Yvonne Branchflower's Art Blog

Compact Art Studio Revisited


Compact efficient art studio

In 2011 and 2012 I posted 4 illustrated blog entries about my compact efficient art studio.  Artists continue to find them useful, judging by the web stats.  The simple uncluttered style of my studio remains very functional.  However, I made one tweak:  To prevent paint from spattering as I work on 18x24” panels, I got a new 22x26” pressed board support that goes on the easel tray behind the panel (or canvas).

 

To read all four posts about my small art studio, scroll down to December 2011 and March 2012.

 

My efforts were not very productive to find links to other bloggers who describe their space efficient studios.  However, these were interesting:

 

www.finearttips.com/2011/05/creating-art-in-small-studios is Lori McNee's article on small studios, her own and those of other artists.

 

http://www.emergencyresponsestudio.org   This is just too good to ignore:  A converted FEMA trailer does not fit my definition of a “compact art studio”, but the provocative concept may work for some artists in a modified form.  The huge skylight would cause difficulties for artists working in color because of variations in light intensity caused by clouds passing the sun.

 

http://pinterest.com/apidraper/creative-art-studios  Some useful storage ideas.  When purchasing storage containers, realize that square is more space-efficient than round.

 

For all you bloggers looking for a valuable topic, compact and efficient art studio is a worthy subject.  Even if you have just one thing in your studio that makes it work efficiently, post it.  A friend of mine lived in her van, which was also her art studio.  It was a very efficient (but not too comfortable) microcosm with floor-to-ceiling well-anchored storage.

 

May 28, 2013 Adding ideas as I find them:

Pinterest is a surprising resource.  This link is for revamped armoires: www.pinterest.com/notyrone/revamped-armoires

While these armoires have been converted for craft use, they provide plenty of ideas for painters. 

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Marketing and Imagination


"Golden Meadow" 8x10" oil on panel

There is a little magazine called Entrepreneur that I enjoy digging into every few issues.  Entrepreneur is not about art, but it is very much about creativity needed to make a business thrive.  Artists are by nature entrepreneurs, so why not just read an art magazine or book in which art marketing stuff has already been digested and regurgitated for you?  Because you just might miss a creative opportunity.

 

When I read Entrepreneur’s articles I don’t think like an oil painter trying to sell some paintings online.  I am open to random ideas, and while those ideas usually relate to art, it is less likely they would occur to me had I been reading an art marketing resource.  For example, because donuts were so successful, someone developed a franchise around cupcakes.  Surely one could do the same around a new type of art business.  That kept my imagination busy until my husband quashed it with, “Sounds like a non-profit organization.”  Ah well, only an hour had been spent on development, and none on research.  I’ll leave it to a young entrepreneur to develop Art IzUs.

 

Ann Handley's article, “The Customer Capture Contraption” (Entrepreneur, September 2011) didn’t really offer new ideas about blogging, but it put a different spin on old ones.  Handley is CCO of www.marketingprofs.com where you can find an abundance of free articles about marketing in general.

 

Few successful business people are insular.  They seek ideas from a wide base and can afford ongoing professional advice .  In contrast, artists tend to be insular and few of us can afford a staff of professionals.  There are many good art marketing books and articles available, and you should read them.  You should also reach beyond them to the broader world of marketing ideas for inspiration outside the art box.

 

Read some of Entrepreneur’s articles online at www.entrepreneur.com

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Blog Habits I Love

So, you read my prior blog 3 Fun Tips to Make Your Blog Better  and you’ve begun collecting great advice and examples in your folders.  You are looking at blogs critically, deciding what makes a blog compelling.  Following, are some blogging habits I appreciate (do these ring any bells with you?):

 

Integrated blogs:  An integrated blog is part of the website.  Graphic design is the same, giving both blog and website a uniform, professional look.  It is true that some blogging platforms are more versatile than others, but when reading an integrated blog, your visitor never leaves your website (unless following out-bound links.) Visitors who stay on your website are more likely to browse around to see what else you has to offer.  Don’t let your visitors wander off.

 

Out-bound links that open a new page:  Too often,  I follow interesting links only to lose track of the original fascinating website/blog that is full of so much valuable information.  Choosing the option to open a new page (or window) for your out-bound links keeps your site available to the viewer.  If a viewer likes, and doesn't lose, your site, he is more likely to bookmark it and be a return visitor.

 

Out-bound links that are explained:  Do you like to know where you are being sent and why?  Most people appreciate an explanation in the text or in one of those little balloons that opens when you hover over a link.

 

Blogs that give me the whole enchilada:  My attention span is short.  I will read a continuous blog.  I will abandon a blog that gives me one enticing paragraph and then says, “click here to read more.”  If you get irritated by that, don't inflict it on your readers.

 

A story with the painting:  We all love a good story, and a good story makes a painting and the artist memorable.  Such websites and blogs are more likely to get bookmarked and stay bookmarked.  Aspire to be as interesting, and spend time examining their paintings and writings.  These artists know how to build a good on-line following.

 

Titles that define the subject:  Time is short.  You are looking for information and the title will determine whether or not you read the article.  Cute or cryptic titles get passed over.  Probably, search engines pass them over, too.

 

If your paintings are your vision, your blog is your voice.  Be clear and true.

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3 Fun Tips to Make Your Blog Better

Blogging is coming of age, and the internet is full of great resources that can help you develop a blog that people want to read.  This post will help you identify and save those resources so you can refer back to them.

 

Open a second “home page” beside this page so you can do a little internet sleuthing.

 

1.  If you don’t have a Bookmark folder for “Blogging Tips,” make one now.  Right now.  Into that folder put www.problogger.net/blog/  and  www.dailyblogtips.com  .   Both sites are written by professional bloggers, and feature articles that inform you about good blogging practices.  They are not about art:  They are only about blogging.  Read the articles that interest you, and take time to notice titles because titles capture or lose readers.  Google “blog writing tips” for more resources.  Great bloggers link to other great bloggers, so follow some of their links for sites to add to your new “Blogging Tips” folder.

 

2.  Set up another Bookmark folder.  Call this one “Favorite Art Blogs.”  Put into this folder art blogs that you find compelling.  You will probably save art blogs for different reasons:  Some are informative, others are inspiring or beautiful.  Some art blogs market the art while others don’t.  Collect about a dozen, (more, if you like) keep them weeded as you find better blogs, and ask yourself why you like each of them.

 

3.  Have a place for notes.  I keep a 6x9” spiral bound notebook by my computer for notes about my blog and my newsletter, The Palette Keeper.  Using little stick-on dividers, the blog section is divided like this:

 

  • Blog do’s—things I deem important to good blogging.
  • Blog don’ts—things that would probably lose readers.
  • Topics to write about—this is important!  If you don’t maintain a list of things to blog about, your brain will turn to mush just when you really need to remind the world you exist.
  • Notes—odds and ends about blogging that don’t fit elsewhere.

Check your stats a day or two after you post on your blog.  Did you get a bump?  If so, you have readers!  Over time, your stats will reveal which of your posts are most popular, and you can use that to develop a subject theme for your blog.

 

I did say “Fun tips” in the title of this article.  You should enjoy your blog, however much or little you write for it.  Likewise, enjoy learning how to make it better.  It helps if you like to write, but even if just thinking about writing makes your brain cramp you can still publish an interesting blog—just keep it short and to the point.  So, how is your blog doing?

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