Make Room for Success: De-clutter

The fall art season is just around the corner. Imagine how nice it would feel to get your business in order before the rush begins.

Why not spend August clearing out, cleaning up, and making room for your success?

Susan Wells snapped these Before and After pics of her office space for the last Get Organized class.

Clutter gets in your way. It steals your attention away from more important matters.

If you’re having trouble keeping up with information, meeting deadlines, or are feeling overwhelmed, it’s time to de-clutter.

As you’re debating what to save and what to scrap, ask yourself the following questions:

Do you love it? If so, keep it and find a forever place for it. Do you need it for your business or personal use? If you can’t do a quick Web search to

When You Don't Know What You Want from Your Art

If you are in the dark about what you want from your art, perhaps these 9 pieces of advice might help. First . . . Don’t quit your day job! You need money coming in while you’re figuring all of this out. If you don’t have a day job, go get one.

Week 26 Income Check-up

©2009 Shane Cooper, Clemintino y Javier. Oil on canvas.

This week marks the halfway point in the year. How are you doing on your goals?

©2009 Shane Cooper, Clemintino y Javier. Oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches.

Because my primary concern is about your business goals and financial well-being, let me remind you of a couple of articles about achieving your income goals. Have you read these?

6 Steps to Identify Your Income Goals

The 7th Step to Achieving Income Goals

Get Real with Where the Money Comes From

My income-achieving process is daunting for some artists who find it a challenge to face the bottom line. But ignoring your financial situation based on fear or lack of knowledge doesn’t make it better. It just makes you an oblivious businessperson.

The process is based on multiple streams of income for your art business (art sales, teaching, greeting

Artist-Mother Tips

What advice would you give other artist-mothers who might be struggling to find time for their art or feeling guilty about spending time on their art and away from their families?

Balancing the Roles of Artist and Mother

Guest blogger Sandhya Manne says, “When you love something, you will make time for it — whether “it” is children or art.” She shares how she balances her roles as mother and artist.

Support Your Goals with a Creativity Brief

Josh Linkner

A Creativity Brief can help you make any creative project more successful.

Caution: It’s hard work!

In his book Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity, Josh Linkner, founder of ePrize, shares an outline for a Creativity Brief that you can use for any project – a major installation, an exhibit, a workshop, or a new blog or website.

Linker writes:

Warning: the Creativity Brief is intense and will take real work to complete. But that work is a good investment. By taking the time up front to get it right, you will yield an exponentially better end result.

He’s not kidding! It’s an intense process that isn’t for the weak. I’d compare it to writing a grant application.

Defining, in detail, the major components of your project gives you a blueprint to take action. You don’t

Commit to Something Big

Carla Gauthier, What We Worship. Watercolor on paper.

When there are no big plans on the horizon – no major deadlines – we flounder and may find it easier to procrastinate.

Without something to work toward, we get tangled up in Facebook, Twitter, and other time-wasters.

Carla Gauthier, What We Worship. Watercolor on paper, 22 x 30 inches. ©The Artist

I’m a firm believer in deadlines for my clients and for myself. I schedule teleseminars and classes without planning every detail because I know the deadline will drive me to completion.

Big ideas motivate us to take action, and each action builds momentum toward a larger goal.

Seth Godin says: Make Big Plans . . . that’s the best way to make big things happen. Write down your plans. Share them with trusted colleagues. Seek out team members and accomplices.

We need the focus that these big

How to Run a Mastermind Meeting

Last week we talked about finding a mastermind partner. This week I’ll give you tips on running your meetings. While there isn’t a correct way to organize a mastermind meeting, there are incorrect ways.

Conspire Against the Artist Myths

Bruce L. Bunch, Greenback Cutthroat Trout. Watercolor.

One week from today, on February 23, I will let you in on the secret Artist Conspiracy membership program that I have been testing since the first of the year.

Bruce L. Bunch, Greenback Cutthroat Trout. Watercolor, 9 x 12 inches. ©The Artist

I have a positive spin on the word “Conspiracy.” I view the Artist Conspiracy as a get-together of like-minded artists who are conspiring against perpetuated myths such as:

Artists must be poor and sacrifice their well-being for their art. Artists are “bad” at marketing. Artists should accept the solitary life and find solutions on their own.

You can conspire against the same myths in your daily work.

Don’t refer to yourself or other artists as poor or starving. Don’t say you’re bad at marketing. Don’t accept that you have to do it all alone.

The Artist

The 7th Step to Achieving Income Goals

A. Alabi Akinloye, Female #1. Pastel on board.

A. Alabi Akinloye, Female #1. Pastel on board, 24 x 18 inches. ©The Artist

Last week we were reviewing income sources for the past 3-4 years in order to set new income goals for 2011.

After you have your goals, it’s time to figure out how the money will come in. This was the next step (the 7th step) I took for myself in the process, and here’s how I did it.

Time to create another spreadsheet!

Record all of your areas of income in the left column. Across the top, you’ll list the months, January through December.

Under the corresponding months, you’ll note your major events: exhibits, festivals, sales, trade shows, and so forth. This gives you a visual as to where most of your activity will be happening.

Based on previous performance and new goals, divvy up