The Art Biz ep. 2: Getting The Difficult Things Done

This month I asked artist/author/coach Cynthia Morris back to the podcast discuss a topic that comes up often with my artist-clients. See if this sounds familiar.

You have things you don’t want to do. It’s painful to even think about tackling them, but you know that you need to work through them in order to move forward.

How do you do it?

©Laurie Skantzos, Wind Shakes Our Bells
©Laurie Skantzos, Wind Shakes Our Bells. Acrylic and mixed media on panel, 40 x 60 inches. Used with permission.

In this episode, Cynthia and I talk about how to accomplish things in your art career and business that you don’t enjoy doing.

I was particularly interested in the discussion we had about happiness v. satisfaction.

Listen in and then please leave a comment to let us know you’re listening.

Song: You Never by Emma Drae. Used with permission.


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40 thoughts on “The Art Biz ep. 2: Getting The Difficult Things Done”

  1. I really related to this episode. I loved what you said about people start to take you more seriously if you do. I have noticed that in my own life recently. Thank you!

    1. Carrie: It’s absolutely true. It’s some kind of energy we emit, but it’s also in the words we speak and the actions we take. People can tell so much from all of those.

  2. This was a great discussion with very practical and realistic advice. It’s always nice to know one isn’t alone in dealing with this!

  3. I’m glad to see these podcasts back! I really like this episode. It’s good to know I’m not the only one struggling with issues like the trial and error and time it’s taking to get my business running profitably.

    1. Theresa,

      This is one of the things I most want people to know – nothing is wrong with you if it takes time. That’s normal!

      Glad this was useful for you! Keep tuning in and if you haven’t already, consider subscribing and leave a rating in iTunes.

  4. This is great! Being an artist is such a self-starting career and we always need good ideas about getting things done. I find that simply showing up in the studio every day, doing something, anything, playing, cleaning, whatever…keeps me productive and in a flow. Showing up matters a lot. Also I try to do the most onerous things first because if I wait, I won’t want to do it later and I’ll be more tired and therefore able to talk myself out of it.

    1. Geri,

      I am right there with you on both of those things – a little bit of puttering to warm up and also doing the difficult things first.

      There are so many facets to having an art business…showing up is job #1. Glad you are doing it!

    2. Pest eller kolera minns inte jag, men det är ju en rolig idé till lek i bilen om man ska köra långt eller så.Och maken är dyslektiker, han som fått mig att börja uppskatta ljudböcker emellanåt. Jag föredrar själv paprersböckep, men som sagt, när man är ute och kör långt ex är det väldigt mysigt att lyssna på en bok gemensamt.

  5. Your podcast became the backdrop for some long-overdue sketching time. While listening to your discussion of best art practices, I relaxed; knowing that I am not alone on this artist’s journey. Thank you!

    1. That makes me so happy, Cookie! I love listening to podcasts when I am in my studio, too.

      You are so not alone. I am glad the podcast helped you feel part of something important.

  6. Wow, since I don’t believe in coincedences, I did not stumble on this, it was in my path and spoke to me personally on almost all topics…I’m excited and look forward to hearing much is reminders, and that is something we need every day….I will just mention two things, I wrote in my notes….”Doing it…” = Empowers!!….and having a physical practice to strengthen… or walking….Thank you so much!

    1. Dana,

      I love synchronicities that help us feel aligned and on our path. The point about the physical practice is so important to me. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without it.

      Glad this was useful for you! Keep tuning in!

  7. Thanks for making this podcast!

    Definitely appreciate it and enjoy listening while I do other things like working in the studio and procrastinating on Facebook!


  8. I loved this discussion – it inspired me to tackle of pile of paper I’ve been avoiding while listening to the podcast. I especially liked Cynthia’s talk about keeping commitments being a part of our personal integrity – yowza – that really struck a cord with me. Thank you!

    1. Carolyn,

      It’s a zinger for sure, isn’t it! As I mentioned above, it just feels good to act in alignment with your values and intentions.

      SO glad you mastered that pile! What’s next? 🙂

    2. I just want to say I am just beginner to blogs and really savored your web-site. Most likely I’m likely to bookmark your website . You deelintfiy come with amazing posts. Thanks for sharing with us your website.

  9. Thank you for this insight, for being so generous to share it.
    I feel so overwhelmed all the time by everything that needed to be done, working my ass off and it still feels like I am getting nowhere!! Sometimes I feel like i’m not able to breath…
    I hope to be able to enroll in one of your programs soon.

  10. Thank you Alyson for so generously sharing your advice and ideas with us each week, it has helped me immensely over the years.

    I have a question about making a comeback after a year and a half of sudden disappearance after a 12 year career, (one which I miss greatly). I became ill and was unable to create any new work during that time and at this point I am making a slow return to my creativity. I won’t be as prolific as in the past for some time, if at all.

    My list has gone cold and my galleries have stopped representing me because I could no longer supply new pieces and I am now having to start over again. My question is how to I do that? Do I mention this illness to my list? If so, how? Do I explain it briefly, or share a more lengthy story about what it was like? I’m not really sure how to approach this because people tend to shy away from things like that and I don’t want to make my collectors uncomfortable. However I want them to know I’m still around and have started creating again.

    I’m really at a loss as to how to proceed with this and was wondering if you had experience in helping others with this kind of dilemma and what your advice would be.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this.

  11. Thank you so much…happines vs satisfaction! Sometimes I think I am the only artist that struggles with procrastination . I sometimes feel, geeze, this should come easier, or why can’t I get it right the first time?
    I am not seeking to be happy so much as to make a difference, to grow, to move to the next level and most importantly to be fulfilled while making a difference through my art.

    Accountability. That was the most important and difficult message I heard, and I heard it.
    Thanks so very much.

  12. Thank you, to you and your guest speaker for the generosity of spirit you shared. I took notes as I listened… Tricks to beat procrastination, looking at the money-counting with a prayer of gratitude, a privilege and indication that I get to do what I love, your systematic plans for how to approach every area of the art business, “hard-ass” work in the studio EVERY day, being held accountable, how being committed to serious pursuit of my work teaches other people how to treat me, focus, (vs. being distracted by things that give instant gratification) good habits, being around people who are better artists and better art-business people than I am…. WHEW! My head is spinning with the possibilities! I am applying for a grant to take some community college online classes on graphic design, web management and business management, which will keep me busy the next few months. (!!!) My goal is to do a better job promoting my work, produce more work, teach classes and host art retreats at my mountain studio. Being a lifelong writer, I also have a few art books up my sleeves (the sleeves are feeling intolerably lumpy and uncomfortable….) it’s time to do all the “HARD” work to launch these dreams into the universe! Thanks for the proverbial boot in the rear! Will look forward to tuning in for more of your wisdom in the coming months and years!

    1. Pacia: Thanks for listening! It sounds like you are on the right track. I love your determination and that you’re doing whatever it takes. I look forward to hearing about your progress — perhaps working with you in a class or membership group.

  13. I am the featured artist in October at Two Rivers Gallery in Wenatchee, Washington. It is do-or-die time, right now! I have one month to pull it all together! No time for procrastination!!! (I feel like I’m driving six white horses.) Yee- Haw!

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Your Artist Mailing List: Rethinking + Assessing

Get a transcript of episode 182 of The Art Biz (Rethinking Mailing Lists for Artists) followed by a 3-page worksheet to evaluate the overall health and usage of the 3 types of artist lists.

Where can we send it? 

To ensure delivery, please triple check your email address.

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