Calligraphy: A Scribe's Notes Art Blog
Part One: Making Choices I talk to you everyday, not all of you at once, but via support@artid and info@artid. I even have the chance to engage in some lively conversation with you on the phone- answering questions, solving problems and listening to your frustrations, suggestions and successes. This is the first in a series of articles that will attempt to answer many of the frequently asked questions I get from you, along with a few suggestions that may help you get more out of your artid.
You have choices, you can: A. Create art for the joy of it. B. Create art to give away. C. Create art to stack in the closet. D. Create art to show. E. Create art to sell.
All of the above are valid reasons to create artwork. Most of us however, do not work just for the sheer pleasure of the process - we want our work to be shown, seen, purchased, and go to a good home. This is just business. You can have it both ways, blissful solitude in the studio and making sales but you are going to have to make additional choices about time, effort and money.
Forget the stereotype of artists who are flaky, unorganized and bad with numbers. If you think you fall into that category, give yourself some credit, you can add and subtract and you can learn some basic tools to market yourself successfully without eclipsing your studio time and breaking the bank.
If you are already past the steps below, talk quietly amongst yourselves and wait for Part 2.
1. Designate an amount of time that you are willing to spend on your self-promotion. Two hours a week, one morning a week or more and stick to it. Designate an amount of money you can spend per month or per quarter, and don__™t go over. With your allotted time, focus on only one or two things at once.
2. Computer skills are just plain necessary today. It can be confusing and frustrating and you can__™t learn it all in a week. One step at a time, one week at a time, learn how to email and make attachments, get pictures out of your camera and into your computer, do some basic photo editing, navigate the internet and most importantly for the love of Pete learn how to file. Leaving everything all over your desktop is inviting problems. Read articles, ask your kids, your brother-in-law, your neighbor. Take classes, make a pest of yourself if you have to, but learn. The computer is not your enemy, it__™s just another tool.
3. Photograph all your artwork. You should be doing this anyway to keep a record of your work.
4. Joining an artist__™ website like artid (ahem, shameless self promotion) is going to cost you a fee and some of your time but it__™s one of the most cost effective and time smart ways to present your work. Upload a little at a time so it doesn__™t get to be this huge overwhelming task.
5. Collect the addresses of people who leave comments in your guestbook and add them to your email list of past customers, interested parties, students, and possible buyers. Sending out short email notices about you and your work, your classes, show dates or recent achievements keeps your name in front of people.
6. Once you have a URL (web address) you should include it in everything you print - business cards, brochures, letterhead and your email signature. Tell everyone you have a website. All of these things, computer skills, email lists, printed matter and photographs are a big job, so do a portion at a time. Work on one task a week and don__™t go over your time limit. Little by little it gets done and once it is, it__™s easier to maintain.
7. Read Maria's blog below - Artists Forming Community.
Coming up next, Part Two: Work It.