Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year's Resolutions 1.1.2011

I have an enormously promising year ahead of me. We all know that Rome was not built in a day, but gradually and deliberately over time. Patience is a virtue and I have been slowly and steadily growing my own art business over the last 8 years. I have done so nearly entirely on my own, though I am ever so grateful for the support I have had from near and dear friends and of course family. My husband and my father have been the largest supporters of my artistically creative endeavors. Their faith in me has given me the inspiration and the courage to keep on chasing my dreams.

I am so very proud of myself. In 2002 I was scared to take the plunge into reality and try to make it as a freelance artist. I didn’t want to be a starving artist, I didn’t want to live with my parents, and I didn’t want to struggle financially and be dependent on trying to adapt to living paycheck to paycheck. I took the safe route and went on to graduate school where I focused on my painting and was able to obtain a MFA and a MAT. Teaching is a great backup tool for the aspiring artist just as long as one enjoys working with students and being in front of an audience.

Prior to graduate school I already had teaching experience in the private sector and occassionally working within a few CT schools as a substitute or teacher's aid. I had been asked by principals to share my art experience with students in a few CT schools before I left for graduate school and I really enjoyed those experiences and used them to drive onward with my own goals.

Depending on where you teach, you may be able to find much success balancing both and be respected within the community as an “artist teacher”. I have found that schools throughout much of New England (I’m trying not to be biased) and parts of Maryland really value the arts and artists as teachers. School systems further down toward the south have been a disappointment to me in regards to their art programs, especially school systems that are within certain “right to work” states.

I won’t spin off on one of my tangents about public education, but if you would like to contact me in regards to my teaching experiences in relation to being an artist teacher, please do not hesitate to email me. As much as I love working with children creating and selling my artwork is my main passion. It is still my goal to teach, but instead I will be teaching private art lessons for all ages and abilities from my quiet studio nook in the Furnace Mountain range.

I have started the task of updating my website and still have so much to do within the gallery sections. I am also working on a lot of promotional items and marketing myself. I have gathered much information about my “ideal client” and have been marketing myself toward them. With taxes ever climbing those who do the most purchasing of original fine art are watching their discretionary incomes dwindle and aren’t spending as much as they normally would on art. I have decided to offer promotions and discounts to further entice potential clients and have found it to be working to my advantage.

I have found the vast majority of my business does in fact come from word of mouth and then from my online presence; both from my professional website and then from other websites that I am an active participant on. I have been networking with many artists and have met some truly talented people that I have shared many delightful conversations with. I have seen the varying perspectives on the world of art from artists working overseas as well as from artists working right here in the states. I have heard some very interesting thoughts and concerns being voiced.

With baby on the way, I find myself rushing to put pen to paper with some ideas I have for attainable New Year’s resolutions. I know my main focus will be just to grow my business and client list, but I also have some other resolutions that I am working on to help me with my creative journey…

• Offer more prints directly from my studio and website
• Create and sell A LOT more fine art
• Keep my blogs, news, and exhibition list current
• Enter more exhibitions
• Enter artwork and photographs in this year’s Waterford Fair
• Finish a children’s book
• Advertise myself more
• Create a piece of art everyday (this should really be top priority)

Motivation is a great tool, so if you happen to read this little blog, please DO pester me about these resolutions as often as you would like! Yes, the bulleted items are what I feel most strongly about accomplishing this year.

May your New Year’s be all that you could ever hope for and more! Go out there and chase your passion, live your dream, and may you succeed!