Devas, elementals, angels, fairies,Â gnomes, plant and nature spirits – almost every culture throughout history shares stories and beliefs of the existence of life forms that are non-human in terms of the physical presence we are accustomed to ‘seeing’.The energy of all living things can be perceived through any of our human senses and is usually more pronounced through a particular sense depending upon an individual’s sensitivity. If you are visually oriented, it is more likely for you to see a nature spirit, and if your sense of smell is more acute, you may recognize the presence of a deva by a distinct smell. Â Â The image here is a detail of the phaleonopsis orchid, one of my very first clear visual encounters. Â Â Â You can a larger image and the full 30″ x 45″ painting here.Â Â Orchid Angel shares the energy of nurturing, protection and healing in addition to the joy and warmth of her glorious golden colors. Combined with the mystery of Â the deep, dark contrasting background color, she is a powerful and seductive presence.Â .Â
part review and part personal commentary
More often than not, I get overwhelmed with the choices of how to make a living from my art. I read and research every day (perhaps too much?). There are so many options. Every week, a new exclusive marketing opportunity is presented (usually way beyond my budget). I’m already feeling guilty for not blogging enough, not getting my monthly newsletter out on time, not building my mailing lists fast enough. ARGHHHH… makes me want to just hide in my studio or, as my teenager refers to it, “Are you still in your cave, Mom?)Â
For the past week and a half I’ve been participating in aÂ smARTist telesummitÂ along with over 200 fellow artists from all over the world. In this program, more than a dozen highly qualified speakers present practical and realistic marketing strategies for artists of all mediums. This is done via live, phone line conference sessions.Â
This afternoon was the final live session and I am somewhat relieved that the class has ended only because, as I stated in the firstÂ sentence, I’m overwhelmed with ideas and fully realize that NOW, I am responsible for choosing and implementing the marketing tools that best fit my art business goals. It’s time to sort out the choices, clarify my goals and create a realistic business plan. This means a plan that outlines and addresses specific actions to get where I intend to be with my career in 6 months, a year, 5 years and beyond. I HAVE done this before. Have journaled, visualized, written business plans (but really only outlines), set goals (but not specifics and not backed with actions) and certainly invested thousands of hours and dollars in promoting and fine tuning my work. None of which I can measure or justify in terms of return on investment because I didn’t have written specific and measurable goals.
I’m not a novice when it comes to business. I ran my own design/advertising agency for over 22 years, employed several full time, part time and even more freelance people. That business took at least 5 years to show a profit, went through many incarnations and always provided a respectable income. But this business of earning a living from my art is different. This is much more personal. I’m too close, perhaps not objective enough to work this out alone. Isolation is necessary for my creative work, but I dearly miss and need regular contact with business minded associates. This experience with the smARTist telesummit has definitely clarified a need to network and, the importance of establishing measurable goals.
If, as an artist you don’t believe or understand that your work is also your business, this information may be irrevelant. However, for artists that are serious about earning a living from the work you love, I highly recommend this program for the depth of the information and the experience of the speakers. (Note: all of the live presentations were recorded for participants to download, and every speaker provided digital handouts which covered their topic and often additional information applicable to their area of expertise.) The cost of this program was under $300 for the basic level.Â
Here is a list of the speakers and their topics:
Joan Stewart, The New Rules of Press Releases
Molly Gordon, 5 Money Dramas That Keep You Broke
Michael Woodward, The Changing Face of Licensing
Geoffrey Gorman, The Hidden Resource: How to Sell Your Art Through Art Consultants
Mark Silver, Create Strategic Alliances to Sell Your Art
Alyson B. Stanfield, How to Generate Buzz on a Shoestring Budget
Claudine Helmuth, Blogging Landed Me on National TV and Other Reasons Every Artist Needs a Website with a Blog
Jennifer Louden, 10,000 Way to Kiss Your Creativity into Life
Waverly Fitzgerald, Creative Rhythms: Are You in Sync?
Aletta deWal, From Part Time to Full Time, How to Make Your Art Support You…
Leonard DuBoff, Art Law: What Do Artists Really Need to Know
Michael B. Stanier, From Amateur to Professional
Eric Maisel, 12 Career-Building Habits Every Artist Needs To Know
I don’t know when the next program will be presented, but am sure you can contact smARTist founder,Â Arianne GoodwinÂ for more information.