The Number One Step toward Provision for Artists

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."  ~Anne Bradstreet

Hopefully, after last week's post you're at least thinking about starting a list.

I had an "ah ha" moment a few years ago. When I saw the bottom fall out of the music industry, I realized that I needed some skills that I did not possess, business skills. My search led me to Carrie Wilkerson: the Barefoot Executive. When I started working with Carrie she made a statement, "Money is easy to make, you just have to know the steps."

Recently she asked, what would you rather have: ten thousand dollars, or a list of ten thousand names?  Ten thousand dollars?  Wrong answer! Carrie says she could easily make many times over the ten thousand dollars, and she could make it again and again with a list.

Multitudes of artists have been taught every skill imaginable to make their art, but few have been taught how to make money with their art.

Building a list is step number one! This concept of 'a list' is valuable information and a necessity for every artist, no matter what your art is, but I find it's value is not understood with artists. Many have lists, but are not utilizing them to their advantage. And . . .we've been concentrating on creating instead of selling. The statistic  I've heard over and over is that, in business, 20% of your time should be spent on creating and 80% should be spent on marketing your creation. Yikes!! That leaves most artists in the dust.

What do we do about it? We take small steps. If you have an audience, you need to be collecting email addresses. Then you need to communicate regularly with those fans.  How? Any way you can! Plan to give away something people want in return for their email address; something digital that you sets up once and don't have to touch again.

Once you have this list, plan to communicate regularly. However, don't make the communication all about you.  Give encouragement!  Build a theme around your art and make that the conversation. Then make special offers, share your calendar, your latest project, glimpses into what you are working on now. In other words, build a relationship with your fans and encourage them to follow their dreams.

When your career is flourishing and you are booked regularly, make sure you are collecting email addresses. You never know when that slump may come. If you have a list you'll be ready and not skip a beat. If you don't have a list . . .  you'll be starting from scratch.

This is truly the number one place to start if you want to make a living with your art. Is that your goal? Then share your art and your dream and tell me how you collect email addresses or how you plan to start collecting them.

I'm cheering you on!!


Spring is the Time to Blossom!

"If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies."   ~  Nadine Stair

Spring is in the air! Have you noticed? Around Nashville the pear trees are in full bloom, along with the red buds .... and they are beautiful.! Which brings me to my question: What is budding in you?

Is your creativity in its budding stage? If not, why not? This is the season where new ideas, like tiny seeds, take root and blossom. Have you been hiding or keeping your creativity from the people who need it so desperately? If so, it's time for your marketing skills to bloom as well. Many artists spend the bulk of their time creating, but not marketing their creativity, thus - the 'starving artists' syndrome!

How about you? Do you have a marketing plan that is in position to blossom? Are you waiting for the beautiful glory of spring, or are you frantically trying to figure out how to get your creativity to the market place?  Let me help you.

The number one most important thing you should possess, as a creative who wants to sell their art, is a list. What is a list, you may ask?  A list is just that: a list of contacts, people who like your art, such as family, friends, or anyone who ever talked to you about your art. How do you get that list? Ask! Start asking for email addresses. Have a sign up page on the Internet.

Offer a free gift ... something digital that is easily downloaded in return for their email address. Protect this list; don't share it with anyone and nurture the people who sign up. Send encouragement and glimpses of your work. Develop relationships and watch your sales increase, your invitations grow and your creativity blossom! It's spring after all - let's enjoy this season of blooming!

How about you? Do you already have a list or are you going to start one now?


What Can Encourage Recovery - If Not Beauty?

"In shaping a masterpiece, the artist not only summons his work into being, but also in some way reveals his own personality by means of it.Through his works, the artist speaks to others and communicates with them." Letter to Artists - Pope John Paul

Art tells stories. Whether it's music, dance or paintings, we as artists are telling stories.  We are giving glimpses into our way of thinking, seeing and being and then putting it out there for others to partake. Therefore I believe that it's important to be healthy, moral, centered and focused, so the art we bring to the table is edible and nourishing.

To do this our lives must become a healthy source. Envision yourself as a fountain and your creativity as clear, life-giving fountain of water that flows into dry places bringing refreshing. Is that your desire?

As I watch the images of the total devastation in Japan, I remember the beautiful images created on the walls of concentration camps in Nazi Germany. In the midst of dire circumstances . . . beauty emerged from the spirit of the people.

It is difficult to imagine the suffering of the Japanese people, but I do suppose that beauty will emerge from their devastation. Beauty inspires hope and hope is the beginning of recovery.

"Through his works, the artist speaks to others and communicates with them."John Paul

Anyone can be creative, but is all creativity considered true art? To me, art is something higher. It's an expression of the divine nature within, reaching out to improve the world in some way.
"Every genuine art form in its own way is a path to the inmost reality of man and of the world."John Paul

When“beautiful” is united with “true”through art,  souls are lifted up from the world of the senses to the eternal.

With all the horror of the Japanese devastation, an eternal perspective may be the healing essence of hope that they need.

Can you create something of eternal value? Is there a clear fountain within you that wants to pour out and refresh the hurting? Ask the Creator to flow through you to bring a gift of hope to the world through your creativity.

"The world in which we live runs the risk of being altered beyond recognition because of unwise human actions which, instead of cultivating its beauty, unscrupulously exploit its resources for the advantage of a few and not infrequently disfigure the marvels of nature. What is capable of restoring enthusiasm and confidence, what can encourage the human spirit to rediscover its path, to raise its eyes to the horizon, to dream of a life worthy of its vocation – if not beauty?"Benedict XVI

"Man can live without science, he can live without bread, but without beauty he could no longer live, because there would no longer be anything to do to the world." Dostoevsky


Starting a Revolution - Color Our World Beautiful!

"Artists, you are the custodians of beauty in this world."  Pope Benedict XVI

If the world ever needed a big dose of 'beautiful' - it is now! Seems every time I turn on the news, read the paper, or even catch a glimpse of Oprah!,  I'm being bombarded by information I don't want to hear, images I don't want to see, or topics that are completely disturbing. Even the non-news is disturbing.

The world seems to have gone crazy! Where are the sensible, decent people who have a strong inner sense of right and wrong, who know what to speak about in public and what to keep behind closed doors?

I'm growing so weary of all the noise! I have this deep inner longing for peace, calm, rest and beauty, but I have to fight for it. So I'm calling for a revolution! Will you join me?

The theme of this revolution is "Color Our World Beautiful!"

Let's bombard our communities with beautiful music, paintings, poetry, design, books, articles, clothing, choreography and art! We really can make a difference - one piece of beautiful creativity at a time!

I'm not suggesting that you bury your head in the clouds when it comes to what's happening in the world, but I am suggesting that we balance the bad news with beautiful creativity. It's a known fact that, over time, we become what we digest and we need beautiful images, heart-stirring music and dances that bring us to tears. We need the sacred, the hallowed, innocence and reverence.

What can you create that will "Color our World Beautiful?" I encourage you to post it below or post a link to it, so that we can enjoy the beauty of your creativity.

Announcing Two Amazing Events for Artists!

I'm thrilled to announce two events that are designed especially for creatives! Two opportunities to network with fellow artists, be encouraged and learn cutting edge strategies for marketing your creativity! You'll enjoy great food, great teaching, special guests, a concert and much more!

It's all about being bigger than your art - one of the strategies we'll cover at the conference!

I sue hope you can join us for one of these events. Let me know if you're coming. I'd like some feedback as well. Am I hitting the mark here?