By Alyson B. Stanfield, Art Biz Coach – The artists I know and love are anything but linear, so how are they expected to work with a traditional business plan?
I encourage you to nurture a holistic approach to your art career, which is why I developed The See Plan. I teach this at Art Biz Breakthrough and use it with my clients.
A successful art career is not only about making and marketing (the M’s). It’s also about the C’s – eight of them, to be exact. You need all of these C’s for a healthy business and balanced life.
Why circular? It’s circular because we rarely focus on one thing at a time when we’re self-employed. We bounce back and forth between the various components of our plan and between the various tasks on our schedule.
Let me tell you about the 8 C’s.
Everything begins with the art. Without the art, you are not an artist.
You need inspiration to be your best creative self.
But your creativity doesn’t end with the art-making. You can also benefit by spreading your creativity into your marketing and every corner of your business.
Commitment isn’t something you can get from a book or a class. It has to come from within you.
Being a successful artist and entrepreneur requires that you make hard choices about how you spend your time. This discipline piece is opposed to how many artists think of their work: joy, pleasure, and play.
Once you wholeheartedly commit, things start happening. The Universe knows you are ready and works to help you attain your goals.
Clarity is the planning piece. It’s getting clear where you are and what you want. You don’t have time NOT to plan.
Planning is crucial for a successful career and requires that you set aside time to look at an annual calendar, systems, income projections, and marketing strategies.
Every artist-entrepreneur needs a support system, which is your community. It includes the people who love you when you’re cranky and frustrated (family and friends).
It also includes the mentors and other artists who nourish you with inspiration and from whom you learn about opportunities.
The more people who see your art, the more people there are to follow you and to buy your art.
Connection is the self-promotion piece. Once you make your work, you have to get it out of the studio and into the world. Your most powerful way to connect with the world is through your art.
Confidence doesn’t automatically show up when you put your art into the world. It happens over time and as a result of a continuous path toward improvement.
Confidence expands when you take courageous action. Challenge yourself as you’re making art and sharing it with more people.
Creatives are notorious for starting projects and never finishing them. This is fine UNTIL you have to earn money from those creative projects.
Complete the art, complete the book, or complete the coursework. It doesn’t count until it’s finished.
Celebrations don’t have to be large or cost money, but you should have some kind of ritual in place that helps you add closure to your project.
For some people, it’s a manicure, a massage, or a shopping excursion.
Buying something special is often a celebration ritual for me, but so is vegging, watching movies, and ignoring email for a couple of days.
Alyson B. Stanfield is an artist advocate and business mentor. Since 2002, she has been a trusted source for helping thousands of artists grow their businesses. She is the founder of Art Biz Coach and the author of I’d Rather Be in the Studio: The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion.
Alyson invites you to learn more about The See Plan and other success tools at Art Biz Breakthrough, a 3-day live event for 100 artists November 3-5, 2016.