Archive for the ‘art marketing’ Category

Monday Marketing…Catalogues? Rules? Truths?

Some nice marketing help from two of the gurus out there: Alyson Stanfield and Tara Reed. These four articles resonated with me, as their topics have been on my mind. First up, thinking about a catalog? Alyson has two articles on catalogs. “Peek Inside a Catalog of Your Art” has fabulous tips. This past spring I put together a “quickie” book from Shutterfly to showcase our work, but I would definitely do things differently next time. I lacked a good artist statement, credit lines, prices….oh so many mistakes. It did look gorgeous, all nice and big, but it could have been so much more. With the availability of print-on-demand and good software that makes designing books and catalogs easy, this is something we should all look at.

“Where to Distribute Catalogs of Your Art”  by Alyson follows up on your design and printing. Again, thanks to print-on-demand, pricing might now be so bad. Catalogs can be pricey, so think carefully about who gets a catalog. Optimize your audience.

I love this next: “Thirteen Truths About Marketing Your Art.” Oy, I need to review these every couple of weeks! Number 13 is my absolute weakness…..

Be sure to check out Alyson’s blog – loads of great advice!

 The last marketing gem is from Tara Reed of the Art Licensing Blog. Titled “The Rules of My Treehouse,” six great rules to help you continue creating art. I love “Don’t dwell on the negative.” Keep those folks out of your treehouse – and your life!

 If you are at all interested in checking out licensing your artwork, click below. I’ve used Tara’s books as I develop my own licensing plans, and they are really excellent. (Disclosure: I get a commission if you buy any of her materials off this website.) And…if you would rather be in the studio creating art, then check out Alyson’s book, I’d Rather Be in the Studio!



Make something happen this week! My newsletter is set to go out (almost written), so sign up at the top right if you’re not a subscriber – a chance to win free marbled fabric!

Monday Marketing – Keep Your Chickens Flying

Love the headline. This article comes from Fine Art Views blog, and the message for me is very timely, and hopefully it will resonate with many of you. Here’s a quote from the article:

“Keeping the chickens flying means you will find a way to make it. The old farmer took the risk to haul double the amount his truck would carry. He knew he would have to keep half of the chickens in the air. It’s sorta like us juggling our budget to make ends meet. You are facing two choices, give up or find a way to keep your chickens flying.”

I think so many of us are trying to figure out new ways of working and diversifying so we can make it as artists. Lower prices, develop new products, try something completely different, double down our marketing efforts…..we will find ways to make it.

Sometimes you need to look at networking with others. I’ve written about The Textile and Fiber Arts List before. This is an amazing group of textile and fiber folk from around the world. $75 membership, one time only, no renewals. Lots of marketing opportunities. We are not alone in our work, even though it seems that way as we work on our art, stitch by stitch.  We need community, and TAFA is a great way to begin. Consider it your professional organization for your resume.

And while we’re at the motivation stage, here’s an article from Dumb Little Man. Everything just kind of goes together.

Here’s hoping to a productive art-making week – and art-selling week – for all of us.

Ps – any spelling errors are from one-fingered typing – put the needle through my finger……

 

 

 

 

Monday Marketing – What Exactly Have YOU Done This Week?

Over at the Handmadeology blog, I’m doing a series on niche markets – those of us who have a really unique product, and potentially a limited audience. This week’s article is about unusual marketing ideas – things we’ve done – or attempted – because we can’t afford to do anything else. I’m hoping that this week I will get a lot of comments and some new ideas to try, and then I’ll be able to share them in the next blog post.

This series that I am doing has a secondary purpose – am I really doing all I should to market my business? It seems to me, when I wrote the post, that all the really cool ideas came when I had no money for advertising, and way before social media kicked in big time. So I’m thinking about what I can do that’s new and different…..

Writing for Handmadeology is one thing. I answered a blog post with an idea, something I don’t normally do, and voila – three weeks later I have a regular column that hopefully will send visitors – and sales – my way.

Tophatter, the new auction site, is interesting – I have sold a few pieces of fabric, but it is frustrating trying to get items scheduled. It’s fun to be in an auction, it doesn’t cost you anything except some time to list and be available for the auction. Stand-by is frustrating…in order to get out of stand-by, someone has to put a bid on your item. Which means, on the one hand, it’s definitely sold, but on the other, you wait around for the actual auction. Kudos to Tophatter for having a text alert when an item you are watching is about to come up for auction. I’m afraid I’m going to find out that to get some good scheduling times, you will need to pay. I don’t know that this is the case; I need to check it out this week.

Other than those two things, I don’t feel like I have done anything new for marketing. I have items on my list, but it will be a while till I get to them, and….they just don’t seem exciting enough to draw in people.

But then I remind myself of one of the key areas in algebra: exponential growth.

You start out very slowly, and you slowly build, until you reach the point where things take off with a life of their own. The month of May seemed like I had reached that point, but things have slowed down again. I feel like I need to jump-start the momentum again, and I’m not sure what new tricks to pull out of the hat. So…..

….this brings me to the title of this post – what have YOU done for marketing, especially if it’s unusual? Leave me a comment, let me know what you’re doing.  I’ll share all ideas, and hopefully jump-start myself again.

10,000 Hours

There was a very interesting post on the Personal Excellence blog by Celestine Chua, called 10,000 Hours on Bejeweled. She also had an earlier post on the 10,000 hours, based on a book by Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success. I found this really interesting. First, I misinterpreted the title and was thinking she had spent 10,000 hours on a video game. Turns out it is all about succeeding at what you are doing. From her article:

“… the “outliers” – i.e., the most successful people of the world, including sportsmen, business people, musicians and scientists, to understand key factors behind their success. He found the key denominator to all their success isn’t natural aptitude as many like to believe. Having a high IQ doesn’t guarantee success : There is supposedly no difference in people’s propensity to success beyond an IQ of 130. The key denominator is actually hard work. A lot of it, in fact. About 10,000 hours of it. That’s roughly 3 hours every day, for 10 consecutive years, before any one of them began to be defined as the ‘expert’ in their field.”

Wow. We tell people we’ve had our business up on line since 1997. We’ve pretty much been very small in all that time, but this year we are starting to see really good momentum. The reason? We are working at the business and the art every single day. When I was teaching, I was really limited to how much time I had for sewing, and how we could work a marbling session in on the weekends. We needed to put in the time in order to grow, and now we finally can.

It’s been almost a year since I retired (May 27). During that time I have:

* created and completed, including photography, a piece for a major art quilt show;

* created and completed two commissioned art quilts and three very large table runners;

* created fat quarters (a LOT of them) for a show in La Conner, Washington, including the trip there and back (this is something I never would have been able to do had I still been teaching full time);

* took apart three small quilts and requilted them to better showcase the use of marbled fabric in traditional quilting;

* had two art quilts accepted in to a new book on art quilting;

* took three classes from Quilt University (and completely finished two of the projects);

* took a marketing class on line;

* redesigned the blog and made cosmetic changes to the website;

* set up a site on Fine Art America;

* got the Etsy store to finally start making some money, especially with gift baskets;

* spent a month working through internet courses on Facebook, Twitter, Dreamweaver, LinkedIn and Bridge on lynda.com;

* have work to enter for three upcoming art quilt shows and three magazine deadlines for work;

* started the ebook by completing the first tutorial;

* marbled fabric at least twice a week (and sometimes more);

* completed four months of challenges on the Free Motion Quilting Challenge through Facebook;

* worked through some licensing materials to continue pursuing possibly licensing deals;

* revised our company portfolio, including new business cards;

* presented a demo to a quilt guild in the northwest part of the city;

* joined SAQA and attended my first meeting;

* created two out of four seasons for a new pattern line; and

* redesigned my studio, not once but twice, since we had an unexpected move happen in February.

The funny thing is, I feel like a lot of time has been wasted this year, and I don’t mean down-time to enjoy being retired. As I wrote yesterday, trying out this new Pomodoro technique really looks like it can up my productivity, and still leave me time to veg as needed. I anticipate a huge growth year ahead…if I put in 5 hours a day, 5 days a week…….that’s at least 1300 hours for this coming year, and I think I will be putting in more. I need to actually do the marketing on Mondays, since I post about it on that day. If I take one day for marketing, that leaves the rest of he week for actually making art…and that’s what is ultimately important.

I’m curious to hear from folks – how many hours are you putting in making art?

 


Selling on Etsy……

So the Etsy shop was on hiatus while we went to Seattle and back. I’ve added lots of new fabrics in cotton and basically restocked the store. Now, we have had some movement within the store. Certainly more this past year than totally since I opened the shop. But I feel like there is so much more I can do. I need to get the links done to my TAFA (Textile and Fiber Arts list) profile, and just generally think about how I can market this. By the end of the month I expect to have silks and some other specialty fabrics in the shop.

Ebay has been great for small pieces of fabrics and remnant bags. In fact, remnants have been the big seller on eBay, so we’ll keep it that way. I will use Etsy for the specialty fabrics, and the fabrics that are more expensive. This is one of the ways I feel we can specialize, and at the same time differentiate product. I need to do some reading on getting an Etsy store to be productive, so that is one of my goals for the rest of this month. By the end of May I want to have a couple of pattern kits in the store, complete with fabric. I have two of the samples made, and I am ready to start writing the pattern, as well as complete the remaining two samples. That’s my May goal.

I have sold a couple of small quilts in the store, so I should think about increasing a few of those, especially around the holidays. Speaking of holidays, I have not been able to take advantage of buying for specific days…and Mother’s Day is coming up. I need to think about how to incorporate that.

All that said, here’s a look at the fabrics waiting for you and your projects, be they quilts, wearable art, or applique. Perfect for that creative person you know!!

 

 

Monday Marketing…..Not……

   One would think that once you are in your 60s you would stop having mid-life crises…..evidently not……..Seems I am once again concerned with the direction my artistic life will take, now that I’m retired. This thinking has kind of evolved over the last two-three months, as I realized I had over-scheduled my retirement on a weekly basis. College algebra on Monday (which takes 6 hours on Monday, plus a good chunk of Sunday for preparation), tutoring on Tuesday afternoon, yoga on Wednesday, tutoring on Thursday afternoon, yoga on Friday……add in an unexpected move, and there’s been virtually no sewing time these last six weeks. Not a happy camper……

So what to do? I have one Monday after today to finish the term, and then I am putting this teaching on a long-term hold. One of the reasons I retired was because I didn’t want this grind any more. I know I could teach more classes, but aside from screwing up SSI, I really don’t want to get back into the teaching focus. Yoga is a constant; I will keep my two mornings a week. I feel good and I am making weight progress. I’m going to keep the tutoring, as it is more rewarding, doing the one-on-one work. I picked up an additional client short-term, and both clients now will be a total of 6 hours a week, spread out, over several months at a time. That’s fine, because I can adjust travel schedules as needed pretty easily.

All that said, nothing much has gotten done on marketing. It took me forever to find the time to get new business cards made for the Seattle trip. February just flew by in a blur. This week are are attempting to finish the last of the marbling for StashFest, and we have already started to put things aside for packing. Two weeks from today we will be somewhere in California, headed north. I decided to redo a smaller quilt from about 12 years ago, to take along another example of the marbled fabrics with more free motion quilting. Spent about five hours over the weekend ripping out stitches. Surprisingly calming, not that I need another project…..

The rest of the marketing for the quarter is on the back burner. Visions got completed and entered…and I learned last week that the piece didn’t get in. Oh, well….this time at least I am philosophical and not pissed. It’s still a great piece. But I am rethinking the entering-shows-again route. I will keep making art, regardless. I do work well with deadlines, however, so I need to keep that in mind. And I do want to get back to taking some classes on line, once we are  back from Seattle.

Still no newsletter, and blogging took a big hit for about three weeks……just when I was getting so close to 3000 visitors. How important is all that? At my age, being retired, just how much of the marketing/business work do I really want to do? I find that if I don’t have one or two days a week to just sit outside, read, and generally veg, I’m not happy. So it’s time for some rethinking. And time to enjoy this new trip that’s coming….never been to Seattle and Portland, so we’re saving our pennies, given gas prices and the fact that the tax refund was virtually non-existent, so we can have some fun…and  possibly buy some new art!

Thoughts on Entering Juried Shows……

I’ve written that one of my goals for this first quarter of the year is to create some new artwork to enter into a few select juried shows. Joanne Mattera had a really interesting blog post on Monday about entering shows: When Do You Stop Entering Shows?

Certainly timely for me. Her checklists of questions to ask yourself are excellent. I had success about 10 years ago with a series of shows I entered, especially Expressions in Textiles, which was more an early art-quilt venue. I would consider this my first prestigious show. I have success entering a show in Alaska each year, which is an art show, and fortunately for me they like fiber entries. I stopped entering a lot of shows from about 2006 on for two reasons: I was teaching full time and had  very little time for creating art, and entry fees were expensive (moderately so nbow, but I must say, being able to do online entries is a blessing). The entry fee was groceries. Then I entered an art quilt show two years ago and was rejected. Aside from being P.O.’d, when I looked at the artists selected, they were the “same ole – same ole” quilt artists whose work is very recognizable. That’s when I figured I wasn’t going to play with the “big girls” any more. I needed to make work for me.

Hence my decision to try for Visions and a SAQA show this year….there, I’ve said it. Big time. If I am selected, these will be two huge pieces for my resume. Which brings me back to Joanne’s article. “But at a certain point—a tipping point, let’s think of it—you want to see your exhibition experience evolve into opportunities in which you are invited to participate.”

Yup, that pretty much says what I am aiming for. Joanne goes on to say: “Indeed, most dealers looking at an artist’s resumé want to see that evolution. ‘When I see a string of juried shows on a mid-career artists’s resume, I have to ask, ‘Where’s the progression?’ says a dealer I know.”

I know I’m making progress in creating art, and I want to be mindful of shows that would add value to my resume and future opportunities. Quilt shows aren’t going to do it for me. Some art quilt shows? Visions, SAQA, Tactile Architecture…..probably. I’m not interested in dealing with the “quilt police.” My work is not mainstream quilting, although that’s a skill I use. A number of years ago we had our work in a now-defunct fiber gallery in Scottsdale. At the time I was doing different things with my “bindings.” I was serging or facing the edges of my art quilts because the technique helped enhance the message of the piece. The gallery owner – a fairly traditional quilter who worked with bright fabrics and called them art quilts – was appalled that I didn’t have regular bindings on my quilts, and she wouldn’t take a couple of pieces without regular bindings. Well, to my way of thinking, a binding would have constricted the design in a way I didn’t want.

Those pieces are now all in private collections, and I’m still spreading my wings as an artist, trying all different kinds of techniques.

Some shows I do enter – nonjuried, no-fee art shows, where fiber will be accepted. The Tikkun Olam show was an easy show, a twelve-by-twelve piece dealing with the theme, and it could be any media. I did receive a lot of feedback about the piece and some interesting opportunities – and a lot of interesting lessons (just because you say you’re a curator doesn’t mean you’re especially good at it….). There is another show like that coming up that I plan to create work for.

In retrospect, I am on the right track. My decisions seem based in reality and forward movement for me. We’ll see how everything plays out. I am behind on my piece for the Visions show, but I have a month…..less, when I think about photography, but I’m almost there…..a solid week of sewing (which will have to be next week…) should finish it for me. And then on to the rest of the first quarter list.

First Quarter Marketing

So a while back – like the end of November – I did goals for my third season of practicing abundance and attraction. December was pretty melancholy for me, made more so by the fact that I couldn’t seem to get it together to work on my new goals. So I decided on a “do-over.”

January 1 came and I was into the zone. We’ve been marbling like crazy for StashFest in Seattle the end of March. And selling on eBay and sewing like crazy. So I recognized I would need to take some time and look at what was planned already for the first quarter and then build on and in those plans. January first we both sat down and looked at what was ahead of us to get ready for StashFest, and once the calendar was blocked out, I knew what I wanted to add.

First, updating my profile on The Textile and Fiber Arts List, which has a totally new design. This will take a while, but I need to get it done.

Second, update my Etsy site with more fabrics. I am getting down (a good thing) because of the holidays, and I want to get at least two more gift baskets up on the site.

Third, make a list of art shows available through June that I could enter. This looks at what work is already done and acceptable, and my availability for doing new work. I narrowed to five shows, of which two need significant new pieces. I am up for that challenge, as the fabric is already created for one of the entries.

Fourth, newsletters. For some reason this has been really difficult to work on….don’t really know why, except I read so much about how great your newsletters need to be and I think it intimidates me. I also have to figure out how to work Mail Chimp…..There will be two newsletters: a general one once a month, and a collectors one once a quarter.

Fifth, the portfolio needs a major overhaul in preparation for Seattle. This shouldn’t take long, once I get to it. Along with this are additional business cards and postcards. I just need to get the images set for these.

Sixth, continue normal marketing. the blog is continuing, and readership has increased, due to my posting on the FMQ list as I quilt along. I don’t tweet as much as I should, but I do post on Facebook. I haven’t been as regular with postings on the Facebook fan page, and that needs to change. I also need to comment on more blogs – get out of Google reader and pass on comments.

So those are the goals, keeping in mind by March 15 we need 400 fat quarters…..with today’s marbling we will be at 75 (and that’s just since December 30), so I’d say we are on track…….

What have you decided to do for marketing for this first quarter of a brand new year?

Goal Wheel for Artists – On Special

You know I am a fan of Tara Reed and her Art Licensing Blog. I own several of her ebooks, and she creates and delivers quality. She is having a DYNAMITE sale on her ebook “Goal Wheel for Artists.” It’s normally $57 and Tara is offering it for $27 until January 13.

View the video. If you need help with goal setting, this could be exactly what you need!

Learn more about “The Goal Wheel for Artists”

 

(FTC disclosure: I am an affiliate of Tara Reed Art Licensing Blog and receive a commission if you purchase an item.)

 

Monday Marketing

This is one of my most favorite marbling patterns, and I need to practice doing this one on fabric. It’s a great pattern, lots of movement, and I SO want to quilt some fabric with this pattern! And it seems appropriate to start out a new year of marketing with a favorite pattern. We spent New Year’s Day, hubby and I, working on our schedule for the next few months. We are participating in StashFest in La Conner, Washington, the end of March, so we have to gear up production. That plus building the business.

Normally I would have started out working on all my goals, and then we would have looked at this major opportunity. But….this time was different. And it was good it worked this way. I need to work my business goals around out production schedule, and around finishing my piece for a show deadline on February 13. I need a new portfolio prepared for the March show, additional business cards and postcards – way lots to do for that show. Newsletters – preferred customers as well as collectors – NEED to be addressed – a number 1 priority for this year. Plus maintaining Ebay and Etsy, Fine Art America, and maybe more emphasis with Cafe Press. Given the production schedule for the next 12 weeks, I’m not sure I can do much more.

I do want to get the seasons pattern written, as well as Spring and Summer created. So I am anticipating a very busy first quarter. I hope to have my specific goals set by next Monday. In the meantime, lots of sewing on my one piece, plus practicing from the Free Motion Quilting Project.

In the meantime, here’s a post from Tara Reed’s Art Licensing Blog: 4 Things to Do to Make 2012 Your Best Year Yet.

I love number four: don’t forget what makes you unique!

Also, here’s a post from Dumb Little Man: Trying to Improve Your Willpower….an interesting take on our struggles with willpower. Here’s a quick nugget:

“The problem is, willpower is a limited resource. You can’t stick to a diet by sheer willpower, day after day after day. And you’ve probably noticed that on days when you’ve been trying really hard to be patient or to stick with a tough task, you’re more likely to crack and fail in a difference area. So, if you try to improve your willpower – forcing yourself to rely on it, or even putting yourself in situations where you’ll be tested – then you’re just setting yourself up to fail.”

Day One, Season 3

  I chose my “Explosion” piece for today because that’s the kind of excitement I feel starting this new season three. Seasons one and two of Cocreating Our Reality were eye-opening and exciting, and for the last few days I have been building up to starting a new journey today. First, I am so blessed to be retired and able to work on art when and where I want to, for as long as I want to. I get to spend every day with my hubby, and life is pretty much wonderful. Health problems – of course, who doesn’t have them at our age. But – that’s not stopping me from living a great life.

I discovered over the last two seasons when it was time to evaluate my goals, that I hadn’t really stretched myself – or thought big enough. So I have been pondering that for the last week or so. What is it I actually want to do?

First and foremost, kind of came to me last night in the moments before sleep, is probably the one most on my mind. I need to take this season and concentrate on me. It sounds selfish, but it isn’t. I have health issues that really need to be addressed, and for so many years they went to the side as other things – students, work, hubby – took their place. If I expect to be as creative for as long as I want, and get out and be politically active, and write – do all the things I want to – than I need to focus on my health. So that is goal number one for this season: take the cholesterol medicine, take my vitamins, watch what I eat, get out regularly and exercise, track my food intake, get some yoga teachings, get my blood readings where they need to be. I actually started thinking this way a few days ago, and I’m pleased to say the exercise has already increased, as well as having a bit more control over appetite.

A second goal is tied in to all this. I am getting a second opinion on my vision issues and will work to find strategies to help with the depth perception and balance issues. A new doctor’s appointment is scheduled for next week Thursday, and I have a teacher friend to talk to about some basic yoga stretches. I always knew this day was coming, and now that it’s here, I need to learn to work with the new limitations.

Overall, for the first time, these two goals seem very positive. One hundred days from now, March 10, I expect that I will have been enormously successful at these first two. That statement alone is a major change for me. It’s very positive, rather than using the word “try.”

Business-wise I have some very specific goals.

Number three in my list is to solve the newsletter/collectors’ information issue. I am, as was said to a friend of mine, “leaving money on the table.” This has to be a regular business goal. I am considering taking Alyson Stanfield’s “Cultivating Your Collectors” class in February. That will depend on a number of things, primarily finances. I am good at reading and implementing, and since I accomplished four of Alyson’s goals in I’d Rather Be in the Studio!, I should be able to accomplish at least three this new season. So: newsletter, portfolio (which we will need for a major event the end of March), and I will look through the list for at least one other. Newsletter once a month should be definitely do-able. A collectors’ newsletter once a quarter should be reasonable. I’m sure there will be others to add here.

Number four is searching out wholesale suppliers for cutting back basic costs of making marbled fabric. As of yesterday I have a new wholesale account with Kona Bay fabrics, as we use their colored cotton quite successfully. We are looking for wholesale sources for premium white cotton, silk/satin ribbon (like Offray), and probably some other materials.

Number five is ramping up our Etsy shop, our Fine Art America galleries, Cafe Press, and looking in to Red Bubble, Three Sisters, and at least one other online selling site. My overall goal in all this is to be able to update these sites once a week, as well as include items from these sites in our soon-to-happen newsletters. I’ve tried setting monetary goals for Etsy and Ebay, and they are very fickle, depending on the economy. I do tweet my Etsy and Ebay offerings once a week, which certainly drives traffic to the site, but I don’t see it converting. However, I know that it is only a matter of time, as is the case with this blog. I am about to hit 1500 viewers per month, so I know it is consistency. (Concerning the blog…when Facebook changed its latest set of operating, my blog numbers dropped. Turns out, on exploration, Networked Blogs was a casualty and needed to be reactivated. Once that happened, I saw numbers increase again…..I am amazed at how net-savvy we need to be these days!)

Art-wise I also have some very specific goals.

Number six is to enter a major show with new work. The deadline for this is mid-February, and I am already hard at work on the first of two pieces. The fabric has been created, and the ideas are flowing. Here’s just some of the fabric…..

Unpolished red satin

If I get accepted, great. If not, I will have two new lovely large art pieces for our body of work. But I am putting out to the Universe that this will be show-worthy art.

Number seven is to create the kit for Marbled Seasons. Yesterday’s blog post showed the first of the four small quilts/table runners. I used to have several patterns, all of which I sold the rights to. So I just need to make more. For this goal I want this set of kits completed, and two new ideas for pattern kits, plus a rewrite of my Polynomial Quilt pattern – which I used the quilts for that very successfully in an adult algebra class to teach multiplying, and it was highly successful.

Number eight is to be completely prepared – except for minor loose ends – by March 10, for StashFest at the La Conner Quilt Museum in La Conner, Washington. We have been invited to participate, and it means marbling about 400 fat quarters in the next three months…..another reason for looking carefully at wholesale outlets! This is an interesting goal, because after our last guild presentation, I put out to the universe that it would be fun to travel and do demos in the Southern Arizona, southern New Mexico area. Well, two days later I had this email…..as Dale Anne Potter, my muse with Law of Attraction said, I was open to the possibilities.

Number nine will build on the previous. Develop a letter/sample to go to local guilds for demos and classes. I think just the development at this stage, because we will be focused on making fabric for Washington.

Number ten, under the category of Miscellaneous, comes continuing to work on Art From the Heart, a site devoted to spreading peace and nonviolence in the aftermath of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting. We had two new entries this last month, and I am hopeful for more.

Now that I have these written, I have to chuckle in that I was concerned about trying to get my goals coherent for this season. These are more detailed than the past two seasons, and they will certainly stretch me.

So Day One – I’m going to sew, work on some lists, and get ready for a small craft event on Saturday. Plus, it’s the holidays, and I want to “do more good” this year on a daily basis. May you have a really awesome day!

Monday Marketing

Some interesting food for thought from the Fine Art blog…Questions You Don’t Have to Answer. Interesting because I was frustrated at a recent show in northern Arizona. So many of the artists I was looking at did not have websites. One was a great painter, and I knew i would buy anyway, since I was  right there. But now I had no way of looking at his work for future purchases. Yes, a lot of folks take a card, walk on, and you’ve lost your chance for a sale. I don’t shop that way, but I’m guessing I’m in the minority. Thoughts?

I realize a lot of people don’t consider themselves web savvy, and perhaps that’s why they don’t have a site…or even a Facebook page. But I’m figuring the web – and art sales on the web – is here to stay. Yes, we all want the immediate sale, but in this economy, that’s probably not going to happen. I bought from the artist – prints, because the price was right, but if he’d been on line, I would have looked at one of his canvas prints. Now I have to hope I see him at another show…….

Also of interest for marketing is this article posted a while ago in What the Craft – Why Handmade is So Expensive. This is a really good look at how much time goes into each piece we make. If we totaled up all the hours we actually spent, we’d never sell anything…..

And…10 Tips to Increase Your Productivity from The Future Buzz.

For me, my productivity comes from making lists, and then determining which of the big projects to work on next. I keep deadlines in mind, although sometimes I just don’t make them. I have a couple of things coming up that are definite for major art projects, and then my lists help me organize the day-to-day items. The biggest “left-over?”

Well, there are two…..my portfolio revisions, and the newsletter development and schedule. The latter is the most important, and for some reason it just hasn’t made it to the top and actually gotten worked on. That is a goal for the start of next year, so I don’t miss out on the holiday season. However, that said, we have been MUCH better this year about approaching holiday sales.

And in that spirit….this gift basket needs a home…...see the Etsy store…….

Great marbling session on Sunday – expect to see a few more fat quarters show up in Etsy…..

Monday Marketing

Some interesting thoughts going through the mind over the last few days, primarily thinking about future directions for the business. We really enjoyed our guild demo and would like to do more, so moving up the to-do list is a plan for making that happen. We also spent a good chunk of time yesterday planning out two now major art pieces, something we haven’t done in a long time. Hubby has some great designs from a number of years ago that we want to bring to fruition. So it’s been really fun to look at the artistic side of planning.

Thanks again to Laura Bray and her e-course on Multiple Streams of Income (also available in an ebook – Click here to visit katydid designs.). For the first time I understand marketing and art-planning. I was too focused on marketing and not enough on actually creating art to increase income. My second season on 100 days ends on November 18, and I am already thinking about new sets of goals and increasing the range of goals. It’s turning out to be another good month for us, and I so want it to continue. My linking you to Laura Bray’s work is an example of a passive income strand, another area I am focused on building; you visit sites I recommend, purchase something, and I receive a commission. If you visit the Resources tab for the blog (at the top), you will see people and businesses I recommend – some of which pay me a commission, and some who don’t. Either way, I am only sending people to you that I use/have used and have confidence in.

That said, I keep reading and processing more information about building success as artists. Here’s a couple of articles I’ve found in the last few days that may be timely for you.

Thinking about giving up the art business? From Fine Art Views blog comes “Boiling Point.” A good read if you are discouraged by success as an artist.

From Joanne Materra comes a great post on potential scams we all have to be on the watch for. Called “Don’t Fall For It,” it’s a look at potential scams.

Image from The Great American Disconnect Blog

And along the same line, from Artsy Shark comes an article about applying to exhibitions, “Five Tips on Getting into More Juried Art Exhibitions.” A word about Artsy Shark – we will be a featured artist sometime in the next few weeks….stay tuned!

Have a great week marketing and building your joy!

Top Ten Tuesday

It’s Tuesday, and here’s the Top Ten.One advantage to being on trips is I get caught up all at once and get lots of things listed for the next Tuesday! Don’t forget the bonus at the bottom from MAD Magazine!

From Dumb Little Man comes another interesting idea for organization: Try the Tag-It Approach for Increased Daily Productivity. I particularly like the parameters for tagging the tasks…like “high on irritation/nagging.”

 30 Places to Buy and Sell Stock Photos, from Kate Harper’s blog of Greeting Card Design. Some great resources for photographers.

From JPG Magazine comes some great photos of  their challenge “Give Me A Sign.”If you’re a serious photographer, you probably already know this site. If you just love eye candy, then follow along with their blogs.

Trees at Work by Quin Hoxie

Linda Matthews has a guest blogger on the topic of our inner critic. Here’s the start of Chris Zydel’s essay:

“I came across a startling statistic recently, which is that more than 90% of all children consider themselves to be creative yet only 10% of adults see themselves as having any creative capacity.

So what happened? How do so many of us lose our connection with the basic truth that we are all born creative and that it’s not meant to just go away once we get our adult badge?”

Alyson Stanfield has an amazing, right-on post about exposure for artists and the pitches that are thrown our way: You Promise Exposure, We Want Results.  This really resonates with me, as we have had issues with folks from quilt guilds asking for donations. We no longer do that because 1) we were never thanked, 2) we never got a copy of the program or any publicity material mentioning us, and 3) our local quilt guild made assumptions about us always donating because they couldn’t afford to pay us. Sorry – I have bills to pay. So – if you’ve been in this position – and even if you haven’t – read this article!

Okay, here’s some of the coolest new fonts! Kate Harper Designs has a cool link to a blog post on typography. How can you not love a chocolate font?!?!? This is from DJ Designer Lab: 40 Beautiful Handmade Fonts.

From Lyric Kinard comes a bead tutorial that goes with her new DVD, Bead It Like You Mean It (on my wish list….). I do want to try these stacks.

From Cool Hunting comes a look at word play, “Word as Image,” much like the words we tried to decipher in class. Some interesting new revisions.

From Fine Art Views comes a blog post by Moshe  Mikanovsky about 10 Ways to Use Your Smart Phone when it comes to marketing and building your business. A couple of good ideas here, and I personally need to get over being phone-challenged by my Droid. Making lists – and checking them – is probably the biggest thing I could do….

Also from Fine Art Views is a piece that really resonates with me this week, as we just got some local gallery representation. “Forget New York City – Think About Your Own Art Community.” We finally made the break-trough locally – and in a good way!

So…what have you found on the web this week? Send along a couple of links in the comments section!

BONUS: From MAD Magazine…….new Super Heroes…….Just Us League of Stupid Heroes….

 

Monday Marketing and Top Ten Tuesday – Together!!

Oh my goodness. Today is the third amazing day in a row! It all started on May 1 when I began the first season of Cocreating Our Reality and practicing the Laws of Abundance and Attraction. I started with changing my thinking to always being positive. The first week was very tough, as I became aware of just how negative many of my thoughts were. Eyeopener, to say the least.

So when I retired the end of May, I knew I was going to become a full-time artist – something I have wanted to do for YEARS. Each time I wrote an abundance check with the New Moon, great things happened. So how does Monday Marketing and Top Ten come together? Well, if you’ve been following the blog, you know that on Mondays I have been looking seriously at marketing the business and our art. It’s been all about organization and learning and getting out there. At times it seemed like I was just doing more things and not having anything to show for them.

The rationale part of me knew that I was laying groundwork, and I would have to be patient. Now here’s the top ten for us since June 1 when I started the heavy work for marketing.

* I started with lynda.com and took some classes on Facebook and Twitter, making changes and setting up pages and addresses and plans.

* After getting them set up, I then started a class in Linked In, as I had an old profile from over a year ago. Again, I worked through a class on lynda.com to do all this. So the profile got set up.

* One of the things suggested in the Linked In course was to join some groups and become part of the conversations to develop our networks.

* I joined Art Business and Art Marketing, as well as a few others, and I heard about a call for work for a show in Tucson called Tikkun Olam. All work was 12 inches square and reflected on crises facing the earth.

* I offered to help and sent out information about the show throughout my various networks, plus I made a piece for the show.

* I attended the opening reception for Tikkun Olam (see the post here) and met and chatted with the organizers of the show, two artists from Tubac and Santa Fe, plus talked to a couple of people interested in the piece I created (you can see it here – it’s the yellow piece). What was so cool was to get the positive feedback from the organizers; they loved the piece and (as I found out today) the hanging system.

* I sent thank you notes with offers of additional work to the organizers the next day.

* I got an invitation as a result of the reception to join a group of artists planning a show in October in Tubac (a major arts mecca in southern Arizona) and attended the organizational meeting today.

* This show will be October 22 in Tubac, called Anza Energy. We’re putting about a dozen pieces in the show. And…..

*One of our marbled pieces, Ocean’s Bounty, may be the piece on the main poster for the show, and…..several of the pieces – if they don’t sell – will probably go into a spa resort as part of a water show in Tubac, and….one of the galleries whose owner is also participating, has a couple of our pieces now in his gallery as part of the publicity about the Anza Energy show.

So……get out there and do the work – your art and your marketing!!

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