Looking for a breakthrough

One of the most challenging things for me about being an artist is that about half of the time I must be a businessperson. I must find collectors for my work, if for nothing else than I need to buy more paper. But in truth, I also need to find homes for my work because that conversation — between me and collector — is crucial.

A butte in Golden, Colorado looms over the quiet college town.

A butte in Golden, Colorado looms over the quiet college town.

Some may be lucky enough to have a gallery that just handles all of the business side of creating art, but I am always seeking new ways to market my work to the world. So last week I took a break from my usual studio routine to attend Art Biz Breakthrough, a conference in Golden, Colorado produced by artist coach, Alyson Stanfield. I have worked personally with Alyson in 2015 and will again in 2016, but the event still gave me lots of great things to think about.

A view of the Plains, just before the Front Range of the Rockies appears.

A view of the Plains, just before the Front Range of the Rockies appears.

The plane ride out gave me some spectacular vistas of the agricultural land before the Front Range rises up out of seemingly nothing. I loved seeing how the crop circles congregated around the fractal water sources, and diminished into the dry land squares away from moisture. Surely there is a new linocut in there.

The conference itself was a gathering of almost 100 artists — the vast majority of whom were women. As we sat at round tables, we eagerly exchanged business cards before each session began. I was impressed that there were people who had shows in permanent galleries and museums, while others ran entire studios with employees. Others were newer to the art scene and were figuring out their first steps.

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Business cards from Art Biz Breakthrough attendees. Quite a collection of talent.

I was somewhere in the middle. I am now a weekly blogger and I condense my blogs into a monthly newsletter. I have created a new website and use MailChimp with some degree of proficiency. My new focus is to find exhibit possibilities farther afield through both on-line and in-person research. During my time away, I renewed my enthusiasm as well as gained new strategies for expanding my exhibiting horizons. Certainly a breakthrough!

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