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.)
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
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
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?)
– Collage (Huh? Glue paper on top of paper??)
– Constructed sculpture (rather than carved or modeled)
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 …
Is it harder to be a woman and have an art career?
I’m not talking about the fact that the art world is still male-dominated. I’m talking about juggling roles that are perceived to be held traditionally by women with your career as an artist.
Do you find it difficult to be wife, mother, caretaker, carpool-driver, housekeeper, and have an art career?
How or why is it harder to do this as an artist than if you were in another business?
What would make it easier? What could you do differently to make it easier on yourself.
And what about you guys? What do you think?
This month I asked artist/author/coach Cynthia Morris back to the podcast to discuss a topic that comes up often with my artist-clients. See if this sounds familiar.
You have things you don’t want to do. It’s painful to even think about tackling them, but you know that you need to work through them in order to move forward.
How do you do it?
In this episode, Cynthia and I talk about how to accomplish things in your art career and business that you don’t enjoy doing.
I was particularly interested in the discussion we had about happiness v. satisfaction.
Listen in and then please leave a comment to let us know you’re listening.
No matter how many checklists you have, you can’t begin to fathom the crazy things that could happen … the wacky things that people will say, think, or do.
Has anyone ever installed your art upside down?
Has anyone ever put a weird clause in your contract?
Have you ever [fill in the blank]?
I thought it might be fun to hear about the crazy things that you’ve encountered in your art career and business.
It’s impossible to be prepared for every situation you might encounter in your art career, but hearing first from other artists might help you be ready for the unexpected.
Please leave a comment below.
Your emails, blog and website have the potential to engage readers or turn them off.
How can you design your content so that people keep reading and look forward to hearing from you?
You’re creating a composition not only with your art, but also with words and design elements.
It’s an empty wall on which you showcase your work. Let me emphasize that: The focus should be on your art, not on a decorative font, logo, or the colors you choose.
Every decision you make when creating online content should be about elevating the art.
Having said that, you can elevate the art and retain readers’ interest with these tips.
Images Make An Impact
You are so lucky. You sell something that is visually interesting to look at. This is a big plus in today’s world of online marketing because images have become paramount.
Exploit this advantage!
It’s well proven that we need rest and relaxation for peak performance.
Artists need to get away or get out of their heads in order to be refreshed and newly inspired.
Enter the artist’s retreat.
You might have official getaways planned in the form of retreats. I often refer to Art Biz Breakthrough as a retreat because it allows you to get away from the daily grind and focus on business-building.
How do you get away from it all?
Do you have regular retreats planned? Where do you go? What do you see and do?
Do you plan weekly or monthly retreats?
What do those look like?
Please share in a comment below.
Meeting people and building relationships is the most important thing you can do for your art career. This means you have to get out of the studio and socialize.
You must, gasp, be social in the real world as well as online.
This goes against the natural tendency of so many artists who would prefer to be alone with their art supplies. But it’s absolutely necessary when you want to attain a high level of success.
If you desire more sales and more recognition for your art, you must make it a priority to meet more people.
You need to get out and meet more people if you find yourself …
- Sitting behind your computer all day and researching the latest magical way to promote your art online.
- Attending only your own openings.
- Living in the same place for years without knowing your neighbors.
Why This Matters
Your art must be seen in person in order to be appropriately appreciated. Eventually, you’re going to have to