stay in good health…) I think you are a trinity more than a duality…

  • Thank you Heidi! I believe I was almost at or at least travelling toward your breakthrough and your article took me over the top. Thank you for articulating just what I needed to hear. I almost skipped reading this blog, but my intuition told me to stop and take a minute to read it. i also like Jack Cranfield’s little YouTube videos. Congrats on your breakthrough.

  • Thank you for this article. It has given me some food for thought and I need all the help I can get. I have my first ever exhibition on show now and I am always looking for ways to promote myself. In fact I am an ‘accidental’ artist in the sense that while photography has always been my passion I never expected to sell my work. I actually went to the gallery to promote the work of another artist, while I was there I just thought it would be nice to have an opinion about my work, never once did I expect that they would love my work and take me on immediately. So now I find that I am having to promote myself, which is all new and this is why I appreciate your article so much.

  • [...] have as much power over you as you give them. If you want to control your art business, you must take charge of your destiny. No one cares about your success more than you [...]