An Assignment for You

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    This post is by guest author  Keith Bond. This article has been edited and published with the author's permission. We've promoted this post to feature status because it provides great value to the FineArtViews community. If you want your blog posts listed in the   FineArtViews newsletter with the possibility of being republished to our 75,000 subscribers, consider blogging with FASO Artist Websites. This author's views are entirely his own and may not always reflect the views of BoldBrush, Inc.

     

     

     

    Recently, I’ve been spending a lot of time refocusing the business side of my career.  I have been reading a lot from a variety of people whose ideas strike a chord with me.  But more importantly, I have been finding ways to implement what they teach.  I plan to share what I am learning and doing with you over the next little while.  Today I share one of these ideas.  It isn’t novel.  I’ve seen it in various forms over the years, but for some reason it hit me the right way this time.  I guess I was finally ready to do it.  Today’s idea is an exercise that I just did as an assignment in a recent teleseminar with Christine Kane. 

     

    I am going to give you that same assignment.

     

    Carve out a little bit of time in the next few days to do this.  The sooner the better, or else you may forget.  It’s a 3 part assignment.  Here goes:

    1. Imagine where you want to be at this time next year.  What do you want to accomplish with your art or business (or both)?  Choose 3 things you need to accomplish to get there.  Picture yourself having accomplished them.  How great will that feel!?
    2. Now for each accomplishment identify 1 or 2 obstacles that will prevent you from achieving your goal.  Write them down.
    3. For each of these obstacles, identify how you can overcome them.  Identify the steps you need to take.  These are your tasks – your to-do list.

    I’ll be the first to admit that goal setting has never been my strong point in the past.  But I have reached the point where I want to take more control of my business.  I want to grow it, not just get by.  This exercise was great for me, because it takes those goals and gives me the steps I need to take to get there.  I am excited for what I have planned in the next year.  I am excited to tackle my obstacles and achieve my goals. 

     

    If you do this assignment, you will take the first step in moving your career or art to the next level.  I will give you a few examples here to illustrate how this will help you discover what your next steps are.

     

    Example 1

     

    Suppose you want to sell more of your own work instead of relying solely on others selling your work.  But you recognize that you aren’t a very good salesperson and you seldom have opportunities to meet face to face with potential collectors.  Your list is small.  First, you could seek out learning how to sell.  There are a variety of sources – books, blogs, mentors, coaches, etc. who can help you learn how to sell. 

     

    Secondly, create opportunities to be in selling situations with potential collectors.  You could have an open studio.  You could participate in shows at a local art center.  You could get a booth at an art fair.  Perhaps you are invited or juried into shows, attend the openings and speak with your fans.  This will do 2 things.  It will help you practice what you are learning.  It will also grow your list. 

     

    The third thing to do is utilize your list.  Communicate with your fans.  Send them your newsletters, postcards, thank you cards, and/or create a blog, etc. This creates more opportunities for you to potentially sell your work.  And it will give you more practice.

     

    Example 2

     

    Suppose you are a painter and you want to take your work to the next level.  You want to increase your technical abilities to enable you to be more expressive in what you want to say.

     

    But, you work full time at your day job and have family and other responsibilities.  You paint when you can, but it is hard to find substantial blocks of time to work on your painting.  You also waste a lot of that time setting up your workspace.  Your tools are in a closet and you need to move the kitchen table.

     

    Some possible solutions are: 1). Create a workspace where you can keep your easel and supplies set up.  It can be in the garage, basement, spare room, etc.  2). Have your plein air gear ready and accessible at all times.  3). Get up a half an hour earlier each day and create quick little studies in that time before you go to work – either in the studio or en plein air.  Set the timer.  It is amazing how a simple timer set for 20 minutes will force you to focus on your work.  You will get into the zone very quickly.  When the timer goes off, stop.  The first few times will be frustrating because you didn’t finish a painting.  After a few times, you will see how this exercise will help you grow as an artist.  These may not be finished paintings, but they could be.  Either way, they will help you grow and reach that next level.

     

    Assignment Recap

    • So take some time to identify what YOU want to achieve next year.  Come up with 3 things.
    • Identify the obstacles for each of them. 
    • Then determine what you can do to overcome those obstacles.  These will be your tasks.  This is your to-do list.

     

    Share with us what you wish to accomplish next year.

     

     

    Best Wishes,

     

    Keith Bond

     

     

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    Editor's Note:

    Today's post is an updated version from a few years ago, but we're republishing it again today because it's still a timely and a very relevant message. Enjoy!

     

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