Schedule Something Scary and Extraordinary

©Joey Feldman, Vicious. Pen and ink on paper, 28 x 20 inches. Used with permission

It’s scary to step up – to think bigger about what you’re capable of – and that’s exactly what I’ll be asking of attendees at Art Biz Makeover next week.

There’s very little motivation in the daily grind: update Facebook, schedule a few tweets, send a newsletter, write a blog post, work in studio. If you’re not careful, you’ll continue to go through the motions of life without doing something extraordinary for your art and for yourself.

©Joey Feldman, Vicious. Pen and ink on paper, 28 x 20 inches. Used with permission.

In honor of the witching season, I ask you to scare yourself a little. Give yourself a challenge that motivates you to get out of bed and into the studio every day. Take on a quest.

Anatomy of a Quest (with Examples)

According to Chris Guillebeau, author of The Happiness

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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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Taking Imperfect Action

Alyson Stanfield with students

You know that I’m all about action.

But I’m also about reading, researching, and learning, which is a good thing because my primary work is teaching. You have to learn before you can teach, although you’ll learn even more by teaching.

And there comes a time when you must stop the learning phase and start taking action – however imperfect it might be or however reticent you might feel.

Students at my workshop in Burlington, VT commit to taking action.

I think we stay in information-gathering mode rather than taking action for one of two reasons:

1. We’re afraid to make a mistake (failing). 2. We don’t have enough fire in the belly to get moving. We aren’t hungry enough.

Let’s look at these.

Go Ahead and Make Mistakes

You don’t learn simply by reading

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Powerful Questions That Lead to Progress

questions-effort

Questions, when used in business planning, are more powerful than statements because they make us think and formulate our own answers. They encourage us to consider our situation, environment, abilities, and resources. See if any of these serve you at the moment.

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You Are Not Your Art

Julie Anderson artist

One of my coaching mentors used to say that she couldn’t separate business coaching from personal coaching. “It’s all personal,” she would say. If you read enough business motivation, you will come across attempts to help coach you through rejection and criticism with some form of the following. . . . “You are not your business.” . . .

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I Challenge You To Do The Work

Webinar replay

Yesterday I taught a complimentary webinar for artists titled Surefire Income-Boosting Strategy for 2014, in which I shared the 5-step process I use every year to increase my income. And although our businesses are different, I show how you can apply the same process to your art business – immediately. If you didn’t attend, you can access the replay through January 15 on this page.

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What Good Are Artist Awards?

artist trophy

Best in Show . . . First Place . . . Viewers’ Choice . . . Purchase Prize . . . Honorable Mention. Deep Thought for Artists >> What good are artist awards? Do they lead to a better career for the winners?

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How to Motivate Yourself to Work During the Holidays

One of our Thanksgiving tables. Photo courtesy Cynthia Morris.

With less than 1 month to go before Christmas, it’s about this time that we start using the holidays as an excuse to neglect our income-generating businesses. Don’t do this. Enjoy the holidays as much as you can while also keeping your business on track. There are other people out there who can counsel you on self-care and enjoying the season. It’s my job to remind you that your success depends on the daily commitment you show to your business.

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Artists and Illness < Deep Thought

Deep Thought

I’ve had the fortune of nurturing fairly close relationships with artists in the virtual world since 2002. Because I’ve been at it for so long, I have witnessed too many artists deal with illness – temporary, chronic, and fatal. I feel hopelessly inept to provide any guidance for artists in these situations. Can you help?

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In the Zone of Discomfort

Dharma-Small-Basket

Attendees at Art Biz Coach workshops are deliberately placed into uncomfortable situations. They are asked to 1) meet everyone in the room before the end of the event; 2) share workshop exercises with people they don’t know; and 3) change seats so they sit next to someone new. I do this because dealing with discomfort is necessary for growth as an artist and as a businessperson.

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