5 Ways to Simplify Your Art Business

My word for 2013 is Simplify.
I’m over all of the patched-together solutions and convoluted systems that were created in order to save money.
I’ve had enough of chaos and complications.
I’m ready for smooth and simple. How about you?

2 candles
Kelly Johnson, my VA, generously gifted me the Success and Keep It Simple candles from Zena Moon – knowing my word of the year.

How To Simplify Your Business

Review the systems that run your business.
Plan your business systems based on where you want to be, not on where you are now.
What are you using that requires too many steps, too many programs, or too much hassle?
Stop multitasking.
Multitasking is working on diverse tasks simultaneously and, usually, doing them all halfheartedly.
Multitasking is just asking for complication! Every time you restart an effort, you spend valuable time catching up to where you left off.
Create a time and space for the job at hand and finish it to completion.
Release what you don’t love.
Knickknacks gather dust, which is more work when cleaning time comes around. Bad relationships – with galleries, studio mates, and others – cost time, energy, and heartache.
Simplifying often means letting go.
Put things away in their proper places.
If you’re like me, you unwittingly leave things where they don’t belong. Or you throw something in a drawer without considering how it fits with the other items in the drawer.
It takes just as much effort to put things where 1) they make sense, 2) they don’t create another mess, and 3) you can find them again.
Follow through.
I’ve seen many artists start a marketing project such as a blog or newsletter, but lose interest far too quickly.
Marketing isn’t complicated. You just need to do the work!
Decide on your marketing mix and work on it consistently.

I created the step-by-step No-Excuse Art Marketing Bootcamp to help you get better results from your marketing. It consists of simple (there's that word again!) building blocks that will serve as the basis for your marketing and begins soon. Click here to read more and join us!


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18 thoughts on “5 Ways to Simplify Your Art Business”

  1. Don’t multitask?
    I respect the idea, but that’s very difficult to avoid unless you have assistants.
    That’s part of the territory, isn’t it?

  2. Thank you for sharing the image of your small artworks (including mine :):). The party was fabulous – we had a wonderful time.
    Excellent suggestions.
    Tucky – just because we have to do a lot of different things as an artist doesn’t mean we have to do them all at the same time. We can do one task to completion before starting another. I think we are more productive this way.
    Quite a while back I wrote a rather funny geeky article about multitasking that talks about how to avoid it –

  3. Alyson, I love your choice of word, Simplify, for the year and may have to steal it. Even saying it sound soothing.
    Part of my goals include really looking at the list of “must do” and shaving off all that doesn’t isn’t moving me ahead in my art business. The committees will move forward without me but the artwork will not.
    Great artwork! Post more.

  4. I get really annoyed when I can’t find things. Wasted time!! grrr. I have a simple system that works for me. I ask myself where I would look if I were trying to find (whatever) WHEN I am trying to decide where it should live. I follow the mantra of “a place for everything and everything in its place”. Seems to work pretty well, and I have a lot of stuff.

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Page: I have found that the only times I forget where I put something are when I am not present at the time I put them there. If I say to myself “I’m placing my glasses on the kitchen counter,” I will remember. I know it’s impossible to do this every time, but it works when I DO do it.

  5. I’m still on a role from the get organized class. I just organized all of my source inspiration photos into folders by place. I was tired of being annoyed by not being able to find an image and having to sort through hundreds just to find the one.
    I agree about doing one task at a time. focus and then move on

  6. Good constructive comments about time usage. Because I am compelled to always
    perform “physical” endevors in my Studio, I constantly perform the needed activities
    of marketing,research, and contacting, as a break from Studio activities as a form of

  7. Nilé Livingston

    Thank you for sharing these tips. I can see how they’d help me a great deal if I applied them to my work habits more often.

  8. Thank you Alyson for your “always” helpful tips!
    And…Thank you for sharing my artwork in the image of your small artworks!
    I love the word you chose “simplify”….it does sound soothing as Paula mentioned above.
    I have simplified so much of my life in the last 6 years since moving from a big 5 floor, 5 bedroom house to a small apartment where everything HAS to have it’s place. I Love it though…our mantra: if it doesn’t have a spot then we don’t need it. So that part is all good. No clutter in my house.
    I continue to multitask which is not helpful for anything. I have clutter in my brain!!! I have to push myself to do one thing at a time and not go to the next until the previous is all done. It is SO hard! I have to really work on this.

  9. Robert P. Britton Jr.

    Hi Alyson:
    Thanks for sharing the information. I found it interesting and helpful. I agree that marketing isn’t necessarily hard and needs consistent effort. I also like the notion of releasing what you don’t love. there’s too much weight to carry around and it’s not worth it. Let it go, start each day fresh, try to fuel your optimism, and most of all continue to have courage.
    For me, that last part is vital. Competition is tough and there’s a lot of good artists out there. I just try to focus on staying positive and courageous. It’s up to me to make it. I will not let myself fail.
    Robert P. Britton, Jr.

  10. Wild and random question: Not that I am anywhere near ready for such an adventure, how would one go about trying to get gallery representation in Europe? How do you know who to trust? What are the usual purchase protocols? Thanx! -Trav

  11. Pingback: This Week in Small Business: Nothing Magical? - NYTimes.com

  12. Pingback: You’re the Boss Blog: This Week in Small Business: Nothing Magical? | globalgoals

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