Applying for the opportunity to participate in an art show or gain access to grant money can be really hard. Decision makers accept your applications based on many factors, including your artwork, your art style, the appearance of your application, and many more. When applying for calls for art you need to take the time needed to present a professional-looking application. This may feel time-consuming, but in order to avoid preventable rejections you need to take the time to do it right.
Quick note: For ease of writing this article we use the term “art shows,” but this can refer to fairs, events, exhibitions, and even memberships and grants.
Tips To Improve Applications For Art Shows
Make Sure The Art Show Is A Good Fit
When you are looking at art show applications, it is important to make sure that your art is a good fit for this opportunity and that the opportunity is a good fit for you. For example, do not waste your time applying for an art show that showcases very traditional work if your work is more contemporary. Applying for shows can get pricey and time-consuming, so you need to have a strategy for choosing which shows are a good fit and will be most beneficial.
Always check the following points:
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Know the requirements
Before beginning the application process, it is important to be aware of the requirements for the art show. Do research on the art show and jurors or curators. This can help you understand if it is worth your time to apply. Each art show application has different requirements, so it is important to read the rules carefully and be sure to meet all the criteria. To increase your chances of acceptance you may want to customize your application for specific shows.
A few requirements that are generally included in all art show applications are
Present your work and application in a professional manner.
Once you understand the requirements of the show, the next step is to fill out the application. Many organizations use websites like CAFE or ArtCall.org. These can be helpful because they save some of your information from previous applications so you aren’t constantly uploading artist statements, etc. Make sure you understand the specification of the application. If you do not follow the application instructions you may be disqualified from having your work presented to the juror, or it may count against you in the final decision-making. It is essential that your application is presented in a clear and professional manner.
Some events are stricter than others, but if you are a professional you should present yourself in a professional manner. That includes reading through the prospectus, following any rules, and submitting a professional-looking application. Some prestigious and selective shows and memberships require the utmost care and attention to detail. Remember, competition can be high, and it is up to you to present yourself and your work professionally.
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To Wrap Up
Applying to an art show can be both scary, exciting, and daunting; but being accepted can be a huge boost to your career. There is no guarantee that you will get into a show. In fact, rejections are just part of being an artist… really!
No matter what happens, keep trying, keep improving, and keep growing. Rejections happen for all kinds of reasons, including juror preferences, available space, etc. Most shows do not give you feedback, but if you do receive feedback consider it with an open mind and see what you can learn from the feedback. Whatever you do, don’t get discouraged, keep applying, keep working, keep going. Perseverance and determination are key. We’ll even share a few more tips to help along the way:
We know applying for a show can be stressful. We hope this article will help you feel more confident and better equipped to apply for the right art shows for you. We wish you all the best!!
Do you have any other tips for applying to an art show? Drop your comment!!
Special Announcement For Members: Want to dive into the nitty-gritty of applying for shows and grants? We will be hosting a Panel discussion on March 2nd at 3:30 Pacific. RSVP in the member portal.
What is WILD FLOWERS?
Wild flowers Western Art Show is an exhibition and sale of the finest works of western art created by today’s cowgirl artists. Wild Flowers is Cowgirl Artists of America’s annual show and is presented in conjunction with Western Art Gallary.
Fun Fact: The show title, “Wild Flowers” was inspired by a Dolly Parton song “Wildflowers,” and pays homage to female artists past and present.
Wild Flowers Art Show Dates
The show and sale will be live, online, with work for sale, beginning February 1, 2023. The sale will close on February 28th, 2023. The opening reception and awards ceremony will be Saturday, February 4th at 5:30 PM (Central) on Instagram Live with Western Gallery and Cowgirl Artists of America.
Jurors for the Western Art Show
We are grateful to the three Jurors for the 2023 Art Show:
1.Mark Sublette (Medicine Man Gallery)
Dr. Mark Sublette is the founder (1992) of Medicine Man Gallery based in Tucson, Arizona. He is a sought-after speaker on Western and Native art, a creator of various catalogs within the field, and a specialist on the craftsmanship of Maynard Dixon.
2. Lisa Staudohar (Art of the West Magazine)
Lisa Staudohar is a sales and business development executive at the Art of the West Magazine. She is a creative problem solver, expert relationship builder, and strong strategist. Staudohar works hard to build relationships with the movers and shakers in the western art world. Click here to learn more about Lisa Staudohar.
3. Diana Vela (National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame)
Diana Vela is an Associate Executive Director at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame respects and celebrates women, past and present, whose lives exemplify the courage, resilience, and independence that helped shape the West, and fosters an appreciation of the ideals and spirit of self-reliance they inspire.
Artists list Participating for the Western Art Show
Ally Morgan Amber Scally Audrie Mergelman Betty Polasek Brittany Colt Burneta Vendosel Cheryl Harley-Volz Dana Lombardo Danuta Tomzynski Debbie Hughbanks Eileen Nistler Georgia Pollock Jean Hildebrant Jennifer Wendt Jenny Buckner Joye DeGoede Kay Kaplan Kaye York Kellee Mitchell Kelsey Koprowski Kim Hunter Steed Kristi Rose Kwani Povi Winder Lauri Ketchum Laurie Kersey Lynn Shield Manjushree Roy Megan Wimberley Mejo Okon Michelle Kondos Molly Lawson Nancy Rynes Natalie Campbell Nettie Rickerson Peggy Judy Rose Collins Sarah Webber Shari Michaud Shelly Vandermeulen Sherry Cobb-Kelleher Simone Silva Susan Humphrey Tammy Liu-Haller Tina Roy Tracey Goff Trish Stevenson Vanessa Rusczyk Victoria Gilmore
Winners of the Wild Flowers Western Art Show
We are happy to congratulate Cheryl Harley-Volz and Audrie Mergelman! the most deserving winners of the show
Also, we are grateful to our sponsors, Art of the West Magazine and Sarah Smith Silver for sponsoring the WILD FLOWERS Western Art Show, and to George and Western Gallery. Without their support it would not be possible to arrange such a wonderful show. Thank you so much!!
Want to apply for Wild Flowers 2024 or participate in other CGA events? Sign up for the newsletter and follow us on Instagram to stay up to date.
Why Is Community So Important for Artists?
Running an art business is difficult and can be overwhelming. It is especially easy to feel discouraged, lost, or frustrated when you feel like you are all on your own. When you have a good community you can seek out guidance and advice from successful artists who have navigated the same challenges. By building a network of peers, you can gain valuable insights into the many aspects of running a successful art business such as marketing, pricing, distribution, and more.
Achieving your artistic goals can be so much easier with the right guidance from a community of experienced Artists. The artist community is a powerful force for creativity, collaboration, and inspiration. It is an invaluable resource for artists of all disciplines to come together and share their ideas, learn from each other, and find new ways to express themselves. An artist community provides a platform for artists to connect with one another, exchange knowledge and experiences, and build meaningful relationships. The value of this really can’t be overstated. Here are some of the benefits of having a good community for artists.
Access to the Group’s Knowledge
The artist community is a valuable source of knowledge and creativity. By providing access to the group’s knowledge, you can benefit from the members' collective wisdom, share ideas more easily, and sometimes even work on projects together. With access to a larger pool of resources, you may find that you are better equipped and connected in ways that help you expand your business further. By connecting with other artists, you can also gain a better understanding of your craft and hone your skills. This access to the group’s knowledge can help you to become more successful in your endeavors.
Pro Artist Tip: There is a sweet spot between ego and lack of confidence. It’s important to have enough confidence that you know what advice/feedback/critique you should leave behind, while also not letting your ego get in the way so you miss advice that could help you grow.
Networking is an essential skill for any artist. It allows you to build relationships with other artists and professionals in the industry, as well as to promote yourself and your work. With the right connections, you can gain access to resources, opportunities, collectors, and collaborations that can help you reach new heights in your career. Through networking events, workshops, and online conversations, these communities provide invaluable support for aspiring artists who are looking to make their mark in the industry.
Friendships are essential for artists, as they provide support and motivation to pursue their creative goals. Artist communities are great places to find like-minded individuals who share the same interests and passions. Within these communities, you can connect with each other and form meaningful friendships. Through these friendships, artists can learn from one another, collaborate on projects, and grow together. Strong friendships help keep you inspired and accountable. Ultimately, artist communities provide a platform for people with similar interests to come together and form these strong friendships.
Support & encouragement
Being an artist is a challenging and unique career path. Often standards business resources and advice aren’t geared toward artists and frequently leave artists feeling like there is a piece missing. When you have a strong art community you are able to access support and encouragement that comes from a place of knowing. Advice you receive in artist's communities is advice that is geared directly towards or comes from artists.
Further, when you are just “going it alone” it is easy to get discouraged or let your goals slide. Having a community of peers and mentors helps you to stay on track and get support from people you know.
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Inspiration is fickle and you can’t rely on it to be a professional artist. You have to do the work whether you “feel inspired” or not. The type of inspiration an art community provides is something different. This inspiration comes from seeing other artists on their journey and feeling inspired and encouraged to push out of your comfort zone or to keep going when you just don’t feel like it. Artist communities provide a platform where artists can come together and create something that is bigger than themselves- a place of belonging and support.
Increases sales and productivity
Sales and productivity are two things that a lot of artists really struggle with. Many experienced artists in the community are happy to share their knowledge about how to improve sales and productivity which may help you sell your products or find better approaches to productivity. This advice from the members of the community can be invaluable.
Pro Artist Tip: When seeking out an artist community look for a community that shares your values and is relevant to your genre. With a community relevant to your genre you are more likely to find resources and connections relevant to your work.
Having a strong community is essential for you to achieve success as an artist. You need to be able to connect with other artists and share ideas, and resources, and support each other. A strong artist community can provide the support they need to stay motivated and continue creating art. It can also help you find opportunities to collaborate with other artists or showcase your work. Moreover, having a strong artist community can help you grow your audience and promote your work more effectively.
If you are interested in joining (in our opinion) one of the best artist communities you can join Cowgirl Artists of America for our special AOTC enrollment, Jan 18th-31st, 2023.
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Why Is Goal Setting So Important For Artists? How To Set And Stay Organized With Your Artistic Goals?
First of all, we want to wish you a Happy New Year 2023!
As an artist, have you thought about goal setting to improve your career? If you haven’t taken time to establish artistic goals you’ll want to read on. We will share some inspiring goal-setting strategies to help you grow your career or business.
Maybe you have already worked on setting your Artistic Goals, but you struggle with actually achieving those goals. This article will have some tips for you too. When working on your goals it is important to have a lot of patience and passion, while staying motivated. Having goals with proper strategies, and a supportive community can make a big difference in your career.
Why Is Goal Setting So Important For Artists?
Goal setting provides you with a sense of purpose and direction in your work and therefore increases productivity. It also helps you to stay motivated and focused in your career.
In order to set artistic goals, you should consider what you want to achieve in your career or business. You should also focus on what you want to produce as an artist, such as the number of paintings in a year, or any big projects. Setting and tracking goals can also help you identify weak or underperforming parts of your art business so you can make a plan to improve.
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At CGA we always remind artists that running their business without a plan or goals is like setting out on a trip without a destination. You might accidentally get somewhere cool, but most likely you will end up somewhere terrible, or mediocre.
What Good Goal Setting Looks Like “Smart?
A goal like “completing a piece every week” or “selling 50 paintings this year.” may be achievable for some, but for others, this would be unrealistic. We all have different capacities and resources, and it is important to be aware of those. Most of the time people set goals but then fail to achieve their goals. One reason is that they haven’t set SMART goals. SMART goal setting is a popular technique for setting and achieving your goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. These are the five important characteristics of good goal setting.
Specific: Your goal needs to be specific. It should be clear what the goal is and what you want to accomplish.
Measurable: Always remember to set measurable goals so that you know if you are achieving them. This can also include milestones for the goal.
Attainable: You know your capacity, right? You know how many paintings you can create in a month. Based on your ability and resources, always set goals that are achievable for you otherwise, there is no point in setting them. (It is okay to push yourself, but just remember to be realistic.)
Relevant: The goal needs to be relevant to your business direction, values, and interests.
Time-bound: Goals need a time limit or they will never get done.
Here’s an example of a SMART Goal:
“I will maintain a business account for my artwork on Facebook and Instagram. I have to post at least 3 posts per week. I will start with one post per week and increase this by one post per week for the next 2 months.”
Pro Artist Tip: Goals that are important, but reoccur (so it feels like there is no time limit) can be broken down into years or quarters.
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How To Determine What Artistic Goals To Take On And What To Let Go Of?
Maybe you have a ton of goals that feel important to you, or you just don’t know where to start. The first step in deciding what goals to take on is to determine your priorities. To prioritize, you identify your goals and then rank them by importance. If you are struggling to narrow down your goals, you might find it helpful to create a list of all the things that you want to accomplish and then start ranking them by how important they are or which are the most timely.
The next step is to take a look at the list and identify which tasks are going to propel your business forward, in the direction you want it to go. If there are any tasks on your list that don't fit into your priorities, it's time to let go of those goals for now. Put an X next to them.
There may be a lot of goals that are important to you, but you have to narrow them down to what you can actually accomplish. If you have a lot of important goals try separating them out into years, months, or quarters. Remember, you don’t have to accomplish everything at once. What is the next logical step? If you are a new artist, it may not be possible to start teaching workshops. However, this goal can be achieved in a few years. Set it aside for now and work on the next most logical goal, at this moment.
Pro Artist Tip: If you are really struggling to let go of goals, have one page in google docs or a notebook where you idea dump all your goals. Often we are just afraid of forgetting something, but as we move forward we may realize some of the goals are not necessary and we can let them go. If they continually seem important then you can come back to them when the time is right.
How To Track And Stay Organized With Your Artistic Goals?
Being an artist you may have the freedom to create art on your own time and handle your business as you like. But it is a business, and you need to keep track of your goals and stay organized with them if you want to make significant progress. Here are some tips that are helpful to keep track of and stay aligned with your goals!
“Change your life today. Don't gamble on the future, act now, without delay.” — Simone de Beauvoir
Conclusion and Wrap-Up
As an artist, you may face a lot of challenges in your field. But, you can overcome those challenges, identify problems, and set your SMART goals with the proper goal setting strategies we shared today. Good goal setting can help you see tremendous success in your career!
Have you made any artistic goals list for this year? Drop the list in the comments below! I love to hear from you.
Do you have your home art studio? Great!! Having a home art studio is a great way to save money and time. When you work from your own home studio, you have the ability to work on your schedule, set your own hours, and freedom to create your artwork without any interruptions. However, this freedom can also make it difficult to stay productive and efficient. There are many factors that can contribute to a lack of productivity such as the lack of a reliable schedule or structure, not having anyone to report to, and not having any deadlines. The trick to being productive in your home art studio is to set up a space that is both comfortable and inspiring. You should also have all of the tools and materials you need on hand. Let’s explore ten ways to stay productive in your home art studio.
10 Ways to Stay Productive and Efficient in Your Home Art Studio
1. Create a schedule and stick to it
When you're working, it's easy to get distracted and waste time. The best way to address this is by creating a schedule for your day and sticking to it.
Do not decide on the spot what work to do! Creating a schedule for your day can help you reduce distractions and stay on task. Scheduling time for tasks like creating artwork, checking email, making phone calls, or getting lunch will free up your time to do the things that are important. Manage your time effectively by setting specific goals for yourself so that you know what your priorities are when it comes to completing tasks.
No one is there to monitor your work, you are your boss! But, do not use this as an excuse or distraction. In order to stay focused and become productive at your in-home art studio it is important to maintain a schedule for your work.
Artist Pro Tip: Always remember that you are a business owner. It can be easy to let your art/business be put on the back burner while you do all the other things that pop up while working from home. There will always be home-based tasks that need to be done and it’s not uncommon for artists working in a home studio to get distracted by laundry, errands, random phone calls, etc. Set boundaries around your time. Respect your work time and expect others to be respectful of that as well.
2. Take Care of Yourself by Eating Well and Sleeping Well
Make sure that you're getting enough sleep and eating healthy food while working on your work in order to stay energized and focused throughout the day. Eating well and sleeping well will help you perform better at work. It will also improve your mental health which is vital for creativity.
Sleep deprivation can lead to a lack of focus, irritability, and impaired decision-making skills. Eating the right foods can help you sleep better and feel more energized during the day. A car can’t run without fuel, and neither can you.
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3. Invest in Tools That You Can Use Anywhere
The tools that you use in your day-to-day work should not be limited to your office desk. You should be able to use them anywhere, anytime.
There are a lot of tools out there that can help you with your marketing, sales, and other business needs. But not all of them are worth investing in. The ones that are worth investing in are the ones that you can use anywhere and anytime.
For example, if you have a tool for making presentations on the go or for editing images on your phone, it can be a worthwhile investment because it will make your life easier and more efficient. The added benefit is that you won’t be caught off guard, you will have what you need at your fingertips.
Artist Pro Tip: Use a digital calendar- even if you are a person that likes to write things by hand. A digital calendar enables you to check your schedule and add important items to your schedule on the go. You can access this from your phone, laptop, or tablet. Forgot your phone? You can sign into your account on another device to make sure you don’t miss any important opportunities.
4. Always maintain your website
A website is a platform that allows you to share your work with the world. Having your website not only increases your reputation but also helps you to connect and communicate with people throughout the world.
Being an artist, you need to have a website where you can display samples of your artwork and their prices, share your own story, and can provide valuable information. If you establish your online presence you can attract a large number of followers or customers, strengthen your artistic brand, and lead to more profit by selling your artwork through your website.
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5. Make Social Media Work For You
Social Media is a powerful platform for artists who have a home art studio. Social media is a great platform to market yourself as an artist free of cost. You can build trust and reputation through unique posts/content. Remember, your post should be fresh, creative, and authentic so as to attract more followers and likes. Do not expect to become well-known overnight. Make sure to post consistently, as it is an effective way to attract more followers and customers. This leads to more sales and business growth. When done right social media can be a tool for productivity.
6. Create an environment that inspires creativity and productivity
The trick to being productive in your home art studio is to set up a space that is both comfortable and inspiring. Have a space that is just for your art. This can be a room or an area of your home where you can leave all your supplies and materials so they don't get lost or mixed up with other things. Make sure you have plenty of light, good ventilation, and a clean workspace. Having a clean workspace will also keep you away from being distracted by other things around you.
7. Take breaks when needed
Take some time out of the day for yourself so that you can recharge and focus on other things outside of work as well. If you work continuously without any breaks it can ultimately slow down your energy and lessen your productivity. Do not underestimate the power of small breaks. They can refresh your mind and also your body. Always make sure that you take a break of at least 5 minutes after every hour of work to clear your mind, stretch out your tired muscles, and stay hydrated. (This is also important for keeping your body strong and healthy. Continuous art making can sometimes result in sore, tight muscles, poor posture, and even carpal tunnel syndrome!)
8. Make sure you have everything you need for your work
Keep all the essential materials required for your work organized and accessible. It helps you to find them with ease if you need something else later in the day or week. Placing all the materials in one place saves time and energy. Make sure to spend some time keeping all tools back where they belong. That helps to get back to work directly without having to think about finding the tools.
If you are constantly stashing your supplies in closets and boxes it can decrease your productivity. If you have to find time for set up and tear down each time you work, you will eat into your art-making time and may find yourself doing something else instead. Solve this problem by creating a space where you can easily access the things you need most often.
9. Get Out of the House!
As an artist, you need to go out of your home, change your surroundings, spend time in nature, visit different places, meet other artists, and attend events and exhibitions. That helps to gain inspiration, and ideas, boost your creativity, expand your network, and motivate you to create new forms of art and stay successful in your field.
10. Set deadlines
You are the boss in your home art studio! Nobody is there to set deadlines for you. So you need to manage your schedule well. Set the time for each work and meet the deadlines you set. A good schedule will help you to create art more efficiently and to adequately plan for any commissions, shows, or sending more work to your galleries. If you do not set any deadlines it’s easy to slack off or get really behind. When you have clients waiting for work, this can also result in a poor reputation and loss of collectors.
Having a home art studio is a great idea! However, you need to concentrate on productivity.
In order to stay productive and efficient, you need to prepare a schedule for your work, keep tools organized, set realistic goals and deadlines for yourself, and visit new places to get inspiration. Also, you should be mindful of your health by eating properly, sleeping well, and taking breaks. And finally, you should find ways of getting outside your home to collaborate with other artists and/or expand your network through meetups, events, and exhibitions.
If you are a member of Cowgirl Artists of America, we have many great resources for you to expand your network and get involved with your community!
Click here to become a member of CGA
In today’s world reviews are essential to the success of art businesses like other businesses. Having a good number of reviews for art businesses will help to build trust and attract more customers and clients. Reviews can help you build your reputation as an artist while helping potential customers make decisions about what they want to buy. Reviews are an integral part of any art website or social media. They allow people to see what other people think about the art and if it is worth investing in.
Websites and social media thrive on reviews because they provide a way for artists to receive feedback on their work and determine if they want to make changes that could benefit their business. Reviews also provide artists with a way to gain more attention from potential buyers. Reviews are important because they show the artist’s work in different lights. Reviews can help artists improve their craft by seeing what works and what doesn't.
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6 Tips to collect reviews for art websites and social media accounts
1) Ask politely:
It’s always a good idea to ask politely if people want to review your work. You can do this by sending a message on social media or by emailing them directly. It is the best practice to send an email to customers who have purchased your artwork. First, you should thank them for purchasing the product and after that, you can ask for their feedback about the artwork. If they have bought multiple pieces from you, it is better to receive reviews for all the art at once.
If the clients or customers have purchased your artwork through social media you can send a message to them to give reviews.
2) Thank them:
Once you get the review, make sure to thank them and let them know that they have made a difference in your business. This will help motivate them to keep reviewing in the future as well as inspire others who may be hesitant about doing so.
If someone leaves a bad review, it’s important that you respond quickly with an apology and try to fix the issue as soon as possible. You may not always get positive reviews. there are situations where you will get bad reviews. However, these are learning opportunities, take them as feedback and improve your service in the future.
4) Give incentives:
If you want more people to review your business, you can give incentives. This could be a discount on future artwork or free shipping in exchange for reviews.
5) Remove negative reviews:
If someone has left a negative review that is disrupting your business, it’s essential to remove it as soon as possible. In this case, it may be best to reach out and talk with them about the issue. You may feel that your service and/ or artwork was great, but if a collector has a legitimate issue you need to apologize and offer a resolution. Once the issue is resolved, motivate them to go back and adjust their reviews. (Pro tip: For commission, always have a solid contract before you get started. Ensuring everyone is on the same page and knows what to expect can prevent negative experiences in the first place.)
6) Post Reviews on the website and social media:
Some customers do not leave reviews unless they receive recognition or a reward in return. If you show their reviews on your website or share them on social media they feel that you are considering or recognizing their feedback. That shows transparency and motivates your customers or clients to give more reviews.
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Top 6 benefits of reviews for an art business
1. Reviews are a great way to build trust with your customers
Reviews are a powerful way to build trust with your customers. Reviews on sites like Yelp, Google, and Amazon are trusted by consumers. They want to know what other people think of the product or service before they buy it. A study showed that 92% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase decision.
2. Positive reviews can encourage others to buy from you
Reviews are a decisive factor in whether people decide to buy your artwork. If you have some good reviews, it can inspire others to buy from you. Customer reviews can help promote your business and really show off what you do best.
3. Negative reviews can help you identify and fix problems in your art business
It's not fun to read negative reviews about your art or your business, but it can help you identify and fix problems. Negative reviews are not only a warning sign for potential customers, but they can also be an opportunity to make changes and improve your art and your business for the better.
4. Reviews give you opportunities to engage with your audience
Reviews are a great way to engage with your audience and can offer you the chance to make new connections. Reviews give you the opportunity to promote your business and show off your best artwork in a positive light.
5. Reviews help to establish your credibility as an artist or business owner
Reviews are essential to the success of any artist or business. They help to establish credibility and show off your talent. Reviews provide valuable feedback from the people who matter most: your customers or clients.
6. Reviews can increase the traffic to your website
You might be wondering about this. Yes, this is true! A review with good keywords can drive traffic to your website. Some customers start their purchasing journey from search engines like google, yahoo. They type the art product name in the google search tab and start looking at the results. Even though the website is not optimized to show the artwork you have listed, reviews with artwork names can take that customer to the website. Because google reads the reviews, indexes them through its algorithms, and makes your artwork searchable and visible to customers. That is the great advantage of reviews!
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A review is when an individual provides their personal thoughts on the art they purchased, and/or the customer service they received. They also give people the chance to engage with other buyers who may have similar tastes in artwork and may also want or need something specific for themselves or their home. Reviews not only increase the reputation of the art business and artist but also increase conversions and hence sales. If you deliver great creative work customers will definitely provide positive reviews. This positive feedback will motivate others to pay attention to your artwork and helps them to make purchase decisions. Negative reviews help you to correct your mistakes and improve the quality of your next artwork. You can also ask customers to share an image or a video of the artwork as a part of the review. That helps them stand out from the other reviews and increase customer conversion. (Pro tip: asking for reviews can be a call to action in a social media post.)
Are you enjoying your CGA membership? We'd love a review too!
Your one review can make a big difference! Reviews help us continue to improve our quality of service and help others decide if membership is right for them! Feel free to drop your review in the comments!
“Brand identity for your business provides an opportunity to create distinction, making your story one-of-a-kind. The beauty of branding is that it gives you the power to create the perception to create an impression for your target audience that is unique and classy.”
Branding is an often overlooked element of running an art business, yet successful branding can be a huge leg-up for the success of your artistic career. Branding is made up of who you are and what you do. It is putting your best foot forward through media, design, and content to best represent yourself as an artist. If you are an artist trying to sell your work, you already have a brand whether you know it or not. Bringing mindfulness to your branding strategy can help you strengthen your brand and make it work for you.
This article will explore what branding for artists is, why branding is so important, and the 5 top benefits of branding.
What is Branding for Artists?
Branding for Artists is the process of using media, design, and content to create a recognizable brand for your art business. Branding as an artist helps you to encourage more engagement and long-term loyalty with your audience. Branding is not just a logo, colors, and font, it should be an integrated part of everything you do for your business. Successful artists have honed their skills and developed their techniques to create artwork that is unique to them. As an artist, this is part of your brand.
Think about times when you’ve walked into a gallery, saw a painting from across the room, and said, “oh there's a piece by so-and-so.” That artist has created a style of work that is their own. With branding, we take this approach to your website and content as well. Think about the following well-known brands: Wal-Mart and Dior. Each of those names immediately brings a picture to your mind, and one brand immediately makes you think “cheap/ low-quality” and the other makes you think “valuable/ high-end.” That is the result of branding. The longer a business is around the more impactful a good brand can be. If you always provide high-quality products and great customer service your brand will become stronger because people will begin associating these things with your brand.
In the end, successful branding is when our mission, beliefs, purpose, personality, content/imagery, and products all align with the same message. As you can imagine, banding can have a powerful impact on the minds of consumers and collectors. When working on branding for artists keep in mind the following 4 steps in creating your brand:
A strong brand can help you to stand out from the crowd and become more visible and recognizable in your field.
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Why branding is so important?
Branding is important because it helps you to build your reputation and identity as an artist. A cohesive and consistent brand becomes more recognizable and helps the right audience connect with you. A consistent brand also helps you create trust and loyalty with your current followers and collectors. For artists, branding can be another fun way to express your creativity and help set you apart from the crowd. Here are 5 top benefits of Branding as an artist:
1. Establishing identity:
As an artist, branding allows you to establish your own identity in the market. This is essential for you if you want to be successful in your art career. Think of the Wal-Mart and Dior example above. What do you want people to think of when they think of your business?
2. Making a profit:
As your work becomes more recognizable you have more opportunities to sell your work. Branding can help you achieve this goal by increasing your visibility and recognizability among potential clients or customers.
3. Building trust:
Branding allows you to establish trust with your fans and collectors, as it signifies that you are serious about the business side of your career. No one wants to do business with someone who doesn’t run their business well, ignores deadlines, or doesn’t communicate. A solid brand shows that you’ve put in the work and taken your career seriously. In other words, you look professional.
4. Acquiring reputation:
Brands can become known for quality products and services, which means that you can build up a reputable brand that will provide clients with high-quality work. This is important as it demonstrates that you care about your work and strive to meet the standards set by your brand.
5. Differentiating yourself:
Branding allows you to be different from others in your field by having a distinctive style or look. This allows you to stand out and develop a unique style, distinguishing you from other similar artists. Remember, your actual artwork comes into play here as well. Your artwork should be uniquely yours- that is part of your artist brand.
Branding for Artists is a valuable asset to help you achieve success in artists career and stay strong in the art market. Branding is a way to create an identity and connection with a market and identify oneself. It also builds trust and reputation. If you want to showcase yourself as a unique artist to your fans and followers you must have your own brand that reflects your style. (Remember you already have a brand, you just may not be tending to it mindfully.) Having a unique brand helps you to stand out from the other artists in the crowd, builds trust in your clients, and earns a reputation in the field.
This article has provided you with an overview of the importance of branding for artists. What questions do you have about branding for artists?
If you're like so many artists at this time of year, you are exhausted. You have shows, deadlines, and Christmas commissions all piling up, and your long days just leave you feeling like you are barely staying afloat. Hey, it happens to most of us, and sometimes it just can't be avoided. When you find yourself wildly busy make sure to keep yourself well-nourished.
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Here are 5 quick tips from Haley Cox, RD, LDN, and co-founder of Beloved.
Remember to take care of yourself. A body and brain that is rested can accomplish a lot more a lot faster than a body and brain that is overworked and under-rested.
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Why is bookkeeping needed for artists?
Do you keep a record of the income and expenses of your art business? A good bookkeeping system helps you to do that. As an artist, you need to keep track of how much you earn by selling your artwork and how much you spend on supplies, equipment, materials, etc. Bookkeeping is a process of organizing, categorizing, and recording financial transactions. This is essential for any business; the arts are no different from any other industry when it comes to accounting needs.
There are two ways to handle your bookkeeping. One way is to hire a bookkeeper or accountant. They can help you understand how much money you are making from your art and how much expenses are getting in the way of your profits. Depending on the type of person you hire, they may also be able to help you set up bank accounts and pay your taxes. This makes it easier for you to focus on your art without taking time away to work on your books. Having an accountant can be great for the bottom line of any artistic venture. Artists excel at the creative process, but can often feel bogged down and frustrated with the business side of things like bookkeeping. This is one of the easiest business tasks to outsource. An accountant or bookkeeper handles all of that while allowing you to focus on what you do best- creating art.
Another way to handle your bookkeeping is to do it yourself, but you should understand how you can do it efficiently. Don’t worry! In this article, we will share some bookkeeping tips and tricks for artists that will help you to do this efficiently, and make the experience less frustrating.
Top 7 bookkeeping tips and tricks for artists
The art industry is a difficult field for bookkeeping. It's difficult to keep track of all the pieces, time, and money involved in creating a piece of art. With these 7 tips, you'll be able to better manage your finances as an artist. Bookkeeping is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business. The following are some of the top 6 bookkeeping tips for artists:
1. Keep an eye on your cash flow:
This will help you determine how much profit you're making on each piece you sell. This includes amounts paid for your artwork, prizes, awards, fellowships, and endowments. When you buy anything related to your artwork, always keep a receipt for it. Anything like bills, invoices, check stubs, EFT transfer backup, etc. is important to keep on file in case you are ever audited. Keep a record of your income and expenses in a spreadsheet, this helps you to learn whether your business is in a loss or gain state in that particular month or the year. You should also keep track of your other expenses like
2. Organize your tasks:
Don’t let your bookkeeping strategy turn into the junk drawer version of your business. Staying organized ensures you are able to find the information you need, make important calculations to see where your business stands and file your taxes with more efficiency. You may want to organize by tasks, which helps you to keep track of transactions associated with each task. You can also sort each element into monthly and quarterly reports.
3. Track your time:
Tracking your time can be very insightful. It can help you calculate how much a piece of art should cost, or even teach you that you need to learn to work faster. If you want to do a thorough time/cost analysis make sure to list all your tasks and the time to be spent on each task. This can help give you an overview of where you are spending time and which of those things is most and least profitable. As an artist, you want to spend more time on your art creation. But, you also want to be strategic and ensure you are putting time into avenues that produce income. If any (unnecessary) task doesn’t give you any income do not waste your valuable time on that, instead, you can invest in other important work.
4. Track your materials:
This will help you figure out what materials are costing the most money and what types of materials are worth investing in more heavily (i.e., cheaper or more expensive). Some of this depends on where you are in your art career, and what you are able to afford in that phase. If you feel buying a material that is expensive yet helpful for your art business growth then you can buy it. If it isn’t helpful to your business, do not waste your hard-earned money.
5. Keep track of inventory:
You want to ensure that when someone orders artwork from you, they get it within a reasonable amount of time so they don't feel like they're waiting forever for their purchase to arrive. You should know which art piece is sold, which one is left with you, and which pieces are with a gallery or exhibition.
6. Open a Business Account
It is always a better idea to maintain business and personal bank accounts separately. Opening a business bank account helps in many ways:
7. Seek help from a professional accountant:
Businesses are undergoing significant changes in the modern era. There is a need for qualified accountants to help with the management of all day-to-day transactions and finances. From income tax filing to building budgets, a qualified accountant can be an invaluable resource for any business owner. Having an accountant on your side will make it easier to set up bank accounts, pay taxes, and more. Note that a “bookkeeper” may be able to help you with some tax-related forms, but cannot file taxes. For tax filing and tax advice, you need to work with an accountant.
What are the best tools for Bookkeeping? How to choose the right tool!
There are plenty of tools or apps for bookkeeping. However, you need to choose them according to your needs and abilities. Consider the following points while choosing a tool:
Top 5 best free bookkeeping tools
This list is based on “Best Free Accounting Software (2022)” by Forbes
1. NCH Software (for Financial analysis)
2. ZipBooks (for invoicing)
3. Sunrise (profit and loss statements)
4. Truly small invoices (for freelancers)
5. Wave accounting (best for ease of access)
Whether your art business is small or large you must adopt bookkeeping habits so that you can adequately track important financial information with efficiency. Bookkeeping plays an important role in helping you make financially sound decisions to grow your business.
Share your thoughts about bookkeeping! What’s working for you? Share your suggestions for bookkeeping tools in the comments section!
Like any other industry, the art business is also affected by scammers, and there are many scams targeting artists. As an artist, you must be aware of those scams and know how to recognize and stop them, so that you don’t lose your hard-earned money or artwork. Art Scams may occur through email, social media, job sites, and other websites. In this blog, we discuss some of the scams targeting artists and tips to recognize and stop art scams.
Types of Scams Targeting artists
This is the most common scam that every artist comes across. In this scam, you may receive an email from a person who says his wife loved your artwork and he wants to purchase your art immediately by paying the amount through a check or money order and gift his wife for her birthday. He may say that he has made an extra payment and ask you to send that money back. After a few days, the check bounces. As a result, you lose your valuable artwork and also your hard-earned money.
Unpaid Internship or Hiring Scams
This is a common scam, where “employers” post their unpaid job requirements on job portals, social media, newspapers, and even on tv or radio. They post their needs as legitimate employers and require you to create or provide previous artwork free of cost. They utilize your art and say you will get exposure.
Sometimes scammers may ask you to create a design or artwork just for test purposes. Once you submit your artwork they reply by saying that they will let you know if you are shortlisted. However, they may go on to use your work without notifying or compensating you.
*A note on internships and donations: While some internships and exposure opportunities can be valid, especially for causes you support, it is important that you know your business and the direction you want to go with your business to ensure that you don’t get taken advantage of. When you are first getting started or studying art in school, internship opportunities may be good for you to learn skills, gain connections, and sometimes add to your CV. Once you are running your business you need to be very particular about offering your work and time for free or at a reduced price. In some instances, like charity events and causes you are passionate about, it can make sense to donate work or time to support a good cause and gain connections. But remember “exposure” doesn’t pay your bills. Take time to consider all aspects of the “opportunity,” your business plans, and your goals for the year, to decide if it is a good fit for you.
Social Media Scam
Some people create fake social media accounts and comment or DM artists messages like, “If you are an artist you can be featured on our social media and get exposure. DM @___” If you contact them, they will reply that to be featured you need to pay some amount. Their interest is not in helping artists, but in collecting fees from them. These accounts are not targeted to a specific type of art and therefore not a good way to reach your target audience.
Sometimes social media scammers may hack your account or take all your content and create duplicate fake profiles. The main goal of this scam is to get information like passwords or to try and get money from your followers and friends. According to Facebook’s 2022 data, there are 1.6 billion fake accounts.
Gallery and Art Fair Scam
In a Gallery scam, the scammer will contact an artist and offer to represent them in their gallery, selling their artwork for a commission. These types of galleries overblow their reputation and charge artists to exhibit work. They make most of their money on artists’ fees, often exhibiting lower-quality work. Showing in a gallery like this will not build your reputation, and the gallery is unlikely to sell your work. These types of galleries have not built up a clientele interested in purchasing high-quality art, and since they aren’t particular about what they exhibit, they don’t have a reputation that brings in collectors.
Another scam is for new online art galleries, selling platforms, or an art fair to send a message through social media or email like “New XYZ art gallery is opening soon, please register for the show by paying $_ _. If you pay them after a few days they may disappear. If you ask them, they may send a message like an event/gallery expo has been cancelled. This is shocking, yet, this is also a way scammers fool unaware or desperate artists.
Here’s an example of an art gallery scam.
NOTE: In the above images, the names of the gallery and artist have been changed to protect personal information. Any resemblance to a real gallery is just a coincidence.
In Image 1.1 you can see the spamming nature of this gallery. Image 2.2. shows the scammer trying to get the artist to pay a fee to have their work published in a book. The importance of the gallery and the book is overblown. Also, note that the nature of the book is totally unrelated to the western artist who received this email.
In this type of scam, the attacker or scammers may send text or email messages to steal your confidential information. They may try to get personal information like a contact number, address, account passwords, and bank account details by tricking you to click a link or downloading an attachment. Scammers may send an email or text message by using reputed company names or bank names. NEVER click on a suspicious link. They may use your credentials and steal your artwork. Companies like Facebook, will not contact you in this way.
Here is the example:
How to recognize & stop art scams?
Art scams are usually easy to recognize. Here are some of the clues for recognizing art scams.
You may be in a hurry to get into a gallery, get exposure, and sell your work. Scammers try to take advantage of this desperation, knowing that desperate people ignore red flags. They post fake opportunities with fake company names and without any contact information. Always do research on the company and its location before accepting an opportunity. If the company is legitimate it should have:
Fake Name & Email Address
Scammers will not use their real names instead they use very suspicious names and email addresses. If an email address has an unusual name, uses a name similar to another organization, or lacks a domain-based name, it is a strong indication of a scam. Always check the name and email address of the person who is trying to scam you. Typically with organizations, you can search an email address and more information about that organization or person will come up.
If a social media account doesn’t have many followers, or if it has thousands of followers, but very little engagement, it could be a sign that this account is not to be trusted.
Grammatical Errors in the Email
You may notice there might be too many grammatical errors in the email or any content sent by spammers. This is a major warning sign of a scam. However, there are cases where a legitimate email does grammatical errors. For example, if the sender is not a native English Speaker. But, you have to be very careful with emails like this. Often you can copy the email or portions of the email and search in google. This may show you if it is associated with a common scam. If it doesn’t show up it could still be a scam. Pay attention to the contents of the email as well. Does it seem odd, or unnatural (too much background information, but otherwise overly general.)
High Pressure and/or Spamming
Scammers often try to pressure you into an immediate decision or action. They may offer short answers, diminish your concerns, and say that you have limited time to respond. They may also spam your account by sending tons of emails or using fake social media accounts to comment on your content and then direct you to the main account. This is a way the main account avoids spam complaints to Instagram.
Unrelated or Lacking Knowledge of Your Work
Scammers often use general terms when referring to your art, this allows them to send the same message over and over to a variety of artists no matter what type of artist they are. The opportunities scammers are promoting may be oddly unrelated to your work. In the example email above the book the scammer was trying to get the artist to pay to be in, was Leonardo da Vinci, but the artist is a contemporary western artist. Finally, a scammer will say things that make you think they haven’t even looked at your work (that’s because they really haven’t).
Vanity Art gallery or Art Fairs
Did you get an invitation to show your works in any Art galleries or art fairs that do not have a physical address? If you receive such an invitation, always check for a physical address. If they do not mention the location of the exhibition that is a red flag. Do a quick google search to see if the gallery has a website and location. If it exists see if it has any reviews, both on google and social media accounts.
NOTE: In the above image, the name of the gallery has been changed to protect personal information. Any resemblance to a real gallery is just a coincidence.
In Image 1.1 & image 1.2, we have shown emails from a scammer Gallery and in Image 1.3 we can see that there are no reviews for the Gallery in Google. That shows the gallery is not popular and trying to profit off of unsuspecting artists.
Check Payment/Money order
If the customer or art-selling platform sends a payment through check/money order, it is a sign of a scam. It is good practice to never ever accept check payments from any customer. If you do accept checks, wait for the payment to clear before providing any artwork. It is better to accept Paypal, Venmo, square, or other forms of payment processing.
Fake Social Media Accounts
Constantly monitor social media platforms for any attempts of impersonation by creating a fake social media account. Always verify your business profile, it helps you to grow your art business in an organic way. Include social media links on your website. So that customers can easily navigate to your social media accounts.
Trust Your Gut
Your intuition is a great resource. If something seems off, even if you can’t quite place why it is a good idea to slow down and do a little research or even ask for advice. Scammers are finding more and more ways to try and take advantage of people. They typically prey on desperate people because they know that desperate people ignore red flags, and don’t take their time to do research. If something seems “off” or “too good to be true” it most likely is. Proceed with caution.
One of the best things you can do is set up solid and reliable systems for accepting orders and commissions and taking payments. Take time to set your policies, and then refer back to them when you feel something might not be right. If someone is not respectful of your policies or tries to force you into something that feels uncomfortable to you that is a major red flag.
Have you undergone any scams? Do share your experience and ideas to stop art scams in the comments below.