Delight Someone (Everyone)

©2014 Senga Nengudi, Jive. Site installation for the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

A few years ago, I had the joy of hearing Senga Nengudi talk about her art in a gallery at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver surrounded by the work.

Nengudi makes intimate installations and sculptures from discarded materials such as torn pantyhose. It started when she was living in a small space in New York and decided on a medium that would fit into her purse. (Further proof that making art is about solving problems, but that’s another topic.)

During a panel discussion, Nengudi warmed everyone in the room with her gentle, generous spirit and big smile.

When we (about 100 of us) were getting ready to leave, the artist said she wanted to give us a gift to remember her by. In line with her work, which transforms unwanted items into art, she considered a gift that we could transform into something new.

She confessed that she didn’t have enough pantyhose for the audience. We laughed! Many, particularly the men, breathed a sigh of relief.

That’s when she pulled out a large plastic bag and handed out . . .

Continue reading…

Your Life’s Work: The Artist's Retrospective

Virginia Folkestad discovers insights into her life’s work by using a visual timeline.

A retrospective is an exhibition that shows off the entire oeuvre of an artist’s career. Typically arranged chronologically and later in an artist’s life, retrospectives treat art viewers to the progression of the work in a single space.

I try to visit as many retrospectives as I can for artists I admire, which sometimes involves traveling and going out of my way as necessary. You never know when they will happen again since it’s difficult to borrow or gather the work in one place.

Retrospectives aren’t just for viewers. They provide an excellent opportunity for artists to examine their accomplishments.

Even without an art venue for your retrospective, you can take stock of your life’s work by creating a virtual retrospective.

Continue reading…

How Artists Can Apply Youtility Marketing

chisel

Jay Baer, author of Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help, Not Hype, says “If you sell something, you make a customer today. If you help someone, you may create a customer for life. Artists are often left out in the cold with marketing practices that seem to be suggested for more service- or product-oriented businesses. You can create resources for your buyers and collectors, students, other artists, and/or your local community, which are as helpful to them as your tools are to you.

Continue reading…

Mind Mapping Your Ideas and Events

I seem to be recommending mind maps to artists with great frequency these days, so I thought it would be useful to review what they are and how you can use them in your art business. A mind map is a tool for brainstorming or organizing your ideas. Mind maps are great for creatives and artists because they put words and ideas in a visual format.

Continue reading…

How Sponsors Helped Me Exhibit My Art on the Other Side of the Country – without Kickstarter

Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson

Crowdfunding is helping artists everywhere get their projects off the ground. It’s increasingly popular to use sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to raise money for exhibitions and art production. Guest blogger Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson shares how she crowdfunded her participation in ArtPrize – without the use of a crowdfunding site.

Continue reading…

It's Okay To Jump From Idea To Idea

Kirstin Borror writes: “My difficulty seems to be staying focused on one creative idea at a time. Any tips?” Creativity coach, Romney Nesbitt responds, “Dear Kirsten, You may be fighting a losing battle. The natural tendency of creative people is to carry the seeds of many ideas at the same time; the trick is keeping all ideas moving forward. . . . ”

Continue reading…

3 Artists Inspiring Me Right Now

Photo of Kristina Wentzell

If you’ve read chapter 14 of I’d Rather Be in the Studio you’d pick up some great ideas from artists who are promoting their work in creative ways. I love telling these stories and plan to keep sharing them with you as long as you let me. Here are two more of the same ilk and a third one for extra inspiration.

Continue reading…

4 Lessons from Naked Marketers

Guest Blogger Leah Markham shares 4 lessons she learned from her encounter with a unique marketing technique she experienced in a London park.

Continue reading…

Another Gimmick or a Passport to Your Art?

Damien Hirst’s Complete Spot Challenge got me thinking about having exhibitions in multiple venues. How could you turn this idea into a gimmick that would generate buzz about your art?

Continue reading…

A Twist on the Wine-and-Cheese Reception

Amantha Tsaros

Artist Conspiracy member Amantha Tsaros is showing her work in a library gallery where they won’t allow food and drink at a reception. Read about our ideas to help her have a successful opening in spite of the No Food rule.

Continue reading…