Art, art, art. Yep, this newsletter is definitely about art.

Fortify Your Soul

Spring is here and everything around us is surging forth with life. I, on the other hand, feel a little depleted. It happens. My life has been busy lately and there hasn't been as much time for my creative endeavors as I'd like. For a while, I think I was sapping my energy and enthusiasm even more by becoming frustrated about the situation. I've decided to accept that things happen in phases and while I might not be getting loads of artwork finished, many positive things have been happening in my life which feed my creativity and fortify my soul.  Maybe this is just the phase I'm in at the moment, and it's necessary for me to gather strength before I move toward the next step. I encourage you to do the same thing. Stop and take a moment to appreciate where you are creatively. Give yourself credit for coming this far, and rest easy in the knowledge that while things might not happen exactly as you'd planned, or on your precise timetable, things will happen. How do I know this?  Because YOU will make them happen when you're ready.

Get organized. Make your promotional life a little easier and more efficient by creating a folder which contains the following items:

1.  Your bio: You should have a short one, more like a byline, and a longer one which describes you and your artistic process in greater detail. You can use these as a template each time you set up a new social media site or account, or to accompany exhibition submissions and the like.  Tweak them a little as needed to fit the specific word counts and requirements. Revisit these once a year, or whenever your work changes significantly.

2. Images: Make a habit of taking photos as you work on each piece (in-process) and when it's completely finiished. Obtain your pics at the highest resolution possible and then save the files to a folder called: Title_Master.

Use a photo processing software to make copies of each photo at both 300 dpi and 72 dpi. Save them as:


You will use the 72 dpi images for posting on websites and sharing your work throughout your social media platform.  300 dpi is appropriate for printing as postcards or announcements.

I use IrfanView or XnView, both available for free download.

Decide on a uniform naming scheme for your photos and stick with it.

If you make a habit of completing the above actions for each of your pieces, it'll be no trouble at all to find the photos you need and you won't find yourself searching frantically for images when you're in a rush.
If you're not used to doing this, it might sound time-consuming, but I promise, the longer you use an organized system like this, the easier it gets.

Remember to take artsy photos regularly while working in your studio. People love to see how artists work and these informal photos are perfect for quick updates to social media sites, or to use as background photos for websites etc. The great thing about them is - if they're your photos, you won't have to worry about copyright issues.

3. Form Letters: If you find yourself typing similar emails or responses over and over again, create simple templates in your word processing program which you can quickly personalize before you hit send. This will save you a tremendous amount of time.

4. Style Sheet: It isn't a bad idea to use uniform colors and fonts throughout your social media platform. It builds familiarity and recognition for your fans and readers. Keep track of the specific details for yourself so that don't spend a lot of time searching for them later.

Bonus: If you don't already know, find out what a hex code is.

You should save this folder in the mobile document receptacle of your choice so that you can access them anywhere, anytime. I recommend:

Google Drive
Drop Box
E-mail Robin
Tara Leaver is one of I&A's featured artists. Her art is beautiful, whimsical, and fabulous, but my favorite thing about her is that she is so generous with her time and talents. Both her website and blog are full of wonderful ideas and inspiring artwork. Pay her a visit. I guarantee it will be time well-spent. Blue Girl, above, is Tara's. Pop over and connect with her via social media and prepare to be energized and motivated. 
Did you know that Dick Blick is taking applications for featured artists?

What a terrific opportunity to get your work and your sites out there! It only takes a moment to fill out the form and if you're chosen, you'll have a huge, ready-made, and focused audience for your work. Very cool!

Let us know if you make the cut so we can remind you how incredible you are.
Visit my website
Featured Artists
February, 2013
“Art will remain the most astonishing activity of mankind born out of struggle between wisdom and madness, between dream and reality in our mind.” ~Magdalena Abakanowicz
Bragging rights granted: I got an email this week from a featured artist who wanted to check in with me to make sure it was okay to share his link and brag about being featured at I&A. Is it okay?!  Not only is it okay, it's highly encouraged. Yes, yes, yes! By all means, feel free to share your features, the newsletter and anything else you like around the great, big cyber world. That, my friends, is the whole point. Push your stuff out there into the world and make people take notice.

A copyright reminder:  I have secured written permission to share the works of all art that you see at I&A. You are welcome to share the links and to help to promote others, in fact, that's really the main point of Ink & Alchemy, but please be very careful to respect the copyrights of other artists. Make sure that if you do share links, you retain the artist and website information. We'll do the same for you and the world will be a happier place because of it.
All featured artists and writers are automatically included in the I&A mailing list and others may sign up here. Each issue will include a list of features from the previous month, as well as updates, and a collection of useful links and tips.

A permanent, running list of Ink & Alchemy Featured Writers & Artists is maintained on my blog and is updated on a weekly basis. 
What to read:
A rising tide floats all boats.
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