Get One-on-One Help with Your Visual Art Business!

I love nothing better than working with artists who are eager to grow their businesses.  If this sounds like you, we need to connect!

Also, I am excited to announce some enhancements to my Personal Consulting Package.   The package still includes a review of your art business along with a written plan of recommended actions to take.  I’ve added a follow-up component, including weekly email and monthly phone calls for three consecutive months after your consultation.  I decided to add this component after “piloting” it with a recent client.  She felt that the weekly check-ins were a big part of her being able to push her business forward, so I’ve decided this needs to be a part of the package.

Additionally, any lessons or programs that are included in my Sell Your Art program will be provided to you at no charge.  Some of these tools include:

Finding Your Vision Lesson and Worksheet 

Writing Your Artist Statement and Bio – Lesson and Worksheet

Sell Your Art Overview Video Presentation 

Managing Your Contacts Tool 

Managing Your Prospects Tool 

The Personal Artist Consulting Package including all of the follow-up calls/emails and tools is $300.

I am currently scheduling consultations for January.   There is a limited number of artists I can work with so I encourage you to commit now to doing this for your business in 2018.

Click here to get started!  

The Business of Art: Start Smart!

Join me on September 30th for a free workshop at the North Hills Art Center.

“The Business of Art:  Start Smart!”  

You’re ready to sell your work, but what should you do first? Learn about what it takes to “Start Smart” by setting a good foundation for a successful art business. This class will review key elements that are critical for a new art business as well as how to navigate the world of art marketing and deciding which tools and outlets make sense for you. We will review strategies to help you to build your business alongside a full-time job, raising a family or other commitments in your life. This class will also be helpful if you have already started selling your work but feel like you could use some direction in growing your business. Come and get some new ideas that you can infuse into your creative venture!

North Hills Art Center
September 30, 2017
9 am – noon
3432 Babcock Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA  15237
Registration Deadline 9/23/2017

Register here.

Get Your Artist Statement “Cheat Sheet”

The Artist Round Table Sessions focused on writing an artist statement are over and plans are in the works for the next topic.  If you weren’t able to attend a session this summer,  you can still get a copy of the Artist Statement “Cheat Sheet” used to guide the discussion.  The Cheat Sheet contains tips that can help any visual artist who needs to write an artist statement.  Get your copy here when you sign up for the Artisan Advantage newsletter.

Are You Ready to Start an Art Business? Sign #3

#3 You are Self-Motivated  

The third sign in my “Are You Ready to Start an Art Business?” series is that you are self-motivated.    Taking control,  setting and sticking to a schedule and delegating your own work excites you.  You are able to manage your time and stay on track to complete projects.

If you don’t see yourself as a self-starter, there are steps you can take to become one.  Setting a regular schedule and putting some simple systems into place can be extremely effective at boosting your motivation.    That being said, if you like being told what to do and are not comfortable pushing yourself to get work done on your own, take some time to consider whether you’re up for the task of being your own boss before investing time or money into your venture.

Stay tuned to this blog or sign up for my free e-newsletter to continue to get information regarding the signs that you might be ready to start your art business.

Take a Break!

Do you take breaks during your work day?  It’s proven that sitting is not good for our health.   As an artist, you might work on your feet, which is a good start in not being sedentary all day…but even if you’re standing, it’s good to take mental breaks during your day.

I work at a desk, so I’ve made a practice of working for 25 minutes, and then taking a 5 to 10 minute break where I get up and move around.    I decided to use this formula after reading the Pomodoro Technique Illustrated.     Twenty five minutes seemed like a short amount of time at first, but I quickly realized that with some simple pre-planning, it was just enough time to help me to stay focused and get things done.     In order to make the 25 minute blocks work for me, there is some simple pre-planning involved.   I know exactly how many 25 blocks I will work in a given day and what I will be doing during those blocs.  Otherwise, I would spend 5 of the 20 minutes figuring out what to do next.   I ask my new best friend Alexa to remind me when 25 minutes are up so that I know to take my break.

What do I do during those 10 minute breaks?  It varies.  Since I work at home, I often use that time to do some light housework, throw a load of laundry in, fold some clothes or other chore.  I’m always amazed at how much I can get done in those breaks.  I also use some of the breaks to take time for calm meditation.  If I have quick phone calls to return, I might do that while walking around the house to get on my feet.

During those 25 minute blocks, the key is that nothing gets me up from my desk.  I save anything that I might want to do – like get a cup of coffee – for break time.

This system has worked so much better for me than my old habit of just sitting at my desk for hours and hours.  I find that I’m much more productive and feel better at the end of the day.

If you’re not taking breaks during your work day,  try to incorporate a system that works for you.

Do you have a system for taking breaks that works for you?  Share it here in the comments below.

Would you like more tips and ideas for your art business?  Please sign up for my free e-newsletter here.

Your Artist Statement and Bio

If I asked you for a copy of your artist statement and bio, could you send me a copy of both today?  If not, why not?  Maybe you have one, but not the other.  Maybe you have them, but they are outdated by several years.  If you need to write or update them, here are some tips.

Your artist statement should be a reflection of you and your work.  You are telling your audience what you want them to understand about your art.  You are explaining to them why they should want to look at your work.  

  1. Write it in the first person.
  2. Write about your creativity, emotions and things that influence your art.
  3. Keep it real.  Make it an authentic representation of you and your work.
  4. Keep it concise and clear.   Your audience will thank you.
  5. It should represent current work.
  6. Consider multiple versions for different bodies of work.
  7. Tell people what you want them to know about your work.
  8.  Keep a journal as you work, writing down thoughts that come to you about influences and ideas that you have along the way.  It will be helpful to you when you sit down to write your statement.

Your bio is a highlight of your background, career and accomplishments.  Think of it as a snapshot of your CV or resume. 

  1.  Write it in the third person.
  2. Include recent highlights and accomplishments such as awards, publications, notable commissions, etc….
  3. Write both a short (50 to 100 words) and longer version of a couple of paragraphs.
  4. Add a quality head shot.

For both the artist statement and biography you want to do the following:

  1.  Review and update at least once a year.
  2.  Have them ready to go when you need them, both electronically and in print.
  3. Proofread!
  4.  Ask someone else to proofread and for input.

Do you have a question about your artist statement or bio?  Drop me a line at becky@artisan-advantage.com and I will try to help.

Do you think this article might help an artist you know?  Please consider sharing on social media or forwarding via email with the buttons below.

Would you like more tips for your art business?  Sign up for my free e-newsletter here.

Photo Credit:  Alejandro Escamilla

A Resource for Art Fairs and Festivals

Does your business plan including selling at art fairs and festivals?

If so, you need to join the online community at Art Fair Insiders.  Art Fair Insiders serves art fair artists.

Within this site,  you will find reviews and tips for most major art shows around the country by artists who have participated in them.   There are forums where you can exchange ideas, ask questions and find products for sale that you can use in your business.  In the “Ask the Photographer” section, Larry Berman answer questions about photographing your work – a key component to your art business.  You’ll also find a forum where you can submit photos of your booth for reviews, as well as see examples of other artists’ booths.

If art fairs and festivals are your thing.  Take some time to check it out.

Do you have another resource for art fairs and festivals that you’d like to share?  Please let us know in the comments below.

Would you like to get more tips on building your art business?  If so, please sign up for my free newsletter here.

Photo Credit:  Copyright: serenethos / 123RF Stock Photo

9 Smart Ways to Protect Your Studio Time

Studio Time The most important part of your visual art business, creating, can easily fall off your to do list when you’re faced with other pressing tasks in your business and life.   Yet, making art regularly is the lifeblood of your business.   While I’m not a visual artist,  I am trying to set aside consistent time for writing.    Maybe you can try these nine ways I use to protect my daily writing time.

1. Put it first

While it seems counter-intuitive, try creating before doing anything else in the day.  I have a set time goal for myself and get busy as soon as I’m ready to work.   You can do the same devoting your time to your creative work.   The accomplishment of making progress on your art  will boost your confidence for the rest of the day.

2. Schedule it as an appointment

Block out the time on your calendar.   Treat the time as the same as any important commitment.

3. Say no to myself. 

If I am so busy that I can’t find twenty minutes at the start of each day to write, I know there is too much on my plate and something has to give. This is a life issue, not a creativity issue.   If you’re have the same struggle, stop taking on too much and get smarter about delegating what is already on your plate.

4. Say no to other people

While in the studio,  close the door, turn off your phone, and stay away from email.   What happens when you need to do something during the time you’ve pre-blocked for your creative work?  Don’t cancel it, but reschedule it for later in the day.

5.  Change the environment.  Make your work space a place that you want to retreat to.  This can be done with lighting, music, or a great cup of coffee.  Take some time to figure out what is going to motivate you to get into that space.

6.  Control your environment

Stay off your computer and put your phone on forward.  I turn my phone ringer down and only answer if it is school calling.  You can do the same.  If you must be available to a sitter, school, or family member..have a hard and fast rule that you only answer for that one specific number.

7. Record other ideas to maintain focus.

Keep a notebook handy to write down unrelated thoughts and to-dos that pop into your head.   This puts your mind at east knowing you won’t forget that thought later.

8. Stick with it

Try the Pomodoro Technique which keeps you focused or a 25 minute block of time.   Set a timer and force yourself to sit through periods of creative block, discomfort, or even boredom.

9.  Match the task to the time

I am at my best first thing in the morning.   I have a lot of mental energy at this time.  This is when I try to schedule my writing time.  Later in the day, my mind is more easily distracted and my mental energy fades.   More mundane business and personal tasks are taken care of in the middle of the day.    Figure out when you are most creative and structure your studio time around this peak.

Do you have a trick or technique that has helped you to stay in the studio on a regular basis?   I’d love to hear your ideas below.