Rocky Mountain Mist, watercolor by Angela Fehr – sold

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.

Mailings

  1. Build a mailing list
  2. send out quarterly mailings
  3. postcards?

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

  1. emphasize the theme behind my work -what am I about?
  2. 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.
4. Production

  1. Paint weekly – every Tuesday afternoon?
  2. One painting per month minimum
  3. Paint larger
  4. 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

  1. research photography – learn how to do my own
  2. 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.