BLOG*September 17, 2017

I am creating an Artist As Brand® Online Class. This comprehensive course will be akin to my college level classes, but entirely online. Posts for this website are on hold until the course is available, which is slated for the end of the 2017 or beginning of 2018.

The AAB website will return with a new design and purpose. I will still be available for consultations and one on one workshops during this time. I shall be updating the progress over the next few months.

Keep living in your art spirit!

BLOG*May 3, 2017

Everybody’s talking about Instagram and their thousands of followers. Three of my students ramped up their numbers very quickly into the 100,000 range.

One of them, Jacquelin de Leon is up to over 360,000! She can sell every piece of art she puts up on that platform now.

Check out this article from Shopify on how to increase your numbers.

BLOG*March 24, 2017

Promote yourself with a well-executed book launch.

I designed launch parties for my, The Art of Greg Spalenka book which was published by Titan Books in London. One launch was at the San Diego Comic Con, another at a book store, and one at a library. All of them helped me promote myself and sell books.

If you’re self-publishing or releasing a book through a small press, being pampered isn’t usually part of the equation; you’ll have to take the lead on planning your own launch party.

Here is a great article from bookbaby that will help you organize an awesome event.

BLOG*March 2, 2017

You’re not just selling a product. You’re selling a lifestyle.

Engaging your customer online by telling a visual story, and making them feel like they’re purchasing the lifestyle or experience associated with your brand is called a LookBook showcase. This format has been a centerpiece of fashion magazines, like Elle and Vogue for a long time. Unlike product and catalog pages, which typically display products in an unadorned, utilitarian state, lookbooks provide context, presenting them in a real-life, visually-appealing setting. They give customers an idea of how a product is used, what it goes well with, and how it might fit into their home or lifestyle.

Here is a great story that will help you use this concept to great effect with your social media.

Summer by Greg Spalenka.
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.