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Entries in balance (3)

Wednesday
Dec162015

What Are Your Plans?

Balancing Art, Life and Marketing

Estimated time to read this tip: A hair past one minute

Pop quiz

Over the "holidays," will you:

A. Celebrate the season with people, presents and promises?
B. Volunteer at a local food bank or do random acts of kindness?
C. Travel to spend short days skiing or long ones lounging on a beach?
D. Use the time to catch up on your work?
E. Lament the speedy passage of another year and how you didn’t get everything done?

You probably had more than one answer.  I do.

The most common one I hear first at the end of the year is the last one about the speed and passage of time.

You know that time speeding up is only perception. And catching up to something that isn’t moving is impossible. Yet still we try.

Time is a measurement system, so it doesn’t move – we do – and at varying speeds. When we don’t get as much done as we had hoped, we imagine time is passing us by. When we speed ourselves up to meet deadlines (set by others or self-imposed), we may get more done – or not - but we may also sacrifice some quality and enjoyment along the way.

Your achievements don’t start in January and end in December. And they certainly don’t lend themselves neatly to a day, a week, or a month.

Artistic achievements are organic and messier. If all of our results were all regular, neat and tidy, how creative would we be?

And when it comes down to it, underneath all the joyous fanfare of this season in North America, what is most precious is people. The ones we have now and the ones who have taken their leave.

The calendar year is a tool of convenience – a marking system to keep track of measured time.

You are the master clock maker.
You make the plans.
You do the work.
You reap the rewards.
You celebrate with people you care about.
You decide what goes on the calendar and you declare what stays off.

You are all amazing.

May we all learn to find or create some peace in moments here, there and everywhere.

Remember to breathe.


Last Minute Gift 
for writers, other artists and people who love them
(And a copy for your library)

“My Real Job is Being an Artist” is an indispensable reference book about the art business and how to prepare for success as a fine artist.  Author Aletta de Wal, who is both an artist and art business coach, provides a fresh look at exactly what an artist needs to do to become self-supporting.  Aletta draws upon more than twenty years of relevant experience to explain how she and other successful artist clients have achieved their goals.

"For artists who are not sure where or how they fit into the art world, this book provides detailed information on exactly what to do to break into the next stage of their career. Chapters on how to plan your time, visualize goals, and monitor progress are especially pertinent.

"Readers will appreciate Aletta de Wal’s practical advice on how to make the most of their limited time, energy and resources to land that perfect day job… as an artist!”

~Margaret Danielak www.danielakart.com 
Owner of DanielakArt – Art Sales & Consulting Services
Author of “A Gallery without Walls: Selling Art in Alternative Venues” 

 

P.S. I’m taking some time off the grid to play and then to work on my business instead of in my business. That combination always leaves me feeling really ready for another calendar year. Peace.

Artist Career Training’s mission is to help you make a better living making art - and still have a life.

Tuesday
Oct282014

Introducing the "Balancing Art, Life & Marketing" Coaching Program

Estimated Reading time: 4 minutes.

You know that I take my work with artists seriously – but frankly, life seems to be getting too serious all around. Are you feeling that way at all?

That’s not to say we don’t want the responsibilities we’ve chosen.

Most artists work out of home and, besides the title of artist, they are chief cook, bottle washer, gardener, dog walker, sitter and caretaker. And there’s no gender bias here – it applies equally to male and female artists.

And what about the tug between social time with family and friends, making art and being CEO of your art business …

Then there’s the ‘holidays’ coming up. Phew!

I could go on, but I’m guessing you know what I mean.

I know how all that is. I make art, manage Artist Career Training and work with artists. Like many of my clients, I have home and family responsibilities that are not always predictable. I do my best to live a healthy lifestyle, but I have a chronic illness that sometimes interrupts my work and life. I also like to make my own art and take music lessons too.

I rarely go in a straight line or in only one direction. That’s the blessing and the curse of a creative mind and a full life – you know exactly what I’m talking about, don’t you?

I know – and my clients know – the feeling of being on a tightrope. At either end are the poles of the studio and the business. In the middle, balancing busy lives as siblings, parents, and community members …

Does this sound like you?

I know that you prefer to be the "you" that is the calm, competent, creative member of the human race. And that most of the time you are. But conflicting priorities and crunch times can complicate a balanced life.

Are you ready for some gentle, clear and heartfelt support?

Introducing the “Balancing Art, Life & Marketing” Coaching Program

I’d really like you to know all about a new coaching program I developed to help artists who may want more balance with less effort.

I decided it was high time to create an individual, personal one-on-one coaching program to help my clients have a more balanced and spacious life and juggle like pro on a unicycle.

Powerful, Practical and Proven Guidance in Three Simple Stages

I know that you are creative, resourceful and whole and that you just need a bit of help with all you’ve taken on as a responsible adult.

I promise that you’ll get clear on how to get from where you are now to what you want most in your art, life and marketing without feeling overwhelmed and wrung out.

Your life didn’t get as complex as it is - nor did you develop such creative ways to handle it – overnight. So I can’t tell you all about the solutions for such complexity in a few paragraphs. But here’s the summary:

I’ll personally guide you to realign your life, expand your energy, make sounder choices, align your actions with your desires, as well as make better use of your time, money and energy as you juggle only what works for you.

  • First, we’ll examine any attitudes, beliefs and thoughts that make you dizzy and keep your art career and life out of balance. I’ll help you substitute new ones that will gently propel you forward as if you had mental stabilizers.

  • Next, we’ll compare where your art, life and marketing are now, with where you want them to be. I’ll guide you make conscious choices about what to stop doing, start doing keep doing, or do differently.

  • Then, we’ll create a pathway to follow from your current art, life and marketing to your desired future. I’ll show you how to create doable plans and break them down into strides and steps to make steady progress on your artist journey.

End destination: you can make art, make a living and still have a life, like these artists who helped me test the program:

“I find the program easy to work with and I just run with it, needing only occasional help and Aletta's active guidance as she helps me continue on through. At several junctures she made suggestions for additional exercises I could use. Her suggestions were insightful and precisely matched my question or issue at the time – nothing felt canned or forced. 
At all times Aletta is encouraging, supportive, sane, and grounded. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to work with her."


“I find Aletta a joy to work with.  She has an uncanny knack for knowing what makes me tick, which translates to how to motivate me to reach my goals as an artist and as a person. I always feel that she has my best interests at heart and truly cares that I be the best I can be."


“I just returned from presenting two sketches to a committee that is commissioning a large sculpture with two figures. It was such a pleasurable experience, and as I was driving home I reflected on where I was two years ago--before I started working with Aletta as my coach. I learned so much from her that it really gave me confidence to work on these larger projects. She also encouraged me as an artist, and I am much more confident, and as a result, enjoying my life, art and my business more than ever."


I am so excited about the results this program can bring you.

Start adding a bit more balance to your life now. Grab a cup of coffee, tea or water and click here to find out if “Balancing Art, Life and Marketing" is for you.

Friday
Jun132014

Balance: How Would You Help an Artist Who is "Overwhelmed and Freaked Out"?

 

Is this normal?

Does the artist’s lament in the quote below sound familiar?

Maybe it matches your experience or is a person you care about in this state of mind?

“I feel so overwhelmed and freaked out sometimes, like I'll never be able to make my art business work and I'm just killing our family's finances. 

Other times, I can be more positive and think that for only having my artwork out in the world for 10 months, I've done a lot -- won a juried competition with a prize of a solo show, sold about 15 pieces (big and small), got a website and Facebook page going.

Then I flip back when I didn't get as many September goals accomplished, as I would have hoped. Aside from everything else on my plate, I am moving my website to a different template and it is taking a lot of time to do so. I barely got to my studio in Sept, honestly, which makes me feel pretty down.

I'm trying to stay upbeat, but right now it feels hard. This is normal, right?”
(Name withheld to protect the innocent.)

So, is this normal and what would you tell this artist?

My take on this:

  • What’s normal is that this artist is doing all the right things to get her art noticed.
  • What’s unusual is that she doing such a great job that she’s already sold so many pieces in less than a year.
  • What’s not normal – or at least not right – is that she’s freaking out and feeling bad. Her reaction is understandable but won’t change anything and could actually make things worse.

If you lose the spark of joy in making art, even the most brilliant art and business skills will not bring success or fulfillment.

Besides, if you try to act from that reactive mindset, you’ll stifle any creative moves you could use to respond.

Repeat after me: "I cannot do everything I think about or take any opportunity that comes my way."

At least not unless you have a team of people to help you. And even then, you’ll still be in charge of running the show.

But you can do the most important things that make up a satisfying and fulfilling life as an artist. If you have family, another job or volunteer responsibilities to add to making and marketing art, then you have to make choices, and yes, you will have to say ‘no’ from time to time.

Do You Use Antique Weigh Scales or Choose Dynamic Balance?

Few artists complain that making art deprives them of time to take care of business. More artists feel that too much time on business and marketing “robs” them of art time.

If business depletes the joy and inspiration out of making art, it’s probably time to adjust your schedule. Making art is the core of your business and why you are doing all of this. Keep the prize in mind.

When I talk about balance, I am not talking about weigh scales where art and business are on opposite sides of the balance point; you try to give equal time to each and give up anything that does not fall into those two categories or one side tips over.

Thinking in terms of two polarities of art and business creates your first problem.

Few of us have only art to think about. Art and business do not exist in a vacuum. Unless we are complete hermits, we have friends, family and other commitments in addition to making and marketing art. Ignore those and you add the problems of overwhelm, exhaustion and frustration.

Think instead about the kind of balance in a mobile* (as in an art sculpture not a handheld communication device) where there are many items hanging down from a central support. The balance depends on the weight of each item and fluctuates depending on the flow of air in which they float.

Please join me and a group of wholehearted artists to explore ways to begin to change your mindset about overwhelm and stop freaking yourself out.

You won't even have to leave the privacy, solace and comfort of your studio.

Just click here and I’ll send your very own teleconference access numbers.

The Artist’s Journey to Conscious Juggling.
Wednesday, June 18th, 2014
from 5:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Pacific; 8:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Eastern

There is no charge for this call, other than your long distance carrier fees.

We’ll have a practical and life-affirming discussion about how you can juggle art, life and marketing with less effort and more ease.

Please make sure to tell me what you are juggling and what you’d like me to talk about that could help you keep the right balls in the air.

After we’ve shared stories and suggestions for 45 minutes, if you can stay for a few more. I’ll also tell you about the new A.C.T. personal coaching program “Balancing Art, Life and Marketing.”

If you can’t make it, no worries, you can set up a personal call with me to learn more at a time that works better.

Chief Cook, Bottle Washer, Caretaker ... and Artist

Juggle, Juggle, Toil ... No Trouble?

Cruiser Bob's Haleakala Downhill Sunrise Tour and Your Art Career

*Susan Birkenshaw first introduced me to this idea in 1997 in her work on Work-Life Balance.