My top tweets from the past couple of weeks @abstanfield.
You might benefit fr this intvw I did with @nordicArtists nordicartists.com/alyson-stanfie…
Art is the worst performing collectible fw.to/gObQ3hk<I’m just the messenger
Who wants to go to Bentonville AR in September? I do! buff.ly/1lCGkyE
Walnut – app for turning pics of your art into “in situ” photos buff.ly/1jVFmuk #artists #artmarketing
Advice from Artists on Overcoming Creative Block, Handling Criticism & Nurturing Self-Worth:buff.ly/1fJzQvs via @brainpicker
Loving this Pinterest board of @JaniceMcDonald commissioned work pinterest.com/jmcdonaldart/c…
Why Creative Geniuses Often Keep a Messy Desk zite.to/1cz6fPe
Loving Michael Grab’s balanced rock sculptures. Notice his great photography and video, toogravityglue.com/my-work/
Does art rise to the top because it’s good or because it’s popular? A case for the latternpr.org/2014/02/27/282… via @MorningEdition
RT @Starrybluesky: Interesting article about copying /being “inspired” by - buff.ly/1fq4gwH
Want to gather your thoughts about your journey to Paris? @originalimpulse is leading online class to help originalimpulse.com/write-your-par…
“Many a creative breakthrough starts as a creative break-in.” – @markmcguinness
MT @chrisguillebeau: blogs that had so much potential but then fizzled >It isn’t the best who win; it’s the ones who stick with it.
When You Feel Down or Stuck: How to Effectively Be What You’re Not zite.to/1i5UrvD
Beginner Week: My 43 DOs and 25 DON’Ts of Blogging : @problogger buff.ly/1gRkd1F
The Naptime Entrepreneur: Pursuing Your Business in ‘Off Hours’ buff.ly/1fGWm84 <excellent advice
6 Totally Strange But Effective Productivity Hacks zite.to/1k0oToC
Have you seen all the new domain extensions being released this year? godaddy.com/tlds/gtld.aspx
Mother and daughter recreate classic works of art. Fun! zite.to/1l8i2t5
Follow @abstanfield on Twitter for the most timely updates for growing your art business.
What if, instead of worrying about everyone with a cell phone camera in front of your art, you encouraged taking photos and sharing?
Don’t dismiss this right away. Let me explain.
On two occasions I have witnessed audiences embrace a speaker or situation that encouraged photography.
Here’s how those went down.Situation #1: Mari Smith at Infusioncon 2013
Before Facebook expert Mari Smith got on stage at the Infusionsoft conference last spring, the “star” speaker preceding her interrupted his speech twice to tell someone to turn off his camera.
The second interruption came with a threat and was uncomfortable for everyone in the audience. I immediately disliked this guy.
Then Mari got on stage and said something like, Okay, everyone, turn on your cameras! This was followed by her endorsement to share photos and video anywhere and everywhere.
This put us at ease. We had a collective giggle because her approach was exactly the opposite of her predecessor. It was generous and engaging.
She undoubtedly received a ton of free publicity because of it.Situation #2: The Symphony
Before the Boulder Symphony Orchestra performed The William Tell Overture, the president welcomed everyone and pulled out his cell phone.
Here it comes, I thought. So I made sure mine was muted.
But that’s not what he wanted. Instead of the usual “Please mute your phones” warning, he asked us to take photos throughout the night. The first person to post a photo to their Facebook page got free tickets to the next concert.
After intermission, he gave us an update on the photo-posting contest and mentioned the winner’s name. Then he encouraged more photography and posting and mentioned prizes for future winners.
The symphony was taking advantage of the fact that most people in the audience had a phone camera, and many of those people knew how to share images to Facebook immediately.Use It
I get that you want to protect your copyright, and I couldn’t be more supportive of that.
I understand that you are concerned when people photograph your work and then share it without attribution. Or when they copy it out of “admiration.” Those violations are unacceptable.
But how could you take advantage of the fact that everyone walks around with a camera in her purse or his back pocket?
How could you benefit from people wanting to remember your work?
How could you encourage sharing of cell phone photography and video?
Tell us your ideas in a comment - and then do it!
The Art Biz Blog is the blog for Art Biz Coach, which offers services and products to help artists build profitable businesses.
One of my goals for Art Biz Coach over the next year or so is to simplify and streamline. I want to make it easy for new visitors to figure out where they should go on my sites.
This isn’t evident right now.
Like the reader who said this:
Since you’ve written so much over the past few years, I found it a bit overwhelming to figure out where to begin with your archives. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Past few years? Try 12 years of content (9.5 just on the blog). There are 2400 posts here and plenty more to think about at ArtBizCoach.com.
I get how overwhelming it can be. Let me see if I can help direct you.
This is what I suggest :1. Get to know me.
You shouldn’t buy any of my products or services until you have learned to trust me and grown to believe that what I offer can be valuable to you.
Sign up for my 6-part complimentary video series and weekly Art Biz Insider newsletter. I think you’ll have a pretty good idea as to whether you and I are a good fit after you’ve watched the series and read a number of my newsletters. You can sign up at the top of this page.
Sign up for blog updates. These are different and a little more frequent than my newsletter. You can sign up in the dark gray box at the top of the right sidebar here →.2. Decide what you need.
Some people need information. They just want to know how to do this or that. You can soak up the information in the blog posts here (see Categories in the right sidebar) and also in my book, I’d Rather Be in the Studio.
But for some, like me, reading isn’t enough. They are more likely to absorb and implement lessons in a more structured learning environment. That’s why I teach classes like No-Excuse Art Biz Bootcamp and Organize Your Art Biz.
The key to your progress is to understand when to stop gathering information [ tweet this ]- that you have everything you need and it’s time to focus on implementation.
Then you might become like my members who seek support implementing the information. This might be you if you kinda know what you should be doing, but you’re not doing it. It’s exactly why I created the Art Biz Incubator, a membership group with really cool artists, which you can try out for just $1.
And then there are those who have been learning and implementing, and need to be evaluating their results because they’re not getting what they would like. They are interested in looking at their businesses strategically over the long run. These are the artists in the upper levels of the Art Biz Incubator.3. Ignore what you don’t need.
Bright Shiny Object Syndrome (BSOS) is real. We’re enamored with new ideas and tend to want to try them out immediately.
The savvy artist-businessperson will recognize this tendency and curtail it. The savvy artist-businessperson will say, “This is a great idea, but I’m not there yet.” Or, “This is a great idea, but I need to focus on this other thing first.” Or, “This is a great idea – for someone else.”
I give you permission to ignore anything I write if it distracts from your focus.
You must trust that the great ideas – the ones that were intended for you – will always be there when you’re ready to embrace them.4. Pace yourself.
As I admitted, the amount of information and resources here is overwhelming.
There is no earthly way that you can “catch up” with everything here. You have to honor where you are right now.
If it’s information you need, set up a study schedule. Click on the Categories in the right sidebar and prioritize them based on your current situation.5. Trust yourself.
There is no single path to becoming a successful artist. You must find your own way.
If something you read from me or anyone else doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Trust that you know best.
You’re the CEO of your art business.6. Join the discussion.
Leave comments and read comments from others. There are troops of wise artists who visit and share their knowledge.
You can also ask related questions in the comments that I read and respond to as much as I can. Oh! And don’t forget to sign up at Gravatar so your picture shows up next to your comments on my blog and any other blog on the WordPress platform.
Feel free to ask any questions about Art Biz Coach and this blog in a comment below.
Thank you for being here!
I work every day to give you solid business advice through my newsletter, classes, social media posts, membership programs, and this blog.
This is not only my job, it’s also my purpose.
I don’t write about how you can improve your technique, try fresh materials on the market, or remove creative blocks.
Those jobs belong to others.
You, too, have a primary job, and it’s not wasting spending time on Facebook, trying out new software, or blogging. I bring you marketing ideas, but you shouldn’t devote too much time to them until you have done your job. Which is . . .
Your #1 job as a professional artist is to be working consistently in the studio.Working Consistently in the Studio
Let’s look closer at the above sentence.
You’re not “playing,” although there might be times where you experiment. You’re working toward a goal, whether it’s to build a body of work to promote or just to be a better artist.
You’re not working whenever you feel like it. You’re not working whenever you have time. You work in the studio because that’s just what you do. You’re an artist and artists make art. Consistently.
“Studio” means something different to everyone, and lack of a “real” studio space has never stopped artists from making art. So take over the dining room table or claim the guest room if you must.
Without a dedicated space, you are tempted to make excuses for not doing the work: It takes too long to set up . . . I can’t work because we have company coming over . . . My kids get in the way.
You must work consistently in the studio in order to earn a living as an artist.It’s a Reminder
I write an article similar to this every so often and, from what I can tell, it’s been three years since my last.
My goal isn’t to make you feel bad about not being in the studio enough. My goal is to remind you why you’re even reading this blog.
Presumably you signed up because you had the thought that you could make a business from your art.
Yet too many artists put the marketing before the production. You must first know that you can show up regularly in the studio. After that habit is firmly ingrained, you can begin to think about turning it into a business.Think About It
If you don’t make art, you have nothing to market. [Tweet this]
If you don’t put your hours in the studio, you just have a bunch of good ideas. Or, worse, you have no ideas because you’re not focused on the work.
Your job is to be working in the studio consistently.
I’ve been riding the stationary bike every morning, which means I have time to catch up on reading. I found some good stuff to tweet during the past couple of weeks.
Here are the best of them.Craft Artist Income Survey
Income survey of craft artists – good to know craftemergency.org/outreach/repor… via @craftemergencyArt & Artists
“My skills pay the bills” – cool new artist Ts from @ProArtistMag
Behind the Smashing of a Vase buff.ly/1mtEcdT @nytimesarts
Are more eccentric artists perceived as better artists? via @MorningEdition buff.ly/Oj80Lr<only if authentic, they say
President Obama Writes Apology to Art Historian < love this zite.to/1fwMWGV
Should children be banned from museums?zite.to/1eLWdtM
RT @ArtsyShark: Sales Skills for Artists: 12 Ways to Head Off Objections - buff.ly/1mlzxdU
Great tax info, checklists, and worksheets for#artists buff.ly/1lKkiHH
Designed to Sell: The Unconventional Guide to Creative Freedom aonc.co/LSbHp2 <Check it out! Chris does it right
Yikes! Super shady art dealer arrested for cyber-stalking. Be careful out there. abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?sec…
Artist @gallegosart gives “pay what you want” in-depth painting lesson gumroad.com/l/gallegos/art…
Thank you @JuliaKirt @ovac for your info on donations in my comments artbizblog.com/2014/02/limits… Super helpful!Online Design
10 Great Sites to Easily Add Graphics to Your Content | Liz Strauss at Successful Blog via @lizstrauss ow.ly/ttsbt
43 Split-Tests That (Almost) Always Boost Conversions buff.ly/1eZAY7M via @DigitalMktr
This Is How Colors of Your Brand Affect Conversions and Engagement buff.ly/1nyQAECGeneral Biz & Marketing
Buttering to the Edges – delight people! zite.to/1bdAYpS
What to Do When You’re Sick of Your Blog copyblogger.com/blogging-holid… via @copyblogger
7 Secret Gmail Features You Didn’t Know Existed zite.to/1fhzWbZ
Mohiomap-Evernote Mindmapping Tool to Find Time zite.to/1lVDupj
5 Ways to Use Twitter Scheduling to Enhance Your Marketing zite.to/1iRDFxl
5 Social Media Habits of Highly Annoying People via @Inc zite.to/1f5KVXk
First fall in love with your concept, but then get over that and fall in love with your customer via @WSJ online.wsj.com/news/articles/…
How to Use Social Media to Promote an Event <super helpful socialmediaexaminer.com/promote-an-eve…Motivation
We must tackle the things that are most difficult to excel via @ThisIsSethsBlog zite.to/1gkSXtF
How to Make Yourself Work When You Just Don’t Want To – @HarvardBiz buff.ly/M6FPxc
How to Overcome Morning Peevishness: Advice from an Antarctic Explorer < love this idea zite.to/1nH9MD2
Haters and Critics: How to Deal with People Judging You and Your Work by @james_clear buff.ly/1jysVUs
Follow @abstanfield on Twitter for the most timely updates for growing your art business.
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.
In the interview Mark discusses:
- How mindfulness will help you build resilience and how to begin a daily practice.
- The difference between rejection and criticism and why they hurt so much (especially for artists).
- How to deal with rejection and criticism.
- Tall Poppy Syndrome and why you want to be a tall poppy.
In addition to writing Resilience, Mark McGuinness is a poet who has been coaching artists and all kinds of creatives since 1996. He’s a qualified psychotherapist who also holds an MA in Creative & Media Enterprises. Mark is the founder of Lateral Action and his work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Creative Review, and the Discovery Health Channel.
To learn more about Mark and connect with him, please visit his website, LateralAction.Want More Like This?
We have been collecting audio interviews with experts like Mark for more than three years in the Art Biz Incubator. Our members also enjoy the transcripts for these interviews as well as the opportunity to ask questions of our experts and discuss the content with one another.
Join us today! The Incubator isn’t for beginners. I suggest first having some foundation for your art business. But if all that’s in place, start your $1 trial today.
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.”
Youtility, the marketing concept Baer advocates, is “marketing so useful that people would pay for it.”
Artists are often left out in the cold with marketing practices that seem to be suggested for more service- or product-oriented businesses. After all, art is rarely considered useful beyond its decorative, emotional, and intellectual qualities.
But if you put your brain cells to work, you can embrace the youtility model. 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.
This isn’t about making a sale. It’s about building name recognition and loyalty. It will also give you great satisfaction.Youtility Examples for Artists
By way of example, here are three art maps, or tours, that could be made into an app or PDF for download, or become the focus of a Pinterest board.
Museums, of course, like to point out things in the galleries that people should know about, but you have a different perspective.
What kind of quirky tour could you lead people through that will give them a one-of-a-kind experience?
When accompanying my husband on a rock-climbing adventure, I came across a mountain home with paintings nailed to the trees outside. I can’t make this stuff up.
Everyone knows the usual museums and galleries for seeing art, but there are good things – some of them humorous like the nailed paintings – happening in offbeat places.
Where can one view art at no charge? Art intended for public consumption might include sculpture, murals, installations, or mosaics.
You could add a twist by researching any controversies around those pieces. Organizations responsible for a city’s public art rarely tell the dark side in their literature, and this is often what makes the best stories.4 Steps To Being Youseful
Don’t spend a lot of time creating helpful information without a plan for it.
1. Identify your audience.
Who is your helpful resource for? Collectors and buyers? Students? Other artists? Your community?
2. Research and decide on the topic.
You have to be excited about sharing whatever you create, so make sure there’s enough to hold your interest throughout the project.
3. Decide the best method for disseminating your helpful information.
Technology might restrict you, but if your idea is good enough you will find the means to make it happen. Consider sharing through any of these means: PDF download, Pinterest board, phone app (nominal fee could be charged), tweets, or dedicated Facebook page.
For example, here’s a Pinterest board I created for everyone who comes to my Art Biz Makeover event. It’s annotated to share my favorite restaurants, sites, galleries, and stores in the Golden, Colorado area.
4. Get the word out.
Who needs to know about what you have?
I gave the example of art maps or tours above, but I can think of a number of additional ways artists could apply the concept of youtility to their communities. How about you?
Share your ideas here. I’ll pick a winner from the best ideas submitted after Sunday, February 23 to receive a copy of Jay Baer’s book, Youtility.
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.”
“You are not what you do.”
This sounds like it would be helpful to remember, but is it possible? Artists tell me all of the time how hard it is to market their work because it’s so personal.Deep Thought
Is it possible to separate yourself emotionally from your art? If so, does something have to happen to get to this point?
Which of the following is truer?
- You are not your work.
- Your work is not you.
Guest blogger: Cynthia Morris
There’s a certain someone in my field who has a huge following. This certain someone also has a great blog.
I found myself constantly referring to the blog as an example of what a good blog should be.
And I admit it, I had blog envy.
Rather than stew in a green swamp of jealousy, I decided to learn from this savvy blogger. I analyzed her blog.
You can do the same thing with blogs you admire. Look at:
- What is the blogger doing that you aren’t?
- What is he or she doing that you love?
After this exercise, you’ll have a handy (and long) to-do list for pumping up your blog.
Not only will it guide you to better blogging, it should empower you. Your blog envy will be tempered because you have a plan for improvement.
You will learn to love your blog once again.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
This post is adapted from lesson 6 of the Blog Triage Self-Study, which Alyson and I created and hundreds of artists have benefited from.
If you need help falling back in love with your blog, you have just 2 more days to enroll in Blog Triage. It’s just $47, and Alyson says it disappears completely after Sunday, February 16. Click here to read all about it.About Our Guest Blogger
Through her company Original Impulse, Cynthia Morris helps writers, artists and entrepreneurs get out of their own way so they can make things that matter. Cynthia publishes a newsletter, Impulses, to help creative people stay happily on track. Subscribe here.
How often are you hit up for a donation of your art?
All artists are, at some point, asked to donate their work for a good cause. Most artists have soft hearts and want to help out anyone who asks.
The problem is that U.S. tax laws prevent artists from deducting fair market value for their donations. You can only deduct the cost of materials.
In light of this rule disfavoring artists, you might think these philanthropists are testing the limits of your love and commitment to their cause. But they’re only doing their job.
Rather than get upset about being asked, resign yourself to the fact that you will be asked for donations. You need to be prepared with a response that reflects your boundaries while educating those doing the asking.
It’s perfectly fine to have a policy against donating your art under any circumstances.
If you choose to donate, you’ll be well served with written guidelines that you can share in a moment’s notice. These donation guidelines could include the following three aspects.
1. The Education Piece
People should be reminded that the tax laws do not favor gifts from artists – that you cannot receive a full tax deduction from a donation. They should also understand the value of your art and why you can’t donate to every worthy cause.
It’s your job to educate them.
They need to know that your art career is a serious endeavor, and that you rely on the full-value sale of the work to feed yourself and your family.
2. The Organizations You Support
You cannot support every cause, so choose one or two that are closest to your heart. Identify specific organizations by name since you can’t even support every organization within a cause.
This is where I get on my soapbox and preach to artist organizations that ask for donations from their members. I believe that any organization whose mission it is to support artists should offer artists a percentage of sales to artists – even at fundraisers.
3. The Monetary Value Limit
Even though you might not be able to deduct the full-market value of a piece you donate, you are still losing the potential of the full-value income from it. What are your donation value limits?
Set an amount for the year and stick with it.Two Alternatives for Donating Your Art
Rather than donating outright and creating guidelines like those listed above, you might offer a couple of alternatives that could allow you to donate much more frequently.
The first option is for the organization to buy your art at wholesale and sell it for as much as they can get. I like this option because it incentivizes them to maximize the sale price.
The other option is for you or the organization to find a donor that can buy the work, donate it for the auction or sale, and receive a full-value tax deduction.
Too many artists have been burned by disorganized events, lousy auctioneers, and devastating sales prices after donating their art. With policies and expectations in writing, you should be able to spread the love of your art to the nonprofits whose work you support.Resources for Artist Donations
Two artists share the language they use in response to donation requests:
I highly recommend the book Living and Sustaining a Creative Life, a book of 40 artist essays edited by Sharon Louden.
From these successful artists, you’ll discover:
- You are not alone.
- The life of an artist doesn’t get easier with success. More people depend on you as you add to your list of obligations.
- All artists struggle to find balance between studio time and family time. The mothers in the book say that kids have forced them to be productive. There is no time to waste.
- Socializing and self-promotion are necessary. As is writing.
- Art might happen in the private confines of the studio, but a career requires all kinds of connections outside of the studio. You must learn to work well with others.
I really enjoyed essays by Peter Drake and Richard Klein. Drake writes about the numerous academic positions he has had and his gallery relationships. He says, “The idea of a primary dealer who is in control of your entire professional life is almost extinct. Most galleries do not have the staff to engage in real career development, and so that has fallen more to the artist to accomplish than the dealer.”
Klein is both artist and curator who rises before dawn to start his work. I appreciated his words about the importance of seeking inspiration outside of the studio for a full and creative life: “. . . the solitary world of the studio doesn’t consistently provide the inspiration I require for a full and active intellectual life.”
Read the Kate Shepherd essay for an accounting of how she gets help from her assistants.
And don’t miss Julie Blackmon‘s humor. I practically laughed out loud as she told of balancing studio time and a 12-year-old kid who wants Nacho Cheese Doritos for dinner. When she starts a new piece, she gives herself “permission to be a really bad mother for a few days.”
But you should read all of the essays. There are little gems from each artist.