As many of you may know, I'm a big fan of Alyson Stanfield of artbizcoach.com and one of her recent Art Marketing Action Newsletters included her annual "Acknowledge Yourself and Celebrate" checklist. It's easy to forget sometimes how much we accomplish over the course of a year. I find this exercise of thinking about and writing a list of accomplishments particularly helpful for remembering how far I've come and the steps I've taken to grow my career. I thought I'd share some of my responses here. I encourage everyone to check out Alyson's website to find out how you can receive her weekly newsletters. Try answering these questions for yourself as a way to feel inspired about your progress before moving on to writing your goal lists for 2009.
How did you promote your Art and your online presence?
• blogged regularly (for the most part)
• joined LinkedIn, twitter, Crafthaus and Facebook.
• started new response blog: "creepy but cool"
• did various interviews for blogs, magazines and newspapers.
• wore my own jewelry more frequently to events where I knew I would be meeting new people.
• made an effort to visit and comment on other people's blogs.
• tried to update/replenish my etsy shop as frequently as possible
• blogged about and linked to any/all press features
Who were the top ten cool or influential people you met in 2008?
• Hugo: my caster (and quite possibly the sweetest old man ever)
• Biba Schutz: art jeweler (extremely resourceful and inspiring mentor)
• Mike Holmes: owner Velvet Da Vinci Gallery
• Bruce Hoffman: gallery director Snyderman-Works Gallery
• Harriete Estel Berman: art jeweler (via phone)
• Bruce Metcalf: art jeweler (met him at the Craft Council summer salon lecture)
• Lori: my biggest fan on etsy (major Barbie fan… and married to a man named Ken!)
• Brad Armistead: Mattel's head of soft goods division
• Lee Unkrich: director at Pixar Animation Studios (via email)
• Rob Walker: NY times magazine columnist/author (via email/phone)
Whom did you mentor or help out?
• Ashley: my fabulous intern/apprentice
• Urte: the delightful replacement who took my job making jewelry at Swallow in Brooklyn when I left back in August.
• Dayna: a young jeweler, new to NYC that I met with at my studio, suggested resources for her, etc.
Did you create a new portfolio or other marketing piece?
• two new hard copy portfolios (one for press images and one for work)
• new stickers
• new postcard
• new wholesale catalog
• new thank you cards
What medium or skill did you attempt or master?
• etching on metal and glass
• gold/silver leafing on glass
• stone/wire wrapping/beading
What did you try that was completely new?
• having a studio outside my home
• gold/silver leafing on glass
• using a caster to make multiples of select elements of my work
• working with an intern
• selling retail at a high end craft fair (ACC Baltimore)
• a label maker (I'll never go back!)
What did you try that was uncomfortable but helped you grow?
• quit my part-time job to be a full time artist… AT LAST
• a business class at FIT
• created a wholesale line and catalog
• ACC retail craft show Baltimore "new wave artist"
• interviews w/ press (always uncomfortable but always help me grow)
• sold jewelry (wholesale) to a woman who claimed to be a store buyer. She was not. Got ripped off. HUGE life lesson!
What worthy cause did you support in some way?
• Susan G. Komen Foundation, to help find a cure for breast cancer
• WNYC public radio (I listen all the time - this is the first time I've pledged)
• MAD museum (became a member)
• SNAG (renewed membership)
• ACC (renewed membership)
• James Renwick Alliance (silent auction submission)
• elected OBAMA!!
What new art events, galleries and museums did you visit?
• the new MAD museum opening
• ACC show, Baltimore
• ACC library: Bruce Metcalf lecture
• Brooklyn Museum: Art Smith jewelry exhibition
• SOFA, NY
• Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco
• de Young Museum, San Francisco: Dale Chihuly exhibition, etc
What resources did you discover?
• American Craft Council library in Manhattan
• twitter, FB, crafthaus
• the new MAD museum
• Alyson Stanfield class: "Get Organized"
• Inspired Home Office newsletter
• Brooklyn Based newsletter
• Hugo, my caster
• SPB Gems in the diamond district
• Kremer Pigments in Manhattan
• May Arts - amazing company where I now buy my ribbon
How did you improve your studio habits?
• I quit my part-time day job!
• I found the studio of my dreams, outside my house.
• I found an intern
• I tried hard to implement more regular studio hours every week
• I designed and created a personalized "Work Order" sheet to keep orders straight and organized between my office/studio
• I bought a proper jeweler's bench and stopped working on an old computer desk - ouch!
What books did you read to help your career?
• I'd Rather Be In The Studio by Alyson Stanfield
• The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
• The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
• 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey
• Getting Things Done by David Allen
• Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers
• Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters by Courtney Martin
What videos or films were useful (to your career)?
• Who Does She Think She is? documentary
• Craft in America, PBS documentary series
• Andy Goldsworthy, artist documentary
• DIY or die, documentary
• Helvetica documentary
What seminars or workshops did you attend?
• Bruce Metcalf lecture at ACC library
• Gloria Steinem lecture at 92nd st. Y
• David McFadden, new MAD museum opening exhibition lecture @ SOFA, NY
• Jamie Bennett lecture @ SOFA, NY
• teleseminar w/ Hilary Pfiefer and Alyson Stanfield
• Get Organized web-class w/ Alyson Stanfield
• FIT business class
How did you enhance your office and/or studio environment?
• moved studio outside of my home
• re-painted and re-decorated home office.
• new office desk
• purchased used jeweler's bench on ebay
• new laser jet printer
• office is now a separate room from the living room
• bought new cell phone w/ internet service so I can access internet at my studio
What grants/honors/awards did you receive?
• accepted to ACC show in Baltimore as a "new wave" artist
• applied for NYFA grant (fingers crossed!)
What articles were written about your work?
• CosmoGIRL, USA
• Arcadium, Hungary
• BUST, USA
• Cosmopolitan, Czech Republic
• InDesign, Australia
• Step by Step Wire, USA
• abcDesign, Brazil
• Top Teen, Mexico
• Sunday Times Newspaper, Australia
• Columbia Chronicle newspaper, Chicago USA
• Metro News, UK
• Sky News, UK
• Daily Mail, UK
• Telegraph, UK
• Indie Quarter, UK
• Female First, UK
• Times of the Internet
• Cool Hunting
• Boing Boing
… and lots of other various blog nods
What exhibits, grants, contests, etc did you submit art to?
• NYFA grant
• Alloy Gallery, Newport, RI
• Pop Culture Collision, Shaw Gallery, ME
• Materialistic, Whitney Gallery, Savannah, GA
• Shoes Tell Stories, Fuller Craft Museum, MA
• Forms For Pleasure Book, Belgium
• 500 Plastic Jewelry Book, Lark Books (fingers crossed!)
Where did you save a wad of money?
• by getting an intern (saved me a lot of time, = $)
• buying a used jeweler's work bench on ebay
• testing the craft show waters by applying for the "new wave" section of the ACC show in Baltimore (much less than a full booth)
What was the single best thing that happened to your art career in 2008?
• Quitting my part-time job to become a full time artist and finding the perfect private art studio in a loft building full of artists 5 blocks from my apartment are the best things that happened to me this year. Hooray!
Happy 2009 everyone!