Artist Statement

Balancing Art, Work and Life!

Self Love–Primary Path To Healing, Health And Success

Author: Suzi Elton

Self love is a topic that is almost never discussed. It's not even a concept for the majority of people. What does healthy self love mean, and how does it lead to healing, health and success?

By the nature of childhood (dependency and necessity of learning how life works) many of us humans end up being fed a steady stream of criticism, rebuke, and the opinions of others. We are told how to think, how to feel and how to behave. We are strongly encouraged to conform to standard behavior and seldom allowed to express our uniqueness. We are told to hug and kiss adults we don't want to interact with. We are not allowed or encouraged to make our own decisions.

We are told how to "decide". If we think we know the right thing to do, we are told what the right thing to do would be. The worst part though is being consistently criticized, abused and humiliated, scorned or belittled. This leads us to develop a constant mantra of negative self talk that can follow us all the days of our life unless we purposefully "decommission" it. This is often the most critical part of learning to develop self love. Here are some ideas on developing self love.

1.) Realize that many child rearing techniques are well intentioned, but often end up creating self hating adults who do not trust themselves, and parrot the opinions of the adults who reared them. This in unfortunate, but often is simply the result of parental lack of skill. It is our job to do what it takes to create healthy self respect and self love for ourselves if our upbringing did not provide this. This is easily said but not as easily done.

2.) The most important thing to do is to develop awareness of your negative self talk and replace it with supportive self talk. Start by "capturing" the negative statements you "hear" in your head. Write them down so that you can see exactly what dynamics are at play here. You will likely be shocked when you realize what you are mentally telling yourself all the time. Most of us experience this, but we aren't even aware that it is going on.

Be vigilant about writing these down. You will be amazed at the breadth and depth of negative self talk your inner critic bombards you with. Take each statement and reverse it in such a way that it becomes a self supportive statement. Take the time to do this work; it will really pay off for you. Then, be vigilant about replacing each negative statement with your new self supporting statement.

2.) Learn to trust yourself and your opinions, wishes, and desires. This is not done in a selfish way, just a simple and honest way. Trusting yourself means trusting that "inner voice" (usually felt lower in the body than self talk--which is experienced in the head). This voice might warn us to bring our umbrella, or not walk down a certain street. It is very subtle and usually "mild mannered".

Don't confuse it with parental style admonitions. Some people call it a "gut" feeling because these feelings are frequently experienced in this part of the body. It can feel like a tension or "shrinking" if it's a warning or like a release or expansion if it is a "go" signal. Experiment with becoming more aware of these signals and trusting them.

3.) Self love also means being kind to yourself in a multitude of ways. Taking healthy care of yourself is important. This can mean excellent dental care, exercising, resting, eating healthy, paying attention to and getting care for your health needs. One way to think of this is to pretend that the care you give yourself is the care you would give a well loved child. Likely, you'd take the best care of a child. Why would you do any less for yourself?

Self love is the most direct path to healing, health, and success. It might seem at first that we all love ourselves, but there is likely residue of unloving behavior left over from childhood. You will be amazed as you start to jettison this stuff. Your life will become better, more satisfying and success will be a lot easier. It's a wonderful path to a better life!

About the Author:
Suzi Elton is a success coach working with highly creative types to create income that matches their talent. She has coached hundreds of clients to approach their goals strategically through tiny steps to bring about quantum leaps. Get free Life Purpose exercises, at

Article Source: - Self Love--Primary Path To Healing, Health And Success

Promoting Your Talents With Creative Commons Licenses

Author: Gary Goldstein

Most software programmers, photographers, game developers, and artists use licensing as a means of generating additional income from their hard work. Because the expenses associated with these pursuits often leave technical and creative professionals without a lot of revenue, licensing is usually done as a way to make additional money. However, there is one way that licensing is used that is more for promotional purposes than for income generation purposes. Many creative professionals are now allowing members of the public to download their works, but use them in a limited manner, through Creative Commons licenses.

Create Commons licenses take into account the basics of copyright law, but offer a way for users and creators to balance their needs. Instead of creators maintaining all control lest they be taken advantage of, Creative Commons licensing allows creators to dictate how users can use their works. This gives users a means of using the works of other people without forcing the creators to give up all of their copyrights. Most people think of licensed Creative Commons works as being online. Many of these licensed works are found online, but offline works can also be licensed under the Creative Commons. When a Creative Commons license is created, anyone is able to use the work as long as they use it within the parameters of the license agreement.

There are several ways a creator can control his or her work under a Creative Commons license. The attribution non-commercial no derivatives license is the one that most restricts how a work is used. This type of license allows users to download and share a work with others, provided that they do not edit the work in any way. Additionally, the creator must be credited any time the work is used or shared. The attribution non-commercial share alike license is slightly different. This license allows users to download and share the work, and it also allows them to edit it, provided that the user is not using the work for commercial purposes (e.g. editing and reselling the work as his own).

The attribution non-commercial license is slightly less restrictive. While users must credit you as the creator of the work, they can create derivative works by editing your original work, provided they are not using the derivative work for a commercial purpose. Attribution no derivative licenses allow users to download and share your works freely, for commercial or non-commercial purposes, provided they credit you and do not change the work in any way. An example would be of a photo that is sold online. The user would have to credit the creator and would not be allowed to edit the photo in any way.

Many people don't understand why creators would want to license their works without receiving any monetary compensation. The beauty of Creative Commons licensing is that the creator receives credit every time the work is shared or used. This can create excellent opportunities for the creator that he or she would not have received had they simply licensed the work to a user for money. For example, a magazine editor may see a photographer's work and ask him to do a paid photo shoot for an upcoming issue of a magazine. These additional opportunities make Creative Commons licensing an attractive option for creative professionals.

About the Author:

Gary Goldstein is a top rated hollywood movie producer! Check out our web site today at to learn more about the screenwriting classes, business coaching, and success secrets teleseminars we offer. Click here to learn more.

Article Source: - Promoting Your Talents With Creative Commons Licenses

Promoting Your Self and Your Music, as an Independent Music Artist, and Help Tips

Author: Steve Morgan

Hi, My name is Steve Morgan, and I have been a Music Artist and in the Business since 1967, have been in verios bands of different genres like, rock, blues, jazz/swing, country... I have had a small recording studio for the past 12 years, and have been active in it, since about a year ago.

I have been working on this free website, , dedicated to helping independent music artists promote them selfs, and sell their music on the internet, with a Music Artist and Listener Community . The site offers FREE accounts to all Music Artists and Listeners.

Artist accounts feature a Main Artist Profile Page with a portable flash player that each artist and fans can use to post music on other sites getting even more exposure than most other sites give, also other site features like mp3 song hosting, video hosting, guest book, photo gallery, digital music store, an artist promo kit in pdf format, Internet radio stations, and so much more!! There are so many ways to promote your music on the internet for free, and this is one of the best resources for independent music artists and listeners that love Indie Music!

Now, I would like to help artists get the most out of internet self promotion by giving you some sound advice about how to get started.

First, there are many free music artist sites that you can get free artist accounts on.

Join as many of these as you can, still being able to monitor each of your accounts at least 2 times a month, keeping active and putting fresh content up as much as possible. I would think that 5 or 6 of these would be some work, especially if you are gigging and work a day jab too!

Try to choose sites that have been around for more than 2 or 3 years, as they are probably more established on the internet and have more traffic and listeners giving free exposure to your page.

Try keeping your user names (artist name) on all of these sites the same, as this will only help with search engine results when searching for your name or band name in a search engine.

Try being as active on all sites as you have time for, as this will get your name out there, and people on the internet will soon know who you and your music are!

Choose one of these sites to be your home site, and link to it from all of your other sites. Usually when selecting a home site for your music, select the site with the most features for free first! Making sure that the site you choose is the fastest loading and works the best.

Most of these music sites that you sign up with have forums these days. Be as active in as many of them that you can, make a link to your home page as your forum signature, if they let you. Search engine spiders spider forums every day and the more posts you post, the more links you will have in google. The more links you have, kinking to your home page in google, the higher google will rank your home page.

Sites with portable players that you can put on other sites that play your songs are a great resource for getting exposure on places in the internet that wont host your mp3 songs. has a great portable player that will play your songs on sites that let you past code into them like myspace, tagworld, and other places that let you use html, including forums, blogs, guest books...

If you sell your music, most sites these days have a Digital Store . Put your music for sale on as many of these places that you can. Even if you dont sell anything, your songs and merchandise will be spidered by the search engines and you will get more exposure!

Have a good email address that works, and check it often, answering any enquiries and fan messages.

It takes some time to get real popular as far as google is concerned but, time will pay you with good results!

About the Author:

Steve Morgan, a internet DJ and Spoksman for

Article Source: - Promoting Your Self and Your Music, as an Independent Music Artist, and Help Tips

Permission To Be An Artist – Granted!

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.


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.


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?


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

Article Source: - Permission To Be An Artist - Granted!

Overcoming Artist’s Block (Part 1)


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

Article Source:

Overcoming Artist’s Block (part 2)


By Gail Miller

Once you are ready to start working again you will know it instinctively. All artists go through periods of 'creative block' - it's normal, but after one such episode there are ways of stimulating ideas and getting the creative juices flowing again.

Visit your local library and take out books that cover materials, techniques and subjects that are not familiar to you. If you are a watercolour artist, why not try oils for once? If you paint large acrylic abstracts, would it be possible to try soft pastels on a smaller scale? What results could you achieve by doing something completely different to what you're used to?

What about trying collage or mixed media work? Take photos of your neighbourhood, family or friends. Local places of interest, the countryside, the seashore, the city. Manipulate your photos on your PC and print out as digital art. Use the images, either natural or manipulated as collage pieces. It is so therapeutic cutting pieces and sticking them down. Use a range of materials to finish your work.

Instead of going straight back to paintings or drawings on normal scale, why not create some miniature pieces? How about greetings cards? White card 'blanks' are very easy to source. How delighted family, friends or customers would be to own an unique hand painted card.

Try drawing for once instead of painting, if that's your usual medium, or vice versa. Fill a sketchbook with small quick sketches. You could even time yourself. Three or five minutes maximum for each sketch.

When you're ready to go full size again, try loosening up your technique, by again setting a time limit for each piece of work you create. With a deadline to meet, you will speed up and loosen up. Try not to be precious with your art. Be quick and bold - see what happens.

Paint upside down. Start a new piece, then half way through turn the paper or canvas round 90 degrees. This is a great technique for abstracts. Use new colours - let them flow into each other. Splatter colours onto the wet surface. If you like, you could turn the work once more to finish. What a great way to create 'happy accidents'.

Paint or draw to music. Use only your emotion to make marks on the surface of your support. Play your favourite rock, pop or classical music, let the melodies and rhythms wash over you, influencing how your artwork evolves. I often paint to 'Smile' by Brian Wilson .... and boy do I get inspired!

What about painting left handed if you're a right-hander and vice versa. Trying to do a representational work with your weakest side will produce art that is still yours, but will have a completely different edge to it. Challenging and great fun to do ... if you have the discipline!

Finally, once you get back into full flow, remind yourself of all the artwork you have created successfully. How appreciated you are by your customers. Read their testimonials. Feel that glow again, when you realise that your creativity block was only temporary and that there are fans out there just waiting for you to release some wonderful new artwork into the arena.

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

Article Source:

On-line Art Galleries can assist in the career and business development of an Artist

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: - On-line Art Galleries can assist in the career and business development of an Artist

On Becoming an Artist

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 and he can be contacted at .

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: - On Becoming an Artist

Natural Artistic Talent Myth Plagues Fine Art World

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: - Natrual Artistic Talent Myth Plagues Fine Art World

Master Quality Song Demo Reels That Sizzle!

Author: Tom Gauger

As a former talent booking agent with the William Morris Agency and founder of, I can tell you that reviewing demos can be both a curse and a blessing. Even as demos pile up on the desks in A&R offices and music industry professional's office floors as well, I can almost guarantee that the vast majority of demos 1) won't have a chance, 2) don't get listened to, at least by the major A&R folks and not through a pres-screening process utilizing college interns, and 3) it might not even be the music itself, but the packaging and marketing colors, etc that are used for the artist press kit that result in the artist contract denial. What makes for a master quality demo? What makes for a master quality demo that will get listened to? These are great questions and I can tell you that a host of folks will have all kinds of ideas and suggestions; I will consider some gut level thinking and ideas that I have mentally compiled through the years that I've always felt would be an asset not only musically, but from a marketing perspective as well. Hopefully there will be some nugget of truth that you can capitalize on to further your music career and song demos

As we begin to look at master quality demos and what makes them up, what are your goals and ambitions? The reason I am asking this is because not only does it help to mentally prepare you and help you set goals for your career, but it also helps set the blueprint for where and what your demo ought to be sounding and looking like. There is a big difference in submitting your demo to A&R folks and to the club owner trying to gain playing gigs. But regardless of where you are submitting your demo, you have to exude a professionalism and character of not only your music, but in the credibility of the act as well. That last statement is critical. If your act is perceived as credible with the ball rolling and with some key elements in place, you are much more likely to be 1) reviewed by the actual A&R director and 2) any enthusiasm might snowball down the halls of the record company ultimately landing you a record deal.

But let's get back to your demo. At we compile demos for songwriters and for jingle singers trying to break into the jingle singing market and I can tell you from experience, that it's difficult to create a master quality demo when the song itself is not master quality song demo material. So be honest about any material you are recording. Is this top 10 if given the chance, or is this a filler, b side song? Yes, you can take a fair song and make it "listenable" to with a great production, but it still reasons that a fair or b side song cut is still a fair or b side song. You look back through the years at songs that held your attention and were almost mesmerizing and this is before the onslaught of incredible and affordable recording gear. These songs were just plain great songs even without the slickest of today's recording abilities.

As you record, don't rely on a bunch of "recording tricks" or padding type effects that detract and try to uphold an otherwise fair song. Many individuals with a lot more authority can speak about effects, etc than I, but I will say that less is more, and you ought to be concerned about the quality of the song and production utilizing all effects that are needed and not just effects thrown in there without reason or cause.

Who are using for players on your demos? Obviously if you are a band you are recording your whole group, but if you are a solo act or a writer creating master demos, then consider a couple of options. If money is not an object, then go for the whole rhythm section and keyboard pads, etc. One thing that you need to know and understand is that it is better to use fewer players who are just incredible, than to have the full rhythm section with less experienced players or players that just can't support your song. I remember years back when I was first starting out before all of our TV and radio credits, that for the sake of having a full sound I compromised the overall production for players, while more affordable, not as seasoned and consequently my productions were not as strong until I learned that valuable lesson. And even today, I will choose to use a first string guitar or piano player in lieu of a full rhythm section on projects if that's what the song and production call for. Always get the best musicians - It always pays. These players oftentimes have ideas and broaden your production and bring incredible artistical elements that you wouldn't have thought of – Which leads me to my next point.

Keyboards are incredible and there is a vast array of sounds and pads that can be used to create all kinds of emotional tones in your music, but don't get caught in the, "I have a keyboard, mic and computer syndrome. Your music will suffer. You want the creativity of other players. They bring the musical magic that most of us, quite honestly, aren't creative enough to capture, but with their experience, and talent, they are able to deliver not only incredible rips, but a professionalism your demo might not never otherwise of had. Utilize the best players possible whenever you can. I can tell you that our demos at sound incredible because of our effort in obtaining the best players - Get the best!

With a few moments left, let's look at some important final notes and ideas. Don't get discouraged after recording a song you thought would turn out differently. You know, without sounding cliché, productions and songs do getter with time and practice. Always look at money spent on demos as schooling. Where would you go to learn the lessons you just learned? - From a textbook, of course not. Keep at it; be honest about your writing and productions. Continue to learn from great writers and producers. Listen to great classical writers as well and broaden your next pop ballad string arrangement. Don't be afraid to try new ideas. Get the best players in an affordable, yet quality studio, and hopefully you'll start recording the next top ten hit!

About the Author:

Mr Gauger is a former talent booking agent with the William Morris Agency and founder of . You may contact the author at . Free e-books "The Jingle Singer's Guide," and "Secrets To Great Song Demos," may be downloaded at .

Article Source: - Master Quality Song Demo Reels That Sizzle!

Marketing Your Art to Your Niche Online


By Nina Alvarez

You've found your niche online and have interested readers filtering into your website through forums and social networks. How do you get them to make a purchase?

* Know your competition. Study the work of other online artists with work truly comparable (popularity, experience, subject, style, size) and note their prices. Take a hard look at what they're offering and for how much. Then undersell them. People shop online because they are looking for good deals. Give them one.

* Know your audience . Try posting a friendly, anonymous survey up on your site, asking your reader some basic questions: where they live, age range, gender, and their art-buying price range. If they already like your art, they will be happy to help you out. If they don't, then you don't need their demographic information anyway. Use your findings to think strategically about where you promote your website and how much you sell your work for. (Note: Many blog servers like Blogger and Wordpress offer survey widgets which will also do the trick.)

* Write Like a Pro . Pull out your best writing skills to describe the pieces you want to sell. Include a bio and artist statement on your site. Often, a timid buyer will be reassured by this professional touch.

* Make buying REALLY easy . Allow your potential buyers to become actual buyers. Next to each image of your art keep its price, shipping costs, and a "Buy Now" button (use Paypal if you don't have a shopping cart). Don't force them to go through the rigmarole of sending you a query email and awaiting your response. More likely than not, you'll lose the sale.

* Give them a reason to come back . Just because someone leaves your site without buying doesn't mean they won't be back. Collect email addresses with a newsletter sign-up on your webpage. Promise it'll be a good read and deliver. Once you have their email address, follow through at least once a month with a newsletter that is sharp, witty, informational, and full of your art.

Nina Alvarez, Chief Editor of - an online artists community, and writer of the Artspan blog on art marketing. She also created the Philthy Art blog offering encouragement to writers and artists, and the popular poetry blog Nina has an master's degree in English and is

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Making Your Purpose Your Business Step 4 – Organizing & Developing Online Content


By Meilena Hauslendale

Step 4 – Organizing & Developing Online Content

If you have done your homework then you are ready to organize and develop what will be your online content. Your content is very important as it will be used for promoting you, your work, and your website. Content serves a variety of purposes; it displays public relations, target marketing, and general information to build a platform for your product (your purpose).

One of the main items that need attention would be your biography. If you are an artist or writer, you will get asked for this pertinent information every time you make a submission or apply for competitions. Your biography is an essential piece of information that often can get viewed prior to your work. Even if your target audiences are publishers, agents, or clients, you have only one chance to intrigue them and make a good first impression.

There are several ways that you can address your audience. If you would like to be up front and personal, you can write in first person, using "I" in your sentence structure. For example, "I was born in Silver Springs, Maryland." If you want to have a general sound or professional structure, you can write in the third person, referring to yourself as stated in this example, "Meilena Hauslendale was born in Silver Springs, Maryland."

It's really up to you on how you would like to address your audience. I personally prefer writing in third person when referring to my work mainly because I feel it conveys a sense of professional etiquette. It creates a press release persona that can maintain your audience's attention. However, if you prefer to write in first person you can do that and still have strength to your sentences. Either way you want to spark your audience's interest in you and your work.

The difference between a how a hobbyist or a professional artist or writer can be determined simply on how they are conveyed through content. You want your sentences to have strength and power to them. Each word and phrase counts because they are performing a difficult task, representing you, when you are not there to do so. For example you could say, "I'm an artist from Erie, PA. I am trying to make a living doing art. Hope you will look at my work." This sentence hardly provides any credibility to my name or my art. It conveys that I am not really serious about what I'm doing, but I still would like you to look at my work. That's a lofty expectation to have of my audience when I lack taking myself serious.

A professional sentence structure as an example, "Meilena Hauslendale was raised in Erie, PA and began her career as a professional artist in 1997." You want to state who you are, where you come from, and what it is you do. You want your opening sentence to really state a few basic facts about you and your work. This is not an easy task and perhaps one of the reasons why many artists and writers procrastinate completing a biography. Perhaps one of the reasons why, just as Alan Wilson Watts states, "Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth."

It's quite the challenge to write about yourself and really expand on your talents. You have to convey your work and yourself from almost another person's perspective. Imagine yourself as a Public Relations Specialist and you were just hired to write about an artist or writer. What are some things you would need to know about that person? What strong points do you want to enunciate about this person's life and accomplishments? What active role does this person assume now?

You don't have to be overly personal but you really want to give your audience a sense of who you are. Let them know how you began your career. Write about your technique or your style. It is possible to be personal but also professional. You may have to work on several drafts until you get a nice flow of words and a functional biography. The time you put into writing this valuable piece of information will pay off by getting people to take notice in something very dear to you, your purpose. So share your passion with your audience. You just may notice that your enthusiasm might be contagious.

You want to have a short version (100-150 words) of your biography and then a long version (500-1,000 words). It's advisable to work on your long version first so then you can easily copy a short version by taking excerpts. As an example you can view my biography online: I had a shorter version posted several months back, but because of numerous requests to know more about me, I had to rewrite it. You may experience similar feedback from your viewers. The long version will be for your website and the shorter version will be used for promotional websites that commonly limit your biography to 100-150 words.

You can also write a statement about your work. A statement simply is a personal claim about your work or perhaps on what inspires your work. Get creative here and really just type what you feel you need to express about your creativity. I was asked for an artist statement back in 1999. I had no clue what that was but I wrote one down. I've used the same statement ever since. You can view it online to get an example:

Take time to really write down your talents and accomplishments and don't be afraid to express them in your content. The more people learn about you, the more they will be able to relate to you.

Your challenge for this month is to create a full length and short version of your biography. As a bonus create an artistic statement if you would like. Read other artists' or writers' biographies and ask yourself which ones interested you and then explain why. Which biographies had strong statements, which ones were weak? Then take that information and apply it to yourself. Evaluate what traits you want to express, organize an outline, and then write your biography.

Inspirational Artist & Author Meilena Hauslendale's work and articles are displayed internationally. She is the founder of Silence Speaks International Artist Association and the Editor of Intrigue Magazine. Published books include, Making Your Purpose Your Business and Recognizing Unhealthy Relationships. Email:

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Making Your Purpose Your Business Step 3- Organizing Your Resources & Collections


By Meilena Hauslendale

In our previous step, Step 2, you were challenged to get active and network with other professionals in your field. By now you should have an abundant source of resources to reference and help you mold your personal aspirations. You should have a collection of bookmarks of peer's and organization's websites.

You can really gather a lot of information in a short amount of time when you are dealing with the internet. So I recommend keeping organized with your information right from the start. If you are keeping track of your information in a notebook, adopt a method to keep it orderly. Maybe have your notebook sectioned into topics, for example, 'references,' 'organizations,' 'peers.' If you are bookmarking your reference information through your browser, organize your list by assigning them to folders. This option is usually listed under your favorites menu, typically called 'organize favorites.' Do whatever makes sense to you and will help you easily retrieve the information you need in the future.

Organization doesn't just stop at notebooks and bookmarks. It goes much deeper than that. Make sure you are personally organized before you start our next challenge. Clean up your workspace. Take care of your priorities or any tasks you may have been procrastinating. The key here is to not just clean out your physical space, but mental space as well.

Now we can start working on creating your collection. Your 'collection' is going to be the foundation of your purpose. If you are creating art for example, it would be your artwork. If you are a writer, it would be a collection of your writings. If you are intending on being a merchant of other sorts, it would be your product.

So the first question to ask yourself would be: do you have a collection? If you do, now is the time to organize your work. Again, maybe break your collection into groups, organize your work by likeness or by time frame. This can be done by simply creating categories and assigning your work to the appropriate heading. This will help you set the stage for your web presence. Now is the time to keep in mind some of the sites you went on in our previous step. Think about what sites were easy to navigate and what sites were not. Did you like how a particular site was organized? What did you like about it? Apply your answers to your own concept of organization.

If you don't have a collection, then now is the time to work on acquiring one. Establishing a collection does not happen over night. So be patient with yourself and set realistic goals. My very first website was created by a friend of mine when I lived in California, before I started designing my own site. The first collection was composed of only 13 works of art, but it was a start. Now seven years later, I have a collection of around 160 paintings. You don't have to have an extremely large collection of works or products to get started. One of the best things about opening a store on the web unlike a brick and mortar store, you don't have to have a large product line. Granted it helps, but it is not always necessary. The key here is quality not quantity.

Once you have your collection created or organized you can now work on the information side of your collection. Assign your collection or product names, titles, or SKU numbers. Write up descriptions for each piece or group. Be as informative and descriptive as you can. Put yourself in the consumer or viewer's place and think about what information you would need to know in order to make a proper buying decision. You do not want to be vague here at all. Your description not only aids your buyer, but it also protects you as a seller. Describing your product or service honestly, prevents any likelihood of surprise to your buyer. As a result you should have less returns and refunds and more customer satisfaction.

Once you have developed your collection or product sheet, make a column for pricing. Pricing can often be the most challenging task of designing a web front mainly because you are being asked to place a price on yourself and your own value. This is especially true if the services you provide are rendered creative. A normal or typical marketing tactic is to research your competitors and get an idea of the market value of your product. If you are working in a creative field or freelance field you can search for guilds that offer pricing guidelines.

After you get an overview or others' pricing then you need to realistically figure out what it will cost you to perform your services. You want to consider the amount of time you spend on a project, the cost of materials, the tax you will have to pay, and the cost of shipping and or transportation. Your cost may be very different than your competitors. Pricing is a personal choice and decision, so base it on what you believe the item to be worth. You want competitive prices, but worthy prices. The biggest mistake I see creative people make is under pricing themselves. Buyers believe they get what they pay for, so make your pricing valuable to them.

Develop a confidence in your work, but back that confidence with experience and knowledge. Believe that what you are creating has a value to more people than just yourself. Most importantly, be excited! Your enthusiasm will be conveyed in every area of your work. If you are not excited, then you need to go back to step 1 and reevaluate what your purpose is.

Your challenge for this month is to get organized in your personal and mental space, organize or create your collection, and then write effective descriptions for your works or products. During this process, continue to network and continue to learn and you will develop your path… your purpose.

Inspirational Artist & Author Meilena Hauslendale's work and articles are displayed internationally. She is the founder of Silence Speaks International Artist Association and the Editor of Intrigue Magazine. Published books include, Making Your Purpose Your Business and Recognizing Unhealthy Relationships. Email:

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Making Your Purpose Your Business Step 2- Getting From Point A to Point B


By Meilena Hauslendale

In my previous article, Step 1, your challenge for the month was to research where your passion lies. Based on your research you might have discovered that self investigation can lead us to two places; either we find out our answer or we realize we need to ask more questions to get that answer.

Finding your purpose takes great effort, but can be effortless all at the same time. It seems that once we begin pursuing that in which we were intended, everything falls into place. But the matter we have to realize is that time plays a great role.

Sometimes people are over night successes and others have to nurture their purpose for years to come. Keep in mind though, as long as you enjoy what it is you are pursuing and the motivation you have is strong, than that alone will sustain your ambition and provide your passion longevity.

Remember you are making a commitment to yourself. You should treat that commitment the same way you would treat a marriage or devoted friendship. The key is to value yourself the way you value others. Having a good attitude from the very beginning can make the difference and not only affect your career, but the people around you. Self dedication does show and the commitment will be reflected in your professional life and relationships.

Assuming you now have a general idea of what you would like to do, now you need to visualize how to get from Point A, where you are now, to Point B, where you would like to be. Sometimes it is easier to set up a structure for your business if you look at the large picture of your purpose and where you intend to be in the future. Granted your ideas and goals change as you change, but your general purpose will usually remain the same, it just branches out.

Now that you have researched what you want to do, take the time to research what others in your area of interest have already done. Conducting market research will allow you to get a feel for the industry you are entering. It's important to see what is out there. Look up trade journals and magazines. Really put some effort into getting involved with your career and learning about it. Every career has an abundant amount of resources available and a lot of that information is free. If you see a trade journal or magazine that you like, sign up for their newsletter. This will help keep you updated on industry events and trends.

Reading and researching can be one sided tasks. Sometimes it is easier to learn about your career by actually interacting with others in the field. This can be done on your own time instead of regular business hours thanks to the internet. Now you can find chat groups, users groups, and forums and you are not limited by time zones or borders.

One of my favorite resources is Yahoo Groups at You can look up any particular subject and find a group where you can discuss some of your career objections. This is an excellent way to network with your peers and experts in the field. It is not uncommon to find a lot of other "newbies" in these groups as well as professionals. The most important thing is to not be afraid to ask questions. If you don't know what questions to ask then reading over the archives of a group is a great place to start. Groups vary in size and subject so what I suggest is to join a couple to see which ones fit your personal needs.

Another resource you can use is ListServ lists Typically you subscribe through your email client to a discussion group within your field of interest. You can also do a search for "listserves" or "user groups" on the internet to pull up a vast amount of sites that list an array of groups. Not all lists are treated equal so again use your own judgment when joining.

I also personally like forum communities. You can often search for "forums" online to find one in your career field. It's a great opportunity to share your discoveries as well as learn from others. Not to mention you can do several searches within a forum and read old posts. This is a great way to see other member profiles which often reference their personal or business websites. Some forums even have a 'members' section that lists all their members profiles. Any profile with a "www" by their name usually has a live link to their site. Be sure to take the time and visit these sites for reference.

When you are visiting other people's websites in your field, I advise you to check and see if they have a links page. I have found so many great resources through other people's links pages. Also it helps you get an idea of what sites you can possibly request link exchanges from in the future.

By networking with others and conducting your own market research, you will gain a better sense of direction and get an idea where it is you want to be in the future with your career. If you see a website that you like, bookmark it. Then once you have collected enough information, go back and review your favorites once more. Ask yourself what do you like about it? What information was useful to you? Was the site visually appealing? Was the site easy to navigate? If not, what would you change? What information would you add? Take notes, write your thoughts down and remember… patience plus perseverance, equals purpose.

Inspirational Artist & Author Meilena Hauslendale's work and articles are displayed internationally. She is the founder of Silence Speaks International Artist Association and the Editor of Intrigue Magazine. Published books include, Making Your Purpose Your Business and Recognizing Unhealthy Relationships. Email:

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Making Your Purpose Your Business Step 1 – Discovering Your Purpose


By Meilena Hauslendale

There is no such thing as a "small" job. Each function within our society aids our detailed technical lifestyles and well being. From a store clerk to a business executive, each position is an intricate part of the matrix of our world. We rely on these functions without even realizing their value or contribution to our daily activity. Each person has there place and each person has their purpose. The key is discovering and taking the time to find out what exactly you are to contribute to the world.

What is even more challenging is that often we are presented with serving multiple roles in our lives besides just our "purpose." We are parents, workers, spouses, and children. All of which demand time and effort from our daily lives. What is important though is that we balance our time and our roles to nurture our purpose and inner abilities. It takes time and effort to discover your goals and ambitions, but it is a quest that need not go unnoticed.

A common excuse for not nurturing our talents is that we are too busy with other activities. When in actuality perhaps we have over extended our time and resources. Take a moment to sit down and note what in your life takes up your time. And then after you make that list, make a column and mark what is a priority, what really "has" to be done. Be sure to note how much personal time you get outside from all your other responsibilities. Start out small and see if you can allocate at least a half hour or an hour of your time a day devoted to yourself without interruptions. Use this time to evaluate the path of your life. Are you doing what you want to be doing right now? If yes, what could you do to further your progress? If no, what do you want to do?

Use free thinking in your evaluation. Free thinking means there are no limits. You can dream to be anything you want to be. Think about what you would like to do whether you were paid or not. Think about what makes you feel good as a person. Maybe you like the arts or maybe you like to work outside. Compare your aspirations with your current life situation. Are you close to your goals or are you far away?

Once you have addressed your aspirations, make notes in a special notebook dedicated to just you. It is great to see your ideas take formation when they hit the paper and also it is a great way to look at your progress on days where you may feel there is none. Plus you will need a notebook for further steps as well. Feel free to personalize this notebook and make it attractive for yourself.

Don't feel guilty for taking this special time for yourself. Understand that your commitment to yourself will reflect off onto others. By bettering yourself, you become better in all the roles and commitments you hold. It is when we stop to listen to our true selves and the nature of our lives that we are able to create abundance in our environment and those around us. What you are doing is investing in a personal foundation.

If you only have a half hour or an hour a day, make a list of what you want to accomplish with that time. So once the clock starts ticking you are ready to be productive and work on your goals. Time management is good practice right from the beginning. So when you do figure out what your purpose is, you will be ready to use every minute you get efficiently.

Once you figure out where you want to go or what direction you want to take in your life, then take the time to research… research…research. Research is a crucial element of developing your career strategy. Go to the library or do a search online for the topic you are interested in pursuing. Find out what tools you will need to start your purpose. Will you need additional education or training? Will you need a business loan? Or will you be using your own personal resources for the start up? Don't let money issues stop your progress. Remember knowledge is the currency here. There are ways to accomplish your purpose on little to no funds.

Remember real life purposes take real life work. Sure some people get lucky, but often others have to really dedicate themselves to their success. Have an open mind during this self evaluation period and the rest will follow. Most importantly, be patient with yourself the same way you would be patient with another person. Secondly, perseverance is essential in the formula for success. You have to be willing to make a serious commitment from day one to yourself. Your ideas may change form along the way, but at least you are continuing to reach towards self fulfillment.

As a summary for this step's exercise, write it down, take a pen and paper and make a personal inventory of your ambitions or the things that you are good at and enjoy. What do you feel passion about? What would you want to do even if you didn't get paid for it? Second of all, be honest with yourself. Don't feel ashamed or guilty to recognize your talents… after all that's what they are there for, to be recognized. It's up to you to release them and share them with others. Make your purpose, your business.

Inspirational Artist & Author Meilena Hauslendale's work and articles are displayed internationally. She is the founder of Silence Speaks International Artist Association and the Editor of Intrigue Magazine. Published books include, Making Your Purpose Your Business and Recognizing Unhealthy Relationships. Email:

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Making Tomorrow a Better Today

Author: Miata Edoga

How do we define success? And, more importantly, what does it take to achieve it? For actors, those answers might be "Being a series regular on a night-time drama" and "Consistently honing my craft and auditioning regularly". For a photographer, they might be "Shooting a cover for National Geographic" (or Cosmopolitan, depending on preference), and "Constantly shooting in different conditions to increase my skill". It will differ from person to person, and from art form to art form, but I want to give you one key to what it takes that applies across the board, be it art, business, finance or sport:

"The secret to your success is determined by your daily agenda… by the daily decisions I make, and the daily disciplines I practice" – Dr John C. Maxwell

I heard that statement in a lesson a few years ago, and it is something that has always stuck with me, because I fundamentally believe that it is true. Another way of saying it is that, if what and where I am today is a direct result of my previous actions, what I am tomorrow depends on what I do today. The problem is, most people underestimate what they can do today, and over estimate what they can do tomorrow.

Now, if you think about this for a minute, you will see how true it is. You constantly hear "I'll do it tomorrow". I know I say that, and then, when it doesn't happen tomorrow, it becomes "the next day"… then the next… then the next, until either we hit a crisis and do it at the expense of something else, or we just never quite get around to it.

Taking your acting career as an example: how can you book any jobs if you don't audition? And how can you audition if casting directors aren't seeing your headshot? And how are they seeing your headshot unless it is being put in front of them? So how many submissions are you or your agent making today? How many workshops are you attending today? What networking are you doing today? What are you doing today to hone your skill so that, when the opportunity arises, you perform to the best of your abilities? But maybe making that phone call to an agent is uncomfortable, so you put it of to tomorrow, and traffic is really bad tonight, so that networking event can wait… you get the picture.

The same is true in your artist development, and especially your finances. If I am struggling with debt, what can I do to get out from under it? Can I call the credit card companies and beg for a break? Can I tear up my bills, move, and hope they won't find me? You certainly could, but it wouldn't be recommended. Instead, wouldn't it be better to make more money, shave some money off your expenses, pay a little less in taxes, put a solid debt plan in place, and move forward freely than constantly worrying about how you were going to handle those student loans? (None of which is taught by acting schools !) Again, what expenses can I track today that can be used as tax deductions? How can a work a bit more today to make that bit of extra money I need to cover those expenses? How can I alter my spending habits today so that I have to worry less tomorrow? (For assistance with this, please email us at with the title "Chart of Expenses", and we will send you a very detailed excel file to help break down your income and expenses, and identify where you could trim, what you need to improve etc).

By now you get the picture. Oscar Wylde said "every action of the common day makes or unmakes character", and, beyond that, everything you do today effects where you will be tomorrow.There are two kinds of pain in this arena: the pain of discipline, and the pain of regret. Now, especially when it comes to our finances, we can play now and pay later, or we can pay now and play later. The problem is, payment compounds, and increases with time and missed opportunities. So if you suffer the pain of paying now – of discipline, of doing the things you need to do long after the mood in which you said them in has gone, of paying attention to your actions today – you will get to play a lot longer in the end.

All of this is a process. No-one expects people to flick a switch and suddenly have amazing organizational skills, perfect credit and financial savvy. Just like getting fit takes time, so does this. The important thing is that, as you take your journey into financial education , you are not alone. Abundance Bound is there to help you any way we can, and we very much look forward to the opportunity of doing so.

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.

Article Source: - Making Tomorrow a Better Today

Making the Connection: Customer Relationships That Build Your Business


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

Article Source:

Making Creative Output A Practical Reality

Author: Mary McNeil

If you want to bring your creative ideas to life, you'll know that you need more than just inspiration. It takes planning and persistent effort too. So if you're brimming with creative ideas but struggling to develop them into tangible output, here are a couple of techniques you can use to make creative output a practical reality.

1. Declutter your way to creativity

Clutter takes many different forms. The most obvious is the physical clutter in your home. Less obvious, but just as constricting, are the emotional and mental clutter you carry around in your head and in your habits. I'm a great believer that the first step you need to take towards greater creativity in your life is to create a space for it.

Sometimes you need to create space without knowing what will fill it. Just clear the clutter and trust that something creative will appear once there's space for it. In my experience it always does. Other times you need to create space with a specific purpose or creative project in mind.

The process of decluttering itself often involves tough decisions, followed by a brief period of grieving for the ex-clutter. But once you've got through that, you experience a fabulous lightness and sense of possibility. This is the space in which your creativity can come out to play.

- So if you stop for a moment and think about where the clutter is in your life, what springs immediately to mind?

- If you were to clear one particular area or type of clutter in your life, which one would free you up the most to get creative?

- What's the first step you need to take to get clearing and to create some creative space for yourself?

2. Create structure to support your creativity

There's a fairly widely held belief that truly creative people need to live unstructured, bohemian lives and that any hint of a routine will kill their creative output. Now while that may be the ideal for a rare few artists, for most people it removes the possibility of a support system.

I believe that the structures and routines you build in your life are the foundations which support your creativity. They can, of course, also stifle it. So you need to make sure that you're building the right sort of foundations. And that means designing your day-to-day routines thoughtfully.

Ultimately you want your creativity to have some output. That involves creating the space and the routines which will allow you to practise your art regularly, whatever form it takes. The grander the scale of your creative ambitions, the more space and disciplined structure you will need.

- Have a think about how much time you want to spend each day (or each week) on your creative projects.

- What routine or structure could you put in place to ensure that you get the time you want?

- If you can't get all the time and space you want, how could you get at least a part of it? What's the first step towards it?

About the Author:

Mary McNeil is an experienced, ICF-certified life coach, natural born planner and declutterer extraordinaire! She works with her clients on a variety of decluttering, success and creativity projects. Her 30-day home learning e-course is jam-packed full with the knowledge and experience she's gained over years of one-to-one coaching with her clients. Check out => Declutter Your Way To Creativity

Article Source: - Making Creative Output A Practical Reality

Make it a Masterpiece

Author: Rhoberta Shaler

Developing an authentic lifestyle--one that truly reflects what is important to you in all areas of life--is a work of art. It is your personal statement to the world. Are you creating your masterpiece with both the intention and attention a great artist gives her creation?

Reflecting on the ideas and manipulating the materials over time, the artist begins to clarify the vision and, as the piece emerges, watches, refining her ideas, adding this, discarding that, reworking, until the materials begin to match the vision. Once the realization of the dream is glimpsed, work accelerates, and joy and passion carry the piece to completion. Isn't that much like our lives?

Few artists receive their inspiration from attempting to fulfill someone else's idea of what the clay, paint, rock, notes, words, fabric or wood might become. Imitation in art is only the tool of the student as the techniques are learned. The truly authentic work of art must come from within the artist, through the techniques and media, into reality.

Similarly, you cannot live the dreams of your parents, the desires of your friends or the visions of another with passion and integrity.

Great artists understand that their art is their personal expression, and is, therefore, unique. The artist values the medium for its potential to express the idea. The artist works diligently with it-- keeping the vision in view, making small adjustments, learning new techniques, experimenting--until the vision emerges in concrete form and becomes an extension of the artist. It is visible then to all who care to look. The piece bears the artist's name and influences all who view it.

Sometimes, pieces do not please the artist and they are reworked, painted over, melted down, unraveled. These pieces have great inherent value. The artist's vision is clarified, the materials better understood. This contributes much to the next project, the next work of art.

Sometimes, pieces become a legacy and influence many by their existence. These are the authentic works, the true expressions of the artist. These are the quality pieces, as Willa A. Foster, says, "Quality is never an accident; it is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives."

You want your life to be of quality, filled with wise choices. Therefore, approach it with high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution.

When creating a work of art, you must be present with it, fully engaged each moment, totally absorbed by the possibility you are actualizing and the potential you are exploring. This intense focus is required if you are not to be distracted by the myriad of seductive, and easy to justify diversions. It is a powerful process uplifting, inspiring, sometimes frustrating, satisfying, and, most of all, creative. When you are making a success of something, it s not work. It's a way of life.

Now, if by chance, you are thinking that viewing your life as a work of art, or a lofty contribution to the world, is impractical compared to a factual time-management, goal-oriented, bottom-line approach, please consider this. Every successful business, organization and corporation has two types of leaders, visionaries and administrators. Both are required. You need to be both visionary and administrator in your own life, to live a life of integrity, of wholeness.

After all, would you prefer your life to be a fleeting statistic, or a memorable piece of performance art?

By Rhoberta Shaler, PhD

About the Author:

Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, has helped thousands to see life differently. Dr. Shaler connects people with their authentic selves, their purpose and values, and provides insights and inspiration to overcome the challenges of personal, family and business life. To learn more, visit: . and join It's fr*ee.

Article Source: - Make it a Masterpiece

Make Every Day an Artist Retreat Day

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.

What do you enjoy most about going on an Artist Retreat Day? For most of us it's getting away from our "normal routine", having our creativity sparked by new surroundings and having the luxury of "open time" to work on our creative projects.

A retreat gives us the opportunity to step outside the day-to-day and look at the big picture of our creative dreams. It gives us freedom from obligation and responsibilities and guidance from a facilitator and/or our artist peers.

Here are five ways to bring some of these elements into your life EVERY SINGLE DAY:

  1. Call yourself an artist. Find a way to work it into conversations with new people or join and get active in an association, discussion group or other community of artists. Get used to fully claiming your identity as the creative artist that you are.

  2. Enjoy - and celebrate something you've already completed. Savour it, relish in it and accept it as a perfect expression of the "you" that you were when you created it.

  3. Let go of one of the obligations and responsibilities on your list today. Delegate it, cancel it (respectfully and in a considerate way), reschedule it or let it go.

  4. Make use of the free space you've just created. Take a small step towards making your creative dream come true.

  5. Change something in your routine. Take a new route, brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand, get outside, eat your meals in a different chair or change the location of something in your creative workspace.

(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. To find out more about her "Artist Retreat Day Guidebook", visit

Article Source: - Make Every Day an Artist Retreat Day

Licensing Artwork? How to Protect Your “Assets” When Entering into an Agreement to License Art

Author: Chris London

For an artist or graphic designer there's nothing more rewarding than seeing your art on actual product out in the retail environment. I've been designing and developing art and products for licensing for quite a while now and it's still like Christmas every time I receive product samples for approval. I can't tell you how much I enjoy opening boxes filled with various product samples that I have designed and created. Maybe you already know this feeling or maybe you are just starting to venture out into the world of artwork licensing. I hope so! If you are just starting out then you should check out Surtex National Stationery and Gift Show in New York. This show is one of the best ways to show your work to people actively seeking new talent.

Artwork Licensing can be an extremely rewarding and profitable venture. There are many benefits to licensing your artwork. The obvious benefits are that you retain ownership and copyrights to your creations while other people market and distribute your creative works for sales. This allows you to gain passive income through royalty payments, usually payed quarterly, and the ability to use that same art in new ways for future profit.

As fun and exciting as Art Licensing is, there are some things you should know before entering into any contractual agreement. First of all, there is a lot that you won't know in the beginning of your licensing career and a ton that you will learn along the way, but you should have a good understanding of what the terms of your agreement will be before signing anything. If you are presented with a licensing contract - review it and understand that you are the one licensing the art and you have the power to negotiate your terms. Also, it's always a good idea to have your own copyright attorney review the contract.

Before we discuss this topic further let's get familiar with a few terms, that is if you are not already familiar with them.

1. Licensor - You!
2. Licensee - the company you are licensing artwork to.
3. Royalty - The percentage you will be payed on the sales of your art.
4. Net Sales Price - the price for which the Licensee sells the Licensed Products
5. Licensed Design - shall mean those designs owned by Licensor and incorporated into one or more Licensed Products
6. Sell-off-period - A period of time used by the Licensee to clear out licensed product. This usually takes place at the end of a contract when the licensee needs to dispose of all of its existing inventory of Licensed Products on hand. During the Sell-off Period, no royalties shall be payable to Licensor for the sale of Licensed Products that must be liquidated (sold at or below cost).

Every licensing contract can vary in detail, however, there are some key points that should never change. Your licensing contract should clearly state that the licensed artwork is yours and that you retain the rights to the artwork being licensed. You should specify that the "licensee" (the company you are licensing your artwork to) does not have the right to sublicense your art to other companies without your written approval. Also, under no circumstances is the licensee entitled to any ownership rights to your original art nor do they gain any copyrights to any piece of your art. In fact, you should specify your own copyright line to be used on every product that the licensee produces. Would read something like;

© YOUR COMPANY NAME HERE All Rights Reserved
Licensed by (Licensee's Company Name Here)

You will probably find that most negotiation comes into play when determining your royalty percentage. Here are a few common ranges of royalty rates in the giftware industry that may help guide you in determining an appropriate royalty percentage.

* Greeting cards and gift wrap: 2% to 5%
* Household items such as cups, sheets, towels: 3% to 8%
* Fabrics, apparel (T-shirts, caps, decals): 2% to 10%
* Posters and prints: 10% or more
* Toys and dolls: 3% to 8%

As I previously mentioned this is a scale of acceptable industry standards. In my own experience, I have found 5% to be a very standard and acceptable rate for most items. However, for some stationery items like gift cards and gift wraps 2% is the acceptable standard. If you are just establishing yourself as a licensing artist it would probably be wise to aim for the 4-5% as opposed to the 10%. In this part of your contract you can expect to see a line stating that no royalties shall be payable to Licensor for the "closeout" sale of Licensed Products that have been deleted from Licensee's line of products. The licensee will almost certainly include this statement in your contract, however, one thing that you should stipulate directly after that line is that the Licensor must be notified in writing prior to the "closeout" of a line or products and that any licensed products sold during the "sell-off-period" that are non-liquidation orders are subject to royalties. Yes, a company will liquidate it's products and product lines to clear out inventory, but not all sales made during the sell-off-period are liquidation sales which you should be paid a royalty for.

Keep your licensing arrangements clear, concise and simple. You may get advice from people to get an advance against royalties or negotiate a one time licensing fee. These are not common practices for people just getting into licensing. An advance against royalties is exactly what the term states - an advance payment on future royalties on a licensed work. My personal belief is that it is better to negotiate terms with a fair percentage that works for you. Then make sure to avoid unnecessary deductions such as sales commissions, undefined "fees", or any marketing, promotional and advertising expenses that the licensee engages in. Some deductions are acceptable, for instance deductions made before the royalty is calculated for taxes, credits, and quantity discounts.

I really enjoy art, graphic design, and the rewarding feeling you get from seeing your art out in the market place. I would like to see more artists reaching out to the public with their creative works. It takes time to build a successful licensing career. The key is always play to your strengths. Stand apart by doing what you do well and not replicating others. When it comes time for you to enter into a licensing arrangement - I hope that you have found this article helpful. I would also like to offer a template for a standard contract regarding the licensing of artwork as a resource to help give you a heads up on how to protect your "assets". This licensing contract template, set up for a standard 5% royalty.

You can find this template at:

Please note: This contract is intended to be used as a reference to help artists looking to establish licensing agreements for their artwork. Any legally binding agreement that you enter into should be reviewed by you and your attorney prior to enacting said agreement. This material is a reference for you, but we are not responsible for any legal agreement you enter into.

About the Author:

As the Art Director for Pixel Productions Inc., I have had the privilege of creating and designing art used for licensing on hundreds of products from stationery to mugs and door mats. You can find our art in retail environments like Hallmark, Michaels, and Target. As a graphic designer, being able to take part in designing art for licensing is such a rewarding experience and one that I hope many young artist will be able to know. You can see my work at:

Article Source: - Licensing Artwork? How to Protect Your "Assets" When Entering into an Agreement to License Art

Interactive Art Installation for Art Exhibition Promotion

Author: Antonia Marino

There are so many art exhibitions around that it is essential to make your exhibition stand out from the crowd. One way to achieve this is by having a drawcard to attract visitors. An interesting and successful idea is to create an interactive art installation at the venue to entice visitors into the exhibition and to engage them with participation.

An interactive art installation is usually a large sculptural piece specifically created for the event which the audience can use, play with, interact with, influence, solve and/or manipulate in some way. Their participation allows them to experience a result of some kind. This adds an additional dimension to their exhibition experience and is particularly successful if your installation is unique, fun, challenging or enlightening in some way.

When designing your art installation consider the overall theme of your exhibition, your intended target market, and the available facilities at the exhibition venue.

Exhibition Theme

It is important to make your art installation and art exhibition theme cohesive. If your audience cannot see a logical connection between them your drawcard may not be as successful. Therefore give plenty of consideration to this aspect of your idea. For example, if your exhibition theme is "Urban Landscape", choose an industrial type installation using inorganic materials, hard shapes and modern fittings.

Other questions to ask yourself when designing your art installation are the possible results of audience participation. Do you want them to have a unique experience, or a pre-determined answer? Are you trying to make a statement, tell a message relating to your theme, or do you want your audience to come up with their own conclusions? These questions will help you to refine your idea and create a installation that best suits your exhibition.

Target Market

Tailor-make your art installation to your target market for maximum success. This is important in all areas of business marketing and your art exhibition should be no exception. A target market is usually defined as demographics such as age, gender, geography and socio-economic group.

If your audience is predominantly young middle class college students, your installation should be young, fresh, innovative and modern. On the other hand, if your target market is mainly elderly, upper class art investors you would approach both the exhibition and your art installation in a totally different way. Ask the venue what their customer demographics are in order to give yourself the best start.

Exhibition Venue

When creating your art installation it is very important to consider the venue in every aspect of the design. Visit the exhibition space and plan out the shape and size of the area available to you. Take lots of photographs, capturing every angle. Use a long retractable tape measure to take measurements of the room, noting the dimensions of the walls, including ceiling to floor height. Measure and record the size and locations of all doorways, windows, pillars, permanent light fixtures and electrical sockets. Take particular note of the main entrance way and how the audience will move around the installation.

Finally, ask the venue what resources they have on site, such as ladders, plinths, partitions and portable lighting. These will come in handy for your installation, and may cut down construction or display costs. Whether you are using props and equipment belong to the venue, supplying your own, or hiring them, ensure they are safe to use. This is particularly important if using electrical appliances such as portable lighting. Your audience safety and well-being is paramount.

An interactive art installation can become a value asset to your next art exhibition by making it stand out from the crowd. With just a few important design considerations you can maximise its promotional potential and make your exhibition a huge success.

About the Author:

Antonia Marino is an artist and business owner with over 15 years experience in the art industry. Her current project is ArtBiz Resources, which provides downloadable art business documents and forms for artists, galleries and exhibitions at

Article Source: - Interactive Art Installation for Art Exhibition Promotion

Integrity: Essential to Effortless Creative Flow

Author: Valery Satterwhite

Copyright (c) 2009 Valery Satterwhite

"This above all; to thine own self be true." - William Shakespeare

What is integrity?

What does it mean to be in integrity?

If you look up the word "integrity" in the dictionary you will learn that it comes from the Latin word, "integer" which means "whole". Integrity is an unreduced or unbroken completeness, wholeness, totality, incorruptibility. It is an unimpaired condition and the quality or state of being complete and undivided. Integrity is found in a state of being who you are and, allowing others the same right.

When you are "in integrity" you are in alignment with who you are at your deepest core; your truth. In any area of your life where you struggle your thoughts and actions are out of integrity, you are not behaving in alignment with who you are.

"The voice within is what I'm married to. All marriage is a metaphor for that marriage. My lover is the place inside me where an honest yes and no come from. That's my true partner. It's always there. And to tell you yes when my integrity says no is to divorce that partner." - Byron Katie

To live in alignment, in integrity with who you are you:

Speak what you know to be true even if it may cause conflict. Ask for what you need and want from others. Behave according to your personal values. Make decisions based on what is true for you, not the beliefs of others. When you are in integrity with who you are, life flows seemingly effortlessly. When you are acting in ways that are not in alignment with your truth you don't feel good. You may be frustrated or upset. You may think less of yourself and beat yourself up over the choices you have made.

"But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?" - Albert Camus

You continue to create your experiences through the thoughts, emotions, choices and actions that you take. Be mindful of your daily thoughts. Are they in alignment with who you are? Be mindful of what words come after your sentences beginning with "I am". As an artist, for example, if you notice that you often say to yourself, "I'm not creative enough", then you are out of alignment. You are not in integrity with who you are. And it is in this state of being out of alignment that you feel that you are not enough.

I'll state it again because it is that important: You continue to create your experiences through the thoughts, emotions, choices and actions that you take. If your thought is "I'm not creative enough." then you will create more experiences of not being creative enough. When you notice a thought that is out of alignment turn it around. Change "I'm not creative enough." to "I'm a creative person in the process of creating.". Truth is, you are a creative person - albeit a creative person holding herself back at the moment with a misguided, out of integrity, thought. Be mindful of what you say to yourself and others. Be mindful whether or not those statements are in or out of alignment with who you are. Think and act in integrity with who you are and observe how your life transforms from one of struggle to creative flow.

Every day you make a bajillion choices. Stay in bed for another few minutes or get up and greet the day? Start or continue to work on your project or act upon a distraction? Fries or Salad? Go to the audition or stay home? Promote your work or give up because of 'the economy'? Plastic or Paper? Yes or No?

Choices require decisions. A state of indecision is a decision. Is there a decision you are about to make that might be in conflict with your integrity? How can you tell if a decision is out of integrity with who you are?

It's simple, really. Just ask yourself a few questions and you'll know whether or not the decision you made is in integrity with who you are.

How do I feel about the decision I just made? Do I think more or less of myself having made this decision? Is this decision based upon 'should' or 'supposed to' beliefs of others? Is this decision in alignment with my greater good? Who will I be having made this decision? "Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, 'Something is out of tune." - Carl Jung

If you genuinely care about what you create for your future and want to live in authenticity with who you are you must take responsibility for your thoughts, emotions, decisions, actions and outcomes, which result in your experiences. Honor your soul with choices that are in integrity, in alignment with who you are.

Make sure your words and your actions are congruent. Know what you know. Know that you know what you know. Know that you know what you know what you know. And be true to that knowingness. Your internal wisdom. Your intuition. The Wizard Within.

"Integrity is what we do, what we say, and what we say we do." - Don Galer

Pay attention to what you say to yourself and others. Be mindful whether or not those statements are in or out of alignment with who you are. Think and act in integrity with who you are and observe how your life transforms from one of struggle to creative flow.

About the Author:

Valery Satterwhite is an Artist Mentor who specializes in empowering creative people in the visual and performing arts how to to create more profoundly, more prolifically, and more profitably. Valery spent years developing and implementing a proven unique "Inner Wizard" methodology to empower other creative people to express their full potential. To learn more go to . Get Free "Artist Resource/Marketing Directory" too!

Article Source: - Integrity: Essential to Effortless Creative Flow

What Stands Between You and Your Artist Statement?

By Ariane Goodwin
Is it a dry creek bed, or the Grand Canyon? A closed door, or the Chase Manhattan Bank vault? Or maybe, it's the whisper of many doubts: Artist statements are so predictably icky. What can you say about your work that someone else can't simply see? What's the point of words for a visual experience? How am I going to be authentic, but not arrogant? Sincere, but not sentimental?

And yet, you know that pros consider artist statements an essential part of a good portfolio (or About Me pages essential to a web site). Gallery owners are relieved by your professionalism. People who love your work will know more about you. Offering your audience more ways to connect with you increases their delight, as well as the perceived value of your work. But, goodness, all those daunting words between here and there!

For artists, words are a completely different experience from the tactile world of art making. Paper and paint inhabit the world of our senses, while words remain the detached curios of our mind. If we're an Independent Professional, we want to reserve center stage for our business. Once in a while, when the two worlds of work and words connect, language entices our senses and engages our imaginations, and we love it.

So what stops us from using words to describe our art? Tell about ourselves? These are the same words that have been with us since we could walk. What causes us to be deeply suspicious of language, one of our fundamental connections to being human?

The answer, in part, relates to a fatal combination of art critics and education. Art critics use language as scepters of judgment. If words are the messengers that determine our self-worth, then by all means, kill the messenger. Formal education uses language as bastions of control. If we are told when, where and how we can, or cannot, use which words, we grow to mistrust our relationship to language. The mistrust smolders underground, mostly unnoticed, until our words are thrust into a container, like the artist statement or About Me/Us web page.

Suddenly, words make us visible targets for judgment and criticism, so we hide our discomfort at this possibility with what we consider rational responses. "My work speaks for itself." "Statements are inconsequential to my work." "I have nothing to say that my work doesn't already convey." And the list goes on.

An opportunity, like writing a personal or artist statement, often causes us to second guess every idea we ever had about our work. We convince ourselves that we have nothing, really, to say, or for certain, nothing of value. Our first instinct is to either turn off the light and head out of the studio or office, or pump up our peacock feathers.

But running away only confirms our unspoken fear: there must be something to run away from. And pumping up encourages us to use flimsy or pretentious words to smother over our mistrust of language. This, in turn, fuels our perception that language related to our work is simply ludicrous.

Luckily, there is an alternative. Try pretending, that you have a lot to say, which is neither self-important nor trivial, but relevant and revealing. Imagine that all of your objections have been met and you are simply going to write whatever you believe to be true, at the moment, about your relationship to your work. Because, the good news is: you can recover your own words.

Why and how do you do what you do?

There is an unselfconscious language about your work, which you use all the time. Every time you talk or think about your work, you create a relationship between words and your chosen passion. The trick is to learn how to catch yourself doing this, and then faithfully write it down. Yup, I said: write it down. How else will you engage that part of your brain for continued support and help?

But why bother at all?

Because an artist statement or personal statement builds a compelling bridge between you and your audience. An inspiring statement gives the people who see your work another reason to remember you. It's reinforcement, clean and simple. And there's not an artist or independent professional around who can't use a little extra reinforcement to make it's way through the crowd.

Equally important, a statement gives you the opportunity to see what you do through the eyes of language, to validate your creation and profession from a new perspective. Really, you can't lose! You can only procrastinate.

Want to get started? Try this:

--TAKE care: Treat your statement with the same care that your treat your work; after all, all of it is you.

--GATHER raw materials: Use a notebook that is lovely or practical and keep it with you in the studio, in the car, in the office, beside your bed and take a few weeks to catch any fleeting thoughts that come to you about your work. Give your self permission to gather. Selecting and sorting comes later, when you have enough in your basket. Find a writing pen or pencil that flows smoothly across the surface. Make it a tacticle pleasure.

--TIME: Make a specific date with yourself. Respect this time. Do not tolerate interruptions.

--PREPARE your internal space: Close your eyes and conjure up your worst critic. In your mind's eye, lead this person out of the room. Give them another task, besides breathing over your shoulder, say, climbing a tree, skipping stones, or going to the local library. Tell your critic not to come back until you are ready. Critics are terrified of being abandoned, that's why they are so tenacious, so reassure yours that there will be a place set just for them at the editing and revision table. Critics are also stubborn. You may have to do this more than once.

--WRITE more than one: Like different works of art, a statement also thrives on change and rising out of "the moment." What suits this month's work may not work for the next month. Independent professionals need to revisit their intentions from time to time, and writing a new personal statement gets the juices flowing.

--GIVE yourself permission to make mistakes: Let yourself write badly. Crumple up lots of paper balls and throw them in a corner. It's the beginner's way. Then, when it comes out great, which it eventually will, you will know the difference.

--WRITE as much as you want: Winnowing down is so much easier than filling in later.

--DON'T hesitate to ask a professional: Some things just beg for help. If you find yourself endlessly circling a dead pigeon, really...aren't there other things you'd rather do and still get that statement written?

Ariane Goodwin helps artists take their careers to the next level, so they can make an honest living doing what they love. Besides art-career coaching and my seminal book, Writing the Artist Statement: Revealing the True Spirit of Your Work I also host the annual smARTist Telesummit , the only professional art-career conference online or off that helps you build your art career from the comforts of home You can also sign up for your weekly smARTips to advance your career one tip at a time.

How To Write An Artist Statement


By Molly Gordon

Your artist's statement can be a moving testament to your creativity and integrity. The expression of this commitment will vary, but the effectiveness of your artist's statement stems from the authority with which you write it.

Think of your artist's statement as a nourishing stew. The rich flavors and inviting aroma will feed your spirit and summon wonderful people to your table. You'll want to make sure your stew is made from the freshest, finest ingredients and that it has been simmered and seasoned with care. Do this, and you will be proud to share your creative vision -- your authority -- with others.


STEP ONE: Assemble the Ingredients.

1. Take five minutes and think about why you do what you do. How did you get into this work? How do you feel when work is going well? What are your favorite things about your work? Jot down short phrases that capture your thoughts. Don't worry about making sense or connections. The more you stir up at this point, the richer the stew.

2. Make a list of words and phrases that communicate your feelings about your work and your values. Include words you like, words that make you feel good, words that communicate your values or fascinations. Be loose. Be happy. Be real. Think of these as potential seasonings for your stew. You don't have to choose which ones to use just yet, so get them all out of the cupboard.

3. Answer these questions as simply as you can. Your answers are the meat and potatoes of your stew. Let them be raw and uncut for now.

What is your favorite tool? Why?

What is your favorite material? Why?

What do you like best about what you do?

What do you mean when you say that a piece has turned out really well?

What patterns emerge in your work? Is there a pattern in the way you select materials? In the way you use color, texture or light?

What do you do differently from the way you were taught? Why?

What is your favorite color? List three qualities of the color. Consider that these qualities apply to your work.

4. Look at your word list. Add new words suggested by your answers to the questions above.

5. Choose two key words from your word list. They can be related or entirely different. Look them up in a dictionary. Read all the definitions listed for your words. Copy the definitions, thinking about what notions they have in common. Look your words up in a Thesaurus. Read the entries related to your words. Are there any new words that should be added to your word list?

6. Write five sentences that tell the truth about your connection to your work. If you are stuck, start by filling in the blanks below.

When I work with__________ I am reminded that___________.

I begin a piece by______________.

I know a piece is done when__________________.

When my work is going well, I am filled with a sense of _____________.

When people see my work, I'd like them to ________________.

STEP TWO: Filling the Pot.

Write a three paragraph artist's statement. Keep your sentences authentic and direct. Use the present tense ("I am," not "I was," "I do," not "I did.") Be brave: say nice things about yourself. If you find that you falter, write three paragraphs about an artist whose work you admire. Then write about yourself as though you were an admiring colleague. As a rule, your artist's statement should be written in the first person. Refer to yourself with the pronouns "I, me, my." If this blocks you, write in the third person, then go back and change the pronouns as needed when you get to Step Four. Use the suggestions below to structure your statement. Write three to five sentences per paragraph.

First paragraph. Begin with a simple statement of why you do the work you do. Support that statement, telling the reader more about your goals and aspirations.

Second paragraph. Tell the reader how you make decisions in the course of your work. How and why do you select materials, techniques, themes? Keep it simple and tell the truth.

Third paragraph. Tell the reader a little more about your current work. How it is grew out of prior work or life experiences. What are you exploring, attempting, challenging by doing this work.

STEP THREE: Simmering the Stew.

Your artist's statement is a piece of very personal writing. Let it simmer overnight before your reread it. This incubation period will help give you the detachment necessary to polish the writing without violating your sense of integrity and safety. While your statement simmers, let your mind wander over the ingredients you assembled in Step One. Allow yourself to experience the truth of your creative experience. Marvel at the wealth of seasonings and abundance of vegetables you have at your disposal. Enjoy the realization that your work is grounded in real values and experience. If you think of things you might have left out of your statement, jot them down, but leave the statement alone.

STEP FOUR: Taste and Correct the Seasonings.

Read your statement aloud. Listen to the way the sounds and rhythms seem to invite pauses. Notice places where you'd like the sound or rhythm to be different. Experiment with sounding out the beats of words that seem to be missing until they come to mind. Do this several times until you have a sense of the musical potential of your statement. As you read your statement, some phrases will ring true and others false. Think about the ones that aren't on the mark and find the true statement lurking behind the false one. You may find that the truth is a simpler statement than the one you made. Or your internal censors may have kept you from making a wholehearted statement of your truth lest it sound self-important. Risk puffing yourself up as long as your claims are in line with your goals and values.

By now your taste buds are saturated. You need a second opinion. Choose a trusted friend or professional to read your statement. Make it clear that you are satisfied with the ingredients on the whole, but you'd like an opinion as to seasoning. You alone are the authority for what is true about your work, but you'd like feedback on clarity, tone, and such technical matters as spelling and punctuation.

STEP FIVE: Summon the Guests.

There's little point in concocting a fabulous stew if you don't invite anyone to dinner. Every time you use your artist's statement you extend your circle of influence and build new branches of the support network for making, showing and selling your work. Enclose a copy of your artist's statement whenever you send a press release, letter of interest to a gallery or store, or contact a collector. Send it to show promoters and curators. Enclose a copy with shipments of your work so it can be displayed wherever your work is exhibited.

STEP SIX: File Your Recipe!

Save all the notes and drafts that you've made. You'll want to revise and update your artist's statement from time to time to reflect changes in your work.

Molly shows accidental entrepreneurs how to make a profit without losing their minds. Molly Gordon , MCC, is an internationally recognized business coach helping small business owners, independent professionals and artists to do business in a way that feeds their souls as well as their bank accounts. Visit her site to learn how to write a compelling artist statement in six easy steps. While on the site, don't forget to join 12,000 readers of Molly's Authentic Promotion® ezine, and receive a free 31-page guide on effective self promotion . Join one of Molly's free special interest groups to receive periodic emails about resources for related to your needs including invitations to both free and fee-based programs including teleconferences, tools, and special reports.

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