March 14, 2019 | Alyson Stanfield

Caring for Your Most Precious Asset as an Artist with Missy Graff Ballone

Missy Graff Ballone, artist and founder of Wellness for Makers, joins the show to discuss the importance of taking care of your most precious asset for making art: your body.

She shares her own background as an artist, massage therapist and yoga instructor, and why she saw a need to provide resources that help artists take care of their bodies so they can make more art, and in turn, run their businesses. She also provides tools artists can use to get started in their new journey towards better health.

In this interview, you will hear Missy talk about:

  • How she blended her background as an artist, massage therapist, and yoga instructor to motivate and empower artists through education, mindful living, and movement.
  • Why she felt it important to teach artists accessible self-care to improve the longevity of their bodies, and ultimately their careers.
  • How it’s never too late to invest in yourself and focus on the key assets—your body and health!
  • The importance of creating extra variety in your movements in the studio.
  • How we can become more consciously aware of the patterns we create within our bodies, and the most common ailments artists typically endure.
  • Some gentle techniques and tools that she finds important and effective.
  • The theme of resilience and how it relates to wellness for artists.
February 28, 2019 | Alyson Stanfield

How to Decide Whether to Take on a New Project or Not

You are in charge of your art career.

This means you are the person who decides what to do immediately and what can wait for tomorrow, next week, or next month.

This sounded ideal until you realized how hard it is to prioritize your life and business by yourself.

You might have been accustomed to a boss telling you where to focus your energy. No more.

Entrepreneurship issued a wake-up call. You want freedom? Here it is! Go decide for yourself.

If you’re actively looking for opportunities, as you should be, there will be a time when you have more opportunities than you realistically have the bandwidth for. You’ll be hit with new invitations and requests from all corners.

But it’s unrealistic to involve yourself in every opportunity that comes your way.

Intellectually, you understand this. Emotionally, you want to believe you are somehow superhuman.

The projects might be exhibitions, commissions, licensing deals, wholesale contracts, teaching possibilities, separate jobs, or something else. They’re all projects that beg for your time, and they sound so exciting!

Your resolve is being tested by a voice that some people call a gremlin or troll. I call it The Tester.

How serious is she about this other project—really?
How good is he at knowing what he wants and needs?

All good entrepreneurs struggle with decisions in moments like these, especially if there is the potential for a big pay off at the end.

This is when you must ask yourself hard questions to help you answer the biggest question of all:


February 14, 2019 | Alyson Stanfield

How to Be a More Confident Artist with Gwen Fox

Artist Gwen Fox describes a situation many artists have found themselves in.

You know the scenario. Your work was selected for a prestigious art show and during the show you happen to overhear a man talking about your work. As you listen, your heart sinks. He hates your painting.

The man then moves on to reveal his ignorance while commenting on several other paintings, yet what he said about yours has destroyed your confidence.

For the rest of the evening you don’t hear all the glowing remarks about your work. You keep replaying what the man said over and over in your mind. By bedtime your confidence in yourself and your art dwells in an empty vile hole.

Thoughts keep running through your mind. He was right, my work just isn’t good enough. Or … I knew down deep I wasn’t a real artist!

Your confidence has been stolen so now what can you do?

Lack of confidence is something we all struggle with at one time or another. In this episode of the Art Biz Podcast, you’ll hear guest Gwen Fox discuss this critical topic that sidelines so many artists at one point or another.

February 7, 2019 | Alyson Stanfield

8 Time Management Tips for Artists Plus 2 Truths

As an artist and one-person business owner, you are the talented maker, gregarious promoter, delightful conversationalist, and head honcho. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all of these simultaneous roles.

Know that you are not alone. Perhaps it’s comforting to know that every artist at every level seeks more effective time management skills.

The first truth I want to share is this: It’s impossible to manage time. The clocks keep ticking and the sun continues to rise and set. There’s not much you can do about that.

Rather than talking about Time management, you need to focus on Self management. Use these 7 tips and be comforted by the second truth at the end.

1. Learn to say No (and mean it).

When you are very clear on your goals, it’s easier to say No to the opportunities and requests that don’t serve your long-term goals. This is the hardest lesson you’ll learn when trying to build your art business. If you master saying No, you’ll master yourself and your business.

Invitations bombard you from every direction, and you have to have the strength to know what is critical to add to your calendar and, more importantly, what doesn’t deserve a place on your schedule.

2. Turn repeated tasks into systems.

Stop reinventing the steps it takes to publish a newsletter or blog post, or to promote an exhibition. Create reliable systems for every task you undertake on a regular basis. Well-defined systems will save your behind and help you rest easily.

A system is a series of steps that answer the following questions.

February 1, 2019 | Alyson Stanfield

Why You Need a Family of Artists and Advisors for Your Art Business

At the end of a recent email to me, Inner Circle alumnus Margaret Dukeman added the following sentence.

Big thanks to you for the power that you have instilled in me and the ability to move my career forward with purpose and determination!

I’m always thrilled to hear that a client’s investment paid off and her business is moving forward. So I continued the conversation to find out more in hopes that it would help other artists.

ABS: This is great to hear. I have to ask: What has made the biggest difference for you?

MD: Over the last year, I’ve realized how valuable it is to have a family of artists and advisors around me.

With this family, I’ve been to say Yes to projects that have been beneficial to my career simply because I had trusted people in the Art Biz Inner Circle that I could approach with questions and for support.

Being a part of the family has also helped me develop my writing skills, which has given me power to speak about my art and stand by it passionately. The more I write the better my presentations and written words become.

As you have said you need to be able to communicate your art. No one could have told me how important writing would be as it was never stressed. Starting your course with an open mind was part of what I promised myself I would do … no matter what was asked of me.

There were times during the Magnetic You class when I wasn’t sure why I was writing yet one more page only to find a treasure at the end of that process. I have found that I enjoy creative writing when given the quiet time and space to dig deep.  I am hoping to get even deeper into my writing in the coming year. I want to get to the point where it flows easily.

Margaret Recommends

ABS: I’m curious. What single Art Biz Success program would you most recommend to other artists?

January 23, 2019 | Alyson Stanfield

Leaving Behind What is Safe with Jan R. Carson

One artist’s journey is never the same as another’s. Not only do you have to be creative in what you make, but also in how you get it out there, connect with the right people, and make a living. They all involve taking risks.

In 2010, Jan decided to begin the journey away from what had been a safe income (production work) to go after the art and life she wants for herself.

She discusses the balance of both worlds and how she is successfully transitioning from one to the other. She’s leaving what is safe and taking a risk by betting on her art.

You’ll hear about the following from Jan.

  • The many hats she wears in handling the construction of the mobiles, along with marketing, accounting, etc.
  • Why she found it easier to retain and train people as employees rather than interns.
  • Her commitment to letting her body make the work, and keeping her mind out of it.
  • How she got the confidence in herself and her artwork to exhibit it, and what it felt like to put it out into the world.
  • The important question artists need to ask themselves: What do I need to make? Not: How do I sell my art?
  • The social component of being an artist, and how Jan navigates the world as a self-proclaimed shy homebody.
  • The value of listening, connection, and staying open and present as an artist.
January 10, 2019 | Alyson Stanfield

A Blueprint for Producing Your Artist Newsletter

If you’ve had Write Newsletter on your task list for too long, it might be because you haven’t identified the individual components that will be required for the process to be successful.

Producing an artist newsletter is a project that consists of multiple tasks in order to complete. Writing is only one part of the newsletter process, and even the writing can be broken down into multiple stages.

You will always get stuck when you see a project on your to-do list rather than single tasks.

For more than 16 years I produced a weekly newsletter without skipping an issue for any reason. We’ve had the current system (of multiple tasks) in place for many years, so it’s a well-greased machine. I thought hearing about how we’ve made it work at Art Biz Success might help you create a blueprint for your newsletter process.

Here are the basic steps.

  • Dedicate a place for storing and adding to content ideas.
  • Make sure your writing time is defined and organized for maximum focus.
  • Allow time to rewrite and edit.
  • Send your artist newsletter draft to someone else to proofread it.
  • Design the newsletter and send a test to yourself and your proofreader before scheduling it.
  • Be available immediately after the newsletter is sent.

Before you click Read More, a word of caution. Yes, I have a team that works with me, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t. This process can still work for you because, regardless of whether you have help or do it on your own, you need to work through all of these steps.

December 20, 2018 | Alyson Stanfield

Opening and Running Your Own Gallery with Tracy Miller

Tracy Miller Gallery event

A lot of my students and clients have mentioned their desire to open a gallery. And some have done so without putting much thought into what it takes and … later regret it.

I’m excited that artist and gallerist Tracy Miller is on this episode to talk about her experience running Tracy Miller Gallery for the last 7 years.

She talks about selecting a tight focus for her gallery, which she feels was critical for its success. The artists she chose to work with are in the genre of New West and have some experience under their belts. They are also savvy professionals.

She also reveals why she chose the specific location for the gallery and the many challenges—including wildfires and city-wide flooding—she overcame while running the business.

Tracy, who spent much of her time networking and connecting to people and businesses in the community, offers at least three pieces of advice for anyone interested in opening a gallery.

1. Work at another gallery for awhile. She learned a great deal by working at a large space for 5 years.

2. Crunch the numbers. And know the numbers. Tracy knows not only her average monthly sale in dollars, but the average sale for surrounding businesses.

3. Figure out how you will continue to have studio time. If you say you’re an artist, you must be making art and serving as an example to the artists in your stable.

Tracy also discusses her decision to

December 13, 2018 | Alyson Stanfield

My Favorite Things 2018 Edition

Nanatuck Artist Group

These are some of the many things that made me smile, think, or grow in 2018. I hope you find some good resources (and recipes) here. Please leave your favorite things from the year in a comment. Art Trips & Clients Wow! I got to hang out with a group …