Sauda, Ancestress of Dark Beauty, 10 1/8"h x 8 1/8"w From the Ancestress Series. Wood shadow box, polymer clay mask embellished with beads, metal and acrylic paint. $175
Inspired by a fellow artist blogger, I'm including an image of my work to open each entry. I love the way Tammy Vitale does it on her blog, Women, Art, Life Weaving it Together thanks for the great idea, Tammy.
Art Marketing Salons: The Source
I've posted before about the ArtBizBlog, written by Alyson Stanfield, which is an invaluable resource for those of us trying to get our art "out there" in an organized, professional, and efficient way--if you're not reading it, you should be! Her insights, advice and encouragement are delivered in many ways, including the free materials available on her website for creating Art Marketing Salons.
Three fellow artists and I decided to form an Art Marketing Salon, since we all felt we needed help in marketing our work, and were committed to seeing the venture through. One member was a painter who now designs jewelry using semi precious beads, polymer clay, wire-wrapping and crystals, one is a painter, returning to her art after a number of years running an art school and teaching, another is a jewelry designer who recently relocated to our area from New York, who works in semi-precious beads, shells, and other natural materials. I'm the common denominator and group leader who brought us all together, since I know each woman separately.
How it Works
At first it seemed unlikely our goals would mesh, given that we were at different points in our artistic careers. Three of us have been doing shows for years, one has never done shows (and doesn't think she wants to), I'm feeling like I need other venues for selling my work, while everyone else seems pretty satisfied with theirs. But, just like when you set out to do a pot luck dinner, and without much prior planning, it all comes together, that's what our Art Marketing Salon has been like. We're surprisingly compatible; we share the common goal of being creative women who want to get our work to the next level, whatever that means for each of us.
Alyson's lessons are clear, thought-provoking and comprehensive. With subjects like: Set and Achieve Goals, Define Your Art, and Differentiate Yourself from Your Competition, we've been able to focus upon each area, listen to each other's challenges, and offer constructive suggestions for improvement or new directions. We're also able to identify strengths and weaknesses, and we can begin to work on them. Even though we've lost one member, who relocated to the west coast, we are continuing to help each other.
I'm extremely cold call averse, though I would like to explore the world of local art or craft galleries, and museum stores as new venues to sell my work. (I've come to this realization, in part, through Art Salon--prior to starting it, I'd been thinking about what to do next, but without being able to focus on a real direction) My dear fellow members have volunteered to make those cold calls for me! We've often discussed how much easier it is to sell another artist's work than your own, and we'll see if it will work for us. I've begun and maintained this blog, developed my first publicity postcard, am actively using my mailing list, and concentrating on marketing as a regular part of my routine, all as a result of being in the Salon.
Our member who's returning to her art values our constructive critique sessions, and shares a wealth of information about local galleries and other venues she's investigating for her pastel and acrylic works. Our painter-turned-jewelry-designer is making the transition from stringing to all handmade necklaces and earrings, and is experiencing all the "joys" associated with creative research and development. We always reserve time during our sessions to share new work, information about new shows, and calls for artists.
We look forward to the time together, working through the lessons, making discoveries about ourselves and our creative journeys. I highly recommend the Art Marketing Salon experience everyone--find some artists in your area, go to the site, register and begin. I think you'll be glad you did.