Saturday, September 17, 2011

Should I join a Club if I have writers block?

Hi RD, I just started writing a novel. I have never done anything like this before.
I wrote one page and now I am stuck. Are there any writing clubs you suggest??
I would love any advice . Thanks and have a great day!

Sincerely, Your writer friend.

Hi  Writer friend, Congratulations on your novel!
WOW that is great! Though I do like to write fiction for myself for fun, my
expertise in writing has been in the personal growth arena, non-fiction. I know
fiction is a very different business arena.

However I do know what it’s like to get creatively stuck.
One thing I do if I am
stuck is just start writing, painting, taking pictures about what is right in
front of my nose. This usually helps me unblock when I keep at it. You know if
you write just one page a day at the end of the year you'd have a 365 page
story! In fact make it a goal to ONLY write one page a day and tell yourself by
this time next year you are going to have an awesome book finished. You'll
unblock easily this way. Give it a try. As your story develops into the book
start telling people about it, like you told me and start building interest. Just
like you told me, and what happened when you told me? You unwittingly got my
interest, and though I have no idea what your book is about something in me
wants to read it. The most important thing about writing your book if you want
people to read it is to market it to the world of potential readers and that
happens way before it’s finished. Do you have a goal of how many you want to
sell? 10, 1000. 10,000.00 one million? Get my drift?  Build excitement inside yourself first and
know exactly and precisely what you want.

I would sign up for a writer business expert workshops, follow a blog and get a
free newsletter tailored to your needs. Find them and friend them on Facebook
too. Many business marketing experts, like my co-author and friend Peggy McColl sends

out a very informative free newsletter on goal setting. I would sign up for one who
you resonate with.  I would definitely consider hiring a coach or
getting a mentor who can help you in that field. Start researching writer
coaches on the internet and sign up for their free newsletters, they are so
valuable! Maybe even go to a writer workshop, those can be pricey but you get
what you pay for. I believe Arielle Ford is doing one in San Diego in early

I don’t belong to any writer/artist groups as I have found most tend to sit
around and commiserate and not accomplish very much and don’t want to either.
Only seek advice from folks who know more about writing than you do. If you do
join any clubs, be sure they are have positive up building influence and can
contribute you your well being. Consider a club that does somthing creatively other than writing,

perhaps photography, or theater, somthing that will inspire a fun story for you to create after experiencing some fun.
Have you read The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron?
Though it has “Artist“ in the title it's mostly a workshop for writers. Has some awesome exercises in it.

Here’s a little advice from one creative to another. Take it easy, have fun and
don’t forget to breathe! Be sure to also relax and be quite for 5 minutes a day
to refresh your mind, it’s so important for creative’s. So one think I’m going
to ask of you is to find time do this every day. Think about what you really
want to accomplish with this book and feel good about it inside. You might even
want to create a mock up cover for it with a picture, you name and write across
it “YOUR NAME - New York Times Best Selling Author”, Put it up where you can
see it every day! I’m serious, do this! I have done this myself with amazing

I look forward to reading a signed copy of your book! Best wishes! You are on
your way!
RD Riccoboni, The Art Traveler.

Get my book "The Big Picture - A Seven Step Guide for Making A Living With Your Creativity" Here.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Help Wanted - Starving Artist Funeral Planner Needed

Starving Artist Funeral Planner Needed

Hot Job? NOT! Why because it’s an absurd fallacy. Yet almost every artist has bought into this ridiculous myth. Why? Because artists don’t want or like to sell or market their art works or how to approach a gallery about selling it for them. Yet no one seems to have any problem getting a “real job” and doing it for someone else while dramatically suffering about the potential that could have been. Poor dear’s. Poor is right, poorly skilled and poorly prepared, but not in art. What a shame and the answer is right under their nose because they’re doing it for somebody else! Selling!

There are as many ways to sell art and become a financially successful as an artist as there are artists to go around. There is no competition to the creativity you hold with in you.

It is absurd to start an art business without having a desire to sell art.

It is absurd to pay a fortune for art school without learning what it takes to sell and market yourself and your art.

It is absurd to believe people will understand your art on their own and just “get it”

It is absurd to believe you must suffer for your talent and be a starving artist.

When was the last time you attended the funeral of an artist who starved to death making their art at all costs? Absurd.

Focus your art-making and art-selling learning while and after you are in art school. Your efforts will pay off big time. If you’re out of art school learn how to sell either through work and or taking classes on the subject. There is no experience like real hands on sales experience. There are however lots of over educated derelicts in the world waiting for someone else to do their job of selling themselves for them.

Focus on your efforts to be in the art business right where you live (the national and international shows and museum can wait).

Make your art and then get it out there in public view any way you can, ASAP. Wherever there’s a wall there’s an art show waiting to happen. Fresh art equals fresh sales. If people want to see the same pictures over and over, they go to the permanent collection at the museum, meanwhile you need to create, eat, pay your expense and have some left over for reinvesting in yourself, fun and savings. Yes you can do this selling your art. Here are some very important tips.

Listen to and HEAR what people say as you talk to them about your art or while at other art venues. This is valuable to a sense of who likes what and why. Also this will aid you in figuring out how to price it so it sells.
Get a business card with piece of your art on it and ALL your contact info and website on it. You are going to meet lot’s of people who may not be your customer but they may have a friend who is, people love to talk about artists they’ve met! You will stand out this way. This is called marketing.
Marketing is how you get in galleries, meet art reps, make sales, and all kinds of other great stuff you’ve heard about and want. It's how the art business works. It’s How Business Works.

Here's more of what you have to learn in order to thrive as an artist:

Sell Your Art You must do this.

If you can’t part with your art, you’re a hobbyist not a professional. Stop reading this article and go get another job. If you do sell your art, when you do so, keep a record of who bought it when and where. If you can take a picture of where it’s installed do so to show galleries how and in what environment it looks good.

If you’re not good at sales and want to learn how. Get a job selling something you love and believe in. Learn everything you can and apply it to your art sales. Movie stars and authors don’t go on Oprah’s TV shows to talk about the weather, they are there to sell a product for their studio, publisher or favorite charity. They are selling art!

Keep it Simple. Talk and write about your art in ways people understand, regardless of how little or how much they know about art. One to two sentences per piece. Know your product in the simplest of terms.

Price your art consistently and answer questions about your prices concisely. You must know what you are worth BEFORE you go into the gallery and you must know if your prices fit that gallery!

Be Genuine and appreciate your viewers. People will appreciate your art and feel like it's worth owning.

Criticism Mind your own business. Your business is art and joy. How you respond when people criticize your art it can make or break you. If someone critiques you, respond by saying “That’s an interesting point of view, tell me how you came to that conclusion.” You may learn somthing or you may not. If someone is mean spirited, they usually are full of fear that has nothing what so ever to do with you. Remember great art will always evoke an emotional response. It’s best to be compassionate and walk away.

Do not over saturate
your gallery owner, rep or customer. Twenty to thirty pieces of art is enough and less than fifteen is not enough of a selection to start showing and selling. (unless they are huge installation pieces) Then less is more! Remember keep it simple, especially your portfolio.

Appealing Factor Know your audience and your customer art in ways that make it appealing to potential buyers. It must be appealing not just artistically but economically, emotionally and efficiently. Always put yourself in the gallery/customers shoes. Ask yourself What is it? Why do I need it?, How much does it cost? And, How fast can I get it?

A short remember-able story A few Biographical Highlights your art in ways that increase its appeal to potential buyers. Remember again, keep it simple. You can post your resume on your website for further interest.

Qualify your buyer make sure that anyone who's interested in your art work is able to buy something, regardless of how little or how much they have to spend. Be nice to everyone. I have wonderful folks come to the gallery and shows who have never bought a thing but enjoy talking my work up to their friends who DO buy.
If your audience can only spend two dollars a person you’d better have lots of one dollar items!

Look outside the box and sell your art outside of the gallery system. Wherever there’s a wall there’s a gallery. There are also many image licensing opportunities, art rental sales programs, publishing, apparel, house wares, co-opts, video, etc. if an image can go it your art can go on it.

Create your own venue when your art is not the kind of art that galleries sell. If you have your own follow start with open studios at home, you may one day have your own gallery. Many successful artists today do. It’s easier to answers questions from friends regarding your art as well and great practice for the future. You have to start somewhere.

Know your Market look for places outside of the gallery system to sell. Do charity events for you community, Give Back to what you love. Build your customer lists. Your gold is in your customer list.
Barter and Trade your art for goods or services. Business do it, including museums and galleries, you can too.

Look and speak Professional. Carry, speak and present yourself and your art in ways that don't sabotage your opportunities to make sales. No one wants an energy vampire in their place of business. So knock yourself off the pity pot and grow up.

Stop Taking More Art Classes, To Sell more art take Sales and Marketing classes, Hire a business coach to hold you accountable. Tell a good friend to hold you accountable.

Be Accountable and have Integrity Make appointments and keep them. Business’s will not do business with artist’s who are not accountable and artist’s should never do business with companies that lack integrity.

Keep Good Records A company that does not know its overhead is soon out of business.
Build your team of experts so you can make and sell your art. Your accountant, your attorney, your printer, your framer, business insurer, etc. You can’t do everything and you shouldn’t.

Galleries come and go, mostly because they don’t know how to sell and neither do their artists. Don’t put all your hope in a gallery thinking it will save you and sell, sell, sell your art. That’s absurd! The gallery is gone and you’re still here, you tell me now who’s starved to death? You must learn to sell your art.

Never forget this: HONOR your VALUE , TIME and WORTH and your Dream!!. Now go sell! You deserve to have the very best life ever! Sell It!

To Your Success!
RD Riccoboni, The Art Traveler

Artist and Founder of Beacon Artworks Gallery
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
San Diego California

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What kind of Art is that?

Umbrella's at the beach in La Jolla Cove, by RD Riccoboni

Always provide the best quality products and service in your business. This honors and values your self worth as an artist and shows your customers that you care about your product and them as well.

Today is a more technical subject on art in my blog. Since people ask at the studio and gallery all the time this question I thought it would be good to share with my artist and collector friends.

Why do Mr. Riccoboni’s prints look like originals?

They are high quality Giclee prints. Giclee’s provide the best quality print in art reproduction business. Some giclee processing is different from others too.

What is a Giclee Print?

Unlike the traditional printing method of lithography, which only uses four colors – cyan, magenta, yellow and black, giclee prints typically consist of six (or more) colors – light cyan, cyan, light magenta, magenta, yellow and black, offering the highest quality giclee prints for sale.

However, at Beacon Artworks Gallery and RD Riccoboni Studio we use the additional two colors of light black and light, light black. This printing method results in an extensive color gamut allowing the print an exact true color representation. The lithography style of printing consists of the use of tiny dots of the four colors that confuse the eye into seeing colors not actually on the print. Giclee actually sprays and mixes the ink on the page creating the actual color desired, creating true giclee fine art prints.

The same printing system we make available to our clientele is commonly found in museums, art galleries, and photographic galleries. Using the new Ultra-Chrome K3 pigmented inkset from Epson, our fine art printers will allow users to print outstanding color and neutral black & white prints on a variety of media. The beauty and brilliance of a pigment giclee fine art print is unparalleled. And they're made to last too! The Epson system of inks and paper have received lightfast permanence ratings from the Wilhelm Research Institute that well exceed 100 yrs (with proper UV protection), so you can be assured that your prints will look just as good in 30 years as they do today.

Whether you choose an RD Riccoboni giclee prints on canvas or another artists work the quality remains outstanding and you are sure to find a treasured heirloom so as with any piece of art never display them in direct sun.

A giclee may cost a little more, so be sure to know you overhead in your business. The good news today is because of advanced technology you no longer have to do a large run of prints, spending thousands of dollars. With giclee printing, your image is stored digitally and you can order one at a time from a reputable printmaker reducing your overhead to near zero.

Follow your passions with common sense and know your bottom line and use new tools from the industry to better your business. That is honoring and valuing your artist creativity and craft as you travel on the road to success.

RD Riccoboni, The Art Traveler

Order a giclee picture of the painting above from the expert printrs at imagekind:
Umbrella's at the beach in La Jolla Cove, by RD Riccoboni