I have a new great app that I wanted to share with you.
Fiverr Why add Fiverr to your apps? Because it’s a great way to get small, simple marketing tasks done for very affordable prices – like $20-30 for a logo nice enough to actually use. Once you’ve found three or four Fiverr pros who can help you with routine, you can repeat tasks like
Just one thing. Don't ever give anyone your passwords. Never. Never. Never.
Just an abstract doodle.
Not for sale.
I woke up this morning and just didn't feel my usual self. I wasn't motivated to work on my newsletter, didn't feel much like painting and didn't want to record more webinARTs videos.
Should I be worried? Nope.
It's ok to be un-motivated. Usually there is something else going on in your life that is blocking the creative process. As artists our job is to create something from nothing. Add paint to a blank canvas. Sculpt a bowl from clay. What we do is way different than sitting at a desk. I have always felt it is harder to paint than do most other jobs. But then again, that's just my humble opinion.
The most important thing about not being motivated is that you don't beat yourself up. Don't worry about it. Don't force yourself to be creative. Instead, head out to do something inspiring. Go to a museum or art exhibit. Head out to your favorite scene (the beach, a landscape or wherever) and take tons of photos. Pull out your art books or magazines and start browsing. Just spend a few hours doing something fun that you love and there is a good chance you will feel a lot better.
It's okay to be unmotivated. And ... I am actually motivated now to write a few more blog posts.
See, it works. Cool.
"Red-dy and Waiting"
Oil, 12"' x 12"
I am a very frugal person. (Ok. To be perfectly honest, most of the time I am a frugal person. Not like every second.) But I am especially cheap when it comes to buying art supplies. This year I am trying to get more organized with my art supply purchases. (You may have figured that out if you read my two previous blog posts titled Attention All Canvas Hoarders and Paint Probation.)
When I buy art supplies I buy them very cheaply. And I thought I would share how you can save money too!
Here are some of my tips on how to save when buying art supplies.
1. Don't ever pay for shipping. Thank to Amazon, free shipping is becoming the norm and not the exception. So don't pay for shipping. Ever.
2. Only buy your art supplies on sale. Which means you will have better luck buying them online. I just checked online at Jerry's, Michael's and Dick Blick and they are all having big sales. This happens usually every week.
3. Beware of discounts only offered on "regular priced items". It's easy to get lured in when you see "40% off your entire purchase". But read the fine print because that often applies only to non-sale items.
4. Always look for a coupon code before you "check out" when purchasing online. Just google "Dick Blick" coupon codes and you just might find another coupon that works. I would say this works about 50% of the time so it's worth it!
5. Shop the sales at Michael's AND use their coupons. Michael's is one of the stores that usually have coupons good on sale items. And they usually always have a 40% off regular price coupon which is good on expensive oil paint.
6. Keep an inventory of your supplies (especially paint) so you don't have to waste money by ordering last minute. This needs no further explanation.
7. Stay out of the art store. Buy online. For most of us going to the art store is like being a kid in a candy store. It's too tempting and very easy to impulse buy. So stay out of the art store to save money.
8. Don't rush to buy items. Often you can wait for a big sale and save even more.
9. Add the apps to your phone from your favorite art stores. Every week I check my app from Michaels stores. I check the ads on canvas and paint. I often find their best quality canvas 50% off with an additional 20% off sale price coupon. That's a good deal.
Last week I received a really nice compliment about my abstract paintings. One of the set decorators from the Disney pilot we were filming at our house told me that my abstract paintings were "happy paintings". She said the color and composition in my paintings clearly were uplifting and obviously were painted by a happy artist.
Apparently there is also a lot of "not happy" abstract art out there too. She explained there were a lot of "unhappy" abstract paintings such as the ones with all dark colors and "angry" brush strokes. She defined them as dark, troubling and confused. She did clarify that both styles were very good art but that buyers tastes usually like one or the other, not both.
I was surprised with her description but flattered as well. I am a happy artist. And I am glad I paint happy abstracts. Time to head off to my happy studio to happily create some happy art.
Life is good. Happy good.
I am sitting here at our beach house enjoying the gorgeous view while managing my art business on my iPhone. (My computer is all the way in the bedroom and it's just too far to reach. And it feels less like work on a Sunday if I manage my business from my phone. Plus, Dave won't think I am working again. Pretty sneaky.)
If you have the right apps on you phone you really can manage your art business while you are on the go. Just to clarify, here's what I have accomplished this morning on my phone.
1. Answered this morning's emails.
2. Posted my latest painting on Facebook.
3. Posted a promo on Facebook about my February workshops.
4. Posted my latest painting on Instagram.
5. Sent out an invoice on invoice2go for two paintings sold.
6. Wrote three blog posts for the week and entered ideas for six new blog posts.
7. Replied to 9 comments on my blog.
8. Signed up and watched a webinar on successful blogging.
9. Checked off three to do's but added eight new ones on my favorite app Trello. (I need to stop doing this.)
10. Sent a link of my abstract art portfolio to an abstract art gallery.
11. Created this photo of my art (posted above) from an app. The painting sold last week.
And it's not even 9:00am yet. Good start to a great day.
Over the years I have made it a priority to share marketing ideas with other artists. I believe that artists helping artists is a good concept and we should all try to do more to help one another. But how far should this help go?
Let's take the example of how I like to post my abstracts in rooms. It's been a huge marketing tool for me this past year and it has taken a lot of work. I use photoshop to place the photos in the rooms. The photos I use have been gathered from a year of hard work. I use my own photos, I have taken photos of friends homes, I have purchased some and I have emailed and contacted hundreds of photographers and designers. It's been a lot of work.
This past year I have received hundreds of emails asking how I create these photos, where I get the photos of the rooms and why I don't share my photos with other artists. Here is my response.
I will help you but I won't do it for you. Marketing is a lot of hard work. It doesn't come that easy. I share a lot but you need to do those last five steps. You need to find your own photos. And you need to figure out how to edit them. (I use photoshop.)
I had the same issue with the Thirty in Thirty Painting Challenge. I know for many artists it was hard to figure out how to upload their daily photos on my blog. So that's why I created a step by step instruction page and also why I personally answered hundreds of emails to help the artists figure it out. I did however say no to the artists who emailed me photos of their paintings and asked me to upload them everyday to my blog. It's the last five steps that I just can't and should not do. I promise I am not being mean. Rather, I know you will be better off it you spend the time to figure it out. And I have to be honest. I just don't have the time.
So don't hesitate to try new things. But understand that you have to take those last five steps.
It seems as if I have been living in my studio this week. I guess that's because technically I have been. My house currently has about 100 people in it as they are filming a Disney pilot. All week. I can't post any photos (confidentiality agreement) but trust me, it's a war zone in there. OMG.
My poor house.
My husband came the home the other night and found me in my studio, sitting in my new comfy chair, eating dinner and binge watching netflix. His comments was, "It looks like you moved in". Sadly, I have.
But I have to confess something. I like it in here. The heater works great, the light is awesome, my netflix account is up to date, and I know I am most creative when I am in here. Plus I have added a few things since I have "moved in". A warm blanket, my sewing machine, two more computers, a printer and a bunch of coffee mugs. The latter needs to head to the dishwasher.
I do need to head out and do my every-other-hour-walk-through-of-my-house to remind the 100 strangers in there that my house "is not just a rental". I do have the painters already booked this weekend (courtesy of Disney) as well as the cleaning company. We will see how it goes.
I use to be embarrassed about my blog. Really I was. It looked very outdated and I could not, for the life of me, make it a priority to post. I was really frustrated by this. To make matters worse, I had over 2,000 followers of my blog who received a copy of my blog in their inbox every time I posted. But I just couldn't make it a priority. And then I figured it out.
I am a pretty busy person. But I also can get a lot of things done. And I finally realized that my blog had no specific purpose. I would post a painting, have little to say and press PUBLISH. Occasionally I would get a comment in return but it seemed like blogging was less effective. And less fun. Facebook, on the other hand, was way more fun. The minute I posted a photo I would get "likes" and comments immediately. It felt more interactive and I knew people were actually reading it.
I was just about ready to give up on my blog until I realized all I needed to do was change the focus. Make it interesting and different from what I was posting everyday on Facebook and Instagram. That's how I came up with The Everyday Life of a Working Artisy. It's a different perspective about my art and I am so happy. No more guilt for ignoring my blog. No
more duplication and boredom on my part.
If you are having the same issue all you need to do is re-focus. Be creative and think outside the box. If you make it fun and interesting for you then it will probably be the same for others.
As of right now I am putting myself on paint probation. Yep. It's serious.
For thirty days in January I painted in my studio. Unfortunately that led to very little time to put things away (like paint), a few trips to the art store (to buy paint) and pretty much total chaos (of paint) in my studio.
This morning I decided it might make sense to organize my studio. First I organized my paintings and canvases. (You might remember my previous post about being a canvas hoarder.) Then I tackled the many tubes and jars of acrylic paint. I organized them by color (for about the 10th time) in my favorite aqua colored rolling metal trays from ikea.
As you can see, the result is completely ridiculous. I have way too many tubes and jars of paint. I have no idea why I have so many tubes of yellow paint (like 20ish) and aqua paint (like 20ish). I honestly had no idea I had this much acrylic paint. Especially in the two colors previously mentioned.
The end result? I am on paint probation. I cannot and will not buy any more paint. (At least until I have less than five containers of blue, aqua, green, yellow and red paint.) Maybe it's easier if I paint all of my February abstracts in the color palette of aqua and yellow. That might work.
So I am curious. Do you have an organized studio? Or a paint problem?
"Reflections on the Lake"
Oil, 12" x 12"
January 31st. What a nice day. That is, if you can forget the terrible rain and wind storm we had tonight. 115 miles per hour winds in Los Angeles and power failures everywhere (including our house). Just a minor issue.
For the past few years January 31st had been one of my favorite days. Why? Because the 30 in 30 Challenge is over! Painting a painting every day is hard. It's also awesome and one of the best things you can do for your art career. I must admit that the administrative duties that come with hosting the challenge are also very time consuming. So what am I going to do with my free time?
Let's see. I'll paint. I will work on marketing my abstracts to interior designers. I can finish my already overdue newsletter. And find someone in the garment district to make my hand-painted canvas bags. I will start the three commissions I now have due. And finish my financials for January 2016. This year I am going to try really hard to do my financials every month and not wait till a week before taxes are due. We shall see if that happens. It probably won't.
The painting featured here is the one that is taught in my February 2016 online palette knife class. You can sign up here and the class only costs $35.00.
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