Monday, December 28, 2009
Here she is...ain't she awesome? A fabric collage on an old book cover. Handmade by moi just for you. On the back I have handwritten the words..."Post an angel at your door. Fear the darkness nevermore." I know...I know...the gift-giving season is over...but the spirit is still upon me. I am giving away one of these angel book collages to EVERYONE who mentions and links just one more time all the cool stuff that is going on at KC Willis' studio. Your blog, Yahoo group, Ning group or Twitter will work. Facebook status updates don't count as they don't stay around long at all...but if you're part of a FB art group and can post it there that will count.
And since you're all so busy this time of year feel free to just cut and paste the following onto your blog...unless of course you have personal comments you want to make about one of the classes that you've taken. But be sure and link to the sites (or just link to my blog and they can go from there). You don't have to link to all the sites...you can pick and choose...just one will work. Then drop a comment below or an e-mail to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the link to your blog and give me your mailing address. Easiest way to have an angel delivered to your door that I've ever seen!
This has been an amazing year at KC Willis Studio. Wow. 170 students from 8 countries currently enrolled at the on-line workshop where I teach the basics of my techniques and inspire you to new creative heights. www.collagecamp.ning.com. You have never seen anything like Collage Camp.
After Collage Camp there's Mixed Media Mania where you take what you learned at Collage Camp and in these workshops I teach Altars and Shrines, Altered Books and Works on Paper. Fun stuff. www.mixedmediamania.ning.com.
And for those of you already making art and wanting to know how you take it to the next level and get yourself a regional or national audience, next week starts the super exciting Marketing Mindset. www.marketingmindset.ning.com. Check out the Main Page and take advantage of the Intro Price which will only last until January 8th.
And if video workshops aren't your thing...how about KC Willis Live! (assuming I've had my coffee.) Come take a multi-day class with me in my very sweet Victorian studio house in Longmont, Colorado. Check it out at www.studioretreats.ning.com.
So there you have it. Your friends and followers will thank you. And I will too...I'm sending you a Guardian Angel so you start off the new decade resting in the shade of angel wings.
Happy New Year!
Posted by KC Willis at 7:09 PM
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I've been busy making the first of my videos for the Marketing Mindset Workshop which is up and running in Discussion form as we speak. But one thing I want you to understand is that the journey is on-going for me, even as I teach about what things I have done to get my work in so many shops and my name in so many publications in the past...I too have big plans for 2010.
Part of what will go on in this workshop over the course of the next year is that I will help you get over your fears, set a plan in motion for selling your art, hold nothing back when I tell you what has and has not worked for me and help you develop as an art business in general. But you will also get to watch the plan I have for taking my work to the next level in real time. I will tell you what I've done AND I will tell you what I am doing. I have a whole bunch I want to accomplish as an artist in 2010.
If you want to make your living as an artist or even supplement your income with art sales...then you have to get serious about marketing. And as yucky as that might sound...it's the truth and I am here to make it interesting and fun. It's serious business, but I know for a fact that the right mindset can change what happens with your art...which in turn can change your world. It changed mine.
I started out in one gallery...one cotton-pickin' gallery...and from that came everything. It starts with one place carrying your work. From that one place came other galleries, shops, commissions, collectors, catalogs, licensing my name and work, HGTV....and teaching. But that doesn't just happen. You've got to work it like a job and there has to be a method to your madness. Your intent could be to have your work in 5 places and develop consistency in website sales...and that's all you want to have happen...ok...let's do that. You may want to be in 50 shops, 4 catalogs and do a greeting card line...ok...let's do that.
This marketing workshop is one of the things I am most looking forward to in 2010. I want it to be full of artists brimming with excitement, sharing information, and supporting each other in a way that will see the end of 2010 look different for you and your art than the end of 2009.
So share the news about this workshop and make a difference in the life of an artist you know. And tell your readers or your friends that if they sign up for Marketing Mindset they need to mention they heard about it from you...because you will receive a $100 gift card to my site, www.lipstickranch.com. $100 for every person you send to MM who signs up. But I'd like to think you would do it any way...because so many artists need the information we will share at this workshop.
Posted by KC Willis at 7:05 PM
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Everyday we make a bazillion decisions in our life. I made one when I sat down to write this blog post. When you go to the grocery store you have to make lots of decisions. You don't fill up six carts with everything in the store that appealed to you...at least I don't think you do. You decide what is on the menu for the week and what things are the best items for your nutritional needs. You make a decision or two.
And so it is with your art. In my workshops artists are always saying that they go in so many different directions that they find a signature style does not develop easily and this frustrates them in their marketing. And I understand the tendency. You have so many ideas that excite you, so you want to act on all of them. And you can....BUT at some point you must decide on what is the main genre, look, style, theme etc. that you want to really work on and develop into a series of work. The work that you will market to shops and galleries. The work that will define who you are for that season in time. The other ideas you can play with in your off time and perhaps from them will come next years series of work. But you must decide. Bummer huh? Gotta narrow it down. My dad, the Marvelous Mississipian, always says "You can't chase two rabbits and catch either one."
I like to do many creative things. I have a notebook full of ideas that's so big I carry it around in a wheelbarrow. (Not really, but you get my over-the-top point.) Many of them are in different mediums from what I do daily and they excite me soooo much that when I see them I have been known to exclaim aloud. "Oh man...I really wanna paint!" But here's the deal. I have DECIDED that at this moment in time I am going to focus on mixed media collage, so that I have a cohesive artistic portfolio with which to flaunt my creative prowess to shops and galleries. A gallery owner does not want to see a portfolio of every idea you've ever had. That will not impress them. Amuse them, maybe...but they will not give you a show. They want to see a series of work that will make you recognizable to their patrons. When I took the first fabric collage that actually satisfied me to a gallery in Santa Fe, the owner said..."Make me 5 more so I know you can repeat yourself." She didn't want 5 of the exact same thing, nor did she say make me 5 more of just anything you can think of...she wanted 5 more in a series that would have impact. She wanted to know this piece of art with a cowgirl and a quote was not a fluke. By replicating "my look" I assured her I was not.
I hope you decide to comment.
Maybe you'll even decide to join us at Marketing Mindset. Either way...there's a decision to be made here. xxoo
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
When it comes to your art...the decisions you make today will affect where you are 5 years from now....heck 5 months from now. Back when I was wanting to be a novelist (I still wanna be one) I loooved to come home from my day job in Los Angeles, put my feet up and watch television. Anybody who had sat in LA traffic for a hundred hours would want to do the same. But I also wanted to finish my book and see what would happen. The thought of all that I had to do to accomplish finishing said masterpiece would overwhelm me. Easier to ignore it and watch television. BUT...that was not going to get my book finished. So I decided to make decisions...little decisions, but decisions nonetheless. One smoggy day at a time. After dinner I made a point of deciding to turn off the TV and instead decide to write for 2 hours. Show up and write. By deciding to do that day by day at the end of a year I had a novel written and a year later I had a contract with HarperCollins.
And in writing that lovely little western romance (ok so it wasn't actually a masterpiece) I discovered something else. Something that I do each and every day in my studio, now that I am artist and not a writer. I decide to get to work. And making that decision everyday has once again affected where I am. And let me tell you...I don't always know what's gonna happen that day or with that piece of art. I just get to work. I lay fabrics together, I select an image and I put the pedal to the metal. Zoom. Art.
So many artists I talk to think they have to have it all figured out in order to get started. They want a Google map. No sir. Not necessary. Sure sometimes you have to have the idea or the layout for a commission or some such thing, but in general...get in your studio and get to work. You will be amazed at the surprises that come your way...the magic that will happen. Some of the best things that I have ever done were a result of a happy accident that led me in a new direction. The work that I am known for came as a result of just getting in there and messing around to see what I could come up with. I still mess around with it.
So this is part of what I'm going to talk about in the first video of my Marketing Mindset on-line workshop. The work ethic in art. Motivation. Finding your Signature Style. Working in Series...stuff like that. I wish I didn't write about making art right before I go to bed...now I'll be up 'til all hours because of that dad-blame work ethic.
Posted by KC Willis at 7:13 PM