Why The Ladder of Success Doesn’t Apply to Your Art Business

circle focus areas

One of the most-used business metaphors is the ladder of success. It’s assumed that you start at the bottom and work your way to the top in a nice, progressive fashion. A few months ago, I woke up with the epiphany that this is not how it works. [...]

Resilience: An Interview with Mark McGuinness

The bigger the dream the bigger the fear

Last summer I had the pleasure of interviewing Mark McGuinness, author of Resilience: Facing Down Rejection and Criticism on the Road to Success. Originally recorded for my members in the Art Biz Incubator, I am able to share this interview now that my members have benefited from it for a number of months. [...]

Hurry Hurry! (sort of)

hurry-hurry

Emphasized at my mastermind meeting two weeks ago: The most successful people have a sense of urgency. I believed this to be true when I heard it, and then I started researching what “a sense of urgency” really means. It’s not really about hurrying. [...]

Would You Fire Yourself?

you are fired

If you were the boss and had you as an employee, would you be happy with your performance, or would you fire yourself? Let’s pretend for a moment that you are conducting a performance review of your work. Evaluate whether or not your expectations as an employer are being met by your performance as an employee. [...]

Introducing Yourself as an Artist

Stephanie Hartshorn and Holly Wilson get to know each other at Art Biz Makeover this past fall. Photo by Regina-Marie Photography.

I’ve been surprised at how difficult it can be for artists to introduce themselves as artists. “I’m an artist” doesn’t seem to roll off the tongue easily for some people. And yet it’s critical to be able to say it with confidence. It seems to be easier for people with art degrees to pronounce their profession to the world. This might be because there is a piece of paper that says you completed a curriculum to the satisfaction of an institution. [...]

How to Feel More Abundant in Your Life and Art

Buy $10 bouquets in a bunch at the grocery store and divide them into small glasses or vases to spread the joy of fresh flowers.

I recently wrote about the importance of embracing an abundant mindset in your marketing. Now let’s look at some ways that you can start feeling more abundant that will help you break out of that frugal mindset. How do others treat you? How do you treat yourself? How do you treat others? [...]

Are You Too Frugal?

flowers

I’ll just come right out and say it: I am tired of watching artists and arts organizations live on leftover scraps. In my 23 years of working with fine art, I have witnessed repeatedly how frugal the arts are. Not to the patrons with the big bank accounts, but to the artists, without whom their passionate interest would not exist. Frugal isn’t bad by itself. In fact, frugal can be good. But frugal becomes detrimental when it feeds the idea that we are not worthy of more. [...]

How to Be a Joy to Work With

Helen Hiebert paper weaving

What makes someone want to work with you? Sure, it might be your art, but there are a lot of talented artists out there. If you don’t approach your business with the same professionalism you give your art, you are likely to be passed over for other artists. Based on my conversations with heads of arts agencies, curators, and gallerists . . . [...]

You Can't Afford Not to Hire Someone

Photographer Sam Nguyen shoots Alix Christian with her work.

There comes a point in a growing business where you can’t afford not to hire someone. It’s not easy to write those first checks to someone else for a task you know you could do, but your business can’t grow as long as you continue to do everything by yourself. Let’s look at six situations where you should get help from others. [...]

The Fears That Haunt You

©Leah Palmer Preiss

Your fears around building an art business are real to you. Whatever fears you have, you can bet that other artists share them. Still . . . you’re a warrior! You can conquer your fears, but only after you identify them. Here’s a look at 7 common fears that artists have shared with me. [...]