Prepare for 2015: 5 Things to Do Right Now

I’m a fan of accordion folders for paper receipts. The 2015 editions are on my to-do list.

It’s time to tie a bow around 2014 and prepare for 2015 by organizing your systems.

The ideas here should take you less than 1 hour, and they will bring peace of mind to your New Year.

1. Update the copyright notices on your website, blog, and newsletter.

Too many sites have old copyright dates on them. I’ve seen some as old as 2007! Blogging platforms will automatically update your copyright, but static sites need your attention now.

I’m not talking about the copyright notice on individual images. I’m referring to the copyright statement on the site, which is typically located in the footer of your pages.

If your website says ©2014, it doesn’t look fresh. Change that to 2015 before you forget.

I took this screen capture of my site earlier in the week. If you scroll down to

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Top Art Biz Blog Posts of 2014

colorful abstract painting

At year’s end, a look back at the top posts here from the past year.

Top 6 Most-Commented-On Posts

Yep, It’s Art and It’s for Sale

©Patricia Coulter, Jubilant. Acrylic on gallery wrapped stretch canvas, 48 x 42 inches. Used with permission.

Many artists seem are shocked when people don’t understand that your work is for sale. And, yet, you’re not doing enough to clue them in.

Your Job Is in the Studio

A perennial favorite! This is my annual reminder that if you don’t make art, you have nothing to promote or build a career on.

Turn On Your Cell Phones

Take advantage of the fact that everyone who comes to your open studio, booth, or exhibition probably has a camera in their pocket.

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Celebrate Your Year: 2014 Personal Review

©Victoria Eubanks, Red Sticks & Stones. Encaustic, 24 x 24 inches. Used with permission.

You’re surely already thinking about and planning for the New Year.

But before you get too far into everything you want to do, take a moment to look back on what you accomplished in 2014. Time to celebrate!

©Victoria Eubanks, Red Sticks & Stones. Encaustic, 24 x 24 inches. Used with permission.

Prepare for your review by 1) setting aside time on your calendar for this process and 2) gathering any data you might need.

This might mean that your first step is updating your bookkeeping.

You also want to have your calendar handy so you can go through it month-by-month.

Expanding Your Profile

What did you do to enhance your professional reputation? How many people did you add to your mailing list? How many social media followers did you gain on the various platforms you use? Who were the top ten cool or

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Are Art Consultants Right For You?

Leslie Neumann with her paintings Beauty deep Within and Fateful, Faithful. Each 60 x 45 inches.

This article is excerpted and summarized from an interview with artist Leslie Neumann for my Art Biz Incubator. Leslie generously shared her experience working with art consultants. The key points here are provided by Leslie and with include my annotations.

If you have a solid studio practice and welcome the challenge of commissioned work, art consultants might be a good sales venue for you.

What Art Consultants Do and Who They Are

Art consultants are people who seek and buy art for a client, whether it’s a healthcare company, a private collector, or a hotel.

Leslie Neumann with her paintings Beauty Deep Within and Fateful, Faithful. Each 60 x 45 inches.

The difference between art consultants and designers is that, generally speaking, a designer is responsible for the whole job and not just the artwork. They’ll do everything from fabrics to lighting, accessories, and furniture.

Designers know design. Art consultants should

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5 Steps to a Magazine Feature of You and Your Art

photo of Patricia Griffin

The November 2014 / January 2015 edition of Professional Artist magazine features an article by me titled “Think Before You Leap: Beware of People Who Tell You to Follow Your Passion.”

The editor suggested photos of artists at work to accompany the article and I knew exactly who to contact: ceramic artist Patricia Griffin.

Patricia Griffin in her studio. Photo by Debbie Markham.

Patricia is a member of my Art Biz Incubator and I receive her newsletter.

Months ago she sent an email with gorgeous photos of her in the studio. I complimented her on the images and she told me that she had hired a professional photographer to take photos of her in the studio. It showed.

Patricia’s photos were so engaging that they stood out among the hundreds of emails I see from artists. I remembered

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10-Year Anniversary Tweekly Special

Art Biz Experts

The Art Biz Blog is 10 years old today! Happy anniversary to us.

I couldn’t let this special day fly by without posting something here. So, in honor of the occasion, here’s a special Tweekly edition: my top tweets since the last Tweekly (a long long time ago) – along with a few pics from Art Biz Makeover 2014.

Thank you for being a reader,

 

General Business

How To Get Good At Making Money: 6 Life Lessons From A Self-Made Entrepreneur zite.to/1tugCRp

The panel of experts was a huge hit with my guests at Art Biz Makeover 2014. Photo by Regina-Marie Photographer.

The 5-Step Process for Writing an About Page that Connects (and Converts) flip.it/Vzb0C<excellent info via @copyblogger

7 Things Confident Entrepreneurs Never Do zite.to/1zf8OT6

7 Crucial Web Design Trends For 2015 zite.to/1xfojMX

Why More

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A Feast for the Eyes: Food in Art

©Sarah Atlee, Lunch at Sakagura. Acrylic and colored pencil on paper, 22 x 22 inches. Used with permission.

Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving – surrounded by people you love and filled with yummy food.

Here’s a no-calorie feast just for your eyes.

©Sylvia Tucker, Onions with Copper Bowl. Oil, 12 x 16 inches. Used with permission.

 

©Sarah Atlee, Lunch at Sakagura. Acrylic and colored pencil on paper, 22 x 22 inches. Used with permission.

 

©Jonathan Meter, Shishito Peppers with Lime. Photograph. Used with permission.

 

©Richard Hall, Heirlooms. Oil, 36 x 34 inches. Used with permission.

 

©2010 Karin Olah, Newton’s Daydream. Fabric, gouache, acrylic, and graphite on canvas, 36 x 12 inches. Used with permission.

 

©Sarah B. Hansen, Sunshine in a Box. Watercolor on Plexiglas, 30 x 22 inches. Used with permission.

Please share your gratitudes in a comment or even a link to your own eye feasts.

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Single-Tasking Is The Answer for Improved Productivity

Corrina Sephora Sculpture

Would you like to get more done in less time? Then quit multitasking!

Multitasking is working on diverse tasks simultaneously and, usually, doing them all half-heartedly: driving and talking on the phone; attending a webinar and responding to email; or writing a blog post and texting.

Research shows that only about 2.5% of college students can multitask effectively. Two point five percent!

©2011 Corrina Sephora, Hull Trilogy (dtl). Mixed media. Used with permission.

Studies now show that multitasking is a myth. You simply can’t give your attention to more than one thing at a time.

Health magazine gives 12 reasons to kick the habit, including the insight that multitasking dampens your creativity: “… multitaskers often find it harder to daydream and generate spontaneous ‘a ha moments’.”

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Let It Go: Delegating Responsibility

©Tara Pappas, The Release. Mixed media, 12 x 6 inches. Used with permission.

©Tara Pappas, The Release. Mixed media, 12 x 6 inches. Used with permission.

The biggest lesson from last week’s Art Biz Makeover: Let go of control.

After several discussions with my guests, it was clear that few people were willing to bring others into their art businesses.

When someone asked me if I ever slept, I happily responded that I got 8 hours sleep the night before. Really. And I did it because I hired people that I trust to stuff the goodie bags, get the name badges together, staff the registration table, select the music, order the food, and put out fires.

Delegate Responsibility

I learned a long time ago that if I was going to build my business to be more profitable, I was going to have to trust others.

I have read

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How I Screwed Up My Pitch and What You Can Learn From My Colossal Error

©Lisa Cirenza, Tubers. Acrylic and oil on board, 70 x 100 centimeters. Used with permission.

Tomorrow is the final day of this year’s Art Biz Makeover event, and I have scheduled a special session on pitching your art that includes a panel of art world folks who are pitched to by artists all of the time.

©Lisa Cirenza, Tubers. Acrylic and oil on board, 70 x 100 centimeters. Used with permission.

As I was preparing for this event, I approached someone that I wanted to sit on this panel of art experts. I broke all of my rules for pitching ideas to people and couldn’t have screwed up the situation worse than I did.

Here’s how it went down in an only slightly edited, simplified version.

Me: We’ve never met, but I teach artists how to build their businesses. I’d like to stop by and introduce myself.

Other person: I don’t see how

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