Artist Statement

Balancing Art, Work and Life!
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Welcome to Your Artist Statement!

August16

“@#$%*! I’m an artist, not a writer!”

The art world these days is not what it used to be. Galleries these days require artist statements from all their exhibitors, to give a quick picture to buyers of what the artist is all about. Most artist’s first reaction is like that of our friend to the left. “How can I summarize in a few words what my art is all about? It’s from deep within me; I’m not sure I know myself where it comes from or what it means! Anyway, what business it it of theirs? My art should speak for itself!”

Cultivating CollectorsBut as far as the world of art business is concerned, it doesn’t. Gallery owners and agents need a short statement which will distinguish your work from others, without actually showing it. So like it or not, if you want to sell your art in today’s market, you need an artist statement. The news is not all bad. The statement is not only a tool for business, but can be a valuable aid in your own work. It requires that you examine yourself and your work deeply, in order to find out where you are coming from. This can be scary, but in the end such a self analysis can be a useful tool in knowing yourself, and some might say that is what real art is all about.

But how to begin? This site is your answer. Select from a wide variety of articles in the menu at right, or check out articles in the following categories:

Writing The Artist Statement | The Business Of Art | The Creative Life

They will help you not only create your Statement, but also make your way in today’s art world, and balance your creative self with the necessities of the (gulp) business of art.

This site is evolving. Please let us know what else you would like to see on these pages. Drop me a line at theartist@artiststatement.com and may the spirit of creativity be always with you!

/glen cram

The Online Self Improvement and Self Help Encyclopedia

Why Artist Development Makes a Difference

July21
Author: Artistopia Staff

Artist development in the music industry has evolved over time, leaving most of the early progress to the artist themselves. For the most part, the days are gone when a record label developed up and coming talent. The question continuously arises for those young artists, "where do I start"? With the advent of the Internet, the possibilities are mind boggling.

Many artists put in their mission statement, simply that they want a record deal, thinking that is all they need to succeed for career in music. Most don't have a clue what it takes to get that deal, let alone maintain that career.

Artist development is a huge area overlooked by far too many artists and bands. Let's explore the question, "What is artist development"?

A record label A&R rep once "discovered" fresh new faces in clubs, bars or word of mouth and would then support them, cultivate their creativeness, build up their fan base, and guide their direction with the intent of turning them into superstars. All of this of course, was with the intent of selling those 45's, LPs, cassette's and CDs. Gradually, many labels moved more into product development, which meant they are focused more on the immediacy of sales of the latest CD (product) released, and not bringing the artist up to that point. And more often than not, naive artists were at the labels mercy.

In this Internet age, it is more the artist or band themselves that must build the quality sound that is ready as a commercially viable product. On top of that, they need to have an already established fan base, basic music business skills, perhaps even the early music sales of a well produced CD. Labels are looking for pre-packaged, very talented musicians that are already showing their value.

A music career is a charted path to follow. Artist development involves all the issues surrounding and arising from that charted path, and crosses into knowledge of product development the ultimate sale of the music.

Checklist on what artist and product development necessitate:

  • Exceptional vocals, musicianship and/or songwriting skills

  • Continued education and enhancement of musical skills

  • Quality equipment

  • Performance ability

  • Image creation and maintenance

  • Plan of action, goal setting

  • Exceptional promotion materials, including photographs, press releases and artwork

  • Business management skills

  • Marketing, publicity, and promotion knowledge, online and offline

  • Professional management

  • Basic knowledge of recording, producing, engineering, and mastering

  • Basic knowledge of manufacturing, distribution, and sales online, brick and mortar and air-play

  • Good choices in members, staff and advisors

  • Physical and mental preparedness

  • Basic knowledge of finances, accounting

  • Law and legal issues: publishing, copyrighting, trademarks, and an attorney

  • Alternative career options even athletes need to have other options!

Tending to all areas of your music career may make the difference between a one hit wonder and longevity in this business. It's been said, "If you think this is a piece of cake, you better go bake one." The music business, again, is a business. Businesses need to make money. That's worth repeating - the music business is a BUSINESS . Take the time to find out all you can about each of these steps in your journey.

That being said, an up and coming artist must begin somewhere...and if a career in the music business is the goal, then any naiveté must be addressed immediately! Knowledge is power. Power gives you leverage. And who knows...that entrepreneurial artist may just find they don't need that particular record deal after all.

About the Author:

Artistopia - The Ultimate Artist Development Resource http://www.artistopia.com is an artist development service and community on the web providing music artists, songwriters and bands all the tools needed for displaying their talent, music business collaboration, marketing and networking. Online since 2003, Artistopia develops advanced technology solutions that leverage the Internet to both the music artist and music companies respective advantage.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Why Artist Development Makes a Difference

The Challenge of Writing an Artist’s Statement That is Artistic and Deep But Also Makes Sense

July21

By Kathy Ostman-Magnusen

Often, while viewing other artists experiences with their creativity, defined by pen to paper within their "Artist's Statements", I find myself thinking, "This reminds me of man trying to define God by putting creativity into a box." Oft times too I wonder, "What the heck are they talking about? I wonder if even 'they' even know."

I have met all kinds of artists. I always hope that I will share some kind of phenomenon with fellow artists, of an unmistakable vibration we both generate and feed off of. I hope that our connection will cause us to reach new heights and feel compelled to go home and create great things. I rarely come across artists like that, they are as different from one another as anyone.

I really do believe there is an 'energy' within art, colors, and it is that energy about a piece of art that people resonate to.. or not. Some only like only my precise artwork, of which I feel are renderings and not in my personal opinion, 'true art'. It tells me that we are not connected in a 'spiritual' sense. We connect on other levels though so consequences of that kind of thinking are not something that needs to be brooded over, on the outside chance you find my opinion offensive or objectionable.

I think a lot of 'art talk' is mumbo jumbo, and is as redundant and boring as the latest football player explaining how his team is going to win the next game. Yet, I also think there is a need for the artist to describe the connection they feel with their art. Doing that, helps the viewer to enter their world, as well as the artist to understand 'what the heck happened' to cause them to create what they did.

Creativity is elusive, but the more we enter that gate, the more we find ourselves in the presence of something truly remarkable. I think the vibration of colors, coupled with the spirit of the dance of creative action, can be found in all kinds of art and no one has the market on that. Once in a great while we come across genius like Leonardo da Vinci and we stand in awe. Because of miraculous adventures of the soul, in any genre, it is our responsibility to pursue the unknown. Leonardo da Vinci only scratched the surface. Pursuing the vibrations of the elusive is often an alone experience. It is within that 'prayer' of sorts that mystics are uncovered. There are many ways of doing it though, as there are religions, so I don't think anyone has the key to it all.

So how do you do it? How do you write an "Artist's Statement" that makes sense? First define who you are within your work in your own mind. If you do not know, you won't be able to write anything at all that others will comprehend. Be careful of the mumbo jumbo, but write out your heart as you look at your work. You may just discover a part of yourself you had not met before. Take your time, discover who you are. Remember da Vinci as well, nothing he did was done without extreme confrontation of what it was he was looking to explore, so laziness is not acceptable. Right? Yes!

ABOUT Kathy Ostman-Magnusen: I am an artist, represented by Monkdogz Urban Art, New York. ORIGINAL ART may be purchased through Monkdogz: http://www.monkdogz.com/chelseagallery/artistart/Magnusen/artist_magnusen.htm

My newest website: http://www.kathyostman-magnusen.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kathy_Ostman-Magnusen
http://EzineArticles.com/?The-Challenge-of-Writing-an-Artists-Statement-That-is-Artistic-and-Deep-But-Also-Makes-Sense&id=2424623

Permission To Be An Artist – Granted!

July21
Author: Linda Dessau

You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated.

Since I've been offering Artist Retreat Day programs, I've been hearing a lot about the concept of "permission". Some artists who said yes to a retreat day shared that this was a much-needed structure to enable and empower them to FINALLY give themselves permission to take time for their creative work.

Others just couldn't say yes, just couldn't give themselves permission.

What does it mean to have permission to do something? My thesaurus tells me that other words related to permission are: consent, sanctioning and authorization.

Consent signifies agreement, validation that what you're doing meets with specific expectations, criteria and guidelines. It sounds solemn and like someone has faith in you. Sanction is an even more formal declaration of acceptance and faith.

AUTHORIZED TO CREATE

Authorization well, that implies that you're something special. That not just anyone is meant to be painting this painting, writing this song or designing that jewelry. You have been specially authorized to do it.

And why? Because you have the unique gifts that are necessary to bring that creative project into being. Who authorized you? The same power that granted you those gifts and skills whether you choose to think of that as God, the universe, Spirit, or another name. As we read in the Science of Getting Rich, we're not given the desire to do something without also being given the skill to carry it out.

Why is it so difficult to authorize ourselves, grant ourselves permission and consent, to sanction our own creative work? Sometimes we seek this permission from others, unconsciously (or consciously) hoping they'll deny it, so we won't really have to venture into the scary world of living up to our potential.

A lot of these words symbolize that external permission is needed. And sometimes it is.

PERMISSION FROM OTHERS

Whether you want to attend an artist retreat day, meet a deadline or just develop a new idea that came to you overnight, you'll sometimes need permission from the people you share your life with to take the time for your creative work.

It might mean delegating household work or child-care or rescheduling a date or planned event. All of you might also need a willingness to be flexible and to accept that sometimes things don't get done right away. It also means ensuring an environment of support for your work.

Will others give you permission? Of course you can't control what anyone else thinks, says or does, but consider this: our loved ones will take cues from us about how serious our creative work is to us. If we're constantly putting it on the back burner, putting our work down, and letting it be the first thing to go when things get stressful or busy, we're teaching others to treat it the same way.

If we don't take our creative work seriously, why should they?

PERMISSION FROM SELF - ARTIST AT WORK

I think what's even more important is the permission we give ourselves. There are so many reasons we deny ourselves permission to pursue our creative work. Fear tops the list. Fear of success, fear of failure, fear of what people will think of us, fear of being good, fear of being terrible, or fear we'll let someone else down, to name a few examples.

Sometimes we hold on to earlier instances when we were denied permission, denied access, not sanctioned or authorized, or when our work was criticized or belittled. Some of us have even been told, directly, NOT to pursue our creative work ("don't give up your day job", "find another path", "you have no business doing this work"), which hung a big UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS sign on the door of our creative hearts.

So hang a new sign on your creative heart one that reads "Artist at work". And in fine print, "This work has been sanctioned by _______" (the name of your source of Power).

10 Signs That You've Given Yourself Permission To Be A Creative Artist

  1. The first words out of your mouth when someone asks "and what do you do?" are "I'm a songwriter/artist/sculptor/writer, etc.".

  2. You work steadily at your craft, whether it's working on or re-working pieces or promoting your work.

  3. You teach your loved ones to treat your art seriously.

  4. The materials and resources that you need to create with are part of your budget and are planned expenses every month.

  5. You're committed to your learning, growth and development, participating in artists groups and discussion forums and seeking out mentorship and coaching.

  6. You don't let mistakes or criticism stop you from taking your next steps.

  7. You're building the resources you need to support yourself financially, emotionally and spiritually.

  8. You're conscious of your physical lifestyle habits and choose the ones that won't interfere with your creative work.

  9. You find opportunities to pass on your knowledge and support wherever possible, to someone who's had less experience than you have.

  10. You consistently say no to requests for your time, energy and commitmentthat will take you away from your creative work.

It takes time and practice to consistently give yourself permission to create. Start today by improving just one of these ten creative practices.

C Linda Dessau, 2006.

About the Author:

Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, helps artists enhance their creativity by addressing their unique self-care issues. Feel like your creativity is blocked? Sign-up for the free e-course, "Roadblocks to Creativity" by visiting http://www.genuinecoaching.com

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Permission To Be An Artist - Granted!

Overcoming Artist’s Block (Part 1)

July21

By Gail Miller

How many times does an artist stare down at that blank piece of paper thinking "What on earth do I paint - Where do I put my first mark?" More often than you would imagine! It happens to all creative people actually, from visual artists, designers, poets, through to musicians and writers.

When this situation arises, you are in the grip of creative block. When you wrack your brains to come up with ideas but just can't seem to. There may be contributing factors to this state, such as tiredness, depression, environmental, physiological or psychological issues. On the other hand you could just be experiencing a period of simple low creativity.

When this happens there are a few things you can do to restore your creativity levels at will, however what you must not do is worry or fret about it. If the worst comes to the worse and you don't seem to be able to produce any work, simply regard the period as a 'holiday' or a rest. Your creativity level WILL rise again. In the meantime, utilise the time spent not creating to do positive things anyway.

Research other artists' work. Visit galleries or surf the net and see what other people are doing. Join artists' chat rooms or visit message boards or forums where you can exchange ideas and views with other artists. Just talking to other creative people can give you a real buzz! You might even make some new friends in the process.

Spend the time you are not actually producing art, by increasing your marketing efforts. Send postcards to galleries, research upcoming local art fairs or events where you could possibly take a booth to sell your art. Have some leaflets or brochures printed up all about yourself and your work. Take a couple of days out of your schedule and do a local neighbourhood leaflet drop.

Update your website or online portfolio. You may think it's already perfect but it's not often that things can't be improved or sharpened in some way. Update your artist's statement; put new 'zing' into your descriptions.

If you really can't face doing anything concerning your own artwork, visit the theatre, go to a pop concert, browse local museums. Go to a restaurant or coffee bar with friends and have a (non art related) natter.

Use the time to take a complete break, if this is what works best for you. You will instinctively know when the time is right to 'go back' to your art. When this happens there are lots of techniques you can use to get back into the swing of high creativity. These I explore in my article 'Overcoming Artist's Block (part 2)'.

Gail Miller is a professional artist whose artwork is a visual feast of colour and fun. Her fascination with bold colours and fluid, expressive shapes and line are evident in funky abstracts, sinuous nudes, vibrant still life paintings and lively townscapes. Visit her website at http://www.gailmiller.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Gail_Miller
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On-line Art Galleries can assist in the career and business development of an Artist

July21
Author: Susan

It is often difficult for an artist to find a gallery prepared to take their work. Even if they do find an art gallery, the art gallery may restrict the number of art works hung and space or time permitted for an exhibition. But the main problem for most newer artists is the question of being unknown. Unless an artist is already known it is almost impossible to find a gallery willing to handle their work. But how to become known and how to earn some income in the meantime?

Even when an art gallery is located and terms agreed there is the question of commission and sales tax which can mean that the gallery and the picture framer earn more than the artist.

The commercial aspect of a working life in art is a difficult one to manage. It is rare that an artist makes a reasonable living from art without having to supplement with other work such as teaching. An artist can also attempt to raise their profile by entering competitions and with luck and talent gain prize money also.

Artists are turning to the internet to increase their audience exposure and assist in making sales of their work.

Many on-line art galleries however have no selection criteria for work submitted and further they do not permit dedicated space for each artist. The end result is that an artist's work does not show in any cohesive manner, unless the user already knows the name of the artist and searches for their name.

On-line art gallery space with selection and dedicated gallery space per artist

About the Author:

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - On-line Art Galleries can assist in the career and business development of an Artist

On Becoming an Artist

July21
Author: Charles Griffith

How does one become an artist? It makes sense to start with this broad topic, rather than the fundamentals of drawing, painting, etc, because this is the basic framework for everything else. To say that a person is "born" to be an artist is a romanticized cop-out. Some people may have a greater aptitude for learning the craft, but the inclination towards art is shaped by a person's experiences and the influences they encounter in life. I could easily be a jockey today if I had grown up around the race track. Instead I grew up in an environment where artistic and intellectual pursuits were encouraged.

In it's most basic form, the desire to create art is all that's really needed in the beginning. But to pursue art as your life's work, to be a "serious" artist, requires a well-rounded foundation, one built upon a broad range of knowledge and experiences.

Art reflects the world around us, and often the world within us. The old advice to "paint what you know" is certainly valid, but just what do you know? Most take this maxim to mean that you must paint or draw your backyard, your neighbor or your dog. I "know" these things too, but I also "know" history, literature and mythology. I have traveled in a number of countries; I have been in the military. I know my life, and I know something of myself, too. This knowledge is reflected in my work.

Writers are encouraged to write as much as possible from their own experiences so that it sounds authentic. Why should a visual artist be any different?

The wider the range of your knowledge and experiences, the deeper and broader your art will become. Exposure to great works of literature and philosophy have given me new ways to look at life and the world, as well as giving me ideas for new artwork. It has allowed me to see how others have viewed these things before me. Some artists have been optimistic; others cynical; but every age has had both optimists and cynics, demonstrating a continuity in human affairs. Both art and psychology tell us that whatever you feel, others have felt the same way you have. The more you read and study, the more you'll see this too.

The more well-rounded a person you are, the finer an artist you'll be. It's "cross-training" at its most intellectual level. This also applies at the more technical level, when developing the actual skills for creating art. To create fine art requires mental focus, patience, discipline, superb hand-eye coordination, well-honed decision-making and problem-solving skills. It requires you to be a good student, one who knows how to study and practice. It also demands the ability to look at your work objectively, not an easy task. I spent a year or two playing and studying chess many years ago, and found that it improved my drawing ability, probably because chess demands so much concentration and foresight. And if you are an artist that works in a representational style, try studying and working in a more abstract style for a while, and vice versa. You'll gain a greater understanding of both.

Da Vinci and Michelangelo were remarkably well-rounded individuals who could think logically, practically and analytically, thanks to their activities in engineering, architecture and the sciences. They applied these skills to their art, and the results speak for themselves. I can think of no better proof for my contention than of these two extraordinary men.

I think it would be helpful now to address the merits of being a formally trained artist, as opposed to being a self-taught artist, such as myself. There can be no doubt that a school trained artist has a considerable advantage over one self-taught; you have someone knowledgeable to ground you in proper technique and help you to correct your mistakes. The self-taught artist must go to great effort to be as constructively critical of his work as he can, concentrating extra effort on the areas in which he is weak, something that will be difficult for some.

But I think all students are ultimately self-taught; no one can make the effort for you. And I have seen many works by academically trained artists that are so formulaic that they look like they came out of a paint-by-the-numbers kit. The self-taught student may fall into improper practices if he isn't careful, but he may be freer in his artistic expression than his school trained friend. Keep in mind that Van Gogh was largely self-taught, receiving only minimal classroom instruction.

I don't want to scare anyone away from pursuing art; as I said before, all you need to start with is the desire to start. But gradually, bit by bit, you may find that expanding your sphere of knowledge and experience will improve the quality of your work, and your life. This all reminds me of the criticism that students have perennially made -- why should I study geometry, French. Latin, etc., when I'm going to wash dishes or mow grass for a living? You're right -- you don't need these studies for everyday accomplishments. But creating fine art is not an everyday accomplishment --it is an extraordinary endeavor that requires extraordinary abilities. I hope that my thoughts here can be of help to you in developing these skills.

About the Author:

The artwork of the author, Charles Griffith, can be found at
http://charlesgriffith.tripod.com/ and he can be contacted at
charles_griffith@lycos.com .

Charles Griffith's interest in art began in childhood, and was encouraged by his family. Later, while serving in the U.S. military in Europe, he was inspired by seeing firsthand some of the treasures of European art. Today his art focuses on traditional realism, often with elements of Expressionism and Surrealism.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - On Becoming an Artist

Natural Artistic Talent Myth Plagues Fine Art World

July21
Author: Eric Hines

The subject of talent and creativity has been mired in a healthy amount of confusion over the last century. Plaguing the art student, the instructor, and even the accomplished artist.

Until recently, like the majority of contemporary society, I too believed that to be a fine artist one had to be born with an abundance of artistic talent - you either had it or you didn't.

I would imagine that this would be the reason behind my working as an art dealer and owning an art gallery in Los Angeles, instead of being an artist and selling my own works of art.

Today I am quite relieved to find that, even though I was not born with a large currency of innate visual artistic talent, such talent can be acquired and developed.

I can imagine that quite a large number of this article's readership disagrees - perhaps some vehemently - with that statement.

This is why I am bringing in someone exponentially more qualified to address the confusion on the subject of talent which has permiated societies around the art world for 100's of years.

I didn't just find any art instructor to help sort this out, Larry Gluck has been teaching others how to draw and paint since 1975. His 20 Mission: Renaissance fine art studios are currently teaching more than 3,000 students every week. His unique method of instruction, known as The Gluck Method, is also taught in various colleges in America.

So without further ado here is Mr. Gluck to help dispel this "talent myth..."

"I'm not very creative, I have no talent.If you had a dime for each time I heard a student tell me this before I got their agreement to enroll for drawing or painting lessons you would be quite wealthy.

Perhaps you too believe you lack the "artistic gene" or "special gift" called talent. Let's get real about this thing called talent, shall we?

Talent implies a degree of skill or ability. Ability in any field can be acquired. Were you born with all the talent and skill required of you to perform in your current career?

Of course not, you acquired the skills you needed in order to perform. Would you be able to acquire the skill to play any music instrument you wanted too, or would you need to be born with this skill?

Like anything else, you can learn to draw and paint beautifully. The only requirements then is a desire to procure the technical skills and a teacher to provide you with workable instruction.

Moreover, people often confuse talent with creativity. Each is extremely important, it takes both combined to create art, but they are not one in the same.

The dictionary defines 'create' as; to cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve by ordinary processes. Create is what evolves from one's own thought or imagination, to bring about, as by intention or design. Creativity could easily be described as what one imagines and then produces using one's skills.

People use their skills to bring their creative concepts into the real world for others to see. The painter observes a spectacular view. He imagines painting it in vibrant colors. Thus, using his talent and skill, transforms his original idea onto canvas, it becomes a 'real' painting.

Not all of us are born with an affluence of talent, however all of us are born with a goldmine of potential artistic creativity. It is imprisoned within all of us. We have only to free it.

Natural artistic talent alone is not enough. Those who possess natural talent, an instinct for color, the ability to draw an excellent likeness, are frequently thought of as gifted. However in life, innate ability often turns out to be more of a liability than an asset.

It is often found that the Natural doesn't know how he does what he does. Natural talent, devoid of understanding, can be unreliable. One small failure can shatter it.

The Natural may eventually invent "reasons" as to why he can perform only some of the time. Examples are the author who must drink to write a good story, or the painter who "knows" for a fact that he can only paint when Saturn is transiting Orion.

Unfortunately artistic talent and creativity are not properly married in the majority of fine art instruction curriculums. Studying under the Italian portrait master Giuseppe Trotta ' a classmate of Picasso himself, graduating from The Pratt Institute in New York, and founding the world's largest fine art program for drawing and painting instruction, have provided me much insight into art education.

I have seen both sides of the talent and creativity coin hobby-horsed in colleges and private art instruction programs. Rarely have I seen both sides given proper merit simultaneously. On the talent side of the coin you have the art teacher who will ignore any form of the students creativity. The music teacher, believing all great music was originated hundreds of years ago, who disallows any original work from students.

On the other hand, focusing on creativity alone, you find the art teacher who applauds the unrecognizable blob of paint smeared across the canvas. No fundamentals are taught, thus there is no improvement in the student's artistic ability to reproduce what he or she envision in their mind.

In developing talent one should begin with the fundamentals of drawing and sketching; the proper technique for holding a charcoal pencil, how to create depth and realism, the ability to capture light and shadow...

Once the ground work for these fundamentals is thoroughly laid the precise principles that underlie all drawing and painting skills can be taught.

This does not stifle originality, but instead provides the best possible environment for it to grow.

When the fine art student has both a solid technical foundation and strong nurturing of creativity, they are then capable of producing what they conceive in their mind.

And that is exactly where any artist wants to be."

About the Author:

Eric Hines has worked in the field of art for over a decade as a musician, art dealer and is currently employed by Mission Renaissance , the world's largest drawing and painting instruction program in the world. He is currently taking art classes to how to draw and paint , very soon he will be selling his own art work and not just the works of others.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Natrual Artistic Talent Myth Plagues Fine Art World

Making the Connection: Customer Relationships That Build Your Business

July21

By Kathy Gulrich

Have you ever wondered why you often find a coupon tucked inside your cereal box, or get invited to a customer preview sale at your favorite department store? Those companies know that their existing customers are the best - and most profitable - customers they'll ever have. So it's not surprising that they'll do whatever they can to keep these customers happy and coming back again and again.

Believe it or not, the same concept holds true for your art career. While you don't want to ignore potential customers, you'll find that when you pay a little more attention to the customers and collectors you already have, it will really pay off - in increased sales and profits for your art business. The following 10 practical strategies will get you started.

1 - Understand how and why your customers buy art

Put yourself in your customers' shoes. What's in it for them when they purchase your art? Maybe they feel great about owning a piece of original artwork. Or they're happy to support an emerging artist. Perhaps they're looking forward to showing their new painting to friends. Start listening to your customers and asking questions, and you'll learn a lot - fast.

Don't underestimate the power of being an art collector yourself. You'll know firsthand how your collectors feel when they purchase your work, and you'll be a great role model for them. Even better, you'll be supporting other artists.

2 - Make the first purchase a fabulous experience

When you sell a piece of artwork, remember that it's also an exciting event for your customers. So let them be excited about their purchase. Accept any compliments graciously. Then share something personal that lets them know that you're excited about the sale, too. Tell them how the sale is meaningful to you: It's your first; your first to someone in New Jersey; your first in this series, or your last one like this. A positive connection now can pay off for years to come.

3 - Be businesslike in everything you do

Treat your art as a business, and treat your customers in a businesslike manner. Be meticulous about meeting deadlines and keeping appointments. Always provide the materials or information you promised - complete, and on time. And remember to thank your collectors personally when they attend one of your shows or support you in any way. A quick note or an e-mail will be appreciated, and remembered.

In addition, be businesslike when you price your artwork. Keep your pricing consistent: from the gallery to your studio, and from city to city. And stick to your prices no matter what; never discount your work.

Naturally, it makes sense to present yourself in a professional manner every time you show someone your work. That said, never try to be someone you're not. Let your personality come through, and you'll be the best businessperson you can be: you.

4 - Make it easy for your customers to purchase more of your work

I was at a friend's house recently and admired a beautiful hand-made journal she'd purchased at a local craft fair. Thinking it would make a perfect gift for another friend, I asked for the artist's name. When she didn't remember, we looked inside the journal and discovered the artist's name and phone number were nowhere to be found. The result? He or she lost a sale.

Put your contact information on everything that leaves your studio: letterhead, invitations, show announcements, note cards, etc. Affix a personalized label on the back of each painting that includes your name, plus your e-mail address or Web site.

And send your new collectors home with an "Artist Pack": a professional-looking folder with your business card, resume, artist statement, bio, articles about you and by you, and so on. Youíll be amazed at how often your customers will share it with their friends and associates.

5 - Ask for another sale

When liquid shampoo first came out, it gave consumers a convenient and easy way to wash their hair. "Lather and rinse," the label said. But shampoo sales really took off when just one word was added. Your shampoo bottle now says, "Lather, rinse, and repeat if desired."

Repeat sales can revolutionize your business, too. So display your work in your home and studio where visitors will see it. And when customers are making a purchase, be bold: Ask them if they'd like to purchase a second (or third) piece. Ask your collectors for referrals to another collector, or to a shop or gallery where they think your work might fit in. Or suggest a commissioned piece you'd like to do for them. The key here is to ask for the sale.

6 - Upgrade your customers

Another way to increase your income is to upgrade your customers to a more profitable product ("deluxe" shampoo for color treated hair, for example). It's really pretty easy, once you get the hang of it. Here are some upgrade ideas that have worked well for my clients:

• Encourage your customers who ordinarily buy giclee reproductions to purchase an original painting.

• Introduce your existing customers to some of your more expensive or larger pieces of art.

• If you have collectors who so far have bought only your sketches or drawings, suggest they purchase one of your paintings next time.

7 - Cross-sell your customers

Cross-selling is simply selling your customers something different from - but related to - what they're already buying. Think back to the shampoo example. Wouldn't it be relatively easy to cross-sell hair conditioner to someone who already uses shampoo?

Now take a look at your own artwork. Cross-selling might mean selling a piece of your pottery to one of your painting customers, selling a painting to one of your sculpture collectors, or suggesting your art note cards as an add-on sale when a customer stops by to pick up his pet portrait. Be imaginative, and you can increase both sales and profits.

8 - Get to know your customers and collectors

Remember that your customers are people first, customers second. Take your relationships beyond "business" and build personal relationships, as well. If appropriate, invite them to social gatherings, send a holiday card or drop them a postcard from your favorite vacation spot.

When you're chatting with your collectors, make it a habit to listen for important dates and occasions. Then remember their very special occasions with an artwork gift. Imagine having a small piece of your artwork forever connected in your collectors' minds with their 50th anniversary, the birth of their first child or grandchild, or their son's graduation from medical school. Sometimes a little goes a very long way.

9 - Let your customers get to know you - and your art

Don't you just love it when you get to watch another artist at work and see for yourself how they do what they do? You're not alone.

Almost all art collectors are curious about how you create. So it makes good business sense to find ways to share your process with them. You might invite them to an informal demo. Show them photographs of the location that inspired you. Or even let them try the process themselves. Take the time to show your customers what makes you and your art unique.

Customers who understand how you apply your paint, why you use those strange-looking long brushes, or how you get so many layers of color onto your canvas are not only educated about what you do - they're interested in what you do. And that will translate into more sales, and more referrals.

10 - Build strong, ongoing relationships with your collectors

Don't be shy about asking your customers for advice and input, whether it's on how you showcase or hang your work, or on new projects or techniques you're trying out. Do it one-on-one, or host a studio open house (notice I did not say "studio sale") to find out what they think.

And when you've just finished a new series or collection, or you're ready to hang a new gallery show, invite your best customers to your studio for a special preview of your new work. They'll love it.

Most importantly, be yourself with your customers and collectors. Yes, you may meet a collector or two who wants to be dazzled by art double-talk and rhetoric. Most collectors, however, will want to get to know the real you. They'll love hearing about your feelings about your artwork, some of your artistic quirks - and even some of the mistake youíve made.

Once customers and collectors really connect with you and your work, they'll be back for more. And that's good for every artist's business.

Best-selling author Kathy Gulrich helps clients get from idea, to action, to results - more quickly, and more easily - whether they're looking to write a book, develop a new product, or market their product or business. Clients love her direct, no-nonsense approach - and her gentle insistence on great results. Find out for yourself: Check out one of Kathy's teleclasses, or pick up a free worksheet, at http://www.smARTbusinessCoaching.com

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How to Prepare Your Work for Sale

July21
Author: Mandy Singh

The better you prepare your work, the more likely you are to make a sale. Here are a few little pointers on decisions you'll need to make:

1. Which format? Common ebook formats include: HTML, PDF, RTF, TXT, LIT, PDB and other ebook formats. I recommend that you use PDF as your file format, as most Web users are familiar with the technology and free PDF readers are widely available.

2. Presentation: it pays to use a template to achieve a great looking and easy-to-read ebook. Microsoft users can find templates at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/default.aspx. Mac users who use Pages will find a variety of attractive templates included with their software.

3. Copyright: Digital Rights Management is a hot topic, but we really think it is an obstacle for independent artists. Our recommendation is that you place a statement in your work advising readers that it is protected by copyright: this is generally respected.

The Extra Mile

If you really want to see some cooking sales results, start promoting your store! CybaSumo provides some great resources to get you started: check out the SumoNews blog at http://cybasumo.com/blog/selling/how-to-encourage-fans-to-buy-your-stuff/, or download the very handy CybaSumo Guide to Success here: http://www.cybasumo.com/widgetdemo.

Get ready to become a paid writer - perpetually.

About the Author:

Mandy Singh is an Internet entrepreneur specialising in promoting independent artists. With years of copywriting and business experience, Mandy likes to share her experience in to show like-minded creative people to use the best tools available to make their dreams materialise. Most recently, Mandy is working on the exciting new CybaSumo.com, a new platform for creative social networkers to see their wares to their networks.

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How to Build Your Reputation as an Artist – Promote and Market Your Art

July21
Author: Jennifer Phillips

If you want to be an artist and become known as one then you need to commit your self to the idea. Make a decision to make art. This may sound obvious but it is not always as easy as it appears to make art or be an artist. Being happy about the title of artist is a beginning and knowing that this is the path for you will help you to motivate and concentrate your thinking to do what is needed to see this happen. There is a great bit of wisdom in the bible. It says that "without a vision the people perish". Without a goal you can easily be blown around by the wind of whatever is happening at the time. You can be ruled by circumstance instead of soaring above them to claim the prize of the path you are taking.

After deciding that this is the path you want to take, then you need to make art regularly. Don't leave it until you have the time, such as when you retire. Doing a little often is better than waiting for the time when you have time, which tends to be never. You may have to plan this. Set aside time, write it in your dairy and do all that is needed to secure this time for making art. You may need to turn your phone off. You may need to pay someone to look after your children or business for a few hours or a day. You may need to plan your holidays to ensure that you do make art. Try planning an art retreat. There are many online opportunities.

Persevere, with your art. Practice will improve it. If it doesn't seem to be improving then find an artist who can help you or a workshop. Visit an art gallery. Study art that is similar to yours to see how others have dealt with similar problems such as techniques of paint application or lack of inspirational. Talk with other artists. The people you mix with can positively or negatively influence how you see yourself. As the saying goes, you cannot change your family but you can choose to spend time with people who motivate you on your chosen path. Find an art group to join, or start one youself.

Think about why people should buy your art. Ask yourself why your art it is valuable and worth someone's while to buy it. If you don't value it, why should anyone else? Make art that you can be proud of.

Meeting with other artist is one way of "getting your name out there", even if you find that they are not your type or not that motivating. Don't "hide your light under a bushel" as the bible saying goes. Once you have even a small portfolio of work that you are reasonable happy with, you need others to see you and it. Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities.

I always carry in my bag, a little A6 size book that has copies of my images in it printed onto glossy photography paper. I add to it as I complete each work. This enables me to show people my art when they ask what kind of art I do. I have a business card as well so that I people are able to contact me later or view my work online. You need to get a website to show your works even if you do not have an online payment system such as pay pal on it. There are many free websites hosts available and a lot of free help is also available.

Search your local community for places where you can display your work. Build up some permanent display places such as universities, hair salons, restaurants, cafes, shops, clothing boutiques, hotels, bed and breakfasts, and showrooms and book shops. If people see your work in a range of place they begin to value your work more and think of you as artist, even a well known one.

Join some art groups that hold exhibitions, even if that is all you do in the group, it is one way of building your art presence. As soon as you have enough art works, have a solo exhibition. You can apply for grants to fund the opening and the space, or find a display space that is free and hold it there. Exhibitions are a great way of promoting your work. Make a catalogue. If you have a computer you can create it yourself. You will need to write a small art biography and make sure you have your contact details so that people can contact you later if they like your work. Create a flyer or postcard to email to people and to hand out around the place. This should look professional. Keep one or two with you to give to people you meet in your day. Make appointments with your local papers to let them know about your exhibition. Send them an invitation. Generously advertise your event. The more you advertise, the more people will start to think of you and your art even if they do not attend the opening. Take photos of people looking at your art at the opening, to display on your website or to send to your local paper. Even if only 3 people turn up, ask them if it is ok for you to have them looking at your art for your website. Be positive about the event. Others are more likely to come to another of your exhibitions if they hear a positive report. Find someone to do a review and send it into your local paper.

Keep a record of your art and art events. Be diligent in your record keeping. List buyers name and contact details, the size and date you completed the art and always take a photo of it before it sells. Professional photos are best but if you cannot afford this take your own. When I first selling my work, I did not take photos and now I have only the memory of what they were like and memories cannot be trusted to serve you faithfully throughout your life. Your memory or talk will not be enough to let others know of your ability.

There are a lot of online art communities and galleries where you can show your work free of charge. Search these out or ask someone who belongs to some to share their experience and links with you to the sites that they have found useful.

There are many other was that you can build your reputation as an artist. Set aside some time to build a list of them. You can more of the ideas I wrote down at: http://citwings.com/art_promotion.html

About the Author:
Jennifer Kathleen Phillips is an award winning and accomplished artist. Take a look in her online gallery at citwings.com

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How to Become a Professional Artist

July21
Author: John Burton

Countless people paint or draw for a hobby, and a large number of these will at some time consider changing their pastime into a profession. The encouragement of well-meaning friends is often the catalyst for this metamorphosis: they will frequently offer comments such as "you could sell this", or "you could do this for a living".

The truth of the matter is that becoming a professional artist has very little to do with artistic ability: the transition is wholly about becoming a businessperson, and learning to sell yourself.

If you are considering turning your hobby into a career, the starting point should be to write a business plan ("fail to plan, plan to fail"). This concept may be alien to many, but a plan is little more than putting your thoughts down on paper, and in so doing, attempting to recognize every aspect of business that you need to consider, and the steps you must take to fill inevitable gaps in your knowledge.

The single most important element of a business plan is a simple statement of what you intend to do, and why. Whatever your reasons, as you progress towards your goal, you need to constantly check that your aims are being fulfilled. For example, if you want to become a professional artist primarily for enjoyment and gratification (and you don't envisage making a fortune along the way), you need to check that your movement towards professional status is giving you pleasure and fulfilment. If it is not, you need to re-think, or even stop what you are doing.

Your business plan next needs to address all the issues of marketing and finance: what type of people are you going to sell to, how will you advertise your services to them, how much money will they pay, how much will they buy, etc? Writing your business plan may take a long time (weeks or months), and require much research. There are lots of sources of information on business planning, so I will not dwell on the detail, but rather offer some general tips.

1. Don't include friends in your market research. They are too likely to provide the answers they think you want to hear. You need objective information and opinions.

2. When pricing your work, use the Internet to establish what similar artists charge. However, do your own sums to validate whatever your research reveals. Work out what your hourly rate would be for a typical artwork, and decide whether you are willing to work for that amount of money. Don't forget that, a considerable amount of time can be spent negotiating a sale or commission, and packing/posting/delivering completed artwork. You may find this adds several hours work to each picture sold.

3. When considering marketing, never overlook the obvious. Just telling people you meet that you paint or draw is marketing. If you are going to invest time or money in advertising, make sure it is targeted specifically at your intended customers. For example, if you paint dog portraits, target the places dog owners will be found (vets, pet shops, dog training clubs, dog shows, etc).

4. Don't overestimate the worth of the Internet as a marketing tool. It can take a colossal effort to become visible on the net; there is massive competition, and relatively few searches are made using keywords relating to artwork. It is a worthwhile marketing tool, but should not be your only marketing tactic.

5. Marketing is an ongoing job that you will never finish. Plan to make it part of your weekly work – forever!

6. Give some considerable thought to customer service, and how you can create customer confidence. Many artists seek no deposit on commissions, and palace no financial obligations on the client to buy work if they are not delighted with it. Ask yourself, how can I encourage customers to choose me above all the competition?

7. You will need to do some financial planning. As a minimum, you should develop an accounting system. It is critical to record all your income and expenditure, and have a true picture of how much profit (or loss) you are making.
You may need a small seed fund to get you started. Banks, the Arts Council, and Local Authority Business Start-up schemes may be able to provide you with funding. But guess what? The first thing they will ask to see is a business plan, and financial forecasts. Estimating your expected income can be extremely difficult. Don't assume that, because you are capable of produce two paintings a week, you can sell 104 paintings a year from the outset!

8. It is highly probable that you will experience times when you have no work, no sales, and no income. March and September are always quiet times for me! Explore alternative types of work that you can undertake when you have no artwork jobs (like a part time job, or some other skill), and consider diversification (you may prefer to paint dogs, but perhaps you need to do cats too?).

9. The hardest part of self-employment is remaining focused and self-motivated. Having a work plan can help. This can be simply a list of tasks to be complete by specific deadlines.

10. Seek-out all the help and advice you can. Don't assume you know the answers to every question, because the chances are you do not. Another advantage of having a business plan is that it allows someone else (maybe a professional business adviser – freely available in most towns) to check that you have thought of everything, and developed sound proposals.

Portraits by John Burton

About the Author:

Portrait artist working mainly from clients' own photographs.

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How To Become A Freelance Artist

July21
Author: Stephen Campbell

The Internet provides great opportunity for freelance artist nowadays. Aside from being free from restriction full time job, freelance job allows you to have business from multiple clients that you may want to have as long you are able to manage the range of time agreed (with your client) to finish specific task.

Artists possess a unique talent to express their quaint vision through different medium this include sculpture, painting, graphic designing. Some use combinations of media. In addition, they conduct research, attend seminar, in order to improve their talent and skills.

Some artists, in fact, utilizes marketable tools to develop a masterpiece such that of a kind of freelance work. This allows them to maximize their potential income generation.

Great opportunities are being opened when you are a freelance artist that is doing multiple freelance jobs. in fact, freelance jobs are in demand in the arena of of commerce, electronics, computers, publishing, online services, etc. Freelance artists are hired in this business world because of their sensible characteristics and of course, provide a more specialized work.

Here are some important points that you need to take note when you become a freelance artist and handle freelance jobs:

Being a freelance artist, your profession lets you to handpick jobs- specific freelance work- that covers exactly and within the bounds of your capacity- your skills and talents. Experts agree, when you are an artist, the best way to generate income out of your capability is through freelancing because you can do your jobs on your own. There is no manager that consistently looking at your job, setting deadline, and cutting down your possible income.

All you need to do is to comprehend well what your prospect clients need especially, you have to consider that most of your customers need a more customized and specialized service- this kind of service is often offered just in freelancing.

If you are an aspiring for freelance work, here are important things for you to consider:

1. Do not jump directly to a particular freelance work because it is where most of other freelance jobs performers go. You must set your objectives, know your purpose and from that develop your strategies.

2. Build your own statistics. Provide a good showcase of yourself. You can do this by organizing your previous works (with clients favorable testimonials), your work experience. Remember, you are selling yourself, do it professionally.

3. When you are freelancer working online, you must provide thumbnails link in your site. Make your site as presentable as you can because this reflects your skills. Client look at that.

4. Strive to develop good working relationships. Working virtually does give little chance to know your client more. However, you must develop a good working relationship as possible. Be professional in your freelance job. Strive to good and don't let distant work hinder your good working relationship with your client.

5. You can impart some working knowledge to your client Do not allow your them to dictate you what output they desire to have. You are the expert on your field, so you can provide the latest buzz related to your freelance job.

How to become a freelance artist idea provided in this article gives you essential strategies for your success in freelance jobs.

About the Author:

Stephen C Campbell (MBA, MSc) is an international business consultant & internet marketer, to learn more on how to accelerate your business see http://www.businessmansencyclopaedia.com/

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How to Survive A Good Review

July21
Author: Steven Barnes

When the first reviews for my most recent novel (Great Sky Woman, Random House 2006) started coming in, my emotions went through the usual roller coaster. The first, from Publisher's Weekly, was 90% positive, but mentioned that, in their opinion, it was slow in spots. My stomach sank. Slow? In spots? Oh my God�all is lost!

The second review came in two weeks later. This one, from "Booklist," used words like "magnificent" and "engaging" and "adventure on a grand scale."

I sighed. Boy, oh boy, did I need to hear that. Why? Because I am an insecure artist. Because I spend, on average, two years researching and one year writing my novels. Because I care so very much about each and every one of my literary children. Because I pour my life into every project I work on, break my head open, remove the protective walls from around my heart. I have to, because that is the only way to access my talent. I CAN'T do less than my very best�that would immediately devolve to hack work, and that I cannot do.

Some say to ignore reviews, that they are only the opinions of people who, often, are jealous of work they themselves could not create. I choose not to embrace that opinion. To me, reviews are the opinions of informed, professional readers. Such people are not necessarily any better informed than the average reader, but what they have to say is certainly worthy of attention.

To be absolutely frank, there have been times I curled up and cried because a reviewer I respected disliked my work. And other times when handsprings across the living room were the order of the day. Such violent ups and downs can hardly be good for your blood pressure (let alone the household pets) but for an artist who cares, really cares about reaching out to the world, about creating a dialogue with readers present and unborn, there seems little choice.

An artist needs feedback. We must know whether what we do communicates the message intended. That doesn't mean all glory and complement. Harsh but honest criticism can help an artist understand what the public sees when they read the work, watch the film, view the dance. To the degree that such work is intended to make a statement, to communicate a state of emotion or elusive concept, we MUST know how the public reacts.

But there are times when the good review is more damaging than the bad one. It often seems that a large proportion of artists are people who crave a deeper, more fluid connection with the outside world. Who in early life felt their voice stifled, felt invisible in the middle of a crowd. So they learn to speak their truth in some other form, and a creative performer was born.

Deep within such an artist is a driving, gnawing, ravenous urge to be loved, respected, seen, heard. It is the stifled urge of a child dancing in the living room for the guests, saying "look at me! I'm special!"

Of course, attention isn't always on the artist herself: sometimes we merely want to draw attention to some cause, or effect, or external reality or philosophy we consider important or of interest. At the heart of all of this, however, is the sense that our perceptions are worthy, our hearts strong, our song as valid as that of any other warbler in the forest.

And when those reviews come in, we can either read them at an emotional arm's length, or we can take them to heart, suffer the slings and arrows�and rejoice in the victories.

Which are more important? I'm not certain. But when those positive reviews come, I notice that I don't take them as seriously, as deeply, as the negative ones. I don't dare. That little boy inside me wants too desperately to believe that he is loved and appreciated, that he has made something worthwhile. When the positive reviews come, it is easy to listen to the accolades, to glow in the applause...

But God help you if you ever need it. Then, with an exquisitely perverse precision, it will be withdrawn. Chasing after the approval makes it dissolve, and we become like a third-rate comic frantically mugging for a once-appreciative audience, begging them to laugh until they are embarrassed for him.

I love the process of writing. I love the books themselves. I love my audience. And I love those reviews, too much, it sometimes seems. And at those times, a little voice whispers in my ear: "The writing isn't for them. Never for them. It was before they were. And if they turn their backs, you will write still. Don't be lulled by the fact that today's reviews are positive. Don't be frustrated if tomorrow's reviews are bad. Listen to the voice in your heart, the one that whispers of discipline, and pain, and creative ecstasy. That voice was there at the beginning, and will be there at the end."

That voice, and no other, can you trust.

About the Author:
N.Y. Times bestselling writer Steven Barnes has written for The Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone, and Stargate among many others. Why not have the career of your dreams? Don't just write...Lifewriteâ„¢. Sign up for your FREE daily Lifewritingâ„¢ tip at: http://www.lifewrite.com

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Digging Up the Artistic Gold Found Within

July21
Author: Paula Andrea Pyle, MA

During the staggering momentous critical years from nine to twelve, you experienced your artistic self in such a way as never before or since. Most emphatically during the phase from eight to nine, a calibrated mechanistic artistic phase slipped in. This liberally gifted induced period opened a portal of instinctive talent from which you will draw for the remainder of your life. (In essence, you were grown by the end of this point, though the tender age did not necessarily reflect your innate maturity and society certainly would not have accepted the reality of this outrageous statement.) Nevertheless, the artistic vision of your life was formed and you were acutely aware of your inbred talent. The things that occurred during this most blatantly injected artistically sensitive period from 9 to 12 would determine the temperature of the road you would most likely travel until you reconnected with your latent gifts. It does not matter whether the time frame was obviously productive, non productive, abusive or flourishing, the scenario retained for you untold possibilities that would paint the canvas of the next forty four years. During this winding road of inductive dramatic scrambling and rearranging, you would/will find several pieces of the puzzle of your particular life's purpose, which left uninvestigated, would cause massive blurring and confusion.

If you would take a moment to go back to the specific year, beginning two weeks before your 8th birthday and run concurrently until your two weeks after your 9th birthday for a period of approximately 13 months, you will able to follow along to decipher the 'art' message offered. Remember back most specifically the exact 13th month period of the 2 years involved. Where did you physically reside? More than likely, you were in the 3rd grade of school. IF by chance you can not recall your 3rd grade teacher, the blurred memory will be highlighted within the entire 4th grade year. Do you remember 'that' teacher? Do you remember the circumstances of where you were residing? There are so many viable clues linking your current personality to that poignant part of your existence. {Parts, that you may or may not recognize, as important to you, now.} The reason you may not be aware that you possess an incredibly defined essential 'artistic nature' is because when you were young, the ARTIST in you was dismissed, discredited, disavowed or disenfranchised. This unfortunate event could have taken place in a variety of ways, not he least being that you felt inadequate to produce what was expected of you artistically. You felt you either had to compete or compare or both. Daunting as the task set before was, you felt embarrassed to offer your artistic self since "IT" was more precious you then as opposed to any other period in your life.

During the precarious period of your life from the ages of 9 to 12, the most influential and crucial artistic stage presented itself. Depending upon the situation, circumstances, events and people who surrounded you at that time, the "ART IMPETUS" was either nurtured/supported or devalued and denigrated. In other words, whatever was going on in your particular world at that specific time frame, determined how much of an artist you perceive yourself to be. Unless you were recognized and encouraged to pursue your individualistic artistic expressions, that vital 'natural and convenient' artistic essence of yours got shut down, closed off, pent up like a caged animal. During this fragile time, if you were placed in a position to either compare your work or to compete with another in order to "show yourself worthy and accepted", a silent death occurred which would take years to resurrect. Because of the ignorance and inadvertent (deliberate or not) neglect associated with our natural artistic impulse, we end up carrying around useless baggage that prevent us from 'de-assing' certain programs of conditioned thought and/or self-sabotaging beliefs that confine and constrict our creative attempts.

How many of you ever wanted to sing but never tried because you were afraid someone would make fun of you? The same principle is applied to ART, MUSIC, DRAMA, and of course simple honest communication. Unless you are willing to search and retrieve those buried artistic aspects of yourself, which you have never been properly introduced to, you will remain a mystery to yourself and others. Your relationships will suffer because of it and you will remain unhappy and unfulfilled seeking outside remedies for inner barricades. In order to 'kick down the barriers' that prevent you from being a natural born artist, you will be required to stop bad mouthing yourself or others who you deem more fortunate or talented. You have not been robbed. You were never going to meet these aspects of yourself until you were ready, anyway. If these words resonate with you, it is only because you are ready to pursue the voyage of yourself. {A launching of new indescribable possibilities stand before you ready for you venture into.} Moments of hesitation will be cast into the sea of forgetfulness never to be remembered anymore. Self-doubt, fear of change, and the thoughts of not having any talent will be swallowed up by your natural desire to express yourself artistically. An instinctive GUT 'detector' enables you to contact your lost/hidden artistic needs, as long as you are willing to move through the door of self-delusion. By careful study and application, you will be able to break through that wall of self-incrimination into a field your unrealized artistic potential.

As you begin to get still and listen to your inner soul's yearning, you will discover a world of untold merit. You will literally be stunned by the accuracy of the things you know without knowing how you know them. You must trust your gut, however without reservation. It is the sole intent of your inner compass to provide an avenue of immaculate perception, where you no longer 'take for granted' the exquisite beauty found within the mundane, dull, and seemingly lifeless artifacts peppering your world. Without having to dig and search, "What are the closest photographs you have near you?" (Wherever you are sitting) These photographs are designed to elicit a response in you. Whether the response is negative or positive, matters little. What does matter is that it makes you ponder.

Next, what is the first painting you see? The combination of photographs and the one 'in your face' painting have been placed together arbitrarily (no matter how far apart they are in physical location) to act as a measuring stick of your present circumstances. You may feel some of the photographs and that painting have been haphazardly placed together. That immediate sensation too is an individualistic artistic response. Either way, the photographs are depicted as RAW symbols of expressions that will speak to you, according to where your consciousness resides. Also, because there are two parts of your artistic nature that needs acknowledging, (one who knows; one who doubts) you will have inadvertently fixed the photographs in your mind, {probably not being able to elicit the real picture the first time you look at them.) Be patient with yourself.

This reaction is part of the artistic development process. The painting plays a significant role in opening for you a panoramic view of things that are connected to your individual destiny. So that whenever you see or think about the object in question, a certain revelation of, "what's blocking you" will become apparent. And, just as important you will be constantly reminded: it is in the ordinary "things" that the extraordinary is found. Because you have been indoctrinated to strive for perfection, you have forgotten how magnificently beautiful the so called ordinary things really are. No other person can take this cosmically enlightening journey but you. You will be in a type of private cosmic therapy; it is the art that will guide you in all truth.

Its fundamental premise belies the notion that we are separate from any portion, element, attribute, or "THING" that makes up our world. This exhaustively researched method presents the concept that: Everything in life is interconnected, including every single word, sight, smell, taste and feeling that one encounters in the run of a day . Not a person, place or object is exempt. If you interacted with 'it', 'it' has meaning for you. Though people often ignore or dismiss the obvious evidence that supports the appearance of various signs, symbols, clues, omens, as representational personal truths, the fact remains: "if you saw 'it', there's a valid reason for it's recognition and validation. Though everything is exactly as it's supposed to be for reasons we can't see, it's important for us, as mortals, to investigate the possibilities. What "if" there really is a Divine Purpose for our lives? Wouldn't you want to know what that purpose might entail? Wouldn't you want to discover how and why that purpose related to you? And, most especially if that so-called purpose could eradicate the continual sense of frustration, monotony and restlessness you experience so often.

You are here to produce something of the worthwhile value that you alone can express, connect and enjoy. The determination of that value resonates from the effort, energy, time, money and interest you are willing to invest. {Extremely personal choice: you pursue only what interests you!} Unless you take it upon yourself to explore (all that you possibly can) about you, no other success you ever obtained will compensate. The arduous task of unveiling 'you to you' requires that you first eliminate the idea that anyone, NO MATTER WHO IT IS OR HOW MUCH POWER, AUTHORITY, AND INFLUENCE THEY EXERT, has the right to determine for you what path you should pursue or not pursue while you are alive. They are not nor will they ever be in a position to decide for you "What's best." Hah! You're the very best you can be at any given moment for that moment. You are currently in the artistic processing mode and will continue to be for the rest of your natural born life.

Whatever you choose to do and however you choose to do it is all the RIGHT you need to know. No one can say whether your art, music, drama, writing, or any other individual method of expressing yourself is good or not. If you have produced it, IT is worthy. You are governed and maintained by the same innate compassing devise that so-called worthy artists reflect in their work. True ART is expressed by saying what, how, when, where and to whom exactly what you want to say without feeling the need to be praised or validated. If you are glad you produced it, for no other reason than for the sheer joy you derived from creating it, THAT is enough. Don't feel ashamed, afraid, humiliated, inferior, worried, or intimidated by others. Art is spontaneous natural convenient creative energy! It moves through you while it liberates you at the same time. Recognizing yourself as a genuine artist is no doubt a frightening and horrific experience. Only the inherently determined and ruthlessly focused will survive to penetrate and forge their innate masterful visions.

About the Author:

Proud Native {Born, Bred, and Resident} of North Carolina, married 39 spectacular years, 6 children, 11 grandchildren. I am passionate about love, living, laughter, liberty, learning, listening, loosening up, lounging, lunch, liveliness, literacy, lip stick, letting my hair down, leaping, leaning, libido, lifting, linking, looking, lodging, lemons and lyrics. My personal and professional background is wide and varied. I have a BS in Communication with a MA in Art Education. I am a Cosmic Therapist, artist, entertainer, singer/songwriter, musician, composer, playwright, perfumer, astrology, author, teacher, speaker, poet and self-taught chef. I am also a radio/television talk show creator, host and director. In addition when I'm not busy, I maintain a presence at M.O.D.E International School of Esoteric Arts and Sciences of which I founded many years ago,

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Defining the True Artist – Do you Have What it Takes?

July21
http://images.articlesbase.com/authors/143227_ehxeeqn.jpg Author: Chris Standring

There are musicians who are more than comfortable remaining anonymous. You know, happy to hide behind their guitars or keyboards and be sidemen to the stars of today or tomorrow. Then there are those that have grandiose aspirations of stardom, adoration and limelight. And then there are those who have a driving desire and need to say something original artistically, to express themselves and to communicate that expression to an audience, be it a small niche market or wider demographic.

Those falling into the first category can make a living, albeit fairly modest as a general rule. Those falling into the second category often live in a little bit of a dream world and, depending on their tenacity and 'smart' skills, usually end up disappointed because the focus is set on the destination rather than the journey. The third category usually reaps the rewards of the second category gaining all the success and limelight, but as a result of focusing on their art rather than the shallow and flighty end of the musician's world. These are usually the most fascinating people too, because they generally have a little mystery about them and because they actually possess what most entertainers really want; sincere and dedicated talent!

But there are also those that are in the early stages of artistic development who are still learning their craft, and open to influences. Possibly they will become great artists in the future, possibly not. It will be a question of choices and consequences, and doors opened and opportunities taken advantage of - or not. Life certainly will take you places.

But for those that do have aspirations of artistry and expression, then I firmly believe you must have qualities that others do not have. As an artist I believe one must stand out from the herd in order to be heard. It is so easy to make a record these days. One no longer needs to have the luxury of a recording contract in order to stand on a pedestal and say "I am an artist - buy my record!" With home studios costing one 16th of the price they did ten years ago and with software programs that do it all, you can churn out albums by the dozen if you put your mind to it. And many do.

However, just because you can, why would you? - is my question. Just for fun? OK, valid I suppose. But Isn't it better to spend that time and energy searching relentlessly for something unique and different? God knows record companies are releasing enough mediocrity by the hour. Even signed artists are now under the impression they have something to offer. Maybe they have, but for the most part I don't think so (as public reaction and their CD sales will attest!)

Perhaps I am being extremely unfair, but I think too many artists do not realize that they have a responsibility to say something profoundly unique, certainly if they expect any kind of career longevity. We live in a world where musicians spend their lives emulating their heroes; singers spend their lives emulating Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra and so on. Rock guitarists spend their lives emulating Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Paige, Jeff Beck and Eddie Van Halen. Jazz guitarists are proud emulators of Pat Metheny, John Scofield and Wes Montgomery. Saxophone players worship Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Michael Brecker. And so on...

Before I go on I have to say that emulating heroes is absolutely imperative in your formative years as musicians. You simply MUST listen to the greats, past and present. One has to have a strong grounding and musical knowledge and one simply cannot get there without listening. However, way too many 'artists' cannot get passed this stage. They need to have peer approval, have to know that other respected musicians around them recognize them and applaud their abilities. Often all this takes place subconsciously.

This 'peer approval' is a stage of development that is also important. Every musician goes through it at some point. It is absolutely natural, but I firmly believe that to become a great artist, you have to move beyond that stage and look inward. I always liken it those wedding band singers, who despite having an honorable and justifiable (and in some cases envious) career, they are all too often 'performing monkeys'. They are often fine vocalists but at the end of the day they are seeking approval and applause and not communicating or expressing anything artistic. They certainly know how to entertain but do they know how to intrigue? It's a huge gap. Nothing remotely subtle about it as far as I am concerned.

The real communicating artists seek unique expression. They are not interested anymore in sounding like their heroes. They have moved past that, now searching constantly, developing and refining their own unique voice. Look at any of the true giants of yesterday and today. Yes you can hear their references, but they also have their own strong identity. At some point during their development something bigger than them took over. The chances are they knew it at the time and took advantage of it and made an extra effort to really hone that uniqueness.

Finding that unique inner voice might not be as easy for some. I think it starts by recognizing your technical weaknesses. It is often those weaknesses that ultimately end up becoming your artistic strengths. Let's face it, if you were able to play the guitar technically perfect, at all speeds, meticulously so every note that came out was totally clean and audible, would this be ultimately interesting to an audience? Yes it might be very clever and impressive, but for how long could you listen to an album where every phrase felt like you were having your teeth drilled!!?

Wes Montgomery played with his thumb because he didn't want to wake the neighbors, ultimately enabling him to become the greatest and most influential jazz guitarist of all time. BB King has about three licks in his entire blues repertoire. Does anyone NOT know BB King when they hear him? Thelonius Monk refused to conform to traditional piano techniques and musical ideas. He simply HAD to play music the way he heard it in his head. He made such a bold musical statement during his time that he is now emulated the world over and revered by the greatest musicians living today.

Technical shortcomings can be the very essence of your unique artistry. Now, should those shortcomings get in the way of what you need to say musically then those weaknesses might need to be turned around so they don't restrict what you hear in your head.

Remember, the true artist simply communicates from within. All other extraneous thoughts, influences and distractions need to fall by the wayside. The minute a lick or a phrase that your hero played or sung (and made famous) ends up on your record - watch out! You might be in trouble. Absolutely steal from your heroes, but just remember that real artistry is about what YOU have to say, not what your heroes have already said before, and have possibly said better.

Push yourself to the max and search for that truly unique quality within. After all, that next great talent we are all so desperately waiting for might just be you!

About the Author:

Chris Standring is a recording artist and the owner of Guitar
Made Simple.com
Visit this website for free guitar
lessons
and a truly ground breaking home study guitar course.

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Defining the True Artist

July21
Author: Rilwan B Motolani

There are musicians who are more than comfortable remaining anonymous. You know, happy to hide behind their guitars or keyboards and be sidemen to the stars of today or tomorrow. Then there are those that have grandiose aspirations of stardom, adoration and limelight. And then there are those who have a driving desire and need to say something original artistically, to express themselves and to communicate that expression to an audience, be it a small niche market or wider demographic.
Those falling into the first category can make a living, albeit fairly modest as a general rule. Those falling into the second category often live in a little bit of a dream world and, depending on their tenacity and 'smart' skills, usually end up disappointed because the focus is set on the destination rather than the journey. The third category usually reaps the rewards of the second category gaining all the success and limelight, but as a result of focusing on their art rather than the shallow and flighty end of the musician's world. These are usually the most fascinating people too, because they generally have a little mystery about them and because they actually possess what most entertainers really want; sincere and dedicated talent!

But there are also those that are in the early stages of artistic development who are still learning their craft, and open to influences. Possibly they will become great artists in the future, possibly not. It will be a question of choices and consequences, and doors opened and opportunities taken advantage of - or not. Life certainly will take you places.

But for those that do have aspirations of artistry and expression, then I firmly believe you must have qualities that others do not have. As an artist I believe one must stand out from the herd in order to be heard. It is so easy to make a record these days. One no longer needs to have the luxury of a recording contract in order to stand on a pedestal and say "I am an artist - buy my record!" With home studios costing one 16th of the price they did ten years ago and with software programs that do it all, you can churn out albums by the dozen if you put your mind to it. And many do.

However, just because you can, why would you? - is my question. Just for fun? OK, valid I suppose. But Isn't it better to spend that time and energy searching relentlessly for something unique and different? God knows record companies are releasing enough mediocrity by the hour. Even signed artists are now under the impression they have something to offer. Maybe they have, but for the most part I don't think so (as public reaction and their CD sales will attest!)

Perhaps I am being extremely unfair, but I think too many artists do not realize that they have a responsibility to say something profoundly unique, certainly if they expect any kind of career longevity. We live in a world where musicians spend their lives emulating their heroes; singers spend their lives emulating Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra and so on. Rock guitarists spend their lives emulating Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Paige, Jeff Beck and Eddie Van Halen. Jazz guitarists are proud emulators of Pat Metheny, John Scofield and Wes Montgomery. Saxophone players worship Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Michael Brecker. And so on...

Before I go on I have to say that emulating heroes is absolutely imperative in your formative years as musicians. You simply MUST listen to the greats, past and present. One has to have a strong grounding and musical knowledge and one simply cannot get there without listening. However, way too many 'artists' cannot get passed this stage. They need to have peer approval, have to know that other respected musicians around them recognize them and applaud their abilities. Often all this takes place subconsciously.

This 'peer approval' is a stage of development that is also important. Every musician goes through it at some point. It is absolutely natural, but I firmly believe that to become a great artist, you have to move beyond that stage and look inward. I always liken it those wedding band singers, who despite having an honorable and justifiable (and in some cases envious) career, they are all too often 'performing monkeys'. They are often fine vocalists but at the end of the day they are seeking approval and applause and not communicating or expressing anything artistic. They certainly know how to entertain but do they know how to intrigue? It's a huge gap. Nothing remotely subtle about it as far as I am concerned.

The real communicating artists seek unique expression. They are not interested anymore in sounding like their heroes. They have moved past that, now searching constantly, developing and refining their own unique voice. Look at any of the true giants of yesterday and today. Yes you can hear their references, but they also have their own strong identity. At some point during their development something bigger than them took over. The chances are they knew it at the time and took advantage of it and made an extra effort to really hone that uniqueness.

Finding that unique inner voice might not be as easy for some. I think it starts by recognizing your technical weaknesses. It is often those weaknesses that ultimately end up becoming your artistic strengths. Let's face it, if you were able to play the guitar technically perfect, at all speeds, meticulously so every note that came out was totally clean and audible, would this be ultimately interesting to an audience? Yes it might be very clever and impressive, but for how long could you listen to an album where every phrase felt like you were having your teeth drilled!!?

Wes Montgomery played with his thumb because he didn't want to wake the neighbors, ultimately enabling him to become the greatest and most influential jazz guitarist of all time. BB King has about three licks in his entire blues repertoire. Does anyone NOT know BB King when they hear him? Thelonius Monk refused to conform to traditional piano techniques and musical ideas. He simply HAD to play music the way he heard it in his head. He made such a bold musical statement during his time that he is now emulated the world over and revered by the greatest musicians living today.

Technical shortcomings can be the very essence of your unique artistry. Now, should those shortcomings get in the way of what you need to say musically then those weaknesses might need to be turned around so they don't restrict what you hear in your head.

Remember that the true artist simply communicates from within. All other extraneous thoughts, influences and distractions need to fall by the wayside. The minute a lick or a phrase that your hero played or sung (and made famous) ends up on your record - watch out! You might be in trouble. Absolutely steal from your heroes, but just remember that real artistry is about what YOU have to say, not what your heroes have already said before, and have possibly said better.

Push yourself to the max and search for that truly unique quality within. After all, that next great talent we are all so desperately waiting for might just be you!

5 Work at Home Solutions for Working Musicians

As creators and artists of original music, we all would like nothing more than to have our tunes blasting out all over the airwaves bringing in a constant revenue stream of ongoing residual income. Some people figure that out and more power to them. I for one have not and that is not the purpose of this article. I will say good luck to you in your pursuit of that dream if you are still running it down.

The objective here is to discuss 5 solutions working (or non working for that matter) musicians can use or apply to bring in extra income.

These are not get rich quick or easy Internet money programs. They are 5 solid solutions to realistically making extra money to compliment your true passion, playing music. Some of these you may have considered and some sites you may not be familiar with. The Internet has changed everything and it is always changing. There are always opportunities out there. You just need to be careful not to get involved in the wrong ones or involved in too many. The Internet really can be a tangled web if you let it snare you.

One of the best things you can do is to find a business mentor; someone who is successful in the endeavor you are pursuing. Surrounding yourself with successful people will help you overcome obstacles everyone faces when pursuing a venture. You also need a healthy positive attitude and a confidence in yourself. When you develop these, you become inspired to do great things.

With that said here are 5 Solutions:

Solution 1: Royalty Free Music Factory

Royalty Free Music Factory is a website that pays you, the musician, a commission on the sales of your soundtracks. The founder of the site, Mike Rowntree, is a musician and sound engineer who came to realized that there is a huge international market for music tracks you hear on radio, television, and internet sites. Producers of advertisements and programs in these media want to avoid paying ongoing royalties which is how this market niche developed. You upload your 15, 30, and 60 second MP3 tracks along with your full length version(counts as one track) and they are reviewed within 2 business days. Upon acceptance, they are listed on the site for sale. They pay you a 35% commission on each track sold. Visit them at: http://www.royaltyfreemusicfactory.com/

Solution 2: Digitally Delivered Products

Digitally delivered products are all over the Internet and music instruction is certainly no exception. The biggest retailer of such products is Clickbank. Products range from simple ebooks, to full blown membership sites like http://www.musicmasterpro.com/ with online video instruction. To get started on a shoestring, you will need a PDF writing program and a free Clickbank account. The most popular PDF software is Adobe Acrobat, but you can probably find a free shareware program that will do what you need. Accompany that PDF with MP3 files and not only can you charge more, but you'll probably sell more. I purchased Alex Sampson's http://www.bassguitarsecrets.com/ and thoroughly enjoyed what parts I've gone through. Alex charges $49.95 for that product and I feel like he over delivered.

Solution 3: Become An Affiliate.

With your Clickbank account, you can also become an affiliate for other marketers and make a commission on your sales. For example, MusicMasterPro pays 70% commission on membership sales. With your free Clickbank account you will need what is called a "Hoplink" to the affiliate you are promoting. The hoplink is a combination of your unique Clickbank ID and the affiliate you are promoting's ID. Clickbank pays you directly for your commissions.

Another huge Affiliate website is Commission Junction. http://www.cj.com/ You can find other complimentary products to sell and receive a commission if a sales is made through your link.

Solution 4: DVD Production & Sales

An old friend of mine, (Tony who happens to be the Godfather of my daughter), makes great extra money doing this. He is a full-time drummer on Bourbon Street here in New Orleans and makes DVDs and sells them in the clubs he works in. To do this however, you will need to make a deal with the club owner and split the proceeds. They certainly don't want you taking money out of their clientele's pockets, but if you make an arrangement you can both profit from DVD sales.

Back in the day we would pay a sound studio $50/hr, practice to perfection not to screw up in the studio, and then send the thing off to a place called Disc Masters or something like that to make the CD. I guess people still do that, but with all the technology out there you can do this yourself. Like I said in the beginning, we're talking about making extra money - not being a rock star!

Aside from the camera, you will need video editing software like http://www.pinnaclesys.com/ and a CD/DVD label maker. Instead of using the camera audio, Tony has some really small, really inexpensive handheld recording device he uses to record the band live. It's quick and easy and he can pop out DVD in not time. Of course, it does help to have an outgoing singer/frontman to push the product!

Solution 5: The $9 Solution

Chad Rissenan, The Marketing Cowboy, has a $9 Solution to making money online and work at home business. Chad is a guitarist and singer with the North County Band. http://www.northcountyband.com/

Chad's $9 Solution teaches you everything you need to know about Internet marketing and how to develop a successful work at home business. With the $9 Solution, Chad has an audio file and guides you through the whole process of how to build a successful business right from your computer, without ever having to sell products. It also comes with a 10 Day Marketing Success Guide that has income producing activities that ensure your success.

www.ninedollarsolution.net

As a musician and small business owner, I sincerely hope you find some of these solutions helpful in your quest to play music and make more money at the same time. Whatever you do, do something! Stay positive, focused, open-minded and visualize your success.

About the Author:
i will tell you later

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Having your Artistic Cake & Eating it Too!

July21
Author: Miata Edoga

I recently had an email from someone who had visited our website, liked what they had seen, but had a question about our methods and philosophy. The question was this:

"What about if I am an artist and I don't want to change my profession and also I don't want to have another job on the side? I want to keep my work and have great benefits from that."

In other words: I don't want to do anything apart from my acting career , and I want to get well paid for it. What do you think about that?

My immediate response was a mixture of amusement and irritation. Of course, for everyone pursuing an artistic career, what we all ideally want to do is get paid a ton of money for doing what we love (just make sure you have had your financial education before this happens - you don't want to end up a morality tale!). If you are a dramatic actor, making $100,000 per episode for being in a high quality night-time drama is about as good as it gets. For a musician, platinum albums generating millions in residual payments is where it's at. For a sculptor, having ones work on display in private collections and museums world-wide would bring home more than enough bacon for any number of New York apartments and trips to South America. But, assuming that it may be some time before we find ourselves in those enviable positions, what are we going to do about money?

And that, I think, is the problem with thinking along these lines. Sure, there are those, very few, people who are lucky or talented enough to walk out of their acing schools and into full time acting careers, or whatever other artistic endeavours you chose. But, for the rest of us, there will be a period (anywhere from a few months to several years), where we will have to do something else in order to make ends meet, while we wait for the income from our art to allow us to live in comfort.

"Have to". Those are the operative words in that sentence. Not "want to" or "like to" but "have to". There is a great line in "Gladiator":

"Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to".

Now, do you have to have another job while you pursue your artistic career? Not necessarily; but unless you are either supported to willing to live on the streets, then it is something that you seriously need to consider alongside your artist development.

For the person who asked the question above, I would say this, finally: At Abundance Bound we have tools to help you work out exactly how much you need to earn in order to live (email us at mailto:info@abundancebound.com with "Chart of Expenses" in the tag line for help with this). Having gotten that number, you can then find work, be it your own business or a regular job, that will provide that amount in the least time possible, leaving you free to pursue your art around it. If you can sell enough pieces or work enough days to not need anything else, then that is truly great for you, and the focus now becomes what to do with the money you are earning, so as to get the greatest benefit out of it (that is where financial education comes in)

But, for the rest of us, truly consider the options before you. Take control of your financial lives so that you can pursue your art free form the crushing weight of financial stress. Bite the bullet and handle things now, so that they do not get out of control later. And, above all, never stop focusing on your artistic success, because by doing that, all things are possible.

About the Author:

Miata Edoga is a working actor, as well as being President & Founder of Abundance Bound . Inc, the financial education company for actors & artists. Her vision is to develop a community of artists able to pursue their creative goals free from the crushing weight of financial stress.

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Have You Left Your Inner Artist Behind?

July21
Author: Paula Atwell

Do you often feel depressed or bored? Does your daily routine get you down? Do you feel like you left a piece of yourself behind along the way?

This is not uncommon for adults, especially once you reach your forties or fifties. We get so caught up in our routines, going to work, paying bills, raising our children, that we leave part of ourselves behind, sometimes our best part.

When was the last time that you did something to nurture your creative side?

Do you ever take time for yourself, not just to pamper and relax, but to do some left-brain activities?

Escape from the routine by finding ways to revive your creative self. Creativity is a necessary part of our lives whether or not we have artistic talents. We use creativity at work and at home for most problem solving.

When you were young, did you enjoy painting and coloring when you didn't have to produce something specific? Our artistic muscles need to be stimulated from time to time just like our physical muscles. We all know that the best way to keep in shape is to exercise on a regular basis. Well, that is also true for your creative muscles. You need to exercise them every once in a while to keep them in tune.

What are some ways to exercise our creativity?

  1. Take a class at your neighborhood community center. Usually centers will offer short term workshops for people who are just learning.
  2. Go to a museum and take in some visual art.
  3. Read a good book.
  4. Take a nature walk.
  5. Do an art project with a child.
  6. Get together with friends and have a jewelry party

For more information on this topic, visit How to Find Your Inner Artist as an Adult for ideas and book suggestions.

About the Author:

I am the owner of a small gallery in Cleveland, Ohio called Lake Erie Artists Gallery and a Giant Squid on Squidoo.

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Guidelines on Writing a Good Artists Statement and Resume

July21
Resume By Reinaldo Arvelo
 
 
 

Your art work should always be accompanied by an artist statement and resume if you are going to submit your work to a gallery. Your statement should be your defense and your voice. Your resume should be a brief collection of experiences, exposure, organizations, commissions, publications, or lectures. The importance of having both an artist statement and resume is essential for all beginning artists.

Your Artist Statement:

For your statement try not to be vague. Always explain "why" you say what you say. As an artist, I focus on three important details in my statement. Your influence, Your Process, and Your Intention. When writing about your art it is best to describe what your influences are. For example, if nature is your motivation than explain what are the influences that nature provides you. Your influences can be spiritual just as long as you explain why and what they are and how they influence you.

The way you execute your work is also an important topic in your statement. Your process should reflect with your influences. Do not confuse your work habit with your process. Focus on the evolution of the work itself. Why do you use that color? Why is it shaped that way? Keep in mind that your materials also play a big part in your statement. Even the surface you work on can play a big important aesthetic meaning or quality to your artwork.

Lastly, on writing a good artist statement, you should explain your intention. Give your defense on what you are trying to tell people about your work. Is you work to explain, stimulate, poke fun of, inform, or an opinion or maybe a belief. No matter what the intent it should represent you and your work. I usually end my statement with the intention because it answers the "why" process and the "what" influences that support it.

Your Artist Resume:

Your artist resume is simply a listing of your artistic career and experience. Even if you do not have much experience you can still be able put together a good resume. Start by writing down gallery shows you have been in and keep group shows and solo shows apart. What commissions, projects or art work you have sold? List any periodicals you have been in like magazines, books, and articles. Any organizations, clubs, or memberships you are a part of. Make sure to provide your information like an address, email and phone number to contact you. Also add your education. Below is a simple setup on how to put together your resume:

Name
Address
Phone
Email
website

Education

Solo Shows

Year, title of show, name of gallery, city and sate

Group Shows

Year, title of show, name of gallery, city and state

Commission / Projects

title of commission or project, who commissioned it, city and state

Awards

Articles

year, publication, title

Clubs and Organizations

Employment (optional)

Make sure you keep your statement and resume up to date.

http://www.artistneed.com is new site made for artists. With useful information, resources, tutorials, software, and books. Email them to be placed on their monthly newsletter.

Reinaldo Arvelo
You can also visit Arvelo's website at http://www.reinaldoarvelo.com

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Grants For Artists – The American Center For Artists

July21
Author: Boris Tomson

Grants for Artists #NAME? Artists

Here is a typical example of a grant program specifically aimed towards artists. In fact the organization that is awarding this grant is encouraging artists in the area to apply! In this case the grant program is only available to artists who reside in certain parts of North Carolina. Apply Today http://available-grants-money.blogspot.com

To be eligible for this grant you must be at least 18 years old and a resident of the area. All disciplines of art media are eligible. You must submit examples of your work and details about the project that you want the grant for. You also have to show how serious and committed you are to the project that you want the grant for.

Maximum grant award is $1,200.00

The deadline to apply for this grant is Aug. 2009!

At best, the most general information about the grant process in general including answers to your questions about grants and whether or not you are eligible for them. This blog will also help to dispel some of the myths about grants as a whole!

Still think that there are no grant programs for a for-profit daycare? Just ask my last for-profit daycare client who received over 10 pages worth of grant program information that they may be eligible to apply for!

I don't know what it is with people that say that there are no grants for the individual artist when I have just noted an example above. And this is just one example of a current grant program that is open to individual artists. Apply Today http://available-grants-money.blogspot.com

About the Author:

Hi,I am Boris.If you are looking for ways to make money and you want advice on the best work from home programs you have come to the right place. I was a researcher for Make Money Magazine for 11 years, during that time I covered every make money programs in the book. Five years ago when the "How To Make Money" market changed for the better because of the internet advances I decided to use the knowledge I gained from working for Make Money Magazine to quit this job and start up my own successful home business.I am now earning close to $20,000 every month from( Google Income Plan )the home businesses I setup, so I haven't looked back once. I have now devoted most of my life to the make money field and now I think it's time to give something back, so I have decided to write this review website to tell people about the best home business programs around the world and what programs are just right for you and whats are scams . I highly recommend that you take a look at the programs That i have suggested because out of the home business opportunities which I am currently using these are the ones which are making me the most money.Also my suggestions on How easy each program was to set up, their success rate and which programs are best for your country.Visit to http://www.onlinesfortune.com or Join to Boris Tomson Make Easy Money programs Today!

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Get Over It!…or…No More Self Doubt

July21
Author: Agora Gallery

You are an artist.

You are in a slump.

You have lost confidence.

Nothing looks like you want it to look.

Your inner juices have dried up.

As an artist, a professor of Integrated Arts at York University in Canada, a teacher of Expressive Arts, and as a consultant who works with other artists who feel like they've lost their edge, I have years of experience in facing the demons that are sometimes referred to as "artist blocks". The following is tried-and-true advice for those artists who are questioning their own abilities and internal strengths.

I feel like I've lost my edge.

For this statement to have any real meaning it suggests that you know what it was like when you had your edge, and, this is what you're trying to recover. Don't go there. Going back is impossible except in movies, novels, or Freudian psychoanalysis. Today you are not the artist that you were yesterday let alone days/weeks/months ago. You grew.

The sheer passion of an artist is the dynamic force behind his/her professional expertise. Pay attention to your gut and not your head. It is not about your art… it is about you. Your job is not to re cover but to un cover the power of the moment right now. Today.

How? This is as individual as you are however I'm going to give a few examples of what has worked for others who have experienced the same negativity as you.

My ideas depend upon your appreciating how I perceive learning… that both the cognitive and affective domains drive each of us.

When talking about the cognitive domain I like to simply describe this as the thinking component of learning… of "being in your head". When we're discussing the affective domain I describe this as the emotiona/feeling part of learning…when the whole self is responding to an idea/thought/image/dream/inspiration.

When we are in "the slump" we're in our heads. So one of the obvious solutions is to get out of our heads to get out of our slump. Activate your affective domain.

I know of one person who, I kid you not, took up scuba diving (She did it in a swimming pool!) in order to move herself into a totally new space in her body and mind. The results in her art were staggering.

Another artist decided, as he began to sculpt, to begin the process by putting on a Bob Seger CD and turn it up as loud as he could while belting out "Old Time Rock & Roll". This man was a classically trained musician as well as a sculptor and when he sang and moved to rock 'n roll he placed himself in unfamiliar territory. He purposefully took himself out of his head and his sculptures took on new dimensionality.

When involving the whole self in something novel, it can be as simple as going for a walk to somewhere you've never been, putting yourself outside the four walls of a studio and into 'nature', yelling at the moon, dancing the salsa, singing your guts out while driving in traffic, gently touching the petals of flowers, walking a dog from the dog pound… anything that you (because after all, if you are an artist, you have the predisposition to be creative!) dream up to get yourself into the affective and out of the cognitive domain.

When consulting with artists who feel trapped I often encourage them to leave their own environment/studio and view their newest work (or an image of their work, if it's too large to transport) in some place different. It could be that those familiar surroundings were a part of the reason for the 'block'. And, it's good for artists to see their work out of the context of the studio. This engenders a totally different perspective.

While out of the studio (or in it if they cannot leave the studio) I ask artists to concentrate only upon current works of art…especially those that are troubling.

They examine three of the most recent pieces and place them in order from the piece with which they are most happy to the least. (We are building on what is positive instead of dwelling upon what is negative about the work.)

The artist quickly goes to each piece and immediately identifies the one small spot/ the kernel that is most pleasing. It's important to do this rapidly because we are after a gut-response/spontaneous reaction rather than a prolonged turgid critique.

After being in a responsive, non-thinking mode, the artist now goes into the contemplative mode. Affective to cognitive. He/she spends time delving into what it was about each of these three small pieces of excellence that brought about a personal visceral response. This often leads to incredible insight and a real need to get back to work and the block has disappeared.

Learn from this positivity and build upon it.

Discover the essence of your work that most pleases you. You can remove your own seeds of self-doubt.

You have a choice. Stay in your head or involve your whole self in your art.

As my best friend says to me when I become pessimistic about my work, "GET OVER IT!" So I do.

About the Author:

About the author: Lynda Pogue is a Canadian artist, writer, professor and consultant currently represented by the Agora Art Gallery , located in Chelsea the main art galleries district of New York. Her articles have been published in ARTisSpectrum Art Magazine , specialized in fine contemporary art. Her work may be viewed on the online art gallery

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Four Great Books to Read if you Want to Live the Creative Life

July21
Author: Mary McNeil

If you think the creative life is the one for you and you'd like some practical advice as well as inspiration on the topic, just take a look at these four superb books...

1. Creating A Life Worth Living by Carol Lloyd.

Billed as 'A practical course in career design for artists, innovators, and others aspiring to a creative life', there's a clear message right from the start that creativity can take a vast number of different forms. Simply assigning someone the label of 'creative' is a serious generalisation. Your version of creativity might be making art, teaching, generating ideas, inventing objects, interpreting music... and Carol Lloyd is most helpful in encouraging you to understand your own unique brand of creativity.

The book begins with a section somewhat similar to Julia Cameron's Artist's Way programme - a process of search and research through your childhood desires, your timeless inclinations and present needs. From there it goes considerably further into the dreaming, planning and design stages for a new way of living. And on into the development of a down-to-earth action plan for your day-to-day life.

There's a chapter on the various kinds of day jobs which can support or undermine your long-term creative goals. Another on how to deal with indecision and competing interests. And one that asks you to analyze your current lifestyle and build a new model for your everyday creative process.

This book is an excellent tool if you want to undertake some self coaching. I have learned much from it to enhance the life/creativity coaching that I do. So if you want to redesign your life in a way that will support and inspire your creativity, this is the one for you.

2. Your Life As Art by Robert Fritz

What a great concept! To take the nuts and bolts of the creative process and apply them to creating your life. Your Life As Art takes that idea and explores just how you can make it real.

The interesting thing about this book is that it concentrates on the structural processes that make up the creation of works of art, be they paintings, musical compositions, films, novels, poetry. It's not about ways to find inspiration - in fact it advises strongly against relying on inspiration. The theme is more about conscious creation through the application of appropriate structure, and how to achieve it in your life.

The first half of the book looks at the concept of structural tension as it applies to both creating works of art and achieving life goals. This involves having a clear and realistic sense of where you are now, combined with a vision of what you want to achieve. The structural tension is the gap between the two and it's what pulls you towards your vision.

The second half of the book looks at the structural patterns in our lives. Some people have structural life patterns which lead them through one successful project and onwards to the next, and the next. Others have repeating life patterns which take them round in less successful circles. Fritz describes how the self concepts you hold can block your success and steer you frustratingly into a repeating pattern. He also explains (hurrah!) how to stop going round in circles and to change the structural patterns in your life.

If you want your thoughts provoked on the nature of creativity as a structural form, both in relation to art and to life itself, this will really get you thinking. It may sound complex, but it's well written, easy to follow and well worth the read.

3. Coaching The Artist Within by Eric Maisel

Eric Maisel is described as 'America's foremost creativity coach' and in this book he offers well-structured advice, illustrated with anecdotes and personal reflections on his many years of creativity coaching experience.

The book is divided into twelve sections - each one covering a skill that will help you along the path to becoming your own creativity coach. To give some examples, three of the skills he covers are: 'Passionately making meaning', 'Becoming an anxiety expert' and 'Creating in the middle of things'.

As is the rule with all self development books, there is no quick fix here, but the advice offered is shot through with the occasional artistic twist and steeped in common sense. All the books I've read on the topic of the creative process are unanimous in stating that, ultimately, it's a case of simply getting down to and getting on with the work. This book is no exception, but it includes an interesting extension to the theme by advocating positive forms of obsession. Maisel explores the fine line that divides emotional stability from instability when you're in the midst of a creative obsession. In those moments when you produce your most inspired work, how sane are you?

I found this book to be both practical and inspiring. So if you want to try a spot of creative self-coaching why not take a look?

4. The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp

The full title of this book is 'The Creative Habit. Learn it and use it for life. A practical guide'. And that's genuinely what it is... a practical guide, setting out and exploring the habits and attitudes that sustain a fully creative life.

Twyla Tharp, the world famous choreographer, now in her sixties, details with clarity, style and authority how to keep yourself productive and motivated even when you think you've run completely out of enthusiasm.

She writes about the structure and organizational aspects of creative projects - 'Before you can think out of the box, you have to start with a box'; scratching for inspiration in potentailly productive areas, like scratching a lottery ticket to see if you strike lucky; mastering the underlying skills of your creative domain and building your creativity on the solid foundations of those skills; getting out of ruts (stuckness) and creating grooves (productive flow).

The habits she describes are woven together with stories from her long career and anecdotes from her wide-ranging creative friendships. Unlike other books I've read on the topic of active creativity, she includes a chapter on what a creative life means in 'the long run'. How the great masters continue to grow and develop their skill over many decades.

The Creative Habit is a personal account of what works by someone who's lived a vibrantly successful creative life. Tharp's style is crisply clever and captures a strong sense of authority and vitality.

About the Author:

If you're brimming with creative ideas but struggling to develop them into tangible output, the practical support of a coach can make all the difference. Mary McNeil of Create a Space is an experienced, ICF-certified life coach, natural born planner and declutterer extraordinaire! She works with artists, writers and musicians, coaching and supporting them as they make creative output a practical reality.

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Five Things you Need to Know to Successfully Sell your Art Online

July21
Author: Stephen Tanenbaum

The Internet has become an indispensable tool for artists. With the click of a button, art enthusiasts around the world can view your artwork. But before you begin posting your images on the web, there are five important things you should know. The following is a guide to effectively selling your art online.

1. Where to Exhibit – There are thousands of online galleries, so how do you decide which ones are best? Do your research. You need to find out how much they charge in fees or commission, what services they offer, if the gallery is curated, what type of marketing efforts they participate in, and most importantly, how much art they sell. Some of these questions can probably be answered right on the gallery's website, while others will require a phone call or email. Their contact information should be easily visible on the site. If not, that should raise a red flag. By contacting them, you are also testing their customer service. See how knowledgeable they are on the phone, or send them an email and see how quickly they respond. Overall, you want to determine that they are working hard to promote the art they display, and not just making money off of signup fees and advertisements on the site.

2. Approaching a Gallery – When you are ready to put your art on a site, there are two things you need: great images of your work and an artist's statement. Most online galleries are not curated, which means that anyone with a paintbrush and money to cover the signup fees can post their art. Be cautious of these sites. Instead, you want to apply to a gallery that has reputable curators who oversee the quality and direction. This is where great images and a statement are crucial; they represent everything about you and your art, and make it much easier for the gallery to see what you do. Once accepted to the gallery, these things will also be important for customers, who will be able to see your art clearly and understand it. As a result, they will be more likely to make a purchase.

3. Professionalism – Throughout this whole process, professionalism is key. You must respond promptly to emails and phone calls, do what you say you are going to do, and be conscious of small things like typos in your artist's statement. Above all, you need to know your work. If you are a photographer, than you need to be an expert about everything related to your camera and prints. Are these pieces in a limited or unlimited edition? How many prints in the edition? Signed and numbered? To truly be a successful photographer or painter or anything else, you have to know your trade. Professionalism will show your gallery and customers that you are a serious artist worth their representation and money.

4. Pricing – Pricing your art can be one of the most difficult aspects of being an artist. Your prices should be based on the size, medium, and complexity of the piece, and your sales and exhibition history. If the only work you have sold has been to your family, or you have never sold anything, you need to start low. It may be less than you want in the beginning, but that is how you work your way up. If you throw a $10,000 dollar price tag on your first painting for sale, it's probably never going to sell. Start with a couple hundred dollars and if the first pieces sell quickly you can raise your prices a bit; a ten to 15 percent raise is considered standard gallery practice. One important thing to remember is that you should almost never discount your art if it's not selling. It makes collectors very unhappy, and it can devalue your whole portfolio. If someone buys a piece from you for $1,000, and then later you lower the price of a comparable piece to $500 because it isn't selling, in effect you've just decreased the value of the first piece to $500 as well. Galleries and buyers will catch onto this and keep away; no one wants to put their money into a risky investment. Start low, be patient, and the right buyer will comes along.

5. Personal Websites and eBay – We've talked about online galleries, but what about creating a personal website? Selling your art on a personal site is difficult. The reason you pay signup fees or a commission to an online gallery is to handle things like building an e-commerce site, pursue marketing opportunities, and fostering relationships with customers. Having the time and resources to do this yourself is rare. eBay is even more dicey than a personal site. Although the customer base is there, it is somewhat of a black eye to the art world. Forgers go there en masse to offload knockoff paintings. Beyond that, you are probably not going to build a proper sales history that you can take to a physical gallery selling your art this way, which should be your goal.

Do your research, find a gallery that works hard for you, be professional and realistic, and your chances of being successful will increase infinitely. Once you build a sales history online, it will be that much easier to approach physical galleries. And the best part is, you can use these same five points.

About the Author:

This article was written courtesy of affordable art and original art gallery Ugallery.com where you can buy art online

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Drawing From Meaning: Finding Self Through Art

July21
Author: Tanya Vallianos

Art therapy is a modality in the psychology field that's focus is on the transformative power of nonverbal language. Because art therapy brings together the fields of art and psychology, it integrates visual arts, human development, behavior, mental health, creative process, imagination and personality. It is based on the belief that the act of art making can help us understand more of who we are, enhance lives, and lead us towards personal growth through self-expression.

Although art therapy as a modern profession is quite new, creative expression through visual art is one of the oldest forms of healing in history. This is the way that mankind began expressing itself as a means of communication on cave walls, through hieroglyphics and within sand paintings. Art has always been a way to express the deepest of sorrow as well as the most joyous of moments. The expression of these many varied emotions has brought catharsis and self-awareness to many an accomplished artist and non-artist.

How Can Art Be Healing?

Art therapy enables people to express themselves in areas that are impossible to express in words. Since art expression does not occur, as a linear process as is found in spoken language, there is the ability to allow ambiguous, confusing and contradictory elements to show up in the art. This ability of art to contain paradoxical elements helps people more easily integrate and synthesize conflicting feelings and experiences...

The sensory qualities of art making are a way to move more readily into our emotions and perceptions than spoken word alone. The tactile quality of the art materials allows us to integrate healing qualities such as the ability to relax, self-soothe, and enhance emotional catharsis.

The art making process can literally be a means of "cleansing" to discharge strong emotions for relief. The alleviation of stress and anxiety through creative expression can then offer a physiological response of reduced blood pressure, decreased heart rate and respiration, while pleasure enhancing biochemicals such as serotonin and endorphins are increased.

Expressive art also touches us at a soul level by enabling people to overcome feelings of existential emptiness and disconnection that is often felt in our modern culture. It allows us to become more connected to our inner selves in relationship to "other," the world, and spirit. In doing so, art making becomes an enlivening and energizing experience. It helps us grow, self-actualize and problem-solve more readily. We find new ways of seeing.

Who Can Benefit From Art Therapy?

A common misperception of art therapy is that people need to be artistically inclined in order to participate. The beauty of art as therapy is that artistic ability is not required, because art expression in any form is embraced. The goal here is not that one make masterpieces, but rather to have an understanding and acceptance that everyone has an innate ability to be creative. Through the process of creating one can gain personal insight, new perspective, and have an opportunity to transform.

What is an Art Therapy Session Like?

In all forms of psychotherapy, the presence of a professional facilitator is a central aspect to the healing process. Having a safe, trusting relationship with an art therapist along with the making of art enhances the potential growth within the client. Within an art therapy session, the therapist can serve as a supportive guide to clients' exploration of materials, help with the examination of content and meaning of images, and be a compassionate witness to the artists' expressions. The therapist's non-judgmental presence can be the impetus for a client to take risks, build self-esteem skills and find insight during sessions. These new found skills could then translate further into his or her daily life, thus allowing for transformation to occur.

Did You Know...

•That 97% of 2,000 hospitals surveyed had implemented expressive arts programs.

•That CareerBuilder.com, recognizing it's increased popularity and validity in the mental health field, rated art therapy as one of the top 10 careers of 2007.

•That art therapy has been acknowledged as a "mind-body intervention" by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, in recognition of the power of self-expression and creative process in mental, physical, and spiritual health.

About the Author:

Tanya Vallianos, MA, is a counselor in private practice in Fort Collins who specializes in art therapy, mindfulness, and body-centered practices. Tanya can be contacted here: Good Therapy / Therapist Plesantville

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