Last week I started my annual evaluation for my art business. I find September to be a better time than January to take stock because winter is commonly a busy time for artists – time for painting, competing, and promoting. Not to mention sales peak around Christmas time!
Second on my list of things to do for 2007 was improving my client communication.
- Build a mailing list
- send out quarterly mailings
When it comes to mailings I am doing both quarterly postcard mailings AND more frequent email mailings – so I’ve gone above and beyond my plans there, which should rate me an A+. This year I want to research and acquire an online mailing list management system, separate from my personal email management. Right now it gets a little cumbersome at times operating my business and personal communications through my desktop email program.
I’ve written in more detail about how I manage my mailings here.
Number three on my list: Theme
- emphasize the theme behind my work -what am I about?
- find common ground with audience
I’ve developed a “theme” for my work, which meant figuring out what motivates me to paint what I paint, and I’ve made that the title of my blog Painting Simplicity as well as putting it on my home page and in my bio. My paintings are more cohesive when I know what interests me and where I am headed artistically.
- Paint weekly – every Tuesday afternoon?
- One painting per month minimum
- Paint larger
- Stretch and challenge myself – but stay true to my own style
Painting production is a bit more sporadic than I’d planned – I think art can be like that. When I am working on a painting, I am putting in at least an hour a day (pretty good for a parent of preschoolers!), but after completing a painting, I tend to take a break and work on a different hobby while I refocus and mentally work out my next painting. That’s part of my creative process, and I’m okay with that. I am happy with the paintings I have completed this year.
5. Paintings & prints
- research photography – learn how to do my own
- quality digital images of each painting I create for web site and possible reproductions
I get a failing grade when it comes to prints and photography, however. I’ve got my new digital SLR camera on order, since my little automatic Nikon may be find for a quick blog progress report, but for gallery images I need quality. At the top of my September 2008 goals list is getting to know my new camera, setting up the equipment I need for fine art photography and learning how to get good images for my web site and gallery promotions.
My biggest goal for the 2008/2009 fall/winter season? Check back later this week to find out what tops my list of artistic goals for the coming year.