When you own your own business, it’s important to look at expenses as well as income in order to remain profitable.
I looked into various (not all – not even education or supplies and materials!) expenses for artists and thought it might be interesting to share the results. Feel free to add to our completely unscientific list in a comment on the Art Biz Blog.
Maggie Ruley’s Key West studio. Used with permission.
These numbers are based on responses I received through Twitter and Facebook. (sf = square feet)
Central Virginia (476sf): $355/month Key West, FL (750sf – 3 rooms): $1600 for studio + store front
Ravenswood, Chicago, IL (600+ sf): $540/month Downtown Chicago, IL (sf n/a): $485/month Gages Lake, IL (1200sf): $500/month with utilities
Albuquerque, NM (175sf): $200/mo in nonprofit art center, includes utilities, not air-conditioned
This article is an edited excerpt from the soon-to-be-released newest edition of I’d Rather Be in the Studio.
This Quick-Start Manual outlines the key areas you need to work on if you want more blog visitors. And who doesn’t want more blog visitors?
Focus on Content
More than anything else, good content will attract people to your blog. Create a regular schedule – perhaps once a week in the beginning – of writing and posting images of your art. Readers need to know they can depend on you.
Feature other people on your blog, like loyal blogger Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson did (above image). It encourages those people to share with their followers. I was so happy to see this nice write-up of my visit with Elizabeth that I couldn’t wait to share it on Twitter and
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 to contribute
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.
Read something about art to fill your content well and to be inspired.
Update your status on your Facebook
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
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
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!
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