28 October 2013

B2B Monday - Keeping Track of Work

Good Monday evening! This week's tip to help your art career has to do with record-keeping and organizing.

You may have a system for keeping track of all of the bits of info that are important to your art - prices, shows, awards, etc -  that works just great for you, but you may not have a system at all and now is a good time to set one up, add in all of your older work, and use it with new work moving forward.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started. Create a page in a word processing program for each artwork. Add a photo of it to the top of the page (this is a good way to make sure you remember to shoot all new work too!) Below the photo record the title, the dimensions, the price, and leave room for any exhibitions, sale date with name and contact info for the new owner, publications it may appear in, awards, statement, and any other relevant category that you might need.

A simple page created in Open Office or Word

When you've finished creating the pages for each individual work, print them out and place them in a binder. You can sort the pages by series, by size, or any criteria that makes sense to you. When you are looking for work to enter into a show, flip open your binder and all of the info is right at your fingertips.

You could create a master list of all work for the front of the book, add columns to each page for exhibition submissions, ship dates, and return dates, etc. Keeping a book like this will take the pain out of submitting to shows, keeping track of prices, remembering to take photos and write statements, and locate work wherever it may currently be.

Do you have a system to record all of this info? What works for you?

14 October 2013

B2B Monday - Collaborate!

Happy Monday! This week I have a great tip for you to get your creative juices flowing. Consider a collaboration with another artist or other artists. There are SO many different ways to collaborate with others and all of them can lead to an invigoration of your own work.

You can choose to work on a joint piece or each work on your own pieces, but watching another artist's process and techniques can cause you to find a new approach to your work moving forward and give you food for thought that pushes your work in new directions. Plus it's fun! Most of us work in solitary in our studios and miss out on the interaction with other members of our "tribe". A collaboration is an ideal way to connect and dispel the isolation for a time.

A couple of ideas for collaborations to get you started-

  • Pick up a random book and choose the 11th word in the 3rd line down from the top on page 47. You and a partner each make a piece of art in response to that word.
  • Arrange a day in your studio and invite some artists over to "play". Spread a canvas or large piece of paper out on the floor or on tables. Everyone starts working on the section in front of them and after a half hour or so, everyone moves to another section and adds to the previous artist's work. The end result could be cut up and divided among the participants.
If you  start a collaboration or have recently finished one, please leave a link to photos or a description in the comments. And let us know what you got out of it artistically.

07 October 2013

B2B Mondays - Update Class Materials

Here's a good tip for all of the teachers out there: Check over each of the supply lists for your current workshops and update, add, subtract, and tweak as needed. If you're like me, you're constantly on the lookout for ways to make classes go smoother and to insure that every student has as good an experience as possible. A well-thought-out supply list that doesn't contain items the students never use and does contain everything a student does need goes a long way to providing an excellent experience for teacher and student alike. Classes evolve over time so be sure that your supply lists reflect the most current iterations of your workshops.

And while you're at it, take the opportunity to review the description you've written for each class as well. A good class description entices students to sign up. It will contain an appealing explanation of what a student stands to learn and perhaps include something about your teaching style or other specific information that helps "sell" that workshop.

If you provide photos for workshops to organizers, double check to make sure they are all as appealing and relevant as possible. If you haven't yet organized all of these files (supply lists, descriptions, and photos) into one single folder on your computer yet, now's the moment! The next time you're contacted to teach a class everything will be at your fingertips and ready to go.

And I'm off now to take my own advice and get my class materials in order!

01 October 2013

B2B Mondays - Enter a Challenge

Here's this week's B2B Monday (er...Tuesday, don't ask) business tip: Enter a challenge or answer a publishing call for submission. This can be the very best and fastest way to bring your work to the attention of magazine editors and book publishers.

If one of your goals is to write your own book, contribute to a book, or pen a magazine article or two, look for a challenge or contest to enter. Even if your work isn't chosen as a finalist, your work will be studied and noted by editors and others. If your work is chosen and published, even better! More people will be exposed to your work. Answering a call for submission on a book publisher's website can also lead to good things. And seeing your work in print is such a rush! There are a variety of opportunities that can arise from publication - teaching opportunities, invitations to appear on television or radio, request to submit a book or dvd proposal, and a lot more.

Here are a few resources to get you started:

Quilting Arts magazine challenge page
Cloth Paper Scissors magazine challenge page
The Artist's Magazine contest page

Stampington magazines challenge page

500 Series books page for LarkCrafts
Calls for collective books for LarkCrafts