Archive for the ‘multiple streams of income’ Category

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

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!

My Ideal Day…

I have been busy this week with an online course on landscape quilts through Joggles, with Judy Alexander. I also am working on a marketing class that I hope will lead to some new work and some additional income as I approach retirement. I’ve done loads of reading on marketing, and when I had my non-profit learning center, I was very good at what I call “shoe leather marketing” – what you do when there’s no money for marketing. But I am getting very serious about my art, and I want to be able to sell it in the next few years. So this is one avenue I am pursuing.

Now most courses always have exercises for you to do, and I tend to read them and then move on to the next bit of information and not do the exercise. Not this time. I am going to do this full-bore and see what happens. So, one of the first exercises is to look at your ideal day. No barriers, just imagination. I can see the value to doing this already, as it will begin to help me focus on who and what I want to be in the coming years. I also can see myself doing this exercise again in three and a half years when I officially retire. But it seems practical to do it for now, as I am committed to teaching for the next three-plus years – unless I REALLY do well with all of this, and who knows!!!

I see a day where I get up refreshed and not exhausted and have a light breakfast. I’m off to a job I really like and enjoy. I usually head out early so I can get some things done before kids start coming in for conferences. I want to try and get out and walk at lunch to continue my plan of increasing exercise during the day. I would like to take the bus in to work at least once a week to save on gas and the environment. I hope to have a bit more time during the school day to get papers corrected and lesson plans done. Next year I will be going back to a regular contract of five classes, instead of my current schedule of six classes. It means losing a considerable amount of additional income, but I need to consider my health, my physical abilities, and my growing art interests.

I leave school with minimal work for the evening, preferably nothing, so I am free to pursue my art and my writing and marketing. I walk to the bus stop, adding to my exercise plan. This is really important for me to continue, as I need to monitor my body for its health. Once I get home, I want my time for my blog and my art. This is where I see myself developing the ideal afternoon/evening….

I see several paths. One is licensing my art designs, so I will plan at least an hour each day for reviewing emails concerning prospective sales, bookwork tracking existing and new contracts, and some Photoshop work as I prepare new samples and designs.

A second path is my fiber art, so I will always have handwork available for downtime in front of the television with hubby. I will take three hours each day of the weekend to do sewing, design, cutting, planning patterns so that on the weekdays I have small projects.

A third path is my art group, Mixed Media Arts – soon to have its own Word Press site. I will spend an hour on this, marketing, writing, getting interviews and connections. This is where I see the BlogMasters coming into play. A last path, but certainly not the least, is my marbling. At least twice a week I want to marble paper and fabric for the small quarterly orders that we have established.

Mostly I want my late afternoon and evenings to be art-related. I want to relax with my husband, talk about art, read about art, go to galleries and add to our own art collections, small though they may be. Money is not an issue, and neither is health care. We are together, we enjoy a small circle of friends, and if we want to go out to dinner, buy some books or art, go to the movies, or be spontaneous and get out of town suddenly, we can do that.

I do see some of this changing in three years – primarily with planning for our travels and seeing how to make the new art business fit a new schedule. It might seem as though I’m “settling” for the immediate future, but I don’t think so. I think it’s more realistic than anything else. I have been more productive over these last few months, and I see this continuing. Last year’s goals were to enter and be accepted to two shows, and that happened. This year I have a show to prepare for in March, and several licensing opportunities to explore. Plus I am doing more writing, which I really love.

I look at this and wonder where the dreaming went. Have the last few years (well, two decades, actually) been so tough that the dreams of the 20s and 30s are totally gone? Is it realistic or is it what I really want? I think I’m going to have to really ponder this one….

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