Out of Practice: The Physics of Your Art Business

The wall of hearts that many artists with strong studio practices contributed to. Photo courtesy Carol A. McIntyre.

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

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A Cheat Sheet for Your Art Marketing Tasks

©Jane LaFazio, Artichoke Family. Watercolor. Used with permission.

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.

Daily

Read something about art to fill your content well and to be inspired.

Update your status on your Facebook

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The Strength of Artists as a Community

©Gail Haile, Setting Sun Mandala. Photo collage. Used with permission.

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

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How to Decide What Marketing Tasks to Invest In

Brady Allen painting

Your marketing mix is a blend of actions you take – both online and offline – to promote your art.

Your ideal mix is your ideal mix and nobody else’s.

You have to figure out what works best for you. At the same time, all of the options for where to spend time and energy could drive a person batty.

©Brady Allen, Internecine. Oil, 32 x 48 inches. Used with permission.

Should you be on Twitter?

Should you start a business page on Facebook?

Should you purchase an ad?

I suggest considering 3 criteria for deciding whether or not to make a task part of your marketing mix.

1. You are seeing results.

After you have implemented a marketing task, consistently over time, are you benefiting from it?

Notice the words “consistently” and “over time.” You can’t try something once or twice

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5 Steps to Take Charge of Your Art Marketing (and Why You Must)

©2014 Claire Browne, Stem. Mixed media, 7 x 3 feet. Used with permission.

Stop waiting for the famous gallery dealer to call you up. Stop waiting for the artist agent-fairy to wave her wand. Stop waiting to win the lottery.

©2014 Claire Browne, Stem. Mixed media, 7 x 3 feet. Used with permission.

Start taking charge.

You have to plan for business growth. It doesn’t happen on its own. Nobody cares about your success more than you do, and nobody can do a better job marketing your art than you can.

Here are five steps for taking charge of your art marketing, which will send you well on your way to getting what you want from your art career.

1. Write down what you want.

Many people don’t get the life they really want because they haven’t taken the time to define it. They haven’t asked for it!

It’s a bold move to commit to an idea,

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How to Improve Your Slide Submissions for Juries

Sherri Woodard Coffey’s booth shot.

One of the sessions at the Arts Festival Conference in Portland, sponsored by ZAPP, was “Public Portfolio Critique.”

A mock jury of 6 people sat at the front of four screens in a large room. One at a time, artists’ slide presentations were projected as they might be in a slide jurying situation. The jurors offered valuable feedback for each set that was projected, and I took loads of notes.

Here’s what I learned. Most of these notes are from the jurors, but I’ve thrown in some of my own observations.

Patty Hankins’ booth shot for Beautiful Flower Pictures.

 

You have 20 seconds to impress the jury with your slides.

The festival organizers in the room had anywhere from 500 to over 2000 applicants for their events. They can’t spend more than 20 seconds on each set of slides.

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Capture Attention with a Whisper

Secret Kiss From One Boston Terrier to Another

Steve Cranford, Creative Chairman of the New York agency WHISPER, was my guest in the Art Biz Incubator last week.

When I asked him in the interview why in the world a marketing firm would be called WHISPER instead of SHOUT, he replied: “The most important information you can share is whispered one-on-one.” Tweet this

Think about it.

When you take out an ad or post to your blog and social media sites, you are broadcasting to the world. You would love it if thousands of people see your message.

Because of this public forum, the language is less personal than if you were to have a private conversation. And therein lies the power of the whisper.

Anatomy of a Whisper

A client told me she was getting great results for her special sale by contacting people individually,

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I Recommend These Services for Your Art Business

Lisa, Alyson and Janice

In the beginning months and years of Art Biz Coach, I thought of my services as a one-stop shop. Bad idea. It’s never a good idea to try to be everything because you then become known for nothing.

Over the years, I have learned to work to my strengths, which include helping artists with foundational marketing pieces like building mailing lists, nurturing relationships, and improving professional presentation.

Artists usually begin with my Art Biz Bootcamp before we get into a private client relationship that helps them personalize their strategies. In addition, I am very good at helping artists improve their systems and productivity. This is why I teach Organize Your Art Biz.

Lisa Call, me, and Janice McDonald at the Denver Art Museum.

Regarding other business

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It's All About Your Mailing List

rolodex

Michelle, a woman in my mastermind group, marveled at my list size: How did you get that many people on your email list?

It was easy for me, I replied, because I understood the value of a list when I started my business.

I was fortunate to appreciate the importance of a list due to positions in my past work experience.

How I Built My List

As an assistant to a U.S. Senator, I came to recognize that my boss’s donor list and my Rolodex (yes, it was that long ago) were the most valuable assets in our office to ensure continued community support. As a museum curator and educator, I knew how much we relied on our members and donors for financial support.

Lists are indispensable in both of those situations, which is probably why

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Notes From an Artist Lecture

Doug Casebeer

As I was flipping through my notebook last week, I came across notes from a lecture by ceramic artist Doug Casebeer at the Foothills Art Center in Golden, Colorado on January 25, 2014.

Doug Casebeer, Vessels. Image found without credit details on Northern Arizona University site.

There is so much wisdom here that I’ve decided to share them in their raw form. Enough time has passed since I first heard these words that I hope I am honoring Doug’s intent.

What The Artist Said

It’s difficult to wear the title artist. I prefer the title builder.

I seek to build community and friendships. This is the spirit of what the artist’s life is about.

When you have 150 artists going to the studio every day, stuff is going to happen.

The kiln is a

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