“I’m an artist, not a businessperson,” said no successful creative ever. Let’s just agree on this truth: In today’s DIY world we have to be both an artist and a businesswoman (or man), because the times have changed. Balancing our creative abilities with the business of art can be a challenge for many of us. If we’d wanted to go into business we wouldn’t have become artists, right? Well, right or wrong, if we want our work to be seen and collected then we have some business to tend to.
In the Winter 2016 issue of Acrylic Artist magazine we featured Wyanne (that’s pronounced why-ann, not wayne), and she shared some of her secrets to business success. One not-so-mysterious tip: Schedule business time. Wyanne says, “I usually spend eight hours or more in the studio, five days a week. I devote one day to computer work, video editing, and web work, and one day off for family.” Easier said than done, perhaps, but she knows when she’ll handle the business, and therefore she knows she can be creative without worry.
Not sure how to get all that stuff accomplished or even started? Neither did Wyanne. She told us, “When I first started out, I had to teach myself HTML coding to launch my own website. Now there are great user-friendly options to make your own website. There are fantastic apps that allow you to post one update to multiple sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, your blog, etc.” Yes, you can do it, too!
Just like you schedule the time you spend in your studio painting, a dinner with loved ones or when you’re going to yoga class—that is, the good stuff—schedule your business time, too. Schedule the business tasks, and then forget about them. If you don’t have time in your schedule for the business that needs to get done, you’re likely to find nagging thoughts pestering you as you try to paint, such as: I should post that new painting on my web page; I need to write this month’s e-newsletter; or my social media outlets are a week behind in updates. When you know you’re going to be in the office on Thursday you can quiet those thoughts and paint more freely, and freely equates to better in my book.
Another aspect of business that Wyanne excels in is letting us get to know her as a person. Maybe that seems counterintuitive on the surface—that showing a personal side is actually about the business—but give a thought to the products you feel strongly about, and you’re sure to realize that in many cases you have an emotional attachment to them. Wyanne understands the power of being real and being honest, and she’s built her brand around that transparency. Wyanne is a cancer survivor. If you haven’t heard her story yet, check out this video where you’ll get the story AND a peek into her painting technique and process.
I have a favorite reminder to myself: Be where your feet are. How that applies here is that while you’re painting don’t let the nagging needs of your art business try to distract you. The business is a necessary evil; unless, of course, you’re able to hire it all out—in which case, I’ll try not to resent you too much and wish you much continued success.