Waco ... Lake Oconee ... Ventura ... Cape Cod ...
Yep. I have scheduled four boot camps all over the U.S. and I am really excited. I know it makes more sense for me to come to all of you instead of the other way around so I have selected four great locations. West coast, east coast, midwest and the south! The Boot Camps will fill up fast so please be sure to sign up on Monday, February 13th at 9:00 am PST, 12:00 noon EST. (I know my website is missing the final details on Cape Cod but I should have those up before this weekend.) Last year the camps sold out in ten minutes.
Are you wondering what happens at my boot camps? Well, each artist at the boot camp will put together a marketing plan. This includes identifying your brand, determining who is your audience and re-branding you and your art business. We will determine your new "look and feel" and select a theme, colors, fonts and styles for your website. (If you don't have one yet that is ok too.) We will design your ads for social media and you will learn how to schedule these ads. Then we will talk about blogging and ways to sell your art to your audience. When you leave you will have a plan written out as to what you need to do. Plus you will be motivated and fired up about marketing your art!
I am also cooking a lot at the boot camps. All breakfasts, lunches and most dinners will be provided by yours truly. I have even planned a few new recipes so I am very excited. Homemade pasta will be included, I promise!
So let's talk about the destinations ...
Waco, Tx - I am starting out in Waco because I love this place and everything at Magnolia. We will be staying at the Harp House which is owned by Clint Harp, who is the very funny and talented carpenter on my favorite TV show Fixer Upper. His house was remodeled by Chip and Joanna Gaines a few seasons ago and the house is located in downtown Waco and it is just a few miles from Magnolia Market and The Silos.
Lake Oconee, Ga - Next I will be in Lake Oconee staying at a beautiful lakefront home owned by one of my siblings and his awesome wife. I still have no idea what to give them as a "thank you" for letting me use their house. Any ideas? (And don't say art because their son is an amazing artist!)
Ventura, Ca - We will be staying at our beach house in the Pierpont Beach area of Ventura. This is my "happy place" and since it is in August we might even hold some brain storming sessions on the beach! (So bring your bathing suit!) Be prepared to hunt for sea glass, enjoy walks on the beach and also a half day trip to wine taste just up the coast in Santa Barbara!
Cape Cod, Ma - We will enjoy the east coast in a beautiful Cape Cod home. This boot camp is scheduled just after my Palette knife oil painting workshop in Falmouth, Ma. so some artists may want to do both! Cape Cod in September is beautiful!
I hope you will join me.
I attended two free classes at the Apple store earlier this week. One was titled "Organizing Your Photos" and the other one was "Understanding iCloud". (I might not have the names of the classes exactly right but I think my made up titles are pretty self explanatory). Both were fabulous.
Sometimes I think I should just go and hang out at the Apple store for a few hours every week. There is so much to learn and I thought I would share with you what I do every time I visit an Apple store.
#1 - I stand in front of the monitors on the walls and watch all of the tips. I consider myself very apple savvy and every single time I learn a great tip watching those monitors.
#2 - I go to one of the ipads on the table and check out every single app that is on the ipad. This is how I find most of my good apps. I then make my own list of the apps that look fun and interesting.
#3 - I go over to the iphone table and look at those apps too.
#4 - I talk to the apple floor staff. My to go question is "So tell me what's new and exciting.". I also ask "What's your favorite new product?". Finally, I always ask "Tell me something exciting you learned here this week".
You might think I am crazy but I don't go to the apple store to hang out like a groupie. I go to the store to learn! And speaking of learning, this weeks Artists Helping Artists podcast is all about Organizing Your Photos on your computer. Good thing I am now an expert at this.
Every time I participate in a Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days there is usually a side effect that surfaces in the aftermath. During the entire month of January I spent a lot of time researching "farmhouse styled decor". I was looking for beautiful rooms decorated in this style to inspire me for my thirty paintings. Needless to say, I discovered a few things.
All of these beautiful homes have very little color. Most color palettes are white, black and tan. Here are a few examples.
This style is so relaxing and soothing! I absolutely love the six rooms pictured here.
I also noticed that almost every kitchen had this really cool white pottery with handwritten letters on it. I did some research and found out it is all made by a very talented artist Rae Dunn. And the pottery that I like so much is sold at HomeGoods, Marshall's and TJMAXX. And it's super cheap. But there is one really big problem. Although new Rae Dunn pieces arrive in these stores there is very little inventory and there are some very dedicated collectors that often snap it up! Like all of it. In their shopping cart.
The pottery I am referring to is pictured in the photo at the top of this blog. It's pretty cool and you can see my mug and also the pieces in the background. I have been searching for them all month. And it's hard! (There is an aftermarket for collectors but the mark-up is usually four to five times the purchase price. Which is unfortunate!). So, if you are ever in one of these stores and you find a Cookies ceramic canister please buy it. I will buy it from you and pay you a premium and offer you lots of other lavish gifts. I promise.
In the meantime I need to try to curb my Rae Dunn pottery addiction. But "the hunt" is pretty fun. And a coffee mug only costs $3.99 so it is really inexpensive. At least that's what I keep telling my husband.
I just never imagined that painting Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days would lead to a new collection of clay pottery. Seriously?
Yesterday's Super Bowl was quite a game. Sadly my team didn't win and I have some very sad relatives in Atlanta right now. My heart aches for them.
Dave and I were quite surprised when my cell phone started buzzing like crazy while we were watching the game. Apparently one of the commercials we filmed at our house was featured on the Super Bowl! My friends and family recognized our house right away and the text messages started arriving! Unfortunately Dave and I started watching the game late and we were about twenty minutes behind the live feed. So we had to wait a while to see which commercial it was.
This Skittles commercial was filmed in our front yard in front of our master bedroom and next to our bed! The funny thing about the commercial? We found candy skittles in our bedroom for weeks ... under the bed, behind the chair and behind the drapes. Too funny!
My house finally got it's thirty seconds of fame ...
Yesterday's Artists Helping Artists show was a fun one. It's titled "Studio Tips From the World's Best Artists" and there is some really great information on the show. Yesterday my co-host Margaret Sheldon and I shared over thirty studio tips suggested by some of the best artists that have been on the AHA show. If you are looking for some very sound advice you should listen to the show here.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Happy listening!
Most of you know that I am a huge fan and user of "apps". I use apps on my phone everyday such as Waze, Pocket and Prisma.
Time Magazine has published their 2016 Top 50 Apps list and I think you should read it. If you aren't familiar with the three apps I mentioned then you need to read this article!
I love the description Time uses to introduce their top fifty list:
"We're increasingly reliant on the smartphones in our pockets to keep in touch with friends, watch movies and TV shows, and get work done, among other tasks. But the phones themselves would be meaningless without the software that, almost like magic, imbues them with new powers even their creators never thought possible.
In that spirit, these are TIME's 50 best iPhone and Android apps of the year. These are apps that were either released, had a notable redesign, or took off in popularity this year. The list is unranked, as the different functionality of each app makes them impossible to fairly compare. What did we miss?"
You can find this wonderful list here. And if you think they missed any I would love to know!
There is no question that blogging has changed. A few years ago I stated on the AHA show that "blogging was dead". I truly believed that blogging (on blogger) was a thing of the past. With the new social media platforms such as facebook, writers and readers were looking for a more dynamic interaction (i.e. instant comments and feedback) that blogging couldn't offer. Boy was I wrong.
So what happened? A few years ago, blogging wasn’t a business, it was a personal journal. Most artists were on sites like Blogger but not too many people followed blogs and their popularity was pretty low. And it wasn't that easy to follow (or find!) good bloggers.
Fast forward a couple of years and blogging is now a huge business. There are thousands of bloggers making six figures plus, who blog about fashion, home decor and life as a lonely high school co-ed. Many of them are not scholars, rather they have something interesting to say and they have an audience. Bloggers now make money from sponsors, advertising, affiliate marketing and even sponsored posts. It's big bucks.
Another big difference is that social media has made it a lot easier for bloggers to build a following. Create a blog and then share your message on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. Find followers and entice them to follow your blog. Ask your followers to share your message and the next thing you know your blog has thousands of followers. With some work you may end up with tens of thousands of followers. For the hard working bloggers you may end up with over a million followers.
So maybe it is time to rethink the whole blogging thing. You probably have something to say. So just do it.
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