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The Lingo. Ringo. Bingo. of Social Media

When I first heard the words “social media,” I had 3 years of the smARTist Telesummit under my belt, had sold thousands of copies of my Writing The Artist Statement book, and coached dozens of private artist clients.

I barely had time to brush my teeth, much less prance around a “social” site with old high school classmates-who never gave me the time of day, way-back-when, in the first place.

I admit to a glop of self-righteousness:  I (oh, no, not I) wasn’t going to fall for this latest Internet hula hoop. I was going to stay focused on the business of serving artists. (See me, with my nose in the air?)

Then, marketing guru Adam Urbanski held a series of…

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Let there be light!

Years ago I became aware of how many times, upon meeting me for the first time, someone would ask, “Are you an artist?”

Now, let me be clear. I don’t flaunt orange hair and nose piercings. I don’t even wear flamboyant, artsy clothes. (Pretty, yes. Sometimes beautiful, yes. Just not what I would call “artsy,” which conjures up, in my mind, gorgeous handmade yummies.) And I certainly don’t turn up in torn jeans with paint all over them.

Nevertheless, that question – Are you an artist? – seems to travel everywhere I do. And it always makes me…

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The Power of Black

NOTE: This post, for those of you keeping up, is a re-post from last year. Why? Because, the problem isn’t going away and I’m the drumbeat in the lost artist jungle….


Artists love black. Love, love, love it. It has class. It engages. It draws you in.

Black is classy. It fairly screams “high end.” It dominates and holds our attention. Let’s face it: black has power.

And for years and years and years it has been the color of choice to lay the crown jewels on, as the backdrop for a brochure, in framing… the list goes on.

But let me tell you the one place where everything black does, and stands for, works completely against you.

And against your…

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Inside a barrel or watching the waves crash in?

Taking the month of August off, like they do in Europe, has totally changed my idea of “context.” Suddenly things I wasn’t even aware of are popping into view.

Like posts that are ready to come back around for a second reading.
From now until I return in Sept, I’ll be dishing up yummy leftovers.



Once upon a time, an artist I was working with spent a long time priming and polishing her artist statement for a very serious studio exhibition she was planning in Boston.

She had been working for over a year on a series of oil paintings that had taken her in new directions, and she was attending to every detail of the exhibit with loving care.

Her large, abstract work was engaging on its own. But when you got a chance to read about her process and her thoughts as she painted, the work took on an even larger presence.

Part of my job was to coach her on how to present her artist statement so it reflected the same attention to detail that her art did.

But, as the saying goes…you can lead a horse to water…

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Brave New Art World: Part 3

I was surprised last week by how lackluster everyone felt toward Art.sy. (I’d say “shhhh….” only I don’t think anyone’s listening ;-) And really, really excited by the depth of all of your comments.

Finding truly innovative ways to show and sell art, even with the explosion of online possibilities, seems as if the Holy Grail of the art world is never fully coming into view—a sense that something, as yet unimaginable, is forming beyond the mist.

Could Suzanna Gratz be about to change all that?

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Confidence Part 5: How Naked is Your Public Confidence?

How much is genuine confidence, as opposed to overblown bravado, tied into your ability to be real, to be authentic with the people who want to know more about you and your art?

We humans have amazing internal radar that picks up bs automatically. It’s a survival instinct, where knowing what’s real and what’s not has always been crucial.

We also have some equally amazing internal barricades that can rewrite our first, instinctual responses and kick us upstairs into the more civilized Brain Override Lounge.

Sometimes this is a good idea, when our instinctual response is actually triggered by an old pattern that no longer makes any sense. Other times it’s a form of personal delusion, when facing something authentically is going to ask more of us than we feel up to.

Either way, the people around us will…

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Are You On Pinterest Yet?

I’m inside the smARTist Telesummit Community Forum tonight reading more of the exciting, informative posts from this year’s conference participants. Each year, this Forum brings me thought provoking resources, and 2012 has been no different.

Artists were counseling each other with idea brainstorming, reflecting on artist statements, talking about the value of art, discussing marketing ideas, print sale options for artists, vanity galleries, and so much more it would take hours to catalog.

But there was one thing in particular that caught my fancy…

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#ArtBlue-What About The Power of Art?

It’s been almost two weeks since our first Blue Stocking Art Salon began and the emails continue to come in from artists who were with us live, and artists who listened to the recording.

In that first conversation, I commented on how refreshing it was to talk about something besides marketing and business.

And it seems that the artists on the call thought so too. Here are a couple of quick excerpts that Lori (my Art Salon compatriot!) pulled out…

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Exposure. Exposure. Exposure

Branding your artwork is like washing dishes: it never ends!

And exposure is the only way your branding can make an impact.

There are two levels of branding exposure you need to leverage for your art:
Free and Paid.

Both are important and both…

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The NEW Professional: Part 1 of 3

Professional used to have an allure of conservative confidence instantly recognizable by the dark blue suit, skirt just below the knees, the sensible heels, perhaps pearl earrings and a thin chain of gold peeking beneath a scarf.

It was warm but reserved, attentive but distant, confident and quietly cagey. (I think it was called getting “the upper hand.”)

Then virtual reality came along and…

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SOFA, Red Dots, and Artist Statements

Geoffrey Gorman's "Creatures of Curiosity"

I spent a grand spring day at SOFA NY (it poured!), hobnobbing around with Geoffrey Gorman, attending a lecture by Michael Petry, the director of MOCA London on his new book The Art of Not Making, and touring all the gorgeous artwork in the two dozen gallery booths. This was a high end New York show with a clientele to match.

But for the life of me, I couldn’t keep my coaching hat off (drives my family nuts too). It was the very first booth I stepped into–because there were these stunning glass sculptures of Martin Rosol’s that simply took my breath away; I loved the clean, geometric lines, just my cup of tea–and of course I wanted to…

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A Very Short Story About Selling Art

Christine Montague - The Model Visits the Portrait Studio

Well, I guess a more appropriate title would be: An Open Letter With a Short, Short Story Tucked Inside.

This came from an artist, who was attending the smARTist Telesummit 2011, and wrote this forum post to one of the speakers, Jason Horejs.

Notice her progression from Sell my art? You gotta be kidding…

To…., well, here…read it for yourself…

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Is One of These Your Question?

The Internet is allowing more artists than ever to make money these days by opening up the information flow. And it seems just as many are frustrated with how to evaluate this information for their art career.

If you’re having trouble figuring out your information priorities, it might be because you’re getting stand-alone information without enough art-specific context.

The truth is, the information flow that worked a few years ago has increased to the point that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to untangle the layers that apply to your vision and your goals.

One key to avoiding this kind of frustration is to segment the information around specific, artist-generated questions.

Every year, the smARTist Telesummit starts with two MasterMind Panel Days that draw on years of art-career experience from my leading authorities who answer questions that are submitted by the artist participants who come to the 7-day live conference.

And now, everyone on this year’s “Interest List” has access to

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Another Bright Idea Bites The Dust

When I invited Molly Gordon to come speak at my very first smARTist Telesummit in 2007, and she accepted, I knew exactly what I was doing.

Molly has one a way of explaining complex or etherial ideas so I feel as if I’m looking into a clear Alpine stream.

In her most recent blog post, she lays out exactly what happens when one more bright idea of ours bites the dust.

In Molly’s own words:

Have you ever had a great idea–or two–that you were eager to act on, but you couldn’t seem to get moving? It could have been an art project, a blog, a book. Whatever it was, the initial inspiration seemed so clear, and then? Mush.

Want to read it all? She gives you crystal clear steps for dusting off your bright idea so it can shine on its own.


And yes! Molly is returning for smARTist Telesummit 2011, where she’s going to give you an easy peasy recipe for pricing your art.

If you haven’t put yourself on the 2011 smARTist Interest List, I strongly suggest doing it now before you forget. Because, that will be the only group who hears about the Early Bird Discount that will be here and gone in the blink of an eye. Don’t miss it!


New York City Art Fair-Is It Right For Your Art?

I have a lot of material in my smARTist library, but until this  year, Art Fairs were not high on my list.

All that changed when I met Richard Rothbard – artist, gallery owner, and art fair producer – at a CODA conference in Savannah, GA, where I was speaking this last spring.

Besides hosting CODA Conference attendees at his Savannah Gallery, Richard treated me to a very non-Southern meal of fantastic sushi and brought me on board for his Contemporary Art Fair NYC, a sister show to his American Craft Fair NYC.

I was fascinated by Richard’s enthusiasm for bringing artists to NYC at a price they could afford – since most high-end venue Art Fairs are truly exorbitant. But more than that, it occurred to me that Richard was carrying around a wealth of information on Art Fairs.

I realized, in short order, that no one had thought to…

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