Posts Tagged With: arts marketing

A fresh StART to 2015

With 2015 on our doorstep, now is the time to take your greatest wishes and make them into tangible goals. We’ve created a list of resolutions to help you get started on a banner year. Use our list to make your own, catered to your dreams and aspirations.

*Make more time for your art
Prioritize, people! Don’t let your projects get crowded and shuffled out. Use a specific timetable or format so you won’t forget.
It might be a good idea to have a calendar in a place you visit a lot. You could make every Tuesday at noon your sketch time (or whatever usually gets shuffled out of your weekly tasks). That way, you know that when you wake up on Tuesdays…yay! It’s sketch day!
Even if it’s only a couple of hours a week…write it down on the calendar, and in permanent ink! Whatever the task is, make it the same day and time so nearly everything you do will eventually become a habit.
You may need to enroll in a class so others will hold you accountable. This could also help you get back to the basics and help you remember why you fell in love with the craft in the first place. Search our online directories to find other artists like you and contact them.

*Apply for more fellowships & grants
There are lots of opportunities out there, and no reason why you can’t apply to at least one fellowship or grant this year. To find opportunities from us, visit our website. At the top, right corner, you’ll see the “Grants” tab. Take a look around. If you have a question on one of the opportunities, find the program director responsible. Call and/or email them. It’s our job to help you.

*Network more…face to face
This may sound scary…but get out there! In every single session of the Creative Industry Summit, each speaker reiterated over and over how important it is to get conversations going about art in our communities.
Make it a point to attend events, like Kentucky Crafted: The Market, as a vendor or a shopper. Either way, I’m sure those there, or at any event, wouldn’t care to give you tips of the trade. Try not to see them as competition, but comrades. Check our online calendar for upcoming events you might like to attend. You can also go to our home page and hover your cursor over the first tab, “Kentucky Art”, then “Experience the Arts” for some.
I would also make a point to visit art retailers around the state. Click this link for a list of our Kentucky Crafted Retailers. Talk to them! Network! Share war stories!
Also, don’t think you have to attend events catered specifically to your craft. You could attend something different. For example, if you’re a painter, attend Poetry Out Loud. You never know, it could help you find inspiration for your next project.

That brings me to my next suggestion…

*Get out of your comfort zone
Make it a point to do at least one project a week that’s different than what you would usually do. This may mean a different genre, or use a different canvas size, etc.

When you do…

*Post your work online
This includes your personal websites, blogs and social media pages. Post the good, the bad and the ugly and ask for others’ opinions to get a conversation started. Post the entire process and ask for “help” on what to do next. You never know, your fans may even want to buy something because they’re proud they helped you in the process. They may want to invest in your creativity.

Share your resolutions with us in the comments of our blog, or on our social media pages!

Megan Williamson Fields, communications assistant

Categories: Other | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Five baby steps to starting an arts business

For artists trying to turn their craft into a profitable business, the beginning steps can seem daunting.  Whether you’re just looking to share your work, or actually trying to make a living off of it, there are a few things that are universal. In celebration of National Small Business Week, May 12-16, we’ve come up with five baby steps to get your arts business off the ground.

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 1. Name your business

First, if you’re really new at this, you need to name your business.  While funny or  interesting        names might be unique, naming your business something offbeat might  send you into murky   waters with trademark and copyright issues.To avoid the  mess, find a way to incorporate your own  name into the business name. This will  ensure the name’s not already taken, and will help people  easily recognize you as  the face or artist behind the project.

 2. Establish a business email

Creating a separate business email ensures that one, people will be able to contact your business,   and two, their emails won’t be lost in your general junk folders. The email domain should include your business name and should be used for business communications only. The last thing you want is to lose customers because you didn’t see their email among the 50 others in your inbox.

3. Build a Facebook page

Creating a second Facebook page to use specifically for your business will help give credibility to your work. Much like your new email, a new Facebook page will give customers and friends a direct way to connect with you about your work without having to fight through other personal posts or family pictures. This separate page will also help you establish a professional identity for your brand. Fill your new page with examples, pricing and information about your upcoming events and exhibits.

4. Open a checking account

Trust us on this one. Opening a business checking account will save you from an enormous headache come tax season. Distancing your personal money from your business account will also help you keep a clearer picture of the expenses and income for your new business.

5. Start a website

Starting a website sounds scarier than it is. With services like WordPress or Blogger, designing and managing a website is actually fairly simple these days.  By creating your own page, you can make it easier for people to find your work and, more importantly, share your work.  The site can also serve as a central hub for information regarding your business. Here, you can list your new business email, links to your social media accounts and a little more of your background and story as an artist.

With small steps, creating an arts business becomes less daunting and more fun. Keep an eye out for posts throughout the summer for more artist tips and ways to build your blooming business.

Alex Newby, Communications Assistant

Categories: Other | Tags: , , , , ,

My $1,000 questions

My transition this year from communications director to arts marketing director at the Kentucky Arts Council collided with Kentucky Crafted: The Market, the signature event of the Kentucky Crafted program.

In the course of my 18-year career at the arts council, I have heard artists’ refrains about two issues that gave me pause. The first: “The Kentucky Crafted Program is not for me. I make one-of-a-kind, high-end artwork.” The second, “I don’t want to do wholesale; there’s not enough business to warrant it.” I’ve heard these statements so many times, I began to think they were true. But in my heart of hearts, I didn’t believe it, so I asked recent exhibitors at The Market the $1,000 questions.

 

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My first question was, “Did you sell any one item for over $1,000 on retail days? Due to the proprietary interests of the artists, I can’t divulge who sold what to whom, but the sales were impressive. The highest priced item sold at The Market was a piece of furniture for $10,000. Although there were very few artists who created work at retail prices of $1,000 or more, those that did, sold. Among the high ticket sales were furniture, wood carvings, jewelry, paintings and quilts. Other price tags of items sold were $4,500, $2,800, $2,500, $2,000, $1,300, several at $1,000 and a squeaker at $998.

With this kind of response, I’m ready to dispel the myth and recruit more artists into the program who create one-of-a-kind work.

I chose the second question to get a feeling for how much wholesale activity goes on at Kentucky Crafted: The Market. The wholesale days (especially sales to out-of-state buyers) create what economists call economic impact. Government programs are easy to justify when they create greater economic impact than their cost. So my second $1,000 question was, “Did you write any wholesale orders for over $1,000? If so, what was your highest single order?

Of the 50 exhibitors who responded, exactly half of them reported having written at least one order for $1,000, with many having multiple orders of over $1,000. Most of the orders were in the $1,000 – $1,500 range, with three orders close to or a little above $2,500. Sizeable wholesale orders were not as brisk as I had hoped to see, but I have a feeling when we get the formal sales reports in from exhibitors, we will see a very strong wholesale showing.

It seems that the time is right for artists involved with the Kentucky Crafted Program to start thinking bigger.

Big ticket items do sell at Kentucky Crafted: The Market. Big orders can be written at the Market. Kentucky Crafted 2013 will grow bigger in size and geographical market reach as long as Kentucky’s artists continue to focus on quality craftsmanship and artistic excellence, the foundation of the Kentucky Crafted brand.

Ed Lawrence, arts marketing director

Categories: Visual Arts | Tags: , , ,

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