вход по аккаунту


Professional Artist - June 01, 2018

код для вставкиСкачать
Discover the
Power of
Get Inspired
by Darkness
for Artists
The Dawn, 2016,
by Kat Bergman
"Lilies Dance with Koi" created with Utrecht Artists' Acrylic Colors
Art by Sally Evans
When inspiration strikes, get everything you need at Blick. We carry acrylic
painting essentials from all your favorite brands, including Utrecht Artists'
Acrylic Colors and Mediums, plus brushes, canvas, and accessories.
Shop in stores and online for an unmatched selection of art materials.
The neighborhood’s
but the paint is
still the same.
For more than 50 years,
Utrecht has been handcrafting
professional-quality Artists’
Colors in Brooklyn, New York.
These fine oil paints offer superior
intensity and opacity, outstanding
lightfastness, buttery texture,
and exceptional tinting strength.
Skilled craftspeople use only the
finest pigments to create each and
every color.
Brooklyn may be different, but
you can always count on Utrecht
Artists’ Oils to maintain their
consistency, performance, and
quality year after year.
The Power of Patience
By Judith Teitelman
20 Finish Your "Non-deadline"
Art Projects
By Gigi Rosenberg
28 Measuring Inspiration
By Elaine Grogan Luttrull
38 Draw Inspiration from
Your Dark Side
By Thea Fiore-Bloom, PhD
44 You Can’t Take it With You
By Daniel Grant
52 Artist as Change Agent
By Jennifer Virškus
How to Overcome
“Impostor Syndrome”
By Miriam Schulman
Self-care and Wellness
for Artists
By Rebecca Coleman
2 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
on the cover
The Dawn, 2016, by Kat Bergman. Acrylic on
canvas, 48" x 48".
Copyright © 2016 Kat Bergman. Used by permission of the artist.
Read more about the cover artist on Page 38.
5 Your Business Mentor: Make
Difficult Business Decisions
By Jannett Roberts
19 Coaching the Artist:
Fifth Day of Inspiration
By Eric Maisel
63 Planning Your Art Business:
Earn More by Spending Less
By Robert Reed
Editor’s Letter
By Gigi Rosenberg
Headlines & Details
The Artist’s Advocate:
Protect Your Moral Rights
By Katie Lane
Artrepreneur Coach:
Inspiration Needs A
Realistic Outlook
By Renée Phillips
By Gigi Rosenberg
12 Artist Spotlight:
Juan Ramiro Torres
By Adrian Alexander
74 Calls to Artists
editor’s LETTER
Welcome to the inspiration issue — my favorite one
of the year because it’s about the most important
aspect of being an artist. You can’t chase inspiration
or demand she appear, but you can nurture an
environment, set up your schedule, learn to relax,
follow your heart so that when inspiration strikes,
you’re there to meet and receive her.
This issue overflows with practical advice for setting
yourself up to be inspired. Judith Teitelman teaches
you why you need to practice patience because so
much of an artist’s life is spent waiting. Read more
on page 14.
Jannett R. Roberts
Gigi Rosenberg
Set up your
schedule so that
when inspiration
strikes, you’re
there to meet her.
If you’re tempted to follow the muse into difficult places in your life, read
Thea Fiore-Bloom’s piece where she interviews artists who’ve found more
creativity and success by pursuing the treasure in dark material. See page 38.
Adrian Alexander
Kristen Schaeffer-Santoni
Thea Fiore-Bloom, Rebecca Coleman,
Daniel Grant, Elaine Grogan Luttrull,
Miriam Schulman, Judith Teitelman,
Jenn Virškus
Elaine Grogan Luttrull introduces readers to a tool that helps artists assess if and
how they are thriving in all aspects of business. Let her show you how this can help
you decide your next career move on page 28. If you’ve always wanted to make a
difference with your art and inspire others, don’t miss Jennifer Virškus’ piece on
artists who are powerful change agents on page 52.
Katie Lane, Eric Maisel, Ph.D.,
Renée Phillips, Robert Reed, Ph.D., CFP,
Jannett R. Roberts
For those of us suffering from overwork and overthinking, check out Rebecca
Coleman’s primer on self-care for artistic souls on page 64 and Miriam Schulman’s
piece on overcoming “Imposter Syndrome” on page 58. For anyone who’s ever
thought they were faking it, this is a must-read.
On a more somber note, I urge you to read Daniel Grant’s piece on page 44 on how
to put your art in order before you die. None of us likes to think about this, but if
you don’t take care of your store room of artwork, you’ll be leaving this unpleasant
task for your loved ones.
For now, let’s celebrate new life with the return of Spring. All the best to you,
James Marinaccio
or 407-258-3109
Rance Crain
938 Lake Baldwin Ln, Orlando, FL 32814
or 800-347-6969
Here’s what followers think about Professional Artist
on Instagram:
’m really enjoying the article about
Jeannette Sirois and her #hyperrealistic
#portraits. The article addresses how to
market your artwork when you are an extreme
#introvert. #HelloMe!
There’s also another article “Dismantling
Common Excuses for Not Marketing” which
I can’t wait to read.
What a cool magazine that addresses the
real needs of artists and makes success feel
attainable at early stages.
[Painting has] become a tool to manage PTSD
issues and a Severe Anxiety disorder that often
gets hidden behind choosing to smile. But
reaching out and marketing has helped all this
#Anxiety as well. @proartistmag is well written,
and encouraging to the real artist with down
to earth, relatable articles. Looking forward to
more! ~ Marnel Christine (@marnelchristineart)
Send your feedback to or join
the conversation on our social media pages.
4 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
Copyright 2015 Turnstile Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or part without written permission
is prohibited. NOTE: Copyrights in all artwork and articles
are owned by each item’s author/creator. To request article
reprints, contact the editorial department at AAlexander@
Professional Artist (ISSN 0893-3901) is published six times a
year at 1500 Park Center Drive, Orlando, FL 32835.
Periodical postage paid in Orlando, FL 32835 and additional
offices. Subscriptions are $37 per year.
Carry us in your store. Email
for details.
POSTMASTER Send address changes to Professional Artist,
P.O. Box 422210, Palm Coast, FL 32142-2210
YOUR business MENTOR
Making Difficult
Business Decisions
As a business owner, you must make difficult decisions for your business.
And you must get used to this process of difficult decision-making to
sustain the success of your business. Over the life of your business, you
will make many small decisions that will have minimal impact on the
success of your business. But, some can have an enormous impact and
create a completely different trajectory for your business.
Because of how our readers and society
consumes information, we made the
decision to take our magazine to a digitalonly platform.
s publisher of Professional
Artist magazine, I’ve just
had to make one of those
hard decisions that can
be categorized as having an enormous
impact to our business. Because of
how our readers and society consumes
information, we made the decision to
take our magazine to a digital-only
platform. It‘s crucial that we navigate
the sea of change, but remaining true to
our constant mission of providing our
readers the business know-hows to be
successful entrepreneurs is key.
Professional Artist will continue to be
innovative and engage our readers
through digital products. We will stay
current and optimize our readers’ digital
experience. Making this decision wasn’t
something we took lightly. It involved
a multi-step decision-making process
that I suggest you use when strategic
decisions are needed in your business.
State the Problem
The first most important step of the
decision-making process is to identify
the problem. Sometimes the problem
isn’t as clear as you may think. And it
can manifest itself in multiple areas
of your business. For example, your
problem may be cash flow, and if not
analyzed correctly, you may think
the problem is the volume of the art
you’re selling. In reality, it may be an
internal billing issue that has resulted
in overdue payments. If you had made
the decision assuming the problem was
lack of volume, your solution might
not fix the problem. I suggest involving
mentors and field experts. They can
provide insight which can lead you to a
better decision.
Identify Solutions and Alternatives
Not all problems are created equal.
In some cases, your solution may be
to hold tight and do nothing. Other
problems may have several solutions.
Do your research. Identifying the
best alternative is worth your time
and energy. Ask yourself and/or your
decision team the 5 W’s: What, Why,
When, Who and Where. During this
process, you’re delving into your
problem and applying all these answers
to uncover your best solution.
Evaluate Your Alternatives
In most cases, I revert to a SWOT analysis
in this stage of the process. (For more
information about SWOT, refer to my
column in the Dec/Jan 2018 issue of
Professional Artist). It may seem time
consuming to add this to your decisionmaking process, but planning ahead of
time can avoid monetary mistakes later on.
Make and Implement Your Decision
Although you may have a couple of
alternatives that rank higher than others,
you must, in the end, make a decision. For
example, when making the decision for
Professional Artist, moving forward as a
digital-only publication was the highestranking solution. This led to implementing
the decision, which is an important step in
the process. You might have selected the
best solution to your problem, but if your
implementation falls short, you won’t get
the results you expected. Keep in mind
that part of the implementation process is
follow up and monitoring.
Being an entrepreneur will always mean
having to make hard decisions. Some of
these will require risk taking to improve
or grow your business. The decision to
take Professional Artist to a digital-only
magazine was a tough decision, but it will
allow us to remain true to our mission:
To provide the invaluable advice that our
readers have grown to expect and love.PA
Jannett Roberts is the Publisher of Professional
Artist and You can
reach her at
headlines &DETAILS
new exhibition at the New-York
Historical Society features the
shoe, including its history as both a
cultural and a coveted object. Walk
This Way: Footwear from the Stuart
Weitzman Collection of Historic
Shoes highlights 100 pairs of shoes
from the designer’s private collection,
assembled over three decades with
his wife Jane Gershon Weitzman. The
shoes are both artful and expressions
of power and aspiration.
“Shoes on view range from designs to
be worn in the privacy of a woman’s
home, shoes that American suffragists
wore as they marched through city
streets, ‘sexy’ heels that reflected
changing norms of female aesthetics
and professional shoes suitable for
the increasing numbers of women in
the workforce,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer,
president and CEO of the New-York
Historical Society.
The exhibition tells the story of
the shoe from the perspectives of
collection, consumption, presentation
and production. It explores trends
in American economic history,
from industrialization to the rise
of consumer culture, with a focus
on women’s contributions as
producers, consumers, designers
and entrepreneurs.
As Stuart Weitzman writes in
the exhibition catalogue, shoes
“tell an almost infinite number of
stories. Stories of conformity and
independence, culture and class,
politics and performance.”
Among the highlights in Walk This Way
are a pair of pink silk embroidered
boudoir shoes created especially for
the 1867 Paris Universal Exposition
that reflected Western consumers’
clamor for “exotic” textiles in an era
of European imperial expansion. The
includes artifacts from the
New-York Historical Society, including
brass and bronze shoe buckles from
a Revolutionary War officer’s shoes
(1760-83) that were excavated in
Washington Heights and a pair of
leather child’s shoes (ca. 1904) that
were recovered from a victim of the
tragic General Slocum steamship fire.
By the second half of the 20th
century, women designers had
made a significant impact but were
often hidden behind the scenes.
The exhibition profiles Beth Levine
(1914-2006) — the “First Lady of
Shoe Design”—who ran Herbert
Levine, Inc., a company named for her
husband because “it seemed right
that a shoemaker was a man.” Levine
introduced new materials and designs
like the “Spring-o-lator,” a strip of
elastic tape to keep backless shoes
on the wearer’s feet.
The exhibition includes a selection of
artists’ “fantasy shoes” commissioned
by Jane Gershon Weitzman for
display in Stuart Weitzman store
windows. Also on view will be ten
unique shoe designs by finalists in the
Stuart Weitzman Footwear Design
competition, submitted by New York
metro-area high school students in the
categories of socially conscious fashion
or material innovation.
The exhibit opens until October 8,
2018. For details, visit
1 Buttoned boots, 1870, by Stuart Weitzman. Leather. Copyright © 1870 Stuart Weitzman. Photo courtesy of Glenn Castellano, New-York Historical Society.
2 T-strap pumps, 11937, by Stuart Weitzman. Velvet, leather. Copyright © 1937 Stuart Weitzman. Photo courtesy of Glenn Castellano, New-York Historical Society.
3 Peep-toe platform shoes, 1972, by Terry de Havilland. Suede, leather. Copyright © 1972 Terry de Havilland. Photo courtesy of Glenn Castellano, New-York Historical Society.
6 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
with a hand-made look.
resh Artists, a nonprofit
empowering children through
art, launched the Artistic Bedding
Collection by Fresh Artists for Crate &
Kids in March. The Crate & Barrel
new children’s brand features work
by 11 kids, ages 10-14, who
participated in Design Camp — a
real-life experience with designers,
organized around the development
of products going to market.
“In our studio, Philadelphia artist
Kimberly Ellen Hall explained the
process of designing, branding and
marketing a collection to the 11
kids. Then she worked with them to
develop the themes of ‘kingdom’ and
‘in the forest” for the Collection,”
said Barbara Chandler Allen, founder
of Fresh Artists.
All of the more than 80 illustrations
The collection includes a comforter
with designs outlined in colorful
embroidery, sheets, pillow cases, a
pillow sham and two bright throw
pillows with a lion and a giant pink
flower. Both pillows are in earthy,
neutral colors with pops of bright
color. A mottled, mossy green rug
was inspired by colors on a paper
towel one of the young designers
used to blot her paintbrushes.
were catalogued, scanned and
then curated by the Crate & Kids
designers into Crate & Barrel’s Artistic
Bedding Collection by Fresh Artists.
The drawings became elements of a
coordinated set of children’s bedding
Celebrating its 10th Anniversary,
Fresh Artists engages vulnerable
children as partners in philanthropy
by widely exhibiting children’s artwork
in highly visible and unexpected
places, and by providing art supplies
and innovative art programs to underfunded public schools.
For details visit
4,5 Young artists participating in Design Camp by Fresh Artists. Image courtesy of Barbara Allen. 6 Young artist’s drawing used as the basis for Crate & Kids bed
set. Image courtesy of Barbara Allen. 7 Finished Crate & Kids product. Image courtesy of Barbara Allen.
headlines &DETAILS
The following is the list of recipients
in craft, traditional arts and visual arts
• Julia Galloway, Potter –
Missoula, MT
• Tony Marsh, Ceramicist –
San Pedro, CA
• Martinez Studio (Wence Martinez,
Sandra Martinez), Weaver & Painter/
Designer – Sturgeon Bay, WI
• Warren Newton Seelig, Sculptor –
Rockland, ME
nited States Artists (USA)
announced its 2018 USA Fellows,
and this year, 45 artists and collectives
across nine creative disciplines will
receive unrestricted $50,000 cash
awards. The Fellowships honor
creative accomplishments and support
ongoing artistic and professional
development, however the recipients
choose to spend the funding.
USA Fellowships are awarded to
artists at all stages of their careers,
and from every corner of the United
States, through a nomination and
panel selection process. Spread
across all creative disciplines including
Architecture & Design, Craft, Dance,
Media, Music, Theater & Performance,
Traditional Arts, Visual Art and Writing,
the Fellows represent a cross-section
of American arts and letters.
To date, USA has distributed over
$22 million to more than 500 artists
and collaboratives. USA’s 2018 Fellows
were selected by a panel of experts in
each discipline, then approved by
the organization’s board. They were
drawn from a peer-nominated pool
of over 500 outstanding applicants.
This year’s Fellows come from Alaska
and Puerto Rico, from New Mexico and
Maine, and everywhere in between.
The unique feature of the Fellowships
is its unrestricted nature — artists may
use the funds for whatever they need,
be it medical expenses, housing, their
artistic practice, or anything else. This
flexibility allows Fellows the financial
freedom to take risks and push their
careers forward in ways that might
not otherwise have been possible.
“We are thrilled to be able to make
these awards possible and to provide a
windfall to help support artists so that
they can continue to be keepers of our
collective humanity,” said United States
Artists Board Chair Steven H. Oliver.
Founded in 2006 by the Ford,
Rockefeller, Rasmuson and Prudential
Foundations, USA is among the
largest providers of unrestricted
support to artists working and living
in the United States. To date, USA
has provided more than $22 million
in the form of unrestricted $50,000
awards directly to more than 500
artists working in all disciplines and
at every career stage. For more
information on the 2018 USA Fellows,
• Patti Warashina, Ceramicist –
Seattle, WA
• DY Begay, Textile Artist –
Santa Fe, NM
• Sonya Kelliher-Combs, Mixed-Media
Artist - Anchorage, AK
• Dawn Nichols Walden, Basketry
Fiber Artist - Vulcan, MI
• Cassils, Multidisciplinary and
Performance Artist Los Angeles, CA
• Abigail DeVille, Installation Artist –
Bronx, NY
• Vanessa German, Sculptor & Citizen
Artist - Pittsburgh, PA
• Pepón Osorio, Installation Artist Philadelphia, PA
• Ebony G. Patterson, Painter &
Mixed-Media Artist - Lexington, KY
• Dread Scott, Multidisciplinary
Artist - Brooklyn, NY
• Cauleen Smith, Multidisciplinary
Artist – Los Angeles, CA
8 Installation view of Vanessa German in MATRIX 174 / I Come To Do A Violence To The Lie, by Vanessa German. adsworth Atheneum Museum of Art,
Hartford, CT, 2016. Photo: Allen Phillips / Wadsworth Atheneum. Courtesy of the artist and Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York. 9 How to Draw Dogs And Puppies, by J.C.
Amberlyn. Published by Monacelli Press.
8 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
rtist and animal lover J.C. Amberlyn
has just published two books: How
to Draw Dogs and Puppies
and How to Draw Cats and
Kittens including all canine
and feline ages, breeds and
The cat book includes
instructions on the many
shapes of the species with
all their idiosyncrasies from
mysterious to cute, reclining
to predatory. Amberlyn
includes basics on
materials and techniques
and insight into the
behaviors that make felines unique.
“Knowing your subject,” she said,
“gives you greater ability to depict it
realistically.” Topics in this book include
skeletal structure, kitten proportions at
different ages, how to draw fur—short
and long hair, how
to convey motion
and how to draw
expressions, such as
happy, relaxed and
In her dog book,
her lessons include
instructions for a variety
of dogs from Chihuahuas
to Irish Wolfhounds, from
Basset Hounds to Salukis.
Using the AKC (American
Kennel Club) breed
categories, Amberlyn
breaks the book down by breed
groupings, including the working group,
sporting group, non-sporting group,
herding, terriers, hounds and toy.
Amberlyn is an artist, animator, graphic
novelist, photographer, naturalist and
animal lover. She’s also the author
of How to Draw Manga Characters;
Drawing Manga Animals, Chibis, and
Other Adorable Creatures; The Artist’s
Guide to Drawing Animals; and Drawing
Wildlife. She’s involved in animal rescue
and advocacy, working to improve local
shelter conditions, and create more
awareness and support for animal
rescues. She fosters and transports dogs
from high-kill shelters to no-kill shelters
where they will be cared for until they
can find a new home.
Both books, published by Monacelli
Press, sell for $17.
It’s back! Cobalt Teal
Heavy Body Color.
In 2012 GOLDEN genuine Cobalt Teal was removed from all
acrylic color lines when the pigment became unavailable. Many
artists embraced our Teal replacement, but for others there was
simply no replacing it. But now it’s back! A little deeper than
the original, but with the opacity and mixing qualities that
made it one of our most popular colors. Check out the
new Cobalt Teal and nine other new colors at your local
art supply store or
©2018 Golden Artist Colors, Inc., 188 Bell Rd., New Berlin, NY 13411
headlines &DETAILS
eural is a digital canvas
controlled by a mobile app
that allows viewers to change the
art inside the frame with a wave of
the hand. Users browse individual
artworks and curated playlists, and
then customize settings through
the app or an online dashboard.
You can “favorite” works, curate and
schedule art playlists. You can also
adjust the canvas’ light sensitivity via
the ambient light sensor and upload
your own artwork or photography. The
Meural Canvas is available in three
designs. Crafted from sustainablysourced American hardwood, the
Leonora ($595) is made from poplar,
available in black and white, and
named for artist Leonora Carrington.
The Winslow ($695), is made from
black walnut, and named for painter
Winslow Homer.
If you want to see both your own art
and others’, Meural has a catalogue
of works sourced from museums
and cultural institutions, which
includes Rembrandt and van Gogh,
NASA satellite imagery, Condé Nast
fashion photography and works by
contemporary creators. Also included
are copyrighted works from the estates
of artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, Marc
Chagall and Jackson Pollock. Each
piece in the Meural collection that is
not in the public domain is paid for
through licensing deals with rights
holders and individual artists.
“We’ve heard stories of people
discovering a piece of art they love
on their Meural Canvas, and then
traveling to see the original in a
museum. We’ve seen users buy an
original piece from an artist whose
work they found in our library,” said
Vladimir Vukicevic, Meural Co-founder
and CEO.
“As a working artist, I am able to gain
exposure to an audience that will learn
about my process. Meural does this
with their ability to share artist bios
along with artwork statements that are
connected to each work of art,” said
artist Julie Siracusa.
Meural was founded in 2014 by
Vukicevic and Jerry Hu and incubated
out of an artists’ collective in New
York City. To learn more about Meural,
visit To explore Meural’s
library visit
0 Painting on a White Meural canvas in situ. Image courtesy of Lauren McInnes. ! Bedroom detail featuring a White Meural canvas. Image courtesy of Lauren McInnes.
10 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
Tracy Price is the 2018 Professional Artist Mentor of the Year! Her student, Alicia Baucom
had this to say about her: Tracy is by far one of the top teachers anyone could ever hope
to have in their lifetime. It just makes it that much better that she’s also an art teacher. I’ve
always been creative and enjoyed art since I was old enough to pick up a crayon, but Tracy
took that enjoyment and turned it into a passion. Mrs. Price initiated the very first art club at
Piedmont High School, but it wasn’t just an “art club,” it was the National Art Honor Society. She
also organized the very first Very Special Arts Festival in the county and spearheaded it for 15 years or
so after. She’s retiring from teaching this year and I think being recognized as the mentor of the year now would
be very fitting. I graduated high school 23 years ago and I still consider her a friend, as well as my teacher.
With a nomination from Stan Dornfest, Miles Laventhall is a
mentor who gets an honorable mention in this year’s Mentor of
the Year search.
With a nomination from Michelle Fitzurka, Matt
Tommey is a mentor who gets an honorable
mention in this year’s Mentor of the Year search.
Dornfest had this to say about Laventhall: I have been painting
my entire life (over 70 years) and very seriously for the last 25
years. Nine years ago, I had the privilege and good fortune to
sign up for a class given by Miles Laventhall. The experience
was so profound that I never stopped taking his class. I have
a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Cooper Union and have
studied at NYU, Silvermine Guild Art Center, Art Students League
and the School of Visual Arts. I’ve had many brilliant instructors,
but Miles stands out as an inspirational,
caring, giving guide on the artistic
journey that I am engaged in. Sales
and awards have come my way and
given me much satisfaction, but
the greatest experience I have and
look forward to every week for the
last nine years is my joyful journey
and inspirational time in Miles’
class. Besides being a brilliant
teacher, and superb painter, he is
also a caring, giving man.
Fitzurka had this to say about Tommey: Matt
has been incredibly encouraging and is very
knowledgeable about thriving in a creative
business. I am a member of his Facebook
“tribe” where he regularly answers questions
we have in every area of concern — personal,
spiritual, professional. He relates to us through
his own transparent journey and gives practical
advice. I can say that he has
inspired and motivated
me to become all that
I was created to be!
I am so grateful
for his mentorship
and willingness
to share his
strategies to help
me to excel in my
artistic pursuits.
Juan Ramiro Torres
Building a Fine Arts Career on a Foundation of Graphic Design
ike many artists, Juan Ramiro Torres wondered how
he might be able to parlay his artistic abilities into a
comfortable full-time career. He landed on a fairly common
choice: “Before I started college, I had to take a position on
whether I would study fine art or commercial art. I chose to
study graphic design.” He chose this, as many others have,
because he didn’t think he could lead a financially comfortable life as a fine
artist. “My real passion was painting, but I thought I’m not going to make
enough money to have a good life.”
Graphic design allowed Ramiro to create the sort of life he wanted. He
started his own graphic design company, hired other artists and built a team
to work with him. It wasn’t easy, but the
lessons he learned in these early business
endeavors would serve him well when
he did finally transition into creating
art full time. “Everything I learned as
a graphic designer and as an owner of a
company is useful to me to run my career
as a fine artist. Right now, I know how
to deal with the media, I know how to
create good photographs of my work, I
know how to write a press release. I know
about how to run a business.”
1 Loved Ones, 2016, by Juan Ramiro Torres. Acrylic on canvas, 12” x 12”. Private collection in Paris. Copyright © 2016 Juan Ramiro Torres. Used by permission of the artist.
2 Panophobia, 2017, by Juan Ramiro Torres. Acrylic on canvas, 18” x 36”. Copyright © 2017 Juan Ramiro Torres. Used by permission of the artist.
12 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
How to run a business wasn’t the only
thing he learned after leaving school.
showcase his passions than a tool for
drumming up business. “My website is
more to show what I’m doing with my
students, and what I did with my career,
but not exactly for selling things.”
For Ramiro, the transition from graphic
design to fine art was a gradual one. He
had his business and his clients to think
of, but his passion for fine art never left
him. Slowly, he started painting and
making art for himself when he wasn’t
working. And as that art started selling,
he saw that the financially comfortable
life he’d wanted in school was possible
after all.
Part of this transition was also about
teaching. When his daughter was five
years old, she started to draw and paint.
“At that point, I was working for the
newspapers, so I took her to art classes.
Then the teacher moved to Florida, so
I took her to another teacher, and then
that teacher moved to Florida too. So,
then I couldn’t find another teacher
for her, and I said ‘Well, let’s paint
together.’” According to Ramiro, she
liked painting with him for a while, but
then, as kids are wont to do, she grew
bored, and it fell to him to come up with
a way to keep her interested.
“So, I said, ‘Well if you want to invite
some friends, we can make a group and
paint together.’ Not teaching, but you
know, painting together.” What began
as a way to keep his daughter engaged in
art quickly turned into Ramiro offering
lessons. As his daughter’s friends
expressed interest in their painting
group, they also had to admit that they
didn’t really know how to paint. “Well I
can teach you,” Ramiro said. And so, his
first painting class was born.
As he embarked on unofficially teaching
this class, all for free, the students
improved their skills and were having
fun. They told their friends, and their
friends told their friends, and the entire
thing snowballed from there. Now,
Ramiro teaches art professionally and
has over 50 students at any given time.
Ramiro thinks that people are more
likely to make a connection with his
art if they see it in person, and perhaps
get to talk to someone who knows
about the piece and the artist. Born
in Peru, Ramiro’s Latin roots are
important to him and to his art. With
a strong Incan influence, his paintings
often depict people with Andean
features in contemporary settings.
The themes of love and the universality
of the human condition come through
clearly in his paintings.
In spite of these universal themes, he
doesn’t feel as though his customers
respond as well to buying art online. “They
want to see the piece. It might look nice on
the screen, but they don’t want to spend
$2,000 or even $1,000 on something on
the internet.” His sales come from the
multiple galleries and exhibitions he’s
featured in around the world.
What started as a simple idea to help his
daughter, has blossomed into a major
part of his art business
His pride for his students and his joy
of teaching shine through in Ramiro’s
online presence. His website features a
“Pic of the Week” and a “My Students”
section, and both showcase his students
and their work. Notably absent from
his website is any mention of the price
of his artwork. That’s because he wants
to use his website as more of a place to
With that in mind, it’s easy to see why
his website is more dedicated to his
students’ works than his own. The
students and their parents “like to show
their friends and family that they’re
doing the work, and they’re important,
and they’re exhibiting and they’re
acquiring some amount of pride
through their work.”
When asked about his guiding principal
when it comes to art, he said, “A
community with no art is a community
with no culture.” How refreshing. PA
To learn more about Juan Ramiro Torres,
and to see the work of his students, visit
his website,
Adrian Alexander is the associate editor of
Professional Artist. He holds a bachelor’s
in English and creative writing from Rollins
College. Contact him at AAlexander@
3 Wanderer, 2017, by Juan Ramiro Torres. Acrylic on canvas, 30” x 24”. Private collection in New York. Copyright © 2017 Juan Ramiro Torres. Used by permission of the artist.
4 Bien Padre, 2012, by Juan Ramiro Torres. Acrylic on canvas, 20” x 30”. Copyright © 2012 Juan Ramiro Torres. Used by permission of the artist.
Patience is a bitter plant, but it has
a sweet fruit.
~ German Proverb
WAITING — wait•ing /’weǰtǰΰ/
noun - the act of waiting (remaining inactive in one
place while expecting something) ⤻ syn: wait
It does not matter how slowly you
go, so long as you do not stop.
~ Confucius
PATIENCE — paຘtience /peǰȉǟns/
noun - the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble,
or suffering without getting angry or upset. ⤻ syn:
forbearance, tolerance, restraint, self-restraint,
1 HOONOO, 2017, by Wayne White. Acrylic on inkjet print on canvas, 25” x 21”.
Courtesy of Joshua Liner Gallery. Copyright © 2017 Wayne White. Used by permission of the artist.
Self-awareness is key. Think
about the last time you were
impatient: Where were you?
What was taking place?
What caused it? Why were
you in such a hurry?
The answers to these
questions may help you (1)
discover why you’re feeling
a certain way; (2) determine
the most appropriate
responses to squelch these
issues; and (3) manage and
strengthen your abilities
for successful waiting and
Signs of impatience can
include one or more of the
Physical tension
Continuous sighs
Thoughts spinning out of
Pencil (or pen) twirling
Hair twisting
Finger or foot tapping
Making decisions too
quickly, without thinking
things through
whatever you’re striving for, the better you become at your
craft. You develop more discipline, and your skills improve.
Very likely, you’ve already experienced at one time
or another a lack of patience; rushing to get the last
resulted in the spilling of paint or a ruined drawing or
worse. Patience needs to be considered as important a tool
and resource as your pencils, erasers, paints, brushes, easel
and canvas.
The true gift of patience is that with more time, you begin
to see what you’re working on, or striving for, with fresh
eyes. You edit appropriately and more effectively. You add
a missing color. You hone the perspective to ensure the
depth is correct.
what you’re doing.
against, it’s guaranteed that at one time or another you’ll
thrust upon you. This can make you miserable if you haven’t
all else, continue to hold strong to your conviction that
you’re on the right path towards achieving your vision.
Waiting and patience must go hand-in-hand with trust.
You’ve always had the power, my
dear; you just had to learn it for
yourself. ~ Glinda, The Wizard of Oz
TRUST — /’trǟst
noun - firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or
strength of someone or something; certainty based
on past experience; complete confidence in a person
or plan, etc. ⤻ syn: confidence, belief, faith, certainty,
assurance, conviction, credence, reliance
When things seem to come to a standstill, you’ll need
to discover for yourself how to not get frustrated. You’ll
Remember that very likely things are happening toward
the outcome you hope for, but you just don’t know exactly
how that is unfolding as the proverbial ball is in someone
else’s court.
Most importantly, and above all else, don’t give up. Your
dream project may not fall in place within the timeframe you
had hoped, or perhaps even in the way you hoped, but it’s
guaranteed that if you do give up, it won’t ever happen.
2 Over Easy, 2014, by Mimi Pond. Graphic novel published by Drawn & Quarterly. Copyright © 2014 Mimi Pond. Used by permission of the artist.
MIMI POND ( is a
cartoonist, illustrator, humorist and
writer. Her graphic memoir, The
Customer is Always Wrong, the
sequel to 2014’s critically-acclaimed
Over Easy, was published in 2017.
Pond has created comics for the Los
Angeles Times, Seventeen Magazine,
National Lampoon and many other
books. She has also written for
Simpsons and episodes of Designing
Women and Pee-wee’s Playhouse.
Patience is being willing to keep going
with something even if things are
going wrong. Otherwise, you wouldn’t
need patience, right? It’s being willing
to do something over and over and
over until it’s the way you want it.
Patience is being willing to wait
and get it right. Get it the way you
know that it should be. And, equally
important, it’s critical to know when
to let go. Kenny Rogers said it best,
‘You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em
and know when to fold ‘em…’
You can’t put creativity on a schedule.
You have to actively engage the muse,
but you have to acknowledge that the
muse doesn’t always come when you
want her.
I always think of ballet as a metaphor
for patience and diligence. It’s like
the diligence a ballet dancer has to
get up every morning, stand at the
bar, and do the same stretches and
exercises every single day to keep her
muscles limber. Drawing is the same
way. Writing is the same way. You must
keep your muscles limber.
Nothing happens unless you start.
Colored Pencil—Plus
And you have to start, even when you
don’t know how the day will unfold or
if you’ll be able to achieve what you
want to that day. When I hear the word
“patience,” I have an image of myself,
sitting at my desk, not getting up and
with. Trying not to cringe.
You have to make yourself comfortable
with discomfort. Stop the negative
voices in your head. And never lose faith.
And then, when all else fails, if I’m
anxious and edgy, I go to the thrift
store and it always makes me feel
better. Sometimes it’s good just to
take a walk.
You need to understand that success
doesn’t happen overnight. And it’s a
roller coaster. If you keep active, you
have to realize that things will change
and you just have to keep pushing
forward. You have to have faith in the
Explore his! is the juried
5 ST E P S
online exhibition from the
Colored Pencil Society of
America that encourages ine
artists who work primarily in
colored pencil to experiment
with adding other media.
he exhibition ofers more
than $5,000 in awards.
Plan now to enter the 2019
Explore his! 15 exhibition
between September 15 and
November 15, 2018.
Learn more about CPSA and
see the Explore his! 14
online exhibition at:
Become a positive voice
for colored pencil ine art
Primal houghts (22" x 14")
Colored pencil and watercolor
Kate Lagaly, CPSA, CPX (NC)
Juried into Explore his! 14
Since 1990
Use Gigi Rosenberg’s step-by-step
worksheet to write and finesse your
60-second response to “What do you
do?” Download at
Gigi Rosenberg | Artist Coach & Editor of Professional Artist
creative process and faith in yourself that
this is your path and that your work is
important. You need to value and honor
your work.
is an American artist, art director,
illustrator, puppeteer and much more.
Born and raised in Chattanooga, TN,
White has used his memories of the
South to create inspired works for
His successes include three Emmys as
Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and Billboard and
MTV Music Video Awards. In 2012, he
was the subject of the award winning
documentary, Beauty is Embarrassing.
More recently, White has created
been exhibited internationally.
When I think of the word ‘patience,’ I
think of effort and positivity. Patience is
really a positive trait. It can only make
any situation better or easier to deal with.
I think that patience looks like The
Quaker Oats Man. Benignly smiling
and calmly waiting. He makes you feel
virtuous. Patience sounds like quietness
— a place within yourself that you can go
to. A calm center.
But, patience is also about suppressing
frustration. It’s learning to talk yourself
out of being frustrated. Most people
don’t come by it naturally. It’s learned
through life experiences. It’s part of the
process of growing up.
And there are different kinds of patience,
depending on the situation, because it’s
easy to be patient waiting for something
good. Then there’s the type of patience
you need when you’re dealing with a
situation that is irrational, like a toxic
person. That’s the hardest kind of
patience to learn.
Like most people, I’ve gotten better
with age. I’m most patient with my
craft — when I’m painting or drawing.
That’s where I’m most successful in being
patient. I can see improvements on that
as I’ve gained experience. Also, I’m most
patient when I can sense a payoff. When
the project I’m working on is going well.
Answer: It might be something
only learned through experience.
Nevertheless, below are tips, techniques
and strategies that may help along the
Slow down
Learn to meditate
Breathe slowly and deeply
When I know that it will turn out
all right.
Patience has enabled me to really
learn my craft and get where I am
now. It’s helped me learn new skills,
to apply them and it worked. That’s
very satisfying.
It’s hard to teach patience, but I’d
recommend artists reading The
Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. I read
this a few years ago, and it’s really
helped me. This book is straightforward
and applicable. It’s all about staying
calm and being patient. The world is
not out to get you. You are the master
of yourself. Take responsibility.
And always be grateful you’re an artist.
It’s not easy. Patience reminds me to
be grateful for having the opportunity
to even do the work I do, the projects
I do. To be grateful for being an
artist and being able to be creative.
Gratitude snaps me out of any negative
thoughts or emotions that I have.
* Mimi and Wayne are married and
Cook —from scratch
Take a yoga class
Take a bike ride
Go for a walk, jog or swim
Keep a journal
Stop multi-tasking
Count to 10… or 100, if necessary
Laugh… and then laugh some more
the cat as the animal embodiment of
patience: the feline nature is all about
patience. Most especially the way it
hunts. Sitting, stalking, waiting — for
the right moment to strike. PA
Judith Teitelman brings 36 years of
experience in helping grassroots, midsized organizations and large institutions
strengthen their management and resource
generating capacities and effectively
plan for the future. She is also a mentor,
professional advisor and trainer to artists
working in all disciplines.
Teitelman spent nearly 11 years, betwixt
and between consulting and teaching and
travel and daily life, writing her first novel.
This was followed by the search for a literary
agent, which took an additional year and
seven months — the fast track, she learned
from many fellow writers. Then it took
another three plus years for her to find her
ideal publisher. Patience and persistence
triumphed: Guesthouse for Ganesha a tale
of love, loss and spirit reclaimed, will be
published by She Writes Press in May 2019
— 18 years after she started. Teitelman can
be contacted at:
3 >ˆi`æLÃÌÀ>VÌ*>ˆ˜Ìˆ˜}Ã"v/…i-iÛi˜ÌˆiÃ] 2017, by Wayne White. Acrylic on paper, 22” x 30”.
Courtesy of Joshua Liner Gallery. Copyright © 2017 Wayne White. Used by permission of the artist.
18 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
By Eric Maisel, Ph.D.
Be Ready for the Fifth Day of Inspiration
n artist had better not wait
to be inspired before
beginning to work, since
inspiration typically only comes to
artists who are willing to work when
not inspired. Tchaikovsky put it this
way: “I’m inspired about every fifth
day, but I only get that fifth day if I
show up the other four days.” This
is one of the great truths about the
creative process: That if you sit on
your hands waiting for inspiration,
you will likely still be sitting there
next month or next year.
“A week of drudgery
may get you only
a split second of
meaning — but you
wouldn’t have gotten
that split second
That being the case, how can you
stay motivated on all those days when
you aren’t feeling inspired? Here are
five tips:
1. Create and maintain an art
If you get in the habit of showing
up every day to your art, come
heck or high water, then you have
solved the problem of a lack of
motivation on those uninspired
days. Yes, of course, you may
skip days, as you have other life
purposes, duties and reasons for
being, but don’t skip many. If you
let three or four days pass, six
months may vanish.
2. Remember that work
in the service of
meaning may not
feel meaningful.
Meaning is a
that we
crave. But
to get that
feeling —
to get that
fleeting sense
of meaningfulness
from the painting,
novel or sonata we’re
working on — we must work,
even if the work is tedious, even
if we doubt ourselves, even if the
work is taxing. A week of drudgery
may get you only a split second of
meaning — but you wouldn’t have
gotten that split second otherwise.
3. Possess a tactic or two
for getting inspired.
What delights you? Certain music?
The works of a certain artist?
Certain quotations? For me, if I dip
into the notebooks of Camus, I find
myself drifting off to a place that
promotes rich writing. What works
for you? Make a list of “the ways I
know to get inspired.” Keep that
list handy and make use of it when
the dull days begin to mount up.
4. Hold “inspiration” as a reward,
not a gift.
Mental models matter. If you hold
the creative process as something
outside of you that you’re
searching for, waiting for or aching
for, you’ll let long stretches of time
slip away. If you hold the creative
process as more like cultivating
a garden, where toil and mystery
meet, then you’ll water and weed
that garden and some amazing
flowers will appear.
Hold inspiration as
something you
5. Remember
that the fifth
day is coming.
how the
process works.
Inspiration must
be earned by
paying attention to
the work at hand, by
being with the work — not
by saying things like “I must have no
talent” or “I have no idea what I’m
doing.” What you want to say instead
is: “Process.” Let that rich, powerful
word remind you that the creative
process is exactly as it is: the way to
wonderful, occasional inspiration.
Because inspiration is only an
occasional guest, not everything we
do will feel or look inspired. We may
make a few dull paintings for every
lively one: so be it. We may spend
a month unhappy that our creations
look so dull: so be it. There’s a reason
that every great artist’s work has a
varied impact on us: Some of it is
more successful and some of it is less
successful, some of it is more inspired
and some of it is less inspired. Every
artist must live with that reality, you
and me included. PA
Eric Maisel is America’s foremost creativity
coach and the author of more than 40 books
including Secrets of a Creativity Coach,
Making Your Creative Mark, Coaching
the Artist Within, Fearless Creating, The
Van Gogh Blues, and Mastering Creative
Anxiety. Dr. Maisel presents two live onehour teleclasses every month with the
Academy for Optimal Living. You can visit
Dr. Maisel at or contact him
1 Lyrical Cascade, 2013, by Susan E. Klinger. Soft pastel on sanded paper, 14” x 21”. Copyright © 2013 Susan E. Klinger. Used by permission of the artist.
20 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
ost of us are
balancing paying
work for clients or
commissions with
non-paying work or
what some call their “heart art”—
the art they need to make even if
nobody’s paying.
But I know that this non-deadline art, which we
make for love rather than for money, is often on the
backburner because the client or commission has an
outside deadline, and few of us ever miss a deadline.
So how do you finish work when there’s no set finish
date? How do you get creative work — your heart
art — done when there’s no client, no commission
and nobody else’s deadline but your own desire? I
posed this question to four professional visual artists
this month — all of whom get a lot of “non-deadline
work” completed and into the world.
2 Juggling So Much, 2016, by Elaine Luther. Wood hoops and ball, 12.5” x 9” x 8”. Copyright © 2016 Elaine Luther.. Used by permission of the artists.
3 Treasure of Great Price, 2018, by Elizabeth Busey. Reduction linocut on Rives BFK, 12” x 12”. Copyright © 2018 Elizabeth Busey. Used by permission of the artist.
Here’s what these artists told me
about their struggles and how they
overcame them:
Elizabeth Busey is a printmaker, and
most of the work she finishes does not
have a deadline. Early in her art studies,
she was warned by a professor that
“art, unlike other academic endeavors,
simply takes the time it takes. Pulling an
all-nighter will not necessarily mean you
will finish,” she said. With her prints, this
is especially true because “my hands can only take so many hours of carving or
printing. So, slow steady progress is crucial if I am to finish,” she said.
Busey has a regular blog and newsletter that she uses to bring her audience
into her studio and this practice to show work regularly adds the right amount
of pressure to keep her producing. Her social media has become an effective
motivator for her.
ˆâ>Li̅ÕÃiÞ\ My reduction linocuts can take from three weeks to over
a month to complete. I try to write a blog about every week and send out an
e-newsletter that compiles these blogs once a month. As often as possible, I share
works in progress and completed linocuts with my readers and collectors. My goal
is to have new work to unveil in each newsletter. This is always in the back of my
mind as I decide my work schedule for the week. Do I have enough time to print
three layers? Luckily, for online showing, the linocut can truly be hot off the press.
4 œ˜Ì>“ˆ˜>Ìi`7>ÌiÀ›£ä\,iyiV̈œ˜Ã, 2017-2018, by Jean M. Judd. Hand stitched thread on hand dyed, rust pigmented textile, 32.75” x 43”.
Copyright © 2017-2018 Jean M. Judd. Used by permission of the artist.
22 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
I also send postcards to my mailing list
four times per year. I have discovered that
people save these and put them up in their
kitchens and offices, so I always want to have
my newest and best work printed on lovely,
glossy paper, ready to send.
Most of the art that Susan Klinger creates
does not have a deadline. She works in soft
pastel on sanded paper creating realistic
landscapes. She particularly enjoys painting
reflections in water or on glass. One of
Klinger’s techniques for keeping her on task
is to participate in “artist sprints” which in her
case includes creating a painting a day.
Susan Klinger: I had been photographing
skies, particularly sunrise and sunset for some
time. I had read about the idea of doing a
painting a day and decide to try it with my
sky images. This was a self-imposed deadline,
so I only had to be accountable to myself.
I worked small and then used these small
paintings as source material for larger works
later. I set a timer and allowed myself one
hour to complete each piece. I don’t consider
myself a fast painter, so that time deadline
was going to be a challenge. Or so I thought.
~ Elizabeth Busey
That first small painting turned out better
than I had anticipated, and I was hooked.
I found the time restriction didn’t allow me to
overwork the painting, and the work was fresh
and spontaneous. At the end of the month,
I had 24 mini paintings that really excited me.
Just seeing
the unfinished
work nags at my
urging me to
keep working.
To continue the momentum, I chose one of
my favorites from that series, and completed
a larger, more “finished” painting. I gave
myself a goal of creating 12 “sky” paintings
that could be used to compile a calendar. Of
course, that necessitated I complete them
by mid-fall if I wanted to have time to have
calendars printed, so again, I created my
own deadline. In the meantime, I shared this
idea with my gallerist. He loved the idea and
offered to host a solo show for my sky series
— larger “finished” paintings, along with the
24 smaller studies.
So now, I have a show planned for the fall.
What started as a non-deadline experiment
resulted in a real deadline project.
Jean Judd is a textile artist who uses dyepainted backgrounds, rust pigmentation
and hand-stitching in her work. She creates
her art first and then seeks venues or juried
exhibitions to enter. “I do not create artwork
for a specific exhibition,” she said. “I find it
too difficult to do my best work in this fashion.
The focus is too narrow, and if the artwork
doesn’t sell at that one exhibit, it’s difficult to
find another buyer. I don’t like to have artwork
that languishes in the studio.”
So, how does she stay on track to get work
made without a deadline?
Jean Judd: Early on, I discovered that the
best way for me to work was to have a
schedule that I adhere to consistently. I use an
electronic calendar on my computer (Outlook)
to plan my studio work schedule and personal
schedule. I also utilize a small white board
that has one month on it. Having to fill in this
white board each month helps me to refine
and prioritize what I’m going to work on the
next 30 days.
Commission work has top priority in my
studio schedule. I plan out my studio days for
several months in advance so I can meet the
deadlines on the commission work and still
have a three-hour block of time to spend on
non-deadline work each day.
I spend nine hours at least five days a week
working on either non-deadline work or
commission work. I limit myself to only one
and a half hours a day of email/computer time.
5 Emancipation of the Sun, 2016, by Elizabeth Busey. Reduction linocut on Rives BFK, 25" x 40". Copyright © 2016 Elizabeth Busey. Used by permission of the artist.
JJ: My rust pigmented piece, Shadow
of the Past, was a piece that stalled
out early on. This piece was one of
the early experiments when I began
using antique ironwork to create the
background for my work. I began this
piece on November 23, 2009. It hung on
the wall of my studio for several years. I
would move it, cover it with other work,
rediscover it and avoid it. I didn’t feel
that it was what I had imagined. The
piece wasn’t singing to me as I thought
it would.
In April of 2015, I had finally grown
tired of trying to find the solution and
decided to start stitching it and see
what developed as I worked from the
center out. After 179 hours of hand
work, it was completed September 2,
2015 and has now been shown in five
major fine art exhibitions and won over
$6,000 in prize money.
Elaine Luther makes assemblage sculptures about how much she hates
housework. The way Luther succeeds in making non-deadline work is to go out
and actively seek deadlines so that she has to get the work done.
Elaine Luther: External deadlines and external calls for art give me creative
constraints that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I don’t have clients, commissions
or deadlines, so I create them by responding to calls for art. Sometimes that
impulse ends up creating really significant work. Years ago, Tim McCreight, the
well-known metalsmith and author, had a call for art for your Secret Identity:
Make a pin about that.
Well, at the time, I had just lost an infant daughter, she had died, not suddenly,
but still, tragically. And I saw that call for art and I thought, “Oh my God, that’s
me. I DO have a secret identity, because when I meet new people, I have to
6 Shadow of the Past, 2009-2015, by Jean M. Judd. Hand stitched thread on rust pigmented textile, 42.75” x 25.75”. Copyright © 2009-2015 Jean M. Judd. Used by
Bottles, $2, 2013, by Susan E. Klinger. Soft pastel on pastelboard, 11” x 14”. Copyright © 2013 Susan E. Klinger. Used by permission of the artist.
8 Righteousness as a Mighty Stream, 2014, by Elizabeth Busey. Reduction linocut on Rives BFK, 25" x 40". Copyright © 2014 Elizabeth Busey. Used by permission of the artist.
permission of the artist. 7 Old
24 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
figure out when
to tell them this
thing about me.”
I was even afraid
to go to the post
office, where I
was a regular,
shipping out my
orders, because
they would ask
me, “Where’s the
baby?” (Maybe
they wouldn’t
have, but I was terrified.)
I made a pin, a wearable, heavy, silver one
that has a cast silver baby in the center, it’s
a casting of one of those plastic babies that
you might see at a baby shower, tied to
something with ribbon. And on the outer
edge of the pin, it says, “The Society of
Mothers of Dead Babies,” because that was
my secret identity.
And the pin has a black ribbon, with a tear in
it, because I met another mother in my sad
club, who was wearing a black button with a
ribbon with a tear in it and I asked her about
it and she said that it was based on a Jewish
tradition of making a tear in one’s clothes
when in mourning.
How lovely, I thought, to have a tradition to
show people, “I am in mourning, be gentle
with me.” We need that in the world. The
thing about that call for art though, was that
when I read it more closely, it said that the
pin was supposed to be about a security
identity that you wished you had.
For about three years, I was in a terrific local
makers group that met once a month, and at
the end of each meeting, we’d have to state
our goal for the next month. One month, I
said that I would publish my self-published
guide on photographing your jewelry by the
next month. There was no way I was going
to go back to that group of ladies and admit
that I hadn’t made my goal, so I hit that
publish button and made it happen.
After that, I was in a mastermind group for
a year that met once a month. For a while,
I needed lots of external accountability —
the groups, the friends — and then, over
time, it became internalized. I became my
own accountability buddy. I didn’t want to let
myself down, I had my own studio rules and
constraints and limits. It’s like the external
accountability systems were training wheels,
and then I graduated. PA
For a while,
I needed lots
of external
accountability —
the groups,
the friends —
and then, over
time, it became
~ Elaine Luther
Gigi Rosenberg is an author, artist coach and
editor of Professional Artist. She wrote The
Artist’s Guide to Grant Writing (Watson-Guptill)
blast through creative blocks and launch vibrant
marketing plans. To download “5 Steps to Your
Elevator Speech,” visit
That this call for art elicited this piece from
me, and started a whole series that now
includes seven pieces, is perhaps why I
continue to respond to calls for art.
EL: I have an artist friend who I report to.
Sometimes I email her with an iPhone photo
of what I accomplished in the studio that
day and write, “evidence of studio work.”
She writes back with a positive, encouraging
remark. This is part of our larger mutual
support system. Just knowing that she
expects me to be productive is motivating.
I don’t want her to ask, “So, what have you
made lately?” and not have a good answer.
9 The Society of Mothers of Dead Babies, 2006, by Elaine Luther. Fine silver, sterling silver, ribbon, approximately 7” overall, center medal portion is 3”
in diameter. Copyright © 2006 Elaine Luther. Used by permission of the artist. 0 Precarious Tea Party 2, 2015, by Elaine Luther. Wood hoops and miniature ceramic
dishes, 10” x 10” x 8”. Copyright © 2015 Elaine Luther. Used by permission of the artist.
printmaker, likes to
exploit the deliberate
nature of large-scale relief
printmaking as a way to
meditate on parts of the
world that fascinate her.
Her work has been featured
in juried shows such as the
Boston Printmaker’s North
American Biennial, the
Four Rivers Print Biennial
and the National Print
Exhibition at Artlink in
Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Her
linocuts are found in public,
corporate and private
collections in the United
States and Australia.
of Cushing, Wisconsin
has been constructing
textile artworks for over
28 years incorporating
dense hand stitching. She
also does pieced work
using commercial fabrics,
rust pigmentation and
non-traditional dyeing
techniques. Her work
can be found in private
collections in the United
States, Canada, Europe, as
well as the US Embassy in
Lima, Peru. She’s the author
of several books describing
her processes, artistic
philosophy and experiences
with artist residencies.
now retired from teaching
art at the high school
level, works mainly in
soft pastel. Realism is her
primary focus, but she
will explore abstraction
to express a different side
of her artist personality. Her
work has been exhibited
throughout the eastern
U.S. and has garnered
awards nationally. She
exhibits regularly at Off the
Wall Gallery in Skippack,
PA and is a signature
member of several
national art societies.
is a studio artist with a
sense of humor. Her mission
is to make art that’s brave,
vulnerable and true and
sometimes funny.
Her art has been exhibited
in Chicago and across
the country, including at
Gallery I/O in New Orleans
and Woman Made Gallery
in Chicago. Solo shows
include Harold Washington
Library and Orland Park
Public Libraries. She gives
speeches at conferences
and professional
association meetings.
! Fresh Citrus, 2011, by Susan E. Klinger. Soft pastel on sanded paper, 16” x 12”. Copyright © 2011 Susan E. Klinger. Used by permission of the artist. @ Three Little
Houses, 2017, by Elaine Luther. Box, wooden spool, wooden houses and bead, acrylic and text fragments, 6” x 5.5" x 1.25". Copyright © 2017 Elaine Luther.
Used by permission of the artist. # Rusted Lace #5, 2011-2017, by Jean M. Judd. Hand stitched thread on hand dyed, rust pigmented textile, 32.75” x 42.25”.
Copyright © 2011-2017 Jean M. Judd. Used by permission of the artist.
26 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
Use the Artists Thrive Tool to Identify Blind Spots
We all have blind spots — things we don’t know we don’t know.
And for artists, business blind spots can be the most challenging
of all. Those blind spots can be paralyzing, especially when
we don’t even know what to ask about marketing strategies,
management issues and building community. The Artists Thrive
Assessment ( is meant to help with those blind
spots by raising questions you may not have known to ask about
your practice and helping you identify which areas might matter
the most to you.
I wasn’t always
thinking, ‘Does
this make the
most sense at
this point in time
given how I am
positioned and
what is in my
~ Kayhan Irani
The Artists Thrive Assessment
art rubric for self-assessment, part survey and part loose roadmap for
entrepreneurial thinking, this tool was developed among a group of
eight individuals and more than 60 industry collaborators convened
by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation ( to
“establish national core standards” to help artists thrive, according to
Heather Pontonio, the Foundation’s Art Program Director.
he Artists hrive Assessment Tool emerged over a two-year period,
and it was the subject of discussion at the initial Artists hrive
Summit in Berea, Kentucky in the fall of 2017. A second summit is
planned for later this summer to continue the conversation, and that
community input is exactly what the Tremaine Foundation hoped
for when it irst shared the inkling of its idea for creating a national
evaluation tool. After all, the tool isn’t inal, and it may never be.
here is an open invitation for feedback, and the tool is continually
being reined based on that feedback.
he tool is divided into ive sections, each covering an aspect of
business and creative entrepreneurship relevant to artists: Practice,
Power, Planning & Capacity, Money, Community & Connecting.
Within each category, there are a series of statements on the topic
ranging from despondent (“I have no time for my art practice”) to
30 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
empowered (“I prioritize my practice with
studio time, relection time, collaborations,
travel and other activities that enrich
my art.”).
Part rubric for self-assessment,
part survey and part loose
roadmap for entrepreneurial
thinking, the Artists Thrive tool
was developed among a group
of eight individuals and more
than 60 industry collaborators
… to help artists thrive.
By identifying the statements that most
accurately relect an artist’s current practice
(both in the studio and in the business
side of the art), the assessment tool can
prompt relection about whether an artist
is struggling, thriving or somewhere in
between. he goal, of course, is for artists
to identify areas of growth and seek
support from industry experts, peers
and the community. he assessment is
“a dynamic measurement tool that invites
holistic valuation of artists,” and the
organizing team makes clear that “it is
aspirational, not judgmental.” he intent
of the tool isn’t to identify shortcomings
in individuals or programs, or prescribe a
singular deinition of success, but rather to
begin relective conversations about “what
1 Picture taken at visual artist Jinyu Li’s LAB presentation at QCA. Image courtesy of Daliana Rosa.
we are doing now, and what we could
do diferently.”
So what does this tool look like in practice?
Kayhan Irani’s Story
Kayhan Irani ( accepted an
invitation from Hoong Yee Krakauer,
the Executive Director of the Queens
Council on the Arts (queenscouncilarts.
org) to meet for cofee. Irani was one
of the irst twenty people to complete
a survey about business practices in
the arts based on the Artists hrive
Assessment tool. In exchange for their
time spent completing the assessment,
the irst twenty responders were
invited to meet with Krakauer to
discuss their creative practices and the
survey overall.
Krakauer feels strongly about ofering
something of value in exchange for
requests made of her constituents
— especially when the “something of
value” includes access and agency —
As an artist, I was following
my creativity and passion.
Krakauer really helped me to
kind of figure out where my
energy can be put and what
I can hold off on for later.
~ Kayhan Irani
and by ofering personalized consultations and advice to artists, she enabled them
to igure out how to apply the most relevant aspects of the rubric to their own
situations and practices. Plus, she gained additional insights into their work as
well, enabling her to capture stories, many of which were variations on the same
themes around audience engagement.
Irani didn’t recall her speciic answers to the survey questions, but she recalled
in exquisite detail how the meeting with Krakauer changed the way she
approached her work. In fact, the conversation had an immediate impact.
2 Picture taken at visual artist Jinyu Li’s LAB presentation at QCA. Image courtesy of Daliana Rosa. 3 Podcast engineer Guy Weltchek and No Longer Empty
ÕÀ>̜Àˆ>>L“i“LiÀ ˆ>“>->w>->˜`Þ°Image courtesy of Daliana Rosa. 4 Creative Conversations at SUNY Queens Educational Opportunity Center.
Image courtesy of Daliana Rosa.
32 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
Great in
the Sack.
Slip your artwork into one of our
felt sacks, flop the top over and
you’re out the door. Take it anywhere. It’s always protected from
chips, dings, dirt and scratches.
Say goodbye to bubble wrap,
furniture pads, cardboard and
hours of packing and unpacking
your artwork for showings, art
fairs and exhibitions.
Say hello to ArtSacks. There are nine sizes that hold artwork
from 16”x20” up to 50”x 72”, with extra padding around
the bottom, which allows you to set your art down safely
just about anywhere. Use the clear vinyl pocket for ID.
Art Sacks. For the sake of your art.
©2018 Bochworks LLC
Go to to order or get more information.
This is an excerpt from the Artists Thrive Assessment Tool with the statements that are most
relevant to building community around your work in various categories. Review the full tool at and check out stories that are relevant in each of the categories.
I work in isolation,
with no conversations
about my practice.
When I advocate
or speak up, I do it
I believe success will
either happen to me
or it won’t.
“She helped me prioritize a project that
wasn’t getting my full attention,” Irani
said. “I wasn’t always thinking, ‘Does
this make the most sense at this point
in time given how I am positioned and
what is in my wheelhouse?’ As an artist,
I was following my creativity and passion.
I would say, ‘his idea is really great, so
we should do it.’ She helped me see the
strategic aspects of the work, not just
the creative ones. She really helped me
to kind of igure out where my energy
can be put and what I can hold of on
for later.” he survey — the Artists
hrive Assessment tool — wasn’t the
end point. It was just the beginning of a
deeper conversation that led to tangible
results for Irani.
As a result of that conversation, Irani put
one project on hold to devote her energy
34 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
I connect with
other artists, but
our conversations
do little to feed my
I feed my practice
with rigorous,
conversations with
artists, audiences
and other thinkers.
I build rigorous,
around practice for
other artists in my
I have a circle of
artists and partners
who sometimes
advocate together.
I have a strong,
growing network of
artists and partners
who gather regularly
for dialogue and
I advocate so
thoughtfully and
consistently that I
am sought out as
a thought leader
within and beyond
the arts.
according to what
others think.
and impact for
my practice, my
mission and my
I honor and
celebrate the self`iw˜i`ÃÕVViÃÜv
other artists.
to a new solo show called “here is a Portal,” which has received interest from six
out of 11 producers she pitched the idea to. Because of the clarity and support
she received from Krakauer, which Irani said, came not from a “dispassionate,
mechanical place,” she was able to clarify her next steps. She was no longer
“spinning her wheels.” And that is the beauty of the tool; when activated by a
community conversation, it can turn inspiration into strategic action. “She really
listened to me,” Irani said of Krakauer. “She heard what I was struggling with and
spoke to me appropriately.”
Drawbacks To The Tool
Despite its beneits, the tool isn’t perfect. As with all assessment tools, there can
be a “middling” bias in the results, as Krakauer found. Among those she surveyed
(180 artists, primarily immigrants, working in Queens), the responses almost
always fell into the middle two categories, perhaps because of a fear of appearing
too conident (at the high end) or too incapable (at the low end).
Additionally, some of the vocabulary can create barriers, and a handful of artist who
reviewed the rubric with C4 Atlanta ( shared — very candidly — that
they didn’t really understand what the language meant. Executive Director Jessyca
Holland shares, “here were pieces of language that can kind of get in the way. Artists
read language diferently in some cases.” But that doesn’t mean the tool isn’t efective.
I do everything
I get help when I’m
I have a broad
team of partners
to support my art
practice and my
I don’t communicate
about my art.
I communicate
with people who
already know my
work, mostly around
events and projects.
I communicate
regularly with a wide
circle of audience
and partners,
bringing them close
to my process.
With every
project and event,
I consciously
expand my circle,
connecting new
audiences and
partners to my work.
No one follows my
I have a following
of people who
happened to
encounter my work.
I intentionally
audiences relevant
to my work and
I connect my
audiences to
broader issues and
partners, building
beyond my artwork.
I create systems of
support for myself
and other artists.
Using The Tool Effectively
If someone is browsing
and searching for ‘how to
have a better arts career,’
they are already taking
a big leap forward in
pursuing the knowledge.
~ Jessyca Holland
he tool doesn’t include prescribed next
steps, but rather prompts you to
relect on what your own ideal next steps
might be. And as Holland points out,
the stories on the Artists hrive website
and from other artists, are important to
illustrate how the tool can be used. “Maybe
someone says, ‘I haven’t really thought
about this,’” Holland said. “Or maybe
they say, ‘I have thought about this and it
validates what I want to work on.’” Either
way, the stories bring the rubric from
hypothetical ponderings to real world action.
his tool is most useful when combined
with conversation, context and community
support. It is with the community support
provided by Krakauer that Irani was able
to clarify her own next steps and prioritize
I’d love to see artists print this out and
post this up in their studios or keep it
on their desks.” ~ Jessyca Holland
the opportunities she wanted to pursue
in a way that would ensure maximum
success for each opportunity. And it is
through fostering conversations and
trainings, like those ofered at C4 Atlanta
through its Ignite program, that artists
can have these conversations together.
Holland suggests using the Artists hrive
Assessment to do three things: (1) Learn
more about other artist’s stories to
understand how others are using the tool,
(2) Use it to set goals, particularly in areas
where you may not feel fully capable or
where you may have some gaps in your
own knowledge, and (3) Use it as a tool
for self-relection. “I’d love to see artists
print this out and post this up in their
studios or keep it on their desks,” she
said. “It’s meant to be dynamic, and it
may change as you change. But it can give
you something to check back in with over
time as you set goals.” And that is the real magic of the tool. It’s not a prescriptive
plan for what to do next within your art career, but rather a tool for selfrelection to keep these ideas front of mind. If you want a list of directions with
clear consequences (“If you do X, Y, and Z on Instagram, you’ll increase sales by
28 percent” or “If you pursue this type of work, you’ll get gallery representation”),
this is not the tool for you.
here are no quantiied outcomes or if-then promises. Instead, there are
opportunities for you to devise your own tactics (write your own “if” statements)
to achieve the outcomes you deine. By using it as a starting point to set your
own goals and relect on your own creative practice, then you can use your
community — perhaps fostered by groups like C4 Atlanta and Queens Council
on the Arts — to build support and to learn stories of others who are excelling in
areas where you may feel a bit vulnerable.
So do you have to do this all the time? Holland, whose background is in theatre
and library media, likened using the tool to the process of breaking down and
analyzing a play. he process is onerous, not unlike the critique process or visual
literacy and color theory skills you may have mastered. But do you have to go
through each step of the analysis for every piece you do? No. “At some point, the
skills become second nature. Using the rubric as a tool regularly can help make
these entrepreneurial and business concepts feel more second nature to you and
your work,” Holland said.
6 Creative Conversations at SUNY Queens Educational Opportunity Center. Image courtesy of Daliana Rosa.
36 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
So maybe that means abandoning one project (temporarily) in pursuit of
another, as Irani did, even if both are creatively appealing to you. Maybe
that means ofering your expertise to others, like Krakauer did, even if your
expertise is rooted in your experiences and your own stories. Maybe that
is even starting with an idea and letting it grow through the collaborative
help of others, like the Tremaine Foundation did with its Artists hrive
Assessment. And maybe it’s even fostering the space for these community
conversations to happen, as C4 Atlanta does.
In any case, with that increased awareness and relection, you’ll be able
to incorporate the knowledge and tactics that will best complement
your practice in a way that feels really authentic and organic — not at all
mechanical or prescribed. And that’s how artists can truly thrive. PA
Elaine Grogan Luttrull, CPA-PFS, is the founder of Minerva Financial Arts, a
QAs a prescribed path
for success.
QAs an indicator of
QAs a measure of the quality
of your work.
organizations through coaching and education. She is the author of Arts & Numbers,
'PVTGRTGPGWTUJKRCVVJG%QNWODWU%QNNGIGQH#TV&GUKIP(KPFJGTQPNKPGCV to book a session, or connect with her via Twitter (@
egluttrull), Facebook (MinervaFinancialArts), and LinkedIn.
7 Picture taken at visual artist Jinyu Li’s LAB presentation at QCA. Image courtesy of Daliana Rosa.
38 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
Draw Inspiration from
Want to Take Your Art to The Next Level?
True Treasure Waits Within
Who looks outside dreams, who looks inside, awakes.
~ Carl G. Jung
Imagine a developmental scale from one to 10 that
ranks your willingness to display vulnerability in
your art. Let’s say level one is represented by algae
(no vulnerability expressed). Level five is an unfurling
fern (a little vulnerable) and level 10 is an open rose
(evolved and willing to display plenty of vulnerability).
e, I’m a two, only a bit more evolved than algae. A lichen
maybe, with big dreams.
It became crystal clear to me just how much of a lichen
I was when I encountered an open rose, the painter
Kat Bergman ( Bergman’s art life
transformed after she created a work that enabled her
to come to grips with the suicide of her partner in 1995.
Since Bergman acknowledged her personal pain on an
initial canvas, she has gone so far as to make her vulnerable side a valued
protagonist in most of her artwork today.
1 Connection, 2013, by Kat Bergman. Acrylic on canvas, 36” x 36”. Copyright © 2013 Kat Bergman. Used by permission of the artist.
social worker (
“Jung knew that despite the smile we
might wear, deep down our lives are
not all gumdrops and puppy dog tails.”
Nienhuis believes bringing shadow matter
to light through one’s art is life changing
but by no means easy.
Shadow exploration via your art is,
understandably, not for everyone. But
if you’re an artist, like me, who’s tired
of spackling over things that won’t stay
hidden, let’s examine five benefits (and
four caveats) pioneering artists have
discovered from looking within.
Benefit 1. Transform Pain and Diminish Guilt
For nearly 10 years after the crushing
experience of her partner’s suicide in their
home, Bergman endured a reoccurring
dream. Until the day she felt inspired and
compelled to paint it.
“I entitled the painting David’s Decision.
I cannot tell you what painting that did
for me.” The work opened a door of art
and healing for Bergman.
“I used to live a life of guilt. Pile on poor
self-esteem, abusive relationships, and
then Dave — I denied the guilt about
his suicide out loud and to everyone
I talked to, but deep inside I felt it was
my fault,” Bergman said. “Years later, I
finally addressed that guilt, and for the
most part I’m now free of that anchor.”
Bergman also thinks that David’s
Decision, and the paintings that followed,
allowed her to let go of a great deal of
anger, self-pity, confusion and hurt.
“After I painted David’s Decision, I
felt like I could love him again. I felt
respect for him again and I felt at peace
with wherever he was and for where
I am today.” Bergman is a full-time
professional artist now in California
and has since remarried.
“I feel so fortunate to have my art
as a catalyst, and I’m grateful that
I discovered a forever resource that
enables me to speak of any unspeakable
things that are within me now or in
the future.”
I’ve been fortunate to get to meet
another “10” on the art of vulnerability
scale, painter Carlynne Hershberger
Hershberger’s potent and controversial
series “Silent Voices” captures the
painter’s struggle with the initial trauma
and lingering aftermath of having been
coerced to adopt out her newborn baby
girl in 1980. Boldly refusing to stay quiet
on the canvas has led the Florida artist
to many personal, professional and even
political breakthroughs.
The artists I’ve spoken with who’ve
drawn inspiration and consolation
from a shadow issue, like Bergman and
Hershberger, experienced two things:
1. A transformation in their personal
2. A revolution in their artwork
“Carl Jung, founder of analytical
psychology, coined the term the shadow
to represent the part of our personality we
normally don’t recognize, let alone share
in public,” said Gale Nienhuis, licensed
2 18 Years, 2014, by Carlynne Hershberger. Acrylic on canvas, 48” x 36”. Copyright © 2014 Carlynne Hershberger. Used by permission of the artist.
3 David’s Decision, 2013, by Kat Bergman. Acrylic on canvas, 36” x 36”. Copyright © 2013 Kat Bergman. Used by permission of the artist.
40 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
Whether you show it or keep it
private, you’ll still be rewarded
for your efforts to make it.
~ Carlynne Hershberger
have in decades when you make art
inspired from a difficult place within, be
kind to yourself and keep expectations
low. Do this to give yourself the freedom
to make unappealing, chaotic or
nonsensical art if that is what needs to
be let out. There are no rules.
Benefit 3. Cultivate an Audience for
Darker Work
Caveat 1. You Don’t Have To Do It Alone
“You don’t have to jump into this process
solo, and for some artists, it may be
best not to,” Nienhuis said. She advises
artists to consider doing the work in the
way Hershberger and Bergman did — in
conjunction with a supportive online
group, offline community, art therapist
or talk therapist. “When you open an
interior box that contains a lot of grief
or trauma, it can lead to all kinds of
wonderful places, but sometimes you
may find yourself in a Pandora’s box type
of place where you need some backup,”
Nienhuis said.
Benefit 2. Discover Peak Painting Potential
Many long time patrons of Hershberger’s
have told her that “Silent Voices,” (her
ongoing series begun in 2007 which
explores the dark side of the adoption
industry) is her best work ever.
Hershberger agrees, and said she feels
more assured and inspired as a painter
than she ever has before when she works
on the series.
For Bergman, “Being real and dealing
with things that happened to me
through my art has allowed me to charge
my art with raw life. It has grown my
practice and in turn I have grown as an
artist also.”
Do shadow issues hold peak painting
potential for you and I as well? “It
absolutely could because it’s so personal,”
Hershberger said. “If you are putting a
lot of meaning and so much of yourself
into a work, it’s bound to come out on
the canvas. You’re totally invested in it.
It’s not about approval or sales or what
the market wants, it’s just about you —
and people can often see and sense that
in the work.”
Hershberger was inspired to write a
book, Silent Voices, that features the
painting series alongside her narrative
about adoption from the natural mother’s
point of view (
Caveat 2: Lower Your Expectations
Though you may soar higher than you
It may seem counterintuitive, but
occasionally shadow pieces are highly
appealing and important to art buyers.
Especially those who see their own life
stories reflected in the work or find
solace or hope in what an artist has
depicted. Bergman has sold several
pieces of work that examined trauma.
“In one instance, I painted a piece about
a very scary surgery that I went through
which involved my eyesight. It had a
mysterious darkness in it and it sold
because the buyer felt some peace within
it — the aftermath perhaps.”
Although Bergman says she feels every
bit of pain as she’s painting pieces
inspired by hard topics, the resulting
works have been described by others as
having a “victorious feel,” specifically a
victory over darkness.
“Maybe people want my darker pieces
in their home,” Bergman said, “because
the painting reminds the buyer that
someone else, the woman who made
the art, has faced things, deep fears that
everyone faces, and lived to tell about
it. And perhaps they look at the work
and feel more hopeful that they too can
survive their own pain.” Bergman has
even given away several shadow pieces to
those especially touched by them.
Caveat 3: Remember that None of it
May Ever Sell
Darker pieces typically won’t fly off
gallery walls. But most artists don’t
4 6 Blue Eggs, 2017, by Carlynne Hershberger. Acrylic on canvas, 5” x 5”. Copyright © 2017 Carlynne Hershberger. Used by permission of the artist.
Shadow artwork can help you
befriend yourself.
~ Thea Fiore-Bloom, PhD
mind. “Even if it didn’t lead to anything
art business related, making art about
darker issues gives artists greater insight
into themselves,” said Hershberger
whose “Silent Voices” series is currently
not for sale. “It’s such a personal
journey. Who knows what it could lead
to? It could bring joy or it could bring
healing from a past issue. You don’t
know until you go there. It might be
scary, but I think the risk is worth it.”
“Whether you show it or keep it private,
you’ll still be rewarded for your efforts to
make it,” Hershberger said. “I didn’t show
anyone my paintings about adoption for a
long time, and that was just fine.”
Benefit 4. Let Shadow Work Lead To A
New Series
“Around 2002, I got to reunite with
my daughter, and my other two children
were starting college,” Hershberger said.
“Empty nests and eggs must have been
on my mind, and by 2007 I put some
imagery of them in the adoption series.”
In 2016, Hershberger was feeling in a
rut with her landscapes, which she
loves making.
“I’ve always been intrigued by nests
and around that time, a family of wrens
had been making its usual square nest
at the back of my mailbox,” she said.
Hershberger extracted that season’s
abandoned nest and painted it, then
saved another and painted that.
People began giving Hershberger found
nests and she painted those as well. Her
studio is now filled with an assortment
of nests. “The nests became a bridge
between my two painting worlds
(landscape and adoption), as well as a
symbol that has great meaning for me.”
The Nest series also has meaning for
many others who have flocked to
purchase one for themselves. Hershberger
has sold over 24 nest paintings so far in
less than two years. “I think the nests
somehow connect with different people in
different ways. Some folks are just crazy
about birds. They love everything bird
related. Some in the adoption community
relate to the nests for the symbolism. For
me personally, it’s both.”
Benefit 5. Build Community,
Within and Without
Shadow artwork can help you befriend
Like many artists, Bergman is a selfdescribed introvert. “I am socially
awkward, and I avoid relationships.
Outside of my husband and close family,
I don’t tell my struggles to others very
much.” But since embarking on the
internal journey set in motion by David’s
Decision, Bergman has an additional
ally in her life who wasn’t present
before, an inner confidante who deeply
understands. Shadow artwork can also open the
doors to understanding in the outside
world. Bergman first only shared David’s
Decision with a support group for people
dealing with grief. “I had so many people
tell me how the painting helped them
and gave them hope,” Bergman said.
“As you can imagine, this was incredibly
rewarding for me as well.”
There is certain trauma that is too
hard to wrap your head around unless
you’ve undergone it yourself. When
artists find people who experienced a
similar traumatic event, there’s a special
connection. “Mothers of adoption loss
5 Sacred, 2016, by Kat Bergman. Acrylic on canvas, 30” x 24”. Copyright © 2016 Kat Bergman. Used by permission of the artist.
42 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
and adoptees have a unique experience
and perspective,” Hershberger said. “One
of the most healing things for me was
finding other mothers who went through
the same thing.”
Hershberger thinks the “Silent Voices”
paintings extended the hand of healing
to other women as well. “Some women
see the paintings online and think —
‘Yeah, she gets it.’” Many of them also
seem to relate to the nest paintings,
which came later.
Caveat 4: Expect Pushback
Bergman dealt with negative reception
for her suicide related work when she
shared it in a gallery setting. “The live
showings to co-artists and the gallery
reception were pretty much the same
as I have experienced in life — people
still recoil and don’t want to talk about
suicide,” she said. “I think the stigma is
alive and well.”
Hershberger has experienced pushback
in public too. “If you show the work in
public and it’s controversial, be prepared
to be censored or have people try to
censor you. If you take on a more activist
role, as I have online, you really have to
develop a thick skin.”
Here are a few final words of
encouragement from Bergman for artists
like me who want to do shadow-inspired
work but are big chickens:
“Just hold your nose and jump in!”
Bergman said. “You can only heal when
you open the wound and clean it out. You
have to be willing to understand that it
will not make you any worse to do the
work. It will only help you to heal. There
may be a treasure inside waiting for you
to discover.” PA
Thea Fiore-Bloom, Ph.D. is a mixed media
sculptor and arts and culture journalist with a
doctorate in mythology. Artists and writers of
all levels looking for inspiration, information
and encouragement are welcomed at her
new blog If you’re
a Frida fan, check out Fiore-Bloom’s popular
post, Frida Kahlo: Seven Tips For Artists &
Writers From the Life of A Mexican Maverick.
Artists Who Draw From
Our Collective Shadow
Some artists are compelled and
inspired to make brilliant art about
the shadow issues carried by
humanity as a whole.
that shines light on topics like: the
indigenous peoples and the horrors
of war.
1. Anselm Keiffer
2. Kara Walker
3. Votan Henriquez ˆ˜ŽÌÛ°œÀ}É
4. Francisco de Goya̅i‡}Ài>ÌiÃ̇Ü>À‡>À̇iÛiÀ
5. Pablo Picasso
You Can’t Take
it With You
44 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
Make Plans
Now So Your
Art Isn’t A
Burden Later
“I have the world’s largest collection of Tom Doyle,” Tom Doyle, a
Roxbury, Connecticut sculptor, used to say, noting that he kept a
dozen pieces just in the living room alone. That’s a joke probably
many, if not most, artists could tell. But now, Doyle is dead (he passed
in late 2016), and there’s still all that artwork that his widow Jane has
to deal with. “I’m cleaning out the studio,” she said, but that is more
akin to housekeeping. The larger question is what she plans to do with
all the small- and large-scale metal sculptures that her husband left
behind: Catalogue it? Donate it? Sell it? Create a foundation to house
and promote it?
he problem is daunting because maintaining public interest in an
artist’s work can and usually does involve a considerable expenditure
of time and money for heirs or estate executors, and it’s more likely to
be successful for artists who had thriving markets for their work while
they were alive. For artists at a lower tier – perhaps, there were sales
from time to time, maybe there are objects in the back room at a gallery,
possibly sales have never been a strong element in the artist’s career
(many college and university art faculty probably it into this category)
– the prospects are dimmer.
When most artists pass
away, the market for their
work dies with them.
~ Daniel Grant
During his life, Doyle did sell his work,
but Jane noted that his principal source
of income was from teaching at Queens
College in New York. “Tom was under
the radar,” she said. His principal dealer,
Philadelphia gallery owner Larry Becker,
said that “we don’t normally deal
with estates, because they can be very
complicated,” referring to the potentially
large amount of inventory, the staf
time needing to be spent on contacting
prospective private collectors and public
institutions about acquiring the artwork,
and the issue of “who runs the estate? Who calls the shots? Before, we just
dealt with Tom, but when you are dealing with an estate, you’ve got his widow
and lawyers.”
And everyone involved in the estate needs to be on the same page. Becker
noted that opportunities to display some of Doyle’s outdoor pieces have
arisen, and “I call Jane and say, ‘Why don’t you send a few of the larger pieces
to this place?’ but she says, ‘No, it’s not worth the cost of transporting it.’ She
likes the pieces right where they are on the grounds of her house.”
The Road Ahead for Heirs is Not Easy
As any number of artists can attest, it’s rarely easy to ind a gallery owner who
will actively promote one’s work and produce sales. However, while alive, an
artist continues to hold the promise of creating something new of signiicant
interest, and some artists have big personalities that are part of the marketing
and sales of their work. Once dead, that promise is gone, and the artist is now
reassessed in terms of a “legacy:” that person’s place in art history and his or
her inluence on other artists of that time or subsequently.
he artists Chaim Gross, David Levine and Raphael Soyer were all wellregarded during their lives, but, according to Robert Fishko, owner of New
York’s Forum Gallery which represents the three artists’ estates, their deaths
occasioned a “50 percent drop in prices. he saleability of their art diminished.”
1 Innishkeen, 2003, by Tom Doyle. Bronze from wood, 6’4” x 8’5” x 10’10”. Copyright © 2003 Tom Doyle. Used by permission of the artist’s estate.
46 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
Once dead … the artist is now reassessed in
terms of a ‘legacy:’ that person’s place in art
history and his or her influence on other artists
of that time or subsequently. ~ Daniel Grant
children (William Jr., Claire and heodora),
however, were not content to just divide up
their parent’s paintings among themselves
and let his memory fade.
At present, the verdict appears to be that these three were all minor artists.
Retaining half their previous value may be considered good fortune. When
most artists pass away, the market for their work dies with them. When that
market was small or close to nonexistent to begin with, those in charge of the
artist’s estate must make the case that the work of So-and-So should have been
appreciated more during his or her lifetime but certainly needs to be evaluated
now. A tall order.
“We decided to take over the direction
of the estate and represent the work
ourselves,” his son said. “We sold a couple
of my father’s paintings to a German dealer
and a German collector at very low prices,”
which provided them with sufficient money
to pay a storage fee for the artwork they
controlled, hire a conservator to provide
condition reports on the paintings, and
set up a limited liability corporation from
which they could begin the process of
promoting the artist’s work.
A tall order, but possible when the stars align. Connections and money help.
For example, William N. Copley, a sometime journalist, sometime art dealer
and life-long painter, had sold some paintings in Europe where he lived for a
number of years, but there was close to no market for his surrealist canvases in
his homeland of the United States when he died in 1996 at the age of 77. His
hey also used the money to hire a full-time
researcher who identiied the dates and
locations where paintings were created, as
well as the artistic inluences evident in the
artworks. Additionally, the researcher also
had each and every artwork photographed
and iled electronically, which were
uploaded onto a website that was created
for the purpose of allowing browsers to
learn about the artist’s life and see images
of his work.
Armed with this coordinated set of facts,
images and other research, Copley’s heirs
began contacting prospective art dealers
to represent the estate, and it helped that
William Jr.’s wife, Patty Brundage, had
worked for the Leo Castelli Gallery for 20
years before striking out as a private art
advisor. Who you know (or, at least, who
will give you the time of day) matters.
“David Zwirner was not interested,
although his father had shown the
2 Samhin, 1996, by Tom Doyle. Bronze from wood, 8’ x 9’6” x 14’9”. Copyright © 1996 Tom Doyle. Used by permission of the artist’s estate.
work some decades before,” William Jr.
said. Another New York dealer, Michael
Rosenfelt expressed interest, but the
heirs went with the Manhattan-based
Paul Kasmin Gallery, as the dealer “had
known about my father’s work and knew
many of the same artist friends of my
father.” he irst exhibition took place at
that gallery in 2010, and some subsequent
sales of Copley’s paintings have reached
the $100,000 plateau. In addition, Kasmin
has promoted Copley’s work to museums
around the country, including the Menil
Collection in Houston, Texas, which in
2016 organized a retrospective, “William
N. Copley: he World According to CPLY,”
the largest showing of its kind of the
artist’s work.
Contextualizing the Work
Richard Lehun, a New York-based art lawyer
who regularly works with artists’ estates,
noted that “collections management” is the
key element in the process of making the
estate of a deceased artist inancially viable.
“You need to order, date, photograph and
contextualize the artworks, creating an
Finding collectors to
purchase pieces is not
always possible, but that
doesn’t mean that unbought works of art are
destined for the dumpster.
~ Daniel Grant
infrastructure, because that’s what dealers and curators need.”
By contextualize, he meant providing biographical and art historical
information that would give artworks additional meaning and interest.
“For instance, this work was created when Jack Kerouac was living in the
artist’s garage,” he said. “hat’s the kind of knowledge that typically dies
with the artist.” More generally, he noted that an artist’s estate needs to
create “a vision of the artist and his or her work” so that other people will
be able to better understand the artist’s intentions.
3 Big Cruck, 1986, by Tom Doyle. Bronze from wood, 10’9” x 4’6” x 8’. Copyright © 1986 Tom Doyle. Used by permission of the artist’s estate.
48 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
Richard Lehun, a New York-based art lawyer who
regularly works with artists’ estates, noted that
‘collections management’ is the key element in the
process of making the estate of a deceased artist
financially viable.
“Incentivizing” Museums
to Look at Art
Collections management is not cheap, nor is it fast, he said. “It is a multiyear efort,” and he recommended budgeting $20,000-50,000 for the process,
although some estates have paid “hundreds of thousands of dollars.” he
process is faster and, perhaps, less costly when the artist is still alive and able
to assist in dating and providing information pertinent to each artwork in
what will be the estate.
Lehun also recommended hiring an art historian, such as a university art
professor, to prepare a scholarly essay about the artist and that individual’s
historical importance. (he budget for this expense may be $5,000-10,000.)
“You want this artist and this body of work contextualized with other artists,
preferably more successful artists, so that then you can approach the dealers
of those more successful artists.” he dealers may be led to see the value of the
artwork of the more minor artists as it is displayed in “a meaningful dialogue”
with the work of those who are better known.
Another estate that brought on board a scholar to help promote a lesser
known artist’s work is that of Judith Rothschild. Rothschild, who died in
1976 at the age of 55, was a relatively obscure painter whose most critically
acclaimed work was done in the last six years of her life. At her death, she
established a foundation that aimed to help pay for the costs of conservation,
documentation, publication, museum acquisition and exhibition of artists who
were under-recognized as she thought herself to be. he foundation also hired
Jack Flam, an art historian at the City University of New York, as well as the
emeritus president of the Daedalus Foundation, to curate several exhibitions
of Rothschild’s own work.
“I knew Judith casually through occasional dinner parties and other social
gatherings, and I thought her art was worth examining,” Flam said. In addition
to his curatorial eforts, he also contacted museum officials to take a look at
the artist’s work, which they did, because of his own prominence. “You need
contacts,” he said. A major art gallery eventually came to represent her work.
Years later, Rothschild “is a recognized artist of note.”
Setting up gallery representation of an
estate and establishing a market may
not be the inal result of promoting
a lesser-known artist’s work. Finding
collectors to purchase pieces is not
always possible, but that doesn’t mean
that un-bought works of art are destined
for the dumpster. New York art lawyer
Herb Nass stated that one of his clients,
a childless sculptor named Mary Lincoln
Bonnell who died in 2013 at the age of
84, was willing to donate her work to a
variety of schools and museums.
“here were no illusions that we could
ind a dealer to sell her work,” he said.
“Still, she wanted her work to have good
homes, and I ofered $10,000 to each
school and museum that accepted her
sculptures, incentivizing them to take
the work.”
Perhaps, the most notable example of an
artist who had little to no sales during
his or her lifetime is black-and-white
photographer Francesca Woodman
(1958-81), and it was partly her lack of
success that led to her suicide. It was
her mother, ceramic sculptor Betty
Woodman, who made it her mission
to promote her daughter’s work,
archiving the “vintage” prints that
her daughter had produced during her
lifetime and identifying a group of
approximately 50 images that would be
printed in editions posthumously.
She also established information about
each image, such as when the photograph
Lehun also recommended hiring an
art historian, such as a university art
professor, to prepare a scholarly essay
about the artist and that individual’s
historical importance. ~ Daniel Grant
was made, who is in the picture and
the context of the image, so that those
looking at Francesca’s work had a better
understanding of what they were seeing.
“In efect, Betty curated the work of her
daughter before making them public,”
said Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn,
a Manhattan gallery owner who
represented Betty Woodman and,
more recently, her estate.
Betty Woodman did not need to
hire a renowned art authority to
reach out to important dealers and
curators, because she herself had
those contacts. She had exhibited her
Matisse-inluenced ceramics in art
galleries in New York and elsewhere
and had her work acquired by such
institutions as the Metropolitan
Museum of Art, the Los Angeles
County Museum of Art, the
Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam,
Holland and at the Victoria &
Albert Museum in London. In
2006, the Metropolitan organized
a retrospective of Betty’s work,
the irst time the museum held a
show for a living woman artist.
he process of bringing attention
to Francesca’s work was not
rapid and involved a step-bystep efort to acquaint the
world of critics, curators, dealers and inally
collectors with the work that she had created
during her short life. From 1986 to 1988, an
exhibition of Francesca’s photographs toured
a variety of college galleries and museums
in the United States, and between 1992 and
2010, a variety of exhibitions traveled to
4 Ventry, 1990, by Tom Doyle. Bronze from wood, 5’8” x 10’3” x 12’2”. Copyright © 1990 Tom Doyle. Used by permission of the artist’s estate.
50 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
that dealer has done much to promote
the forever-young artist’s work around
the world.
Looking for gallery representation for
a parent’s work may make heirs feel
both frustrated and guilty, and it’s
easy to just throw in the towel. Loretta
Wurtenberger, a partner at the Institute
for Artists Estates in Berlin, Germany and
author of The Artist Estate: A Handbook
for Artists, Executors, and Heirs (Hatje
Cantz Verlag), stated that “burnout is a
very real possibility. It is very tough to
name a deadline here. But if you have
not been able to ind any kind of support
within one or two years, you should
consider pausing for some years and focus
on internal tasks, such as developing
an online inventory database; if the
motivation is not gone entirely.”
galleries, museums and cultural centers in Europe. In 2011, the San
Francisco Museum of Modern Art organized a retrospective of the
artist’s work, which also was exhibited at New York’s Guggenheim
Museum. Perhaps not coincidentally, Francesca’s parents (Betty
Woodman died in early 2018, while her husband George died the year
before) donated an untitled 1979-80 photograph by the artist to the
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Still, sorting through thousands of negatives to determine the ones
that best represent her daughter’s feminist vision was a lot of work
for Francesca’s parents who hired a part-time curator to help with
the process. In 2004, they selected the prominent New York gallery
owner Marian Goodman to represent their daughter’s estate, and
At some point, heirs may decide to treat a
parent’s artworks in the same way as other
property in the estate, like the furniture:
You take this, I always liked that. Still,
Wurtenberger said, “before you divide
artworks among family members, you
should document the works according
to the newest standards and ideally keep
track of them as far as possible. his at
least maintains the chance that later
generations can pick up the work when
they have time or means to do it. hey
might be able to ind new intercessors in
their environments and times.” PA
Daniel Grant is the author of The Business
of Being an Artist and Selling Art without
Galleries, among other books published by
Allworth Press.
5 Artist Tom Doyle.
Artist as Change Agent:
Three Artists Who Make the World Better
here are a lot of ways to use your art to give something back. You might teach
art to underprivileged kids, facilitate an art program for the elderly, launch a
community ilm festival, or advocate on behalf of other artists. he beneits
to the people and communities you volunteer your time for are obvious, but
what do you get out of it?
I sought artists who’ve created organizations that use art as a catalyst for
a greater cultural or social change. I talked to the founders of three very
diferent non-proit groups about the hurdles they had to clear to get their
ideas of the ground, how they gauge their success, and what’s in it for them.
Encouraging Cultural Exchange In Ghana
Ellie Schimelman didn’t set out to start a non-proit in Ghana. She was just
interested in African art. “One day, I went to see the ocean with a Ghanaian
friend. he area we visited had a lot of empty space, and I said, ‘Boy, this is
really beautiful.’ My friend contacted the property owner and the next thing
I know, I’d bought a piece of property across the street,” she laughed.
1 Evereachmore, 2015, by Taisha Paggett and WXPT. Performance at the Bowtie Project. Photo © 2015 Gina Clyne. Courtesy of Clockshop.
52 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
he irst few times Schimelman went
to Ghana, it was as a tourist, but she
quickly developed an attachment to the
country. A graduate of the Rhode Island
School of Design with a degree in art
education, she began volunteer teaching
and traveling to traditional villages to
study pottery with the local women.
Schimelman’s non-proit, Cross Cultural
Collaborative (,
founded in 2001, began out of necessity:
She had to build something on her
land to keep squatters away. “We dug
a foundation to show we were doing
something. By that time, I’d retired from
full-time teaching and I was teaching
adult education classes. I would come
2 Ghanaian Woman, 2017 by Clay Cunningham. Ceramic, 24” x 6” x 8”. Inspired by stay at Aba House summer 2017. Copyright © 2017 Clay Cunningham. Used
by permission of the artist. 3 Arm Me, 1987. Gallery billboard at UC Santa Barbara and storefront slide projection snown nightly for one month. Sponsored by
LAICA and FAR in L.A. and Installation in San Diego. Courtesy LA Freewaves.
At some point, I had to make the decision,
am I going to sit around and wait for money,
or am I going to go ahead and do my program.
So I went ahead and did my program.”
~ Ellie Schimelman
back [to Boston] and teach a semester, and
then take that money back to Ghana, and
I would build a wall. It took me 10 years. It
sounds so silly when I think back on it, but I
had no idea what I was doing.”
he structure Schimelman built is known
locally as Aba House. Aba means “a female
born on hursday” in one of the Ghanaian
languages. “Everybody said, ‘Aba is building
an art school,’ because I had been there
teaching art.” she said.
Schimelman envisioned a cultural exchange
program that would give anyone the
opportunity to get authentically involved in
African culture. She invites artists, writers,
musicians, photographers, scholars and
tourists from all over the world to live at
Aba House and work with the Ghanaians
on collaborative projects from mosaics to
textiles to documentary ilms.
Clay Cunningham
spent time at Aba House during the summer
of 2017. A ceramic artist and art history
teacher from Council Blufs, Iowa, he enjoys
traveling and learning about art, culture
and architecture. “What drew me to the
4 Ghanaian Leaf Platter, 2018 by Clay Cunningham. Ceramic, 24” x 24” x 3”. Inspired by stay at Aba House summer 2017. Copyright © 2018 Clay Cunningham.
2010, by City of Santa Monica. Live video mixing on seven-story building at GLOW Art Festival. Courtesy LA Freewaves.
6 On tour to northern Ghana for a group of Israeli artists, one of the Israelis joined in a spontaneous dance with a local house painter. Photo © Susan Foss.
Used by permission of the artist. 5 Intersection,
54 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
Aba House was the focus creating a
greater understanding between our
separate cultures. I believe that our
desire to understand and connect with
others allows us the opportunity to
realize just how connected we all are,”
Cunningham said.
“I enjoyed my time in Ghana listening
to songs, stories and explanations of
customs from the Ghanaian people.
hrough comparing our lives, we easily
saw connection and common ground.”
Artist and art teacher Susan Foss
( traveled to Ghana for
an artist’s residence at Aba House in
2015. She was particularly interested
in working one-on-one with young
Ghanaian students and teachers.
“It was a rich, rewarding experience,
and one in which I also learned about
making traditional Ghanaian pottery,
handmade beads from recycled
ground glass bottles, and got to meet
wonderful, talented people of all ages
from all over the world.”
Aba House ofers workshops for
teachers who teach units on Ghana and
organizes culturally engaging tours for
tourists. Schimelman also “employs”
neighborhood children giving them
the chance to participate in projects
like papermaking and bookbinding,
and in return, she pays their school
fees. “he kids here don’t get anything
creative in school. his gives them a real
sense of accomplishment, of pride.”
Cunningham noted that the time he
spent working with the neighborhood
children was particularly special.
“We were able to create art together
and share our experiences with the local
school children. My time at Aba House
has illed my dreams ever since.”
Schimelman supported herself working
as a potter after retiring from teaching.
Working with traditional artisans in
Ghana expanded her vision of what she
could do. Aba House now takes up 100
percent of her time between developing
helping to run the program when she
isn’t there. “I’m very proud of my kids;
I have to keep saying that.”
the program, teaching and fundraising.
Everything she does, she does with
very little money.
“At some point, I had to make the
decision, am I going to sit around and
wait for money, or am I going to go
ahead and do my program. So I went
ahead and did my program, and I’ve
been so fortunate to have so many
fantastic volunteers,” she said.
Her primary focus is on the children
she works with at Aba House, some of
whom got involved as young as seven
and are now in their early 20s and
Schimelman attributes her success and
longevity to a deep understanding of the
Ghanaian culture but cautions that there
are a lot of challenges involved, especially
as a white person and a woman working
in Africa. She encourages artists
interested in getting involved or starting
their own organization irst to get to
know the culture they want to work in,
and says you must be irmly committed
to your project and willing to put in the
time, which will be signiicant, to make
it successful.
Among the personal rewards, she
counts Aba House, the children, and the
many friends she’s made along the way.
“I’ve become friends with a lot of people
who have come. People I would never
have met otherwise.”
Addressing racism and sexism
through media arts
Media artist Anne Bray (
founded Freewaves ( in
1989 to connect the disparate groups
7 Building: A Simulacrum of Power, 2014, by Rafa Esparza. Performance at the Bowtie Project. Photo © Dylan Schwartz. Courtesy of Clockshop. 8 No Matter, 1999,
by Side Street Projects. Slide projection at Laemmle movie theaters in downtown L.A. Jan-Mar and April-May, 1999. Courtesy LA Freewaves.
It was a time of great
tension between the
different ethnic parts
of LA. Everyone was
working in the medium
of video, so we said,
“Let’s get people
~ Anne Bray
drew participation from across the city.
Bray has worked with more than 100
groups in the nearly three decades since
founding Freewaves including KAOS,
based in South LA’s Crenshaw District,
Self Help Graphics & Art in East LA
representing Chicano and Latino media
artists, and Visual Communications,
supporting Asian-American and Paciic
Islander ilmmakers in Little Tokyo.
She has also worked on a number of
projects, including an event slated
for this summer, to promote the
feminist agenda.
from around Los Angeles working in
multimedia and ilm. he Los Angeles
Contemporary Exhibitions, which
provided low-cost after-hours access to
Hollywood production facilities, drew
people from all over the city, but no one
knew each other.
“It was a time of great tension between
the diferent ethnic parts of LA.
Everyone was working in the medium
of video, so we said, ‘Let’s get people
connected,’” she said. he irst project
was to organize a video art festival that
Freewaves’ original video art festival
continued biennially for two decades.
She engaged curators with a range of
backgrounds to endure a diversity of
perspectives and working together
helped everyone involved to discover
their own blind spots.
“[When we started] people were
afraid to drive in other people’s
neighborhoods, but I just don’t feel
that anymore. We fought really hard for
diversity of representation, and the ight
that’s happening this year in Hollywood
is exactly what we were talking about,”
Bray said. “Sexism and racism in media
is a big issue to me because it’s our
stories — what we hear and see, the
options people can imagine. If you’ve
never seen anybody do what you want
to do, you just cannot imagine you
could ever do it.”
As an organization, Freewaves has
helped her to put forth a formal
mission and clear branding for her
work, which in turn helps others
to understand her vision. “As an
individual, people are interpreting
your artwork, and whether they
understand what you’re doing is
probably doubtful, but with an
organization, you can be more
straightforward, declarative,
less ambiguous.”
Her work with Freewaves has also
opened more doors for her as an
artist. She was hired by Arizona State
University to work on a project that
aimed to prevent rape on campus
using art. Bray admits that Freewaves
often takes time that should be used
for her own work and it can be a
challenging balancing act.
Deadlines help to keep her organized,
9 Dis…Miss, is a public visual art experience with short videos, postcards, and audience engagement by LA Freewaves; 20 outstanding artists are
instigating dialogues online and in various public settings around Los Angeles and internationally about gender and intersectional feminism, 2016-18.
Courtesy of LA Freewaves. 0 Ghana Dream, Óä£xLÞ-ÕÃ>˜œÃð
Copyright © 2015 Susan Foss. Used by permission of the artist.
56 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
and whenever possible, she merges the
two, tackling issues in her personal
work that also fulill her non-proit’s
agenda — and that connection is at the
route of her success. “It doesn’t matter
whether your nonproit connects with
the issues where you live, or that you as
an artist can connect with the issues,”
she said.
Engagement with the world and the
opportunity to afect public discourse
and where her community directs its
energy are the primary rewards Bray
reaps from Freewaves. “I see all these
crazy interesting video art pieces, and
then I go see a Hollywood ilm, and to
me, it’s so simple in comparison. I don’t
know why people don’t demand more
from their ilmmaking or entertainment
in general,” she said.
If possible, Bray encourages other
artists to join an existing organization
because of how time-consuming it can
be to establish a nonproit, let alone
run it. Find a group with a mission that
aligns with your own and ofers you the
opportunity to put your skills to work.
“You won’t have to do the research or
the fundraising, but you’ll get to focus
people’s attention on the issues that are
important to you.”
Advocating for artists and engaging
political discourse
Julia Meltzer (
started Clockshop ( in
2004 to publicly present work by artists
she admired and create a platform for
artists who were dealing with political
issues. While she’s quick to add that
she wouldn’t suggest that anyone start
their own nonproit without thorough
research of the process, Meltzer admits
she dove right in.
“I just decided to do it. For a long time,
Clockshop was just me doing various
things. I didn’t have a staf or a space.
But it has morphed into diferent things
over the years. It’s a lot like being an
artist, you’re going to make things
of who’s in their audience and where
they’re located. And while Meltzer
admits she didn’t have a well-deined
vision of what she wanted to do when
she started Clockshop, the impact
they’ve had over the years has exceeded
expectations. “We have a very strong
solid base of people who attend our
events and partnerships with major
state agencies and institutions. I feel
like we do afect change.”
starting out on a smaller scale, and then
hopefully you get some recognition, and
you get to do bigger things,” she said.
he Bowtie Project is one of her biggest.
It’s a collaboration between Clockshop
and California State Parks to make use
of a former Southern Paciic Railroad
train yard sitting along a three-quartermile stretch of the Los Angeles River.
he ongoing project has featured more
than 35 temporary art installations,
performances, and events since it
launched in 2014.
More recently, Clockshop facilitated a
year of programming celebrating the
life and work of science iction writer
Octavia E. Butler. Butler’s archives
are held at the Huntington Library in
Pasadena, Butler’s hometown. Four
writers and eight artists were invited
to conduct research in Butler’s archive
and create new work based on their
indings, presented together in an
exhibition. “he work produced was
very meaningful. I think it made a
diference to the people who saw it and
the artists and writers who were able
to do it. I feel that’s what you should be
doing as an organization,” Meltzer said.
As Clockshop has grown, they’ve
developed ways to measure their reach
including demographic assessments
Meltzer is a multimedia artist working
with photo, video and installation. She
and her partner and collaborator David
horne create works that explore how
the future is imagined, claimed, realized
or relinquished, speciically in terms
of faith and global politics. hey have
presented pieces at Walraf-Richartz
Museum in Köln, Germany, the Argos
Center for Art and Media in Brussels,
the 2008 Whitney Biennial in New York
City, and the Toronto International
Film Festival, among others.
She said there’s no direct correlation
between her work and Clockshop,
though advocating for other artists has
helped her advocate for her own work.
Balancing the two is “a lot of insanity.
I wouldn’t suggest to anyone they
should do this.”
Some people, like Meltzer, don’t have a
choice. Her recommendation, if you’re
passionate and dedicated to making
something happen, is: “You should have
big ambitions and do things that are
difficult and frustrating and annoying,
but talk to a lot of people irst, get all
the advice you can.” PA
Jennifer Virškus is a writer and photographer
based in San Francisco. Before earning
her MFA in Writing at California College
of the Arts, she was the art director at
Aspen Magazine in Colorado and photo
editor at Cosmopolitan, FHM and other
magazines in Vilnius, Lithuania. She writes
articles on a wide variety of topics for several
online publications and consults with small
businesses on how to develop and manage
a successful content marketing strategy.
Details at:
! Norman is one of the local children in my village. He’s about 12 years old and obviously extremely talented. He came to Aba House almost every day and
drew whoever would sit still long enough.” — Ellie Schimelman. Photo © Susan Foss.
58 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
The ancient Greeks had an explanation for this. They felt that
art and poetry came to us through the gods or muses. Plato’s
Phaedrus described it as the “noble effect of heaven-sent
madness.” Sometimes when I paint, I feel that the power is not
mine. This may be why we artists get insecure about our work.
We don’t believe at times that it is us who created the art but
rather some divine intervention. As a result, we worry we’ll never
be able to invoke that muse again and sometimes this leaves the
door open for impostor syndrome to creep in.
What Is Impostor Syndrome?
If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I don’t feel like a real artist,”
don’t fret. We’ve all thought that at one time. A variation of
impostor syndrome is “Who am I to…” This usually goes with
another fear: “What will they think?”
id you ever hear the story of how
J.K. Rowling came up with the
idea for the Harry Potter series? “I
was travelling back to London on
my own on a crowded train, and
the idea for Harry Potter simply
fell into my head,” she said.
Clinical psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes were
the first to name the “impostor phenomenon” in 1978. Their
study, “The Imposter Phenomenon in High-Achieving Women”
(Psychotherapy: heory, Research & Practice) focused on
women who had earned their PhDs, were respected for their
achievements in their chosen ield or were students who excelled.
Despite the high performance of the women in the study, Clance
and Imes found these women attributed their success to luck or
didn’t believe in their own intelligence and were convinced that
they fooled everyone who thought they were gifted.
1 Ears to Hear, 2017, by Mystele Kirkeeng. Acrylic and mixed media on cradled wood panel, 6” x 8”. Copyright © 2017 Mystele Kirkeeng. Used by permission of the artist.
In Harvard social psychologist Amy
Cuddy’s book Presence, she quoted
Clance who said, “If I could do it
all over again, I would call it the
impostor experience, because it’s
not a syndrome or a complex or a
mental illness, it’s something almost
everyone experiences.” Reframing the
experience this way suggests that this
is an experience shared by many, and
there is nothing wrong with you if
you feel this way.
Getting experience under Roberts’ belt helped her deal with impostor syndrome.
“I have some solid practices now, but at the beginning of my career, impostor
syndrome was pretty intense,” she said. “I faced a lot of fears to even become an artist,
and then once I started identifying as an artist, the impostor syndrome came back.”
Roberts isn’t surprised that more women suffer from the syndrome. “As women, we’re
told to blend in and be polite, don’t ruffle any feathers and being an artist is ruffling
feathers. Being an artist is having a voice. It’s having an opinion. As artists, we break
the rules. Women, especially, struggle with that,” she said.
When asked if she agreed that women
suffer from impostor syndrome
more than men, Rebecca Bass-Ching,
therapist and CEO and founder of
Potentia Family Therapy (Rebeccaching.
com), said, “I believe both men and
women struggle with impostor
syndrome — they just may show it
differently. Traditionally, women are
more inclined to reach out and ask
for help, so it may seem like more
women are naming their struggles with
impostor syndrome because it is more
acceptable.” Bass-Ching explained that
shame and a scarcity mindset are at the
heart of impostor syndrome. “If anyone
dares to push growth edges, and puts
themselves out of their comfort zone,
then these protective narratives will
always show up. No one is immune,”
she said.
Artists Who Struggle
With Impostor Syndrome
Many artists struggle with impostor
syndrome at one time or another. It’s
inevitable, especially if you’re selftaught like popular artist Kelly Rae
Roberts ( She
calls herself an “accidental artist,” and
struggled with impostor syndrome
in the beginning of her career. “I feel
like the impostor stuff comes after
you know people are actually looking
at your stuff and they might find out
that I really have no idea what I’m
doing here,” she said.
If you fear people will discover you
have no idea what you’re doing and
are even a fraud, that is impostor
syndrome in its clearest iteration.
2 Surround Yourself with Beauty, 2017, by Kelly Rae Roberts. Mixed media. Copyright © 2017 Kelly Rae Roberts. Used by permission of the artist.
60 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
Social Media Leads To Comparison
The feeling of not being good enough is exacerbated by
social media especially once you grow a large following like
Roberts who has nearly 50,000 Facebook likes and nearly
32,000 Instagram followers. “A lot of people probably do
think that I have no idea what I’m doing, or I shouldn’t be
doing what I’m doing,” she said. “Oh, you’d be surprised at
the emails and social media comments that we get.” Her
followers are very open about telling her everything they
don’t like about her work. At the same time, it’s easy to look
at others’ success and think that you don’t measure up which
creates feelings of envy.
Folk artist Mystele Kirkeeng ( doesn’t enjoy it
when she feels envious of another’s success. She wants to be
able to celebrate others’ good fortune. “If that envy is going
to darken any part of my heart, then I need to step back
and learn to let go of that. So, I have unfollowed and then
refollowed people for that. I just need that space,” she said.
If impostor syndrome makes your jealousy creep in, it may
be time to take a break from the seduction of social media.
Focus on yourself. Stop looking at others.
Seven Steps For Overcoming Impostor
If you have the feeling that you’re not good enough, use
these seven strategies to help overcome impostor syndrome.
Step 1: Embrace Your Artist Identity
If you feel that sense coming on that “you’re a fraud” or
that “you’re not good enough,” take comfort that you’re not
alone; then work on reframing your mindset. After all, just
because you think it, doesn’t make it so.
For example, because Kirkeeng is self-taught, she will often
feel impostor syndrome creeping in when speaking with art
world “insiders.”
“If I’m in a conversation with an artist who has gone to art
school and they’re talking about artsy heady stuff, I won’t be
able to keep up,” she said. “There are pockets of and lack of
information that I know I have. But at the same time, I know
that I am good at what I do and that’s enough validation for
me to keep doing it.”
Step 2: Commit To Creating Consistent, Original
When you are struck by impostor syndrome, the best way to
overcome that is by taking action. If the problem is you don’t
feel like a real artist, create art. That’s the definition of being
a real artist. Honor your creativity and place art-making
above all else.
Step 3: Create In A Series
Sometimes when you finally do make time to paint, you
One of my favorite
affirmations is to look in the
mirror every day and say,
‘This is what an artist looks
like.’ ~ Miriam Schulman
can get stuck not knowing what to paint next. To solve
this, create in a series. This eliminates the decision-making
obstacle. You say, “OK. This week, I’m just painting flowers.”
Some artists have discovered that the opposite is also true.
Roberts said that her best strategy is non-attachment to the
outcome. She loathes painting in a series because she values
freedom. “I’ll say I’m going to throw this away at the end so
I don’t get attached to it, and I will commit to throwing it
away just for the process of making it. Of course, by the end,
I love it and I’m not going to throw it away. But it’s just a
little trick that I do with my mind to stay unattached.”
The fact that you have an inner critic is not completely bad.
A little of that self-critical voice can help you. Just don’t let
it paralyze you from stepping into your own creative time.
3 Bright Spirit, 2017, by Kelly Rae Roberts. Mixed media. Copyright © 2017 Kelly Rae Roberts. Used by permission of the artist.
Step 5: Create An Alter-Ego
Step into an alter-ego so that you feel like
a real artist. Believe it or not, Beyoncé
has been known to rely on an alter-ego
named “Sasha Fierce” when she performs.
Apparently, many performers, tennis
players and musicians create alter-egos.
You become this “other person” when you
perform or paint so that you can step into
that with confidence. It’s someone else
who is also you.
Step 6: Use Mantras And
Impostor syndrome is a form of fear.
An affirmation or mantra can be used
to overcome fear.
It can be as simple as, “I am an artist.”
One of my favorite affirmations is to look
in the mirror every day and say, “This is
what an artist looks like.”
If you’re thinking to yourself, “Who am
I to do this?” flip it on its head. Who are
you NOT to? If you’re thinking, “Oh,
everyone’s done this.” Yes, but it hasn’t
been done by you. So why NOT you?
That’s a very powerful affirmation.
Step 7: Get Curious And Have
Instead of judging your feelings of being
an impostor, Bass-Ching suggests getting
curious and having compassion toward
those feelings. When you genuinely seek
to understand the fears or concerns that
are breeding your impostor feeling, this
part often relaxes and helps your inner
critic transform into an inner champion.
Step 4: Dress Like An Artist
Clothing is an important part of owning your self-concept as an artist and combating
impostor syndrome. You wouldn’t exercise in jeans and a blouse. You put on a tennis
outfit to play tennis. It’s the same thing with painting. You tie your apron, and it
becomes your superhero cape.
Roberts creates an entire ritual around getting dressed. “When I get dressed, I think
who do I admire in the world? Oh, it turns out I admire the artists. I admire people
who wear colors and wear boots and whatever. Start looking at people you admire
who are living their lives in a way that is in direct opposition of being afraid. Getting
dressed every day is an opportunity to make ceremony every morning. You’re making
these choices consciously or unconsciously that feed your visual world and how
others perceive you.” When we were children, we picked up
that crayon and went to work. No one
ever says when they’re six years old, “I
can’t do this coloring page because I’m
not a real artist.” Love that inner child.
Bring her back. PA
Miriam Schulman embraces her creative life
with gratitude in New York City’s backyard.
Her watercolor and mixed-media paintings
have been seen on NBC, published in art
magazines, home decor books and collected
worldwide. For inspiration, you’re invited to
join her free Facebook group, The Inspiration
Place. You can request to join the group at
4 Let Them Drink Tea, 2017, by Mystele Kirkeeng. Acrylic and mixed media on cradled wood panel, 16” x 20”.
Copyright © 2017 Mystele Kirkeeng. Used by permission of the artist.
62 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
PLANNING your ART business
By Robert Reed, Ph.D., CFP©
How to Earn More by Spending Less
hen I first started working
with artists, I thought the
problem was simply that
they didn’t have enough income.
Sell more art! Then I saw their
expenses: Brushes, paints, canvases,
a professional easel and so on.
None of this is cheap.
So, while I still work with artists on
how to sell more, I now also focus on
cutting expenses. After all, the easiest
way to increase your profit is to spend
less. But spending less is not simply
making do with less, it’s using what
you already have more productively.
Here are three ideas:
One of my first clients taught me
a valuable lesson about buying
supplies. She was a jeweler, and
throughout the year, sporadically
bought gem stones and metals for
her work. When we reviewed her
annual spending, we saw that she
actually bought quite a lot. If she
could consolidate her purchases,
she could save money by buying
in bulk. Of course, we first had to
crunch some numbers to discover
the quantities appropriate for her
business, but in the end, she saved
significantly by making fewer but
larger purchase orders.
While it may make sense for you
to buy in quantity, it may be that
the quantity you need is not large
enough to qualify for a discount.
This is where being hooked into
your local art community really pays
dividends. Join up with a few likeminded souls who have similar art
supply needs and create an informal
buying co-operative. Usually it takes
less than half-a-dozen artists to form a
financially viable group whose orders
qualify for quantity discounts.
Let’s use the example of computer
software. Are you exploiting every
capability of your existing software?
Do you even know what those
capabilities are? For example,
consider the Microsoft Office suite
(this applies equally to Apple’s and
Google’s program suites). Office
includes a writing program (Word),
an excellent spreadsheet (Excel), an
email program (Outlook), a desktop
publishing program (Publisher), a
database program (Access), an onthe-fly program for note-taking and
gathering screen shots, drawings
and so on (OneNote), and, finally,
presentation software (PowerPoint).
Have you even opened half of these
programs? Have you been thinking
about buying new software when
something you already have may be
perfectly adequate to the task? For
example, if you want to track your art
inventory (produced and sold), you
might find that an Excel spreadsheet
or an Access database already meets
your needs. Plus, these can be
customized to your unique needs.
How can you easily investigate
these capabilities? A library card is a
wonderful cost-saving device. Go to
your local library and check out books
on your software. Skim several to
discover what your software is already
capable of. If you find a book that is
especially good for your purposes,
then buy it.
This is not only cost efficient, it’s
also time efficient since it’s easier
to learn the capabilities of software
you already have than it is to install
and learn entirely new software.
Furthermore, these popular programs
have been around for years, if not
decades, and many artists have
already adapted them for their needs,
which might be your needs also.
I fell into this trap when I first set up
my business. I reasoned that since
everything I bought was a business
expense, I didn’t need to keep a
close eye on my spending. After all,
it was “tax-deductible,” a phrase that
had a magical ring. The result was I
spent more than I should and got less
benefit than I assumed.
Just because you can write off a
purchase on your taxes does not
mean the item was free. Deducting
a purchase simply means you don’t
pay income tax and self-employment
tax (that is, social security tax) on
what you bought. For example, if
you sold $1,000 of art and had $300
in business expenses, you would pay
tax (income + self-employment) on
the difference ($700). Let’s say both
taxes total 35 percent. If you had no
expenses, you would pay $350 in
tax (1,000 x 0.35). Deducting your
expenses means you pay $245 in
tax (700 x 0.35).
Your $300 of expenses saved you
$105 in tax. That is good but all that
really means is you got a 35 percent
discount on your purchases. So,
you spent $300 and saved $105 in
taxes. The difference, $195, is what
came out of your pocket. Is it worth
claiming the deduction? Yes! But
remember the deduction was worth
$105, not $300. PA
is the author of Your Art Is Your Business
IN THIS 24/7
IN MAY 2016, I
had only a few months to write it, and the format —
a cookbook which required me to come up with 125
original recipes — was a challenging one.
Despite that, I managed to meet my manuscript
submission deadline of October 1, and my book was
published in April 2017. It was a momentous occasion
when I held my book in my hands — it represented a
year’s worth of hard work.
After that came the press interviews, and once that was
finished, I took a well-needed vacation. But after that,
I hit a wall. Hard.
I had been going full out for a year; writing my book,
managing my business, teaching and raising my teenage
son. I burned out.
The topic of wellness and self-care for self-employed
artists has, therefore, been at the forefront of my mind
these days, and conversations I’ve been having with
similarly-employed friends has let me know I’m not alone.
While the artistic life is one that comes with many
intrinsic rewards, it’s not without its specific stressors.
Many of these stress points are shared among artists
and their self-employed friends. How to help?
To prepare this primer on wellness for artists, I
interviewed two experts: a business coach and a wellness
coach. Together, we came up with solutions to lower
your stress, create more space in your life for what you
really want, and thrive in your artistic practice.
66 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
Many artists and self-employed creatives find it hard
to have boundaries around the time they work. It’s
challenging to turn off and relax because whenever
you do, you risk feeling guilty. There is, after all,
always something more to do.
Unlike a 9-5 job, you have the advantage of working
when you feel most inspired and creative. That
could be early mornings or late nights, or anywhere
in between, but add to that the fact that we live in
a hyper-connected world, and it’s easy to feel like
slackers if we aren’t working 24/7.
Many self-employed artists struggle with saying
no to work, even if they are too busy, or they don’t
really want to do the project. If they don’t know
when the next gig may come along, and fear that it
might never come along, it’s hard to turn work down.
But the problem with saying yes to everything and
the constant hustle is that it leads to burnout. And
burnout doesn’t support creativity.
Self-care involves protecting your artistic practice,
and that means saying no. Or rather, it means
saying yes to the things you want. Vicki McLeod, a
business coach and author, calls it ‘setting the terms.’
“What gets you to ‘yes’?” she said. A process of selfexamination can help you discover and set these
terms. Where do you thrive? What gives you energy?
What would the perfect gig look like to you? What
kinds of people do you most like working with?
You can also figure out what doesn’t work for you
by examining your failures and learning from them.
Sometimes knowing what you don’t want is just as
important as knowing what you do want.
that you won’t do any more free gigs, but a charity dear
to your heart comes knocking, it’s OK to say yes.
Maybe you value your family, so a gig out of town
would be out of the question. Or perhaps you value
working solo, so a collaboration wouldn’t be something
you would enjoy. As with everything, there should be
flexibility in your terms. For example, if you’ve decided
Ultimately, “giving yourself permission to say ‘no’ is
giving permission to say ‘yes’ to you,” McLeod said.
And who knows what doors may open if you really
focus on what it is that you truly want, and then make
the space for that.
68 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
Carve out time in your week and in most days for selfcare. Make sure you’re well-nourished, drinking water,
moving your body and connecting with loved ones.
“Create a space for yourself that is clear of mental,
emotional and social clutter,” McLeod said. It’s in
this space that artists thrive and feed creativity.
When I was writing my cookbook last year, I always
needed to clean my kitchen first before starting work
on a new recipe. It’s that blank canvas that makes
room for freedom.
Farzana Jaffer Jeraj, a motivational speaker, coach
and the bestselling author of I Cheat at Meditation,
encourages everyone (but especially artists) to spend
time each day allowing your mind to “free flow.” You
might call it daydreaming, but this state of mind is
when you’re basically doing nothing. No tasks, no
technology. This creates a state of mind that is similar
to what your brain looks like when you meditate and
is incredibly healthy for your brain. “It mimics REM
sleep,” Jaffer Jeraj said. REM sleep is the period where
your brain sorts and categorizes and files away the
day’s events, leaving you refreshed and ready to tackle
the day ahead.
Jaffer Jeraj encourages people to sit and observe
thoughts as they flow through the mind. Schedule
this time off to literally do nothing, to just zone
out. “No ‘shoulding’!” she laughs. As thoughts arise,
acknowledge them without judgment. Allow them
to pass. These creative “brain breaks” are important
for your creative well-being and for your problemsolving abilities.
“It can help to externalize ideas while you are having a
‘free flow’ session,” Jaffer Jeraj said. “Keep a notebook
nearby, and if ideas for the future come up, or you
remember a task that you must do, jot it down (or
create a voice note on your phone, or send yourself an
email).” This allows your brain to return to its task,
knowing that those other things are taken care of.
Writing and making art can be pretty lonely jobs —
you spend a great deal of your day alone with your
computer or your canvas. In my case, I had a great
editor who was very supportive and held my newbie
hand every step of the process. But it’s difficult to get
better at your work unless you have feedback, and it’s
hard to keep going sometimes without support.
Surround yourself with people who support your
artistic process. I created an online support group
with a couple of other female writers, and we use it
as a safe space to express whatever positive or
negative experiences we have, and also to run ideas
by each other.
McLeod encourages you to identify “who are the
people who don’t support your creative goals, and cut
them out.” Getting rid of the folks that don’t support
you in your life can make space for those who will.
Surround yourself with unflagging cheerleaders.
70 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
“Defining success is a deeply personal process, and
it’s going to be different for everyone,” McLeod said.
Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. As
hard as it is, don’t compare your level of success to
that of other artists, as there will always be someone
who is better than you, and that can lead
to discouragement.
“Perfect is the enemy of done,” McLeod said. “We all
have an inner drive for self-expression, but so much
of that process is the actual journey.” You have to take
risks and put yourself out there.
Jaffer Jeraj encourages her clients to create a visual
“Gratitude Wall,” which can include letters from
grateful clients, reports, awards and photographs of
happy times with your friends and family. This serves
as a visual reminder of what you’re thankful for, and
why you do what you do: your mission or purpose.
It’s a great way to stay motivated and positive.
Remember: if all else fails, it’s OK to take a break. Over
the last few months, I drastically cut my commitments
to a minimum, and I’ve been enjoying more “do
nothing” time (and trying to not feel guilty about it).
And it’s working — I can feel my energy coming back,
and I’m readying myself to tackle the next challenge.
But this time, I’m going to be smarter about it and build
in breaks and make space in my schedule for yoga and
bike rides and wine dates with my girlfriends. Because
that stuff will ultimately make me more productive and
happier to boot. PA
Rebecca Coleman is a blogger and cookbook author
hailing from Vancouver, BC, Canada. She lives steps from
the Pacific Ocean, and enjoys travel, eating, cooking and
hanging out with her teenage son. You can find her blog at and her YouTube channel at youtube.
By Katie Lane
How US Artists Can Protect Their Moral Rights
hen an artist fights to
have their work properly
attributed, or sues to
prevent the removal of a piece of
public art they created, the artist is
asserting their moral rights. Moral
rights are an artist’s right to have
their work attributed to them, to
prohibit the distortion, mutilation
or modification of their work, and
to have their name removed from a
piece if they didn’t create it or if it’s
been modified. United States law
only recognizes moral rights in very
limited circumstances, so most U.S.
artists aren’t familiar with what these
rights are. Even so, it’s important to
understand what moral rights are,
and how you may be able to
enforce them.
The origin of moral rights can be
traced to ancient Greece and Rome,
where failing to properly attribute
written work to its author was
considered thievery. The modern
codification of moral rights occurred
in the late 18th Century in France,
when that country, energized by
liberté, égalité and fraternité, passed
its very first copyright law. In addition
to recognizing a property right in how
an artistic work could be copied and
used, the French explicitly recognized
droit moral — an artist’s personal right
in and to her work. Droit moral sought
to protect the artistic process once a
piece left the artist’s hands — it had
to be properly attributed to the artist,
it couldn’t be modified without the
artist’s permission, and if the artist
didn’t want their name associated with
the work, then they had the right to
demand any attribution be removed.
The United States has always had a
laissez-faire approach to intellectual
property, and until 1989, was hesitant
to let moral rights interfere with
property interests. In 1989, the United
States agreed to sign the Berne
Convention — an international treaty
that ensured better enforcement
of U.S. intellectual property laws
abroad. There was just once catch:
all countries that signed the treaty
had to promise to protect artists’
moral rights. And thus, the Visual
Artists Rights Act of 1990 was born.
The Visual Artists Rights Act, or
VARA, is part of the U.S. Copyright
Act and gives artists of certain works
limited moral rights to those works.
VARA only applies to “paintings,
drawings, prints, sculptures and still
photographic images” that are either
produced for exhibition only or are
limited to no more than 200 signed
and numbered copies.
Artists who’ve created a work
protected by VARA can demand
attribution or prohibit their name
being used in association with work
they didn’t create. These artists
can only prohibit the modification,
distortion or destruction of their
work if doing so would harm their
reputation, or if the work is one of
“recognized stature.” Unfortunately,
this means judges determine what
actions cause harm to an artist’s
reputation and when a work is of
sufficient “stature.” The practical
result is that VARA has rarely proven
a useful tool for artists in court.
Artists whose reputations are still
being established, aren’t creating
work for exhibition, or want to create
and sell more than 200 copies of
their work aren’t entirely out of
luck, though. These creators can
demand proper attribution and
limit modifications by demanding
protective language in the contracts
they sign.
If you license your work to be used on
merchandise, or to be mass marketed,
make sure the contract requires the
licensee to accurately attribute the
work to you. You can also require
approval of merchandise before it
goes to market, just be prepared to
agree that you won’t “unreasonably
withhold” your approval.
Another way to protect moral rights
without having to use the term
“moral rights” is to limit how long
your licenses last. With a shorter
term, if you don’t like how a licensee
is (legally) using your work, you
can more quickly put an end to the
behavior by not renewing the license.
If you create installation pieces for
public spaces or corporate entities,
talk with them about what you want
them to do if they decide to move
locations or repurpose the space.
Then make sure those protections are
captured in the contract. Provide clear
instructions for what you want them to
do if they no longer want, or need to
move, your work.
Even though moral rights aren’t
common in the United States, you
can achieve the same results with a
bit of creative thinking and a clear
contract. Before you sign a license,
agree to an installation, or create a
custom piece, be clear about what
protections are important to you,
and you’ll be better able to protect
yourself and your work. PA
Katie Lane is an attorney and negotiation
coach in Portland, Oregon, helping artists
and freelancers protect their rights and get
paid fairly for the work they do. You can
read her blog at and
follow her on Twitter at @_katie_lane.
Your most important tool for shaping a successful art career.
( with fees )
A Beautiful Exhibit in a Beautiful Place
ome juried shows set themselves
apart with a catchy theme or
medium. But sometimes a straight
forward call for any and all kinds of art
is exactly what you need. And when
the subsequent show is housed in a
location as beautiful and historic as
the Masur Museum of Art, that’s all the
more reason to submit to the call.
The Masur Museum of Art is the largest
collecting and exhibiting institution
of modern and contemporary art
in Northeast Louisiana. They are
dedicated to bringing dynamic public
programming that emphasizes artists
from Louisiana, the Southeast and
around the world to their community.
Built in 1929 by Clarence Edward
Tudor estate used Indiana limestone
and Pennsylvania blue slate to create
a breathtaking architectural marvel.
With multiple additions and changes
over the years, the Masur Museum of
Art has become a venue that combines
the grandiosity of a major museum
with the coziness of a well lived home.
This amazing location has been the site
of an annual feature on the exhibition
schedule since 1964. Last year, 349
artists from 42 states (plus D.C. and
Ontario) entered 936 works of art.
105 works by 68 artists, representing
25 different states, were selected for
the show.
This year, the numbers are sure to be
similar, and if you want your chance to
see your art displayed in this once-ina-lifetime location, you’ll have to make
sure to get your submission in before
the May 10 deadline. More information
can be found at
1 Entropic Manipulations: Verde, 2015, by Isabel Gouveia. CMYK on photo paper, digital print, 120.4” x 36”. Copyright © 2015 Isabel Gouveia. Used by permission of
the artist. 2 Underground Railroad/Chain Gang, 2016, by Pat Phillips. Acrylic, oil pastel, airbrush, aerosol paint on canvas, 40” x 49”. Copyright © 2016 Pat Phillips.
Used by permission of the artist. 3 Photo of the Masur Museum. Photo courtesy of Charlie Heck. 4 Ajmal; Refugee from Afghanistan, 2016, by Carla Crawford. Oil on
linen, 18” x 24”. Copyright © 2016 Carla Crawford. Used by permission of the artist.
Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
Q Always obtain a full prospectus before entering a show. (Include a SASE when requesting one.)
QPlease visit to submit your call to artists for print or online, and to
view more opportunities.
Take the PULSE of the Planet
onet’s Water Lilies might be one of the more famous
landscapes in history, but what might his painting look
like in the face of the very real threat of global warming? As
our planet warms, it becomes more and more probable that
beautiful scenes that have inspired artists for ages might all
disappear. With the Planet PULSE exhibit, the Santa Cruz Art
League seeks to address that very concern.
Founded in 1919 by a group of local artists yearning for a
place to meet in order to share their art, to teach and to
motivate one another, the Santa Cruz Art League is coming
up on nearly 100 years of artistic service. With over 30,000
visitors a year, SCAL presents 12-15 exhibitions annually in
a variety of media and themes, and they offer art classes for
any skill level seven days a week.
A lot of social and cultural issues have come up in those
100 years, and now they feel it’s time to turn their attention
to global warming. Bringing together art and science in acts
of creativity and activism, Planet PULSE will feature artists
who help to bring planet Earth and climate change to the
forefront of cultural conversations.
Any U.S. artist over the age of 18 is eligible to enter the
exhibition. With $1,000 in awards available and the ability
to join a great organization with a long and storied history,
anyone with a passion for our planet and a message about
the issues we face can’t miss the opportunity to apply
to Planet PULSE. Artists can apply to this show online:
5,6,7 SCAL Gallery Interior. Photos courtesy of Audrey Takeshta.
( with fees )
Push, Pull, Fold and Manipulate
Paper with Barrett Art Center
hether in a coloring book
or on a note pad of some
type, chances are your earliest
artwork was done on paper.
As we get older and more
advanced, paper can sometimes
lose its appeal as a medium.
The Barrett Art Center wants to
take some time and give paper
a little more love.
With Pushing Paper, the Barrett
Art Center seeks work that
explores and manipulates the
materiality of paper, as well
as works on paper, including
watercolor, oil, photography,
prints, digital work and drawings.
But don’t assume that this juried
show is only about watercolor
and doodles. Artists are invited
to provide a juxtaposition of
traditional styles and cuttingedge practices. In addition
to 2-D works in all media,
sculpture and installation are
all encouraged.
Barrett Art Center was founded
by WPA-era artist Thomas W.
Barrett, Jr. as the Dutchess
County Art Association in 1935.
The center brings hundreds of
artists from across the nation
to the Hudson Valley in juried
exhibitions and solo shows each
year. The galleries in Barrett Art
Center’s 1840s Greek Revival
townhouse create a visuallycompelling setting for both
traditional and contemporary
works. And with a popular email
website and press releases sent
out to multiple publications, the
Barrett Art Center knows how to
attract people to see your work.
Share your watercolor painting or
that new origami project you’ve
been working on by submitting to
Pushing Paper before the May 15
deadline. More information can
be found at
8 200,000 People, 2017, by Kerfe Roig. Embroidery on newspaper, 28.5” x 14”. Copyright © 2017 Kerfe Roig. Used by permission of gallery. 9 Polka Dot Foot,
2016, by Eric Mantle. Ink on paper, 10” x 8”. Copyright © 2016 Eric Mantle. Used by permission of gallery. 0 Polker Ball v2/0, 2016, by Brian Bober. Playing Cards
(448) on 12” poplar ball, 12” x 12” x 12”. Copyright © 2016 Brian Bober. Used by permission of gallery.
76 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
( without fees )
To view more opportunities, post your announcement on or in print in
Professional Artist magazine, visit Q For questions, call 407-258-3107.
Show How Community Matters
with the Clemente
• You do not have to be a professionally
trained curator to submit a proposal.
eing an artist is great! You get to
explore your creativity each day
and create works of art that can touch
and move people in the most profound
ways. As an artist, you also join a
community of likeminded individuals,
and you get the opportunity to help
and support one another through the
journey of being an artist. It’s those
connections and that willingness to
help that the Clemente is hoping to
bring to the forefront with its open
call for exhibition proposals.
The Clemente is a Puerto Rican/
Latino cultural institution that has
demonstrated a broad-minded cultural
vision and a collaborative philosophy.
While the Clemente’s mission is focused
on the cultivation, presentation, and
preservation of Puerto Rican and Latino
culture, it is equally determined to
operate in a multicultural and inclusive
• The Clemente strongly encourages
group exhibitions; however, show
proposals for work of a single artist
will be considered.
• Artists who are acting in the curatorial
role for the proposed exhibition
may include his/her work in group
exhibitions only. (Artists cannot submit
solo shows for themselves.)
manner, housing and promoting artists
and performance events that fully
East Side and New York city as a whole.
If you’re new to proposing exhibitions,
here are a few easy to follow guidelines:
• Submissions that include
programming such as artist talks,
community workshops and gallery
tours are encouraged.
If you’ve always thought it would be fun
for you and your friends to be featured
in a group show together, now’s the time
to try and make that dream come true.
Submit your exhibition proposal to the
Clemente before the June 15 deadline!
! Here We Serve Solidarity: Mutual Support Centers / Aquí Servimos Solidaridad: Centros de Apoyo Mutuo, 2017, by Javier Maldonado O’Farrill. Digital
print, 18” x 24”. Copyright © 2017 Javier Maldonado O’Farrill. Used by permission of gallery. @ If All Lives Matter ‘Cause We’re All Created Equal, Why Are Some Lives
More Equal Than Others, 2016, by AgitArte and Sylvia Hernández. Handmade quilt, 68.5” x 100.5”. Copyright © 2016 AgitArte and Sylvia Hernández. Photo courtesy
Osvaldo Budet. # Control Unit Torture, 2006, by Kevin “Rashid” Johnson. Copyright © 2006 Kevin “Rashid” Johnson. Used by permission of the artist.
( without fees )
Artist Spotlight
NAT, Deadline Ongoing
Visit ProfessionalArtistMag.
com/artistspotlight to enter.
The CGTrader Digital
Art Competition *
INT, Deadline Sept. 30
2018/19 *
NAT, Deadline May 31
Gifts of Art, Michigan
(734) 936-8829
Clemente Open Call
to Artists *
NY, Deadline June 16
The Clemente Soto Velez
Cultural Center
(212) 260-4080
Solo Museum Exhibition
Opportunity *
NAT, Deadline May 31
Crary Art Gallery
i Light Singapore –
Bicentennial Edition *
INT, Deadline May 18
i Light Marina Bay
2018 Cincinnati
Summer Avant-Garde
Art & Craft Show *
OH, Deadline June 20
Avant-Garde Art & Craft Shows
(216) 372-8655
Art Exhibit *
Beisinghoff Printmaking
Residency *
INT, Deadline June 30
Women’s Studio Workshop
(845) 658-9133
Studio Residency in
Malmo, Sweden *
Women’s Studio Workshop
(845) 658-9133
For Mother Nature
NAT, Deadline December 31
Join the Collection
NY, Deadline Ongoing
NAT, Deadline Apr. 30
Rockford Area Convention
& Visitors Bureau
(815) 489-1650
Call for Artist
Submission *
FL, Deadline Ongoing
Leader Art Consultants
(850) 462-8448
Gifts of Art, Michigan
Medicine, University of
(734) 936-8829
( with fees )
NOS Citrus Fair National
2D Competition
NAT, Deadline May 1
Cape Fear Studios
$35 non-mem fee;
$30 mem fee
(910) 433-2986
Off Center: Second
Annual International
Ceramic Art Competition
INT, Deadline May 3
Blue Line Arts
$35/ 3 entries; $5/add’l entries
(916) 783-4117
Yountville Outdoor
Sculpture Walk
2018 Works on Paper
INT, Deadline Ongoing
NAT, Deadline May 5
Yountville Arts
(707) 948-2627
Long Beach Island Foundation
of the Arts & Sciences
$35 entry fee
(609) 494-1241
Membership Opportunity
CO, Deadline Jun. 1
CORE New Art Space
78 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
INT, Deadline Apr. 30
The Outside In Gallery
Call for Sculptures *
Call For Coloring Book
Art *
INT, Deadline June 30
NY, Deadline Oct. 14
= new listing since last month |
= changed or corrected listing
2D = two-dimensional, i.e. drawings | 3D = three-dimensional, i.e. sculpture | SASE = self-addressed, stamped #10 (business) envelope
SEXTET: 6 Showing 3 *
NY, Deadline Apr. 30
Limner Gallery, $36 entry fee
(518) 828-2343
Art on the Blue River –
Silverthorne *
NAT, Deadline June 1
55th Annual Juried
Competition *
LA, Deadline May 10
Masur Museum of Art
$10/artwork entered
(318) 329-2237
Summit County Arts Council
$25 entry fee
(970) 453-0450
Gadsden Art Association
60th Annual Juried Show *
Cutting Edge:
Nontraditional Glass
AL, Deadline June 4
NAT, Deadline June 10
Gadsden Art Association
$40 entry fee
(256) 546-1338
Arts Benicia
$35 mem entry fee;
$45 non-mem
(707) 747-0131
49th Annual River
Road Show *
LA, Deadline June 13
Art Guild of Louisiana
$40/3 entries
(225) 292-2004
33rd Annual Watercolor
Wyoming National Show
and Sale *
FOCUS 2018 Photography
Competition *
NY, Deadline Apr. 30
8th Annual Juried Call
For Artists, MIX IT UP! *
Wyoming Watercolor Society
$15 mem entry fee;
$20 non-mem
(307) 751-6411
b.j. spoke gallery
$35 entry fee focus-2018
(631) 838-7061
The Town of Danville
$35 entry fee
(925) 314-3467
WY, Deadline June 1
Favell Museum Juried
Art Show and Sale *
OR, Deadline May 14
Favell Museum, $50 entry fee
(541) 882-9996
Interior-Juried Fine Art *
NY, Deadline May 11
Mills Pond Gallery
$45 entry fee
(631) 862-6575
38th International
Exhibition *
CA, Deadline May 7
The San Diego Watercolor
$35/1st entry; $10 add’l entries
(619) 876-4550
Pushing Paper *
NY, Deadline May 16
Barrett Art Center
$40 entry fee
(845) 471-2550
Planet PULSE *
NAT, Deadline May 21
Santa Cruz Art League
$35/1st entry;
$10 add’l entries,
(831) 426-5787
CA, Deadline May 1
October National 2018 *
NAT, Deadline July 7
Gallery 510, $30 entry fee
(217) 422-1509
Chickens & Other Signs
of Rural Life *
NAT, Deadline May 31
Blue Cat Gallery & Studio
$25 entry fee
(402) 454-5144
50th Annual Watercolor
West International
Juried Show *
INT, Deadline May 31
Manhattan Arts International
$35/3 entries; $8 add’l entries
Create! Magazine Summer
2018 Print Issue *
INT, Deadline Apr. 30
Create! Magazine
$30 entry fee
VisArts Studio RedLine
Artist-In-Residence 2018 *
INT, Deadline June 1
$35 entry fee
(303) 296-4448
INT, Deadline June 28
Watercolor West
$50 mem entry fee;
$60 non-mem
(714) 840-5010
By Renée Phillips
Inspiration Needs A Realistic Outlook to Flourish
assion and inspiration are
essential for creativity to
flourish; however, the building
blocks that will help you achieve
your art career goals lie in your
ability to access and apply pragmatic
reasoning. In combination, these
forces are invincible.
In my consulting practice, I’ve noticed
certain patterns when artists have
trouble moving their career to the
next level. Here are six pitfalls and
how to avoid them:
The world is filled with artists who
brag, are self-absorbed and entitled.
On the other end of this spectrum are
artists who are shy and reluctant to
vocalize their achievements. Indeed,
humility is an admirable trait, but
not when it interferes with attaining
recognition. If the “About” page on
your website fails to emphasize your
career accomplishments, it’s due for
a rewrite. Refer to your accolades in
your pitch letters and share them on
social media. Also, consider adding
a “Praise Page” to your website with
comments from satisfied customers.
Potential collectors are attracted to
success, so if you want more attention
and sales, you can’t afford to ignore
the importance of self-promotion.
Since I live in NYC, artists ask me for
advice about getting represented by
galleries here or in other major cities.
Although I champion big dreams
and goals that motivate artists to
take action, I’m quick to inform them
that galleries are businesses that
operate with a set of rules and criteria.
Selections of artists is based upon
career history, record of sales, types of
collections and awards and exhibitions.
You must build a track record that will
convince a profit-driven gallery that
you’re worth the investment of their
80 Professional Artist JUNE+JULY 2018
time and effort. It’s wise to become
a “big fish in a small pond” before
jumping into the big ocean.
Many artists take a hiatus due to
family, financial or health reasons.
They may have experienced success
in the past and when they reemerge
on the art scene, they are unprepared
for rejection. They’re surprised to
see an increase in competition and
a change in the business climate. If
you’re returning to your art career
without recent experience, readjust
It’s wise to become
pond” before jumping
your perspective to the current
situation. You may be required initially
to learn new marketing skills, accept
different kinds of opportunities
than you did before, and rebuild
professional relationships.
Artists ask me to evaluate their
portfolio and give feedback about
what I believe to be their strengths.
I frequently notice portfolios that
contain many different styles without
any common thread or cohesive
signature style. I have also found this
trait can permeate other areas of an
artist’s career, such as chasing after
too many different markets, or failing
to create a coherent business plan.
My advice is to first strive to become
the best version of yourself creatively
and then develop a business
framework that will support it.
I respect artists who are self-driven
and independent. However, when
taken to the extreme where they
isolate themselves, these assets
can be detrimental. Successful art
careers are based on support and
camaraderie shared with fellow
artists, rewarding relationships
with corporate art consultants,
interior designers and other art
professionals, and the ability to
engage in collaborative endeavors.
Read my column “Cross Promotion
Marketing Works for Collaborative
Artists” in the April-May 2018
issue. A productive art business
also requires delegating necessary
tasks in which you lack proficiency.
Consider procuring a college intern
or hiring skilled experts.
Inspiration is a wonderful driving
force that may originate from
mysterious sources. It’s wild, free
and empowering, often bursting
forth from your unconscious. When
combined with a coherent, selfdirected discipline and healthy dose
of reality, you can soar to heights you
only dreamed about. PA
Renée Phillips, The Artrepreneur Coach,
helps artists achieve their fullest potential
in consultations and coaching. She
offers art-business articles and e-Books
on She promotes
artists as founder/director of Manhattan
Arts International,,
in curated art programs and online
exhibitions. She advocates art for healing
as founder/editor of The Healing Power of
Topics include
Purchase instant digital downloads of
all the most valuable career insights
and tips for any artist to grow their
business. Available to order now at
Журналы и газеты
Размер файла
12 391 Кб
Professional Artist, journal
Пожаловаться на содержимое документа