Monday, February 1, 2010

"I'd Rather Be in the Studio"

While shopping on recently, I stumbled upon "I'd Rather Be in the Studio: The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self Promotion" by Alyson B. Stanfield ( in the recommended books section. What I liked about this book, and what inspired me to buy it, is that it wasn't just the basic book about starting your "art business", which usually included topics like writing an artist statement, putting together a promotional packet, and how to contact galleries. This book is all about marketing yourself to sell more art and have a bigger "art presence". It includes topics like how to increase your online presence, writing the killer newsletter, and creating a media kit. It is more about promoting your work and creating a buzz than the usual "how-to" on getting into art shows. This seemed like an extremely useful tool for the point that I am in in my career since I am already getting into shows (although that can always be increased) but I am wanting to look more into how I can increase my visibility and make my art and name more of a brand.

The book is divided up into "actions" that a person needs to take. Action 1 is the basic "defining success for yourself" but what I liked about this book was that it gave you a table to fill in that helped you define what success means to you. I remember the first time I was asked this question by artist Jeff Schaller ( when I visited his studio and was picking his brain about how he was able to be so successful at creating art for a living. It was the first time I had to really think about what it meant to me. Does success mean showing in a certain number of galleries? Museum shows? Having a certain number of sales? Being able to support yourself on your art alone? (YES!) Every body's definition of success is different and the table included in this book, along with everything else in the chapter, helps you define it for yourself.

What I also like about this chapter was that Stanfield writes about the importance of APPEARING successful. She states that you have to envision that you are already a success (hmmm...sounds a lot like what I wrote about previously on affirmations and visualizations). You need to write about it, speak about it, and believe it (which does not mean being arrogant or speaking down to people, btw. Nobody likes a jerk.). You also need to look the part, such as dress nicely outside of the studio, and make sure that your presentation package is professional looking. As Stanfield puts it "If you don't radiate success, how will you attract a following?"

In the next couple of weeks I will update you on what I learn from this book and how it is working for me. So far I have a HUGE list of things that I need to do in order to get myself organized and start promoting myself better. (I am on action 8 at the moment and the previous chapters deal a lot with organizing your office and setting up your files. Clutter is the enemy!) I am determined to follow each action and so far, I am enjoying reading this book. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. Jhina: I'm so glad to hear that the book resonates with you! And I love your picture with all of the Post-It notes. Just remember that you can't do it all. You may have a big list, but the most important step is to identify your next actions. That will keep you sane. Well, that and not reading the book at night!