The 365 Day Journey of an Artist’s Life (Day 12)

March 13, 2018

Hello folks,

I made a decision today that I need to hire someone to redesign my website. I’ve been struggling a great deal with getting the right “look” for my site, and I believe this is largely because of the limited options that my hosting company provides. Rather then continuing to mess around with stuff that I don’t really understand, I think that my best option right now is to hire someone to recreate the design that I want. If I try to do it myself, it will probably take me months and months, whereas a digital media expert can do it in weeks or even days. After all, my website should be my primary source of online exposure. I want it to communicate my art with such cosmic breadth that people who view it, really see and understand it as if they were at an art show talking to me. And so my goal for today is to research web designers. My biggest concern with this is cost, but I realize that I simply need a better site no matter what. I’m willing to pay the money to get the right exposure. My site needs to be as professional looking as my art work. I assume that along with a website designer, I should hire someone who can help me with this whole search engine optimization (SEO) phenomenon. A professional looking site and good SEO serves one sole purpose,…increased exposure. This is vital to my success. I need to connect with the people who are interested in buying art,…MY ART!


The 365 Day Journey of an Artist’s Life (Day 9, 10 & 11)

March 9, 2018

Hello again friends,

I first wanted to apologize for my 3 Day lapse of daily blog entries. I have been out of commission due to a recent snow storm which cut off our electricity for the past 2 days. Being the father of two year old twins, I had to find a solution to this problem rather quickly. My f&$#ing boss insisted that I come into work in spite of the fact that we had 12 inches of snow on the ground and a house with no power. Because I didn’t want to leave my wife and children home alone in the dark without heat, I shoveled my car out and dropped them off at my in laws, on my way to work, driving 15 mph the whole way. I’m explaining all of this, not for pity, but rather to make it abundantly clear to everyone (including myself) how important it is for me to leave my current job!  Instead of getting angry and cussing my boss out, or letting it stew inside of me, I’m going to use my anger as fuel to take on new challenges and set new goals. My goals are the building blocks which will eventually create walls (unpenetratable and indestructible walls) to protect me from ever having to work another job that I despise.

So, to get back to the important stuff, the last 3 days weren’t as productive as I would’ve liked, but I did paint on the day that the storm came. We didn’t lose power until about 3 pm on that day, (Wednesday) so I was able to put in about 5 hours of studio time. Wednesday night and most of Thursday was spent at my in laws, during which I managed to spend some time online, monitoring my sites. I also did some more research on places where I could offer classes, workshops or lectures as this is another way to reach a wider audience of people interested in art. Teaching is another avenue that can ultimately lead to enormous financial success. An ideal situation would be an equal balance of teaching and painting or commission work. This is all part of those building blocks which make up the walls. If I lose out on a commission or an art sale for example, I can easily replace it with a teaching assignment. In this sense, I can keep everything in perfect balance (all four walls at an equal height). Those walls are my protection. The stronger and higher they are, the safer I am.

I am going to spend the remainder of today, Friday, in my studio. I am closing in on finishing my portrait commission which is very exciting! Once complete, I will post it on Instagram and my website.


The 365 Day Journey of an Artist’s Life (Day 8)

March 6, 2018

Today, once again, I spent a lot of time on the computer. I am desperately trying to learn more about search engine optimization, (SEO) but have been having difficulty grasping it all, as I’m terribly unfamiliar with all the terms and jargon. I also did some research on online portrait painting galleries that offer services to artists. I am usually a bit wary of these types of sites as some charge rather hefty fees. After doing a thorough amount of research though, I found a few that looked quite reputable and reasonably priced, so I emailed the companies a brief bio with some images of my work and links to all my other social media sites. I currently don’t have a physical gallery where I show, and I have been hearing more and more about artists gaining enough exposure online to make a comfortable living off of their art, so this is an avenue worth exploring. In the very least, being on one of these sites, will drive more traffic back to my website provided that they are linked together.

My final goal for today was to update my website with higher quality photographs of my work. I also spent a great deal of time looking at different formatting options provided by my hosting company. I intend to make some changes over the next few days which will improve the overall look and functionality of the site.

All in all, I met each goal successfully. I must admit however, that I felt frustrated at how long it took me to accomplish some of my goals due to my limited understanding of the computer and all of it’s complex functions. However, I realize that I simply have a big learning curve to overcome. When I first picked up a paint brush, I wasn’t a master. I had to practice and make a number of mistakes. I learned by doing. I spent the better part of my childhood tackling canvas after canvas, filling sketch book after sketch book and studying the images of artists I admired. I did all of this with relentless force, determined to become the greatest painter that I possibly could, and I realize now, that that same drive has to be applied to social media marketing. It is something which I need to study and pursue with relentless force in order to connect with my audience and form relationships with future buyers.


The 365 Day Journey of an Artist’s Life (Day 7)

March 2, 2018

Today I awoke lacking motivation. I felt tired and unfocused. This was most likely due to the fact that I only slept for four hours last night because I stayed up late working on my portrait commission. As I started my morning routine, I quickly realized that today was going to be a struggle. And then I realized that the only real struggle would be to overcome my lack of motivation. The truth is that there will be plenty of days when I’m feeling like I’ve got nothing to give. It is easy to produce greatness when the excitement finds you, but when it’s not there, that is when you need to look into your soul. That is when you will have to prove just how committed you are to your mission. I easily could have said screw my goals for today, but instead, I dug down deep and talked myself out of my funk.

How did I do this? I first re-stated my mission; I want to live an abundant life in 365 days. I then wrote down all of the reasons why that is important to me. I then listened to a few motivational speakers on YouTube. One of my favorite speakers is Les Brown. In order to make my dream real, I have to go the distance. This means pushing myself even on the days that I don’t want to. Go that extra mile. Do that extra work. I told this to myself over and over and over again and I began to get excited. If I do this inner dialogue with myself every day for 20 minutes or so, eventually the ideas will become rooted in my sub conscious mind. I like doing this type of dialogue with myself while I’m driving to work. It allows me to arrive at a job I hate feeling as if I’m floating above the dreariness of it all.

The goals that I ended up setting for myself today were:

1.) Search for Instagram promoters (this is a title that I had only just recently heard about).

2.) Create PayPal buttons for my website (this proved to be a greater struggle than anticipated)

and

3.) To make a list of places such as community colleges, non-profit organizations, continuing ed. programs, museums, arts councils, etc., where I can conduct workshops for adult students.

I will follow up on some of these goals tomorrow. Unfortunately I hit a few minor road blocks, which I will tackle in the morning light.


The 365 Day Journey of an Artist’s Life (Day 6)

March 1, 2018

Today was a day of research. My goal was to learn more about search engine optimization, so I found what I could online. I felt overwhelmed, bewildered, and honestly, a bit lost, but I know that this is extremely important if I’m going to sell art online. I need the countless people surfing the World Wide Web to see my art. Right now, I know nothing about any of this stuff. I have no idea how to direct more traffic to my site. I admit it. But I need to learn. I need to immerse myself in it if this is an avenue that I want to take. I need to devote the necessary time and energy into learning the ins and outs of the World Wide Web, and specifically, how it can benefit me! There are so many other websites out there, and I want to make sure that mine isn’t missed. When people do find me, I want them to remember me. So, I have a lot of work to do in this area.


The 365 Day Journey of an Artist’s Life (Day 5)

February 28, 2018

Hello all,

It is 9:30 pm, so I am going to keep my post brief. My main goal for today was to approach local businesses that would be willing to have me conduct an art lecture, class or workshop in their shop. This is more of an “outside of the box” idea, which would give me exposure to a local community of artists and art lovers. And so, I set out this morning on foot in a local artist-friendly town with a 30 second introduction/presentation prepared. I targeted coffee shops, cafes and other businesses that had, what I thought to be, the right hipster-trendy atmosphere for an art event. Unfortunately I got no bites. Some of the people I encountered seemed interested in the idea, but ultimately declined my services.

And I’m ok with this. It was definitely outside of my comfort zone, and normally I would’ve talked myself out of attempting to do this. So, I feel as if I succeeded because I tried! I didn’t listen to the inner voice that said “oh, you’re not prepared enough,…you don’t have enough time,…maybe you can do this when you are more prepared,…blah, blah, blah.” That is bull s$&@! If I wait until I actually feel prepared, it will never happen. So, instead I seized my moment.

I firmly believe that their are many businesses out there that would be interested in offering this type of an event, therefore I am going to attempt this again in the near future.


The 365 Day Journey of an Artist’s Life (Day 4)

February 26, 2018

Hello friends,

It is Monday, the day of the week that I usually dread most, however, this morning I awoke feeling differently. This is the beginning of the week, which means I have a number of new goals to set, opportunities to meet, and experiences to have. I can choose to sieze this day. I  can choose to embrace new challenges or to just passively let the day play out like any other Monday.  I don’t want today to be wasted!

I watched a motivational YouTube video last week, which stated that the outcome of your day can ultimately be determined in the first 30 seconds or so of awaking. It starts with you simply saying “I am,…”, and what follows those two words can significantly improve your attitude for the rest of the day, and even impact the rest of your week. You can say, “I am thankful for the love and support of my family/ my wife/ my husband/ my friends”, or, “I am patient/ I am kind/ I am talented/ I am passionate/ I am focused/ I am determined/ I am a good husband/ I am a good father/ I am a good son”, etc. Or you can tell yourself the opposite things,… “I am so stupid/ I am so unlucky/ I am so unfortunate/ I am so hopeless”, etc. Whatever you tell yourself will dictate the way that you perceive your day. That video stuck with me, and today I woke up feeling excited. I did verbalize all of the things that I am greatful  for, which made me feel like I could easily tackle the challenges that had previously held me back. It made me realize that I am wealthy even though I don’t have much money. My wealth comes from my family, my loving wife and my beautiful children.

Today I feel lucky and fortunate to have all of the wonderful things that I do, which gives me the incredible strength to tackle new challenges! And so, my goal for today is to make a list of all the clients whom I have sold art to, and (for those whose contact information I still have) I am going to send them an email with updated information including my new website, instagram account, etc.  I admit that this is something that I often don’t think about, but I recognize that it is extremely important to stay in touch with former clients.  This can easily be done by creating an emailing list and constantly letting people know what I am up to in terms of shows, public events, new works for sale, etc. I often am so focused on trying to find new clients that I forget to stay in touch with those who’ve all ready bought my work. Honestly, most of my sales have come from a small handful of devoted collectors. I have about 3 or 4 clients who each own half a dozen or more of my works. I believe one of them owns about 12 pieces of mine. So, it is incredibly important for me to keep those people informed of what I am doing with my art at all times. And, they also might have friends who are art collectors as well. Word of mouth after all is the best form of advertising.

My only other goal for today is to put a few hours into my studio work. I have some bigger goals planned all ready for tomorrow so stay tuned.