Monday, April 9, 2012

Artist Coach

Last month I started seeing an Artist Coach! and I want to share my experience with you all because I`ve found it as a very enriching experience for me and my business.  For me personally seeing an artist coach has many purposes:  I would like to have a sense of direction in my business, I need to push my career forward and  I really want to improve my business skills as an artist which are not that great at the moment.  I`ve seen my coach 2 times already, first to introduce myself and my work to her and the 2nd for a workshop she gives called: "Jump Start your Art" (sound interesting ha?) So..... here is some of the info I got form this workshop that I found super interesting and I hope it helps you too!  

Business of Art - Required qualities and skills

- Creative vision & competency
- Strong desire for independence
- Self-confidence & self-reliance
- Versatility & resourcefulness
- Persistence, self-discipline & determination
- Organization, planning & time management
- Promotion - Sales skills
- Ability to take calculated risks
- Knowledge of your industry

She explained that as creative professionals we have to have three main things in our business:

- Creation & Production
We have to have something to sell ha? we have to have a product and this product has to be a good one, specially as an artist-designer you have to have coherence and a self recognizable style plus quality.  This is very important

- Marketing - Promotion - Development
You have to develop a brand and put it in the right marketplace for it to be successful, you have to be known and in order to do this you have to have promotional strategies.  Because lets face it, it doesn´t matter how good a product you can have, if no one knows it, no one will buy it and you will not have a business at all.  You have to be able to target your market and present your work to your target market in the best of ways to make it appealing.

-Governance (this is my less favorite of the three)
This is basically regarding to the business itself, numbers, taxes, business plan (do you have one, I don`t!), company structure, legal structure, etc...

So... at the workshop we had to put a % of time for these three different aspects of our creative businesses.  She explained you HAVE TO do the three of them in order to be successful and you have to be able to do them almost everyday (with different % of time and also depending of the season of the year, it can vary of course but you HAVE TO do them all).  I put 40% for creation and production, 40% for Marketing and 20% for governance... that is ideally you see, because right now my time is very much focused in the marketing and almost not at all in the governance and I`m getting a bit behind in the production.  That`s called time management (oh oh oh but I think you already have heard about that ha?) try to make a plan of how much time will you put in these three different baskets and stick to it...  I`m trying!!!!

And last but not least she gave us a list of people we NEED to surround us with to achieve our goals as a creative business person.

-  The public:  Fan and followers (advocates), buyers and employers-clients.

These are the people that will make our brand successful at the end, those who like it, those who buy it, those who tell their friends about it so they can also buy it.

- Your industry / community: Presenters, industry players (reps, bookers, agents, critics, curators, programmers, etc), industry organizations, networks and information portals, media (advocates), creative collaborators, expert professionals (graphic designers, publicists, lawyers, accountants, etc.), suppliers

In order for your business to be successful you have to be part of the industry you belong to, these is key to be successful, you have to get all the possible help from the people who know the business, who will do those things you don't know, you will only enrich yourself if you do so.

- Funders / Patrons: Granting agencies, sponsors, members, donors

Being an artist is not a very easy way to make money (we all know that already ha?).  If you get to have some sponsorship or a grant this will certainly help your business and there are many resources out there for artists, you should put a bit of time and effort to find them and get them.

I went out of the workshop feeling very accomplished as many of the people attending it were very young artists who had no clue about many of this things and are just starting their careers.  I really believe Cara Carmina is going in the right path and that gives me a sense of direction. I felt very proud of my hard work and also very happy to know many of the points she suggested we should do to improve our businesses I´m already doing them (applauses).  I need to change and improve many things and get to be a great time manager (working on it as we speak!!!! ain´t easy but I'm trying).

Being a professional artist is certainly not an easy thing.  Specially when you are the only one working (like me) on everything at the same time, but is not impossible either and I know I can only get better at it! Hope all this information is helpful for all of you!

Oh oh oh and I found this great article about Artist Coaching that is very interesting and I would suggest all of you to read!

Cara Carmina



  1. Beautifully written Cara! I think this is a great idea. (applauses!)

  2. Awesome post with so much info to take away - love the photos as well!


  3. Thanks!!!!!! :D I love the analogy of the oranges with our businesses!!!! let`s make some orange juice sisters!!!! ;)

  4. This is so cool. I love the photos too! I had no idea you could have such a thing as an artist coach, but your article definitely makes me want one! Wow! What a fantastic idea and a great source of inspiration/direction. I've personally been struggling with the big, broad question: "Where to go from here," so this would be an extra great idea. Thanks so much for sharing all about your experiences with it so far!

  5. Fantastic article, I loved it! So inspiring, too! I also, dislike the governance portion the most as well. I tend to focus on the other two too much.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this super insight into how to make our businesses even more successful. It amazes me how art is always a work in progress. It sometimes feels like crossing the Himalayas - you see the top of the mountain and strive to get there, feeling great that you are almost there... only to find that there are countless mountains in front of that mountain and you are nowhere near the top. But, it's important to feel proud of what you have achieved, even as you strive for more.
    Thanks for sharing -
    Blessings and magic,

  7. great post. thank you so much for sharing!

  8. Very interesting! Thank you for sharing, Norma!

  9. Thanks to all of you girls for your great comments! :D

    I have my next appointment with my coach this 18th so I`ll tell you all about it!!!!

    glad you all found it helpful and inspiring!!! :D