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Your artist website is the home base for your business online. It’s where you send people to see your work, sign up for your , or even buy your art.

In short, you need for it to be up and functioning at its best. All. The. Time.

©Natalya Aikens, Daybreak. Mixed Media Collage, 12 x 12 inches. Used with permission.

What would happen if it crashed?

And … Who would you turn to if you needed a quick update to your site because you found out you were being featured in an article? Is that person always available for you?

You may have a great relationship with your web designer and hosting service right now, but you can’t predict what might happen in the future.

I’ve witnessed so many artists get stuck because they were abandoned by their webmasters and have no idea how to access their sites.

Don’t let this happen to you!

Maybe you have a DIY site, but it’s been awhile since you have worked on the backend of it. How do you get there?

You are a savvy artist-entrepreneur, so make sure you have complete control over your internet presence–even if you are lucky enough to have someone helping you.

You don’t want to leave this to chance. You don’t want to learn later that your life could have been so much easier if only you had a few answers at your fingertips.

What follows is a list with all of the information you need from the people who maintain your artist website, even if “the people” is only you.

Domain Registrar

Usually the domain registrar is hosted by the place where you purchased it, but it might have been moved to another domain host.

©Kellee Wynne Conrad, The Sound of Sunshine. Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas, 24 x 24 inches. Used with permission.

I prefer that my domain is hosted separately from the company that hosts my website. It makes breaking up with a hosting company much easier. I've had to break up with a website hosting company twice and found this out the hard way.

URL of domain registry:

Accessing Your Domain Registration Account
URL to login:
PIN if applicable:
Security questions/answers:

Best way to get help:

Domain name renewal date:

You don’t want to miss this! It could cause big trouble if your web designer is incapacitated for any reason and misses your renewal date. Mine are set to auto renewal and notices come directly to me, which places the control in my hands.

©2015 Kevin Caron. Twin Peaks. 3D printed sculpture of PLA resin, 35 x 9 x 6 inches. Used with permission.

Website Hosting Company

Name of website host:

Date of renewal for hosting account:

Accessing Your Web Hosting Account
Login URL for hosting site:
PIN if applicable:
Security questions/answers:

How much hard drive space is available?
How much bandwidth is available?
How many sites can I host under this account?

Email Addresses
Addresses hosted on this server:
SMTP settings:
POP settings:
Advanced SMTP port setting: 
This is a number like 25, 80, 587, 465, 2222, or 3535.

How many email addresses are available to me?
Where/how are they configured?

How do I log in to webmail? 
This is something you want to have handy in case your email isn’t downloading to your computer.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
Host address or name:


Best way to get help from hosting company:


If your blog is separate from your website, you need login information for your blog as well.

Login URL:
PIN if applicable:
Email used to create your log in access:
 This is needed to reset your password in case you forget it.

Security questions/answers:

Theme name and version #, if using WordPress:

©Jill Nonnemacher, Being Your Own Village. Colored plaster on granite base, 14 x 32 x 8. inches. Used with permission.

Got it?

You don’t need to understand what all of this means. You just need to trust me that this is must-have information for your records.

Don’t be afraid to ask for these details. Whether or not you have someone helping you, you paid for the site.

If you have this information, you will be able to control your home base online.

Your Turn

If you have a story about being caught without access to the above information, please share it in a comment below. Your examples will help artists learn.

This post was originally published on February 18, 2016 and has been updated with the original comments intact.

The post Must-Have Website Info That Should Be at Your Fingertips appeared first on Art Biz Success.

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We often forget that we’re not alone. It’s easy to do because you spend so much time working by yourself in the studio. But … You don’t have to hold up the weight of a solo exhibition all by yourself.

If you get a little creative, you will find a whole bunch of people who would love to be involved with your show. They would be happy to help you install it, interpret it, and share it with others.

©2014 Jill Powers, Essential Waters. Bark fiber, 48 x 56 x 3 inches. Used with permission.

In my former life (a long time ago) I was an art museum curator and educator. This is exactly how we thought about exhibitions in the art museum: holistically.

We never installed the art and only hoped people would come to the museum and understand the work. We spent months discussing—as a team— how we would involve others in the show. How we would help make the art more meaningful to our visitors and, at the same time, increase the chance that many more people would see the work.

This is where my guest for this episode of the podcast comes in.

Jill Powers is a sculptor and installation artist who creates art related to ecological issues. For her major exhibitions Jill produces public events designed to educate, delight, and challenge  visitors and viewers. She also seeks unique collaborations with area businesses, organizations, and experts to help support and promote her artistic themes.

©2016 Jill Powers, Close Contact. Bark fiber, natural materials, 9 x 5 x 5 inches. Used with permission.

In this episode, she describes the many programs she has organized and how she does it. You’ll hear about how she's worked with dancers, scientists, and restaurants to expand the reach of the show beyond the walls and pedestals of the galleries. You'll see how easy it is to multiply your audience when you take this approach.

Show Notes

In this interview, you will hear about:

  • Jill’s background both in art and education, and her passion to create and teach in different settings.
  • Two Colorado exhibitions: Plants and Insects in a Time of Change at the Firehouse Art Center in Longmont, Colorado (2013) and Hold Fast: Seaweeds in a Time of Oceanic Change at the Dairy Art Center in Boulder, Colorado (2016).
  • The curatorial thesis of experiencing art that opens doors to the message.
  • The actual work that was on view for each exhibit.
  • The benefits of becoming involved in your community and collaboration beyond what seems possible.
  • The clever way Jill’s exhibitions included everyone from dancers, to chefs and scientists.
  • The film night she organized as part of a public program.
  • The funding that took place in order to successfully run the exhibits.
  • The obstacles she faced in pulling off both events with over 3 years of planning.
  • Her way of using volunteers and organizing systems to help her stay focused and on track.
  • What led her to recognize the value in involving others and making the art more meaningful.
  • The immersive aspect of her exhibits including live samples of seaweed at a tasting station and using music to set the mood.
  • Her advice for artists who may consider becoming more involved in their community, and why enthusiasm and personal connection is so impactful.
  • A glimpse into what’s next for her in the future, including a book based on her teaching and life experiences.

Jill at one of her events for the Ocean Ecology and Seaweed exhibition.

About My Guest Jill Powers is a sculptor, installation artist, and educator who creates art related to ecological issues.  Using current science about the natural world, Jill finds singular vantage points that fascinate her, and motivate her research and ideas.

You can see Jill’s art and learn more about her exhibition events at JillPowers.com. While there, sign up for her newsletter and she'll send you a free download worksheet to get started planning your own events.

The post Multiply Your Audience and Expand Your Show’s Impact with Jill Powers appeared first on Art Biz Success.

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We all love some parts of our business more than others. I’d be lying to you if I told you that I loved marketing and bookkeeping as much as creating a course.

After doing this work with artists for nearly two decades, I can say with confidence that artists who happily embrace their role as CEO of their business do better than artists who don’t.

This doesn’t mean that you need to fake joy whenever you’re paying bills. It means that you rise to accept the challenge because you know it’s important.

©Tamara White, Yellow Cart. Oil on canvas, 10 x 10 x 1.5 inches. Used with permission.

There are ways to be happier about running a business, but first you must decide that this is what you want. As I've said many times, not every artist should turn their art into a business. It's a whole different game when you start asking for money for your art.

But if you choose to go the route of earning money from your art, own it. 

You can be pouty and grumble about all of the hard work, or you can find ways to enjoy the ride.

Which way would you rather go through life?

What Makes Me Happy About Running My Business

Running a successful business means long hours and many sacrifices, but the rewards are unparalleled.

I love that …

I can work anywhere in the world and at any time of my choosing.

I am over-the-moon ecstatic when …

Clients have Aha! moments. When they really get what I’m encouraging them to do or try.

Clients implement and see results.

I connect two clients together who can benefit from collaboration, inspiration, or motivation.

I am blown away when …

I receive an email or card full of gratitude from a client who took the time to write.

I could go almost anywhere in the U.S., and almost anywhere in the world, and meet up with someone who has read my book, is on my email list, or has been in one of my online programs.

You Should Be Happy

(Forgive me for should-ing on you a bit.)

You should be happy that you’re an artist who can express yourself freely. Millions of people in the world can’t do this without fear of going to jail or worse.

©Jane Barefoot Rochelle, #33 Lions. Acrylic, 24 x 30 inches. Used with permission.

If you have created a business from your art, you should be happy that you took this initiative and built it from scratch. You’re not just making money. You’re also building a legacy.

Many people will never have the guts to do what you’re doing.

Yes, there are things you have to do in your business that you won’t love, but avoiding them will only hold you back. Try to have fun along the way. Try to smile more.

Make a game of being in business if you need to. Discover the little things that bring you joy, and do more of them.

Because I’ve been working with artists like you for so long, I have an idea or two (8, to be exact) to share with you. See if any of these might put a smile on your face.

8 Ways To Be Even Happier

1. Raise your prices.

There are few things more dispiriting than selling your art for a price lower than what it’s worth.

Raise your prices if and when the situation merits. Money isn’t always part of the happiness equation, but it doesn’t hurt.

You’ll be happier when you're valuing your time and effort at the levels they deserve.

In the Art Biz Accelerator, I walk you through a series of steps that show you exactly how you can earn an income goal. Sabra Lynne Crockett went through this process and exceeded her goal. (Read her story here.)

2. Collaborate with more people.

The artist’s life can be solitary, so make a point of connecting with people that you can collaborate with. I know it can be frustrating working with other people, but the potential reward is too promising to overlook.

Not only will you be happier when you collaborate, you will also stretch your business muscles and expand your audience when you bring more people in on what you’re doing. You could:

  • Collaborate on the art itself.
  • Schedule joint exhibitions and open studios.
  • Work with dancers, musicians, and writers to expand the impact of your art.

3. Help another artist solve a problem.

There is something deeply gratifying about helping people. It takes the focus off of you and your struggles.

©Fred Newman, Woman in Purple with Cat. Photograph. Used with permission.

Maybe you can respond to a question online or in a class you’re teaching. Pat yourself on the back for making someone’s life easier.

4. Go complaint-free.

Stop complaining about being so busy or about doing work that you don’t like. It’s exhausting to be on the receiving end of this, and it feeds a negative mindset. Complaining is an enormous waste of energy–yours and that of those around you.

Stop complaining about other artists, politicians, or (fill in the blank).

Just stop complaining. Period. Then get to work.

5. Exert self-control on social media.

By self-control, I mean controlling not just what you post, but what you consume.

Refuse to participate in negativity. Negativity breeds negativity. Don't take the bait! When you see it online, run the other way.

People post all kinds of crazy things on social media. Some are happy and inspiring, while others are depressing. Why gamble when you’re trying to stay positive and happy?

6. Make someone smile.

Be happier by making a fellow human happy. Brighten someone’s inbox, Facebook page, or mailbox with your art.

I’m not encouraging you to spam people with your art, but if you make uplifting art, send images of it along with sincere love and gratitude to your friends and family. Imagine their joy when they receive your message.

Who can you delight with your art today?

7. Get your art out of the studio.

Two things cannot happen when you stay in the studio.

  1. You cannot have a financially viable business or career by hiding out in the studio.
  2. You cannot be emotionally or professionally fulfilled by keeping your art to yourself.

©Jane Appleby, Colourful Conversations 1/2. Diptych acrylic on canvas, 20 x 32 inches. Used with permission.

What happens when you're in the red and unfulfilled? Disappointment, negativity, gloom. (Frown.)

Getting your art out of the studio and in front of people gives you a greater chance of selling it. (Smile!) The circle of creation is complete because people are viewing and responding to it, and you are connecting with those people. Which brings me to …

8. Get thee out of the studio.

Too much time alone in the studio isn’t good for your mental health, your creativity, or your prosperity.

Don't just drop off your art and retreat back into the studio. Haul your butt out the door and go to openings and lectures or just hang out at the coffee shop.

When you really want to be inspired, visit art museums with the highest quality of art on the planet. There, you’ll be reminded of your connection to art history. Revel in the tradition you share with these brilliant men and women.

You have the freedom to have a business and the opportunity to delight many people with your art. You can choose to be happier.


This post was originally published on May 5, 2016, and has been updated with original comments intact.

The post How To Be Happier About Running Your Art Business appeared first on Art Biz Success.

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Artist Lynn Basa understands the power of art to be a positive force in communities.

She is interested in the varied ways that artists are intersecting with public life. From more traditional “public art” to creative placemaking to socially engaged practice.

©2018, Lynn Basa, Workers Cottage Parklet. Glass brick, stone, concrete, LED lights and metal, 13′ 1.75″ x 11′ 5.5″ x 2′ 1.5″. Photo by James Prinz. Used with permission.

I talked with Lynn, author of The Artist’s Guide to Public Art: How to Find and Win Commissions, for the Art Biz Podcast. In particular, we focused on The Corner Project, an art space and community revitalization effort she founded in the blighted neighborhood of her Chicago studio in 2017.

In describing this project, Lynn said, and I paraphrase:

Every single artist … [brings] with them a certain amount of agency and value to wherever they are. They can do so much more. … It’s a paradigm shift that happens in your head where you start realizing that “I have something of value that I can contribute to society at large,” rather than just making an object and hoping it gets sold for enough money and that you can make a living.

You'll also hear her speak this truth: Art is a billion dollar business, and someone has to do it.

I think you’ll be inspired to think big and make a difference in your community after you listen to this episode.

One day Lynn Basa looked out of the windows of her studio building and was inspired to create The Corner Project. Photo courtesy Lynn Basa.

Show Notes

In this interview, you will hear Lynn talk about:

  • Her background as a studio artist and how it led to her interest in public art.
  • Her time at the Seattle Arts Commission.
  • The big jump of having her tapestries fabricated as rugs in Nepal, to then selling art to private collections, to finally teaching herself the business of finding customers.
  • How the accessibility of art and availability of selling it online has changed the industry over recent years.

    Edra Soto’s Relocating Techniques installation in the windows of The Corner Project, 2016. Mural on side of building by Julia Sowles Barlow. Photo courtesy Lynn Basa.

  • What creative placemaking is, why it has gotten a bad rap, and how it is different from public art.
  • Why she felt the need to go back to school in 2016 and get an MFA.
  •  What The Corner Project is, who funds it, the main mission of the space, and why she was inspired to start it.
  • Some of the obstacles Lynn faced to build a coalition and organize a community in The Corner Project.
  • What a typical meeting at The Corner Project looks like, her biggest challenges in running it, and what she wishes she would have known before starting it.
  • Why an artist would be interested in creative placemaking, and who isn’t cut out for it.
  • How her personal art has developed over time.
  • Her upcoming book, the second edition of The Artist’s Guide to Public Art.
  • Getting better results by truly listening rather than by imposing your ideas — especially in local politics.
  • How she learned how to pace herself and manage her time more effectively.
  • Inspiration for artists on how they can be catalysts in their communities.

Lynn Basa at work in her painting studio. Photo by Doug vanderHoof. Used with permission.

About My Guest Lynn Basa is an artist living in Chicago. In addition to having completed numerous public art commissions, she is a painter.

She has taught in the Sculpture department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is the author of The Artist’s Guide to Public Art: How to Find and Win Commissions. She is also the founder of The Corner Project, a creative placemaking initiative on three blocks of Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood.

The post Creative Placemaking and Public Art with Lynn Basa appeared first on Art Biz Success.

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Every contact you have with someone is an opportunity to wow them with your art and your professionalism, so you don’t want to miss the chance to wow from the beginning.

Robert Mapplethorpe knew this. For his first solo exhibition in 1973 at New York’s Light Gallery – a show of Polaroids – Mapplethorpe’s invitation was a hand-printed image from a Polaroid original.

©Timothy J Chambers, Carnation Vase. Pastel on sanded Canson, 9.5 x 17.5 inches. Used with permission.

Mapplethorpe embossed his name on the outer edge, included the protective Polaroid cover, and inserted everything into hand-addressed, cream-colored Tiffany envelopes.

His invitation was a work of art in itself because, he believed, an exhibition doesn't begin when you go to the opening, but when you receive the invitation.

The moment people hear about the show, they start judging. Will it be any good? Who else will show up? Is it worth my time? Is there something better I could do that night?

What experience do people have when they get an invitation from you?

Here are 7 ways to use your invitation to wow guests and set the tone for your exhibition.

Real Mail

1. Send it via post.

The simple act of putting a stamp on an envelope and dropping it into a mailbox automatically increases the prestige of your exhibition.

In these days of email reliance, almost anything you send real mail will get more attention than if it were sent via email.

2. Make it one of a kind.

Your invitation will be extra special if you can make each invitation by hand: hand-printed, painted, or collaged.

©Simonne Roy, Baguette et Fromage. Oil on canvas panel, 6 x 8 inches. Used with permission.

However, recognizing that it’s not easy to make a large quantity of handmade invitations, it’s possible to begin with a mass-produced image and add embellishments, such as:

  • Areas of paint
  • Embroidery
  • Collaged elements

If you aren’t able to produce handmade invitations, get a professional to design them and use high-quality paper for the printing.

3. Focus on the art. Focus on the art. Focus on the art.

This should be obvious, but take a clue from Mapplethorpe and hyper-focus the invitation on the art. He embossed a reproduced image from his show and reinforced the Polaroid theme in the invitation.

Consider making an invitation that is a creative preview of the work people will see when they attend.

©Laura Hunt, Embrace. Mixed media/found object assemblage, 8.25 x 21 x 7 inches. Used with permission.

4. Don’t skimp on the envelopes.

If you use a printing company, ask them to save their envelopes because they’re usually too flimsy to impress.

You can catch someone’s eye without Tiffany envelopes, and you’ll pay significantly less than what Mapplethorpe shelled out for those back in 1973. Two of my favorite envelope resources are Envelopes.com and Paper Source.

5. Embrace a gimmick.

Your invitation shouldn’t look anything like the bills and junk mail landing in mailboxes. Swanky envelopes and hand embellishments will eliminate all possibility of that, and you can expand on this desire to stand out.

Enclose your invitation in something with an odd shape.

You can mail in square or clear envelopes, mailing tubes, and almost anything else you can dream up.

6. Add handwriting.

Write a personal note by hand on the invitation and address the envelope by hand. Anything with your handwriting will get more attention.

Even if you’re only sending a postcard, write a personal note somewhere on it.

If the envelope or invitation is a dark color, I recommend the Uni-ball Signo broad white gel pen. I’ve tried my share of white pens and had almost given up on them before I came across this brand, which was a lifesaver for holiday cards.


As I mentioned above, an email invitation will never have the gravitas as one delivered in real mail. However, because we use email so much, it’s important to be aware of how you can enhance the value of your email.

The best (and perhaps only) way to do this is …

7. Send 1 email to 1 person.

It’s easy to send an email to many people at once, but there’s not a whole lot that is special about those. If you want people to act, send a personal message to a single person. They’ll notice the difference.

©Renee St. Peter, Love-A-Fair. Watercolor on paper, 15 x 30 inches. Used with permission.

Here are some pointers for this process:

  • Address the person by name.
  • Add a line or two (or more) that acknowledges the relationship you have with them.
  • Tell them, with sincerity, how much it would mean to you if they would attend your show.
  • Use a personal subject line such as I’d love it if you could come to my show.
Your Turn

How do you use invitations to add cachet to your exhibition?

This post was originally published on April 26, 2016. It has been updated with the original comments left intact.

The post 7 Ways to Wow with Your Exhibition Invitation appeared first on Art Biz Success.

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Since I started my art career, I had this one figure in my head that if I made that figure as my annual income, then I would consider myself successful. I also made this my Art Biz Accelerator income goal. Well, I just tallied up my annual income for 2018, and I EXCEEDED THAT FIGURE!!!!

©2017 Sabra Lynne Crockett, Come Dance with Me. Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 40 inches. Used with permission.

I love seeing messages like this one from Sabra Lynne Crockett in my inbox, and I think it's important for artists to see what is possible when you apply your knowledge.

She continued:

Before I enrolled in the Art Career Success System, I was directionless. I was flitting from one project to another. Now I have a vision, and a plan to make it happen through actionable goals. Quantifying my accomplishments shows me that I'm not just spinning my wheels.

Shifting my focus was huge. It also helped to keep that goal in the back of my mind throughout the year. I was able to eliminate the doubt that I would never be able to make that amount.

After receiving this, I asked her a few more questions in hopes of helping others.

ABS: How did you shift your focus?

Before I even knew that the Art Career Success System existed, I had to get myself in the mindset that I was an artist. It took me almost two decades to declare that I was an artist, even though  I made my living doing artistic things.

I always skirted around the idea. I would be asked, “Are you an artist?” I would say things like, “Well, no. I’m a decorative artist”, or, “I am a scenic artist.” I was limited by my own thinking. It was when I made the declaration to myself, and owned the label “artist” that the floodgates of opportunity opened up for me.

One of the opportunities that arose was enrolling in all four courses of the Art Career Success System.

ABS: What has made the biggest difference?

Taking the Art Career Success System has shown me what questions I needed to be asking myself to prepare myself for the next step of my career. Your classes  have exposed me to the questions I needed to ask that I didn’t even know existed before. I saw where I wanted to be and what I wanted to accomplish, because I saw others doing it. However, I had no idea how to get there.

After participating the ACSS program, I have a better idea of what my focus needs to be and a vision of what I want my life to look like. I feel like I have a way to accomplish goals that feed into that vision, and I feel that I can accomplish those tasks that feed into my goals.

©2017 Sabra Lynne Crockett, Glory. Acrylic, composition metal leaf on canvas, 24 x 18 inches. Used with permission.

The financial goal just happened. I wasn’t hyper focused on it, but it was in the back of my mind. Just being present with it, and taking small decisive actions toward it brought me to that goal. I didn’t obsess about it, but I didn’t ignore it, either. It was more of an attitude shift that made it happen for me.

Sabra Recommends

Which of the 4 courses in the Art Career Success System would you most recommend and why?

Well, honestly I would recommend them all.

ABS: I sure love hearing that!

The one that made the biggest impact is the Art Biz Accelerator. It's a great one to start with, because it helped me do the work to evaluate what I have accomplished, celebrate that, and focus on the future goals.

Being able to see it on paper makes such a difference instead of it being in your head. Also, the brilliance of setting time each month to plan, assess, and reassess is a game changer. I feel like I am in control instead of someone else calling the shots. That can also be a little scary sometimes, too, because now there are no excuses.

As you often emphasize, I have to take full responsibility for my artistic career. I can’t blame anyone but myself for my shortcomings. However, I also know that I am exactly where I need to be in my life right now. All of this I have learned through these courses, and having the understanding and support of the ACSS community has enforced that belief.

Sabra Lynne Crockett working on Arms Wide Open in 2018.

ABS: Anything else?

I want people to know how well worth the investment of time and money it was to go to the  Art Biz Mastermind Workshop in Asheville last year.

While there, I had a huge Aha! moment that, again, made me realize how I was getting in my own way of my success. I also met some fantastic artists that I am in frequent contact with.

ABS: How have you stayed on track?

The thing that has kept me on track is accountability: a group of equally serious artists and a partner that I met at the workshop.

It’s critical to schedule studio time and time to review goals.

I find that the opportunities that spark joy are the most satisfying, and saying no to the little jobs makes room for the bigger, more satisfying experiences. I’m less worried about making money, and focusing more on being involved in great opportunities, which has lead to making more money. It’s a scary leap at first, but necessary to get to what really matters.

Next Steps

What are you working on for 2019?

My goal is to increase my 2018 income by 25%. I'm really nervous to commit to it, but I am also really excited and confident  I can do it.

It seems these days that there are boundless opportunities, and I can now discern between which ones will support my vision, and which ones won’t. Thank you for the blueprint I needed all these years!

About Sabra Lynne Crockett

Sabra Lynne Crockett’s artwork focuses on  the natural world through intimate portraits of North American birds and trees.

Good things are happening for Sabra. She has been invited to participate in 3 gallery exhibits this year. One is at the Kentucky Artisan Center, where she is the only woman artist of the 4 participants. She is also exhibiting three pieces at the Kentucky Living Arts and Science Center in Lexington, Kentucky. The third exhibition is a solo exhibition at DIY Printing in Cincinnati.

She was also awarded a retreat residency from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and was invited to speak about herself and her art for International SWAN (Support Women Artists Now) Day.

Sabra does most of her reflecting in Louisville, Kentucky.

The post Why Putting Your Plan on Paper Matters appeared first on Art Biz Success.

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A number of years ago, I attended a mastermind meeting that had a consistent theme running through it.

The most successful people have a sense of urgency.

I believe this to be true because those I view as successful act quickly and decisively. They hustle. They get things done.

If we take it at face value, the phrase sense of urgency seems turbulent. It sounds like we should be moving hastily and acting immediately on ideas without much thought or care for anything else.

It’s Not Really About Hurrying

As I read more about a sense of urgency as it relates to business, I discover that it’s not necessarily about hurrying.

©M.Rees, Wasser at Night. Ink on wood, 50 x 33 inches. Used with permission.

John Kotter, who wrote the book A Sense of Urgency, says the following.

True urgency focuses on critical issues. It is driven by the deep determination to win, not anxiety about losing. Many people confuse it with false urgency. This misguided sense of urgency does have energized action, but it has a frantic aspect to it with people driven by anxiety and fear. This dysfunctional orientation prevents people from exploiting opportunities and addressing real issues.

Michael Hyatt gets to the point.

Cultivating a sense of urgency is all about producing results. All the stuff that it takes to produce results—paperwork, approvals, processes, committees, and budgets—are not an end in themselves. They are only the means. If you do all this and don’t accomplish your goals, you have lost.

Too often people think that the objective is to complete their task list. If they do so, they think they have actually accomplished something. This is not necessarily the case. Tasks are a necessary but insufficient condition of achievement.

Hyatt explains that it’s not about the tasks or how you get there. It’s about staying focused on the desired outcome.

6 Ways to Adopt a Sense of Urgency for Your Art Business

1. Know what you want.

When I think of successful people, I think of people who know exactly what they want.

Success doesn’t seem to strike people who are wishy-washy and vague. Success doesn’t have time to wait for you to figure out what you want.

©Kerry Steele, Budding. Oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches. Used with permission.

When you don’t know what you want, you create that frantic urgency around tasks that don’t matter in the long run.

Our course, the Art Biz Accelerator, helps you set your priorities.

2. Be clear about why you do what you do.

This isn’t always evident, but it will change the way you work. If your purpose is as I suspect—to communicate with the world through your art—you will begin to understand how critical it is for you to get the work out of the studio and in front of people.

You will see that self-expression is only a small part of your purpose. It’s more about the connections you make with the rest of the world.

3. Favor action.

Don’t spend unreasonable amounts of time looking for the best technology, taking another class, or searching for game-changing answers. These can be forms of procrastination in order to avoid what is much harder.

Do. The. Work.

4. Build on momentum.

Successful people are constantly improving and innovating. They never think they’ve gotten to the top.

Yes you need a little rest thrown in, but you must also build on your successes before people forget about them.

5. Get to the point.

You’ve got to learn to summarize and bullet point your thoughts and ideas. The busy people you’re going to be dealing with during your career don’t have time to make sense of your rambling thoughts.

©Kathi Thompson, Eel Grass Safety. Oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches. Used with permission.

Learn to speak with brevity and impact and, Please!, write shorter emails.

What’s the bottom line?

6. Try speeding things up.

I know I said it isn’t about hurrying, but there has to be a little speed on the trajectory to success. Simplify your systems and environment so you can respond more quickly to opportunities.

How does a sense of urgency show up in your art business and career? If it doesn’t, what can you do immediately to instill this in your work life?

This post was first published in 2014. It has been updated with the original comments intact.

The post Why You Need a Sense of Urgency in Your Art Business appeared first on Art Biz Success.

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Missy Graff Ballone, artist and founder of Wellness for Makers, joins the show to discuss the importance of taking care of your most precious asset for making art: your body.

Missy Graff Ballone interacts with her fiber jewelry. Photo by Angelique Hanesworth of Eyespy photography.

She shares her own background as an artist, massage therapist and yoga instructor, and why she saw a need to provide resources that help artists take care of their bodies so they can make more art, and in turn, run their businesses. She also provides tools artists can use to get started in their new journey towards better health.

In this interview, you will hear Missy talk about:

  • How she blended her background as an artist, massage therapist, and yoga instructor to motivate and empower artists through education, mindful living, and movement.
  • Why she felt it important to teach artists accessible self-care to improve the longevity of their bodies, and ultimately their careers.
  • How it’s never too late to invest in yourself and focus on the key assets—your body and health!
  • The importance of creating extra variety in your movements in the studio.
  • How we can become more consciously aware of the patterns we create within our bodies, and the most common ailments artists typically endure.
  • Some gentle techniques and tools that she finds important and effective.
  • The theme of resilience and how it relates to wellness for artists.

Listen to, subscribe, and leave reviews on iTunes.

Mentioned Wellness for Makers
Complete Wellness Kit
4 Weeks of Resilience Quotes Worth Noting

“We can’t make art without a healthy body.”
“An artist’s number one asset in their business isn’t their mailing list, it’s their body.”

About My Guest

Missy Graff Ballone working with one of her wellness clients.

Missy Graff Ballone is the founder of Wellness for Makers LLC, an organizationdedicated to motivating and empowering artists through education, mindful living, and movement. Missy graduated with her MFA in Metals from the State University of New York at New Paltz. She is a RYT-500-hour alignment-based yoga teacher and she has been a licensed massage therapist for over 10 years. She created Wellness for Makers to make it easier for artists everywhere to locate and share wellness resources. Sponsor

This episode of the Art Biz Podcast is sponsored by our Art Biz Mastermind Workshops, which are held 4 times a year in various parts of the country.

It’s great that we have this online thing— that I can reach you through your computer, phone or talking electronic assistant. But … there’s nothing like being together and connecting face-to-face. When we’re together, we can accomplish more in two days than if you spent 6 months trying to figure it out yourself.

The workshops center around a core concept: That when you get away from the minutiae of your life in the studio and office, you can see the big picture more clearly, which helps you make a realistic plan that is in alignment with what you want for your art. Our next workshop will be in Scottsdale, Arizona in May, and we also have workshops in Seattle and Denver in the fall.

The post Caring for Your Most Precious Asset as an Artist with Missy Graff Ballone appeared first on Art Biz Success.

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You are in charge of your art career.

This means you are the person who decides what to do immediately and what can wait for tomorrow, next week, or next month.

This sounded ideal until you realized how hard it is to prioritize your life and business by yourself.

You might have been accustomed to a boss telling you where to focus your energy. No more.

Entrepreneurship issued a wake-up call. You want freedom? Here it is! Go decide for yourself.

©Laureen Marchand, Curtsey. Oil on panel, 9 x 12 inches. Used with permission.

If you’re actively looking for opportunities, as you should be, there will be a time when you have more opportunities than you realistically have the bandwidth for. You’ll be hit with new invitations and requests from all corners.

But it’s unrealistic to involve yourself in every opportunity that comes your way.

Intellectually, you understand this. Emotionally, you want to believe you are somehow superhuman.

The projects might be exhibitions, commissions, licensing deals, wholesale contracts, teaching possibilities, separate jobs, or something else. They’re all projects that beg for your time, and they sound so exciting!

Your resolve is being tested by a voice that some people call a gremlin or troll. I call it The Tester.

How serious is she about this other project—really?
How good is he at knowing what he wants and needs?

All good entrepreneurs struggle with decisions in moments like these, especially if there is the potential for a big pay off at the end.

This is when you must ask yourself hard questions to help you answer the biggest question of all:
 Should I take on this project?

Below are some of the questions I ask my clients, which you might adapt for your own process of deciding whether or not to take on something new.

Does It Feel Right?

©Jill Soukup, Scanning the Herd. Oil, 7 x 5 inches. Used with permission.

Most of us rely on intuition before signing on to something big, so this is a natural place to begin.

When I consider taking on this project, how does it feel? If you’re not enthusiastic about it, there is little need to go further.

Will I enjoy the process? You don’t really know what will happen, but there are clues. For example, if your tummy turns at the thought of painting another pet portrait, for Pete’s sake, don’t accept that commission.

While your gut may not get the ultimate say-so, it shouldn’t be ignored.

Is This Aligned With My Goals?

Consider whether or not this project supports the goals and vision you have for your art career.

Will this get me closer to my goal?
Will it completely sideline me?
What other projects might it jeopardize?

Will it move me into a new, equally or more positive area? Sometimes it is wise to change course when opportunity knocks. That’s how Art Biz Success came about. If I had stubbornly pursued the path I started, I would never have discovered such rewarding work with artists like you.

How Challenging Is the Project?

It’s deeply satisfying for artists and entrepreneurs to challenge themselves to learn a new technique, technology, or medium. If you’re bored or stuck, the siren call of a challenge might be a temptation too great to overlook.

Will this project force me to learn something new that I could incorporate into my work in the future?

Will I be taken away from my best work in order to learn something that I may never use again? The learning curve will add extra time to your already-full schedule.

Do I Want to Work with These People?

The people involved in a project can make it all worthwhile, or they could make it a nightmare.

©Lynn Lobo, Shrine 4 – A Time to Shed. Oil on Belgian linen, 30 x 40 centimeters. Used with permission.

Do I like the people I’d be working with?
Are they responsive to my questions and generous with their guidance?

Are there people involved with the project that I could learn from or benefit from knowing? It doesn’t hurt to take on a project just to rub elbows with someone you’ve always admired or who could help your career.

How Much Time Will It Take?

Time is the great mystery, which is why you must always err on the side of overestimating your time. Some experts suggest estimating your time and then doubling it for a more realistic view.

If all goes as planned, how much time will it take?
 No, really. Be realistic, Self.
What are some of the unknowns that could take more time?
Do I want to give that amount of time to this project?

What Is the Potential for Profit?

If you need to earn a living, you can’t forget the money part of the equation.

What’s the profit potential? Yep, get out your pen and paper and start figuring out income, expenses, and the bottom line.

In a best-case scenario, how much money would I make?

Worst case, how much would I make (or lose)? Is it worth it? It might be worth it to make less if it leads to future opportunities that have bigger payoffs.

What Opportunities Could It Lead To?

A project is rarely fulfilling if the only reward is monetary. We’re likely to be even more thrilled with the results when it benefits our future.

What kind of recognition would I receive?
What’s the potential for media coverage?

What opportunities might come my way as a result of being involved with this project? This is the most critical question because a chance at future growth is the reason most of us take on more than we can handle.

©Daniel Ambrose, Evening Magic. Egg tempera on panel, 7 x 9 inches. Used with permission.

If you can find good reason to start a project when you don’t really have time for it, you probably need to look at everything else you have going on and adjust your priorities. You're going to need the energy.

Your Turn

How do you make tough decisions like whether or not to involve yourself in a new project?
Have you ever taken on a project that you regretted? If so, were there any warning signs you should have seen?

This post was first published on March 10, 2016. It has been updated with original comments intact.

The post How to Decide Whether to Take on a New Project or Not appeared first on Art Biz Success.

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Artist Gwen Fox describes a situation many artists have found themselves in.

You know the scenario. Your work was selected for a prestigious art show and during the show you happen to overhear a man talking about your work. As you listen, your heart sinks. He hates your painting.

The man then moves on to reveal his ignorance while commenting on several other paintings, yet what he said about yours has destroyed your confidence.

For the rest of the evening you don’t hear all the glowing remarks about your work. You keep replaying what the man said over and over in your mind. By bedtime your confidence in yourself and your art dwells in an empty vile hole.

Thoughts keep running through your mind. He was right, my work just isn’t good enough. Or … I knew down deep I wasn’t a real artist!

Your confidence has been stolen so now what can you do?

©Gwen Fox, Mystery of the Morning. Oil on canvas, 40 x 30 inches. Used with Permission.

Lack of confidence is something all artists struggle with at one time or another. In this episode of the Art Biz Podcast, you’ll hear guest Gwen Fox tackle this critical topic and give tips for becoming a more confident artist.


Listen to or subscribe on Apple Podcasts or your favorite player.

Show Notes
  • What you can do when your confidence is dashed, and how perfectionism and negative self-talk doesn’t help.
  • Why some people appear more confident than others, and where confidence doesn’t come from.
  • Why it’s crucial to surround yourself with those that give you confidence.

    Artist and instructor Gwen Fox with one of her students.

  • Gwen’s personal experience of an authority figure questioning her intellectual capabilities, and how she finally shed the belief of not being “smart enough” that plagued her for years.
  • The difference between beliefs and truths, and how to acknowledge and then silence your inner critic.
  • Why so many artists suffer from the imposter syndrome, and how to combat it.
  • How the words you choose to describe yourself shape the entire creative process.
  • How Gwen looks at failure and mistakes as learning lessons and highways to success.
  • Why Gwen fully believes we produce better art when we are kind to ourselves.
  • The two best words you could ever ask yourself: “What if … ?”
  • The importance of using visualization, affirmations, and goal setting as tools to shape confidence and release your artistic voice into the world.
  • Examples of affirmations that Gwen herself uses for success and confidence.
About My Guest
As a child, Gwen Fox was allowed to express her creative vision while drawing and painting on the white wallpaper canvas in her family’s east Tennessee farmhouse. Today, she is known for her abstract paintings filled with sensual color, energy, and passion.

Gwen is a professional artist, instructor, and coach to artists who are eager to reach their artistic potential. She teaches workshops throughout the United States and holds art retreats in her beautiful studio in Taos, New Mexico.

Gwen’s goal is to help artists tap into their inner strengths and believe in their unique ability to create incredible paintings while discovering their intuitive genius.

Confidence, courage, and belief in self are hallmarks of a Fox-taught workshop.


This episode of the Art Biz Podcast is sponsored by our Art Biz Mastermind Workshops, which are held 4 times a year in various parts of the country.

It’s great that we have this online thing— that I can reach you through your computer, phone or talking electronic assistant. But … there’s nothing like being together and connecting face-to-face. When we’re together, we can accomplish more in two days than if you spent 6 months trying to figure it out yourself.

The workshops center around a core concept: That when you get away from the minutiae of your life in the studio and office, you can see the big picture more clearly, which helps you make a realistic plan that is in alignment with what you want for your art. Our next workshop will be in Scottsdale, Arizona in May, and we also have workshops in Seattle and Denver in the fall.

The post How to Be a More Confident Artist with Gwen Fox appeared first on Art Biz Success.

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