Artist Guide: Being a Career Artist

by Natasha Wescoat

SO SEXY…

You could say being an artist is provocative, risque, adventurous and I’d have to agree with you. Those flash in the pan successes, feast or famine moments and a fly by the seat of your pants lifestyle tends to be a part of the whole being an artist thing. One moment, you are experiencing the time of your life, the next moment you wonder if you’re on the street the in the morning. Your job requires that you feel, express yourself, use your imagination and create something that comes from that. Though formal schooling definitely helps propel your talents, it cannot help you imagine. It doesn’t give you passion. It cannot teach you how to ‘be’.

You are, inside, entirely and completely an artist. It’s a part of YOU.

We’re like rebels without a cause. We follow our emotions rather than logic, make heavy decisions based on dreams vs reality.

Having an art career therefore is like a contractiction. Being in this “sexy” vocation and adding the term career to it makes all sorts of complications. You have to logically weigh the pros and cons of your decisions, weigh out financial issues and deal with things outside your creative mindset. Being a career artist isn’t as easy as simply being an artist. Taking your personal gift and monetizing on that is one of the most difficult and harrowing experiences one could have.

[Continue reading ‘Sexy Isn’t Easy: Being a Career Artist’]

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Artist Guide: The Unique Vision of A Creator

(above) Natasha Goes Pop! series
(above) Natasha Goes Pop! series

SOME MAGIC

There is something about the creation of art that baffles others. I’ve often heard from friends and strangers alike how, when looking at a piece of work seems to humble them. They find it such a miracle that a human can create something out of nothing like that. Whether it be sculpture, a painting, or a machine. It’s fascinating to them, because they can’t envision what the process must be like. Some people can doodle. Some people can put together an engine.

But few can SEE something that’s not there. Read more »

Artist Guide: Not Taking Risks Is Foolish

by Natasha Wescoat of NatashaWescoat.com

When you think of risk taking, you can see some person throwing all their money into an idea, losing their job, their family, their “riches” and ending up on the streets. Risk taking shouldn’t equal foolishness. Planning is part of risk taking. Planning and risk taking can work together. I explain how many of us artists make it work in the online world, amidst a struggling economy and evolving web. I explain how NOT taking risks is FOOLISH…

BUSINESS SHOULD BE REACTIONARY
I was watching a video by Gary Vaynerchuk (WineLibrary.tv) about how too many entrepreneurs try to plan out and predict the future and in turn continually lose out. I see business owners base their moves, their actions on what it may or may not do for them. They obsess over whether it will work or not, and miss out on the possibilities their ideas and businesses could bring out.

It reminds me of a topic I’ve wanted to discuss for so long on how an artist/creative business should go about promoting and selling their work.

How do I do it?

I don’t ask questions.
I don’t research for months before I try something.
I don’t wait.
Continue reading “Artist Guide: Not Taking Risks Is Foolish”

Hubspot Interview with Natasha Wescoat

1) Experiment, experiment, experiment Natasha got started with experimentation. In 2005, she began video blogging and saw that people responded to her content. Afterward, she got interested in MySpace and Facebook. With almost 5,000 followers, she has now become an avid Twitter user.

Experimentation helps you keep up with changing industry landscapes. As Ben Rowe commented on Natasha’s Mashable post, “Twitter mightn’t be the silver bullet for all artists. A blog, Flickr or Etsy page might not be either. But the artists who are out there trying these new tools are already miles ahead of the artists who aren’t.”

2) Set time for social media Make sure you are not overusing the social networking sites. “I try to set a time everyday to check all my different networks,” said Natasha. Twice a day, after waking up and before going to bed, she checks her Twitter replies. That helps her avoid habitually overusing the tool.

Read more at Hubspot blog . . .

Artist Guide: Co-working for Artists

2497369533_29a30749baby Natasha Wescoat

Co-working is a new pattern of working growing in popularity around the nation. It’s a social gathering of a group of people, who are working independently but share common interests and goals, to work in the same environment.

It’s much like having an office but you have the chance for variety and networking with others doing work in industries different from yours, which you wouldn’t find in an office environment. Co-working allows independent professionals and entrepreneurs the chance to come out of isolation and have that office environment they don’t have otherwise.

– A co-working environment can consist of a set group of people who’ve put it together or just a few people you know who want to work together in the same place for that day.

– You can co-work at coffee shops, restaurants, offices or anywhere you can imagine.

Working at home constantly, in a place where you live can become frustrating, boring, and sometimes debilitating to our work.

As artists, we can find ways to co-work, get out of the house and be productive and creative.

Read more of Co-working for Artists . . .

Artist Guide: What works for them…

14463353_a811021a0dby Natasha Wescoat

I hear this all too often from artists and others who want to start a business. They want to know how the successful artists/crafters do it. Why? Why else?

They want to be able to execute the same process in hopes of having the same success.

We all think that if we can put our art on the same sites, if we sell our work for the same amount in the same way, or that if we paint the same thing we will succeed.

There is no easy way to sell art, especially online. It is by far one of the most difficult things to begin and succeed in, but . . . Continue reading “Artist Guide: What works for them…”

Artist Guide: Learning To Fail

2067532859_ed637523dbby Natasha Wescoat

It’s a given that anyone in business will have their ups and downs. One of the most difficult parts of the business that we must embrace with grace, is things WILL go wrong.

It’s a given that anyone in business will have their ups and downs. One of the most difficult parts of the business that we must embrace with grace, is things WILL go wrong.

Sometimes our service or product isn’t up to par, no matter how hard we work at it, no matter how much heart we put into the service, no matter how much confidence we have put in our quality.

Someone, somewhere WILL be disspointed. In fact, they will be plain pissed.

From time to time, I, myself falter in my efforts. Sometimes I miscalculate a shipment, or forget a print here or there. One time (though thankfully it’s only happened once) I managed to ship two paintings to the opposite customers. Sometimes a customer just didn’t care for the quality or expected something completely different. Sometimes I’d fail to get paperwork to clients on time or worked on custom art that was just NEVER right. Sometimes they expect you to dance in circles and jump on queue.

It’s during that time you have to take a deep breath and step away from the work.

Click here to read more of Learning To Fail . . .