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How do you do it? This week we share our reports from two very different open studios. One spans over 3,000 square miles with one that covers an area of just 3 square miles.

In this packed episode we also discuss the surprise of finding you enjoy something you didn’t want to do, and the importance of facing challenges – even if we would really rather have a duvet day.

Apple podcast

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So how was it for you?

We share the lessons we learned from exhibiting at Open Studios this year, the things we got right and what we’d like to change going forward. 

As we dive into our sales and wonder how many of them were due to event publicity versus our own following online or from past collectors, is this still a good option to share your work?

A few thoughts and ideas to build on: 

  • People enjoy seeing work in progress, sketchbooks and anything you can do to show how you make your work
  • It’s a plus to have things at all different price ranges so that people can choose the level of investment that suits them … this can include cards, prints or small works on paper. 
  • It’s a good idea to offer an incentive for visitors to leave an email address – perhaps a raffle for a small painting?
  • If someone likes a painting but doesn’t buy, get an email address and follow up with a photo.
  • How it feels isn’t always how it actually is, so track your data (counting visitors, sales etc).
  • Follow up after the event with an email thanking visitors and collectors.
Art Juice podcast Open Studios for artists

Audience Question

If you have a question you’d like us to discuss, click here to send it to us

Mentioned: 
Find out more about Alice’s upcoming class within True Colors: https://alicesheridan.com/artists/
Listen to the “Own It’ podcast:
https://ownitthepodcast.com/232-getting-out-of-your-own-way-louise-fletcher/

Contribute to the podcast here:

Follow Alice on Instagram @alicesheridanstudio
or Louise @louisefletcher_art

Credits
“Monkeys Spinning Monkeys” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Many artists carry around ideas and beliefs that don’t serve us, and which actually often don’t even feel like beliefs. Instead, they feel like established facts. It’s only when we recognise the problem, that we can start to challenge the thoughts that are preventing our next move – and replace them with something more effective.

Apple podcast

What to do when you are your own worst enemy… (we’ve all been there!)

Art Juice podcast

We discuss some of the more common limiting beliefs held by artists – things like “there are too many artists,” “I’ll never be good enough,” “there’s no money in art,” or “the place I live is no good for selling art.” 

We also share some of our own limiting beliefs and discuss the strategies we have used to overcome them, including EFT, hypnosis, talking with friends, and learning new ways to approach our thoughts.

Alice points out that a belief is just a thought that you keep thinking and suggests a step-by-step approach to shift through any unhelpful belief. 

  • Identify a belief that is keeping you stuck or small. Observe it gently, become aware of it and how it is keeping you held back. Thank it for the opportunity to bust it open!
  • Acknowledge the truth within your belief and then ask yourself: “Is this belief ultimately true for me?” Gather all the evidence to prove why it doesn’t have to be true (like pouring water on a fire). 
  • Write a new story and adopt this as your new, more supportive belief.
  • Use affirmations to reinforce the story (although these need to be close enough so that you can believe them!).

Even if you replace all your current limiting beliefs, new ones may arise to take their place, but we both feel that having a process to deal with them is the key to ongoing success. 

Audience Question

We also answer a listener question about whether it’s appropriate to announce sales with social media posts or red dots. We both agree on this one – communicating our success is a key part of presenting ourselves effectively to the outside world and there is nothing to be ashamed or feel icky about. But we also agree that humility is important to balance the success stories …. There’s nothing more annoying that someone who presents a relentlessly perfect image!

If you have a question you’d like us to discuss, click here to send it to us

Inside / outside inspiration

Finally, we’ve both been inspired by meeting people . A visit from a Canadian artist friend got Alice’s creative juices flowing, and Louise was energised by meeting blog readers and podcast listeners in person. 

Mentioned
The Work of Byron Katie
Susan Sakamoto

Follow Alice on Instagram @alicesheridanstudio
or Louise @louisefletcher_art

Credits
“Monkeys Spinning Monkeys” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Our main topic was inspired by a question from a listener, who asked ‘why on earth would you use oil pastel with acrylics!” He went on to say “Surely this will lead to problems later in the longevity of the paintings? Oil and water just do not mix after all!”

Apple podcast

This week

Louise talks about coping with busy open events as an introvert, and Alice is venturing into outsourcing as she prepares for her open studios. You can find out about the Artists at Home weekend 14-16th June here, including all the artists taking part and how to visit.

When do you experiment with new materials?

Art Juice podcast experiment with mixed media

This question launches a wide-ranging discussion into the way we use materials and the risks we are willing to take. We also ask whether materials experimentation should be reserved for certain times, or is it OK to experiment mid-painting.

We share some of the mistakes we’ve made with various media, and we debunk some common concerns. At the root of it all, we agree that oil and water don’t mix – and we think that’s the fun of using them together! We both believe that risk-taking has been a key factor in our artistic development and we share a belief that you can’t know in advance which media or technique will be a catalyst for new adventures – the chance element is surely part of the journey?

But we also make no claim to technical expertise and cannot promise that our paintings will last hundreds of years. In the end, we feel the trade-off between utmost creativity and guaranteed longevity is worth it – you may not agree and that is totally fine. We all make these decisions for ourselves.

Audience Question

If you have a question you’d like us to discuss, click here to send it to us

Inside / outside inspiration

When magic moments come true and you finding your work hanging alongside your idols and the joy of simple “a-ha” moments with technology,

Follow Alice on Instagram @alicesheridanstudio
or Louise @louisefletcher_art

Credits
“Monkeys Spinning Monkeys” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Do you ever feel like a boiling frog? So busy that you don’t  notice that “enjoyably in demand” has turned into “totally overwhelmed and frazzled?” As artists, it’s often a challenge to ask for help – partly because some of our work HAS to be done by us, and partly because we can’t accept that anyone could do things as well as we do!

Apple podcast

This week

Louise’s perfectionist streak has come in to play as she gets ready for the first weekend of North Yorkshire Open Studios.. you can vist on 8th & 9th of June https://www.nyos.org.uk/

Are you like a frog in hot water?

If you feel like you don’t have enough time to get everything done, you’re not alone. We ask if systems and tools can help you plan your time, how being honest with your choices makes all the difference, and when it is really time to delegate tasks. (And if it IS time, how on earth do you decide which ones and who to trust?!)

We also discuss overwhelm in the context of preparing for exhibitions – we have some ideas of how to display unfinished work and wonder if perhaps someone will fall in love with the raw unfinished state of a work in progress. (and then what do you do?)

So many questions! And even if we don’t have all the answers, we’re happy to share how we each manage hectic schedules and packed ‘to do’ lists. 

Audience Question

If you have a question you’d like us to discuss, click here to send it to us

Inside / outside inspiration

Louise is enjoying using some lustrous paint from Art2Life Alice has been to the Central St Martins degree show with mixed feelings, but struck by large scale paintings by Troy Rosewell

Follow Alice on Instagram @alicesheridanstudio
or Louise @louisefletcher_art

Credits
“Monkeys Spinning Monkeys” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

This week, we discuss why so many artists are driven to continually change  … is this the natural state of all artists? Or do we vary in this?

Apple podcast

This week

Louise has been finishing paintings and promo for open studios using different process this time by putting a strong intention in place first. You can see more here Louise’s new work

North Yorkshire Open Studios runs across the first 2 weekends in June https://www.nyos.org.uk/

Alice has been filming for a guest lesson within a programme. (More coming later on this!)

Are we ever satisfied?

We consider the benefits of settling into a subject matter and a way of working (there are benefits which include easier branding and consistent audience growth) but ultimately we accept that it’s a matter of personality type and that neither of us is able to stay in one place with our work for too long.  There are of course, pluses and minuses to this … and we explore some of them in a wide-ranging conversation that covers studio size, ways of working, Ted Hughes, running, and even Eastenders! This one is sure to get you thinking…

Art Juice

Audience Question

If you have a question you’d like us to discuss, click here to send it to us

Inside / outside inspiration

Louise has been rediscovering a connection with the poetry of Ted Hughes – and letting ideas run to fantasy. Ted Hughes’ poem “Wind”

Alice has no fantasy illusions, but nevertheless is impressed with the Couch to 5K app if not with her own running!

Follow Alice on Instagram @alicesheridanstudio
or Louise @louisefletcher_art

Credits
“Monkeys Spinning Monkeys” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Open Studio season is coming up… whether you are an old hand or this is your first year showing in this way we have some ideas for promotion and things to do in advance,  during and after so that you make the best of your Open House events this year. 

Apple podcast

This week

Louise’s promised task from last week has resulted in the satisfaction of a fully completed expense tracking sheet. (I admit why I’ve cheated this in the past) Alice decided a day out of the house was called for and enjoyed the discovery of two new exhibitions, mentioned below, and has been creating a new inspiration board. If this sounds like something you could try, you make like to see this post about creating a mood board for your art.

Making the most of your Open Studio event

Open studios are fast growing as popular and relaxed way to discover work by new artists in your area. Because they are in your home there is perhaps more to think about than showing your your work at a gallery or art fair event. I’ve listed a few of the points we discuss below as quick reference, but this episode is worth a listen if you are showing for the first time – or even if you are more experienced you will also pick up a few tips.

tips for Artists Open Studios

Before the event

Volunteer within your organisation – the success depends on everyone doing their part. They will probably have guidelines for you and be providing certain items, eg advertising posters, flyers, booklets and banners but don’t rely solely on someone else doing the work

Make the most of your own publicity – see last week’s podcast for places to update on social media

Order a card reader (test it!) and receipt book I recommend and use Sum Up because it’s the lowest rate for more irregular usage (this link should give up a discount and me a thank-you!)

Prepare your home – remove valuables, decide which areas are off limits, with a sign if necessary. Let your personality show, but remove other artwork, personal photographs etc

During the event

We discuss different options for clear pricing; wall labels vs lists. And at the end there is a great alternative to the “no photos please” sign – an idea to get people following and sharing what they are discovering!

Consider having things for children to do; an interactive project can be great, but don’t let it take all the attention!

Keep track of visitor numbers – not just as a total, but across each day. This will help next year if you feel it’s a slow or busy day. Memory can be deceptive!

Refreshments – keep you occupied. (Alice makes a cake if there’s a quiet lull and has cordial, but both agree no tea or coffee)

Make people feel welcome. Having the door open or closed is a personal choice, but be clear you are open to all visitors. Ideas include chalk signs on pavements, bunting, balloons, signs …

Collect email addresses from visitors if they wish to hear more – you can do this by having access to an online sign up, but I like to keep a visitor book. Let people know if you are planning future events eg before Christmas.

After the event…

You may feel like collapsing as it’s over for another year, but do follow up with visitors; thank them for coming, send them an image of a painting they were interested in. You can do this as a wider email – or more individually.

Review what went well – you will forget!

Audience Question

If you have a question you’d like us to discuss, click here to send it to us

Inside / outside inspiration

CyTwombly at Bastian (until June 15th)
https://www.galleriesnow.net/shows/cy-twombly-natural-history/

Gerhard Richter at Gagosian “Overpainted Photographs” (until 8th June 2019)
https://gagosian.com/exhibitions/2019/gerhard-richter-overpainted-photographs/

Follow Alice on Instagram @alicesheridanstudio
or Louise @louisefletcher_art

Credits
“Monkeys Spinning Monkeys” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

This week we have a wide-ranging discussion about promotion for recent projects. Promoting yourself can feel daunting so we have a few ideas for places you can update so that people can find out what’s going on in your world. In addition, we share our perspectives on approaching galleries. Should you really be nervous about this, or can you re-frame the issue and think about new galleries as potential business partners?

Apple podcast

Rising to new challenges….

Recent new challenges have required us to stretch ourselves – to learn new technologies, to develop new skills and to get comfortable with promotion. We discuss the blocks to developing the required skills – including fear of failure and worrying about negative reactions – and offer our own perspectives along with concrete tips and solutions.

We also explore the difference between working on promotion for someone else, and versus doing it for ourselves, and discuss procrastination – when is it simply our need to slow down and move step by step? 

Art Juice podcast art marketing

Ways to let people know about what you have to offer!

Instagram: bio text, link page, post, post shared to your story, story talking, story as a fixed image

Facebook: as well as within posts in multiple ways, you can create an event, share to a relevant group, update your FB Page header

Website: add a section to your home page and then link with more details to a blog post, or a new page, add that to your Menu so people can find it easily. Give people the information or links they need.

Emails: Send an email to your list (more than once!), add a link within your personal email footer

Audience Question

I would like to know more about how to approach stockists and galleries?  I find this really hard to do. How do I sell my art to them? How do I maintain my confidence through this process?  Any tips would be great.

If you have a question you’d like us to discuss, click here to send it to us

Inside / outside inspiration

This week we’ve found enjoyment in some books!

Station Eleven by Emily John Mandel
Stand Out Online  by Natasha Courtenay-Smith
The White Hotel by D.M. Thomas

Follow Alice on Instagram @alicesheridanstudio
or Louise @louisefletcher_art

Credits
“Monkeys Spinning Monkeys” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Does your family have a creative background? Is your creative streak viewed with suspicion or disbelief. It can be hard to make art if this is what surrounds us so we review our personal histories and how we’ve made changes to the things which influence our beliefs.

Apple podcast

PS. This week is fun and a little silly, but it’s us. Hope you enjoy it.
This week Alice has been wondering whether it’s possible to make 50 paintings a month – and if she would even want to. We also talk studio clear-outs and what we have learned about launching a course online (even though it’s not even our course!)

OK, main topic….

Did you know that who you surround yourself with makes a huge difference to your life? The quote “You’re the average of the five people spend the most time with,” is most often attributed to motivational speaker Jim Rohn, but science backs him up.

What this means is that if your friends are obese, you are much more likely to also be obese. If your friends drink too much, chances are you will too. But how does this impact our art-making? Study on social influence

We discuss the importance of having supportive people in our lives and we share some of the ways we have done this for ourselves. We also share our thoughts on minimizing the psychological impact of negative comments as these can derail us if we are not careful. In the end, it comes down to choosing who or what will influence our mindset and making conscious moves to ensure we stay in a good place.

We’d like to give a shout out to our influencing magic circle:
Tara Leaver
artist, online teacher

Gary Vaynerchuck
(not that he needs it!)

Maz Hawes blog post
and her current #artofkindnesspostcardproject

Zandra Stratford
gutsy, fun and designer for artists

Nicholas Wilton’s CVP
because it’s awesome

Audience Question

If you have a question you’d like us to discuss, click here to send it to us

Inside / outside inspiration

Alice has come over all paint and playschool, and Louise is thinking Bob the Builder. Neither has a firm plan…

Follow Alice on Instagram @alicesheridanstudio
or Louise @louisefletcher_art

Credits
“Monkeys Spinning Monkeys” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

“How can I sell more of my work?” is one of the biggest questions artists want answered But if the answer is as individual as your art, where do you begin. For us, it’s not what most of the sales experts tell you to do! We also discuss how to ignite the creative spark and the power of simply not caring what other people think.

Apple podcast

This week Alice has been taking part in two very different online challenges and working to find the balance between her own painting and the Connected Artist Club. Louise has also been managing a challenging workload alongside prepping boards/ideas for new work

OK, main topic….

This week we dive into the topic of selling – why it doesn’t need to be intimidating and why – above all – we must develop an approach that leverages our unique strengths and matches the interests of our target audience.

Whether you are worrying about how to do it online or how many people you need to be successful we have some thoughts for you. In the end, selling is like art-making – the more unique and personal your approach, the better you will be. Real world examples include a door-to-door art salesman, an enterprising London painter, and Alice’s window cleaner.

Audience Question

When you’re limited on time, how do you ‘magic up’ creativity? Can you switch it on? Anon

Alice has a view on starting with your energy rather than the creativity. Louise uses a dedication to time and being within her working space, but together we agree it’s not about waiting for a switch or flash of inspiration. However there ARE things you can do to set the scene and make sure the conditions are right for that creativity to flow…

Inside / outside inspiration

Alice is wondering why things take so long to get to – and then feel so easy! The magic of self care and the window pixie. Louise is still feeling inspired by her recent interview with Nicholas Wilton – his belief about artist path and what’s possible for anyone. Especially how to be dismissive of your brother-in-law!

WATCH THE INTERVIEW WITH NICHOLAS WILTON HERE

If you have a question you’d like us to discuss, click here to send it to us

Follow Alice on Instagram @alicesheridanstudio
or Louise @louisefletcher_art

Credits
“Monkeys Spinning Monkeys” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Have you ever wondered quite what the point is in entering shows, or whether it’s worth your while? This one is for you!

Apple podcast

This week Alice has been turning her feelings around by getting stuck into things and honouring her promises to herself, which includes wrecking an old painting. Louise has also honoured her promise to get her home exhibition up and running – and seeing the rewards already. And then there’s a little rant about taking action and not taking up opportunities.

Want to find out more about the free workshop? Click HERE to find out more

Art2Life free workshop

OK, main topic….

This week, we’re considering event and exhibition submissions and asking what criteria should we use to decide if something is right for us. We consider both the financial costs and reputational benefits of events, identifying areas to consider including costs, location, audience match etc.

But we also go deeper. This topic unearthed a rare difference of opinion as a result of two different perspectives. In the end, we both agree that submission decisions shouldn’t be made in a vacuum – but rather as an element of your wider strategy.

OPEN SUBMISSIONS LISTINGS:
Mall Galleries Call for entries
Art Quest opportunities
ArtRabbit opportunities for artists
Arts Hub
Artists Network

Audience Question

Can you discuss the fear of sharing work in progress. This all relates to the fear of judgement and being assessed… it could even relate to the fear of being copied.

Inside / outside inspiration

Alice re-discovers the simple joys of returning to easy colour after some time away, and Louise is boosted (and maybe a little offended?) about the power of self-belief in determining the level of our success after watching a documentary about Sean Scully. (BBC)

If you have a question you’d like us to discuss, click here to send it to us

Follow Alice on Instagram @alicesheridanstudio
or Louise @louisefletcher_art

Credits
“Monkeys Spinning Monkeys” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Does your art need a gimmick to succeed? If art has a quickly recognisable ‘hook’ does that make it easier to sell?

Apple podcast

This week Alice has been learning the value of taking detours – Louise is in flow with her work and both have been working together to share a free art workshop with Nicholas Wilton which will show you the three most powerful principles you can use to transform your art.

Sound good? Click HERE to find out more

We explore the idea of having a ‘gimmick’ – what does it mean within art? Is there a difference between artists who have settled on a process and/or subject matter that works for them, and those who are continually searching. Perhaps there isn’t as much of a difference as we are assuming and there is something here we can all learn from.

Our discussion ranges from pop art to cubism and from Damian Hirst to a colour-blind Yorkshire farmer.  Perhaps it’s not that art needs a gimmick to succeed – but that it needs a story, so that others can relate to it. Have you discovered yours yet?

When does personal style become a gimmick? Art Juice podcast 13

Audience Question

“How much do you concern yourself with contemporary, ‘critically relevant’ art? How do you navigate the call to innovate versus just following your own pleasure and intuition?”

Inside / outside inspiration

Louise finds joy, and a bit of surprise in the fact that she’s begun to have calls from interested buyers who want to buy her work … “I need to make that easier.”

Alice has been inspired by others doing what’s necessary to move things along for them, including learning new technology in order to get results.

Art2Life free workshop

MENTIONED:
Richard Snowdon
Murphys’ Oil soap!


Join the Juiced Up workshop buddies group to join the discussion about the Art2Life workshop

If you have a question you’d like us to discuss, click here to send it to us

Follow Alice on Instagram @alicesheridanstudio
or Louise @louisefletcher_art

Credits
“Monkeys Spinning Monkeys” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

A question from a listener leads us into a wide-ranging discussion about the artist life. Many feel a frustration about limited time to spend on their work and don’t feel it counts alongside another career, but a recent study by The Arts council found that 68% of artists support themselves with other jobs, so if that’s you, you are not alone.

Apple podcast

Louise is helping with organization of North Yorkshire Open Studios and facing the reality of quite how long it takes to manage an event – and find volunteers. Alice is feeling twitchy because she hasn’t painted in a few weeks.

Audience Question

Because I don’t ‘art’ full time, I sometimes struggle to call myself an artist and feel like a bit of a fake and a fraud… not deserving enough to call myself a proper artist. If people ask me what I do I hesitate as In my heart I’m 100% an artist, in my 9-5 day to day I’m something completely different but that’s not really me!

I have to work a full time 9-5 job so squeeze my art in at every opportunity of my spare time. I really would like to turn it in to my job eventually so am working hard for it.

Have you ever felt like that? How did you overcome it?

We have no desire to put you off, or say “be careful what you wish for”, but it’s easy to feel frustrated if you can’t spend as much time on your art as you want and assume it will all be heavenly when you are a “full time” artist. The reality may be different – but that can be OK too.

So, what is it really like to work as an artist? What is the fantasy and how does it stack up to reality? Do we risk losing the joy when we turn a hobby into a career?  

We cover all this and more as we discuss our own journeys from hobbyist to professional. We talk about how we strike the balance between business and art, how we keep the joy in our professional lives, and how to get comfortable calling yourself an artist.

The reality of being an artist

Inside / outside inspiration

Louise has been on a day trip to see two major exhibitions in London – Tracey Emin ‘A Fortnight of Tears’ at White Cube Gallery in Bermondsey and Van Gogh in Britain at Tate Britain (on until 11 August 2019). Both were inspiring for different reasons, but the artworks shared an emotional power and raw honesty that has Louise wondering how she can bring more of that into her own work. (Alice isn’t competing with this!)

MENTIONED:
Carve Out Time for Art
Read the Arts council report here
Tracey Emin exhibition at White Cube
Van Gogh and Britain exhibition

Join the Art Explorers Facebook group to join the discussion

If you have a question you’d like us to discuss, click here to send it to us

Follow Alice on Instagram @alicesheridanstudio
or Louise @louisefletcher_art

Credits
“Monkeys Spinning Monkeys” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License