Who Could Help You in Your Business? (Curious Monday)

Painting of Grizzly Bear by Rosemary Conroy

Artists tell me there is too much work to be the creative director, CEO, chief marketer, and social media manager of their businesses.

Soooooo …

If you could wave a magic wand and have help in your art business, who would you hire?

What would their responsibilities be?

Would they help you in the office or in your studio?

Is it a single person? Or multiple people?

Do they need to work in your space or can they work virtually?

Since you’ll never get help until you define the parameters of the job, let’s start with those questions.

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Multiply Your Content by Repeating Yourself

You sweat over your bio and artist statement.

You make a heroic effort to create interesting content for social media.

You work tirelessly to craft a decent artist talk that will engage an audience.

You curse at the person who told you that it was easy to use iMovie as you grit your teeth through the process of producing your first video.

You meet your deadlines for newsletters and blog posts because, ahem, somebody said you should. (Okay, maybe you didn’t meet the deadlines, but they did go out. You get points for that.)

You Are a Word Collector

You didn’t know it, but if you’re doing even a few of the things I mentioned above, you are a word collector.

Don’t worry! Being a word collector doesn’t entail heavy responsibilities. Nor is it likely that your word collection will make it to the auction block one day.

But that doesn’t mean your collection isn’t valuable. It is! I wonder if you know just how valuable.

If you’re like a lot of artists, you have all of these words that are probably being used only one time.

That’s a shame.

There is so much more you can do with your collection of words.

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Entrepreneurs R Us (Curious Monday)

Pastel of palm by Susan Klinger

The world loves labels. And, yet, many artists would walk a mile out of the way to avoid a label.

Just for fun, though, try on the label “entrepreneur.”

I am an entrepreneur.

I think you, too, are an entrepreneur, but I’m not sure what you think about that word. Let’s find out.

Are You An Entrepreneur?

Without getting into the official definition of the word, do you relate to the word “entrepreneur”?

What comes up for you if I called you an artist-entrepreneur?

Do you describe yourself as an entrepreneur?

What would it take for you to feel more like an entrepreneur? Is that desirable?

Do you buy products, classes, books, and programs for entrepreneurs?

Can’t wait to hear what you have to say. Just leave a comment below.

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The Value of Community for Artists (Podcast)

Community is essential for artists. Not just for your well-being, but for the well-being of your art.

In this episode, Michael Keen and I talk about his background with artists’ communities and the value of community. In particular, community can provide:

-Validation

– Inspiration

– Motivation

– Constructive feedback

As you’ll hear, other things came up.

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Your Weekly Work Rhythm (Curious Monday)

Some time ago, I learned to block out days for no scheduled calls or appointments.

These “free days” are rarely free, but they allow big chunks of time for tasks such as writing and planning. They are usually Mondays and Fridays, which means my Tuesday-Thursday calendar is pretty jam-packed.

I prefer afternoon client calls to morning client calls so that I can catch up with my team in the mornings.

I leave Monday mornings for recombobulating after the weekend, and Fridays for writing and art-viewing.

How about you?

How do you organize your week for maximum productivity and inspiration in the office and studio?

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4 Steps for Saving Money on Your Artist Website

Ready for a new website?

Yes, you could do it yourself by using any of the template sites available. But when you take the step to have a site thoroughly customized to your branding and goals, there are things you can do to lower your monetary investment.

Designers can’t pull together a design from nothing. They need you to do your part.

When you do this, you will save money and have a more harmonious relationship with your designer. Here are four steps to get you started.

Step 1: Research

Look at other artist sites. When you find one you like, deconstruct it to figure out why you’re drawn to it.

When you’re on a site that you find attractive, is it because of …

– Colors?

– Font (styles and sizes)?

– Navigation?

– Layout of pages?

– Text/stories?

– Image sizes?

Also, know which features you want on your site. Do you want a blog? An eCommerce platform? Email sign-up?

You should also be researching your designer in this phase.

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Getting It In Writing (Curious Monday)

Pastel Portrait by Gillian Lee Smith

Doing business on a handshake seems to be the easiest and best way to do things – until we realize it was a really, really, really bad idea.

Putting terms and conditions on paper will save your butt.

And … I know that artists don’t always go to the trouble to get things in writing.

So, here’s what I want to know.

What situations/projects/venues do you have contracts for?

When do you do without contracts?

Have you ever been in a situation in which you would have been better served with a contract? (You kicked yourself by not having a signed agreement.)

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How to Turn Your Collectors Into a Sales Force

You have a sales force right under your nose: your collectors.

The people who loved your art enough to buy it and live with it are your biggest fans and are probably itching to share your art with their friends, families, and colleagues.

Help them out!

Your first step to turn them into an art-selling brigade is to stay in touch with them. Sending email newsletters, private emails, postcards, and holiday and birthday cards keeps your name in front of them.

People are more likely to remember to recommend your art if you remind them that you’re still working in the studio.

Here are some ways you can make it easy for people to promote you and your art.

Suggest an unveiling.

Collectors are proud of their acquisitions, especially if it’s something they’ve commissioned. Gently suggest that they host an unveiling of your art.

With their friends in attendance, you can yank off the black fabric and give a little talk about the piece.

Be ready with business cards, brochures, or flyers about your work.

Have a show in a collector’s home.

Everyone likes to help out artists! If your collectors live in homes that

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Don’t Even Think About It: Overcome Decision Fatigue

Every day takes too much thought. – Gwen Meharg

Gwen left this comment in our Art Career Success System private group. I was struck by her insight because I had been reading about this at the time. “Decision fatigue” is a real phenomenon in contemporary society.

According to researchers, we make over 200 decisions per day about food alone. Just food decisions! I don’t know about you, but all of these decisions wear me out.

As an example, I spent 3 months last fall researching espresso machines – dreaming of holding the perfect cup of coffee while still in my jammies. But I could never click the button to buy.

My husband took me out of my misery. He decided on one, bought it, wrapped it, and put it under the tree. Best. Gift. Ever. No decision (on my part) was required.

Don’t get me started on making travel reservations. I can’t stand to make plane reservations or to find a hotel. What if I book “the wrong” flight or land at the wrong airport? Don’t laugh. I recently did this when I was confused about a small airport name, and it cost me a lot of extra driving time.

I contend that we’re happier when

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Looking for a Breakthrough? Keep Working

The history of art is a history of artistic breakthroughs. Consider these significant achievements:

– Scientific perspective

– Oil painting, and then acrylics

– Abstraction (Gasp! Art doesn’t have to be a window on the world?)

– Photography

– Collage (Huh? Glue paper on top of paper??)

– Constructed sculpture (rather than carved or modeled)

My Breakthroughs

My first artistic breakthrough came in 1974 when I rendered a blue jay and cardinal in oil pastel. I’m an artist, I thought.

I wasn’t looking for a breakthrough. I didn’t even know what one was at that young age. I was just trying to make a pretty picture that my grandmother would like.

I had another breakthrough in college when I realized that I liked my art history classes better than my painting classes. Again, I wasn’t looking for a breakthrough or to change my major. I was merely trying to make it through another semester.

My biggest breakthrough came in 2001-02 when I listened to artists who were looking for help with their careers. I could never have imagined this line of work that has been so rewarding.

What Needs to Break?

The dictionary defines a breakthrough as …

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