BLOG*August 25, 2015


The collegiate arena has always been an old boys club of sorts, with its own rules and regulations, standardized curriculums, application policies, governmental oversight, subsidies and much, much more. Students are groomed to attend college even before high school with the goal of winning some corporate position or in the instance of receiving an MFA degree, a ticket to becoming a full time teacher.

I see artists all the time scrambling to get that MFA intending that it will lead to the golden chalice of full time employment with all its perks, but times have changed and nothing is guaranteed. Part time faculty positions are increasing while full time positions are decreasing. This shift has created some problematic results, for students too.

For instance the entire class of first year MFA students at USC’s Roski School of Art has decided to leave the school, listing a number of grievances, criticizing the school’s administration for not valuing the Program’s faculty structure, pedagogy or standing in the arts community. This is only the tip of the iceberg as higher education attempts to justify skyrocketing tuitions and other costs. Read more about the USC protest here.

This is why it is crucial to truly look at your options and create a backup for your art career. Teaching can be a part of that equation but do not rely on outdated educational paradigms for income sustainability.

BLOG*August 14, 2015

I present Artist As Brand classes predominately at Colleges and Universities. However, when I have the opportunity to work with small groups of people, or even better with one or two individuals then the focus goes incredibly deep and it is amazing what can be be revealed!

Joan Marie is a talented, high energy, extremely positive, forward looking, visionary artist who flew in from St. Luis to Los Angeles for a mentoring session. Talk about commitment! Her daughter Brittany Bishop a Landmark Forum representative and biofeedback assistant joined us to see about getting more clarity about her career path. We had some amazing breakthroughs!

One of the segments of the AAB curriculum is to create  a Vision Board that defines those parts of ourselves that bring us tremendous joy. These parts turn into specific projects or products that are then directed toward a niche audience. It is surprising that most artists do not use an inside out approach to defining their talent and its potential.

Even though Joan is very intuitive she was not certain of what she really wanted to create. After some digging it became apparent that latent theatrical talents (dancing, acting, lecturing) had been hidden from sight, but now they burst forth with the power of a tidal wave. Now her art vision includes a very personal theatrical production (in the works) that will include all her paintings and a message of confidence and hope to people everywhere. It is auspicious that Joan has been a high school art teacher for decades!

Joan’s Core Virtue

Brittany is a very smart, self confident individual but was still defining her career path. It became clear that she was intimately connected with the science of the heart and nature, specifically the trees. It was also learned that she loves EDM’s (Electronic Dance Music) and events. So we put these elements together and now she is researching how to produce an EDM type show that connects people’s hearts to the trees or more succinctly, to their own essential nature. 

Brittany’s Core Virtue

It is an honor and a blessing to facilitate this work with people and a joy to see the result! In fact no sooner had Joan returned home  The Mogal Muse Magazine printed an article about her! Go Joan!

BLOG*July 30, 2015


Coming off of another Comic Con I am reminded about the importance of table dynamics on the convention floor. Do I stand out, make a statement with my set up and attract interested people?

Every year I re-evaluate my set up.  Am I representing my brand in an authentic manner, is there a hierarchy of importance on the table, how visible is everything, what are peoples reaction, where do they look when they come upon my table.

In Artist Alley in San Diego we have a 4′ x 24″ space to work with. It is very tight. So how the space is utilized on the table,  in back of my chair as well as under the table is crucial.

Here is a great post I came across by the WebComic Alliance that offers some great advice.


BLOG*July 13, 2015

Click on the image to enlarge.

I have moderated the Artist As Brand panel at the San Diego Comic Con for five years now. This time the table was graced with the talented Daniel M. Davis and Dawna Davis of Steamcrow, Shiflett BrothersJeff Soto, Melissa Pagluica and Diana Levin.

We had a large crowd and reviewed the art of the start, social media, conventions and facing our fears. Much inspiration was to be had by all. A big thank you to my amazing guests and the attendees.

BLOG*June 29, 2015

Freelancing is an option for artists who want to work in the industries of publishing, film, games, etc.  while they build up their patron/collector base. Graphic Designer James Grieg has put together an email course called “Before Going Freelance” that helps you get your head around some of the details of becoming a freelancer. Part of the course is free so check it out.

Many art colleges prepare students for this art career option. You can always send questions my way too if this is something you really want to do as I freelanced as an illustrator for three decades! In a way when you follow the Artist As Brand principles you are aligning yourself with freelancing concepts, but you are building the industry around your self as opposed to relying on other businesses for your income.

But check out Grieg’s class and let me know what you think of it.

BLOG*June 4, 2015

For all of you artist cat lovers this convention is for you.

You may be to late for a table or booth but check it out!

June 6-7


BLOG*May 20, 2015

A beautiful booth setup is an integral part of your brand and high touch marketing strategy. The National Stationery Show in New York City each year is a sure bet to offer new ideas for booth design and products. Check out this post by Poppytalk that showcases some highlights from the event.

BLOG*May 12, 2015

MadeWorn is a clothing and lifestyle company created by Blaine Halvorson. They produce everything from hand-engraved rolex watches to t-shirts and shoes. One of the things I talk to my students about is living your brand. That means you reflect yourself authentically all the time, especially with how you dress. It is obvious that Halvorson embodies this trait and revels in it.

Check out his style and how it relates to his selective clientele which is showcased beautifully in his website.

BLOG*May 4, 2015

What is Hylo?

Hylo is a new kind of social network that helps real communities create, together. In our communities-of-purpose; places like co-working spaces, maker spaces, and affinity groups, we’re surrounded by incredible people, skills, and resources. But it’s hard to know who to connect with, for what, and when. Often the things we need most are closer than we think, but we just can’t see them.

What if someone nearby had exactly what you needed to further your project? What if you were that person for someone else?

With Hylo, you can discover who in your community:

Has the skills you need
Is working on cool projects
Is available to support you
Needs your help

Hylo helps you discover opportunities to connect, collaborate, and share resources in your community, so that you can make your dreams real.

Who is it for?

Hylo is designed for communities-of-purpose, like: coworking spaces, startup accelerators, companies, alumni networks, affinity groups, and conferences.

Check it out social art entrepreneurs.

BLOG*April 26, 2015

My Artist As Brand Workshop in June of last year at Helikon Gallery in Denver had a very proactive group of artists. They decided at the end of the workshop to manifest a book and gallery show together. They created a concept amongst themselves and then produced an IndieGoGo crowd funding event to pay for the printing of the book which has been achieved!

I was asked to be a part of this project and am honored to do so as they have been using the principles learned in the workshop to really get this off the ground. The show will be this June 5 at Helikon Gallery. Stop by if you are in town.

I always encourage my students to jump in with their projects and get them started ASAP. My workshop in Seattle, in conjunction with TLC Workshops and Krab Jab Studio a few months ago has inspired this group to work on a collaborative project too! I will keep everyone here on my blog updated as to their progress.

Check out the, Strange Conversations IndieGoGo campaign to see how it was done, then create your own!