Abstract, 30" x 30"
I really hope stress can be a good thing. Because it might take a miracle if I can get everything done that's on my to-do list this week. I am not asking you to feel sorry for me, Rather I think if I look at what I have to do this week in black and white then perhaps I will figure out how to get it done.
I have eight commissions due, three are due on Monday. The rest are due two weeks later. I have to build a new website for my blog (due this week), design a logo and write 10 blog posts (due next week). I also need to start a new series of paintings that I am really excited about. But these can't be started until I finish all of the other things already mentioned. I need to write the notes for the AHA show and also finish the web pages on my 2017 workshops. Those are definitely due this week. OMG. This is stressing me out even more.
Obviously you can understand why this will be a very short blog post.
I have work to do.
I finally get it. And I am hooked. I am hooked on Instagram.
I use to be hooked on Facebook. I use to check my Facebook page constantly and post all of the time. To be honest, I still spend A LOT of time on Facebook. Because it is really a fabulous way to promote your art. It's just that Instagram is just as good. Maybe even better.
Did I really just say that?
I now have two instagram accounts. I just recently have started a second instagram account called @my100yearoldhome. I started this to support my new blog (which is still a work in progress). It's all about the story of our 102 year old home, my fascination with farmhouse decor and rae dunn pottery, and the many DIY projects that I have done (and will do) in decorating our house. Of course all of this is done with budget savings in mind. Most of you know that I am pretty cheap. I love a deal and I love using creativity to save money!
I would love it if you followed the link to my page and followed me. I have lots of plans for my new account and I am very excited to see where it goes this year. (Plus I will be giving away a lot of freebies which is a really good thing!) By the way, this photo is my kitchen in our 102 year old house. It's my favorite room in our house!
Are you on Instagram? Are you using it to help your art business?
Abstract Commission is Available in any size.
I returned to the real world today after spending the holiday sick with a very bad cold. Thanks to all of you who were so kind to remind me that I did not need to feel guilty for missing a blog post (or two). I do feel a lot better, I just wish my voice didn't sound so awful. I am trying all sorts of home remedies to get ready for tomorrow's Artists Helping Artists radio podcast. Hmmm.
You are probably wondering what the title of this blog post means. "It's time to stop and look back" refers to looking back at you art business is 2016 and really understanding what you accomplished. The first thing you should do is total your sales. Then you should total your expenses because you want to be able to deduct your expenses from your income to reduce your tax liability. But the real analysis comes from other things. How many paintings did you paint? What subject matter was the most successful? Did you take any workshops to further your art art skills? Did you teach? If so, which workshops were the highest attended? What did you enjoy doing the most in 2016? What did you enjoy the least?
Once you have a really good understanding of what happened in 2016 then you can properly put together a plan for 2017. Identify what you can change to make you happier. Get organized. (I do think that disorganization kills creativity.) Decide to try something new to push you out of your comfort zone. Examine you marketing and determine what worked and and what didn't, You should also be ready to set some goals for 2017.
Enjoy this process because it should be fun. The insight and plan will really be helpful. And it will make a huge difference for how 2017 will be!
Oil, 12" x 12" framed.
I think I need to apologize for the fact that I have missed a few blog posts this week. Monday was a holiday and I had planned to write my blog post on Sunday. But after our drive on Friday to northern California took 9 1/2 hours (instead of 5 1/2 hours) we chose to drive home Sunday night to hopefully avoid more bad weather. There were more bad storms hitting California on Monday and we could not bear another delayed drive. Unfortunately we got a late start and we didn't arrive home until after 10:00 pm. After driving six hours in rain and fog, I was a bit frazzled and wasn't in a good place to "be creative". So no blog post. Then on Monday I couldn't fight my cold any longer and ended up in bed most of the day. I had no energy and just couldn't make myself write a blog post. Yet another excuse ...
Sadly, I had a lot of guilt with the fact that I missed two blog posts. It took me a while to realize that most of you probably didn't even notice I didn't send out my blog for two days. And for those who did notice (if any!) it's not really a big deal. It's not like I am offering life saving medical advice on my blog. Right?
I finally told myself to just get over it. Stop feeling guilty and stop feeling guilty for feeling guilty. And just take more cold medicine. That definitely made me feel better.
Are you hard on yourself when you can't meet a commitment? Even when you have a pretty good reason? I think we all just need to let go. Get over it and move on. I went in my studio today and spent a few hours organizing and getting over my guilt. That, and a little bit more cold medicine, helped a lot.
Today was a great day to be a great day. (And no, I didn't make that up, I saw it on a sign at the Magnolia Market store in Waco, Tx.) My day started with a great Artists Helping Artists podcast which was followed by two "sales calls". I usually don't refer to them as "sales calls" but if I called them "two meetings with two wonderfully talented people to talk about my art" you may not get it. But for the record, they really are the latter.
When you spend a lot of time on social media it often seems like it's not working. I don't expect my phone to ring everyday but it sure is nice when it does. Earlier this week I received a call from one of my collectors and the owner of a local fashion boutique. It just happened that both appointments were both scheduled for today.
Before you meet with a client you need to be prepared. The first thing you should do is review any history you have with the client. Make sure you know when and what they have purchased in the past. Make a note of the sizes and colors. Also refer back to any photos you may have from previous meetings. I keep a manila file folder for all of my clients, which allows for easy and quick referencing.
The actual meeting with a client should be fun. If possible meet in their space so you can see where the art will be hung. If possible, schedule a follow up with a meeting in your studio. Always bring a camera (which is likely your cell phone) and a tape measure. If it is appropriate you should bring a few paintings. After every meeting you should follow up in writing with an email outlining all of the to-do's from your meeting. Be sure to finalize all commissions and prices in writing.
Both of my appointments today were fabulous! I won't go in to specifics but all I can say is I have a lot of paintings to finish in the next few weeks. A lot. I am one lucky girl.
Some of you may know that earlier this week I mentioned I am starting a new blog. It's going to be a perfect compliment to this blog and it represents something that I am very passionate about ... my 100 year old home. While this blog will feature my Everyday Life of a Working Artists my new blog will be all about decorating, DIY projects and my favorite interior style ... farmhouse design.
This week's Artists Helping Artists show is all about exactly what you need to either start a new blog or fix the one you have. It's interesting that in the last 13 months I have done both of these things.
This show is for you if you want to know the steps to creating a blog, how you can be organized, how you can write better blog posts and the mistakes you should avoid along the way. It's a really good resource and if you have ever considered blogging then you really should listen to the show.
The show airs today, Thursday, at 8:00 am PST, 11:00 am EST. You can listen to the show here.
I decided to do something bold so I rented a house in Cape Cod for my September Boot Camp. It's 4500 square feet and it's right on the water. Plus it sleeps a lot of people so I am pinching myself! How awesome will this be?
The house is in West Hyannisport and is close to lots of fun things in town. Although, we might just stay at the house the whole time. Who wants to leave a place like this, right?
Check out the sunsets from the back deck ...
I will be cooking most of the meals ... two dinners, three breakfasts and two lunches. So I promise great food. And I do adhere to any dietary needs ...
We will spend most of the time meeting and talking about your art, your customers, your brand, your website, basically everything it takes to sell more of your art. When boot camp is over you will have a marketing plan and an entire look and feel for your website. Plus you will have my free online webinARTs class (a $299 value) to create your website if you don't already have one.
Sign up now. Just visit my website here.
See you at the Cape!
I was so fortunate to be able to travel to Waco, Texas last year. I know what some of you are thinking ... Waco, Texas??? If you haven't seen the HGTV show Fixer Upper then you have no idea what I am talking about. But those of you that are fans of the show need to seriously consider joining me in Waco March 19 - 22, 2017. I am teaching my Art Marketing Boot Camp and we are staying at the Harp House. The Harp House was featured on Season One of Fixer Upper. It's owned by one of the stars of the show, Clint Harp, and his wife. If you haven't seen this episode you should watch it as the "before" condition of the house was unbelievable ... junk and trash in the front yard, holes in the walls, ceilings that were falling down and a smell that was horrific.
Here is the "before" front of the house ...
And the after ...
Then there was the kitchen before Chip and Joanna got their hands on it ...
And after ...
The Harp House is also located directly next door to Clint's woodshop and retail shop. I can't wait to see the rest of this house and am so excited we will be staying only a mile or so from the Magnolia Market and Silos.
This is going to be a great trip as well as an amazing "business changing opportunity" for eight artists! If you are frustrated with your art sales and not sure how to find your audience then this is for you. If you are selling well but would like to take your art business to the next level then this is for you too. There is a lot of information on my website so head on over to my Marketing Boot Camp page for more information. You can link to the Boot Camp in Waco here.
Here are some photos from my previous trips to Waco for my Art Marketing Boot Camps.
I hope you will join me!
I can't juggle. But I am really good at juggling my life. I make a lot of life choices that get me in some crazy situations. I have a tendency to over commit and take on a lot of projects. But I like it that way. And somehow it all works.
I have decided to start a new blog. It's going to be all about my 100 year old home and remodeling and farmhouse decor and my obsession with collecting Rae Dunn and lots of DIY decorating projects. This blog is a result of my month long immersion in to everything related to "Fixer Upper" during my January Thirty Paintings in 30 Days Challenge. I was just explaining my blog idea to my son (and his girlfriend) and they were excited for me but weary of the time commitment. I explained to them that as long as I don't let this become too big of a task and I treat it just like all of my other projects, then I will be just fine. Plus it is going to be so much fun!
Juggling everything in life works when it doesn't become overwhelming. If you just put your head down and get everything done then it's all good. But as soon as you start stressing and freaking out of what you have to get done then things will fall apart. I promise.
Planning is key. When I told my husband about my idea his only comment was, "Oh great, now you will have another blog post to do late at night". That was a very important comment. And a great clue that I need to finish my blog posts in the morning (or before he comes home). Which is such a great idea. So simple yet so smart. And I can't believe I didn't realize this sooner. Whew.
Art MArketing Boot Camp Registration
Registration opens for my Marketing Boot Camps today at 9:00 am PST, 12:00 noon EST.
You can sign up here. Join me in Waco, Tx., Lake Oconee, Ga., Ventura Beach, Ca or Cape Cod, Ma. I promise it will be an amazing experience!
Let's be honest. My digital photos are/were a mess. I have/had 11,000+ photos on my iphone and 48,000+ photos on my laptop. Some were duplicates but now they are not. Some were in albums. Some were tagged. Some were in icloud. Both my computer and iphone were always low on memory and now they are not. And when I wanted to find a photo ... it use to take forever. Basically it was a total mess. But not any more ...
Thanks goodness for the AHA show! My photos were totally unorganized and now they are not! When we decided to do a show on organizing our digital photos I knew it would be to catalyst to FINALLY get my photos in order. My first step was going to a class on organizing photos at the Apple Store. Then I learned how to upload all of my photos to icloud. And now I have a file labeling system all set up. And new album titles. And lots of memory on my iphone and computer. I am in a much better place!
Today's Artists Helping Artists show was all about Organizing Your Digital Photos. You might want to listen to it. It just might make a big change to your everyday life. And it's a good change. Look what it did for me!
Click here to listen to the show.
Mom. Wife. Artist. Marketer. Teacher. Radio Show Host.
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