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Archive for the ‘Creative Arts’ Category

10 Minutes To More Creativity

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

Only 10 minutes to more creativity? That sounds doable, right? It is, and it’s as simple as sitting quietly and focusing on your breath.

For the past several years I have been recommending meditation to my private clients.

At our Creative Arts Business Summit, I lead a guided meditation. For some of my clients, this is a powerful exercise.

I also have my own meditation practice that is part of my morning ritual. I was around meditation for a long time before I started to practice. My sister has taught mindfulness meditation for more than 10 years after many more years of a personal practice, and my husband has also had a long-time practice. Despite their encouragement, I could not think of myself as someone who meditated. After all, I couldn’t possibly sit still that long. The first time I tried, I stopped and looked at the clock and barely two minutes had passed. And, I could not shake the long-held idea that meditation somehow was for hippies or new-age types.

I somehow got over that. Read, I stopped self-sabotaging myself.  And, I began a meditation practice. I have found that it has a positive impact on my life. I can see this in my everyday activities and in my own creativity.

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Move the Needle in Your Creative Arts Business

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

For many of us, moving the needle may have different connotations, especially since so many who read this blog sew. Today I want to talk about moving the needle forward in your business. All of us get stuck. Sometimes it’s just a simple tweak that can get the machine moving again. Sometimes it is something bigger that you need to do to move your business to the next level. Here are nine ways that will help get you moving and bring in cash to your business:

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6 ways to add revenue to your creative arts business

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

If you are in business, your goal should be to make money. Sure you have other goals that revolve around making a difference or sharing your art or building a legacy. I know that I do. Problem is that you can’t make as much of a difference if you aren’t making a profit in your business.

Making a profit is tied to increasing your revenue or decreasing your expenses or both. In truth you can only increase your revenue in three ways.

First, you can raise your prices.

Second, you can sell more to your current customers.

Third, you can find new customers.

This post focuses on six ways that you can increase your revenue. Some you may already be doing. Some you may have thought of and not tried yet. Some may be new to you.

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7 steps to build your creative arts business

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

 

Over the years I’ve worked with thousands of creatives. Some were private coaching clients, some came to my Creative Arts Business Summit, some belong to our ICAP Members’ Studio, some attended my classes and lectures, some learned from the magazines I published, and some learned from what I shared in this blog and online.

Regardless of how someone has learned from me, they were introduced to one or more elements of my CREATE! system. This system is how I grew my creative arts business. I go back to it again and again as my business changes.

C = Clarity

What’s clarity got to do with it? Clarity sets the foundation for your business. If you are not clear about where you want to go, what you want to make, who you are trying to serve, etc., you will just not be as successful as you could be. You don’t have to wait until you’re clear on everything to get started, just that as you become clearer and clearer your path becomes easier.

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The under 45 quilter

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

The 2017 Quilting in America™ study took a specific look at a group of younger quilters, those under the age of 45. The complete study indicated an average age for the dedicated quilter of 63, down from 64 in 2014. Over time the average age had been increasing. This was the first time that the study delineated results for this subgroup.

The study reveals some important observations about this younger group of quilters. They are more likely to be an occasional quilter and less committed to the craft, largely based on time and work constraints. Here is what the studied showed about this important group:

  • Educated (4-year college graduate 35%; Post graduate degree 23%)
  • Affluent ($98,000 average household income)
  • More likely to be an occasional quilter, however, they still devote on average 10 hours a week to quilting vs. 13 for the total sample, which is substantial given the other demands on their time. And, this group is two times more likely to be employed full-time while devoting this time to her craft.

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Sights and Scenes from Quilt Market

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

I spent most of the past week in Houston at International Quilt Market. I have been going since 1994, so I’ve seen quite a lot of changes over the years. I was talking with another vendor about how sophisticated the booths have become. In the “old” days we hung quilts on the poles and maybe did a little decoration. Today, some companies build an installation to showcase their products. It’s very exciting to see this energy in the industry. Here’s a bit of what I saw, both in words and pictures. If I had to narrow my impressions to one word, it would be streamers. More on that later.

Fusamat®

This is an appliqué pressing sheet developed by Sharon Bradley of New Zealand. The sheet has a “honeycomb” structure that traps the adhesive so it doesn’t spread. The transparent mat is tacky so your appliqué stays in place. It is also easily cleaned. You can watch a video of this product here.

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Selling: It’s About Service

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

selling-is-service

During our recent Facebook “Get Your Art Out There” Challenge in our Creative Passion to Profit Group, the topic of sales came up. Really it was the topic of not feeling comfortable selling. So I ask you, does selling feel uncomfortable or even scary to you?

No one likes to be sold to, and we all have opinions about people who sell. Do you know that Gallup® does an annual survey on honesty and ethical standards of people in a variety of fields?  Car salespeople come in close to the bottom of the list, as do telemarketers. (Being from the DC area, I found it interesting that members of Congress and lobbyists fill two of the bottom three slots.)

If you go to that same list, what profession do you think occupies the top position? For the last 14 years, it has been nurses. Why do you think that is?

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Buying Out of the “Starving Artist” Mindset

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Ferrara Buskers Festival

Over the weekend, I stopped in a local gallery and was talking with some of the artists. Several were quite successful and one described herself as struggling. Then she said with a laugh, no she was really the typical “starving artist.” What ensued was a rather lively discussion about our value, what we believe we are capable of, what words to do us, and the notion that we do not have to buy into that “starving” mentality.

 

The starving artist mentality is totally in your head. I am sure you see successful artists all around you. What is it that they have that you do not? I am sure your work is just as good, and I am sure you work just as hard. The problem is that on some level you buy into that romantic, bohemian notion that artists should be starving. Words are powerful in both a negative and positive way. This mindset does not serve you and it does not serve anyone else. No one ever said that you don’t deserve to earn a decent income doing what you love.

 

So how do you leave the “starving artist” limiting belief behind? Here are some tips:

 

  • Realize that being poor, or “starving,” doesn’t mean your art is better or worse. It is the same art. I might even say that if you cannot take care of yourself, your art is not as good as it could be. You have distractions keeping that belief and “starving artist” lifestyle alive.

 

  • Try to figure out why you really have those beliefs. Journal your thoughts about money and people, even artists, who have money. If they are negative, ask yourself, “Is this really true?”

 

  • Give yourself permission to make money. Watch for ways that you sabotage your worth.

 

  • Start today to approach your art as a business. Yes, you are the CEO of a business, your art business. Start to make your decisions from that place. Learn about your ideal client and where he hangs out. Learn about marketing, online and off. When you are 100% responsible for what is in your life, including your business, you can make changes. Have you heard about the Law of Attraction? It says you bring about what you think about. Bring about a successful art business.

 

  • Find people who support your vision and do not let you fall into that “starving artist” place.

 

  • Continue to work to build your confidence in your money mindset, just as you build your confidence in your art. It will happen and you will kick that “starving artist” to the curb.

 

If you have dealt with your mindset about being an artist, please share your struggles and successes with us below. I would love to hear from you and what your techniques are. You are also welcome to share your thoughts on the ICAP Facebook or Google+ pages.

 

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Morna McEver is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at http://www.creativeartsprofessional.com.

WANT TO SEE MORE ARTICLE LIKE THIS?

See the ICAP blog at http://www.creativeartsprofessionals.com/weblog/

 

 

Book Review: Painted Appliqué

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Painted Appliqué
Painted Appliqué
Linda M. Poole
AQS; $24.95

Creativity — photography, writing, painting, sewing — has been the mainstay of Linda Poole’s life, so it is no wonder that she took the opportunity to combine those loves in Painted Appliqué. Linda teaches you both her glue stick appliqué method and her painted appliqué technique using the same patterns; i.e., you see the same pattern completed in both mediums. By reproducing Linda’s patterns or creating your own, you have the option of using either or both techniques. You will learn how a variety of paints, mediums and ink pencils work on fabric. I really liked the close-up, step-by-step instructions. If you are looking to add painting to your fiber toolbox, this resource will answer many of your questions.

This book can be found on Amazon.com; leave a reply below to tell me what technique Linda taught you.

Are You Practicing The 3 R’s?

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

medium_11236539783What are the 3 R’s, you ask? Recycle, reuse, repurpose. How much of what you create just needs to be spiffed up or re-slanted to make it new? We see it all the time in other areas. Disney is a prime example. They often issue re-releases or special editions of their classics. They recreate the excitement, find additional audiences, and make more sales. How can you do this as a creative arts professional? We are all artists and continually look for something new. Here are some ideas:

  1. If you are a pattern designer, go back to some of your older designs and remake them using different fabrics. Try a really traditional design in contemporary fabrics. Sometimes a fresh or modern look is all that is needed. Now you can re-issue and promote the pattern as a special or anniversary edition.
  2. If you are a teacher, take a look at those classes you have been teaching. Do you need brighter samples to post with the descriptions? Could the class titles be jazzed up a bit? Do you have some faster methods you are now using? The new class, with the jazzed-up title is now Completely Revised or Now With Speed Sewing Techniques. This made me think of food manufacturers with the “new, improved” signs on their products. If it works for them, it will work for you.
  3. If you are a longarm quilter, look at your samples? Are they dated? Try making a set of sample strips using some of those new threads you purchased. You can add them to existing samples, making it all look new again.
  4. If you are a shop owner, repurposing is easy and it is something you are probably doing on a regular basis. When was the last time you redid your displays to give a new look to your shop? Just moving your existing displays can make a difference.
  5. If you make and sell a product or notion, what can you do to update it? For example, if you sell hand-dyed fabrics, perhaps you can tweak the formula just a bit, and add a new color in a limited edition. Or take an existing color and rename it.
  6. For those of us who write and share our work through our newsletters, we can reuse it by posting it on our blogs or on Facebook or other social media.

I am sure you have lots of ideas about how to recycle, reuse, or repurpose your existing product line. Please share them below.

photo credit: Ines Seidel via photopin cc

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