Post image for Artists! 5 essential goals for art success in 2011 : A new year backside kicking list.

Artists! 5 essential goals for art success in 2011 : A new year backside kicking list.

by Helen Aldous

Ah, the start of a New Year. So full of positive resolutions and goals to drop 10 pounds, drink less wine and eat less chocolate, only for it all to fall apart on January the 3rd in a massive wine induced chocolate binge… {or is that just me? eek!}

Then mid January sets in, like a massive cloud of damp drizzly depressive fog, and plays havoc with your motivation, leaving you feeling like 2011 is looking a lot like 2010 only damper and with a bigger post Xmas credit card bill…

Well, the good news is that now you have got the resolutions that you always break out of the way you can break through that January torpor and get down to the really important stuff…the stuff that really IS going to make a difference.

What can you do in 2011 to improve your career as an artist?

In order for 2011 to be your most successful year as an artist yet, there are some essential things that you need to get on top of as soon as possible. So this is my backside kicking list of goals. Essential things that you need to sort out as soon as possible in order to push your art career forward.

Lets make 2011 a great year for your art.

1 – Get your website and blog polished up

Having a professional quality website is not an optional extra any more if you want to be taken seriously as an artist. It is ESSENTIAL. However, it is one crucial thing that it’s all too easy to put off…

Make 2011 the year that you finally whip your website into something that does you proud and shows off your work to it’s full advantage.

You can set up a site using the wonderful WordPress quickly and easily. These posts tell you how…

How to start selling art, crafts or photos online {quickly & without going nuts} Part 1

Start selling art, crafts or photos online {quickly & without going nuts} Part 2

2 – Sort out your artists mailing list and newsletter

I know I keep going on about this but it really is crucial for promoting your work. People may see and like your work or visit your website but they are unlikely to remember to come back. Keeping their details on a mailing list will enable you to keep in contact and keep your work fresh in their mind. It’s crucial for promoting any exhibitions and events you may be planning.

Don’t be daunted. It isnt as hard as it sounds to sort this all out. Set aside one evening after dinner, grab a glass of wine and work through this tutorial on how to get started.

How to start your Artists Newsletter in 6 easy-peasy steps – A practical guide

3 – Get out and about more…

Networking is a MAJOR part of success in the art world. It’s essential to make those connections with others who you may find are able to give your career a boost. When it’s dark and cold outside its all too easy to settle down in front of the fire and not go to that gallery opening you were invited to, but if you do go you may just get chatting to someone who can push your career in surprising directions!

Make 2011 the year that you make the effort to get out and about and meet as many people as possible.

Networking opportunities aren’t available all the time but the internet is. Make connections online using social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Begin by searching out artists and galleries in your local area to make connections that may develop into real life opportunities.

10 shiny golden rules of social media for artists {for Twitter, Facebook, everywhere}

Artists & Twitter. Just what IS the point?


4 – Learn to talk about your work

No one can sell your work as well as you can. No one is more passionate or enthusiastic about it and you never know when you may get a golden opportunity to promote it.

If someone you met at a party asked you what you do and you mumble “ummm I’m just an artist” and they then turned out to be a curator at a gallery you have wanted to exhibit at, wouldn’t you be kicking yourself?

  • Work on your artists statement and refine and polish it until it REALLY speaks about what you do.
  • Then take it one step further and turn it into an “elevator pitch”, so called because it is a very brief introduction to your work that you could run through in the time it takes to travel one floor in an elevator.

So think about the answer to that party question “what do you do?” and prepare a short answer using elements from your artists statement. The key is to make it interesting and intriguing so the other person wants to find out more.

This one works for me at the moment and usually provokes an intrigued response and a conversation about my work.

“I’m an artist. I go out and paint the wild landscapes around Yorkshire in deeply textured watercolour and I also screenprint zombies”

That usually gets an intrigued reaction. Make yours work for you…

Practice speaking this on any long suffering members of your family who will listen so you are ready to introduce yourself positively at the next opportunity.

5 – Organise your life

Now this one may not seem like it has a lot to do with successfully creating and selling art but it is really important. As artists and creative types we tend to neglect the “paperwork” side of things until we are existing in a confusing and head screwing clutter of disorganised lunacy. Then, everytime you need to find a specific thing you waste time hunting through teetering piles of files to find it. That time could be spent promoting or painting.

Clutter and disorganisation is extremely bad for your head and tends to make it harder to focus on the things you need to do. Trust me. It REALLY helps to get organised.

  • Tidy up your works space and create a storage system for all your art supplies so they are to hand easily. IKEA do great stackable transparent plastic boxes in assorted sizes which are brilliant for this.
  • Get records of your work, collectors and galleries into shape so that you can find names or details at a moments notice. You can do this in a paper file or preferably on your computer.

Open Office is a FREE alternative to the Microsoft Office suite of products [Word, Excel etc] and can be downloaded from www.openoffice.org You can use their spreadsheets and word processing documents to organise your data electronically.

So there you have it. Five very positive and essential steps forward into 2011. And just to make sure you do take them seriously I have made a “cut out and keep” printable checklist below. Stick it to your studio door to give you a little reminder now and again. ;-)

Let me know in the comments how you are getting on.

sell art online in 2011

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Helen Aldous January 13, 2011 at 7:59 pm

WOW John. I am v impressed you made it 13 days. I have the willpower of a… well something with very little willpower ;-)

Bonnie. Lets sort your avatar. go to http://www.gravatar.com Click the “get your gravatar” button and sign up with the email you use to post comments. You can then upload your avatar and associate it with this email. It will show up anywhere you post with this email. Its v handy;-)

Hope that helps and you can get it to work. Would be so nice to see more faces on here ;-)

Reply

Bonnie Hamlin January 14, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Thank you very much Helen
Bonnie

Reply

Helen Aldous January 14, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Yay Bonnie!You sorted it.
So nice to see your face on here. Faces make everything so much more human. Have a good night

Reply

Bonnie Hamlin January 13, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Wow! Helen, thank you so much for the above. I’m wondering if you can see through my computer to my totally unorganized office and studio. Which pretty much reflect my life and art. I’m going to start with your last point first.
Thank you as well for the extremely valuable information you share.
Bonnie

Reply

Bonnie Hamlin January 13, 2011 at 5:38 pm

O.K. One thing done, I have an Avatar ready and will try and figure out how to add it. Here goes

Reply

Bonnie Hamlin January 13, 2011 at 5:39 pm

O.K. sorry – more to learn here.

Reply

John McFaul January 13, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Very well said. I LOVE the chocolate/wine confession! I’m quite proud, 13 days into the year and no binges to speak of. HA!

Reply

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