Nov 24, 2009

A walk to the park and birding

This past weekend, I realized that our family seems to be stuck in a bit of a rut. We do the same things all the time. We used to do a lot more hiking and adventuring, but now a weekend for us is pretty much a walk downtown to get a coffee, then to the studio for some crafts with James, then to the Yacht Club for snacks, a beach walk and hanging out. Not that there's anything wrong with routine, it just gets a little, well... routine.

So, last night we made an Adventure Jar. In the jar we wrote on slips of paper fun activities we can do like hiking, biking, hockey, swimming, etc. Then when we don't know what to do, we just pull a slip from the jar. James wanted to try it out right away. So we each pulled a slip and were going to vote on the best choice for 730pm on a school night. Well, we decided to do all three instead - 'a walk to the park to look for birds. 'Although we didn't succeed at finding any birds, it was fun to be out and about doing something different.

I realized that this can apply to the studio too! Can't wait to try some new 'adventures' there!

Nov 16, 2009

Cussing Customs!

Is that what you do when you get a custom order? CUSS? When a commission comes in do you celebrate and curse all at the same time? Every artist I know does. It's definitely a love / hate relationship.

Here are some quick thoughts on how to balance that relationship out a bit more in your favour.

1. Be very clear what you're willing to comprimise on and what you're not. Although they are a paying a customer, you don't have to agree to make it if it is really going against what you want to do as an artist.
2. Be very clear about what they will get at the end - in fact, maybe check in with them throughout the process to show them how it is progressing - that way any red flags can be dealt with early on.
3. Take a deposit before starting.
4. Just in case, do you have a contigency plan if they don't like the end piece? Can you sell it somewhere else?
5. Be clear about timelines - and give yourself some buffer time - I find it's usually hard to get motivated to work on these orders so you need extra time.
6. And most importantly, before starting ask yourself is the project something I want to do, is this person someone I want to work with?

Nov 11, 2009

The Anatomy of a Blog

Last week I taught a 'Blogging for Artists' workshop at the Cornwall Artpreneur Conference. Since then a few artists have asked for the information so here are some (can't give away all my secrets at once) on what you should include in your blog posts:

  • Controversy is good, make a statement, no politicians allowed (in other words no sitting on the fence)
  • Links to other websites and blogs are good
  • Images are vital
  • Have contests
  • Include your customers (comments, stories, photos - with permission of course)
  • Post follow up comments (even if they come by email)

For those that missed the workshop I am hosting the same session on Kingston on November 30, 1-2 at my studio. For more info visit my site -