Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Getting Serious About My Art and Photos

I am about half way through Alyson B. Stanfield's book, I'd rather be in the studio, and already the things I have learned are well worth the cost! The book is absolutely chock full of great advice, web sites to check out, ways of going about promoting your art, reasons you should do certain things and not do others... it is truly like having my own personal coach cheering me on and helping me in every way possible to get my art out there and recognized.

The second chapter is all about becoming organized. Now, I am an organized person - that is not the problem! BUT, in trying to keep track of each of my paintings, the costs involved in each one, who they were sold to, the costs of shipping and handling, managing the pictures of each, size of each, invoices, expenses... and on and on... I was becoming very frustrated trying to build a little system where I could actually find what I was looking for quickly. One day I ended up incredibly frustrated because I could not find the one piece of information I was looking for in the files of my computer... Has that ever happened to you?

Well, fear not, in Chapter 2 Alyson B. Stanfield gives the names of several software programs just for ARTIST'S DATABASES!!!  Who knew that there were databases out there that enable you to have everything in one place, from the photo of the painting to an e-mailing list, to a certificate of authenticity! I can use it for both my paintings and my photographs, and all are in one place! Yahoo! Not only that, but several of the companies selling these databases allow you to download a free trial before you buy, so that you can see if their product will suit your purposes. 

Other topics covered in Alyson's book, to name a few, are:
  • creating your artist statement
  • creating a powerful portfolio
  • building your website and blog
  • communication and followup
  • saving money and being able to "generate buzz on a shoestring"
I highly recommend this book if you are serious about promoting your art. In addition, you might like to check out Alyson's blog and sign up for her art tips newsletter. 


Cheryl McCarley said...

Hi Joanne,
I love your sunflowers!!! Beautiful! Thanks for your review on the book. I'd like to get serious and start selling my art this year. Sounds like it has many of the things I need to get started, thanks!

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

I was just catching up on your blog and was very energized by all the information and energy you've going here.

Michelle said...

Hee hee. Don't be surprised if someone you know asks to borrow that book when you are done.... Sounds like an awesome read.

Joanne said...

Hi Cheryl,

If you are wanting to start selling your art without making many of the mistakes that are hard to undo, this is the information you need... I am planning to reread it so as to begin to incorporate many of the ideas into my art life. :-) I don't think there is another book out there that has so much information related specifically to artists. Have a great year, Cheryl!!!

Joanne said...

Hi Mary,

I am so glad that my blog has energized you... it makes me feel really great that you have in some way benefitted by visiting here! I am looking forward to seeing your paintings throughout 2009. All the best, Mary!

Joanne said...

Hey Michelle,

You, my friend, will be welcome to read this awesome book... when I am done with it, it will be dogeared, underlined, highlighted, and decrepit... but you are welcome to read it. Hmmm... when is your birthday???

theresamillerwatercolors said...

Hi Joanne! Thanks for the book review, will definetly check it out - one can never have too much information! I love the sunflowers, WOW! Very powerful!

Anonymous said...


I am enjoying the book, too, and another great tip that I received from an artist a number of years ago was to create a binder with separators for an updated art information and price list, as well as separations for the different galleries that carry my work with a list of the work held there and a copy of the contract, and another area with a list of collectors with as much info as possible (date of first contact or sale, first and last name, address with postal code, phone number, email, etc.). To date I've tracked most of this on excel as I can print up mailing lists, labels, and sort however I want without the added expense of new software. It has helped in the past as my computer did crash and I lost all the info, so I was glad to have a hard copy. I also always pencil in the names of the collectors or the places that I've donated the particular work. I created a second binder that acts as my portfolio, with photos, size, medium, and date of work. Along with that I keep any press and invitations to openings. It's a nice little picture book that reminds and encourages me of what I've accomplished so far.

Karen Hargett said...

Hi Joanne - your sunflowers are beautiful. I'm reading through you blog - lots off good stuff here. You are a really talented lady.

Looks like I may have to order that book. Thanks for the recommendation.

Thanks again for visiting my blog this morning.

I'll be back.

Joanne said...

Thanks, Theresa... I see that you are painting some flowers right now as well. There is something encouraging about painting blooms in the middle of winter! See you again///

Joanne said...

Thanks for the information, Veronica... it is very helpful! There is always more than one way to do things - and often much less expensive ways to do things! How was your first week back at school? Are you swamped with work?

Joanne said...

Hi Karen,

Thanks for dropping by... I certainly am benefitting from the book, so I can easily recommend it to others. Your pastels are beautiful! I will be back to your site to see your horse completed. Till then, take care.