Saturday, June 9, 2012

the smartist

This morning at bootcamp, after each of us was hooked up to a steady coffee drip, there were two speakers, one on the subject of understanding/utilizing social media and one on finances/accounting/good business practices. The social media part was a needed nudge for me to better implement the tools I am already using, such as this here blog, my website, email lists, and Facebook. There are a zillion such tools out there, many I've heard of, some not. I can see that would be worth looking into. I think I'd do well to focus on creating a solid emailing system for news/shows that I can utilize in a snap, instead of being disorganized, time-wasting and inefficient. Perhaps I don't give myself credit; it's not so bad. But I suspect things take longer than they ought. I'm still holding off on Twitter; I could see getting too caught up in it.

The money presentation was informative. Prepare a financial plan, keep good records, make something called a "budget", and hammer out a few specific "goals". As with... anything! Make more, spend less, invest the difference. She said, chuckling, "You artists seem to have the 'spending less' part down.. you're pretty sensible." It's true; especially at the moment, I couldn't spend less if I tried. Therefore, I'll have to earn more. We discussed how artists often undercharge for their work. If paintings don't sell for the price necessary to charge to actually make a living, it's time to expand one's market. This segued nicely into the afternoon's lively panel, "Artists and Entrepreneurship: What is Success?" Your own idea of success will likely change as you go along. The important thing is just to keep DOing, making, and being who you are, engaging with your community, building on what you have to work with.
I just made a list of goals, divided into 1 month, 6 months, and 2 years, "for both daydreaming and practical concerns". The one-month is a to-do list, and I do have a lot to do, for which I'm glad. I have two shows to put together for July (more about these soon!), a few half-finished online efforts, some projects for later in the summer. The 2-year goals got hazy. I kept going, scribbling it all down. I felt energized by this task, and then I needed a beer. Had some great conversations with the others, new ideas and old reassurances.

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