Posts Tagged ‘being an artist’

When Small Things Snowball

When I first started selling my book on Writing the Artist Statement the shopping cart installed on my website malfunctioned.

Now, mind you, I didn’t know this at the time. I just thought no one was buying my book. Since I’m always into the next project on my inner to-do list, I pretty much let it go at that.

Far be it from me to force anyone to buy my book! [Which, in those early days, meant I equated selling used cars to book selling, and wasn’t about to get my hands “dirty.”]

Then something unremarkable happened…

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What Gets In The Way?

There were 36 hours this week when my normally plucky self completely derailed. You know, the equivalent of a dozen bad hair days slamming into you all at once.

Thank goodness, when that happens, I have a coach. A smart and compassionate one who doesn’t let me get away with much.

Her first question, when I confessed I’d woken up feeling like a failure, was: When did that start?

Well, of course, the part of me that preferred wallowing to working drew a blank.

I woke up that way, so hey, did it start in my sleep? (heading down dark paths of the psyche brings out my cheeky side)

What followed was a volley of questions (hers) and non-answers (mine). My coach is remarkably patient, or tenacious, depending on how “oh,-I’m-not-feeling-resistant” resistant I’m being.

I still don’t remember the exact moment I gave myself permission to…

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Hiding Out in Plain Sight

I know, this is not the first time I’ve disappeared from my blog.

Thank goodness for all my smARTist Telesummit Alumni whose art is a balm for bad habits. (I’m waving to every single one of you!!!)

In the past, I’ve fallen off the blog wagon because, honestly, I wasn’t inspired.

And I’d beat myself with the wet noodle of: be disciplined, grl! You don’t need to date the muse every time you write a blog post.

I would scoot over to Alyson Stanfield’s blog or Joan Stewart’s and think: why the heck (well, maybe “heck” is more PG13 than I’m fesin’ up to) can’t I do that?

Be consistent.

Be concise.

Be clear.

Have a specific action for you to take/follow.

Then I’d go right back…

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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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Are You Hiding Behind The Beauty? (Great Art, Part 2):

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a lot that comes with being an artist to stoke the ego fires:

  • Admiration
  • The ultimate badge of specialness
  • Cascading down the river of Creativity Flow
  • Rampant self-expression
  • The delight of watching what’s around the corner coming toward you (or you toward it)
  • An unbridled sense of a purpose-driven life
  • Merging with forces that are bigger than the ego (a bit of irony, that one)
  • The ability to create beauty (as in “the eye of the beholder”)

Only, before I continue, a couple of clarifications… 

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What Makes Great Art Great? (Part 1)

Over the last six years, I’ve asked hundreds of artists how they define success through the unique Vision Questionnaire that the participants in my smARTist Telesummit fill out.

And as surprising as it was to me, an insignificant percentage defined success as producing great art. For the majority, it was an income number coming from their art – anywhere from $20,000 to $500,000 a year.

Maybe it’s because great art is associated with historical figures, museum retrospectives, and millions being thrown down on the auction block. Maybe great feels like shoes too big to fill.

Or it comes tagged with the age-old response that great is in the eye of the beholder, i.e., too subjective to pin down.

Or for women artists the persistent patriarchal overlay on great means it’s an exercise in futility, while for men great becomes a challenge that might best them even as they are doing their best.

What would change if great was not only definable, but also…

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Confidence In Your Relationship To Your Art (Part 2 of 5)

Welcome to the phantasmagorical world of Geoffrey Gorman_American Style Mag

Geoffrey Gorman, artist and partner in our Art Career Mentor Program, made a very provocative statement during one of our sessions. He said that “curiosity is the most important trait an artist can have.”

Arguably, he was referring to the making of art where an artist lubricates all parts of the process by staying open and curious about materials, about subject matter, and the message.

But I think there’s another dimension where curiosity will separate out the short pants from the long pants (now why isn’t there…

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Confidence (Part 1 of 5) – 3 Ways to Heat Up Your “Studio Confidence”

The comments you left on my last post about confidence made me realize this is a subject begging for more.

So let’s shake it out.

Let’s take each of the five points I made, last week, and expand in as many directions as we can in a 5-part series. (Well, if you count last week that would be 6 parts ;-) but who’s counting?)

And, I’m going to need your help for this. I’ll be able to nail down a few ideas, but it’s you, out there in the studio day after day, who can tell me what I can’t even imagine.

Here’s what I’m looking for, from you

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I’m “Out of the Closet”

Something’s been bubbling up around here, an underground hot spring that finally shot up an unanticipated geyser last week on Lori Wolfson’s and my Blue Stocking Art Salon gathering. The most surprising thing was that the artists on the call weren’t particularly surprised. Turns out I’ve been walking my silent talk all along – and only I have been oblivious to how obvious it has been. Until last Wednesday, I thought I was perfectly happy to let the hot spring in my soul remain…

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After a Sale, Go Slow

by smARTist Speaker,  Alyson B. Stanfield

Don’t overwhelm your art buyers with a lot of stuff and promotional material at the time of sale. Why?

Because you want to save items for future mailings – “touches” for your collectors. You’ll need to follow up regularly in order to keep your name in front of people.

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Part 2 – Buying Art: Can We Return to the Good Old Days?

by smARTist Speaker, Jack White

Check out my next two, short stories and start reinventing how you sell art today.

Story 1 – Stone Cold Creamery Sells Excitement. Ice Cream is the cherry on top!

I recently read a small book by Seth Godin, All Marketers Are Liar. Seth tells a great story of Stone Cold Creamery. The company started in Phoenix and now is in forty-six states. Stone Cold charges seven to ten times more than you would pay for Blue Bell ice cream at your local 7-11.

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Part I – Buying Art: Can We Return to the Good Old Days?

by smARTist Speaker, Jack White

Thirty-five years ago, I gave a client an exciting experience he never forgot. In return, years later, he lobbied for me to become an Honoree Admiral in the Texas Navy. (I commissioned on the USS Lexington.)  I gave my collector a “Highlighter Day” in the ‘70s, and he repaid me for that exciting buying experience with Governor Perry making my commission official with his signature.

In the past four decades I’ve seen a lot of changes in the art market; however none as radical as the years following 9-11. People are now ambling through outdoor shows and galleries in a zombie daze. 40% of the Carmel Galleries closed within six months after 9-11. Scores of artists gave up their careers.

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Return of the King. Return of the Queen.

by smARTist speaker, Eden Maxwell

You are making art, and you feel that your creations should support you. Is this a reasonable demand, or not? Didanyone guarantee this financial arrangement?

Let’s look and dig deep. Having your art exhibited and acquired by collectors adds up to prestige and money. But, what if this is not happening? Having or knowing your philosophy will make the difference between a sense of fulfillment and a sense of failure.

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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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Blue Stockings, Uppity Women, and Art

"Saint Dancing" by Lori Wolfson

When artist Lori Wolfson and I began talking, oh some six or more years ago, we found ourselves quickly traipsing through a tangled underbrush of ideas that sent adrenalin spinning in our veins.

We might start, as women often do, with an update on our romantic relationships, or the latest challenge in our personal lives.

But we never actually landed in that domestic territory. Instead, something one of us would say would immediately cause us both to…

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