The Art Biz
Looking for art career inspiration and ideas while you’re working in the studio or schlepping your art across the country? Alyson Stanfield helps you be a more productive artist, a more empowered artist, and a more successful artist.
info_outline 4 Video Mistakes Artists Keep Making (and What To Do Instead) (#130) 09/29/2022
4 Video Mistakes Artists Keep Making (and What To Do Instead) (#130) There is no denying the importance of video these days. Whether you're chasing the Instagram algorithm for reels, streaming live on YouTube, or pulling together a video bio for your website, it's more valuable than ever to make good videos. My guest on The Art Biz is Zach Wolfson, a filmmaker who has seen all kinds of artists' videos—the good, the bad, and the cringy. He has joined me to discuss four of the most common mistakes he sees artists making with their videos, and he also shares simple tips that will greatly improve your videos with just a little bit of tweaking. It’s definitely worth the effort because, as he says, it is so important to leave behind a legacy that extends beyond your artwork. Highlights Zach’s career in filmmaking led to teaching artists how to make mini art videos. (1:50) Horizontal or vertical filming—which does Zach prefer? (5:50) Mistakes artists make when editing transitions in videos. (7:38) Overproducing filters, text, and other distracting elements. (10:52) Slowing down to capture the perfect shots. (13:53) The best POV in your art films. (17:52) Tips for overcoming your fear of the camera. (20:15) Does Zach recommend time-lapse videos? (23:34) The importance of sharing your story in your videos. (27:31) Leaving the legacy of your art through videos. (32:55) Mentioned Resources Quotes “Too many elements can be overwhelming for both you when making the video as well as for the people watching it.”— Zach “Just record for longer than you think you should. Your future self will thank you for it.” — Zach “Your videos themselves don’t need to be art because your art is art.” — Zach “If you can find ways to include yourself in your videos, it will attach you more to your art so people can connect with you.” — Zach “Let us into your world and be able to see you in the context of your space.” — Zach “People aren’t following you because of how well crafted your videos are. They’re following you because of your art.” — Zach About My Guest Zach Wolfson is a filmmaker who helps artists make simple art videos to market their art. He is dedicated to empowering artists, and believes everyone can make “mini” art videos that document your journey with ease and joy. Zach’s greatest passion has always been working directly with artists. He has shared the stories of dozens of artists through his video series, Beyond the Gallery, and taught hundreds more through his blog, in-person training, and now inside his membership community, Ready to Record. In addition to his work with artists, Zach has made videos sharing human-centered stories for galleries, museums, and companies that include Adobe, Discovery, and Sony.
info_outline Seeking Validation and Earning Credibility as an Artist (#129) 09/22/2022
Seeking Validation and Earning Credibility as an Artist (#129) Artists crave validation by others. You want your work to be appreciated. Being validated by others helps build confidence and shows us we’re on the right path. But are you looking for validation in the right places? In this solo episode of The Art Biz, I address validation and earning credibility—where you are probably seeking it, where you might want to look for it instead, and what it really means about your art. Ultimately, validation only comes from within, and others are more likely to pay attention knowing that you value your own work. I want to help you realize the various ways it is possible to earn credibility for your art, many of which you will see that you are already doing. Highlights Defining validation, self-validation, and credibility. (2:02) The wrong places to turn for self-validation. (3:40) The ultimate expression of validation for an artist. (5:15) Non-social media examples of validation in the art world. (6:43) The pinnacle of exhibition venues—the art museum. (9:45) The value of writing about speaking about your work. (10:55) Seeking validation from the media on a broader level. (11:45) Achieving a higher level of self validation. (14:08) Mentioned Resources
info_outline Expanding Your Skillset to Respond to Opportunities with Detour (#128) 09/08/2022
Expanding Your Skillset to Respond to Opportunities with Detour (#128) Detour travels to communities all over to paint socially impactful murals, but he also works on canvas, and in music, installation and sculpture. How does he do it all, and do it all by himself? In this episode of The Art Biz, I talked with Detour about his various income streams from prints and murals to corporate sponsorships and grants. He is adamant that he doesn't want to be limited by what he currently knows, so he's always learning how to use new technologies that will help him land complex opportunities. He's not afraid to admit that the best way to approach an artistic problem is probably something he hasn't done before. And Detour is big on collaboration and presenting himself in the most professional light because, as he says, you never know who is watching. Be sure to listen for the questions he asks himself before agreeing to take on new work. This is an inspiring conversation that you won’t want to miss. Highlights Carving out new and alternative paths in the art world. (5:00) Merging your career skills with your creative opportunities. (9:09) How Detour found his artist voice while creating interactive art ‘for the people.’ (11:40) Detour’s active and passive income streams. (17:22) Planning for sporadic paychecks in advance. (22:15) How Detour’s MBA has benefitted his artist endeavors. (25:38) The importance of building relationships with everyone in your artist community. (28:09) Collaborating with other artists to add value to your work. (32:24) Questions to ask when considering—or turning down—opportunities. (34:53) A look at Detour’s typical week. (37:05) Finding fun and balance in the work of every day. (40:18) Why is it important to be an artist who helps other artists? (44:44) Mentioned Resources Quotes “I want to make sure when I’m presented with an opportunity to solve an idea creatively, I’m not limited by what I’m used to doing.” — Detour “You never know what will work until you throw something out there and it sticks.” — Detour “When you do art you never know exactly who’s looking at it.” — Detour “Everything I do in life is related to art making and sharing.” — Detour Guest Bio Thomas Evans, a.k.a. Detour, is an all-around creative specializing in large scale public art, interactive visuals, portraiture, immersive spaces, and creative directing. His focus is to create work where art and innovation meet. A born collaborator and “military brat,” Detour pulls from every conceivable experience that shapes his landscapes and perspectives. Explaining Detour’s work is no easy task, as ongoing experimentations in visual art, music, and interactive technologies have his practice continually expanding. With his ever-evolving approach to art, Detour’s focus is on expanding customary views of creativity and challenging fine-art paradigms by mixing traditional mediums with new approaches—all the while opening up the creative process from that of a singular artist to one that thrives on multi-layered collaboration and viewer participation.
info_outline She’s the Link Between Artists, Galleries and Collectors with Maria Brito (#127) 08/25/2022
She’s the Link Between Artists, Galleries and Collectors with Maria Brito (#127) There is no single success formula that works for every artist, but every artist needs some sense of order in their business and life so that they’re ready to respond to opportunities that come along. My guest for this episode is Maria Brito, award-winning New York-based contemporary art advisor, curator and the bestselling author of . A Harvard graduate, originally from Venezuela, Brito has been selected by Complex Magazine as one of the 20 Power Players in the Art World. She has also been named by ARTnews as one of the visionaries who gets to shape the art world. Maria has worked to demystify the art world for people who might be otherwise intimidated to enter a gallery, and is an advocate for democratizing the art world for artists and collectors who might be interested in buying art but are not ready to spend tens of thousands of dollars. Maria shares how she works with artists, galleries, and collectors and why she thinks there has never been a better time to be an artist. You won’t want to miss her tips about Instagram and why you can’t afford to ignore this valuable platform. Highlights Maria’s career was born from what is missing in the art world. (2:35) Democratizing and demystifying the art world. (6:29) Making your own rules when using the free marketing tools of Instagram. (12:32) There is more than one right way to be an artist. (16:06) Maria’s daily interactions with artists. (19:20) How does Maria decide which artist offerings to pursue? (24:22) The role that a curated Instagram feed plays in discovering artists. (30:24) Additional online details that attract Maria to an artist. (35:27) A look into Maria’s new book (40:15) Curiosity and the original artist's mind. (46:36) Mentioned Resources Quotes “One of the things that helped me succeed was that I was so interested in portraying artists in a different light.” — Maria Brito “We have to acknowledge that, for the most part, these buckets of technology have definitely helped us democratize and streamline and find clients and find collectors that otherwise would be impossible.” — Maria Brito “There hasn’t been a better time in history to be an artist.” — Maria Brito Being able to have control over how you present your message is just a gift.” — Maria Brito “Artists have to treat their Instagram account as their own gallery.” — Maria Brito “The point of being curious is to find more opportunities.” — Maria Brito Guest Bio Maria Brito is an award-winning New York-based contemporary art advisor, curator and the bestselling author of How Creativity Rules The World. A Harvard graduate, originally from Venezuela, Brito has been selected by Complex Magazine as one of the 20 Power Players in the Art World she was named by ARTnews as one of the visionaries who gets to shape the art world. She has written for publications such as Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, Elle, Forbes, Artnet, Cultured Magazine, Departures, and more. In 2019, she launched “Jumpstart”, an online program on creativity that has been taken by over 1000 people ranging from artists to entrepreneurs.
info_outline Play Tops Work, Connection Tops Solitude, and Confidence Tops Fear with Willie Cole (#126) 08/11/2022
Play Tops Work, Connection Tops Solitude, and Confidence Tops Fear with Willie Cole (#126) There’s always plenty to be learned from artists who have been making a go of it for decades. Just think about how much has changed in 30 years! In this episode of The Art Biz, my guest is Willie Cole, a self-described perceptual engineer with an impressive list of collaborations under his belt and even more in the works. Together we talk about the faith he has in his work as a result of being consistent throughout the years. And why he says work is a bad word and prefers to approach his studio in the spirit of play. We discussed his art and why he challenges people to perceive recognizable objects, like shoes and musical instruments, in new ways. You’ll hear how one of his Instagram posts — where he mocked up his art as if to appear on the cover of Vogue — led to collaborations with major fashion brands. Such opportunities continue coming his way, which might be the result of his faith in his practice. Spoiler: Visualizing success plays a role. Highlights Willie calls himself a perceptual engineer, but what exactly does that mean? (3:12) The importance (if any) of showing the materials Willie uses to create his work, including 75 cut-up guitars. (5:35) “Planning makes it feel too much like a job.” How Willie approaches his work instead. (11:02) A peek inside Willie’s studio. (13:58) Work is a bad word, but play can make your business better every day. (15:55) Staying in a playful mindset in every stage of production. (19:15) The value of improvisation and the value of not knowing everything. (21:08) Willie feels like the luckiest business person in America. (23:40) The business-minded people that makeup Willie’s team and insights into his collaborations. (25:36) Propelling yourself forward in spite of your fears. (35:24) The difference between fashion industry collaborations and gallery relationships. (37:51) The music on Willie’s current playlist and what is coming up next in his work. (40:28) Mentioned Resources Quotes “Play is play, and the opposite of play, I guess, would be work.” — Willie Cole “It becomes work rather than play when it becomes a money-making business.” — Willie Cole “Knowing has limitations because once you find something, you only see it as that.” — Willie Cole “I feel like the luckiest business person in America.” — Willie Cole “When passion marries intention and it can be monetized, it’s work but it’s also just joy.” — Willie Cole “To proceed with confidence and fearlessness, I have to believe that opportunities connect.” — Willie Cole “Connections open up so many doors, they keep the fear way behind me.” — Willie Cole Guest Bio Willie Cole calls himself a perceptual engineer. Whether he is using the symbolism of a steam iron or the shapes of high fashion shoes and recognizable musical instruments, he challenges how we look at things. While he has had solo exhibitions at esteemed institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, Miami Art Museum, and Montclair Art Museum, Willie embraces nontraditional avenues for his work, such as collaborations with major fashion brands. He is represented by Alexander and Bonin Gallery in New York, Maus Contemporary Gallery (Alabama), Gavlak Gallery (Los Angeles/Florida), and Kavi Gupta Gallery (Chicago). Willie lives and works in New Jersey.
info_outline How to Legally Protect Your Creative Work with Kathryn Goldman (#125) 07/28/2022
How to Legally Protect Your Creative Work with Kathryn Goldman (#125) I can’t resist legal cases about art, from thefts and forgeries to copyright infringement to gallery dealers and so-called experts who end up in front of a judge for defrauding collectors. While most artists will never see the inside of a courtroom, you might be concerned with copyright infringement or receive unsettling news that someone is using your creative work without your permission. Every artist (you) should know the basics for protecting their art. In this episode of The Art Biz, I am joined by Kathryn Goldman, an intellectual property and internet law attorney who helps creative professionals protect their work so they can profit from it. She is the founder of The Creative Law Center website and membership program, which offers understandable information, actionable strategies, and easy to use tools for the development of creative businesses. Our conversation focuses around Kathryn’s Four Step Framework to help you identify, protect, monitor, and enforce your creative rights. Highlights Kathryn is an intellectual property attorney who helps creative professionals protect their copyrights, trademarks and brilliant business ideas. (2:45) The four step framework that helps artists know what, when and how to take action. (4:45) Copyright 101- identify the rights that a copyright protects and what is not covered. (7:13) Protect your artwork with a copyright registration. (12:25) Filing in small claims court for infringement can result in $15,000 payout. (15:33) Trademarks are source identifiers that protect against consumer confusion. (18:31) Keith Haring, Banksy, and other famous artist trademarks. (21:00) Does an artist need to register a copyright for every single thing they make? (30:35) Protection is the combination of copyright, trademark, and contract. (33:05) FARE contracts keep the right to control a piece in the hands of the artist. (35:09) Artists with a secondary market stand to benefit greatly from a FARE contract. (39:10) Monitoring your work to determine if it’s been stolen is up to you (and your tribe). (41:30) How I handled copyright infringement of my writing. (46:24) The ladder of enforcement offers options for reaction when someone is stealing your work. (49:55) The recipe for registering your most valuable work is essential. (57:07) Kathryn’s upcoming programs and workshops. (59:05) Mentioned Resources Quotes “I like it when artists understand when they need to take action, what action they need to take, and how to do it effectively and efficiently.” — Kathryn Goldman “The right to control those kinds of changes to the art comes from the copyright.” — Kathryn Goldman “A lot of working artists have trademarks, especially those who are building a business on licensing their art.” — Kathryn Goldman “Copyright is not as strong as trademark, and trademark is not as strong as a good contract.” — Kathryn Goldman “With this combination of tools, I think we really are going to start seeing some interesting things happen with contracts in the art world.” — Kathryn Goldman “The best infringement protection is going to be your tribe.” — Kathryn Goldman Guest Bio Kathryn Goldman is an intellectual property and internet law attorney who helps creative professionals protect their work so they can profit from it. She believes sustainable businesses are built on properly protected creative assets. Kathryn runs the Creative Law Center website and membership program. The Creative Law Center provides innovative creatives with the affordable business and legal resources they need when evolving from artist to entrepreneur. The Creative Law Center offers understandable information, actionable strategies, and easy to use tools for the development of creative businesses. Kathryn practices law in Baltimore, Maryland.
info_outline Being an Artist with Geoffrey Gorman (#124) 07/14/2022
Being an Artist with Geoffrey Gorman (#124) An artist’s best resource is another artist. And to really know what a real artist’s life looks like on a daily basis, you have to study and talk to those artists. You can read their biographies, watch their videos, and listen to them on podcasts, including this one. In this episode of The Art Biz, I talk with Geoffrey Gorman about what it’s like to be a working artist, an identity he came to later in life and has sustained for nearly two decades. Geoffrey and I discuss his background as a furniture maker, gallery dealer, and artist consultant and how each role has contributed to his life as an artist. He also reveals how he approaches his work, where he finds inspiration, his take on how the art world is changing, and his advice to artists in the rapidly-evolving market. Highlights “You can make something from anything.” The evolution of Geoffrey’s process. (2:35) Journeying back into the arts after a 30-year break. (8:45) Geoffrey’s timeline from furniture maker to gallery dealer, artist coach to full-time artist. (11:08) What does being an artist look like in Geoffrey’s material-driven world? (16:02) Carving a whale and honoring the passing of time. (23:21) Tactics for increasing your credibility as an artist. (28:02) Evolving with the demands of a constantly changing art world. (31:16) Navigating your relationships with dealers. (36:02) Feedback worth soliciting as an artist. (38:55) The importance of connections as a small business owner. (43:00) How can artists utilize social media to find collectors and curators? (48:00) A look at where Geoffrey is putting his efforts next. (50:22) Mentioned Resources Quotes “I realized I had to create this world that I was producing.” — Geoffrey Gorman “You are the number one expert about your work in the world.” — Geoffrey Gorman “A lot of old benchmarks are now gone for artists.” — Geoffrey Gorman “There are so many opportunities for us as artists out there.” — Geoffrey Gorman “Your best resource is another artist.” — Geoffrey Gorman Guest Bio Geoffrey Gorman was born in Paris, France, but eventually moved to and grew up on an old horse farm in the countryside near Baltimore, Maryland. The dilapidated architecture and abandoned quarries of his childhood influence and inspire the found material sculptures the artist creates today. Gorman has worked as a contemporary furniture designer, gallery dealer, curator, and art consultant before becoming a full-time professional artist. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, including in China and South Korea. Gorman’s work is in public and private collections, including the Racine Art Museum and the University of Colorado.
info_outline Qualities Galleries Are Looking For in Their Artists with Jeremy Tessmer (#123) 06/23/2022
Qualities Galleries Are Looking For in Their Artists with Jeremy Tessmer (#123) If you have ever wanted to shoot the breeze with a gallerist, you will want to pay close attention to this episode of The Art Biz. I’m joined today by Jeremy Tessmer, the gallery director at Sullivan Goss Gallery in Santa Barbara, California. In our conversation, Jeremy shares his views of artist’s professionalism, what he thinks of online platforms, and how he taught himself art history (and why that was important to him). Jeremy describes Sullivan Goss as an on-ramp for collectors and artists—one that connects their roster of local, regional, national, and international artists. You’ll hear him discuss 3 qualities that he looks for in artists, two of which are non-negotiable, and how he views the artists in his gallery as a family. He says that “dealers should have some sense of responsibility for the well-being of their artists,” and, as you listen to our conversation, you’ll understand why that has become so important to him. Highlights The niche that the Sullivan Goss Gallery fills and Jeremy’s role within it. (2:37) Sullivan Goss is an on-ramp gallery with the aim of expanding the art world. (7:49) The different art world need to become more aware of each other. (10:05) Jeremy’s journey from writer and tech specialist to art gallerist. (14:04) Is it important for artists to be steeped in art history? (23:34) Overcoming the anxiety of influence to connect with other artists. (26:21) The 3 qualities Jeremy looks for in the artists he represents. (33:30) The responsibility a gallery has for nurturing its artists’ careers. (36:10) The value of understanding the long game and defining your real interest in an artist’s career. (41:11) Things an artist should never say or do to gain the attention of a gallerist. (46:18) Mentioned Resources Guest Bio Jeremy Tessmer is the Gallery Director and Curator of vintage American art at Sullivan Goss. He has been with the firm almost 20 years, working in every area of the business, including: curation, sales, marketing, and design of everything from exhibition spaces to internal databases and processes. He has special knowledge of the American Modern movement, especially as it occurred on the West Coast. He has also been heavily involved with the gallery’s publication program, helping to produce nineteen books and numerous catalogs, including those on local artists Ray Strong and Hank Pitcher.
info_outline How Do You Know if a Class or Workshop is Right for You? (#122) 06/09/2022
How Do You Know if a Class or Workshop is Right for You? (#122) The resources you have for art business and career development are endless. In that respect, you are incredibly fortunate compared to artists of the past who had so little to help them make a go of it. And there is a downside. There are so many choices to grow as a professional artist that it’s difficult to decide where to spend your time and money. How do you decide? How do you know when to invest, and when to save your money? Let’s pretend you are my coaching client and you’re debating adding something to your calendar. I caution all students and clients to be judicious about adding more to their already full schedules. This episode is focused on the questions I’d ask to help you decide whether or not a program is right for you. These include ... What do you want to get from this program? Is this program a shiny distraction? Are you in a place to receive the guidance? Do you respect the presenters, teachers, or leaders? How is this program different? Are you willing to devote the time to the lessons and homework? See featured artists, read, and leave a comment >> MENTIONED membership community
info_outline Guaranteeing an Effective Project with Eve Jacobs-Carnahan (#121) 05/12/2022
Guaranteeing an Effective Project with Eve Jacobs-Carnahan (#121) We usually start a long-term project with a specific goal or set of expectations in mind. Rarely does the project turn out the way we thought it would. More often than not, it’s better than we had imagined. But before we can get to that point of admitting that the change might have actually led to an improvement in the original plan, we have to struggle, to question our assumptions or to ask for more help or more money. We recognize we can’t continue working in the same fashion as before, and often we are forced to adjust to outside forces, like a worldwide pandemic. In this episode of The Art Biz, I’m joined again by Eve Jacobs-Carnahan. She was a podcast guest over a year ago and has come back to offer an update on her project, Knit Democracy Together, which was developed to discuss the U.S. electoral system within the context of knitting circles. Today Eve is sharing a look at how such a long-term project evolves. She outlines the 5 indicators she is using to measure effectiveness, and even if you don’t have an art project focused on making a social impact, these indicators will be useful for appraising the successful reach of your exhibition, event, program, or teaching. Highlights “It all took on a new significance.” Eve’s project changed after the 2020 election. (4:27) The reasons behind improvements in the knitting circle. (8:11) The mindset shift that created positive changes to the project format. (10:02) Eve’s preparation helped secure her fellowship. (11:41) Collaboration changes and letting go of tight control over the project. (13:28) The topics that the project covers now are not the same as the initial intended ones. (19:25) 5 indicators to measure effectiveness in any project. (24:44) Applying these tools to measure other areas of success. (31:40) A look at what’s coming next for Eve. (36:40) The evolution of Eve’s expanded exhibition. (39:11) Mentioned Resources Quotes “I have definitely let go of some control, and that’s been good.” — Eve Jacobs-Carnahan “I realized that I wasn’t going to be as effective by myself.” — Eve Jacobs-Carnahan “I’m talking about what people can do to help strengthen the system so we don’t have chaos, all while knitting.” — Eve Jacobs-Carnahan “Change can happen step by step, stitch by stitch and with many people working together.” — Eve Jacobs-Carnahan “Artists who want to do social impact work definitely can be using these tools.” — Eve Jacobs-Carnahan “Think about the people you know, think about your relationships with them, and be willing to ask for help.” — Eve Jacobs-Carnahan Guest Bio makes mixed media knitted sculpture exploring democracy. She uses the comforting quality of yarn and the charming attraction of birds to tell allegorical stories. Eve’s work appears in Astounding Knits! 101 Spectacular Knitted Creations and Daring Feats by Lela Nargi and garnered First Place in National Fiber Directions 2015 at the Wichita Center for the Arts. She was named a Creative Community Fellow: New England by National Arts Strategies in 2021. Eve knit away stress while earning a B.A. in History with Honors from Swarthmore College and a J.D. from the University of Chicago. She lives in Vermont. First posted:
info_outline Always Looking for the Next Opportunity with Alicia Goodwin (#120) 04/28/2022
Always Looking for the Next Opportunity with Alicia Goodwin (#120) Some artists just know what they want, and some know what they don’t want. My guest for this episode has a lot of clarity about both. On this episode of The Art Biz, I’m talking with Alicia Goodwin, who worked as a jewelry designer for a number of individuals and companies before transitioning to her own full time jewelry business, Lingua Nigra. As an encourager, Alicia wants artists to go for it. She doesn’t believe in even considering a plan B in case the art thing doesn’t work out. She encourages artists to “find your people” because she knows what it’s like to be an artist and misunderstood by those closest to you. She found support in an online community filled with people who were making things and talking about business. Even if you’re not a jewelry artist, I know you will be inspired by Alicia’s desire to continually improve her circumstances and grow her business. You especially won’t want to miss her insights into finding the right balance in your online presence. As she says, “You don’t need a lot of followers to make a lot of sales.” Highlights “I was always plotting for the next thing.” (2:44) Alicia’s transition from FIT to in-demand jewelry artist. (10:56) Finding the people who share your passion. (19:05) The origin story of Lingua Nigra (24:48) Alicia’s forgiving etching and molding processes. (28:50) What is considered costume jewelry? (33:31) Alicia encourages ambitious artists to just get started. (37:30) Taking the first step toward your next big thing. (42:05) Finding a mentor, a support group, and the right sales outlets for your business. (48:50) Growing your studio and your team to match your big ideas. (52:30) A look at what’s coming up next for Alicia. (57:36) Mentioned Resources Guest Bio Alicia Goodwin is a Chicago based jeweler who specializes in adding unique textures to her sculptural jewelry. A graduate of New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology., Alicia applies her knowledge of ancient techniques like reticulation and acid etching to her more contemporary designs. Her love of complex ancient ceremonial jewelry created with minimal tools such as fire, sand and beeswax led her to truly admire the work produced throughout Mesoamerica and the African diaspora—influencing her own brand, Lingua Nigra. First posted:
info_outline Growing Beyond Being an Instagram Artist with Sara Schroeder (#119) 04/07/2022
Growing Beyond Being an Instagram Artist with Sara Schroeder (#119) Have you ever experienced success in any area and then realized it wasn’t exactly what you wanted after all? My guest today experienced unexpected and surprising growth as her Instagram following quickly grew from 10,000 followers to over 70,000 followers in just a few years. In this episode of The Art Biz, I’m talking to Sara Schroeder. We talk about the creative way that she overcame her fear of selling and what she wishes she had known to do differently while in the throes of that success. For more than a year, Sara has been using tools like journaling and the Enneagram to discover more about herself and explore where she wants her work to go, and now she's looking for more. She knows there's a deeper level of fulfillment beyond posting and looking for sales online, so she has stepped back and reassessed. You'll hear Sara mention her upcoming solo show, which is part of a challenge that I issue to students in my seasonal programs. We also discuss why her Instagram strategy has changed and what her new approaches for Instagram and marketing in general. Highlights “I fell in love with making art all over again.” (2:00) The value of finding a dedicated space for your art. (7:11) The difference between Sara’s maximum and minimal art. (10:18) Sara’s success on Instagram took off and quickly became overwhelming. (12:20) When app demands take over making artwork. (18:55) The evolution of Sara’s work since pulling back from Instagram. (24:07) The process of self discovery through journaling, meditating, and the Enneagram. (28:01) Details of Sara’s latest 100-piece collection. (32:00) How Sara would have handled her initial success and systems differently. (34:49) Sara’s modified Instagram presence and increased in-person collaborations. (39:47) Sara’s typical work week and why she starts work at 11 AM. (46:32) Mentioned Resources First posted: Guest Bio Sara Schroeder is an abstract painter using gestural movement, intuitive marks, and saturated colors to convey energy and emotion. Works on canvas and paper feature drips, swipes, scratching, and subtraction methods, which build upon one another to form abstractions of nature. She finds inspiration in the potent hues of tropical plant life and the subdued pastel motifs of the Art Deco period preserved in Miami. Identifying with Kandinsky’s belief that color influences the soul, Sara's process incorporates the psychology of color, intuition, and chance. Integrating into her work what psychotherapist Carl Rogers called “unconditional positive regard”, she aims to inspire rich revelations and encounters of the human spirit. Her works are held nationally and around the world in hundreds of private collections.
info_outline Advocating for Artists in Their Communities with Louise Martorano (#118) 04/06/2022
Advocating for Artists in Their Communities with Louise Martorano (#118) You are not alone. It may seem like you are at times because you do so much work by yourself in the studio, but the art ecosystem is enormous and you are not alone. There are so many good people who are advocating on behalf of and supporting artists in their businesses and careers. I want you to know about these resources so that you can tap into them. They’re waiting for you. In this episode of The Art Biz, I’m talking with Louise Martorano, the Executive Director at RedLine Contemporary Art Center in Denver, Colorado. RedLine is a nonprofit whose mission is to foster “education and engagement between artists and communities to create positive social change.” In many ways, RedLine behaves like a traditional arts council. But they’re far from it. Louise and I discuss their artist-in-residence program, affordable studio space, and how they collaborate with other art organizations in the U.S. and beyond. Highlights The history and mission of RedLine Contemporary Art Center. (1:45) The local and global need for artist career support. (7:46) Visual arts coalitions fill in the gaps of an artist’s career. (11:23) The staff, budget, and $22 million re-granting programs at RedLine. (19:15) Details on residencies, applications, and juried interviews. (25:18) Open studio doors increase opportunities for artists. (32:03) Commission opportunities, stipends, and other program benefits. (33:58) How to find artist support programs in your community. (37:19) Group meetings and other expectations of artist residents. (41:01) Auditing relationships and leveraging your community. (45:45) Mentioned Resources First posted: Quotes “Artists are really expected to be all the departments in their career.” — Louise Martorano “Artists’ careers can live and die on the relationships they build and the opportunities they have.” — Louise Martorano “We’re trying to link arms with each other in Colorado to see if we can create a more seamless journey for artists as they gain traction and opportunity in their careers.” — Louise Martorano “Talking about your work is like exercising a muscle. The more you do it, the more refined your language is.” — Louise Martorano “Artists need to reevaluate who they know and who they’re connected to and see how they can use those arteries of opportunity.” — Louise Martorano Guest Bio Louise Martorano is the Executive Director of RedLine, a non-profit contemporary art center and residency located in Denver, Colorado. RedLine's mission is to foster education and engagement between artists and communities to create positive social change. Under Martorano’s leadership, RedLine has received the Denver Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts (2014 and 2015), the Greenway Foundation’s “Partner in Change” award, acknowledged by Denver Public Schools for excellence in community engagement, and has presented and organized over 100 exhibitions over the past 10 years. Martorano holds a B.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and an M.H. from the University of Colorado, Denver with a focus in Contemporary Art History & Music. In 2017, she was awarded a Livingston Fellowship from the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation for promising nonprofit leaders who hold significant leadership roles in Colorado.
info_outline A Dual Path as an Artist and Art Reviewer with Philip Hartigan (#117) 03/10/2022
A Dual Path as an Artist and Art Reviewer with Philip Hartigan (#117) Artists need writers. They are a critical part of the art ecosystem. Look back on any art movement from the past century in the U.S. and you’ll find a writer behind its day in the spotlight. My guest for this episode of The Art Biz is artist and writer Philip Hartigan. As you’ll hear, he’s not quite sure what order those labels should be in. In some respects, the writing came first, but the art has always been there. We talk about his writing life, the role that blogging has had for him, and how he came to be a correspondent for Hyperallergic online art magazine. You’ll also hear about how writing has helped him make inroads into the art world. My hope is that you will consider writing more about not just your art, but about other artists’ work, possibly for publication and definitely for connections within your art community. First posted: artbizsuccess.com/art-reviewer-hartigan-podcast Highlights James Joyce, literature and Philip’s journey as an artist. (1:54) The subtle narrative of Philip’s current work and his gradual return to painting. (7:19) How did Philip get into writing about art for publication? (10:13) Overcoming disdain for a personal art blog in favor of clarity. (13:24) Writing for an online publication and becoming an online correspondent. (18:25) Creating meaningful connections through writing. (24:45) The value of blogging in an Instagram world. (30:18) Finding your why behind writing about your art. (39:00) What is on the horizon for Philip? (42:20) Mentioned Resources Guest Bio Philip Hartigan is a UK-born artist and writer who now lives, works, and teaches in the USA. Hartigan’s art explores half-remembered moments from a childhood in an English mining town. His choice of materials depends on the emotional state he has arrived at after thinking about these stories. But whether it’s oil painting, intaglio printmaking, or sculpture, he aims to either tell a story in visual art or look for universally-recognized symbols for memory, loss, tragedy. Hartigan has lived for short and long periods in France, Spain, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Holland.
info_outline How One Curator Works with Artists at a Regional Art Center with Collin Parson (#116) 02/24/2022
How One Curator Works with Artists at a Regional Art Center with Collin Parson (#116) Members of the general public enjoy their visits to art centers and museums without much thought as to how the art got into those spaces in the first place. Who decides on what to show and when to show it? Who decides what works to put next to one another and where to put a nail in the wall or a pedestal on the floor? Or even what color to paint the walls? All of these decisions, and more, fall under the purview of curators and exhibition directors in those non-profit spaces. In this episode of The Art Biz I talk with Collin Parson, the Director of Galleries and Curator at the Arvada Center for Arts and Humanities in the Denver suburb of Arvada, Colorado. Collin reveals how the exhibition process works at their venue: his timeline, rotating gallery spaces, and the decision makers at the organization. We also discuss how he selects artists for shows, what makes an artist easy and fun to work with, and why it’s important that artists keep him informed. Be sure to pay attention to some of the big mistakes he sees artists making. Highlights Collin’s background of artists and his work as a curator. (1:30) Curating a massive space and Collin’s approach to rotating exhibitions. (10:50) Scheduling artists into a gallery’s calendar isn’t as simple as it seems. (19:15) Why Collin generally doesn’t accept exhibit proposals. (22:52) What makes an artist fun to collaborate with? (26:48) What Collin wishes every artist would do—and not do. (33:03) Studio visits and what curators expect from artists. (38:25) Finding inspiration for the most memorable shows. (45:35) Details about juried shows and artist rosters. (48:55) Balancing curating exhibits, making art, and a personal life. (55:03) Mentioned Resources Guest Bio Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Collin Parson currently serves as the Director of Galleries and Curator for the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities in Arvada, Colorado and is a former member at the historic cooperative and past artist-in-residence at r. An arts administrator, artist, curator, and designer he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater Design and Technology with emphasis in Lighting and Scene Design from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his Master in Arts in Visual Culture and Arts Administration from Regis University in Denver. His creative work involves the control of light and color to create vivid geometric light and space works. He has had the privilege of jurying many arts festivals and exhibitions and has received numerous awards and recognition for his curatorial projects. He was awarded by Westword magazine in 2013 and featured in many television and print productions. Parson is the son of Colorado sculptor Charles Parson, whose experience with the regions arts community helped Collin long before his professional career began. Growing up in a family of artists, Collin is proud to be continuing the educational and creative traditions. First posted: artbizsuccess.com/curator-parson-podcast
info_outline How to Get Better Feedback When You Want to Improve (#115) 02/10/2022
How to Get Better Feedback When You Want to Improve (#115) For too long I have been noticing artists posting things like this on social media: ‘Fresh off the easel! What do you think?’ or ‘I'm experimenting with <this or that>. Let me know what you think!’ What do I think? Do you really want to know what I think? In this solo episode of The Art Biz I want to talk about feedback. When you ask people ‘what do you think’ you are asking for their feedback, whether it’s intentional or not. We are often too quick to ask for feedback, and we ask for it in ways that can be more damaging than anything. In this episode, I’ll share what I’ve learned from wise women and from paying attention to my students and clients. I’ll give you tips on the right way to ask for feedback—in the right environment and with specificity. I’ll also share with you how to handle unsolicited advice and the best way to offer advice to others, all so that you can get better feedback when you are seeking to improve. Highlights The best time and way to ask for feedback. (1:36) 4 criteria to meet before asking for feedback. (2:25) You don’t really need feedback from everyone else. (5:35) When feedback actually becomes necessary in order to improve. (7:45) Asking for feedback from the right people. (9:15) How to ask for feedback with specificity. (11:14) The right way to offer feedback to others. (12:38) How to respond to feedback graciously. (14:33) Resources Mentioned Quotes “We’re often too quick to ask for feedback, and we ask for it in ways that are damaging.” — Alyson Stanfield “You shouldn’t care what everyone thinks.” — Alyson Stanfield “You need time to figure out what you think about your art before you ask others what they think about it.” — Alyson Stanfield “At some point, feedback is necessary when you want to improve, but you have to set up the parameters.”— Alyson Stanfield First posted:
info_outline Risk, Rejection, and Resilience with Christine Aaron (#114) 01/13/2022
Risk, Rejection, and Resilience with Christine Aaron (#114) Risk is scary. Rejection stinks. Resilience seems elusive. When I think of these three R words, the word practice comes to mind. Taking one step at a time over and over again because we know it is the only way to make big progress. My guest for this episode of The Art Biz is Christine Aaron. You’ll hear how she embraces risk and has come to understand the role of rejection in her art career. She also shares the tools she relies on to act with resilience, to get back in the studio and do it all over again.
info_outline Self-Care for Caregiving Artists with Shimoda Donna Emmanuel (#113) 12/30/2021
Self-Care for Caregiving Artists with Shimoda Donna Emmanuel (#113) Why is it so hard for us to take care of ourselves? If we're honest, we realize that very little is really urgent and yet we neglect habits and routines that will keep us well and give us energy for work in and out of the studio. On this episode of The Art Biz, I’m joined by Shimoda Donna Emmanuel for a conversation about her self-care routine, how she keeps her vibration high, tools she uses to de-stress and to stay calm, and how gratitudes and "the rage dance" fits into her self-care.
info_outline Leaning Into Creativity in Times of Pain with Rich Simmons (#112) 12/16/2021
Leaning Into Creativity in Times of Pain with Rich Simmons (#112) We need art. Some of us need it more than others, and for some of us, it's as necessary as the air we breathe. My guest on this episode of The Art Biz is Rich Simmons, a London-based artist who insists that art saved his life. Rich is not an art therapist, but he is an advocate for the therapy of an art practice. He knows from first-hand experience that art heals. In 2008 he started Art Is The Cure to inspire people to turn to creativity in times of pain. Art has given his life purpose.
info_outline Focusing on Self-Care to Increase Productivity with Maria Coryell Martin (#111) 12/09/2021
Focusing on Self-Care to Increase Productivity with Maria Coryell Martin (#111) There is an urgency to making your work and getting it out there so that you can find the people who respond to it, but it becomes much harder to accomplish much of anything if your body aches from the physically demanding work you do. What are you doing to take care of yourself? If you want to improve your productivity, and your health, then it’s time to focus on your self-care.
info_outline An Unusual Path to Landing Art Commissions with Leisa Collins (#110) 11/18/2021
An Unusual Path to Landing Art Commissions with Leisa Collins (#110) Lots of artists make a good living, or at least a significant part of their income, from commissions. But what would happen if you turned the whole commission process on its head? In this episode I talk with Leisa Collins, who started her art business by targeting people whose homes she wanted to paint. After a few failed attempts at marketing her work, her career as a house portraitist took off.
info_outline Lessons from a Wildly Successful Pop-up Art Gallery Event with Mai Wyn Schantz (#109) 11/11/2021
Lessons from a Wildly Successful Pop-up Art Gallery Event with Mai Wyn Schantz (#109) So many art venues shut down during the pandemic, leaving artists and gallerists without an opportunity for closure. My guest for this episode of The Art Biz is Mai Wyn Schantz, an artist who was also a gallerist when she closed her space at the beginning of COVID. She hated to lose the relationships she had built over the years as the gallerist, and she needed closure and was determined to do right by her artists.
info_outline Boldly Reaching Out to Art World Influencers with Laurence de Valmy (#108) 11/04/2021
Boldly Reaching Out to Art World Influencers with Laurence de Valmy (#108) People. You need them. The relationships you nurture can sustain you, but you'll never know to what extent until you start taking them seriously, until you believe with all of your soul that you can't do this on your own. But what do you do if you move to a new place and don't know anyone, or if you're just getting started? Where do you begin? In this episode of The Art Biz, I talk with Laurence de Valmy about how she has used her bonus talent as a writer to make connections in all areas of the art world.
info_outline Personalizing Your Marketing to Improve Results (#107) 10/28/2021
Personalizing Your Marketing to Improve Results (#107) We’re all about the quest for more followers, more likes, more shares, more views, and more comments these days and it’s not fair that the social media algorithms have so much control over who sees your art. But are we really so subject to social media giants? I believe we are taking huge risks by relying on mass communication to complete the circle of communication. In this solo episode of The Art Biz I want to talk about what really works for moving the needle with your art.
info_outline Learning How to Be a Boss with Ali Manning (#106) 10/21/2021
Learning How to Be a Boss with Ali Manning (#106) It takes a great deal of effort to find the right person to help with your art business, so you want to get it right. That means you need to find a way to retain good team members. You want them to take ownership in your business and pride in the work they do on your behalf. In this episode of The Art Biz, I talk with Ali Manning about the responsibilities she feels as the person in charge of her business, including the responsibilities she has to team members.
info_outline How to Work Successfully (and Sanely) with a Relative with Trudy Rice (#105) 10/14/2021
How to Work Successfully (and Sanely) with a Relative with Trudy Rice (#105) In order to have a successful working relationship with anyone, you need guiding ground rules. It can feel unnecessary to enact these formal arrangements with those close to us, and yet it's even more important to have them when you’re navigating the relationships that mean the most. In this episode of The Art Biz, I talk with Trudy Rice about her working relationship with her sister Jenny
info_outline Trusting Another Artist to Help You Run Your Art Business with Angela Fehr and Robin Edmundson (#104) 10/07/2021
Trusting Another Artist to Help You Run Your Art Business with Angela Fehr and Robin Edmundson (#104) It can be very difficult to hire someone to help with your business, but if you want your business to grow, there comes a point at which you must hire to support that growth. In my conversation with Angela Fehr and Robin Edmundson you'll hear how Angela has handled building a team and how Robin has been able to support her in this process. We talk about the technology they use, how they communicate with one another, and how they work with other team members who have since come on board.
info_outline Juggling Multiple Art Styles and Audiences with Robin Maria Pedrero (#103) 09/30/2021
Juggling Multiple Art Styles and Audiences with Robin Maria Pedrero (#103) Whenever you have multiple styles or subjects, you probably also have multiple audiences. This can also mean that you're essentially running multiple businesses. In my conversation with Robin Maria Pedrero you’ll hear about the three different styles and subjects she paints, and how she juggles these and the various audiences for her work.
info_outline Redefining Possibilities for Your Art Business Mailing List (#102) 09/16/2021
Redefining Possibilities for Your Art Business Mailing List (#102) Your mailing list is your art business’s #1 marketing asset, but it’s absolutely useless if you aren’t using it and intent on growing it. Too many artists neglect their mailing lists simply because they don’t know the real power that it holds. In this solo episode, you’ll hear a new definition for your mailing list that just might inspire you to give it your full attention again and details about the upcoming Grow Your List program
info_outline Simplifying to Improve Your Productivity with Amelia Furman (#101) 09/09/2021
Simplifying to Improve Your Productivity with Amelia Furman (#101) Why do we make things so difficult for ourselves sometimes? We unnecessarily complicate our businesses because we lose focus. But the truth is, you probably already have everything you need to simplify your to-do list and increase your productivity. To help unpack this idea, I’m joined on this episode of The Art Biz by Amelia Furman, who says that her to-do list was out of control before she took charge and started eliminating obligations from her life.