Will Anyone Show Up? 10 Ways To Entice People To Your Open Studio

Will Anyone Show Up 10 Ways To Entice People To Your Open Studio

There are so many different events and obligations pulling on our time that it makes sense that you might wonder if anyone will show up for your art event. It being free is no longer the biggest draw. You know it’ll be worth your audience’s time if they swing by the studio but how do you convince them? 

People need a solid reason to leave their house and unplug from their usual routines. Having a fun experience is one of the reasons people go out and explore the world. If you’re hosting an open studio, what can you do to make your event feel like more fun to your audience? 

Not sure? No worries. Here are ten ways that you can entice people to show up to your open studio. They’re all a lot of fun for visitors and the ideas that feel best will be fun for you, too. 

10 Ways To Entice People To Your Open Studio 

1. Artist Talk

This is a great way to enliven what might be a quieter/slower open studio time when you schedule it at a specific time. For example, tell people in advance that you’ll be sharing the little known inspiration for your work at 10 am on Sunday to get them there when there’s usually fewer visitors 

2. Demonstrate a Technique

Give a demonstration of one or two very specific techniques you use. Show where you use them in your art. Examples might be how to paint a ribbon-like line, or how to paint a beautiful color gradation. What’s one small thing that you do that people might like to learn about?

3. Try-it-out Table

Work with clay? Allow visitors to make temporary coil or slab structures. Crop your photos in camera a lot? Let visitors use the golden grid. What technique would be fun for visitors to try? 

4. Photo Booth

Create a unique photo booth that looks compatible with your art For example, you can blow up a photo of one of your pieces and make it a selfie station. You paint flowers? Paint some big ones, cut them out and use them as selfie props. What if you created a huge cut-out for people to poke their heads through and have a photo taken? 

5. Tool Test

Have visitors test your tools so they can feel what it’s like to hold that wacky looking clay scraper or how heavy that grinder is.

6. App Love

Know a special feature on your iPhone? Show people how to use it! Know how to draw in ProCreate or Illustrator? Show people a little of how to do it!  

7. Kids Table

Have something easy for little kids to do so parents can enjoy your work while the little ones are entertained. 

8. Sub-event

Co-work! Do you illustrate or paint plein air? Invite your audience and fellow artists to come by between 3-5 pm to co-work on art. How about a timed group photo shoot in your studio space or on your block? When guests they come back, everyone shares your results. 

9. Delicious Food

If you tell people you’ll have food at your event, they’re more likely to come to it. Especially if you tell them that you’ll have your favorite brie and crackers or some other amazing sounding food that you’d have at a party. It can be fun to treat your guests to a nice snack and it’ll feel like a party if you do. 

For example, tell your guests that you'll be bringing out whatever food and beverages that are still available at 4 pm on the last day of your open studio as a great way to end with a party atmosphere! Or host a coffee and donuts morning launch party for the early crowd. 

10. Give-a-Ways

Create a give-a-way for those that show up and sign up to your mailing list. You could give away a piece of art, a Starbucks card, art supplies or anything else that sounds like fun to you. Or just make a fun freebie for visitors. Maybe a free print that you were experimenting with and happen to have multiples of or free buttons with your art on it. It doesn’t have to be big to be fun.

Next Steps

What 1-2 ideas above sound like fun to you? Pick what resonates most to you. Pick something that sounds like fun.   

Now, how can you apply those ideas so they’re relevant to your artwork and studio practice? Once you’ve decided on one (or two) great reasons to for people to show up at your open studio, how can you relate it to your work? Can you use the same color palette as what you use or the same images, etc.?

Promote it!

Now that you’ve created a really compelling reason for your audience to visit you during your open studio, share it on social media and email it to them so they can put it on their calendar and plan to be there for the party. 

If your open studio is part of a larger, organized open studio event like, see if the organizers can feature your studio and the fun thing you’re doing. If you’re buying an ad in your open studios guide, put this fun reason for people to show up in the ad. 

You’re Ready!

These ten ways to entice people to your open studio will help you get people to your event so can sell more work, connect with people more and have a lot of fun. Creating a really intriguing excuse for people to visit you will catch the attention of you audience and when they show up for your open studio, they’ll feel like you threw the party just for them.

You can do it! I’m cheering you on!

Posted on September 16, 2019 .

So You're Jealous - What do you do with it?

So You’re Jealous - What do you do with it?

You went to the opening, you got an email, or you saw a post on Instagram or Facebook. And in your heart of hearts, the first thing you thought was, "Why not me?"

Why am I not getting that kind of recognition?

Why didn't I share my piece sooner so it'd look like I did it first?

How'd they get that exhibition?

If you've never felt this, stop reading.

If you have felt this, even just a teeny-tiny bit, rest assured that you are in good company. As mortals, we can count on feeling this less-than-fun emotion at some point (or multiple points) in our lives.

What do you do with it when it shows up? How do you get rid of it, especially if it makes you feel like a total jerk to think those jealous thoughts?

I don't have easy answers to these questions.

I do have thoughts that might help you to let go of your inner green-eyed-monster so you can get back to doing the work that's truly important to you - making your best work and sharing it with the world.

It's a process that takes practice. So, here are a few yoga moves for your mind when you feel pangs of jealousy.

Set a timer.
Look at the thing that's making you jealous and give it a limit. Maybe 10 to 20 minutes to really dig-in and be irked about whatever it is. Text your friend with it to get some validation of your anger and to vent. Look that person up on Instagram or their website. Check them out ALL-the-way. I mean how in the world did they accomplish that thing and you haven't?!?! ...allow yourself to wallow in it.

When the timer goes off, you stop. Yep, you shut the door on being annoyed that they got something that you want, or that you think you might want as some point in the future.

This is a way to own your jealousy and to confront it.

And, it's a way to save yourself from getting stuck in the emotions of it. Take care of it now and limit how much energy you put on it so you can get back to doing the things that actually need your energy.

After your timer goes off, what's the difference?
Now that you've stalked this person a little and learned all about their accomplishment (that you'd like to also experience) what do you see that's different from what you do? Is their approach different? Have they done the work and maybe you're still in the process of doing that kind of work that'll bring you that same level of recognition? Do they have a different audience than you?

What do you notice that's different and maybe even better about what you do? Start to get your mind thinking about the answers to this instead of getting stuck in a comparison loop.

There are a million hair stylists in this world.
And we need all of them. Some are great at short haircuts, some know how to cut curly hair, some are experts at hair coloring, etc. Who did you pick as your hair stylist or barber? Why did you pick them from this sea of people who will cut your hair?

I bet it's because something about them resonated with you. I bet you even found a few that were also great at what they do but the one you chose happened to feel like a better fit to you so you picked them.

It's the same way with art and artists. There IS enough room in this world for all of us. We need all of us here. Even if we're doing work that seems extremely similar to someone else.

When you think about a jealous moment this way, does it help to move your mind away from that jealous feeling and closer to the idea that there's enough for all of us to do our specific work in this world?

Let me know in the comments what you do to keep jealous thoughts in check?

Cheers,

Kate

Posted on July 26, 2019 .

Own Your Outcomes

Own Your Outcomes by Kate Farrall Coaching for Artists

How's it going where you are? Over here I'm preparing for my Open Studio that's happening this September. It's an annual, two day event where I get to share my work with more than 150 people.

After coming back from vacation, though, I started to feel waaaaay overwhelmed by all of the things I want to do---making new work, trying an idea I have for a new medium, getting an invite printed, cleaning and setting up the studio for visitors, and so much more. It felt like I had the entire summer ahead of me just a few weeks ago but now, it doesn't feel like that when I look at the calendar.

And, I realized how far behind I feel. Again. Sheesh. Am I letting myself down?

You ever feel that way?

Luckily, I came across something that pulled me out of that downward spiral of thoughts and feelings. It's a three word phrase that really helped to focus me on what I want to do with my work and open studio event...

Own Your Outcomes

It's a simple phrase and honestly, I'm not sure why it hit me like a cold slap in the face, but it did. And I'm glad. I needed it.

When I read it, it helped me to distill down exactly what I want to do to have an event that feels and is successful. And, it's allowing me to feel good about cutting loose the things I decide not to do, instead of feeling badly about not getting to them. Even for some of the things that I felt particularly attached to doing.

Those words got me prioritizing what I really want to do and separating them from the "cool things" that I just heard another artist talking about on a podcast interview that, at the time, sounded like great ideas for me.

I'm prioritizing the outcomes I want as a result of my actions. Yes, I want to sell my work but I also want to enjoy the process of getting ready for a big event like my open studio, I want to feel excited about what I'm sharing with people, I want to have fun during the event, and I want the event to support and fuel me in ways that go beyond adding people to my mailing list.

Have you thought of it this way?

Do you have an event coming up soon? Or maybe you'd like to share your work more on social media. If so, what are the outcomes you really want to have as a result of doing that event or posting on social media?

Can you adjust your actions to better support those outcomes?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Let me know in the comments an outcome that you'd like to really own for your next event or even your next social media post.

Know that you can make it happen!

Cheers,

Kate

Posted on July 19, 2019 .

Three Sneaky Ways Social Media is Killing Your Event

Three Sneaky Ways Social Media is Killing Your Event

I'm all for inviting people to my events by way of social media. It can be a great way to get the word out and generate excitement for the upcoming opening reception or open studio.

BUT, there are a few sneaky problems with it.

1. You're inviting people and they're not getting the notifications.

Facebook and Instagram are curating what you see in your newsfeed so if you create a post inviting people, many will never see it. Thank you "helpful" algorithms.

2. They see your invitation, are excited and then totally forget about it.

Maybe they aren't sure if they can go so they're waiting to find out if it fits their schedule. In the meantime, your event isn't making it to their calendars. And, for most of us, if it's not on a calendar, we can't be reminded about it. And, we totally miss out on the fun event.

3. With it being so easy for people to become exhausted and frustrated by their experiences on social media, more and more people have gone analog and are no longer on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. This means that the people you want to come to your event may not be on social media! Or not on the same platform as you!

There is an antidote to this.

Send them a real invitation.

Yes, a card they can hold in their hands. A card that they can put on their fridge. A card that can brighten their desk. A card that they can show to others.

We've expanded everything we can do by all of the awesome digital tools we have and I LOVE it. But I also love getting a card in the mail.

Yes, there’s a cost to having postcards printed and mailing them. The flip side is that they're very effective. If you send an invitation with a beautiful image of your work on it, your friends will feel like they're being invited to something important because you went above and beyond by creating and mailing nice invitations to them.

How to Use It:

  • Mail it to your collectors!

  • Mail it to designers and gallerists that you'd like to come to your event.

  • Carry a stack wherever you go and hand it out to people you run into. When they ask what you've been up to, you've got a great invitation to hand them.

  • Leave a stack at the gallery where you show is going to be.

  • Leave a stack at any other places that make sense like nearby coffee shops or restaurants.

  • Go door-to-door and leave one for each home near your studio inviting them to your event.

If you don't have addresses for people, ask them for their address and tell them you're sending them an invitation. This is a great opportunity to say hello and reconnect with your collectors, supporters and those that you want to invite to your art event.

Your next steps:

  1. Design your card. Keep it simple with an image and the relevant details about the event.

  2. Have your card printed. You can print through a local shop or a company online that will mail it directly to you.

  3. Address, stamp and mail the cards.

  4. Pass out cards wherever you go.  

  5. Re-use the image you created for the postcard in your emails and on social media.

Two Tips

1. Look up the sizes for postcards to make sure you don't have to pay extra postage for say square cards.

2. Studies have shown that if you write a personal note **by hand** on the cards, they're more effective. Here's an example of what you might write:

"I hope you can make the show! It'd be great to say hello in person! -Your Name"

One thing I love about this is that it's a great tool for when you're feeling too shy to talk about your work. It helps to have a physical card to hand to someone so you can much more easily say, "I'd love it if you can make it to my opening."

Going old school like this can pay off by getting the right people to your event because you're personalizing your invitation. -Your collectors, gallerists, designers, your artist community and new faces will appreciate the hold-it-in-your-hands invitation. And you'll feel great connecting with people this very genuine way.

Hit reply or leave me a note in the comments to let me know if you’d like to make a postcard for your next event. OR, tell me what's holding you back from creating a real, hold-in-your-hands invitation for your next opening or open studio event?

With much love and gratitude,

Kate


Posted on May 10, 2019 .

Art Event Coming Up? 10 Things You Can Do Now To Promote It

10 Things You Can Do Now To Sell More Art At Your Event

Are you worried that you won't have a great open studio or art market event because you fear that you won't have enough visitors or that you won't sell enough work to make it worth your time?

These are valid concerns. And as an artist and repeat open studio host, I understand how these thoughts can make us freeze in our tracks and not show up as our most-awesome-artist-selves.  

As a coach for creative people, though, I know that usually it's worth it to push through those worries and do what you can to make that upcoming art event pay off - whether it's in sales, visitors or in another way.

One way to make this easier is to do what you can now, in advance of the event. For most organized art events like hosting an open studio, exhibition reception, or art market, you have weeks if not months to prepare.

And, if you're like most of the artists I know, myself included, we tend to want to work on our art more and more as the event gets closer. Ideas start to synthesize. The universe starts to pull in your direction to make your work happen. You start to feel like you're in the flow.

And the last thing you want to work on is the promotional side.

Sound familiar?

If so, how would it feel to do a few things now that will almost guarantee more visitors and eyes on your work?

Doing one or more of the things I'm about to share with you now will set you up for selling more work, having more people join your mailing list, getting the right people to see your work (hello gallerists and collectors) and having a stress-free event where you feel more in control. Sounds nice, right?

So, here are 10 Things You Can Do NOW to create a warm crowd of visitors and increase your sales:

  1. Email your list

  2. Create an ad for an Open Studios Guide or local paper

  3. Create a postcard for mailing, handing out and leaving around town and at the preview exhibition for open studios or gallery.

  4. Pre-schedule reminder posts for social media.

  5. Create a "passport" promotion with nearby artists with a joint give-away.

  6. Create a sub-map with artists who are also in your neighborhood.

  7. Create a promotional plan with other nearby artists - emails featuring each person's art and why it's great.

  8. Find a studio mate to share your space with - visitors love to visit places with more than one artist

  9. Create a flyer now to leave at all of your neighbor's doors (canvas nearby homes!)

  10. Create a poster to put in nearby coffee shops, grocery stores, etc. - Any place you go. (ask first before hanging).

So, which idea from the list above sounds like something you can commit to doing now, weeks or months before your event happens? Let me know in the comments. I'm curious what you pick or if there's another long-lead idea that you'd do instead.

Here's to you hosting an amazing open studio, art market or opening reception!

Cheers,

Kate

Posted on April 26, 2019 .

Why Should A Gallery Show Your Work?  

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Why Should A Gallery Show Your Work?

How to Answer this Important Question

Of course your work is stellar and that’s obvious when people see it. You get compliments all the time and you’re in love with it!

You decide to it’s time to start exhibiting this body of work which will be great because it’ll add a line to your resume and be an opportunity to sell some of it! That’s an exciting thought!

So you start to look for galleries where you’d like to show your work. You’re finding some that are maybes and some that feel like a perfect fit. As in an amazing fit. You intuitively feel like your work would look amazing in this space. ...Exciting stuff!

So you start to gather your submission materials and somewhere along the way you might start worry about what to say in the email or cover letter. You know you can make a big impact by saying the right things but you start to feel stumped for words and like all of the monarch butterflies have migrated into your stomach! Ack!

If you’ve ever felt yourself heading into that mini-panic place (OMG, WHAT DO I SAY??) I’ve got the perfect thing to help you out here so keep reading.  

If you don’t *specifically* know why a gallery should show your work, it’s going to be tough to regularly exhibit and show your work. When you have those *specific* reasons that a space should show your work, it demonstrates to them that you understand they need a few tools to help them enter your work, especially if it’s new to them.

While they may like your work, giving them the reasons why they should show your work helps them to know if its a fit for their business and their audience. You may be making connections that they wouldn’t have come up with on their own.

By explaining why their space would be a great place to exhibit your work, you’re helping them make their decision faster which makes their job so much easier. They’ll feel like you’ve done them a solid.

And, you’ll increase your odds of getting shown, by a lot.

So think of a specific gallery where you’d love your work to be shown and answer questions like these:

  • Does your work “fit” within the conceptual framework of the exhibitions or artists shown at this space?

  • Are your price points in alignment with the work they currently show?

  • Are you making new and fresh work regularly?

To help you get figure out your connections faster, download this free, short Why Should A Gallery Show Your Work? worksheet that has additional questions that will help you get shown faster.  

What To Do With These Answers

Now that you have answers to these questions, tailor your submission with this information. Here are a few ways to do it:

  • Add these answers as bullet points to your submission cover letter.

  • Weave these reasons throughout your proposal, introductory note or cover letter.

  • Incorporate these ideas into your bio or artist statement.

  • Share these points if you have a live conversation or studio visit with the curator or gallerist.

Even if it’s amazing work, a gallery (or any kind of exhibition space) needs to easily understand why your work would be a fit for their space. If a gallery is going to have your work installed for a month or more, how does it benefit them?

I encourage you to dig in and come up with a few reasons. Your cover letter and submission materials will stand out from the crowd because they’re tailored to that specific gallery. And, it might just help you get that show!

Take a look at the free worksheet and let me know in the comments what one reason is for that gallery to show your work.

Here’s to your making amazing work! Keep at it!!

Cheers,

Kate

Posted on October 19, 2018 .

More Sales & Shows With This Surprisingly Simple Strategy

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More Sales & Shows With This Surprisingly Simple Strategy

A few days before my friend’s six year-old daughter was headed into her big Irish Dance competition, she cleared the top of her dresser so she could make room for the trophies she planned to win.

I thought this was super cute and of course, a hilariously awesome kid thing to do.

Sure enough, a week later, my friend showed me the photos of her daughter and her two new trophies. Boom, she knew right where they’d go!

Here’s the thing about this that I love, she planned to go get trophies. And she actually did!

She made literal, physical space for those trophies and more importantly, by doing that she made mental space for them, too. By physically making room, she also made “room” for the possibility that she’d reach her goal in her mind.

She believed that she would win even more because she could see those trophies filling the space on her dresser.

She must be a darn good dancer, right? Yes, but a couple of years ago she was just a beginner. She started like we all do, giving something new a chance that she wasn’t even sure she’d like.

She’s been learning and honing her skills, and she’s gone to other competitions so this is no longer new to her. She’s been up-leveling each time she steps onto the floor and starts dancing.

Clear Your Dresser

You can use this same technique to make room for the things you want in your life, too. Even if you don’t feel like you’re at advanced level in your specific area, you can still use this approach.

No, you’re not counting your chickens before they’re hatched. That’s a thought that comes from a scarcity mindset.

The thought around this approach is one that is positive and invites good things to come your way. Just like this little Irish dancer, you’re putting in a lot of effort and dedicating time to make this “dresser” thing happen. You’re backing up your wishes with in-the-trenches, good-old-fashioned work so you can fill your “dresser” with achieving your specific goals.

What’s the “dresser” thing you’re working toward?

It may be something small or it  might be something large that means a whole lot to you, If you don’t at least try to go get it, it’s going to be one of the biggest things you regret in life. For you it might be making a living in a non-cookie cutter way while doing what you love, selling your work, or being shown in a gallery you admire.

Achieving Big Goals

What does this mean for someone who’s working toward something that feels personally huge, maybe even bigger than Irish Dance trophies? To answer that question, here’s how you can apply this same dresser technique toward reaching your big goals.

If you’re looking for more buyers...

You might go buy new folders for those future collectors or thank you cards that you’ll send to your next buyers. I once bought note cards that I was excited to send to my favorite clients—once I got those clients. By purchasing them, I was letting the universe know I was ready for those clients to come my way (and they did!).

If you’re looking to sell more of your work...

You might make room for this by creating a price list with prices you feel confident about, or by getting a mechanism like a credit card swiper to make sales, or by buying the right bubble wrap to package up your work so collectors get it home safely.  

If you’re looking to show your work in a gallery setting…

You might make room for this by picking the color of the mats you’ll use to frame your work or by going to the gallery where you’d like to be shown so you can picture your work there.

Doing Into the Future

By doing something concrete and proactive, you’re inviting the new things you want into your world by making room for them. You’re intentionally saying “yes” I’ll have more of that soon.

You open up and expand the possibility for that thing—sales, clients, shows or whatever it may be—to happen. You positively change way you think about getting those big things you’ve been dreaming about.  

Copy the Kid

I encourage you to take a cue from my friend’s inherently smart six year-old and make “dresser” room for that something we really want. Let me know in the comments: What’s one thing you can do to make room for your next goal?

Here’s to you clearing the way for the things you want!

Cheers,

Kate

Posted on August 11, 2018 .

When They Say They Can't Afford You

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Have you ever been told that your work is too expensive?

Or, “I love your work but I can’t afford it?”

It’s never really about the price. Since we’re not in the buyer’s mind, we may never know exactly what was holding them back. BUT….we can still try to find out while possibly helping the buyer, and making a sale, in the process.

The next time someone remarks that the price is too high, yet they seem like they’re seriously interested in your work, start a conversation with them but go in prepared. There are things you can do to potentially still make the sale that also makes the experience less dramatic and energy draining to you.

Four Sales Tips

Shift the conversation from being about how your work is too expensive to getting someone to truly consider purchasing it by following these tips.

And since writing down the answers to these questions will give you the confidence you need to be prepared when someone says your work is too expensive, fill out this free worksheet so you’re not thrown off your game the next time someone says they can’t afford your work.

Tip #1: Start with YOU.

It may be really hard not to take offense when someone complains that your work is too expensive or that they can’t afford it, especially when it sounds like it’s delivered in a insulting tone even if they don’t intend for it to come across that way.

As you read on, you’ll see how this kind of conversation is actually a great chance to learn more about your audience of potential collectors. Wouldn’t it be great to know what’s running through their minds as they’re considering making a purchase?

But right now, you’ve got to start where you are. And that’s with how you think about it…

You get to decide how YOU respond in this situation. Happily, angrily, dismissive or perhaps, with a more constructive response. One of curiosity, learning, and being impressively professional. You have complete control over how you choose to take that comment AND how you choose to respond. Knowing that this has nothing to do with the potential buyer actually makes it a little easier because picking your response now means you won’t be blindsided and give an emotional response instead of a professional one.

Tip #2: Plan Ahead

Planning ahead for what you’ll do in this situation helps you stay in control of your feelings. Even if a comment like this makes you feel like you were were just slapped in the face, you can come across as a kind and professional artist if you give it a little thought right now.  

When someone says your work isn’t affordable at your next art festival or open studio event, be prepared with what you want to say next. Here are a few examples to help you decide in your go-to response:

Example 1: I can understand how it might feel that way. Tell me what you’re thinking about the piece and the price.  

This response is designed to get them talking and thinking more about the art and what they’re really looking for.

Example 2: That’s great feedback but this work is priced this way because….

Tell them why your work is priced this way. Explain that these are retail prices, not wholesale prices because you don’t want to lose your gallery by underselling them. If you use expensive materials or processes, explain what those are and how that makes your piece more unique. If there’s a certain number of hours that are involved with making each piece, mention that, too.

Whatever response you decide upon, it should feel genuine to you and helpful to the potential buyer. Avoid a response that gets you fired up.  

Tip #3: Are You Willing to Sell It For Less?

If someone says that your price is too high, it’s your prerogative to decide if you’d like to offer it for less.  

There are a whole host of reasons why selling it for less might make sense. Perhaps you’re literally running out of room to store the work. Or, energetically it would make you feel great to sell the work so you can make emotional and physical space for your next project.

Perhaps you need to pay some bills, or you’d like extra cash for your upcoming vacation.

To really be able to fully answer yes or no to this question, there are two things you need to be clear about.

Price: Why is your work priced the way it is? If you have clarity on why your work is priced the way it is, it makes it easy to either stand tall on your prices because you won’t make money if you go lower, or to offer a discount because you know that you’ll still make money on the work, even at a reduced price.

Why: What are the reasons that you’d be okay with selling your work for less? When someone asks for a discount? When selling to someone you know? When selling to a gallerist or influential person? When the work is damaged? When you sell multiple pieces to one collector?

If you’re offering a discount, what is your reason? And are you okay with that reason?

Tip #4: Find Other Options

Brainstorm ideas that might allow you to feel more comfortable coming down on your price.

  • Can you come down on your price if they take the piece with them today so you don’t have to deliver it?

  • How about if it’s unframed, will that bring down the price and allow you to re-use that frame for another piece?

  • How about offering a payment plan? They can put down a deposit now and pay once a month for 2-3 months until it’s fully owned by them.

  • Do you have other work that’s similar in style that is less but would still help them fill that spot on their wall with one of your pieces? Maybe prints that are less expensive than originals? Or several smaller pieces that can be grouped on the wall to give the feeling of a larger piece?

What other ideas come to mind that would allow you to find similar, helpful ways for a collector to consider buying your work?

Process It

If you show that you’re not offended by this dreaded statement of your work being too expensive and you view it as a conversation starter instead, you may wind-up selling your work. You may also help that collector go home with a new piece of art that they can proudly hang in their home or office, even if they originally felt your work was too expensive.

True, you may not wind-up selling the work. But by talking calmly and professionally with the collector, you’ve just shown them that you’re a stand-up artist who is credible and knows their business, an their worth. They’ll leave your studio with a feeling of respect for what you do and you might be surprised when they come back in a few months or a year and buy your work.

Acting offended when someone says your work is too expensive will never get a collector to come back again. But if you prepare for this kind of collector interaction, it will.

What you do when someone said your work was too expensive? Have you had it happen before?  Leave me a note in the comments to share it with me.

Knowing why you’ve priced your work the way you have translates as the number one way to be confident when selling your work.

If you’ve had a nagging feeling that you’ve based your prices only on what felt “right”, I’d love to help you get to to where you feel confident and happy with the prices you’re asking.

I totally understand that sometimes you don’t know what to sell your work for. Especially if it’s a new series or if you haven’t sold one yet.

It can be so overwhelming to settle on an amount for one piece not to mention pricing all of your completed works. To help with this, I created a live and in-person workshop on Monday, June 4, 2018 called Sell Confidently: Pricing and Selling Your Work. It’s designed to help you feel confident about how you price your work and selling it with a sense of pride.

If you’d like to learn more about the Sell Confidently workshop, check out the details here.

Cheers,

Kate

Posted on April 30, 2018 .

Paralyzed by Perfectionism? 1 Easy Way to Fix It

Paralyzed by Perfectionism? 1 Easy Way to Fix It

Feel like you have perfectionist tendencies? Maybe choosing what color to use next or what group of images to curate for your show feels overwhelming?

If that sounds like you, this one idea is going to blow your mind while simultaneously letting you off the hook. After reading this, you’ll know why you no longer need to be afraid to take that next step or make that next decision you’ve been hemming and hawing about for fear of doing it wrong.

Honestly, this is an eye-opener.

I was hanging out with a writer friend who mentioned this great analogy from the book Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles. Thank goodness I was hanging out with my friend because I loved the idea Bayles puts forth in this book and I think you will, too. It drives home a big point that we all need.

Check out the idea here (as excerpted from the book) to see what I mean:

"The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the "quantity" group: fifty pound of pots rated an "A", forty pounds a "B", and so on. Those being graded on "quality", however, needed to produce only one pot - albeit a perfect one - to get an "A".

Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the "quantity" group was busily churning out piles of work - and learning from their mistakes - the "quality" group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay."

Perfection is not the goal.

This story really drives home that point. If “making the perfect piece” is your goal, you’re going to come up short.

It’s natural to want make something good, something that you absolutely love and that others will, too. That’s why making mistakes can feel awful. That’s why even thinking about making your next piece can be paralyzing. Mistakes in your process cost you time, money, headaches and they can feel like huge setbacks to actually creating the work you envisioned.   

When we set out for perfection it’s easy to forget that the path to get anywhere close to perfection includes a lot of mistakes, failures and learning from those endeavors.

Doing, making, and taking action IS the goal.

The end result will lack quality until you’ve tried long enough that it becomes good (or maybe even brilliant) through the learning process of repeated doing and practice.

As a creative person who likely has a long history of making, you may have seen this in your own practice. But what if you apply this idea to other areas of your life?

Where have you seen the idea of quantity over quality in action?

Driving to new places, doing yoga, dealing with difficult people, etc.? -The more you do something the better you get at it, right?

Have you been able to make more quality dinners as a result of learning from cooking dinner five out of the seven nights of the week for the last year? Are you able to walk all over San Francisco without feeling exhausted because you regularly go for long walks with your dog so you’re practiced at it?   

Even doing the business side of things follows this rule. The more you talk about what you do, the easier and better it gets. The more you make it a habit to reach out and connect with new and old friends, the easier and more rewarding it gets. The more you send emails to your community, the better they get.

As a person who is selling what they make, do you want the quality of what you make to be equal to the quality of how your run your business?

I know I do. This weekend, I plan to make art that will be a part my next e-update. I need to spend more hours on both my art making and communications right now. Especially the making part because I’m doing something new and I have made nowhere near enough mistakes to be making the quality of work that I want.

And, connecting with people through my email is a great way to share what I’m working on that always leads to good conversations and opportunities. I want to improve the quality of those email conversations by doing more communicating.

Over thinking what I’m making and how I share it means creating and selling art won’t happen. The perfectionist's approach doesn’t serve me here. Taking action, even if it’s got mistakes or doesn’t always feel flawless, will always get me closer to my goals.  

How about you? Does this resonate with how you feel sometimes and what you’re working on?   

What can you do this weekend to log a few minutes or hours with your craft? Or with the business side of what you do?

I’d love to know what you’re doing as a fellow creative person to build in this idea of quantity over quality as a path to busting perfectionist tendencies to reach your creative and business goals. Let me know in the comments.

Here’s to you making quality happen!

Cheers,

Kate

Love Your Work: One Quick Way

I love how everyone on the Great British Baking Show, at one point or another, makes this statement,

“I rather like that. Yes, that’ll do.”

Even when it’s a bread baking challenge where the bakers have very little direction to go on so they’re feeling totally lost, they muster this phrase at some point.

Even when a three-tiered, beautifully and elaborately decorated cake plan could be falling apart, somewhere during the process, they almost always make a positive statement like this.

It struck me as a great thing to do because I never make a nice declaration like that while I'm making art (or baked goods). Sometimes I don't like my pieces until I pull them out of the files after a few months or years and see them in a totally different light, divorced from the making process.

This has a lot to do with perfectionism and expectations. Sometimes, even when my outcome isn’t clear to me, the work can be sullied by the way the making process feels that day.  Have you ever had that happen?

So... I'm wondering.

What if you or I made a positive proclamation out loud when we make something? How would we feel? Would we enjoy the making process more? Would we feel happier and less tormented by the creative process?

Maybe you declare that you like one tiny part of a project. How would that make you feel as a creative person?

---I just stopped and tried this.---

I found one part of this post that I liked and with my best Paul Hollywood accent proclaimed, "I rather like that. Yes, that'll do." It actually felt good to take the time to acknowledge that a part of what I was making felt on point.

What if we didn't always eat our guts out while questioning if this next paint layer, color choice or wording was the right next step for the work? Sure not everyone approaches working like this but if you’re anything like me, I know you might work this way from time to time.

Would it put a little less pressure on you to create the exact thing you had in mind?

Would it leave the door open to making something even better than you envisioned?

When you start working on your next piece, whether it's a piece of art, a description for your next workshop, or a service you're offering, pick one part that you like, even if it's a TINY part, and declare in your best British accent, "I rather like that!"

I dare you.

Come back and leave me a note in the comments to let me know if you felt better about your work afterwards. Extra points if you can tell me if you imitated Mary Berry or Paul Hollywood when you did it. ;)

Here's to your next great project!

-Kate

Posted on March 9, 2018 .