The Key To Finding Inspiration In Unexpected Places

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Marisa D. Aceves. Shredded Paradise. digital photography http://www.acevesart.com/

article by Marisa D. Aceves

 

The closet door is rotten.

Old wood from the roof pollutes the rain water that has been collecting in the pots, pans and storage containers we strategically placed on the porch.

We know the sleeping porch will eventually collapse.

My grandparents house is 114 years old.

Everything in it is falling apart, rusting away and crumbling into oblivion. 

The whole scene might make you cry if you dare to follow us up those leaning cement steps to the front door, yet there is hidden beauty in our pain.

We must prepare the house to be sold as is.

It is the last connection we have to a time when the world seemed less chaotic. 

 Nothing in the house appears to have any value except for its location.

It sits right in the heart of our city’s historical district.

The guidelines require that the front of the house must be preserved, but the inside can be stripped of it’s character and remodeled. 

Do we need this old house?

No.

Do we wish that we could keep it in the family?

Yes.

However, this is not possible.

Some people might say that cleaning an old house isn’t inspiring. 

There’s nothing exciting about it; especially when you know that its the beginning of closure.

Inspiration though is something you you decide to find. 

You have to choose to see what is valuable in each and every situation. 

Recently, I have decided to find inspiration in the hidden treasures that I find as I clean the dust off the antique furniture and floors.

Sometimes messes are potential masterpieces.

The key to finding inspiration in unexpected places is to keep your mind open to the possibilities that surround you. 

No one is going to drop by and tell you, “Yes, this will make a great picture. Take it.” 

Instead, it is a feeling that you get. 

It is almost instinctual.  

There is no formula for knowing what is great subject matter; each artist has to discover that for themselves.

Breaking old patterns and reexamining old patterns can lead to new discoveries.

Look at the things that you do every day. 

Approach them from a different point of view.

For example, in the above picture entitled “Shredded Paradise”, I noticed that there was beauty in the shredded curtains that use to hang in the second bedroom. 

I was sweeping one minute, then snapping this picture the next. 

Today, I challenge you to see what is great in what everyone else considers ordinary. 

You may find that the subject matter for your next photo essay, painting, sculpture, etc. has been sitting right in front of you. 

It has been unappreciated, undiscovered; it is all yours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Perfectionism: The Problem With Dreaming The Impossible Dream

An abstract photograph of foil floral wrapping paper

 

Marisa D. Aceves. Red Wrapper. digital photography 

article by Marisa D. Aceves

Many artists can spend a lifetime training, creating, and fighting to produce that one perfect piece of art that the world will remember.

However, there is a difference between working hard to become the best artist that your particular range of talents will allow and aiming to become a perfect artist.

There are some individuals that become so obsessed with perfection that they forget to enjoy the learning process.

They alienate themselves from their art and the reason why they felt the need to create art in the first place.

Usually, when this situation occurs, procrastination follows as the need to avoid the angst that perfectionism causes overrides all creative endeavors. 

Perfectionism is in effect, dreaming the impossible dream.

Why?

When we aim for it, we are bound to encounter disappointment because the simple truth is that no man or woman is perfect.

If you are not enjoying creating art, why create it.

Getting rid of perfectionist thinking is as much a conscious decision as choosing to be happy. 

The moment we decide to drop perfectionism and choose to approach our life and career from a different perspective, we begin to gain the joy we once lost when we put needless pressure on ourselves.

Be the very best artist that you can be, but don’t fall prey to a perfectionist way of thinking or it will rob you of both the joy you gain from your work and the ability to move forward with your career.

When you find yourself slipping back into faulty perfectionistic thought patterns, gently remind yourself that your work will get better with time, practice, and experience.

It’s All YOUR Fault!!!: 20 Smart Ways to Stop The Self-Blame Game Before It Ruins Your Health and Your Creative Business

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It’s 3 O’ clock in the morning.  Why aren’t you sleeping?

 

Your mind is racing. Thought after negative thought enters your head like bullets riddling the side of a car during a shootout.

 

That last client thought you were an idiot; if you had just finished that second degree, you’d have made the sale.

 

You’re too slow when it comes to finishing your work; if you could only whip out ten great projects a day, then you’d be productive.

 

You’re so shy you’d rather read a book then start a conversation; if you just had more confidence and could make friends easily, then everyone you did business with would like you.

 

The emotional blows and the mental needling go on like this for hours and hours, destroying your self-esteem and making you feel like the biggest loser on the planet.

 

All you want to do is stay alive,…at least long enough to finish you latest creative project, but every emotion in you wants to tell you it’s not going to make a difference.

 

You’ll still be that failure that get zero results, a miserable self-blamer who get blamed for everything.

 

Tossing and turning you try desperately to stop thinking about all of your perceived failures but. . . . .

 

after all of this, you still can’t escape the inescapable conclusion . . . .

 

It’s all YOUR fault!!!

 

So when you wake up from yet another unproductive night of restlessness and insomnia you begin to wonder . . .

 

Will I ever succeed?

 

By now you desperately want an escape from the constant feelings of isolation and despair, but I’ll let you in on a little secret. . .

 

Feelings lie.

 

That’s right, feelings lie and so do many of the flawed thoughts that cause them.

 

While it’s difficult to get away from the negative thought patterns that keep you in a perpetual state of “self-blame”, dealing with them is absolutely vital for your physical and psychological health as well as the health of your business.

 

What if somehow, you could actually get a good night’s sleep!

 

Seem impossible?

 

Trust me, it’s not.

 

What if their was a way to stop the negative thought patterns that cause you to participate in your own “self-blame game”?

 

Well, there’s actually more than one way to stop the vicious “self-blame game” in it’s tracks before you start to believe your own negative hype!

 

Here are 20 suggestions for defeating the “self-blame” beast before it get’s the best of you.

 

1) Admit that you have a problem – When you admit that you have a problem with self-blame you bring the problem to the surface. It is no longer hidden. Now you can figure out how to deal with the areas that trigger your depression.

 

2) Identify the problem areas that cause you to self-blame – Make a list of all of the areas that cause you stress.

 

3) Create a “plan of action” –  After you have created a list of the things that are bothering you, do some research. Create small goals/steps  for dealing with each problem.

 

4) Adjust your dietA diet full of preservatives and artificial flavors can sometimes have an affect on a person’s moods and overall well-being.

 

5) Remind yourself of all of the areas in which you excelMake a list of all the areas in which you do succeed.  Maybe you’re good at sports.  Maybe you’re funny. When you check the list of the skills that you do possess, this will help you counteract the negative feelings that you get when you sense that you lack an important skill.

 

6) Learn a new skill or do an activity that involves problem solving –  Activities that involve problem solving actually engage left-brain activity.  Engaging left-brain activity helps to quiet the emotional right-brain response to everyday disappointments.

 

7) Ask a trusted friend or family member for additional support – A trusted friend or family member can help give you a different perspective as to the true extent of you problems.  Sometime’s we tend to over exaggerate or blow things out of proportion.

 

8) Read trade magazines and journals – Trade magazines and journals are a great way to check out insider advice on how to solve common business problems that the majority of people face at some point in their careers.  It always helps to know that others have gone before and faced the same or similar obstacles.

 

9) Seek help from a counselor or business consultantCounselors can help you get to the root of why you self-blame. Business consultants can help you to approach those areas of your business that are lacking or are weak.  These are the areas that probably trigger self-blame the most since many people’s feelings of failure are often tied into performance and competence.

 

10) Talk to other business owners and clients – Like trade journals, other business owners in a particular creative niche can provide much needed advice on how to solve the business problems that keep you up at night. Clients can tell you what is both positive and negative about your business practices so that you can begin to make improvements.

 

11) Find support groups – It is important to know that you are not alone.  After all there are others out there that suffer from the same insecurities that you do.  Knowing that you have a group of people that can support you that you in turn can support  helps to improve you outlook on life and can help to alleviate situational depression.

 

12) Change your outlookTry to focus on the “blessings” or positive aspects of your life.  What are you grateful for?

 

13) Do small tasks or choresTending to  small tasks or chores that you can finish easily gives you a sense of accomplishment.  It gives you the sense that you are moving forward.

 

14) Learn from other peopleObserve, learn and emulate people who are good in the areas in which you are having difficulty.  You may not come out an expert, but you will eventually learn something valuable that you can apply to your business practice.

 

15) Volunteer to work with a charitySelf-Blame at it’s core is in fact a self-centered activity. Volunteering to help others takes you away from yourself and your problems.

 

16) Attend a creative business workshopWorkshops are great for helping entrepreneurs think outside the box.  Maybe if you approached your problems from a different angle, you could begin to see the possibilities instead of focusing on the obstacles.

 

17) Listen and participate in a webinar or tele-summit  – Webinars and tele-summits can offer helpful advice on common business problems. The Q&A part of webinars and summits also allow you to contact the professional directly even if you don’t live in the same state.

18) Join local business groupsLocal business groups are a great way to access help, advice and support within your community.  They are also useful for making contacts and networking. The more people you know, the easier it is to help your business grow.

 

19) Participate in an online forumOnline forums are yet another type of community setting in which forum members can ask appropriate questions of other members that are more experienced in certain areas of business.  You may find that you can help to answer other members questions as well. Knowing that you can help someone else with their problems helps you to feel more confident and increases your self-esteem.

 

20) Spend time with friends and family – Finally, don’t forget to spend quality time with family and friends. No, we are not perfect, but it’s nice to know that despite our many faults, there are people that both love and care for us.

Here are some additional resources for overcoming self-blame:) 

1) Steps to Stop Blaming Yourself – http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/15455/1/Steps-to-Stop-Blaming-Yourself.html

2) Avoid All Forms of Self-Rejection: Stop Blaming Yourself – Beyond Blue – http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/beyondblue/2010/05/avoid-all-forms-of-self-reject.html

 

How To Make Sure Procrastination Doesn’t Keep You From Your Best Work

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Marisa D. Aceves. Object 180. digital photography.

For additional examples of my work, check out the my website at http://www.acevesart.com/

Deep down inside, we all know we have to “get to work” to make our creative business a reality.

While many of us could come up with a variety of well worn excuses for why we can’t or shouldn’t work, work is necessary in order to create a sellable product.

However, when we work feverishly without rest, we can over think a problem and inadvertently “destroy” what is beautiful about our art.

So how can we avoid this aggravating situation and still remain productive in our studio?

What is the difference between “stepping away” from our work and “procrastination”?

When we “step away” from our work, we are simply taking some much needed time to properly assess whether or not certain elements of our work are coming together to form a successful, complete piece.

We can ask ourselves questions like:

a) Does the work reflect what we initially set out to say?

b) What can we correct about the piece?

c) What part of our work needs to remain intact?

“Stepping Away” is definitely a time for both proper judgement and reflection. It is different than procrastination because it serves a purpose. It is a brief, meaningful rest before you return to work; it is a momentary vacation not an eternal vacation.

The evil twin sister of “stepping away” is procrastination.

Webster’s dictionary defines procrastination as “The act or habit of procrastinatingor putting off to a future timedelaydilatoriness.”  

 “Procrastination” convinces us that we need to take a longer break than we really need.

Pretty soon everything else we’d rather be doing instead immediately takes priority over the hard work we must do in order to accomplish our artistic goals.

So how do we stop “procrastination”?

Here are some tips for how to avoid procrastination while allowing yourself some “stepping away” time.

1. Admit that you have a problem with procrastination 

Admitting that you have a tendency to procrastinate is key to addressing how to stop this common “time-stealing” habit.

2. Deal with the reason/s why you procrastinate 

There are several reasons why people procrastinate.  Your reason/s for procrastinating may be different than you neighbors’, but the point is that you understand why you procrastinate so you can address these issues.

Here are some common reasons for procrastination:

a) Fear – Sometimes we fear rejection if we perceive that people won’t like our work. We may fear tasks that require technical expertise that we do not yet possess or understand so we put them off. If we never put our work on display so that the public can view it, no one know that our work exists. If we fear complicated technical tasks that we do not understand, it is better to ask for help in these areas so that we don’t miss out on the opportunity to expose our work to different audiences on different platforms.

b) Lack of Motivation or Inspiration – We may procrastinate believing that we need to ‘feel’ motivated or inspired to work on our art or creative business, but this simply is not the case. Avoidance tactics based on depression only leads to more depression because we have not made any attempts or taken any small steps to complete our goals. We are still in effect right where we started.

c) Low-Self Confidence – If we are not very confident in our abilities to perform a task or learn a new skill, we may consistently put important tasks off rather than face personal failure. Confidence is increased with familiarity. Once we become more familiar with a task, we become more confident in our abilities to complete that particular task.  When we continue to avoid the tasks we know we need to face, we never gain the skills that are necessary for success in whatever area we wish to pursue.

d)Perfectionism- We all would like to experience the joy of being considered an expert in something.  Many of us want to do the very best that we can. However when we set expectations that are too high for our skills at the time, we may find ourselves procrastinating because we believe that if we can’t do it like the experts, it’s just not worth doing.  This belief is both false and detrimental because you don’t become an expert without time and practice. We are all beginners at one point in our lives. There is no shame in admitting this.

3. Create a work schedule – Creating a work schedule helps you to organize the tasks ahead so that you do not become overwhelmed with what you have to do during the day, week, and month.  When you know what you are going to be doing at a certain time of the day, this lessens your anxiety and fear.

4. Divide large tasks into small actionable goals – Breaking large goals up into smaller goals helps you to both gain confidence and a sense of accomplishment.  As you begin to achieve each small task, you gain confidence and your depression about not getting things done begins to lift.

 5. Set up a specific time for each task – When you set a specific time for each task, you make yourself accountable for getting to work in that period of time. As you work, you will notice how you use your time, you can then address how you can improve time management issues.

While “procrastination” can seem like an insurmountable problem, with a positive attitude and a willingness to address the issue, you can overcome it.

 

Artist Sources: Procrastination Info 

1. Procrastination Help :: How to Stop Procrastinating

2. Procrastination Help Courses

3. Stop Procrastinating – The 21 Day Program to Break The Habit 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fastest Way To Nowhere: Creating Without Intention

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Marisa D. Aceves. Satellite 3: Uncharted Landscape: Dune 1. Digital Photography. 2014

Check out the rest of the Satellite 3 Series at http://www.acevesart.com/

Let’s face it, when it comes to creating art, sometimes we encounter a serious mental or emotional block.

When we’re desperate for answers to our general lack of enthusiasm and productivity, we search the internet for websites, blogs, art magazines etc. that are willing to address this issue.

Eventually, we discover a general pattern in the advice that we receive from some of these sources.

This particular advice is as follows: “Always show up each day to work in your studio. Don’t be afraid to play with your materials to get over the fear of creating art.”

However helpful this advice may seem, it is only useful if you consider one very important point:

All the playing and experimenting in the world won’t help you unless you create with intention.

What is “creating with intention?”

When you create with intention, you create with a specific artistic goal in mind before you begin experimenting with your materials.

This particular goal will help you to define how and in what way you play and experiment with your materials.

For example, let’s say that you want to create a series of  urban landscape paintings, but you are unsure as to what colors that you want to use. You might play/experiment with color scheme in order to decide what type of mood that you wanted to convey with your work.  Executing small painting studies with several different variations of either warm or cool colors might help you to achieve this goal.  Painting studies might also be used to determine which composition you find most interesting or pleasing etc.

In these two examples, “playing/experimenting” would be considered effective in determining the final version of  your urban landscape paintings.

In the above example, I used painting, but this same concept could be applied to a variety of different mediums, sculpture, photography, drawing and digital art.

There are some people who say that it is “freeing and fun” to just paint or create without any worry or concern about the end result, but I disagree with them. Sooner or later, you will be driven to seek meaning and purpose in your work.

When you finally do decide to create work that you want to share with the world, you will find that you can’t do so without both an adequate understanding of the basic foundations of all successful art (line, form, shape, composition, etc.) and a specific goal in mind.

Creating without intention is to create without purpose.  While that may have it’s momentary joys, creating with intention, (though sometimes challenging) is far more rewarding.

If you have any questions about this post please let me know, I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Why Art Career Disappointments Can Actually Help You Build A Better Business

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Marisa D. Aceves. Crimson Well 4. Digital Photography

 click here to checkout the rest of the series

Sometimes we just want to live a life of convenience.

Often we rush around in a variety of different directions trying to recover valuable bits of art business wisdom from across the web.

After stressing ourselves to the point of extreme frustration,we long for someone out there to put all the information we are seeking in one place.

When it appears that someone actually has attempted to take the mystery out of some of our greatest business struggles we jump on the opportunity to learn, but leaping without looking first can sometimes get us into a lot of trouble.

At the very least, we find ourselves in the wrong environment for our particular type of business.

In the most extreme cases, we slowly discover that in a mad effort to network, we are attached to people who’s core beliefs, morals and values do not match our own.

If the later happens, we are faced with the difficult decision of figuring out how we are going to politely separate ourselves from them without stepping on toes, bruising egos and burning bridges.

Nevertheless, only we can decide what is right for our particular business.

Yes, we may feel disappointed when certain opportunities and the people presenting those opportunities are not the “perfect fit” that we initially hoped they would be, but in the end, these experiences leave us with a clearer view of what we don’t want our business to project.

When we recognize what is not good for our business, we can then discover what is good for our business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Banish Self-Doubt So You Can Achieve Your Creative Vision

"An abstract photograph of an ordinary household object"
Marisa D. Aceves. Satellite 3: Uncharted Landscape Composition 2. Digital Photography. 2014.

(Abstract photography from the Satellite series) To check out the rest of the series visit http://www.acevesart.com/

Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of pursuing another medium like branching out into mixed media work (ex. mixed media painting, mixed media sculpture, installation etc.) or alternative media (ex. video, digital art etc.) but every time that you dared to consider a direction less familiar your head suddenly fills with mental movie clips of naysayers, tremendous obstacles and absolute failure to succeed.

As if this were not enough, your personal artistic adventurer/explorer is further quashed by exhibition deadlines, less than stellar time management and a host of weekly family activities.

Does this mirror your present situation?

If so, here are some suggestions that will help you keep your sanity, manage your time, and stop the insecure thoughts that are holding you back:

SELF DOUBT THOUGHT/THOUGHTS #1:  I know absolutely nothing about the new medium/mediums that I want to work in; if I attempt to produce a piece of artwork using this medium/mediums, I’ll just screw it up!!!

 

Possible Solution:

A. Research The Medium You Plan To Use For Your Piece

a1.  Research the history of the medium

b1.  Research the application of the materials or various techniques that can be applied when using these materials. (For example if you are a photographer researching ceramic sculpture because you wanted to do a public project using ceramics as part of your installation piece , you might research certain techniques used in ceramics like slab construction, coil construction or carving clay).

c1. Research art pieces that have used this medium/mediums.  You may want to research other artists who are experts or specialize in using this medium/mediums. Take note of the works that have the most impact.  Ask yourself why?

 

B.  Enlist help or Outsource

b1.  Research artists and professionals that have experience working with the medium/mediums

c1.  Try to make contact with these professionals and ask them what their rates are?  What do they charge for employing them to help with certain tasks or parts of the piece.  When you are comfortable with the price range that is within your budget, then communicate with the professional about what you want to do with the project you are pursuing.  What is the piece about?  Is the work you need done simple or does it require a high level of skills?  The better you communicate what you want and need the professional to do, the easier it will be to complete the piece.

 

SELF DOUBT THOUGHT/THOUGHTS #2:  How can I create work in another medium if I don’t have the budget?

Possible Solution:

A. Start Small

Who says that you have to create a huge, life-changing piece.  When you create a small (tester piece), you can focus on learning how to use the material that you have researched effectively.

B. Create a List of Weekly Expenses

Make a list or chart of weekly expenses.  This way you can see how your money is being spent, where it is going, and where you can cut back.  For example, look at the money you spend on extracurricular activities and see if you can use half of that to fund your project.

C.  Raise funds for your project

Set up a fundraiser to raise money for your project/projects. This can be done locally or through social media crowd funding websites.

 

SELF DOUBT THOUGHT/THOUGHTS #3: Nobody will like the new piece/pieces of artwork; My clients won’t understand what I am trying to do.

Possible Solution:

A.  Everything Involves Risk

When you have found something successful that has worked for you, it is scary to think that your latest passion may not be received the way you would have initially envisioned.  Continue producing what sells while trying to find alternative ways to market your work in this new medium.  Your continued success in the medium in which you are familiar will offset any initial rejection or cool reception of the pieces produced in the new medium/mediums.

B. Market Your Work To A Different Audience Using Social Media

This helps to expose your work to people that are unfamiliar with what you do.  So they are less likely to judge you based on your past work and the medium in which it is produced.

C. Consider dealing with the same subject matter and themes that you deal with in the medium in which you have experience. Then you can tie your old work and your new work in a different medium together using theme.  This theme based work will help your present collectors to more easily identify with your work in this new medium.

 

SELF DOUBT THOUGHT/THOUGHTS #4: I don’t have enough time to pursue another medium.

Possible Solution:

A. Make A Time Chart

Look at your present schedule.  How do you allocate time in your day for each item on your to-do list? Try to see if there are any open spaces of time that you could use for your new project.

B. Enlist family members to help with chores

Ask your son, daughter or spouse to cook for you some days or take out the trash. You’d be surprised, even the smallest, simplest tasks take up precious time that  you could be using to do research and to create your new work.

C. Outsource

Outsource time consuming jobs like sending your packets out to galleries, updating your website and writing copy to an assistant, intern or freelancer.

When you attack self doubt with action steps to solve the problem/problems you are worried about, you begin to see the possibilities.  Tasks seem easier to conquer.  Dreams seem attainable when approached in small steps.

*If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to contact me.  I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Ways to Market Your Art Using Video

Marisa D. Aceves, Satellite 2: Valley 2, digital photography
Marisa D. Aceves, Satellite 2: Valley 2, digital photography 

Sharing your artwork with the world is not only an inherent need for most artists…

It is a marketing necessity.

When you film your art, you are providing art collectors, fans, and students with a window into your studio experience.  The internet provides a variety of social platforms that can help you increase your visibility and customer base.

Do you know how to use them both safely and effectively?

Here are some simple suggestions for how you can market your work using video without subjecting yourself to theft and copyright infringement:

1. Mastering Medium Specific DIY Demonstrations – Instead of taping your artistic process from start to finish, consider creating demonstrations on how to master basic skills and techniques that relate to the medium that you are most familiar with.  For instance, if you are a painter, you may want to video tape a demonstration on how to mix oil paints or how to apply glazing methods.  The beauty of video demonstrations is that they don’t have to be long detailed productions. Make sure to provide a link to your main website.  If other artists find your demonstrations useful, they just may decide to visit your website on a regular basis. This could help increase traffic to your website and therefore increase your visibility on the web.

2. Tapping Into The Hidden Potential of The Artist Webinar – If you have ever dreamed of teaching a room full of eager, bright, wide-eyed students, then artist webinars are for you. You don’t have to send an application for employment to your local university, the internet is your university and your the professor.  All  you need is a camera and an eagerness to share your knowledge with others. While most workshops are held at specific physical locations, webinars (a live workshop, seminar and presentation rolled up into one) can be made available to whomever signs up for enrollment. 

3. Sharing Your Unique Artistic Experience Through Video blogging – Video blogging offers your audience the experience of a “sit-down conversation” with you that regular blogging does not.  You can share your inspiration for a painting, sculpture, photography series etc.  This particular style of blogging is especially appealing to people who feel uncomfortable with writing about their business, but love to tell stories or chat with people. Your customers, students, and admirers get a chance to see the face behind the work.  This helps them to relate to you on a completely different level and can increase interest in you and the type of work that you produce.

While doing something a little different, can be scary at times, the risk is worth it as long as you look before you leap.  With all of these video suggestions, it is helpful if you put yourself on a schedule and come up with a sound marketing strategy before you attempt to promote your work in this manner.

Note:   A “fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants” approach is never a good idea. It is important that you are organized and are aware of the information that you want to share with your audience.  If you fail to present the information in a clear, concise manner, people may become confused about what you are trying to say and leave your site.

*If you have any comments or questions regarding this article, feel free to contact me!  I’d love to hear from you!

 

  

Are You Giving Your Art Career Away? The Possible Perils of Filming Your Process

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written by Marisa D. Aceves

Your creative process not only helps to make your work unique and marketable…

It is the life blood of your art career.

It is a precious gem that helps you to stand out from a myriad of other artists that are competing for the same gallery showing, artist publication covers etc.

So why would you simply give your trade secrets away by filming every brush stroke, chisel or camera technique from start to finish?

Doesn’t make a lot of sense does it?

…or DOES IT???

Though this particular marketing strategy, may appear to be a good idea at first, consider who really benefits from this not-so-subtle form of advertising…

The answer just may surprise you.

WHY FILMING YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS CAN PUT YOU AT RISK?

Giving your style away is like giving away your originality!

Why should visitors and collectors come by your blog and website if they can find several other artists working in the same style and genre.

Consider these points before you film your art business out of existence:

1. Filming your creative process can expose you to theft from other artists 

For example…

a) From an artist with an “end-justifies-the means” mentality who only cares about making sales…

b) An art student that has to complete a project, but has no ideas…

c) A well known artist who has run out of ideas,

Someone can steal your style and subject matter and present them as their own.

Depending on how far along you are in your art career, this can destroy you and your ability to earn money from your art. Especially, if the artist that steals from you is well known and you are in the beginning stages of getting your work out to the public.

Who will they believe then?

A scrappy yet talented underdoggie or an artist with numerous publication covers and awards under their their big boy belt buckle?

We both know the answer to that one!

2. Filming your creative process can expose you to theft from designer art companies

When this particular scenario happens, and it does happen more often than we’d like to think, large companies selling designer artwork (paintings, sculpture, photography etc.) make money off of YOUR hard work.

They are allowed to get away with this because unless your work is copyrighted and protected by law, it’s fair game.

It’s public information.

It’s free content.

Anyone that is trained at copying the work of other artists can watch the video footage you took of your process (start to finish) and steal from you without getting caught.

The work is sold through a large company at rock bottom prices. The copiers that reproduce your work, usually go anonymous.

Even if your work is protected by law and you are able to report an obvious case of copyright infringement, if the theft occurs from a company outside of your country, it will make it even more difficult to take the guilty party to court.

In the mean time, you have probably lost thousands of dollars in future profits.

Not a good place to be!

However…

Sharing an appropriate amount of information (without giving away your secrets) could both increase your visibility on the internet, and help your present and future clients to better understand the reasons why you create your art.

*For more information about your rights,copyright infringement and protecting your work please check out these helpful Artist Resources:

1) Legal Guide for the Visual Artist,Fifth Edition by Tad Crawford

2) Photographer’s Survival Manual: A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age (Lark Photography Book) by Edward C. Greenberg and Jack Reznicki

3) Art Law: The Guide for Collectors, Artists, Investors, Dealers, and Artists (2 Volume Set) by Ralph E. Lerner and Judith Bresler

Next week…

NEXT WEEK….3 Ways To Market Your Art Using Video

NOT IN MY INBOX! Warning: Not Every Opportunity Is A Good Opportunity Part 2

Abstract photography
Satellite Series: Uncharted Landscape – Purple Canyon, abstract photography

Last week, we covered marketing tactics that make our email experience a little less pleasant, Ranting and Storytelling with few tips. If you missed out on last weeks post, click here to read Part 1!

This week, we will cover SCHOOLYARD BULLY(ING) and PUSHY PEPPERMINT PATTY(ING):

SCHOOLYARD BULLY(ING):

This tough, tell-it-like-it-is marketing approach might appeal to you initially, especially if you are seeking specific information about sales or networking etc. and are sick of people giving you the “run around.”  However, what seems to be a “light a fire under your butt” great idea to increase your overall motivation and productivity quickly descends into an unwelcome barrage of verbal abuse.  It all starts with those irresistibly sarcastic “in-your-face” headlines that somehow you just have to click. You do click, because you must! Then after you read the article that does have some helpful advice, you can’t shake the feeling that you’re being bullied into action by the marketer.  At some point in our lives, we do have to come to terms with the fact that we may have to correct some bad habits that keep us from performing to the best of our ability.  Still, if we subscribe to a business service with the plan that eventually, we might make a purchase, the last thing we want to do as potential customers is to leave with a feeling of utter embarrassment and defeat.  Schoolyard bullying is especially cruel because it uses reverse psychology to point the finger at the subscriber when they start asking questions or have legitimate concerns.  The subscriber is made to feel that the very act of their seeking help means that they are a hopeless, wimpy loser that doesn’t deserve success in their field unless they put up with the “persistent tongue-lashings” of the marketer.  Why put up with abuse you will eventually pay for in dollars.  Unless you are a “glutton for punishment” find a kinder, gentler professional who can firmly guide you and answer all questions respectfully.

PUSHY PEPPERMINT PATTY(ING)

This funny, bubbly marketer wins you over with their sly wit and down-to-earth style.  At first, they fill your in-box with me-too emails, perhaps in the hope that if you can relate to them as another human being, you’ll want to buy from them later.  Then, when they’ve slowly weaseled their way into you mind and heart, they hit you with helpful business links and some packages that they know you’ll want to buy.  Many of these business packages are affiliate marketing links of course and some of these are quite expensive.  You are on a budget and just getting started with your business, so in general, you are not financially independent enough to take advantage of the leads that they send you.  Yet it seems that the whole purpose of seeking a subscription to help your small business grow is so that you can achieve financial independence.  Now you begin to realize something that had not initially occurred to you before.  Perhaps your subscription to their business blog is so that THEY can gain financial independence on the last “bottom dollar” of the struggling individuals seeking their help! LOL, you new business BFF is their own best friend not yours.  File this away for future reference and find yourself a more affordable option.

There are probably several other examples of annoying marketing schemes that we almost fall for until we notice the signs that something just isn’t right.  As time goes on and we empty our crowded inboxes, many of us will eventually discover that we are not alone. We do not have to be victims of internet deception. Taking a more proactive approach and familiarizing ourselves and others with the scams that are out there can help us all avoid future grief and frustration at the hands of the latest wave of scammers.

*If you have any comments regarding this article or advice you’d like to share with others, please let me know. I’d love to hear from you!