A Few of My Favorite Things

A few days before Christmas is the perfect time to share some of my favorite things with you: business and personal tips, recipes, online email classes, and products I love.

Skip the famous eggnog recipe at the end at your own peril. Merry merry!

Tech and Online Stuff

IPhone Class

Emil Pakarklis offers loads of info in his complimentary video tutorial for hacking your iPhone camera: 7 Hidden iPhone Camera Features That Every Photographer Should Use. I learned a ton and I didn’t even get to all of his lessons.

Later’s IG Email Class

Later.com is an online service that allows you to schedule your Instagram posts. They also have a fantastic free e-mail course on using Instagram for Business and regular tips via email when you sign up.

It’s totally worth it to learn more about taking advantage of Instagram. Check out their blog, too.

Products

Seize The Year Calendar

You gotta have a wall calendar to see the rhythm of your year. I heard about this find via Jane La Fazio who I believe got turned on to it by Patti Digh. This wall calendar is uber functional and attractive.

The clincher is the way the months run into one another instead of being compartmentalized.

I also love that this calendar isn’t

Continue reading…

What Did You Do This Year? Your Annual Review

You survived another year as a working artist. Congratulations!

Now it’s time to step back and look at all you have accomplished in the last twelve months. This is an annual ritual to take your mind off of the long task list in front of you and remind yourself that you really have done a great deal.

If you do nothing else, stop reading this right now and set aside time in your schedule to review your year. It’s too easy to neglect this exercise if you try to squeeze it in whenever you

I suggest committing to two one-hour sessions to start this process. You’ll need to gather your data from calendars, bookkeeping, and journals.

The format here is based on The See Plan (8 Cs for a balanced business). Please adjust and add personal accomplishments if you like.

And … begin!

1. Challenge Creativity

What artistic medium or skill did you attempt or master?

Continue reading…

Which Ideas are Worth Your Time? (Podcast)

Recently I was talking with Cynthia Morris, when, in response to who-knows-what, she said with a scowl, “Ideas! I’m so tired of hearing about ideas.” Or something like that.

Right then, I knew we had to talk about it. I knew she was on to something.

Listen in to the podcast as Cynthia and I talk about why too many ideas can be a bad thing for artists. Cynthia also gives practical tips on how to choose among your many ideas for your next big project.

Show Notes – Authored by Cynthia Morris

Creative people are blessed with an abundance of ideas. New ideas arrive daily, pulsing through our awareness and lighting up our sense of possibility like a scintillating fireworks display.

How fun! We love inhabiting the land of possibility, where our ideas inspire us, energize us and make us feel like omnipotent creators. We could do anything!

The problem is, we can’t do everything.

This abundance of ideas can become painful when we arrive at the crossroads of what to make next. The fireworks we loved so dearly becomes a dissatisfying decision swirl, making us second-guess everything, including our desire to make anything at all.

So, how can we know which projects to work on, and when?

Which of the seductive ideas do we devote ourselves to?

Continue reading…

Artists' Gifts for Christmas (Curious Monday)

Claudia True Calendar

If you’re like me, you still have a little (a lot?) of gifts to find for the people on your Christmas list.

So … let’s help each other out.

If you have been marketing something as a great gift for loved ones, please describe it and share a link to it in the comments. This might include:

  • Calendars
  • Journals
  • Reproductions
  • Cards
  • Books
  • <Fill in the blank>

Be detailed enough that we want to click and see. You’re pitching your product.

Do it with gusto!

Continue reading…

The Only Gift You Need to Build Your Mailing List

What I love most about the holidays isn’t receiving gifts. It’s giving them.

I love everything about the process: from trying to find the perfect gift for a special person on my list, to wrapping it and watching them open it.

I throw parties and give “lovely parting gifts” to our guests (as if the party wasn’t enough). I decorate envelopes to delight recipients.

The thrill of gift giving is sacred in my book.

Unfortunately, when building a business, giving gifts can be tarnished by the giver wanting or expecting something in return. It’s part of the list-building process.

In return for your email address, I offered 6 free video lessons or perhaps a checklist, special report, or webinar at some point.

These presents are easy for me to deliver because I offer a service. I have loads of content that will help you gain recognition and sell more art.

It’s harder for artists to offer gifts in return for email addresses.

Continue reading…

Planners and Bullet Journals (Curious Monday)

Planning for Artists

It’s getting to be the time of year when we start looking for new calendars and planners for the New Year.

I am highly reliant on my electronic calendar and task lists, but I’ve never given up paper for the daily to-dos. And I’m constantly refining how I use each piece in the planning process.

What Do You Use?

How do you keep track of your schedule, projects and tasks?

What do you have on paper? What’s your preferred method for using paper? Notebooks? Journals? Daytimers? Bullet journals?

What is kept electronically? What programs do you rely on to keep you focused?

Please share in a comment below.

When you’re finished commenting here, please hop over to my Facebook page and share a pic of your planner with the top post.

Read about and subscribe to Curious Monday posts.

Continue reading…

What Are You Grateful For (Curious Monday)

Painting of a feather by Rebecca Finch

Every morning in my morning meditation, I include a moment of gratitude. I want to remember my blessing and honor the people who have come into my life and the things that make my life easier than most of the world’s population.

I truly believe that we don’t get more yumminess until we appreciate what we already have.

With that in mind … What/Who are you grateful for during this week of Thanksgiving?

Share the love in a comment here.

Know this: I am grateful for your trust. Always.

Continue reading…

Your Weekly Self-Promotion Routine

The Artist’s No-Excuse Weekly Self-Promotion Routine is printed on the inside cover of the 2011 edition of my book, I’d Rather Be in the Studio.

Five years is a long time in this fast-paced world, so it’s time to update that list and make it workable for late-2016.

A Sample Weekly Self-Promotion Routine

There is such a thing as a promotional campaign, but mostly I want you to think about your promotions as ongoing. You’re consistently sharing your art with the world. It’s a routine you commit to.

Perhaps it would be helpful to see what a self-promotion routine could look like. But before we get into it, I have a note of caution.

Don’t take this literally. This is just an example.

I don’t mean to imply that you should do these tasks on the day of the week that I assigned them to. Obviously, you should move things around to work with your schedule and goals.

Nor do I want you to think that you need to do all of these tasks every week. You might select one or two under each day for the current week.

Make it work for you!

As you work on your self-promotion routine, remember

Continue reading…

5 Reasons You’re Not Making Enough Money in Your Art Business

When your income doesn’t match your aspirations, it’s easy to blame everyone but yourself.

But my students and clients understand that you have to accept 100% responsibility for your results when you want to be successful.

With that in mind, let’s look at 5 reasons why you may not be reaching your income goals.

1. You’re out to lunch.

What I mean by this is that your head just isn’t in the game. You enjoy making art, but you aren’t quite committed to turning it into a business.

The thought of the work required to run a business, or even the thought of finding out what might be required, is more than you can handle. So you ignore it.

It might not always be this way, but until you confront the truths about making money from your art, it ain’t gonna happen for ya.

2. You’re out of mojo.

We have all been in this dark place. The Universe rudely cuts the source of energy and magic that has been propelling us along.

Sometimes it happens after an opening or after a show comes down.

Other times,

Continue reading…

Aligning Actions with Words = Success

Do your actions align with your words?

What I mean is: if you say that you want a successful art career, are you doing what it takes? Or are you exerting the minimum effort without any thought of your future?

If you say you want one thing, but aren’t taking action to support that one thing, you are out of alignment. You’re confusing the Universe – probably because you have mixed feelings yourself.

If you proclaim that you want a successful art career, I have six questions to to ensure that your actions align with your dreams.

1. Do you maintain a regular studio practice?

I don’t mean to imply that you have to be in the studio from 8:00am to 5:00pm every day for six days a week. I’m just asking if the art is getting made.

Without the art, you are not an artist. Without the art, you have nothing to promote.

Without the art, a successful art career just ain’t happenin’.

2. Are you promoting your art consistently?

Or are you promoting your art only when you feel like it?

Consistent promotion doesn’t equal bombarding your list and followers with your art. It’s about having a schedule and sticking to it rather than marketing whenever it strikes your fancy.

If you’re a dabbler, you have the luxury of marketing whenever you want to.

If you want a successful art career, you have to get over the idea that

Continue reading…