Every Artwork Sale Causes a Change in the Buyer’s Life

As artists, we love to sell our work. In fact, it is an emotional high when our paintings/sculptures/fiber hangings/ceramic pieces, etc. find happy homes.

Not only do we like the monetary exchange that happens, we are motivated by the connection with another human being.

We are aware of the anxiety and/or discomfort in the selling process, however are we aware of what is going through the minds of the buyers?

6Ways to Sabotage Your Color Mixing

Do any of these color mixing killers seem familiar? Many artists experience frustration with color without realizing they have sabotaged themselves.

1.Refuse to Know Your Pigments. It makes sense that anyone in business should keep up with their industry, right? But many artists don’t have a true understanding and are unaware of the many ways they can market and sell their work.

The good news is that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to sell your art. There are plenty of really useful resources out there, from blogs about art marketing, to books and magazines, online courses, workshops and more that will teach you best practices. In fact, there is so much information that it’s hard to miss. Start educating yourself by reading regularly about the business of art, and consider how you can put that information into action and start moving forward.

2.Insist that Color Mixing is Intuitive. Do you have specific and measurable plans for your business? Anyone who is vague about what they want to accomplish can’t make a game plan to reach their goals. Create a written business plan. Write down the vision that you have for your business and the way you want to live. Set goals so that you can identify steps to reach them, and make note of your progress. The old maxim “Failing to plan is planning to fail” is very true.

3. Believe that  Creating Color Mixing Charts are Boring. Artists who wor

4. Refuse to Experience the Joy of Mixing Color

5. Fail to Take Color Mixing Classes

6. Resistant to Connect with Viewers

Remain in the Dark

Business is built on a sustained effort of persistent, consistent contact and follow up to gain traction and market share.

It makes sense that anyone in business should keep up with their industry, right? But many artists don’t have a true understanding and are unaware of the many ways they can market and sell their work.

The good news is that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to sell your art. There are plenty of really useful resources out there, from blogs about art marketing, to books and magazines, online courses, workshops and more that will teach you best practices. In fact, there is so much information that it’s hard to miss. Start educating yourself by reading regularly about the business of art, and consider how you can put that information into action and start moving forward.

2. Fail to plan. Do you have specific and measurable plans for your business? Anyone who is vague about what they want to accomplish can’t make a game plan to reach their goals. Create a written business plan. Write down the vision that you have for your business and the way you want to live. Set goals so that you can identify steps to reach them, and make note of your progress. The old maxim “Failing to plan is planning to fail” is very true.

3. Isolate yourself. Artists who work alone and don’t have a network of support are more likely to feel frustrated and unsure of whether they are taking the right steps in their business. A community is essential to getting feedback, finding more resources and sharing opportunities. Whether your outreach is joining a guild, attending an artist salon, or becoming active on social media, it will help keep those feelings of isolation at bay, and help you grow as an entrepreneur.

4. Take on too much. Perhaps you’d like to sell your photography, but you also want to start wholesaling pottery and by the way, you plan to write a book, too. Pursuing three different directions at once is a form of self-sabotage, and yet it’s very common.

Everything extra that you add to your plate slows down your progress. Choose your direction, and commit to it.  Indecision (which causes inaction) is a huge business killer that leaves artists wondering why they aren’t more successful in sales.

5. Take it personally. Presenting your art for sale is a public step. Many artists have very deep feelings about what they create, and tend to take comments, or lack of sales, very personally. Your work isn’t for everybody. Focus on your targeted market and find ways to reach them.

How many more can you add to this list?

Have you overcome self-sabotage to grow your art business successfully?

The Hands are Back! — How My Art has Evolved

From 1995-2001, I was consumed with creating a body of work that became known as “No Time for Idle Hands.” I painted 26 watercolor pieces (and a few pencil drawings) commemorating the women of the 1800′s. It was a social political statement giving a visual voice to the women who made significant contributions to this country. These women were (and still are) depicted incorrectly – as unwilling partners or Madonnas – though most women knew exactly what they were doing and why.

No Time for Idle Hands

 

In my book, “Painting My Passion: An Artist’s Journey with the Women of the West,” I describe how this series changed my life and opened many doors. For example, I began creating commissions of people’s hands, mostly in pencil. I call them “handportraits,” – from musicians to a MLB baseball pitcher to young children. hands on fluteFlute player in pencil (cropped).

Then I crashed and burned. Well, not completely, but I needed a change after “No Time for Idle Hands,” took a traveling tour around the mid- and southwest. [Read more...]

I Love Being an Introvert …most of the time

Why do I love being an introvert? Because I can spend time alone without angst and without feeling a sense that I am missing out on something. There is comfort in feeling total acceptance in a quiet space or at work, particularly if I am surrounded by nature or if it is nearby.

love being an introvertAs a child – despite being a middle child of 4 and middle children are rarely introverts – I could spend hours playing without needing regular or constant attention. (My mother later said that she appreciated this.) As a young adult, however, I received negative messages that I was odd. I had friends and enjoyed a few social events, but I intuitively I knew I needed alone time. I did not have a clue why this was a part of who I was.

It was not until I was nearly 30 years old that I discovered more about myself. I learned where my psychic energy came from, why I sought nature for solace and what essentially made me tick. How did I learn this?

Soon to be married, I requested my then fiance to attend a couples’ weekend workshop. (BTW, we have been married 30+ years!) Prior to attending, we each completed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality inventory. This questionnaire  provides guidelines on how we each perceive and react to our world. It is designed “to make the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people’s lives.”  Each workshop attendee was given our results and then we learned more about ourselves, our partners and how we tend to communicate. It was a real eye opener.  Here are a few of the activities we were asked to do by the presenter. She would present a situation and then asked each of the 30 of us to physically stand and line up in a continuum:

  • If you are going to celebrate a significant birthday, line up between wanting a) to spend it with one or a couple of close friends, to b) inviting a lot of people for a boisterous party.
  • When you travel for a vacation, where would you land on this spectrum? a) spend it at a quiet cabin with some exploration, to b) go on a cruise with a tour group with tons of activities all day long.
  • If you are needing to solve a personal problem, what are you most likely to do? a) go for a walk in the woods, to b) call up several friends to discuss the problem.

[Read more...]

The Words “Day Job” Takes Power Away From Your Work

Why do creatives continually refer to their other job as a “day job?” Are you aware that those words take power away from your real work?

Willows-CAM-1em

I have never understood the phrase “my day job.” In fact, it’s feels like chalk screeching on a black board every time I hear it. Do artists say it without thinking what they are actually saying? Words have power – significant power. I would like to suggest that you be more consciously aware of the words you choose before you say words such as, “my real job,” or “my day job.”

When I started my art career (my third career) over 25 years ago, I quickly learned to tell people I was “working.” I did not say, “I am painting.” That made a huge difference in their minds as well as my own. I believe that they somehow thought I was playing or doing something trivial that did not require my full attention.

I had to, and continue to, educated friends and family that I had business hours and to please not call me about personal matters during my business hours. (My mother never liked this and never understood it even when I would mention to her that she didn’t call me at my other jobs.) When I was under contract as a consultant, meetings had to be scheduled. Whenever they asked for my availability on Thursday afternoons, I would say that I was booked at that time. They didn’t need to know that that was my time to go to painting class.

words day job take power awayChoosing to use words, such as, “When I get off from my day job,” “I have Wednesday off, then I can paint,” “At my day job, I….,” and “People wonder why I don’t have a real job,” impact what you experience. Most of us don’t realize that the words we use habitually have impact. The words “day job” takes power away from your work. By changing your habitual vocabulary—the words you consistently use to describe  your life and work—can change how you think, feel and how you live. It can change the direction of your art business and how you perceive and feel about it.

Also, notice when you say “day job,” how the energy in your voice changes. Yet, when you talk about your real workyour art makingyour energy goes back up. Can you hear how the words “day job” takes power away from your work? Energetically, negative feelings surround the other job you have as well as your work as an artist.

What other words can we use besides “day job” to stop taking power away from your work as an artist? How about, “At my second job, I….,” “I work in my studio on Wednesdays,” “I am available from my other job at…,” and for those who question you about your real work as an artist, consider this giving them this bumper sticker.

words day job takes power away

Other suggestions are welcome. I would love to hear other artist’s ideas because I know we can be creative with words as well as with clay, paint and metal.

Let’s debunk the myth that making art is not real work  because we all know that it is! Art changes and saves lives. We need to use words that convey the power of art and its impact on the world. Your job as an artist is very real and it requires more work than you probably thought possible when you started and, yet, you keep doing it.

Let’s celebrate your work as an artist with powerful words.

This quote serves as a good ending: “Words can inspire.  And words can destroy.  Choose yours wisely,” Robin Sharma

If you found this article interesting, please share it with others. Your comments are always welcome.

Time to Adorn the Sales Hat | It’s Art Fair Season

Street Art FairArtists, why do so many of us struggle with selling at art fairs? ‘Tis the art fair season and it’s time to adorn our sales hat with gusto! Isn’t this one of the best venues where we can engage with our collectors and meet new ones? I read tons of marketing articles about artists wanting to make sales. To do so we have to “reach out and touch someone.”

Art fairs are a prime venue to do just that.

For a moment, put yourself in the shoes – or sandals – of someone who has set out to experience real and live art on a warm sunny summer day. They have made special plans to spend a few hours seeing what the current art scene has to offer and to mix with creative people. They may be looking for a painting/photograph to fill a blank space in their homes or wanting to buy a gift for someone. Perhaps they want to be pleasantly surprised and decide, “I need to buy that!” or they are a tourist want to purchase a piece of jewelry or pottery to remember their visit. What are some other reasons why people attend art fairs?

As one who has been an art fair artist, I know it is not easy to think of the fair attendee after we have spent countless hours – blood, sweat and tears – preparing our art and setting up our booths. Sometimes we have battled traffic, parking hassles, the elements and other unexpected events to achieve just getting everything up and running! Do we have the energy to give ourselves the directive to think beyond ourselves? I know I often felt in need of support and compassion after the booth was ready. I was not able to see beyond my own needs.

A wake up call from a friend who got my rear-end in gear. He had me remind myself why I was an artist exhibiting at this art fair. I needed to do some serious self-coaching! So off went the tired energy that I replaced with invigoration. Out went the doubts — “Will I sell anything today?” — and in went the abundance affirmations. I tossed out those thoughts of “These people just don’t get it,” and in came the positive thoughts of knowing I will have some marvelous conversations about my art along with visualizaions of my paintings finding new homes.

I learned that I needed a moment of transition to re-wind my brain and get ready to meet the public. It made me realize that we expect too much of ourselves to move abruptly from one mode – creating a booth space that takes physical and psychic energy – to one of selling and meeting new people, which also takes emotional and physical energy. people-texting

How do we remind ourselves that the art fair season is a rare opportunity to meet a huge cross section of the public? What better place is there to engage with art appreciators and potential buyers? Would you buy from this artist seen in this photo? (I saw this stance way too often at the Cherry Creek Art Fair in Denver this past weekend.) Does he have his sales hat on? Has he forgotten why he is exhibiting at this art fair? Does he want to learn how people react to his work? Perhaps if he had taken a moment to make the transition, he would be more alert to engaging with art fair attendees.

Here are a few suggestions to assist in making that all important mind-set transition: [Read more...]