Salons, Masterminds, or the Buddy System – Techniques for Artists Selling their Art Online
The below article is a guest post from blogger Cory Huff, who produces TheAbundantArtist.com where artists can learn better techniques to sell their artwork online.
In 1937 Napoleon Hill published the book Think and Grow Rich. In the book Hill outlines 13 principles that make people successful. He created these principles after spending 20 years studying the most wealthy people of his time. One of my favorite principles is the idea of the Master Mind. Hill makes a comparison between the human brain and a battery. The more cells a battery has, the better it works. Also, the more batteries you have working together the better they work.
Hill is not the only person to draw this type of conclusion. We all know that we need other people to help us. That’s why we hire specialists in different fields. Hill, however, gave the guidance that it is necessary for people who desire success to cultivate associations with people who can help them.
In 17th century France artists and academics began a system of academies and salons, holding each other accountable, and generating positive energy aimed at raising the level of success for each artist involved. These artists became friends, confidants, and business partners with each other. While outsiders criticized the salons, those who were part of the salons enjoyed recognition and financial success.
There’s nothing all that complicated about getting a group of friends together to discuss art. You probably do that all the time in your immediate circles. There is a big difference, however, between having a group that discusses art and having a group of people together who are focused on helping each other succeed.
Band Together for Success
It is an acknowledged principle that those who succeed do so with the help of those around them. Successful business professionals purposefully seek out mastermind groups. I am a member of a mastermind group that consists of people from several different industries. We meet together to discuss obstacles that hold us back from succeeding and to share resources & ideas. Artists can and should be doing the same thing.
I hear so many artists talk about how they don’t know anything about being in business and that’s perfectly fair. Having a mastermind group, or a salon, is a way of making up for some of your weaknesses in business. I have found that once you get a group of artists together and start talking business, they often find that together they have a lot more knowledge of how to be in business than they give themselves credit for.
How to Organize
Many art critics and art coaches advise having a group of like minded painters together. There is certainly value in having other painters around to critique your work, but what about artists from other disciplines? A great deal of brilliance comes from getting artists of different disciplines together.
Having an agenda is a good idea. Artists together have a tendency to chat about topics not related to business. An agenda that is distributed beforehand complete with what you’ll talk about, when the meeting will start, whether there will be food, and how long you’ll spend on each topic is a good idea.
Who you organize a salon with is important. Don’t go for variety just for variety’s sake. You should find other artists who you are inspired by, who are focused on their business, and who you trust to do things well.
What to Talk About
Some art salons simply talk about art. That’s all well and good, but you need to focus on your business if you want to be a successful artist. If you want to talk about the finer points of Existentialism, put that at the end of the agenda. Good topics for your art marketing salons include: incorporating as a business, building Web sites, selling at art fairs, pricing models, taxes, health insurance, and many other topics.
Even if you can’t find a few artists in your area that you can band together with to form a mastermind or artist salon, you should be able to find at least one person with whom you can brainstorm. The idea is that we don’t work alone.
I’m interested in hearing from Imagekind users – are any of you part of an artist salon or mastermind group?
Cory Huff is an actor, husband, and producer of TheAbundantArtist.com, a site dedicated to teaching artists how to sell their work online. He firmly believes the starving artist is a myth that must be dispelled. He is available for individual consultation on Internet marketing and business planning for artists.
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