Hello Guys and Dolls,
Another day passes for each of us in our own little worlds. My world sometimes feels more like fantasy than real, or is that the other way round. Being an Artist seems to make me think I am living in a world all my own.
When I create the things that want to jump out of my head I sometimes do it instinctively. Everything around me in my life influences the work. I continually work, hoping that each art piece brings growing experiences and with that improves my techniques as well. Someone once say "practice makes perfect". I don't know about perfect but improvements are always helpful.
An interviewer asked who was my biggest influence in the arts. I don't think who covers this question, you need to add what, when and where. I can't choose just one person, many Artists have encouraged my work and I would have to say that is a big influence. I guess many famous Artists began my journey, but the ones who are in my live day to day also are big influences.
Many Local Artist influence me, such as
James Wyatt Hendricks
Well the list is too long to put in a short newsletter.
These local Artists have been instrumental in encouraging me to press on with my art. I thank all these artists who have been so helpful in my career as an artist. Without their support it would have been difficult for me.
So I leave everyone with this quote; no man is an island.
Finding freedom from your job to become an Artist/Artisan takes a lot of work and patience. I don't want you to go quit your job right away. I want you to devote any free time you have to build a plan. Knowing how you're going to go from working for someone else into a working artist helps you feel more secure as you work towards becoming a working artist.
Nothing worth doing is easy. I can't give you a specific plan because each of you is in a different place in your life. I will be giving you some specific things you can do.
First remove the garbage in your head, we tell ourselves that we can't do things and that others have advantages. When you catch yourself doing it, stop. Everyone does it, winners just work harder at stopping it and direct their efforts to things that take them to the next step.
Start with commitments and reality. Write down the reality of your situation/commitments so you know the moment you can be free. For me it was my living conditions and family that I needed to contend with. I knew if I did not do art, I could not be happy. So I made up my mind to work on my art everyday. I found a way to show my works in galleries, festivals, local businesses etc. By working toward my goal, even just achieving part of it, I saved my sanity. Every year is an ongoing process for me, working toward new goals.
Lay out your needs and where you'd need to be to quit your job. Set a five-year goal to sell enough paintings monthly so you could quit your job. Set annual goals that grow each year, and worked all your spare time beyond family and job to hit those goals. On weekends visit galleries. At nights or any spare time, do your art. You will find that time if you stop watching tv, stop playing on the computer, sleep less, etc...You have to be driven and work doubly hard. You may have to work extra jobs for a year, or a few years, to save extra money. You may have to work late at night and on weekends.
I am obsessed with never allowing myself to miss my goals. I scold myself when I do, and I make a point of making it up in the next month on top of my new monthly goals. Refuse to give yourself excuses. Share your goals with your loved ones and ask then to help hold you to them.
You will have to work longer and harder than you did working for someone else, so be prepared. Taking a budgeting class would probably help if you need to to get finances under control.
Do your homework to find out about taxes, getting your DBA, copywriter, insurance, etc...
I hope you find this information helps you in your own career.
Hello Guys and Dolls,
Recently several people who have purchased my designer jewelry asked about the types of stones I use in my work. So for those of you who may be interested in the information about different stones I am posting it this month. Go out and visit a local lapidary to see these stones in person.
Regards, Monique Montney
Citrine is a transparent to semi-transparent gemstone with a light-yellow color. It's found in many cuts as well as chips. It has a Mohs hardness of 7, which makes it practical for everyday wear. It's fairly inexpensive per 14 inch strand, which makes it a perfect gem to add to your collection.
Amethyst is a transparent to semi-transparent dark to light purple gemstone. Amethyst is a variety of quartz. With a Mohs hardness of 7, it is suitable for everyday wear. Amethyst can be more expensive depending on the grade, but you should be able to find a decent grade per 14 inch strand for a fairly good price.
Garnet is a semi-translucent gem that is known for its deep maroon color, however it ranges from white, yellow, green, and red. Red Garnets tend to have a Mohs hardness of 7-7 1/2, while other colors have a lower Mohs hardness ranging from 6 1/2 to 7 1/2. Garnets come in all cuts, including chips. Garnet chips are a wonderful way to go if you want to keep the price lower but the quality high.
Peridot is a translucent to semi-translucent gem. It is green to light green in color. It has a Mohs hardness of 6 1/2 to 7, so it is most suitable for every-other day wear. You can find a good grade for a fairly reasonable price, depending on the cut you choose.
Amber is tree sap that has hardened over millions of years. It has a light brown to dark brown color, and is semi-translucent. It has a Mohs hardness of 2 to 2 1/2, so it is a very soft gem. Because of its softness, it's not recommended for everyday wear. Strands of Amber usually come in chips, but it is also cut in round, square, rectangle, coins, round facets, and teardrops.
6. Gold Stone
Goldstone is a man-made gemstone composed of glass and copper flakes. It is made in three colors: brown, blue, and green. Brown goldstone is the most common color, followed by blue, and then green. Round and oval are the most common types of beads, but you can find most any type of cut. Because it's composed of glass, it's suitable for every day wear. Goldstone ranges from fairly inexpensive to expensive, depending on the color and cut. Green goldstone tends to be the most expensive.
Moonstone is a semi-translucent to opaque gemstone, and rainbow moonstone has an iridescent finish. Colors are clear, rainbow, white, peach, light grey, and dark grey. Moonstone has a Mohs hardness of 6 to 6 1/2, so it's suitable for every-other day wear. The most common cuts of moonstone are round, oval, and teardrop. Moonstone is fairly inexpensive, while rainbow moonstone is most expensive of the colors.
8. Tiger's Eye
Tiger's Eye is an opaque gemstone with iridescent strands that run through the stone as it is moved in the light. The most common color is brown, but there are other, more rare, varieties such as yellow, red, and blue. Tiger's Eye has a Mohs hardness of 7, making it suitable for everyday wear. The most common cuts are round, rectangle, oval, and chips. Tiger's Eye is a very inexpensive gemstone. You can find B grade 14 inch strands for under $10.
Turquoise is an opaque matte-blue stone. Turquoise is usually died a deeper blue or "stabilized" to keep it from losing its color. Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is naturally the deepest blue, which makes it the most expensive. When choosing Turquoise, you should be aware that inexpensive turquoise is died to give it a deeper blue, but that doesn't make it any less beautiful. It has a Mohs hardness of 5 to 6, with makes it suitable for every-other day wear.
Quartz is a translucent to semi-translucent gemstone. Colors range from white, rose, and smoky quartz. (See above for amethyst as a type of quartz.) Quartz is cut into every shape imaginable. It is a very common gemstone, but the price depends on the quality and cut. It has a Mohs hardness of 7, so it is suitable for every day wear.
Hello Guys And Dolls,
Today I am discussing my own selling technique. Many of you ask how I sell regularly, besides being able to gage what people want I use a technique which I have perfected after many years of living off my artistic talents. I hope you find this information useful in your own art or craft show.
The main thing is to stand tall, back straight, head’s up and smile.
It helps if you learn to smile as if you mean it. Look the other person in the eye. Eye contact is very important.
Self confidence is a powerfully attraction. Try to exude a quiet confidence. Self-confidence helps buyers be comfortable in buying from you.
Begin by showing your most expensive piece. Starting high is how to make all your other prices seem more affordable. Suggest companion pieces, commissions, compatible fine art prints, or whatever works for you to offer more than one piece of art.
If you follow the above suggestions you should sell more at your event.
So many of us have very busy lives. Making a commitment to have an art career can be difficult as daily life can greatly interfere. There are many ways to make time for both. In this blog I hope to give a sampling of ways to make it all happen by letting you in on a few things I do to keep my life balanced between home and my career.
One thing to keep in mind is you should organize everything in your life. I know it is hard at first but when it is all organized it becomes easier to keep everything flowing in your life.
When I started my art career I used to only work in my studio during the late night. That is no longer something I can do, so I had to really buckle down to work on my career and still have a family life. My living space is very limited where I live now and my art can spill over into my home life in a big way. So I started organizing my time more efficiently.
First I organized my family life by choosing to do all my housework in one day, things like laundry, mopping and any whole house cleaning are done on that day, as well as cooking the main dishes for the week which I freeze. That way my daily cooking is only the side dishes which is usually less than 30 minutes a day for for 2 meals. All meals are spent together as to have some family time everyday. Doing this makes the rest of the week minimal housework.
I choose one day a week to go out and shop for all the things I need, food, clothing, art supplies, etc...I make and organize a list and shop the stores that are farther and catch the other stores on the way back toward my home always hitting the grocery store last. I also carry a cooler when I shop in case I find something that needs to be refrigerated before I hit the grocery store.
Since I work the weekends away from home long hours it is imperative I have one day just to work on doing art. I organize that too. I choose one day a week and spend a little time on my web stores in the early morning because the internet is so slow later in the day. So anything I do online for my art is in the early morning. The rest of the day is spent taking photos, drawing, painting, generally doing some form of art or jewelry design. I always decide what I want to do on that day unless I have a project already in progress. Sometimes I do more than one art project at the same time.
I keep track of any sales, and do all my artist paperwork anytime I have a free minute, it only takes about 30 minutes at most since I do it regularly.
My family gets lots of my attention in the mix. We plan one day of something just for family. Sometimes it is as simple as watching movies on TV. Sometimes going out someplace.
In between what I have listed here I find time to talk to friends, work on my facebook everyday, get my husband ready for work, etc...
If you have children or a husband who will help, get them to help with housework or shopping. Take that time to do your art or work on your artist business stuff.
If you have a regular job then you have to add that to the mix and work around it. Only you know where you can organize your personal life. If you have space for a small studio, organize it so when you want to go work on your art you can with out a big hassle. A corner or even a closet can be a good space for doing art. That way you can leave an ongoing project up ready to work on when you have half an hour or so.
If you need help organizing and know me personally let me know, maybe I can help you get organized so you have more time for your art and art career.
When I started using social media I realized it could be useful to keep in touch with family, other artisans and collectors. I chose to keep my social network as a business asset.
I have Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts and I am constantly working to keep them fresh on a regular basis. My time is precious so I tend to spend no more than 20 minutes on any social media, catching up with people I am connected to and posting something relevant to those who follow me. Social media puts a more personal touch to having a business, it shows others what you and your business are about.
Facebook gives you a private and business page, consider keeping the "very personal stuff" out of sight on your personal page if you want your small business to look professional. Potential Collectors read both your personal and business pages to find out more about you. Use social media to direct potential buyers to events and news about your art business.
If you are new to using social media then choose just one to start, you can always add more later if you feel you need to. Your best asset is your blog if you have one. I find the three social networks I am using can be connected to each other, keeping it easy by sharing my single post across all three. Ask yourself these questions: What Social Media site are my ideal followers-fans most likely to be using? Who do I want my followers-fans to be?
Greet anyone new who has followed you.
Respond to comments / posts on your page/ mentions / direct messages you have received
Follow people you feel could be of interest to your own followers
Follow new people that you think might match your ideal follower profile
Only post something of your own if you think it is going to be found either interesting, educational or amusing to your followers
Spend the rest of the time checking what others are posting; reply to any posts you feel interested in and re-post what you think would be of interest to your customer profile
Becoming an Art Business
By Monique Montney,
Hello Guys & Dolls
Many of you are asking how to become more successful with your art or craft business. In this blog I will help you start off with the business side of doing an art business. I will share some of the things my company, Mqmystic Art has done.
Choosing your business name and getting your DBA (DBA, is short for "doing business as", it is a formal declaration that an individual, company or organization is conducting business under a assumed name. DBA's are sometimes referred to as trade names.) is very important. It will give your business more clout and give some protection for your business name. Make sure to research the name you choose online to see if someone else does not have that name already.
Keeping records of what you are investing is very important. Start by gathering all your receipts for your art supplies in one place. Keep records of the time spent doing your art or craft. Decide how much you want to make per hour for your time. Doing this will give you a starting point for pricing pieces you do. Keep records of the time and cost of each art show you are doing.
I want you to remember that it usually takes around 5 years to really get a business off the ground successfully unless you are really lucky.
Next you need to write a business plan for your business.
The Mission Statement – This explains what your business is all about. Keep it short, between several sentences to a paragraph.
Company Information – Include a short statement that covers when your business was formed, the names of the founders and their roles, number of employees, and your business location.
Growth Highlights – Include examples of company growth, such as financial or market highlights (for example, "XYZ Firm increased profit margins and market share year-over-year since its foundation). Graphs and charts can be helpful in this section.
Your Products/Services -- Briefly describe the products or services you provide.
Financial Information – If you are seeking financing, include any information about your current bank and investors.
Summarize future plans – Explain where you would like to take your business.
I hope this gets you started in your successful business.
7 myths of starving artists or can Art be a Business
by Agnese Aljena on July 9, 2012
hook, shadow, minimalismCan Art be a Business? is one of The Questions of life. Disputable and dangerous topic, but every artist has stopped and thought about it. And many who are artists by heart, but live 9 to 5 life.
We all know the myth of starving artist. We all have heard from our parents and aunties “don’t go to art school, you will never earn any money”.
The truth is that art market is rapidly growing and contemporary art segment (the one of living artists, not dead) is leading this growth. Artprice is also claiming that with digitization of auction houses and overall globalization the art market will continue to grow very rapidly.
Sure, one can say that there is just one Damien Hirst or Jacob Kassay, and you have to climb the hill. But at the same time we can say that there is just one Steve Jobs or one somebody else and do nothing to change our own lives.
Returning to topic – can art be a business – there are many biases around the question in society. And I love to challenge them.
One of them is already mentioned starving artist. But there are many artists not starving as well. And many starving non-artists.
Second – only few artists earn significant money. Others earn enough for just living, if not starving. The same can be said about any other segment – do you know many billionaires in railway business? Or fishing? Or bakeries?
Third – art is art and business is business. Two different worlds. Then how to call selling of art? And buying art? And artist paying his bills from sold art?
Fourth – artists are not sellers. They just make art. But there are buyers. So somebody is selling.
Fifth – commercial artists (the ones making art on demand) are not real artists. If they are fake artists, then how it comes that so many people still buy from them?
Sixth – the ones at the top have been lucky at some point and got noticed by agent, gallery owner, Maecenas ect. Keep hiding and most probably nobody will notice you.
Seventh – there is so much bad art in the world, why should I/you keep growing it. First of all, there is no bad art. Secondly – just don’t make bad art.
To sum up – I believe, that art can be a source of reasonable income. So, it can be a business, nice lifestyle business for many of us. Art comes in different shapes and sizes – as far as someone considers it art, it is art. If it provokes feelings, emotions, makes somebody cry or keeps one looking at it again and again – it is art. If there is anybody willing to buy it – why not to sell?
The other side of a coin – if somebody is painting, drawing, sculpting, printing, photographing just because of money, there won’t emotional depth and nobody is buying such art. Nobody can “produce” art like in a factory in a long run. And it doesn’t give sustainable financial results. The same is with all other businesses – only those done by heart and soul survive in a long run.
The art of lifestyle business is to do what one loves (and it can be art as well) and successfully sell it. Art comes first, then comes business. Or vice versa – sell it and then make it. One can consider them as one process or if most of society likes – as two separate steps. But the bottom line is clear – you can live and earn as an artist if you wish.
When working from home, it helps to separate your home life from your business life. Your home-based business is a real business, so it demands both a professional environment and professional conduct. Here is a list of what I do to be productive when working from home to help you get started.
Set regular business hours, so work and home tasks don’t interact.
Keep a professional attitude when you’re “at work.”
Set up a separate business phone line, dedicated computer, and other equipment and systems.
Locate your office in its own space, preferably in its own room.
Use technology (such as e-mail-based calendar) to manage your time and yourself.
Set specific daily business goals and track your progress.
Take breaks like you would working away from home.
I enjoy helping other Artists to succeed in their own art business. I support charities who help the environment, animals, Veterans, and the elderly.