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Festival Network Online Newsletter Artist/Craftspeople Edition -  February 2009

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A note from the FNO newsletter editor

Hello to our FNO Artists and Craftspeople,

As you may have noticed, we have recently launched some new features here at FNO. You are now able to create a Friends List, join in Community Forum discussions, communicate with other members AND set up your own web site including: personal profile, blog, photos/videos & a personal calendar! Start exploring the FNO Community today!

This month's article comes to you from Alyson Stanfield at artbizcoach.com and provides some great tips on taking cues from other artists in order to achieve your own success in the art world.

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Best wishes!

The FNO Staff
800.200.3737
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Gain Insight into Art Career Success by Alyson B. Stanfield

Dynamic Metalwork David Earl Tomlinson
  pictured: "Royal Street Scene" by FNO member Tommy Thompson
 
Every artist has a unique path, a singular focus. Regardless of your definition of success, you can learn a lot from artists–artists who might have a different path than you, but who, nonetheless, found their way.

From successful artists, you can get ideas for marketing, promotion, themes, media, and technique. You can find out how you might use assistants in the studio or office. And you can be inspired by stories of overcoming obstacles. In fact, learning from others’ mistakes might be the best way to learn. I’m currently reading the book Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive. In it, the authors show that people learn more when they examine mistakes rather than just hear about the best way to do something. I think you also learn when you hear from other artists who have tackled a problem in an unconventional way or just found a way to make a living that is different from what you had always assumed.

You can even learn a lot from artists whose art is nothing like your own. It’s fine and good to belong to the watercolor or pastel society, the glass or fiber guild, or the oil painters group. But my experience is that these media-focused groups become insulated. Everyone is learning the same thing at the same pace. Do you want to stay at that level indefinitely? Or are you ready to break out on your own–to find the path that will distinguish you from the herd?

If you’re ready to make a big shift, here are three tips.

1. Read biographies of artists you admire. Don’t wait for the book to come out. Google their names! Read their résumés and bios on Web sites. How did they get to where they are? What’s the story behind their success?

2. Get a mentor. Literally. Ask someone if they will be your official mentor. It doesn’t even have to be an artist. It can be an independent professional whose self-promotion efforts you admire. In exchange for their counsel, you can offer to clean brushes, sweep the studio, take out the trash, work the sales table, or stuff envelopes.

3. Listen to stories. One request I get over and over again is that you (artists) want to hear from other artists who have achieved success at some level. Well, I’ve heard you. The series “Insights: Artists Spill the Beans” features intimate conversations with artists who have achieved success in one area or another.

KNOW THIS———-~> Each artist’s path is unique.

THINK ABOUT THIS—~> Are you stretching yourself or are you in a rut?

DO THIS————~> Gain insight into art career success. Listen to artists who have achieved success on various levels. Maybe they have a booming wholesale business, love commission work, or have been featured in museum exhibits. Or perhaps they lead art tours, teach workshops, or are making a decent living. Whatever your definition of success, you can learn from those who have come before you.

Alyson Stanfield is the author of I'd Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion. She has been consulting with artists to help build their art businesses since 2002. Visit her website and blog or find her on twitter and facebook





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