Friday, March 28, 2008

Weekend Chat Line: What is your greatest challenge as an artist?

This weekend's Chat Line subject is linked to my latest series "It's the Journey that Defines You". Through this series of articles I've been documenting my journey as an artist. Other than my first art fair, which almost didn't happen, my greatest challenge has been conquering the internet...and it's still a learning process. In fact I have pretty much reconciled to the fact that I will always be "internet marketing challenged"! My personal goal is to continue to learn more.

So I ask you:
What is your greatest challenge as an artist? What do you struggle with regularly?
The "Chat Line" is open... I'm anxious to hear your experiences, and please feel free to comment on what others have to say.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Website ...Marsha Robinett Fine Art
My Squidoo ...Drawing Techniques
It's The Journey That Defines You...part 1

PS...make a "Point"...leave a comment


Teresa Mallen said...

Hi Marsha,

I am a full-time artist/instructor and one of my greatest challenges is developing my computer knowledge. I am currently devoting a chunk of time to learning how to really use this tool. I am about to get a new computer and I am looking forward to mastering Photoshop etc. Okay, maybe "mastering" is too optimistic but I am going to get savvy enough to be able to prepare my images for competition entries and that sort of thing. My husband helps me but I am determined to be more independent. My current ancient computer doesn't have or is unable to run the latest software. What will I do when I can't blame it on the 'tools'? :-)

Another challenge and this one is a nicer challenge to have, is that I need to remind myself to slow down and enjoy the process. I have so many goals such as developing new courses, new techniques to try and so on, that I can get frustrated with the pace of things.(This is not helped when someone emails me asking me when my on-line course is going to be ready. Is 'at this rate honey maybe never' an appropriate response?) I have to gently remind myself that I should be delighted that I have a strong vision for my company and I just need to relax and let it unfold. As you say, it is all about the journey.

By the way, I am fairly new to this whole blogging thing and I would like to take a moment to say that enjoy reading your blog. I appreciate the helpful info!

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Marsha, you have put lots of work into charting your artistic journey. Thanks for sharing.
Your pencil drawings are great. I confess to being a bit of a snob about drawing, considering it a 'must have' skill.
I've been on the internet for 12 years and have learned mostly everything by doing.
I had a static website since 2004 which somehow became lost this past summer and I just let it go, because someone else had to upload the work, which I had to photograph or get to them for a scan. There's a cached version on the web.

Once I started blogging I realized that here is my live audience and loved it. The feedback is great and the internet really levels the playing field for artists. I'm tickled to death to have comments by some very fine artists who are well established. There's a remarkable sharing going on which is sort of counter to the usual exclusiveness and snobbery that exists in the art world. The people I've me. It's a virtual world.
My challenge is focus and aimlessness. I like to read and I like to putter around the house and garden. I like to surf the blogs looking at one place after another. So... you can see how the day can get away.
I'm organizing my equipment the same way in both my home studios and my off site studio. I shouldn't have to look for pliers or tape etc.. Secondly, I am organizing a calendar of shows that I should be entering, which includes deadlines, which have to be falsely early for me, for frames, number of pieces, and so on.
I'm looking toward FASO as the place to go now and am getting paintings ready for a website there.
I do read Maggie Stiefveiter's blog and it's helping.

Jennie Norris said...

Marsha, I really have enjoyed reading your series and hope you keep writing.

I am fairly new to fine art. Life got in my way and I only recently have had time to focus on my art.

My biggest challenge has been finding my very own style. After reading your series I have decided to focus on my graphite and run with it. it is the one medium that really inspires me and I am most comfortable with.

I need to start building up a group of art to represent myself and I never know if I'm going in the right direction. I need to find something that sets me apart. This is not an easy task.

I have the computer, photoshop, web design, part of it down. I am a Graphic Designer for a gift and stationery company. As much as I love my job I would give anything to be a full time fine artist. But, I have to pay the bills.

Thank you for you wonderful articles, insight and experience. It will be interesting to see what others challenges are!!

AscenderRisesAbove said...

Visiting from Empty Easel; enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts on this.
My biggest challenge? The economy and finding a gallery.

Marsha Robinett said...

I agree, computers and my internet presence have been a huge challenge. I finally set aside some time, did the research, and bit the bullet. I know this will always be a challenge but knowledge has produced confidence.

And do take time to enjoy the process. As I look back, I've come so far and learned soooo much.

Yes, blogging is great. As artists our world is rather solitary out of necessity...the internet has changed that by opening up a dialog between artists from all over the world.

Making a schedule has helped with my focus issues. I made a "to do" list for the year and broke each item down into small increments, (monthly, weekly, and daily). Each night I make a list, carrying over anything that didn't get done from the previous day. It's not perfect, but has increased my productivity.

FASO is a great website for sure to use the link from the side bar on my blog. You will receive an extra 30 days on your free trial...let me know when you have it set up, I'd enjoy seeing more of your work.

Be encouraged, your own style will simply emerge one day...mine did. The more you draw the quicker it will happen. Listen to your heart, draw what pleases you. Speak to the world through your art.

Working in a "series" will help you develop a body of work. Read Maggie Stiefveiter's blog articles on Marketing...she discusses the importance of branding and working in a series.

The economy has definitely changed my marketing strategy. I've concentrated on developing a greater internet presence and doing more personal marketing, (newsletters and "snail mail"). I've also cut back on my art fairs this summer, eliminating many with high entry fees or where a motel stay was necessary while adding some smaller venues with lower fees and closer to home.

Finding gallery representation was on my "to do" list but for now it's been scratched off. From what I've read galleries are closing right and left, and the economy in my area is just not that good. Maybe next year.

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