Before the internet, artists were completely dependent on others to show and sell their work. We need to take a moment every now and then to be grateful for having the world at our fingertips. For being able to instantly send images of our art out into the world. For friends around the globe we would never have met 30 years ago.
In this episode, I talk with artist Barbara Muir, who is unabashedly happy about being online. She reminds us of all the good things that happen because we are so connected. Key topics:
To see images, full show notes, and leave a comment, visit https://artbizsuccess.com/muir-online-podcast
Want to make sure you stay connected online and off? Check out The PEOPLE PLAN: A Success Workshop to Establish Strategic Connections for Your Art Biz. https://artbizsuccess.com/peopleplan
In this episode of The Art Biz, I’m joined by Kristen O’Neill, a team member of mine and an accomplished artist who recently created a 30-day daily art lesson challenge for her online followers. But in the end, it may have been more of a challenge for her than it was for the participants. Kristen and I discuss what she hoped to get from this challenge, how she organized it, how much of it was planned ahead, and what her workflow was like—including all of the platforms she used to share the content—and most importantly, what she would do differently if she were to do it again.
Details of Kristen’s 30-Day Art Challenge and what she hoped to get out of it. (1:29)
How Kristen shared the challenge while honoring her email list expectations. (6:10)
Creating and organizing a workflow that worked all month long. (10:42)
The time commitment and unexpected challenges behind the challenge. (16:35)
Lessons learned from the challenges of this challenge. (22:25)
Staying motivated and accountable throughout a challenge. (27:52)
Tracking the participation, success, and results of the challenge. (30:15)
The value of Pinterest for artists. (38:30)
What Kristen would do differently next time. (41:07)
This Week’s Action
Your assignment this week is to consider how you are stretching yourself in and out of the studio these days.
“I’m always looking for different opportunities and ways to reach out to more students and interact with more painters.” — Kristen O’Neill
“It’s really important to honor what you say you’re going to do with your list.” — Kristen O’Neill
“I picked up lessons more quickly than had I done the same amount of work spread over a longer period of time.” — Kristen O’Neill
“If you haven’t figured out your system ahead of time, it’s going to be harder than it needs to be.” — Kristen O’Neill
“Often we spend so much time guessing what is the right way to do something, and we could put that energy into just doing it.” — Kristen O’Neill
About My Guest
Kristen O’Neill paints the essence of landscapes based on real locations, including those from recent collaborations with long-distance hikers. Her Oregon Coast Trail series was featured in a solo exhibition at the Grants Pass Museum of Art.
Kristen graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and now lives in Southern Oregon where she has become passionate about teaching art. She teaches both online and in-person, leads a field trip program that has taught art history to thousands of 5th graders, and is an Artist Mentor for Alyson Stanfield’s community since 2018.
With nobody going anywhere in the spring of 2020, I contacted artist friends Lisa Call and Janice McDonald to see if they wanted to gather regularly to discuss art documentaries. Our little “club,” such as it is, was in business.
To date, we have met 57 times to discuss the art documentaries together. It’s important that we are reminded we’re part of something bigger than ourselves and what goes on behind the closed doors of our studios.
In this solo episode I talk about why we do this as a group, where you can find art documentaries, how we stay organized, why it's important to diversify our selections, and how our conversations work. At the end I mention some of my favorite films.
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed was nominated for an Oscar this year. (1:24)
We need to be reminded that we’re part of a global art world. (2:57)
What art history has taught me. (3:42)
Why do this in a group? (4:52)
Where to find art documentaries. (5:38)
Why Kanopy is our top resource for art documentaries. (7:19)
Our 2 lists for art documentaries. (9:24)
Why diversity is important to us. (11:16)
How our regular conversations work. (13:14)
Good v. Bad documentaries—there is always something to be learned. (15:17)
Some recommended art documentaries to start with. (17:19)
All films are linked on the accompanying post
Four years ago on a beautiful January day in Colorado, I attended an art destruction party. Two artists were slowing down in their production and wanted to ensure that subpar work wasn’t left for family to deal with. Nor did they want their names associated with that work. Although I’ve been imploring artists for decades to get rid of work they think isn’t of the highest quality, it was still difficult to smash that first pot and tear that first watercolor.
In this episode of The Art Biz I talk with Heather K. Powers, an artist and professional organizer. She and I wanted to start a dialogue about planning for your legacy. It’s a tough conversation because it means confronting your mortality. This conversation is especially important for artists, who make things that take up physical space. How do you categorize those things? What kind of records need to be kept? And what, if anything, should be destroyed, reworked, or donated. These are difficult questions and will vary from artist to artist, but it is such an important part of planning your art legacy. My conversation with Heather can help you get started.
First posted: artbizsuccess.com/death-powers-podcast
Normalizing conversations about your death and legacy. (2:10)
Heather’s coaching process includes getting more comfortable talking about death. (6:48)
What do you value in your legacy? How can artists better prepare their legacy for after death? (10:28)
Finding the value of clutter requires understanding and compassion. (15:27)
Destroying the artwork that you don’t want to be known for. (19:19)
Define the value of each level of your work so you can better process it. (24:55)
Tools and resources to help document your art. (32:32)
This Week’s Action
Your assignment this week is to start thinking about your legacy. Eventually you will need to prioritize the tasks necessary, but you can’t do it all at once. Take one of these steps: Sign up for Artwork Archive, update your inventory, finally recycle that work you don’t want to show up under your name, have a conversation with your family about your wishes, or declutter a space.
“Death is a normal part of life, but the more we put off thinking or talking about it the more uncomfortable it becomes.” — Heather K. Powers
“We can take into our own hands what is important to us as a generation and pass it on to the next generation.” — Heather K. Powers
“What do you value in your legacy? And what do you perceive might be of value to others? Those things are often not in alignment.” — Heather K. Powers
“Start early and keep good records. It doesn’t have to be that complicated.” — Heather K. Powers
“When we get rid of work one way or another, we make space for new work to come in.” — Heather K. Powers
About My Guest
With a BFA in Fiber from Savannah College of Art and Design, Heather Powers has had a productive career as a textile designer—collaborating on worldwide projects in various capacities.
In 2010, she launched her design and professional organizing business. Her work as an organizer places her among artists, craftspeople, and collectors, which gives her an intimate understanding of how individuals retain use and live with material culture.
In 2021, Heather graduated with an MFA in Critical Craft. She continues to research textile history, weave, and use natural dye techniques in which her work investigates memory, place, and identity themes through discarded vintage ephemera and materials.
The vast majority of the marketing we do is passive. We send emails, post to social media, and broadcast podcast episodes. Then we wait and hope for positive results.
For better results, activate your marketing by thinking of all the ways you can communicate on a personal level. Yes, active marketing requires more work, but I promise you’ll get better results and enjoy it more.
In this solo episode, I walk you through how you can activate your marketing for 5 art business scenarios.
Grow Your List on-demand learning program at Art Biz Success
Creating a Content Calendar short $30 workshop at Art Biz Success
Create Opportunities on-demand learning program at Art Biz Success
Dancing Deer Baking Company for sending baked goods in he mail
We’ve spent many months worried about inflation and a possible recession that may not ever happen. It would be terrific if we didn’t have to concern ourselves with such things, but the economy affects everyone’s business in one way or another.
Today’s guest on The Art Biz is Elaine Grogan Luttrull of Minerva Financial Arts, a company devoted to building financial literacy and empowerment in creative individuals through education and coaching. We recorded this episode several months ago when the economic landscape seemed a little bleaker than it does now. This is a lesson in economics and how your art business is affected by the larger economy. We define and discuss inflation, recession, the Consumer Price Index, and Gross Domestic Product. We talk about your revenue mix, why selling lower-priced items might not be the way to go right now, bundling, and raising your rates and prices.
Defining inflation and its effect on every aspect of pricing. (1:50)
What exactly is a recession and what role do rising interest rates play? (5:35)
The impact of these economic factors on artists. (12:48)
Combating uncertainty with effective business strategies. (15:32)
Your target client in times of economic uncertainty. (20:05)
Opportunities that are presented in challenging times. (24:16)
Consider potentially terrible ideas to get to the good ones. (33:03)
Seven strategies for artists to use during inflation and recession. (33:04)
This Week’s Action
Your first action for the week is to look at your expenses and see where you might be able to save. I suggest keeping a list of all ongoing subscriptions as well as regular expenses and reviewing it every so often.
Your second action is to check out Elaine’s $15 course on inflation and recession by following the link below.
“Inflation is not always a pleasant topic. It’s scary, it takes up our brain space, and it’s a distraction from what we really need to be doing creatively in our businesses.” — Elaine Luttrull
“All of the strategies we typically think about for coping with the uncertainty of the arts are suddenly being impacted too.” — Elaine Luttrull
“Think carefully. Do your research and talk to peers about how things feel in the art market right now.” — Elaine Luttrull
“When the market is doing interesting things is the moment to really focus on the community aspect.” — Elaine Luttrull
“Anything we can do to reassess and tighten our spending without compromising quality or making our lives harder is a really good strategy right now.” — Elaine Luttrull
“Artists are better than pretty much anyone else at navigating uncertainty, so we’ll navigate all of this as well and keep making really incredible work too.” — Elaine Luttrull
About My Guest
Elaine Grogan Luttrull, CPA-PFS, AFC® (she/her) is the founder of Minerva Financial Arts, a company devoted to building financial literacy and empowerment in creative individuals through education and coaching. Her workshops and presentations have been featured nationally by groups that support the arts, a variety of state and regional arts councils and commissions, and colleges and universities where creative students thrive.
Elaine spent 10 years in academia, teaching at the Columbus College of Art & Design and serving as the Department Head for Business & Entrepreneurship from 2014-2018. Before that, Elaine served as the Director of Financial Analysis for The Juilliard School and in the Transaction Advisory Services practice of Ernst & Young in New York. Elaine is the author of Arts & Numbers (Agate, B2 2013), and she contributes regularly to industry guides, including those from the Center for Cultural Innovation and the Joan Mitchell Foundation. She also serves on the boards of the Short North Alliance and Healing Broken Circles.
The sales process is rarely discussed in artist circles. We often think of sales as a single step. Either someone buys your art or they don’t. There’s’ so much more to it. Yet, many of us think of sales as a dirty word, which is a bit ridiculous if we want to grow our businesses and careers. Artists need to adopt a new mindset surrounding sales in order to be successful.
My guest on this episode of The Art Biz is Miriam Schulman, artist and founder of the Inspiration Place, where she helps other artists learn how to profit from their passion or become better artists. Miriam is the author of Artpreneur: The Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Sustainable Living from Your Creativity. In this conversation, Miriam and I review her Artpreneur Sales Playbook and 10-step sales process.
Miriam’s struggle with sales, despite her background in finance. (3:30)
The evolution from general sales and marketing to effective art sales. (6:56)
Curating your valuable contacts list. (9:05)
The importance of mindset in sales success. (12:30)
Developing a confident belief in the value of your art. (14:47)
The first 5 steps of selling your art. (21:05)
Body language, previewing the process, and establishing the decision maker. (27:37)
Sell with stories, not facts, and selling happy endings. (33:10)
Overcoming objections with the right language. (40:07)
Close the sale by asking for it. (42:45)
This Week’s Action
This week’s action has two parts. Part 1 is to download the free chapter of Artpreneur at schulmanart.com/believe.
Part 2 is to write out Miriam’s 10 steps in the sales process and post them somewhere so you’re reminded that it is a process. You need to be invested in the steps of the process in order for it to work.
“Once I started making the connection between sales in general and selling for art and understood that there wasn't a difference, I became a student of marketing and sales, and that has made all the difference.” — Miriam Schulman
“Marketing 101 is investing in human relationships.” — Miriam Schulman
“My art, going out into people’s homes, became ambassadors for me.” — Miriam Schulman
“Mindset is everything. Mindset trumps talent.” — Miriam Schulman
“Overcoming objections is about having compassion for the buyer and knowing where they are coming from.” — Miriam Schulman
About My Guest
Miriam Schulman is an artist and founder of The Inspiration Place, where she helps other artists learn how to profit from their passion or become better artists. She’s helped thousands of artists around the world develop their skill sets and create more time and freedom to do what they love. Her art and story have been featured in major publications including Forbes, The New York Times, Art of Man, Art Journaling magazine, What Women Create as well as featured on NBC’s “Parenthood” and the Amazon series “Hunters” with Al Pacino. Schulman’s forthcoming book with HarperCollins Leadership Artpreneur is scheduled to be released on January 31, 2023.
First posted: ArtBizSuccess.com/sales-schulman-podcast
Your Decision Filter: 8 Considerations for Making Decisions for Your Art Business
With host Alyson Stanfield
Read the “almost” full transcript, see featured artists, and leave a comment:
~ 8 CONSIDERATIONS ~
How Human Design has helped me make decisions. (15:07)
~ MENTIONED ~
Please join me in the Art Biz Accelerator coaching group and community: https://artbizaccelerator.com
Human Design resource: https://jovianarchive.com
~ ABOUT ~
Alyson Stanfield is the host of the Art Biz Podcast, founder of Art Biz Success, leader of the Art Biz Connection community of artists, and author of I’d Rather Be in the Studio: The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion.
There are so many ways you can sell your art and so many different avenues for earning money from your talents. I’ve highlighted a wide variety of options for earning money from your art on The Art Biz podcast, but today’s conversation is a first. I’m joined by Katie Hunt, the founder of Proof to Product, to learn more about wholesaling. She has helped thousands of brands get their products on the shelves of large retailers like Target, Nordstrom, The Container Store, and Starbucks, as well as independent boutiques around the world.
In this episode, Katie shares basic basic information about wholesaling your art. What is it? Who is it for? Who is it not for? What’s the difference between wholesaling and retailing? Where does licensing fit in? Katie is a wealth of information, and generously gives four considerations for wholesaling. And stay with me to the end of our conversation, where Katie reveals the four things she takes into account when making business decisions.
Key differences between wholesaling and retailing. (4:20)
The importance of selling in larger quantities at a lower price in wholesale. (6:53)
How is licensing different than wholesaling? (12:20)
What type of artists are a good fit for wholesaling? (13:41)
Focusing on one revenue stream at a time — before wholesaling. (17:58)
Foundational checkpoint number one — Is your product line strong? (20:20)
Are your sales tools in place? (26:20)
Outreach and marketing — detailing your artwork and your terms and conditions. (29:18)
Step number four — solidifying your operations and systems. (31:07)
Handling criticism and rejection when wholesaling. (32:38)
Paper Camp and other resources for artists considering wholesale. (35:52)
4 considerations Katie bases every decision on. (40:50)
This Week’s Assignment
This week’s assignment has 2 options. Option 1 is to review Katie’s 4 considerations for wholesaling to decide whether or not it’s a direction you want to go. If you want to see those again in a list, visit this episode at artbizpodcast.com. Katie’s format is so straightforward and she is clear that wholesaling isn’t right for everyone. If you know that wholesaling isn’t for you, go for option 2, which is to write out her list of considerations for making business decisions and keep it nearby. Adjust it to your needs and revisit it often to stay on track.
“There are so many ways we can sell our art, and each one requires a different foundation.” — Katie Hunt
“With wholesale, we’re talking about a very different system of the sales process, the marketing process, even the fulfillment process.” — Katie Hunt
“Artists don’t have to wholesale everything they make. They can create a special segment of their product line that is for wholesale.” — Katie Hunt
“Before you take the plunge into wholesaling, you need to know you have an audience.” — Katie Hunt
“The more we experience with the pitching process and putting ourselves, our art and our talents out there, the stronger we become.” — Katie Hunt
About My Guest
Katie Hunt is the founder of Proof to Product, the host of a podcast with the same title, and a business strategist who supports product-based business owners. She has helped thousands of brands get their products on the shelves of large retailers like Target, Nordstrom, The Container Store, and Starbucks, as well as independent boutiques around the world. Katie’s work has been featured in Forbes, New York Times, Entrepreneur as well as dozens of business podcasts. She brings experience, education and a love of learning into her programs. Her strengths lie in connecting people & bringing ideas to life – brainstorming, making a plan and implementing.