Friday, January 29, 2010

Make a List...

Recently KC Willis challenged us in her "Marketing Mindset" workshop to "make a list of the top 5-10 things you want to accomplish in your art business this year."

This was difficult, even after putting thought into it, I kept wanting to add/delete, change, wait, procrastinate, etc. Which certainly gives me a clue as to why I haven’t had as much success thus far as I could wish. Nevertheless, here is what I came up with:

1. Continue to develop and refine a signature style. Thoughts on this: I love doing collages; I love a vintage look, with antique imagery and texts, classical elements like architectural details, flourishes, floral and bird motifs. I also love this imagery in a “dark”, surrealist mode as in Max Ernst’s book “Une Semaine de Bonte.” I also love incorporating my calligraphy into pieces, either as the main work or as a decorative element. I love working dimensionally, as in shrines and assemblage boxes. Want to incorporate more of these into my signature style.

2. Open a shop on Café Press, called Collagitation, to sell print-on-demand art, ie, greeting/note cards, prints, etc, in the style of my “Noel” Christmas card. (I hope to open in time for Easter with appropriate holiday designs.)

3. Open an Etsy shop, also called Collagitation, to sell original collages and assemblages, including the originals of some of the print-on-demand designs on Café Press. These shops are where I really need the marketing skills, especially online marketing/self-promotion.

4. in honor of my 60th year, I want to embark on a project I call “3SIXTY5”, starting in April, and make a collage a day for a year and post them to a website (or maybe I’ll just post them on my blog)

5. Continue participating in online art swaps as much as possible—which may not be much, the way this list is going.

6. I will actually produce work for all these projects!

7. I will keep my Collagitation Blog going to record my artistic adventures

8. I will jury into Pittsburgh Society of Artists and start exhibiting locally again (or not)

9. I will finish setting up a basement studio space to expand my work area

10. I will continue to work on improving my health so I have the energy for all these goals! And I seem to get lots of ideas when i'm exercising : )

My rationale is that if I can get a nice little business going with online greeting cards and other printables, I should eventually be in a position to switch to a part time job (or-dare I say it?-quit a day job altogether!) which will allow me to make more art. Of course, I might be retired by then, and have all the time I need, LOL!

Well I’m a great list maker, always have been, but in my day book there are list items that carry over from page to page with ever-increasing amounts of underlining and trailing ever more exclamation points. In other words, I can talk the talk but too often fail to walk the walk. Ugh! I have literally stacks of sketchbooks filled with viable ideas for work, but only maybe 1% of it ever sees the light of day, if that. I may not accomplish all my goals above during 2010, but I know I well certainly grow as an artist and a person through applying myself to them. Art is a journey, not a destination, as someone said. Anytime I complete a piece, it is a gift to myself along the way (and hopefully to others as well.)

I'll be taking another workshopsoon, this one totally hands-on, through the wonderful Calligraphy Guild of Pittsburgh. the activity is collage, or, as the teacher, Suzanne Moore, calls it, “ko lazh.” I think this will be very interesting.

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