I read Alyson B. Stanfield’s book I’d rather be in the studio (the Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion) from the first page to the last when I got it in the mail – and loved it!
This book is about marketing for the self-employed, aimed at painting artists mainly, but I think you will gain a lot of great insights if you’re into mixed media, crafts, writing books or other creative adventure where you want to start selling your work. I like that you get a lot of information in a lot of different business areas in the book. To sell you need to be organized and know what you are doing, plan for the future and be active all the time to promote, take initiative and connect with people for example. Alyson helps you with all of that.
Personally I got really excited from the beginning as I was reading this book. At times I was almost exhilarated! The chapter on writing your Artist Statement is filled with great advice and even some journal writing exercises to get you thinking! It’s not just help to write a short (but important!) piece of text but also a guide for your thinking; about where you want to go with your art, what your personal style is (if you have one) and where you would like to take your art in the future. It’s not only a marketing and business planning book, it’s about personal development and insight into what you’re doing! I just love that!
The chapter that made me jump in my seat is called Fill the Rooms: Speak and Teach to Become and Expert! It’s about teaching, presenting your art, seeking opportunities to present yourself (self-promotion!) and about how you can improve your presentation skills. One of my dreams is to have a class of some sort, so of course this was fun to read about. I would like to hold an Art Journal class or some kind of Book Art Class in the future, here in Sweden and elsewhere. This chapter fueled that dream in a positive way and I know I will go back and read it again when the time comes.
Each chapter ends with a No-excuse principle and a No-excuse action wish I think is fabulous. Alyson is a “harsh” teacher that won’t accept your excuses, and neither should you. I think her bossy tone is great and very needed. It’s so easy to procrastinate, right?
iHanna’s No-excuse Action today:
Go buy this book and read it this summer. It’s a book that you’ll want to keep close, refer to often and follow through on, I promise.