Friday, April 04, 2014

"People Power List" Your Valuable Professional Asset

By Renée Phillips

Sorry, this article has been rewritten. Its new title is "Nourish Your Art Career With People Power"  and has been moved to the new Manhattan Arts International weblog. You can read it here.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Is Your Website Hurting Your Career?

28 Common Mistakes

Shared by Renée Phillips

Do you spend a lot of time actively promoting your art website and/or blog? Are you wondering why you aren’t receiving as many queries, sales, commissions, students and clients as you would like?

I’m sure you already know how frequently you post your website and/or blog on Facebook, twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn or other social networks will not guarantee success. And, how much traffic you get will not insure positive results in terms of your goals.

Sorry this article has been moved. You may read a newer, revised version of this article here: http://www.manhattanartsblog.com/art-website-advice/

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Five Opportunities for Artists

Shared by Renée Phillips

Professional Artist Magazine Contest



Professional Artist magazine www.professionalartistmag.com states, "We know that inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes, and we want to see what inspires you. Submit a photo of your muse along with an image of the artwork it inspired, and your shots could be published in the June/July 2014 issue of Professional Artist."

Submissions will be accepted through midnight EST May 5, 2014.
To learn more visit http://orders.professionalartistmag.com/muse-contest/

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AOM – Free 3-month Subscription

Art Opportunities Monthly (AOM) www.artopportunitiesmonthly.com for professional artists and photographers world-wide, has been around for over 14 years. It is preferred and trusted because it screens out the scams and for-profit "contests" and presents each hand-selected opp in a quick-to-scan capsulized form. It is sent in a highly search-able, freshly organized, carefully edited PDF directly to your email address. No website to go to, no passwords to remember.

It is now offering a free, no-obligation 3-month subscription. If you are a professional artist or want to be, you owe it to yourself to get this.

This offer expires May 15, 2014.

To subscribe visit http://www.artopportunitiesmonthly.com/AOM_3_free_sub.html

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Artsy Shark Featured Artist Opportunity



Artsy Shark www.artsyshark.com will select 36 new artists to feature and promote this spring and summer. Each selected artist is featured in an individual article on Artsy Shark which includes a link to the artist’s own website.

Each featured artist article is emailed to thousands of subscribers, promoted extensively on social media, and seen by many of over 30,000 unique readers who visit ArtsyShark.com each month.

Deadline is midnight, March 24, 2014.
Learn how to submit your art http://www.artsyshark.com/become-a-featured-artist/

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The Arts & Healing Network $5,000 Awards



The Arts & Healing Network www.artheals.org was created in 1997 as an online resource for anyone interested in the healing potential of art.

In 2014, the Arts & Healing Network will offer 1-4 AHN Awards to artists who are doing community-based art and healing work. Each recipient of an AHN Award will receive a one-time monetary gift of $5000, as well as being featured on its web site.

The Arts & Healing Nework states: "We are especially interested in artists whose work is innovative and deeply inspiring. Nominees must have a web site that clearly explains their art and healing work."

Deadline: April 15, 2014.
To learn more about the AHN Award Program and view examples of past awardees, visit http://www.artheals.org/projects/ahn_award.html

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Manhattan Arts International Seeks 50 Artists

Manhattan Arts International www.ManhattanArts.com will select 50 Artists to have one of their works of art in this online exhibition, May 17-July 17, 2014.

Our publicity campaign includes promotion via email news goes to more than 40,000 total monthly subscribers and followers. Our combined reach in social media platforms exceeds 989,874 and is growing every day.

All U.S. and international Artists 18 years or older. All 2-D and 3-D art in all styles, sizes, and subjects. Original paintings, drawings, sculpture, mixed media, photography, digital art, work on paper, and one-of-a-kind crafts.

Entry deadline is May 4, 2014.
For more information visit http://www.manhattanarts.com/Gallery/Healing-Power-of-ART/about.htm 


Monday, March 10, 2014

Dare to Share in Social Media

Pay it Forward ~ It's Contagious!
Shared by Renée Phillips


One of my favorite all time movies is “Pay it Forward”, with Kevin Spacey, Haley Joel Osment, Helen Hunt, Jay Mohr, and Jim Caviezel. It tells the story of a young student’s act of kindness and how it changed the lives of many. With his deed he asked for one simple thing — to “pay it forward”. His action perpetuated a series of positive acts around the country.

In terms of the spirit of generosity, I notice how other art professionals behave in social media. For instance, how much they share — not only their own art work and activities but those of others. I also observe how often people will take time to write positive comments about their social network friends and followers.

This article has been revised and moved to http://www.manhattanartsblog.com/share-social-media/

Friday, March 07, 2014

Opportunity for Artists: Small Works Auction in NYC


Theme of Garden / Nature
The International Arts Movement (IAM) is a non-profit arts organization "dedicated to inspiring a global community to create work that is rehumanizing." It is currently calling artists from around the world to donate pieces to a Small Works Auction that will take place on Wednesday April 23rd, 2014. If you are an artist who has small art on the theme of Garden / Nature this opportunity is for you.

We learned this opportunity from Maureen Doallas, member of the Manhattan Arts International Editorial and Advisory Team. An avid collector of art and fine press books, Doallas posts daily at Writing Without Paper, primarily about literary, visual, and performing arts. She is the author of Neruda’s Memoirs: Poems (T.S. Poetry Press, 2011).

Maureen Doallas Will Be Reading Poetry
T.S. Poetry Press (TSPP) is a co-presenter of the event and Maureen Doallas will be reading poetry that night. This will offer you the opportunity to meet Maureen Doallas in person! She sends this message to artists: "I would love to see your artwork represented!"

Knowing how beneficial this event will be for artists Doallas informs us, "The press will spotlight each one of the TSPP platform, which is getting 4.8+million hits, so it's a good opportunity for visibility."

About IAM
IAM presents lectures, performances, exhibitions, screenings, projects, and workshops in its NYC space, located at 38 West 39th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY, "...With the hope of spurring other like-minded organizations in similar undertakings. Our programming and resources equip the broader movement to generate good, true, and beautiful cultural artifacts."

IAM Mission
"IAM gathers artists and creative catalysts to wrestle with the deep questions of art, faith, and humanity in order to inspire the creative community to grapple with our present reality, faithfully steward our talents, and and create 'rehumanizing' work indicative of the world that 'ought to be."

How to Submit to IAM Call for Art Works
International Arts Movement is calling artists around the world to donate pieces to a Small Works Auction on Wednesday April 23rd, 2014. The auction will take place during Ruby Garden Dreams with T.S. Poetry Press.

This Small Works Auction is open to the following media: original printings, paintings, drawings, photography, and sculpture. Photographs must be framed. Size: approximately 4″ x 4″ – 12″ x 12″. Up to three (3) works can be submitted per artist.

As announced on the IAM website "This event provides exposure to IAM artists while giving art lovers access to high-quality, reasonably priced small works of art to hang in their home or give as a gift. Proceeds will help to fund new programming at IAM."

The deadline for submission March 23, 2014.

For more information visit IAM website http://media.internationalartsmovement.com/?page_id=3870

Friday, February 21, 2014

Viridian Artists 25th Annual International Juried Exhibition

Opportunity for Artists to Exhibit in A New York Gallery
Shared by Renée Phillips

Shown above is an installation of Viridian Artists 23rd International Juried Exhibition, juried by Chrissie Iles, curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC, NY.

Viridian Artists, a New York gallery established in the 60's, is calling for artists for its 25th Annual International Juried Exhibition that will take place July 1- July 19, 2014.

The entry deadline is Friday April 11, 2014.

Juror: Katherine Brinson, Guggenheim Museum

The juror for this competition is Katherine Brinson, Associate Curator, Guggenheim Museum, NYC, NY. Katherine Brinson is one of the organizing curators for the museum’s Young Collectors Council, which focuses on acquiring the work of emerging artists for the permanent collection.

This exhibition  is open to all U.S. and International artists working in 2D and 3D media. Cash prizes, Power-point presentation, and an opportunity to participate in this group exhibition July 1-19, 2014.

For Guidelines and How to Enter visit www.viridianartists.com/submission/

The entry fees are $45 for 3 works; $5 each additional.

Shown above is an installation from "Viridian's 24th International Juried Exhibition, juried by Elisabeth Sussman, curator, Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC, NY.

About Viridian Artists

Viridian Artists, located in the prestigious Chelsea region of New York City, is celebrating its 45th anniversary next season as one of the city's first artist-owned galleries.

Widely regarded as an outstanding showcase for emerging and established artists from the continental USA and around the world, Viridian supports a broad range of original and innovative work meeting the highest aesthetic standards. Representing artists from New York to California, and as far away as Japan, France, Switzerland, Germany and Korea, Viridian has an international flavor with New York overtones.

A spokesperson for Viridian Artists states, "Unlike many commercial galleries, we are interested in new talent to represent and nurture. Our Opportunities page at www.viridianartists.com tells a variety of ways to be a part of our venture."

Viridian sponsors an Annual International Juried Competition, giving many fine artists the opportunity to be seen by important museum curators and viewers from all over the world. The gallery also sponsors an Affiliate Program, Art Talks, and performances in conjunction with its solo and group exhibitions. In addition, the gallery arranges off-site exhibitions for its gallery artists often as far away as Tokyo, Japan. With a capable director and assistant director, Viridian Artists offers its artists portfolios on the gallery website, writes their pr, documents their shows on Facebook and offers many other services to further their careers and reputations.

History

Viridian was born on Long Island in the 60’s, grew up in Soho, and moved to 57th Street in the 70’s. During its 25 years there, the gallery maintained its uniqueness as the sole artist-owned and professionally run gallery on 57th Street, which was at that time the "hub of the art world”.

Just prior to 9/11 Viridian moved to Chelsea, the "now" art world, and has maintained a strong and unique presence there since.

Viridian Artists is located at 548 West 28th St. #632, NY NY 10001

Learn more about this opportunity www.viridianartists.com/submission/

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Advice to Artists? Follow Your Heart!

Make Your Mark!
Shared by Renée Phillips

As an artist is is important to follow your own unique inner vision, listen to what your heart wants to express, and create art with passion and persistence. In my book "Success NOW! For Artists: A Motivational Guide For The Artrepreneur" (First edition published in 1999), I emphasized the importance of following your passion, NOT the art market. As, in the words of Carl Jung: "Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens."

In Chapter One, in the section "Make Your Mark" I wrote the following: "Artists are born with a compelling need to probe the depths of self-expression and proclaim self-liberation. The challenge that lies before them is no small task -- to explore their innate creativity, fight the demons, ignore the critical voices, discover their strengths, push them to the max, and firmly place their inimitable handprint on the Earth -- with absolute conviction and no regrets!"

Here is some sage advice from a few members of Manhattan Arts International.

Vlad Bubnov: "Be true to your art"
http://fotografyart.squarespace.com 

Vlad Bubnov, Hadhodrond-Path, archival limited edition print, size varies

"The advice I would give is similar to the one I tell myself all the time – do not give up on yourself: Believe in your art and be true to your art. Do not let others dictate what is art and what is not art.

And, most importantly, be happy that you have an artistic talent as it will help you through all your life."

Read an interview with Vlad Bubnov


Sheila Grabarsky: "Express YOUR Heart"
http://www.grabarskystudio.com

Sheila Grabarsky, Open Heart, mixed media, 30" x 40"

"Learn to express YOUR heart and know that it is your heart that helps weather the rejection each artist must face.

Also, nothing can be too precious to try to preserve in a composition at the expense of the total work…often a passage I've been in love with for many hours has to ultimately be obliterated to improve the painting."

Read an interview with Sheila Grabarsky

Bren Sibilsky: "Never give up"
http://www.brensculpture.com 

Bren Sibilsky, Aphrodite, clay for bronze, 67" x 24" x 20".

"It is important for me to constantly evolve as an artist. Never give up and never take yourself too seriously: Leave that to the art critics. You cannot please everyone and not everyone will like you, but the people who really count will always be there."

Read an interview with Bren Sibilsky


Charlotte Shroyer: "Rejection is not a bad thing"
www.charlotteshroyer.com


Charlotte Shroyer, Balance, oil on canvas, 36" x 36".

"Do art every day whether it is painting, drawing, printing, etc. Look at other artists’ work. Read books about art and extract from those books what seems relevant to you and your work."

She adds, "I have a painting journal into which I include cut out snippets of techniques, colors, quotes, photos of work and more things that appeal to me and anything significant to what I am painting."

Also, she advises, "Continue to evolve. Don’t be afraid to experiment with ideas, new techniques."

Many artists are afraid of rejection. Shroyer offers this advice: "Rejection is not a bad thing. We all want to be accepted, but sometimes through rejection, we can find another way to communicate the same idea or a better way to do so."

Read an interview with Charlotte Shroyer


John Anderson: "Break the rules"
www.imagesaccordingtojohn.com

John Anderson, Dove Ascending, digital art on aluminum

"Persevere, persevere, persevere. Be yourself. Don’t just follow the pack. Find your own niche, your own audience."

He adds, "Be creative, break the rules. Don’t be so caught in technique, or doing it the way you were taught. Be bold, be adventuresome. Don’t be discouraged by failure — pick up and start again when you fail. That is the path to creativity."

Equally important, he says, "Relate personally to your collectors, and care about them."

Read an interview with John Anderson

Whenever you start to doubt yourself or are afraid to break the rules, it is important to remember the wisdom expressed by Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Artists Helping Artists

The Haggus Society Helps Women Artists 40 Years and Over

In case you haven't noticed there are imbalances that exist in the art world, reflecting the injustices that exist in society at large. And, yes, advancements have been made thanks to advocates and organizations that are taking action.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
Mahatma Gandhi

We all have a choice to either sit back and complain about a situation or get up and take action. I derive enormous pleasure in promoting Artists who believe in helping other artists and making a difference in the world at large.

Making a difference is Terri Lloyd (www.terrilloyd.net) an artist who has been acutely aware that that many creative women over the age of 40 are under-served in the arts and society at large. To combat this she co-founded The Haggus Society (www.thehaggussociety.org) with artist Monica Marsh (www.monicamarsh.com) in 2010.

Lloyd explains, “We couldn’t find support for women like us — multifaceted older women who play hard and work hard; women who are activists, thinkers, risk takers ... We knew if we didn’t make it happen, it wouldn’t come into existence.”

Sharing A Global Vision

The Haggus Society is “A comprehensively supportive feminist art collective for women over the age of 40, who share a global vision of empowering Woman’s position in the arts and society.” They achieve this through the support of cultural acts and practices, such as literature, poetry, performance art, music, visual art and direct action.

The Haggus Society recognizes that many creative women over the age of 40 are under-served in the arts and society. These women are often overlooked because of gender bias, age, lack of credentials or professional affiliations, regardless of exceptional talent.

The organization also strives to redefine the conventional terminology of emerging, mid-career and late-career artist as classifications and barriers to accessing support.

"Hags are a varied and radical group, both near and far. Most of us wear many hats and lead busy lives; the opportunities for live, intimate conversation are usually limited. These interviews will help us help you connect with your sisters in all things Hag."

About Artist Terri Lloyd

Los Angeles artist Terri Lloyd calls her approach to helping others as, “Whole-istic Zen … an emulsification of commercial and graphic arts expertise, fine art processes, philosophical / spiritual exploration and an unprecedented sense of humor.”

She states, “Exiled to the wilderness of nonconformity I have found comfort some place between Zen and the professionally weird. A paper-headed pajama-clad raconteur translating observations and reactions with graphic pun and insinuation, my work continues to venture into the absurdities of socio-political, philosophical and psychoanalytical themes.”

Terri Lloyd, The Vessels Of Life Are Not Tools For The Destruction Of Societies, 2009, Digital, archival print on 100% cotton rag, 52" x 40". Edition size 1/1

"'The Vessels Of Life Art Not Tools For The Destruction Of Societies' is a response to gender violence as an acceptable and common practice in times of war or conflict." ~ Terri Lloyd

Terri Lloyd, "It's All Good", 2010/2013, digital, archival print on 100% cotton rag, 48" x 36". Edition size 1/1

"It's All Good is in response to the colloquial phrase, 'It's all good.' I feel that in order to maintain a healthy outlook in life we have to take a look at things objectively. Sometimes what we are being "fed" or what we are doing, individually or collectively, isn't all that good." ~ Terri Lloyd

To see more of Terri Lloyd's art work visit www.terrilloyd.net



Stigma - An exhibition Featuring Four Members of the Haggus Society


In partnership with Julie Montenegro State Farm, The Haggus Society presents Stigma. "Bound together by gender, age, and medium, Stigma shares the works of four distinct artists working in digital media and defying conventional wisdom."

This exhibition, which runs through March 30, 2014 features the art work of Debra Girard, Bernice Greenberg, Melissa Lambert, and Terri Lloyd. Julie Montenegro State Farm is located at 5683 York Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90042.

Become A Sponsor or Donor of The Haggus Society

You can help The Haggus Society make a difference!

The organization accepts donations in any denomination. "Your generous support helps us to develop programming for public arts events and exhibitions for Haggus Society members as well as the art community at large. Support also helps The Haggus Society bring to members opportunities for career coaching, arts education, seminars and workshops as well as proposal funding."

The Haggus Society is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of The Haggus Society must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

To make a donation visit https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/fiscal/profile?id=4735

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Challenges and Rewards of Creating Small Scale Art

Comments from Winners of Small Art - Big Impact

By Renée Phillips

I was recently one of the jurors for Manhattan Arts International Small Art - Big Impact juried exhibition which can be seen through February 18th at http://www.manhattanarts.com/Gallery/SMALL-ART/winners.htm.

One of the requirements was the art submitted could be no larger than 16" in any direction. As I viewed the several hundred jpeg entries I was amazed at the versatility and skill artists use to express themselves.

Curious to know about their process and decisions I reached out to some of the winners to ask them to share the benefits and challenges of creating small scale art. As you will see, there are many bonuses for the artist and the prospective buyer.

Small Art is More Saleable

Charlotte Shroyer, The Journey, monotype on paper, 16" x 16", $295

Charlotte Shroyer (www.charlotteshroyer.com) states, "There are great rewards when it comes to the business of small artwork. I get great pleasure from seeing my clients fall in love with a piece so much that they buy it and often more than one. Small is affordable in this age of economic and spatial downsizing and I know that they will have these new paintings as friends for a long time."

She adds, "When I first started creating small art for sale to summer tourists, I never imagined that I would fall in love with making small works so much that I start almost every one of my creative days with miniature painting or printmaking."


Karyn Meyer-Berthel, Soho, acrylic on panel, 12" x 12", $200

Karyn Meyer-Berthel (www.karynmeyer.com) agrees. "Working small is affordable for me and the collector. I started working on 12" x 12" panels because I loved the way the size looked with large 2" cradles and my designs. The hearty panel balanced the heavy color I use. I started playing with 8" squares and loved the ease of small scale.”

However, there is a downside, Meyer-Berthel explains. "My art really begs for large panels. A small scale piece is just a tease. The viewer should be getting lost in the piece. Large scale accommodates the viewer's desire to be encompassed by the piece, to become lost in the lines."


Kristine Mays, Dirty Dancing, wire sculpture, 14" x 15" x 4", $500

Kristine Mays (www.kristinemays.com) one of the top three award-winners in this exhibition explains, "I found myself thinking about how art is not a luxury exclusive to only some, but anyone with a love for art can begin an art collection. Small creations can be incorporated even into the homes or institutions with limited space!"

Mays adds, "I primarily work on a large scale, creating life-size sculptures, yet I enjoyed the challenge of creating small work with specific size in mind. My hope is always to communicate in a way that leaves the viewer delighted and intrigued."


Daggi Wallace, Blowing Bubbles, pastel, 8" x16", Not for Sale

Daggi Wallace (www.daggistudio.com) prefers working small. "While my work ranges greatly in size (from 5” x 5” to 28” x 55”) I see many advantages to sticking to smaller formats. These include lower material costs, especially framing, ease of handling, lower shipping costs, lower retail prices -- which attracts new clients -- and a greater sense of productivity."

She adds, "I love being able to finish a piece in a short amount of time because I notice a waning of enthusiasm and loss of connection to the work if it takes me too long. Also, when working en plein air the time limit is usually around 1-2 hours before the light changes drastically, but this is not a problem when I only have to cover a 5” x 7”or 8" x 10” surface."


Small Art Inspires Creative Growth

Gunilla Lofgren, Scenery I, mixed media on canvas, 8" x 8", $250

Gunilla Lofgren (www.skatubacken.se) an artist from Sweden, uses Vedic art, an intuitive painting method originating from the ancient Indian teachings.

“In Vedic Art size is one of the principles which I find quite interesting. For me, painting small sizes develops focus and emotions, and larger sizes releases power and energy. The challenge with small size art is for me to focus, to let my hands use small movements, and dive into the micro world. For me creating small size art is an introverted process as opposed to creating art in big sizes which is more extroverted.

As my former art teacher Curt Källman wrote: 'The refining of our emotions occurs when we paint miniatures; ultimate victory comes with larger sizes'”.

Keith Morant, Miniature IV, mixed media on canvas, 2-1/2" x 2-1/2", $250

Keith Morant (www.keithmorant.com) explains, "As a full time painter, I work in many different sizes.  It is a common misconception that the smaller the artwork, then the easier it is to produce."

Morant takes on the challenges deliberately. "When I have been away from the studio for a long time, I return with the idea of recommencing work on a smaller scale and to ease myself back into practice. The smaller format demands greater concentration on detail which, in turn, decreases spontaneity in favour of intellectual design."

Morant confesses, "Many such works become abandoned or destroyed."

For Morant Persistence Pays Rich Rewards

"After many such trials and disasters, a breakthrough is made", says Morant. "This seems to be when I have emotionally tuned in to the size of the work and its relationship with my materials. Suddenly compositions begin to fall together more naturally and miniature paintings may emerge with vivacity of a gemlike quality that speaks louder than the size of the work itself."

Mays Breathes Life Into Wire

Kristine Mays, Beauty & Grace, wire sculpture,
16" x 10" x 3", $500
Kristine Mays explains her unique challenges. "How would I communicate 'breathing life into wire', capturing a personality and soul within wire, on such a small scale?

By emphasizing aspects of the silhouette and using a lighter weight wire than I normally use I was able to do this.

Funny how one change brings about a domino effect! I faced different challenges working with a lighter gauge wire because it did not hold shape in the way that I was accustomed to.

I also found myself editing upon realizing that I could not create the numerous subtle wrinkles and folds in the garments I normally create because with a small scale it is important to maintain the message of the piece without overworking it.

While many challenges arose, there was also great satisfaction in creating something small. I imagined the places where these sculptures could reside. I enjoyed the purposeful focus these sculptures required and the sweet feeling of creating something special and exclusive to be shared with the world."

Jami Taback Offers Good Advice


Jami Taback, New York Harbor, digital ink transfer, 8" x 11", $200
Jami Taback (www.jamitaback.com) explains, "Many years ago while teaching a printmaking workshop in New York City, the discussion during class was about choosing work for juried exhibitions when a specific subject matter is requested.

A common theme or subject matter is a way to unify an exhibit. Size is another way for the curator to accomplish this.

The artist who prefers to work large doesn’t need to panic when they need a small work for an exhibition.

Many artists have work stored away in their drawers that may not have been the most successful drawing or painting; however there is an area of the work that is interesting and is strong enough to stand on its own.

When searching for small work consider cropping that desired area. If a larger work is not up to your satisfaction but has a lovely area that excites you, don’t be afraid to crop it, frame it and submit it to a Small Art show or sell it."


View "Small Art - Big Impact" Exhibition

Take a look at the 60 artists who won "Small Art - Big Impact". You may be inspired to change your artistic approach and attract more sales while reaping the creative benefits. http://www.manhattanarts.com/Gallery/SMALL-ART/winners.htm

Share Your Comments Here
What challenges and rewards have you discovered from creating small scale art? Please comment below.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Creativity with a Business Plan

By Renée Phillips

Beam Structures II by Arthur Jacob, one of the members of Manhattan Arts International.
View his art at http://www.manhattanarts.com/Gallery/Arthur-Jacob.htm

"One cannot be content to creep when one has the impulse to soar!" ~ Helen Keller

As January 1st arrived you are probably considering making this the most productive and prosperous year for your art. Now is the time you want to take your career to the next level.

Are you serious about developing your art as a business? If you answered yes to this question then welcome to a world of empowerment.

Your first step toward achieving the career of your dreams could be the creation of your business plan. It could be very powerful and doesn't have to be painful once you take the first steps.

Why do you need a business plan? 
The greatest benefit is it will force you to create a clear path to take your art career. You will gain control and self esteem. Without one you leave your career to chance and vulnerable to outside circumstances.

Your business plan is something you will create now and will want to update it as your business evolves.

Furthermore a business plan is essential when having to show any prospective investors or bankers that you are serious about earning a profit from your art.

What does a Business Plan consist of?
 
The business plan consists of four parts: business statement; production plan; financial plan and marketing plan.

1. The business statement describes your business goals. It includes what you plan to sell and any additional sources of income such as private teaching and merchandising.

2. The production plan describes how you plan to produce the art, how long it will take, plus required facilities, equipment, art supplies and hired help. Add office equipment, supplies and business services, such as website design/hosting, legal, accounting and professional membership fees.

3. The financial plan indicates the amount of money you expect to earn and the amount needed to begin or expand your business. As a rule, your operating expenses should be less than twenty percent of your income. That should be your ideal goal. In this current economy it may not be so easy to attain the ideal goal. Don't worry, things will improve.

4. The marketing plan describes your market, your customers and your competition. It explains the unique features of your art or art service and benefits to the buyer. It includes where you plan to advertise, what marketing materials and systems you will generate to reach your prospective buyers, and investments you will make to expand your markets.

Need help creating your business plan?
Renee Phillips, is an Author and Director of Manhattan Arts International http://www.ManhattanArts.com/ReneePhillips/consult.htm. She is also an art marketing advisor to artists and other art professionals. During the months of January and February she helps many artists develop business plans. She offers direction, motivation, tools and resources. Send her an email if you need help.