Alyson Stanfield is an artwork enterprise mentor and expert “who functions with formidable artists who want to get manage of their careers”. She is the founder of Artwork Biz Achievements, host of the The Art Biz podcast, and author of I’d Instead Be in the Studio: The Artist’s No-Justification Guide to Self-Promotion.
As an artist, I have benefited from the lots of resources available on her platform and I was delighted to be a short while ago a guest on her podcast about my weblog and how it has nurtured my journey. It is consequently a good pleasure to job interview her and acquire her suggestions and testimony.
You have labored with 1000’s of different artists in your dwell workshops, on line courses, and consulting. Are there some frequent problems that artists should keep away from?
Where to begin? I assume I acquired on a roll with this list, but I want to retain each individual stage, which I have rated in purchase of worth.
#1 Miscalculation: Neglecting their studio follow. I by no means believed I’d have to persuade artists about how crucial it is to clearly show up for the work, but some artists would virtually do nearly anything other than facing the challenging job in the studio. You just can’t hold out for the muse. You just have to get to work. With no the art, you are not an artist and have no likelihood of a successful business enterprise or profession.
#2 Blunder: Skipping the fundamentals, like mixing hues or realizing intimately about the elements you use. You will need to know your elements inside of and out. You have to have to know how to prepare, finish, and complete an artwork, such as how to correctly mat, frame, hang, or set up it. It’s apparent when an artist attempts to choose shortcuts or does not know what they’re undertaking.
#3 Miscalculation: Not being familiar with how essential it is in the artwork organization to get started, nurture, and preserve expert and particular relationships. When you never stick to up with potential customers or possibilities, or when you really don’t observe through on promises or fulfill your deadlines, you will rapidly get a name as flaky and unreliable.
#4 Miscalculation: Sending the completely wrong concept on-line. It all starts with good pictures of the get the job done. If you simply cannot get superior photos of your art, hire someone. They’re that important—especially when you’re publishing them to exhibits and possibilities. I’m terribly aggravated by social feeds that really do not present any artwork. I observe you since you’re an artist. Display me your operate!
#5 Mistake: Stating Of course to jobs that aren’t aligned with their objectives. For instance, agreeing to a pet portrait commission when you are a sculptor. Really do not. Do. It. You’ll detest every minute of it, loathe the individual for asking you in the initially put, and hate you for contemplating it was a smart decision at some place.
#6 Error: Relying on a solitary product sales venue, be it a gallery, your site, or social media. You can not regulate social media platforms and by no means know what will transpire to them or when they’ll modify their algorithm. And you never ever know how lengthy a gallery will remain in company. You definitely need to have to diversify how, when, and where your art is noticed.
The expression good results can include various areas. How do you assist an artist establish what success is for him/her?
You are appropriate! The word “success” is loaded and, if I’m staying trustworthy, it’s a term I’d like to shed in 2022. But for the sake of your concern, let’s presume that there is a way for each artist to arrive at a specific definition.
For some, it’s about visibility and recognition from institutions. For other individuals, it may well be gross sales and profits. But I suspect it is a mixture, as you claimed, of many different aspects for most artists. It will take into account their ambitions and their restrictions that may well occur from loved ones, monetary means, absence of coaching, and so forth.
When I get the job done privately with a consumer, we start off with their vision. I question what they want from their artwork, which is deliberate phrasing but usually perplexing to artists. This dilemma is a way to get at their definition of achievements.
Can you share about the different ways an artist can get the job done with you?
Certainly! Many thanks for inquiring.
I like to get started by mentioning that my website https://artbizsuccess.com/blog has been close to considering the fact that 2004 and The Art Biz podcast due to the fact 2016 (and in a diverse format than that a lot before). My issue: I deliver a large amount of totally free content and it can all be accessed day and evening. The search operate on the blog site website page is excellent. I inspire artists to seem around and get to know me through what’s free for them.
When you need much more construction, I can guidance you by means of my on the web courses, which adjust a few times a yr. They are designed all over a seasonal concentration area, with articles developed from approximately two many years of helping artists.
In 2022, our focus areas are Develop Possibilities, Improve Your Online Internet marketing, and Get Arranged. These programs are hybrid on-demand from customers learning modules + dwell training + stay Zoom classes so our users can interact with 1 a further. We have an active local community discussion board crammed with intentional and ambitious artists.
I also have mastermind groups for artists who previously have a solid foundation in area.
I’m rethinking (often!) a whole lot of what I do and am genuinely enjoying working privately with substantial-achieving clients. It’s rewarding to get the job done so carefully with another person and witness their development and transformation. You may well see me streamline my choices in the long term.
Last but not least, you begun your profession doing work in artwork museums. How did you start off your have company?
Apologies in progress for this longish solution, but there are some superior company classes in the tale.
In early 2001 I decided that lifestyle was as well shorter to go the place the museum jobs were being and that I desired to dwell in Colorado. I made the decision to start out an artwork consulting business enterprise. Buying artwork with other people’s revenue sounded like a great deal of exciting to me! And I was severe about this.
When one is major about a enterprise, one particular gets organization playing cards. Ahead of I still left the Wichita Art Museum, I employed our museum’s contract designer, who was amazingly proficient, to style and design my business cards, emblem, envelopes, and letterhead. Yep, I even had letterhead printed up.
Stanfield Art Associates was conceived in Kansas and built in Colorado.
When I labored in museums, it was our membership listing that was our bread and butter. People men and women received cost-free entry, invitations by mail, newsletters, and discounts at the retail outlet. Our membership record was usually up to day. They were who we worked for higher than all.
So I began my possess checklist of contacts employing my FileMaker Pro application.
To this day, I contend that your speak to listing is every businessperson’s–artist or not–most worthwhile promoting asset.
I stress this through my systems, and talked about it as the #3 miscalculation artists make in the past question: Neglecting particular and experienced interactions.
I started off sending letters of introduction (on my new stationery) to everybody I understood telling them what I was up to—asking them for referrals. I sent push releases to the metropolitan areas and establishments I was connected to and got a limited publish-up in the Oklahoma Town company journal. Then I started off sending letters of introduction to the Denver arts local community.
Really minimal came of this. I obtained a single consulting gig in Tulsa for an old high-faculty buddy who saw my report in the Oklahoma Metropolis paper. And I bought a framing and set up gig from my landlord who was linked to the Town of Englewood, Colorado. I’m reminded of this encounter every single time an artist says, “I despatched out 500 postcards and obtained no responses.” You have acquired to have additional of a strategy than a single marketing technique.
The letters of introduction were my complete program, if you can phone it that. Sending letters is not a approach. It must be a small part of a more substantial program. I did meet some gallerists and other folks in the art business enterprise because of the letters, but I experienced no reliable abide by up or observe by way of.
I had no method. I had to determine it out, and that is why I have made it less complicated for artists to nurture associations by providing artists with trustworthy business methods in all of my systems. There are areas of keeping in contact with people that could appear to be dangerous (like that initially make contact with with them), but there’s just about a guaranteed payoff for it. In my e book, that gets rid of a ton of the danger.
Just after that bust came the surreal interval about September 11. The very last factor any one was thinking about was acquiring artwork. The past issue I wanted to assume about was advertising and marketing my new business enterprise.
What I was getting at this time was inquiries from artists who had heard that I still left the museum and was setting up my individual artwork consulting small business. They did not accurately know what I was attempting to develop. All they understood was that they needed assistance offering their art.
Almost all of them had been searching for an agent. So, I thought, “I could do that!” Then I assumed some much more. I did not know everyone in my environment of galleries and museums who desired to offer with agents.
Alternatively of serving as an agent, I made a decision to support artists find out to be improved agents for their operate. I have by no means appeared back and could not imagine becoming in any other line of function.