Artist Lisa Congdon recently did a CreativeLive in support of her much-buzzed-about book Art, Inc. (Chronicle Books' "Inc." series is pretty awesome and I would encourage you to check out the whole series). In the Venn diagram of the worlds of art and maker, there is often much overlap, but there is also a lot of stuff that each don't do, care about or run into that the other does. We wanted to hear from a couple of our members who watched the live version of Lisa's to see if it would be worth it for makers. Thanks Jennifer and Maddie for your insight!
Note: The links to CreativeLive are affiliate links and if you choose to buy something after visiting using the link we might make a little bit of money... not getting rich but going to support our work with handmade artists!
Q: Introduce yourself!
Maddie: Hi, my name is Maddie Spoto and I am a graphic and jewelry designer. I work with makers through my freelance graphic design services (www.maddiespoto.com), as well as own my own handmade jewelry business, Folk Dreams. (www.folkdreamsjewelry.etsy.com)
Jennifer: I’m Jennifer Priest, the creator of hydrangeahippo. I create jewelry, mixed media art, general crafts, and DIY projects. I’ve had an etsy shop since 2007 and over the years have coached others in starting their own shops. For the last 5 years I have provided social media marketing and general business coaching and mentoring to other etsians, licensing artists in the craft and gift industries, and craft designers through Rainmaker Media Works, the serious side of hydrangeahippo.
Q: How did you hear about Lisa Congdon's Creative Live?
Maddie: I found out through Lisa Congdon on her Facebook fan page. I first learned about Lisa at Craftcation.
Jennifer: I actually heard about it through the Academy of Handmade Members Facebook Group – I love all of the updates Sharon posts there.
Q: What info is good for makers?
Maddie: She talked a lot about selling your art, which a lot of it applies to makers and artists alike. She discussed social media, marketing, galleries, wholesale, consignment, blogging, and compiling a CV and your portfolio.
Jennifer: The first 3 hours of the course I felt were really relevant to anyone in any business. Lisa told her story and dispelled some common myths about success, fear, and commitment in business. The most useful portion of the talk I felt was the goal setting discussion. Lisa shared real life examples that I think makers could easily apply to their goals and businesses in order to help them move forward in a more focused way.
Q: What info seemed less geared toward makers?
Maddie: If you, as a maker, were not interested in working with galleries, there were segments that probably didn't apply to you.
Jennifer: There was definitely a focus on licensing and gallery showings for artists. Though this wasn’t relevant to makers directly, some of the lessons and advice could be applied to business, creativity, and motivation in a larger sense so it wasn’t totally irrelevant.
Q: What surprising information did you learn?
Maddie: My BA is in art and art history, so I am personally interested in gallery art and curation, which she discussed in full and I found it all very interesting. The most surprising information was how and what galleries are looking for in artists.
Jennifer: I learned that it is okay, in fact good, to be diverse in what you do and how you make money. Lisa encouraged this throughout the talk and gave many examples of how she has benefitted from doing many different things and having many different revenue streams instead of just focusing on one thing, say, surface design. This is contrary to what most people teach and I welcomed it!
Q: What was the most valuable piece of information?
Maddie: She highly promoted writing down your dreams, setting goals, and then breaking those down into action steps. She also talked in depth about core values, and how you want the world to feel when they visit your site. This also touched on authenticity and vulnerability. I thought this segment was very moving and valuable since it really makes you think and put them down on paper.
Jennifer: Definitely the goal setting process that Lisa covered. I think it really helps walk creative types through setting goals and then very analytically figuring out how to reach those goals.
Q: Do you think it was worth the price?
Maddie: I tuned in live, so it was free, which was great! But I think it is definitely worth the price, especially if your aesthetic or dreams have similarities to what Lisa Congdon is trying to achieve. There was definitely a little bit for everyone in there. She also has a great book, Art, Inc. which is what a lot of the information was based on in the class. I will for sure be buying the book!
Jennifer: At first I balked at the price. After day 1, I paid the $79 gladly. I am sure a lot of information is in Lisa’s new book, Art Inc, but I really liked the format of the class and that I could watch it over and over again. Also, the handouts were nice.
Q: Anything Else?
Jennifer: You could buy 3 books and read them over a month or take this class in 2 days and be working on your business now. It’s up to you how fast you want to move. This class lit a fire under me!
Q: Where can people find your stuff?
I'd like to also add that I tuned into parts of the CreativeLive and just seeing how artists think about things a little bit differently (like limited edition runs of things) than makers do is a great way for makers to learn the "tricks" of artists that can easily be applied to their own business.