Winner of The 200-Word Artist Plan Contest

On May 16 I announced a contest for the best (in my opinion) artist plan. Many people posted their plans, which I hope you'll read here.

Alyson Sheldrake, Painted Water
©Alyson Sheldrake, Painted Water. Acrylic on board, 40 x 45 centimeters.

The Winner

The winner of a copy of The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau is Alyson Sheldrake, who, I promise, received zero extra points because she has a cool name.

I liked Alyson's plan for the following reasons:

  • Her promotions included the press, enlisting social media contacts, and personal email contacts. I love that she didn't rely on advertising or just posting to social media sites.
  • She calculated her profit margins.
  • She set a weekly target goal to complete the work.
  • Her measurement of success is specific: 25% increase in sales and 50% increase in commissions from the previous exhibit.

Honorable Mentions

A few of you came very close and deserve a mention.

Michele Marcoux: A round of applause for crunching the numbers and discovering that you were losing money and needed to do something about it – fast. I know you will make big changes for the better.

Mary Gravelle: I love that your plan for your creativity workshops and products “makes up 30%” of your income plan and that you set a specific net income goal.

Harriet Faith: Your dreaming cards sound delightful and I think you have a much larger audience that you're identifying in your plan.

Maureen Frank: I think you're onto something for your mandala coloring books. Your benchmarks of success (1,000 fans on Facebook, 500 Etsy customers, and 50% increase in website traffic) are solid!

Amantha Tsaros: I'd give anything to be close enough to attend your Pastry/Paintings Party. Sounds like a ton of fun! Your brevity and specifics are commendable. I know you're going to make this work.


Incomplete plans were not considered for the prize. As a reminder, plans had to include 1) your art or product, 2) audience, 3) promotions, 4) money, 5) how you will overcome challenges or obstacles, and 6) how you will know if you’ve succeeded.
The $100 Startup by Chris GuillebeauI've gone back through and made a few comments on the plans, which I hope will be helpful. Read those here.

Everyone who wrote something down should be commended for their commitment. I hope those who submitted a plan works hard to implement it. Otherwise, your plan becomes just another good idea that you let pass by.

I'll be sending Alyson her copy of Chris Guillebeau's The $100 Startup. I hope the rest of you will check out Chris's book at your library or, better yet, get your own copy. Check out my small mention on page 152.

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17 thoughts on “Winner of The 200-Word Artist Plan Contest”

  1. Voila! This came through via Aweber, crisp & clear. I have been rooting for you all weekend. Thanks for all the generous advice and general value you add to the world.

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Thanks so much, Sherry. I appreciate your following me to my new subscription system.

  2. Thanks for the detailed comments Alyson. These helped me refine my plan for upcoming workshops. Especially: to set goals for increased FB fans, and increase web traffic and WEEKLY GOALS! Amen.

  3. Where can I find these awesome artist biz plans? I clicked on Alyson Sheldrake’s site ) but could find no link to the “plan”. Would also enjoy reading the plans of others mentioned. Thank you!

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Phyllis: Look at first paragraph or 3rd paragraph from the bottom for links to the plans. Read the comments at that link.

  4. Congratulations to Alyson Sheldrake. And many thanks to Alyson Stanfield – I have learned so much through doing the exercise and reading what others have put out there. And thanks for mentioning me, too.

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Amantha: Thank YOU for participating. I truly love your plan and can’t wait to hear about the results. I’m serious about keeping me posted.

  5. Pingback: Writing a winning Art Business Plan « the Thought Palette

  6. thank you so much for this recognition – I was so thrilled to find out that my business plan had won!
    I have added a new blog post to my site with all the information and my plan attached for everyone – you can find it here:
    and well done to everyone that entered! there are some great plans there…
    and thank you again for encouraging us all to sharpen up and focus 🙂

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      That’s awesome, Alyson! And you have so many blogs I can’t keep up with you!

  7. I noticed that for the last two days (Big Thoughts/Deep Thought Summer), the line for comments, sharing, etc. it not there at the bottom……just sayin’. Great Relax-at-the-River photo.

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Sherry: I think you’re referring to the emails in your inbox, yes? We’re on top of it and will get that fixed. Thanks!

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