1. Focus on the major things not the minor things
So many people seem to mistake movement for achievement and end up just frantically doing 'busy' work, but feeling so stuck and wondering why they’re not making progress. The problem is that a lot of us focus 80% of our time on the minor stuff, rather than the major stuff that’s actually going to move the needle. One of the best things you can do to avoid falling into this trap is to track your activity. Make a list of all the things that you’re working on throughout an average day and then go over that list and decide whether each one is a major or minor task. For example, a minor task would be replying to emails or creating a graphic, whereas a major task would include focusing on vision and strategy, or working...
I'm a keen runner and recently did a 10km race which I have taken part in several times. However, this time was different. I found my ideal pace early on and stuck to it throughout. I was less bothered about my overall time and as a result, enjoyed it more. When you take part in a race with thousands of people, there are always going to be runners who are faster than you, and those who are slower than you.
Mindset plays a part here, as it can quickly feel overwhelming when people pass you at a greater speed and make it look easy. The thing to remember here is they have probably been running a lot longer than you (don't compare your chapter one to someone else's chapter twenty), or they run a lot more often than you.
But then there are people who you pass, who look like they...
Investing in your art business is a crucial part of growth! Investing in yourself tells me that you are thinking about your business long term. I firmly believe that if you take the time to learn about the basics business and apply the principles, you will supercharge your productivity and success.
It took me too long to take my business seriously and begin investing in it. You do not need a lot of money to get started, but if you want other people to take your business seriously, you need to take yourself seriously. Upgrading your camera, editing software, subscriptions, apps, and website can make leaps and bounds in your art business.
If you are looking to make some basic business investments I suggest the following:
- Macbook Pro. I used an old PC for the first three...
Andy Warhol was a prolific and successful American artist, best known for his pop art depiction of Campbell's soup cans.
Not only was he a great artist, he was also a master marketer, promoter and art business man.
He had an art business philosophy, which went something like this:
"Business art is the step that comes after Art. I started as a commercial artist, and I want to finish as a business artist"
"Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art".
We can learn from his example, and take note of the importance he placed on artists learning about business. It was recently documented that in 2009 a Warhol painting of his, the Eight Elvis's, sold for $100 Million! Warhol knew what he was doing as an artist, a marketer and as a businessperson, and...
I believe that resilience and grit are two of the most important skills we need as artists. Even more important than talent for some! There are a lot of talented artists out there who get knocked back or rejected a few times and give up. Don't let that be you. Success comes from learning how to handle rejection, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep going! These are the artists who succeed in this industry.
We are all human and it does hurt the first time someone says no to you or your work. I've been there and it stings at first, but what this really means is 'not now'. I let these early rejections make me more determined to succeed. I worked hard, developed my skills and tried again in a year, sometimes two. It often resulted in success.
Resilience is a good skill to have, and...
My advice to artists starting out is to always buy the best art supplies you can afford. Someone once told me that, and ever since, my materials have improved as my income has grown. I didn't need the best paints or linen canvases when I was just beginning and going through my 'experimental' phase, but as my work started to sell, I upped my game and invested in both myself and my materials.
I have learnt the hard way a couple of times, when canvases started to warp or unravel in places, work got damaged and paint didn't do what I wanted it to. But I did learn from these mistakes and as soon as I could afford to buy better, I did.
While I was at art school, practicing art was the most important focus, so we painted on anything we could find. I remember there was nothing more exciting...
Making art is a different experience for every artist, and we all make art for different reasons. For some, it is a hobby. A way to unwind at the weekend after a busy week at work. Some turn that hobby into a side business, which brings in a bit of money to top up their main income.
Others know they want to make a career out of their art, and do it full-time if they can. It then becomes a business, and some business skills need to be acquired in order to make this happen. A healthy mixture of passion and obsession goes into making this a reality, for those artists who want it badly enough.
I am one of those artists. While I had other jobs and passions along the way, if I am true to myself, I can see that it was always art in my heart. I did well at school in most academic subjects -...
It may come as a surprise that I am an introvert, but I find a lot of artists and creative people are, so maybe you are one too!
It can be seen this as a disadvantage when it comes to business, as it's usually the extroverts who get noticed first, but I want to show you how you can use it to your advantage, and focus on your strengths.
Being an introvert is not about lack of confidence or being shy. It’s about whether being around people drains or energises you. And I totally get drained by being with people a lot and need a lot of alone time to recharge.
I love people and I love spending time with my favourite ones, however, I also love spending time on my own and get mentally fatigued if I don't get this time. I need space to rest between social engagements, and my life is...
No matter where you are in your artist journey, take a moment to stop and think back to where you were a year ago. Five years ago. Maybe even ten years ago too. Think about how far you have come and take a moment to feel proud of your efforts!
The artist journey can be a long one, which is why it is so important to enjoy the process, and celebrate our wins along the way. No matter how small we think they are. How will you celebrate? Treat yourself to something you love when you hit specific milestones or goals in your business.
Here are my top tips for staying on track:
- Spend some time goal setting and planning at the beginning of each month.
- Choose three things you want to achieve in that time. No more, just three. If you achieve them, you can always add more, but you can protect...
As an artist and small business owner, it is more important than ever to look after your health. Because we don’t get sick pay. If we need to take time off for illness, it is unlikely there will be anyone else to do our work for us. So I believe it is worth taking extra steps to look after our health and minimise those days off.
During my twenties, I took a break from art and retrained as a nutritional therapist. Health has always been important to me, and this training helped me create a solid foundation and understanding around wellness, not only for myself but for those around me. I have created a Facebook group called The Healthy Artist which you are welcome to come and join. It is open to everyone and not just for artists as we all need to be proactive with our health right...
Getting yourself and your business out there as an artist, establishing yourself as an authority within your industry and being visible can feel scary and overwhelming at times.
Those little voices come into play and start whispering, “who are you to share this or put yourself out there like that?” We’ve all been there at some point, and this fear sets in for so many artists. It still happens to me to this day!
This is where mindset comes into play, and there are practical strategies to help you get your work out there.
As a self-confessed introvert, I can show you how to overcome your doubts and fears and use the skills that feel right to you.
Use your strengths to market and share your work. If making videos and being on camera is scary to...
Failure is an integral part of being creative. If you aren’t failing on a regular basis, you aren’t trying hard enough. Failure on your own time is what leads to breakthroughs and creates a map to the artist you’ll be in the future. Go forth and fail. Enjoy it. Celebrate it. Share it. (With friends!)
I can’t stress enough how important making YOUR work is. And to figure out what your work is, you have to give yourself time, freedom, LOTS of energy, and permission to fail.
The creative industry is an integral part of any society and brings in a serious amount of revenue. Creatives help people see and understand the world through a variety of artistic means.
Success as a creative person means you’re making your best possible work and...