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6 Best Ways To Support Your Favorite Artists

 

Artists, craftspeople, musicians, and those who are starting and running ANY sort of business, need help. Business of any kind is a numbers game, and if we don’t get our products or services in front of enough faces and get support from our communities, we will fail.

There’s a reason well over 50% of businesses fail in the first 5 years.

Do you know someone (like me!) who is starting or running a creative small business, and wonder what you can do to show your support or help them? Here’s 6 simple things that can help support your favorite artists.

 

1.) Buy Their Work

This one is obvious, the best way to support an artist is to buy their work.

If you have the means to buy something from your artist friend, even if it’s just a pack of greeting cards, it helps! Every purchase helps, probably more than you know, especially in the beginning few years of a business.

Sometimes I sell individual greeting cards for $3.50. You can get a keychain or small pair of earrings for only $12. And while these are small sales that some people might think don’t do much, they add up and can be extremely helpful.

Small earrings of my Tuffy colored pencil drawing.
Small earrings of my Tuffy colored pencil drawing.

 

If you have the means to buy larger items, like prints, even better! Whether you’re buying something for yourself or for a friend, any and all sales are appreciated by the small business entrepreneur.

 

2.) Share Their Work

Platforms like email and social media have made the sharing of things like artwork and products so much easier. See something you like that your favorite artist has posted on a site like Facebook? Share it!

Like I said before, the more eyes on our work the better, so the more people who are willing to share our work, the better.

Even though in most cases a share has a link back to the artist whose work your sharing, like with Facebook, don’t forget to put that artist’s name in your own description and why you’re sharing it. Just love that particular drawing and thought it was great? Say so in your post! Think other people might like a product for holiday present ideas? Mention that!

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Your share might not directly lead to any more sales for the artist, but you never know! When you hit that button it might get in front of the eyes of someone who has been searching for just that type of product or service! And in that case, you’re helping not only the artist, but the person who’s interested as well.

 

3.) Talk About Their Work

Anyone who runs a business knows how vital word-of-mouth can be. Referrals are the easiest and best way for a business to get more clients, but it’s also something we don’t have much control over. You do!

If you’re in a situation to bring up something about your favorite artists, that’s a great way to support them. Getting the word out about someone’s work is essential to growing that business.

I am always blown away when a fan of mine talks about me and my work to their friends. For example, I went to the doctor a few weeks ago and when I told the nurse my name, she recognized it. Her friend had bought a print from one of the local retailers who sells my work and had gushed about it so much that this nurse knew exactly who I was and what my work was like even though we’d never met.

This happens frequently at craft shows and at random places, and it always surprises me. Thank you so much to everyone who talks about my work!

Some of my colored pencil drawings.
Some of my colored pencil drawings.

 

4.) Leave A Review Or Testimonial

Have you bought something from your favorite artist in the past? Leave a review or give them a testimonial!

People want to buy things from people they know and trust, so for you to leave a testimonial for the quality and all around awesomeness of an artist’s work, others will read it and feel more comfortable buying from them. I read testimonials and reviews all the time, and it certainly sways my opinion and helps me decide if I’m going to buy something or not.

 

5.) Contact Them

Don’t see a place to leave a testimonial? Contact the artist directly!

Can’t buy anything right now, but want to show your support? Contact the artist!

Contacting the artist directly and telling them how much you like their work, or that they’re inspirational to you, or to ask a question, is a great way to support an artist. We don’t just need people to buy our work, we need to feel wanted! We need to know that people like what we do and that they think it’s important we keep creating.

Drawing at my drawing table.
Drawing my Lemurs colored pencil drawing.

Being a creative entrepreneur can be a lonely job sometimes. It’s an emotional roller-coaster, and a much more challenging job than it might seem. But when people reach out and tell me my work or my story has touched them in some way, it’s like a little injection of hope that what I’m doing is important and that I need to keep doing it. When I hear from a happy customer, I’m thrilled! There’s nothing that can lift my spirit and help motivate my muse more than a friendly word from a client or fan.

 

6.) Send Them A Heads Up About Opportunities

Another way to support an artist is to send them a message when you see some sort of opportunity that might benefit them. If you see a call-to-artists for a gallery that has a theme your artist is known for, send it to them to make sure they see it. They may not follow through for one reason or another, but at least they’ll know it’s there.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen a publication or a gallery show that I felt like my artwork would have been great for, if only I had known about it in advance! There’s a lot of opportunities that are missed because we’re too busy creating, or we are marketing, or don’t happen to look in the right place at the right time. So help an artist out! Send us those opportunities you see that we might be interested in.

 

Know more ways to help support your favorite creative entrepreneurs? Let us know in the comments!

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My Favorite Part Of The Drawing Process

I love drawing. Like many artists, I find the process of drawing therapeutic. When I get “in the zone,” time is no longer of notice and hours can pass without me realizing.

Drawing, however, is not my favorite part of creating artwork. Surprised? Most people are. It’s natural to think that the best part of an artist’s career is when their in the studio creating, that it’s what they live for and all they want to do.

This is partially true for me. I do love that solitary studio time where it’s just me and my pencils, working away to discover a drawing. However, there’s one thing that I love more.

 

My Favorite Part Of Making Artwork

Here’s where I stray from the artist crowd. Most artists relish the process of making their craft, whether it’s drawing, painting, jewelry-making, collage, etc. It’s the process that they love and they get lost in their craft.

This happens to me too! But it’s not my favorite part.

My favorite part is… seeing the finished work hanging on my walls. Yup, that’s it. It’s a simple pleasure, but it stops me in my tracks every time I walk into my studio or hang work for a display.

Seeing those matted, signed, and framed pieces of artwork tugs at my heartstrings.

I never thought this was something I would be able to do.

Some of my artwork hanging during the South End Art Hop, 2015.
Some of my artwork hanging during the South End Art Hop, 2015.

Why This Is My Favorite Part

As many of you know, I first started drawing while I was nearly bedridden with an unknown (at the time) illness. I was horribly sick and was incapable of doing just about anything. Once I started drawing, the process was certainly comforting and therapeutic, but seeing the finished drawings on the wall was even more so. There on my walls was proof that I could still be productive. I could still contribute SOMETHING. It proved to me over and over again that I could still DO something.

I get teary-eyed just writing about this. It was unbearably difficult for me to be forced into a bed, in excruciating, constant pain, and not be able to contribute to anything. One of the hardest parts of being so sick was not being productive at all.

Drawing helped change that. And seeing my finished work reaffirms to me daily that I still have something to contribute to this world.

Me working on my Two Capuchin Monkeys drawing a few years ago. Back when I had short red hair!
Me working on my Two Capuchin Monkeys drawing a few years ago. Back when I had short red hair!

A Close Runner-Up

So that’s my favorite part, but what’s my second favorite?

You guessed it, the actual drawing process.

Despite the very frustrating moments, there are times when drawing takes your mind into a different world, almost like meditation. It’s no wonder adult coloring books are becoming such a huge thing right now. It’s a great way to take your mind off of the stress in your life.

Granted, there are also times when working on a particularly challenging section of drawing where you just want to take a knife to the piece and be done with it!

There’s always a little of both. The challenges, however, are almost always worth it when you get to that finished drawing. And then there it is, hanging on the wall, an accomplishment that I never take for granted.

 

If you’re a fellow creative, what’s your favorite part of your craft?

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How I Motivate Myself To Draw

 

This blog post is based on a question I received by one of my Facebook followers. Haven’t seen my Facebook page? Check it out here. Don’t forget to like it as I’m giving away a free print when I reach 1000 likes!

The question the person asked is, how do I get motivated to draw?

 

How I Motivate Myself To Draw

Drawing is the most fun part of having an art business, but it’s also one of the most challenging aspects.

I’m constantly pushing myself and challenging myself with my artwork. Each piece is an experiment and that means parts of each piece are frustrating. Sometimes I’m forced to put a drawing aside for a day or a few days as I contemplate how I’ll go forward without turning it into a disaster.

Ways I motivate myself to draw are:

1.) By looking at the artwork on my walls.

A selection of my finished drawings.
A selection of my finished drawings.

When I look at my framed drawings adorning my studio walls, it’s always a boost. I did that. I drew those.

What runs through my mind is that if I finished those, I can finish this one I’m working on, too.

Those drawings are proof that I have done this in the past and I can do it again. Some of those drawings were equally frustrating, but I got through it and now they’re being sold as prints on my website. So there’s no reason I can’t do the same with my current work in progress!

2.) By drawing my favorite part first.

Work in progress of my Blue-Eyed Kitten drawing.
Work in progress of my Blue-Eyed Kitten drawing.

I know this seems backwards to a lot of artists, but I draw my favorite part of a drawing first. For example, with the Blue-Eyed Kitten, I drew the eyes first. This is because when I’m struggling with a section later on, I’m staring at part of the drawing I’ve already completed that I really like. I love the eyes in that drawing and having them already done meant I HAD to finish, because if I didn’t, no one would ever get to see those eyes.

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Finished Blue-Eyed Kitten drawing, unframed.

3.) By writing it on my whiteboard.

This may seem silly, but there’s a section of my big whiteboard on my studio wall that just says DRAW in big letters. It probably seems obvious that I would need to draw in order to keep my art business going, but sometimes when I get so wrapped up in the business side of things, time slips away and I’ve gone a week without drawing.

Having this command to draw on my wall and in my face every day helps to remind me of my priorities and remember to sit down and work on a drawing.

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4.) By looking at the artwork of others.

One of the things I find most inspirational, and therefore motivating, is looking at the artwork of other artists. Whenever I feel like I’m in a slump or suffering from a block, I look at artwork online.

Sometimes I’ll go to the websites of artists who do similar work to what I do, and sometimes I’ll check out artists who do work completely different than what I do. I find both helpful and inspiring.

5.) By listening to music.

Music has the ability to change moods. So when I’m feeling depressed or frustrated with a drawing, or I’m just nervous about starting one and am staring at a blank illustration board, I turn on some motivating tunes!

Just like when I used to go running, I have a selection of playlists, plus some Pandora stations, ready to go for when I need them.

6.) By drawing.

Me working on one of the most difficult parts of my African Elephant drawing.
Me working on one of the most difficult parts of my African Elephant drawing.

Sometimes the motivation just isn’t there, but I draw anyway.

Sometimes this ends up turning out great and I gain motivation as I draw, getting more into the zone as I go.

Sometimes it goes badly and I get more frustrated as I go and need to stop after only an hour.

I never know which way it will tilt until I try.

 

Have questions about getting motivated to draw? Let me know! Feel free to leave a comment below, or if you liked this post, feel free to share it with others!