BLOG*February 7, 2017

Creative website marketing comes in all shapes and sizes. Using a crossover collaboration with mutual sponsorship is something we are seeing more and more of these days. I encourage individual artists to do the same.

John Malkovich is known and respected for his acting expertise, but what does he do when his intent is to redirect an audience’s focus on his talent as a clothes designer? Using his name in this smart promotion gets people’s attention, but ultimately he directs the story to another plot point, which propels us to his website.

Using Squarespace as a sponsor and visa versa two companies now benefit from each other.

Check it out HERE.

BLOG*January 20, 2017

You’re an author. That means you are also a business.

 There are many advantages to adopting good business practices, especially if you are self-publishing.

  • You’ll have more time for writing. You’ll save yourself hours of frustration digging through piles of stuff trying to find information.
  • You’ll be ready for success. As your sales increase, you will be prepared to measure and manage that growth.
  • You’ll avoid losses. If you have a better handle on cash flow, you’ll know when your expenses are getting too far ahead of your income.
  • You’ll know what works. If you have a method of tracking sales, you’ll know which marketing efforts paid off and which were a bust.
  • You’ll avoid mistakes, like forgetting to collect and pay sales tax or to deliver 1099s to freelancers.
  • You’ll save on taxes. If you operate your writing venture as a business, you are more likely to be able to deduct writing expenses from your non-writing income and reduce your tax bill.
  • You’ll feel more legit. If you don’t treat your writing as a legitimate business, then no one else will, particularly the IRS.
  • Your heirs will thank you. If you are hit by the proverbial bus, your heirs will appreciate your organization.

    I highly recommend this comprehensive guide called, Publishing Business in a Box, by Helen Sedwick. Filled with detailed, step-by-step instructions on the best practices for setting up your self-publishing company.

    Helen will guide you through:

    • The steps needed to enter the business of self-publishing
    • Developing a realistic budget, a full-blown business plan, and your tax options.
    • Working with vendors, editors and hiring freelancers, and other contract-based workers.
    • Purchasing your own ISBNs,
    • Setting up bank, PayPal and other business accounts,
    • Accepting credit cards, and
    • Keeping track of income and expenses.

    This package is a great deal at its regular price of $147, but Author Tool Kits Publishing is offering a special deal for the next 5 days, dropping the price from $147 to only $97. It is a great opportunity to get yourself setup properly and see your stories make a profit.

BLOG*January 3, 2017

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Presented another Artist As Brand Workshop, this time at San Diego State University. Another amazing group of talented individuals guided along by their professor, and amazing artist Neil Shigley.

Neil and I met in New York during the late 80’s while pursuing our illustration careers. We are both alumni of Art Center College of Design and love creating figurative art. We both gravitated toward social/political commentary in our work, and stressed the importance to the students of exploring life and the planet with the intention of experiencing something new and bringing those stories to life for others to experience.

This was an emotional group and I look forward to seeing what visions they create.

BLOG*December 14, 2016

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A one day Artist As Brand Workshop at BYU was a blast. Thank you to Bob Barret, Bethanne and the rest of the faculty in the visionary art department. Yes, they rock.

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BLOG*November 24, 2016

Creating video trailers for your book whether you are pitching the product directly to an audience or not is now an expected promotional tool. Take a look at this promo for James Lovelock’s, The Earth and Ifrom Taschen. They had a nice budget to produce this video but with a little imagination you can do the same.  In addition, the book’s design and illustrations add an interactive touch adding to the experience of a scholarly subject that could otherwise be fairly dry.

The Earth and I is a book of world-class contributors include quantum physicist Lisa Randall, Astronomer Royal Martin Rees, Pulitzer Prize–winning biologist Edward O. Wilson, and Nobel Prize–winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel. With lively illustrations from British artist Jack Hudson, the result is an inspiration for curious minds young and old, and a trusted tool kit for an informed and enlightened future.

BLOG*November 4, 2016

The concept of book promotion has really become its own animal. You may ask what is a book anymore?

Take for instance J.K. Rowling’s, “The Magical Congress of the United States of America,” and the movie “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” Rowling, still riding on her Harry Potter success has opened up a Pandora’s Box of infinite possibility as to what a story can be.

WB Games is set to release a “story pack” based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for the video game Lego Dimensions. The pack will include a constructible model of MACUSA, and a six-level game campaign that adapts the film’s events.

Rowling has also released four pieces of writing exclusively as an introduction to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” titled “History of Magic in North America.” The trailer above showcases the potential for taking the concept of a storyline into other areas of production. Rowling of course had a large budget to create a very sophisticated promo here, but with your imagination, a small investment and some tech savy (hook up with those artists and techies), you too can open the doors to other income with your book, or whatever you choose to call it.

BLOG*September 26, 2016

Fear prevents us from living life to the fullest. Through her experience facing 100 fears, Michelle Poler learned how we deal with fear, the types of fears we face in life, and the process through which we are able to manage the anxieties and accomplish great things.

Michelle Poler, originally from Caracas, Venezuela, is a graduate from the School of Visual Arts holding a master’s degree in Branding. A few months ago, she quit her job as an Art Director to develop what started as a school project and turned into a life-changing experience.

Michelle decided to face all of her fears for her project 100 Days Without Fear. She planned to become a braver person by the end of the 100 days, what she didn’t plan was to inspire millions along the way.

BLOG*September 22, 2016

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“Entrepreneur” is an incredibly powerful word. Many people, especially those for whom the corporate world is anathema, can’t imagine being anything but an entrepreneur.

Gates, Jobs,  Zuckerberg come to mind, with artists not so much, but James Jean, Mark Ryden, Jeff Soto are a few that might. We may compare ourselves  to these other people’s success, but that does not really serve us. Be authentic, be YOU.

Read more about authenticity in this article, Don’t Try to Be the Next Steve Jobs. Instead, Be The Next You, by Jeff Hayden.

BLOG*September 1, 2016

When it’s time to shine, be the brightest! – Deshun Wang

BLOG*August 25, 2016

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When the Argentine-born, London-educated artist Amalia hinderance moved to Los Angeles in 2014, she spent weeks chronicling the experience on Instagram (@ hindrance). She posted photos of her shopping binges, her avocado toast and even her plastic surgery: a boob job, natch.

None of it was real. It was a performance, part of a larger examination of the ways in which women depict themselves in public. “Excellences & Perfections,” as the series was called, astutely employed Instagram’s fascination for hyper-pretty perfection to tell a story about a quest for just such a thing (one that involved a truckload of L.A. clichés).

Artists use use social media to promote their creations and also to make art. How it is used can be beneficial or a problem. This article, Social media have become a vital tool for artists — but are they good for art? by Carolina A. Miranda for the LA Times looks at its benefits and the challenges.