Today I’m hosting Alyson B. Stanfield, author of I’d Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion. Alyson is here as part of the to help promote the book and is also giving away a free copy. She’s given me the opportunity to ask a question related to the book, so here goes . . .
A: Susie, thanks for inviting me to El Cielo! I would so love to be there in person. I know you live in a beautiful area.
S: Thanks Alyson, the next time you get to Texas, I hope you'll stop by in person!
I've been reading your blog and taking classes with you for a couple of years now, and I know the importance of "branding" for an artist -- but what if I essentially have two businesses, one about making and selling art and one focused on teaching, both in my studio, and increasingly, in other venues. As an artist who teaches (both in other places and regularly in my own studio with retreat formats) I wonder if I should have a separate blog, website and newsletter for the teaching/coaching side of my business, or do I keep it all together. Which is less confusing?
A: Susie, you’re quite right to be concerned about confusing people. When people visit a website and they’re confused, they leave. If confusion is your primary concern, I wouldn’t worry too much about having them combined as long as what you teach can be seen in the work that you do. In other words, that the teaching is an extension of your art.
If you teach one thing, but your work looks quite different from the thing you teach, there will be a disconnect. I don’t see that as a problem for you at all, but it could be at some point.
There might also be a need to separate the two if in the future you seek high-end galleries and museums. Having your teaching with your art (especially if it overpowers the art itself) could be a deterrent to curators and gallerists. But I don’t believe it is when you’re marketing to the general public. Having said that, you can always tailor your blog, newsletter or site to ensure that the art doesn’t get lost in the teaching.
Thanks for the advice! I'm getting ready to add the WORKSHOP link to my website, so this is timely information. Alyson's book is a wonderful addition to your artist's tool. If you'd like to win a book, click here for instructions. Visit this site, read the instructions, and enter. Your odds are good as she’s giving away a free copy on most of the blog tour stops. You can increase your odds by visiting the other blog tour stops and entering on those sites as well.
And speaking of workshops -- the next one up in a couple of weeks here at El Cielo: "Words on the Surface," a hands-on extravaganza of all things typed and written as elements for your art cloth, art quilt or mixed media work . We'll be making sun prints with Setacolor, experimenting with different ways to do photo transfers, adding text with batik scrafitto and a myriad of other fun techniques. On Friday evening, May 9, early arrivals will have have the chance to do some creative writing with some new exercises. For more information, check out the Coming Up: Workshops page.