Side Arts | Blog

Miguel Angel Castrillo [Certified Member – Side Arts]

Miguel Angel Castrillo [Certified Member – Side Arts]

Miguel Angel Castrillo is a new Side Arts Certified Member

My name is Miguel Angel Castrillo. I was born in San Sebastian, Spain in 1973. My family names are Castrillo Fernandez. Sotoko is my stage name. Since I was a child I have always been interested in arts and very specially in painting.

It was as a teenager on a trip to Italy after the death of my father who was the first to get me to draw that I could see and enjoy among others some of Sandro Boticelli´s works. I knew then that someday I would devote a lot of my time to painting as a professional.

After trying various schools of Art and Design, both in Spain and the United Kingdom, I finally finished my studies at the Massana School of Art in the city of Barcelona, Spain, graduating as a top Technician of Plastic Arts and Design in Applied Mural Arts in 2003. I have shown my works in cities such as London, Barcelona Port, and Valladolid.

I have used different techniques ranging from drawing in all its forms to mural fresco paintings as well as graffito , stucco, and even altar pieces and stained glass. I am familiar with acrylic painting, watercolors, and collage. However, it is oil paintings I feel most comfortable working with by using very thin brushwork to create compositions that address various topics, usually in series which I very much enjoy to show accompanied by short texts. These works could be erotic, religious, or of other nature.

Among the places where my work can be permanently seen and available to be enjoyed are at the San Joaquín y Santa Ana Museum in the Spanish city of Valladolid.

To see more work by Miguel Angel Castrillo, visit

Miguel Angel Castrillo


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Traci Meitzler [Certified Member – Side Arts]

Traci Meitzler [Certified Member – Side Arts]

Traci Meitzler is a new Side Arts Certified Member.

As an artist, I work hard to develop art that speaks both to me and to others about my emotions and frame of mind while creating. Each piece has a story, moment in time, and feeling. The direction at the start of a project can be monumentally different compared to the conclusion. Documenting that process is the best way to see that evolution. I take many photos throughout the process and keep a diary on what has inspired me or music I’ve been listening to. Reading what I’ve written always gives me a baseline to come back to in regard to idea consistency.

I would classify my style as chaotic architecture. I enjoy the juxtaposition of straight edges with organic curves. I believe that a painting or any design cannot have just one element, but that each exists in harmony because of the other. I wouldn’t appreciate the soft curves or winding swirls if the rigid, inflexible boundaries weren’t there to limit their reach, and vice versa.

I work mostly in acrylic mediums along with other materials such as marker, charcoal, spray paint, and modeling paste. I like to add non-standard items to create texture such as clear acrylic sheets, textured wall paper, and coarse sand. I enjoy ending up with a painting that is half two dimensional and half three dimensional. It’s difficult for the viewer or, in fact, myself to resist touching it.  An entire shelf just littered with found items, cardboard, fabrics, and hardware are patiently waiting to become part of a new project.

To see more work by Traci Meitzler, visit

Traci Meitzler


Traci Meitzler

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Barbara Krupp [Certified Member – Side Arts]

Barbara Krupp [Certified Member – Side Arts]

Barbara Krupp is a new Side Arts Certified Member. Barbara trained to be an x-ray technician. From that time on, as T.S. Eliot wrote in his “Whispers of Immortality,” I have seen “the skull beneath the skin.”

The structure of the painting is very important to her. In her most recent series, she has, in a manner of speaking, allowed the bones of the painting, both compositionally and metaphorically, become the painting’s’ subject matter.

Through Georgia O’Keeffe, whose early 1940’s series of pelvic bones enclosed spaces that later in the decade became forms themselves, Barbara found areas of interest in her own landscape and floral abstractions to be the atmospheric spaces between forms. She came to realize that the significance in her paintings was not in the forms, but in the spaces in between them.

In her “Abstract Stories” series, those atmospheric spaces became increasing bounded by spontaneously drawn shapes. Painted in shades of ochre-tinted white, the color of bone, the enclosed spaces began to take on shapes that suggested something as intimate and normally hidden as bone, organic shapes that suggested body parts unveiled here and there as though to tease a lover.

T.S. Eliot ends his poem with, ”Our lot crawls between dry bones to keep our metaphysics warm.” Barbara explores the interface between passion and the intellect, pulsing tissue and desiccated bone. Our lot may be to crawl through our mortal span but, like the poet, we also sing.

To see more work by Barbara Krupp, visit



Barbara Krupp

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Resume Service For Visual Artists

Resume Service For Visual Artists

Agreed, it’s much more fun to do almost anything than write a resume. How can you summarize what you do all day long into a short phrases? It’s not easy to see all your hard work in concise bullets with no context. It’s even harder for artists who strive to be creative and tell a story. And yet, you need one to apply for a job, to network with peers and colleagues, and to apply for your next award.

Ultimately, the objective of the resume is to highlight your strengths. It gives you the opportunity to move on to the next step.

Resume Tips From Jessica Saragovi

Before you start your resume, I suggest beginning with these questions. Taking the time to answer these questions will ultimately help you with your resume, the interview process and other aspects of the job search process. Write these answers down, revisit them, it’s an ongoing list and will be adapted as needed.

  1. What do you WANT? Is this for a grant application or for a bridge job? A different job will require a different focus and sections. This includes EVERYTHING from commute, salary (what salary structure – base, bonus and / or commission), hours, responsibilities, manager style, office set up. What’s your perfect day like?
  2. More importantly, what do you NOT want in your next role?
  3. What are your skills? These are things you know HOW to do, abilities, expertise, talents, competencies. These include both hard skills (measured, teachable and defined) and soft skills (not-measured, personality based and subjective).
  4. More importantly, what are your STRENGTHS? From the skills above, which ones do you LOVE to do? Strengths are skills that include an element of passion. What lights you when you talk about it? What comes easy to you and you enjoy doing?

The good news is that once you have a good foundation, it’s easy to update with your awards, exhibitions, and additional work experience. It’s important to have clear, legible fonts, the right amount of white space, and eye-friendly headings. A well-crafted, easy to read resume will help you open doors to jobs. It shows that you’re ready to be submitted for the next juried exhibition, grant, award, gallery show, commission, and residency program.

Free Resume Support

For Side Arts members, I offer a 20 minute complimentary conversation to answer questions and provide support for exactly where you are in the job search process. Request an appointment via email at

Jessica SaragoviJessica Saragovi is a Human Resources professional with more than two decades of experience across various industries and companies across New York, Miami, and Philadelphia. Jessica’s deep insight into how organizations hire, train, manage, and develop employees allows her to be a skilled resume writer. Jessica partners with clients in developing a resume that fully encompasses who they are, what they’ve done, and where they want to go with their next role. View my profile on LinkedIn at




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Use Calling Cards To Grow Your Creative Practice

Use Calling Cards To Grow Your Creative Practice

Calling cards, takeaways, handouts, exclusives – no matter what you call them, they help your patrons understand your identity and keep them coming back. They are an important part of your strategy for marketing art. It’s all in the details, the signature things that your supporters find surprising and endearing. Whether you are preparing for a vendor event, exhibition, or an online storefront, try to think about the extras that would make it special for your supporters.

Ideas for Calling Cards

  • Packaging: Consider how you can elevate your packaging and delivery – customize the box (something patrons can use in case they need to move or ship the item), add a personalized and signed thank you note, emboss, gold leaf, and detail the package.
  • Business cards: If you are going to go the extra mile and spend more on business cards, make sure that the concept aligns with your art. Typically, a basic card size is all you need. Include your name, phone number, email address, and website. Remember to include white space to write additional details.
  • Signage: Banners, flags, and table covers are always important. Consider the height, having things at eye-level can catch the patron’s eyes more frequently. Draw the attention to your art.
  • Postcards: Believe it or not, some folks just don’t use the internet or email, use postcards to reach them. You want to be inclusive in your marketing. Even for those that are digital natives, receiving something of value in the snail mail can be a special occasion.
  • Gift tags: Most art is purchased as a gift for others. Make it easy for them by not having to also have to purchase a gift tag, card, box, or bag.
  • Return address labels: If you are mailing marketing or shipping artwork, add a unique identifier to the item. That way, the person doesn’t have to guess who or what they have received before needing to open it.
  • Certificates of Authenticity: Your art is special. Show patrons how special it is with a letter of provenance. It elevates the art and provides another means for patrons to remember you. Remember to include the item’s description and story, your contact information, and personalized signature.

It is especially important to think about things that have value beyond one use items. For example, stamp a business card with a unique qualifier for an online storefront discount. Gift bags and totes can be re-used. Certificates of authenticity can be saved and framed with the artwork.

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You already have your artwork and know your details. Try incorporating them into your takeaways. Vistaprint has a range of products and services that can help you do just that. Business cards, banners, flyers, and printing services are available. All products have a wide possibility of standard formats to customization. Wizards take you through the process and you can save details for later use and second print runs. Often, there are discounts for return users and special sales throughout the year.

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Are You Ready For An Online Store?

Are You Ready For An Online Store?

A majority of art is sold through a variety of online store platforms. You can choose any sales methodology you like based on you strategy for marketing art. It depends on where and how you best reach your audience. You may have to experiment with several platforms and strategies before landing on the one that works best for you. There are many details and options to consider as well as new opportunities and platforms launching regularly.

Sales strategies


A consistent way to connect with your followers is by building a targeted email list. Try sending announcements of new works available to your email lists and provide them a means to buy (either by reply to the email or a payment processing form). Inform your audience about upcoming exhibitions, vendor events, and pop-up galleries.


There are many ways to sell art through social network platforms. The challenging part is keeping up with the platforms’ ever changing features and algorithms. What may work today may not work tomorrow. Staying on top of the trends is important and can make a big difference with acquiring new patrons.

Try promoting new artwork for sale on Instagram. Provide a rich description including title, process, size, price, and inspiration. Add instructions for buyers – the first to comment with their email address will be sent a payment processing invoice (PayPal / Venmo). They have 24 hours to purchase the art. First come, first served after that. Update the description if the item is sold.


You may want to consider selling through a web platform, using your own website, or integrating a web platform into your website. The benefit of having an online store sales platform that you manage is that patrons can purchase at any time. This can often make a difference between an acquisition and someone’s lost interest. Keep in mind, just because your art is on a website or web platform doesn’t mean that it’s the platform’s job to promote it. Promotion is still up to you. Utilize your email and social networks.

Things to plan in advance

Sometimes with an online store, it is best to jump in and learn as you go. Other times, a little bit of preparation goes a long way. You will rarely know everything you need to in advance because situations change from person to person.  Here are a few things to consider:

Photography: A good photo of your work can inspire patrons to purchase. Most mobile devices have above-average photo capability, but stand-alone cameras and photo editing software can make your work stand out. Setting up a dedicated area or having a set process is helpful.

Pricing: Research can help. Knowing your costs and time associated with creating your work is important. The most important aspect is always valuing your artwork for what it is truly worth.

Description: Each piece of artwork should have a unique and rich description including keywords and hashtags. This takes time to develop. The story behind the artwork is just as important as the artwork itself.

Shipping: Visit your local shipping center in advance. Determine what materials you should always have on hand and what needs to be purchased on a one-off basis. If you anticipate bulk shipping, explore what discounted pricing is available.

Taxes and bookkeeping: Consult a certified public accountant to help understand what taxes to account for and how to do so. Determine if you need bookkeeping software to help keep track.

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Shopify Online Store

Check out Shopify as an online store. It has eCommerce and point-0f-sales features including card-readers for when you are online or on the go. Set up your shop as a standalone or integrate it securely with your website. Ready made templates help your store look like it was designed by a professional. Run social media campaigns. Manage orders, shipping, and payments.

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Total Marketing

Total Marketing

What if you could do all your marketing in one place? Forget all the log ins, passwords, am I forgetting to do things? As an artist, wouldn’t it be ideal to have a total marketing art service that does it all? Let’s be honest, perfect solutions rarely exist and one size does not fit all or else we would all be using them. Fortunately, there are a few services out there that bundle together several features that you can use together in convenient and efficient ways.

What is marketing?

First and in order to understand what you may need, what is marketing? There is no single definition which applies to all.

One way to think about marketing is how you attract and retain those that might be interested in what you have to offer. This is different from sales where they are already interested and you negotiate a transaction involving a trade of money, products, or services. In both cases, the process is educational and transactional. Although in marketing, the action is suggested, while in sales, the action is explicit.

In marketing, the outcome is engagement or how often someone interacts with you. In sales, the outcome is financial whether direct (a trade of money for products or services) or indirect (a trade of products or services for a relative equally valued products or services).

One goal of marketing is to increase engagement (interactivity) in order to increase sales. Total marketing is valuated based on the ratio of dollars spent marketing to net profit.

Marketing activities common to artists

You might want to think about marketing as asking for the least to the most amount of effort. Another way of looking at it is the least to the most amount of privacy given.

Most start with social media. Choose a platform or two with which you feel comfortable. Measure engagement by the relative number of clicks, likes, and shares to your current number of followers.

Depending on your goals, having a website can help build a following. It can be a landing page, a profile page on an eCommerce site, or your own dedicated art website. There are any number of  ways to measure engagement, but a good place to start is the number of pageviews per month and, if there is an eCommerce section, the total sales generated from the website per month.

Social media and web searchability is good, but you are still at the mercy of the platform’s algorithms. Collect your followers’ email addresses to take control of your how and when your content is seen. A great place to start is by sending a monthly newsletter. Measure email engagement by taking the average percent of your followers who open and click through your emails.

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Mailchimp Total Marketing

One total marketing platform that combines social media, websites, and email is Mailchimp. It’s a favorite among artists and crafters because it is relatively easy to set up, has clear tutorials, and you can pick and choose which options work best. It integrates with many other utilities, sales platforms, survey tools, social media ad management. There are so many great features  to integrate, often in a few clicks or less.

Mailchimp has reports for measuring engagement and customizable email templates. They have flexible plans for growing your creative practice. Give it a try!

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Email Addresses – Collect ‘Em All

Email Addresses – Collect ‘Em All

It’s great to grow your social following as part of your strategy for marketing art. Even better if followers click through to your website. Often, followers won’t buy on the first visit. That’s why collecting email addresses is important. The more times visitors see your social content, visit your website, and read your emails, the more likely they are to buy your artwork or see your exhibit.

The great thing about email is that you are your own social algorithm. No need to worry if a social network is limiting who sees your views or what you need to do to increase the chances that you’re found in a search query.

Email Address Collection Strategy

First things first, collect your follower’s email addresses in an organized manner. It’s a much easier ask for an email address than for sales or donations. It’s a good place to start when thinking about growing your creative practice.

The first step is manual: collecting email addresses in a single location such as a notebook, journal, or spreadsheet doc.  Most email lists start with the obvious… friends and family. Think about asking colleagues, sign up lists you’ve used previously, patrons, and others who have collected your art. Try posting an email sign up list at events you’re vending, outside your studio, and alongside public exhibitions of your work.

Make It Automatic

The next step is automatic: What if you could collect and save email addresses without having to be present? Try adding an email collection modal window to your website. Modal windows can be added to the header, footer, or a central pop-up that can be closed at any time. For example, check out Pop-up Domination. Customize every aspect of email collection: where it displays on the screen, when it appears, how frequently it appears, color, text, and size. Pop-up Domination not only connects to your website, but also to whatever email marketing service you use (such as MadMimi, Mailchimp, Constant Contact).

Try Pop-up Domination free for up to 14 days. Remember to post new content and share it on social media during the free trial so you get a sense of the difference when traffic is being driven to your site.

Email Addresses

Basic Guidelines

Remember that you should have a thoughtful strategy for growing your email addresses and creative practice. The process is different for everyone, but there are some basic guidelines to follow if you are not getting the results you want. Most important is to always be creating more art. Share snippets of the details on social media that link to your website or sales platform. Provide additional detail on your website or sales platform. Collect visitor’s email addresses. Share email updates which educate your followers about why your art is special. Continually drive followers back to your website. Provide a means for followers to make a purchase or support your art in some way.

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Freelancers: A Little Help From A Friend

Freelancers: A Little Help From A Friend

Sometimes the task ahead seems a bit daunting. There is unfamiliar technology or risk in making changes that might have unintended consequences. That is when hiring professional freelancers with real world experience comes in.

The default is to go find a friend, but even that has risks. What happens if something goes wrong? Often, friendships can be seriously harmed. It’s even worse if the helper is a family member. Just to be on the safe side, steer clear of friends and family as contracted helpers. Rather, keep them as your personal support network.

Freelancer Strategy

Hiring freelancers can be a challenging, new undertaking. With careful planning, risk can be averted. There are many qualified online networks that make the process more approachable. The first step is developing a road map for the work you want to do. Define the goal you want to achieve with the work undertaken. Then, define the individual tactics needed to reach that goal. These things can include:

  • Setting up a basic website
  • Adding eCommerce to a website
  • Integrating Google Analytics
  • Setting up business email
  • Designing web and print graphics
  • Updating a resume or CV
  • Photographing your work
  • Creating and editing a video

Working with someone new can be stressful. You are giving them access to your personal work and online credentials. The benefit of using an online platform to hire freelancers is that there are contracts and procedures built in to protect you in the event of anything going wrong. They also provide rating systems so that you can find out how they have worked out with other clients.

When starting out with new freelancers, mitigate risk by only giving them a small job to do first. For example, instead of hiring someone to rebuild an entire website, have them redesign one or two pages. Instead of an entire re-branding update, start with a postcard or business card. If you like their work and they communicate well, then continue with a larger project.



Get work done faster with Fiverr or Upwork, and with confidence. Hire graphic and web designers, digital marketing experts, and music and audio professionals. Find any service within minutes. Find a freelancer with the exact specifications you require or post a request for work and have them bid on the job. There are flat and hourly rate options all handled by the platform.

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Learn How Email Can Grow Your Creative Practice

Learn How Email Can Grow Your Creative Practice

Email is an important part of your strategy for marketing art. It is often overlooked or neglected in lieu of the quick responses from social media networks. To keep it simple, think of email as part of your overall strategy:

Social media network > Website > Email

Collecting email addresses is one of the most important things you can do to grow your professional practice. Collect them at every opportunity – prospective buyers at an art fair, visitors to your website, corporate and non-profit contacts with whom you have engaged. It starts out slowly and grows exponentially over time.

Email Growth Strategy

First, just get started. That’s usually the hardest part. It can be a dedicated notebook where email addresses are collected or a digital spreadsheet like Google Sheets. It’s okay if there are duplicates or something is spelled incorrectly, that will be addressed later.

Next, pick an email marketing provider. Most offer entry level pricing based on the number of emails saved. Plans scale based on how many more addresses are added.

Email Marketing Providers

If you are brand new to email marketing, Mad Mimi is a great place to start. It is brilliant in its simplicity. There are standard templates and limited options. Just right for testing the waters.

Is your email list growing quickly, then it’s time to upgrate to Mailchimp. Rich with features, customize all aspects of campaigns and keep the simplicity of functionality.

Constant Contact is a great way to start your email marketing if your technical skills are more advanced and you’re the type of person that loves tinkering with design, features, and apps. It has robust integration features for all kinds of other services.  Plus, the reporting and analytics will give you a heads up about what is and is not working.

Frequency and Content

There are two more aspects for your email strategy: frequency and content. There are no set rules for either and the following are simply suggestions to get you started.


Just starting out? If you have under 1000 addresses, once a month is a good start. Up to 5000, twice a month. Hit the 10000 mark, do what you want – weekly, twice a week, or whenever new content is available. The important part is being consistent. Start out by sending on the same day at the same time each month. Over time, you will figure out how to optimize your sending strategy.


Show more than tell and give a clear call to action. Show images of new work for sale and provide a link or method to purchase. Tell a story by showing a series of pictures of a work in progress and describe each step along the way. Inform followers of where your work is shown or sold including upcoming art fairs, gallery exhibitions, or other retail/wholesale events. Share something about you that informs your artwork – why and how – such as a recent trip or social activism.

How Email Can Grow Your Creative Practice

The more emails that are collected, more content can be sent. The more reasons there are for followers to click through to your content, and increase the likelihood that they purchase or share your content with others (who may, in turn, become followers).

There is fine tuning in terms of segmenting the list, A/B testing, geo-location, and so on. Advanced users can explore to their heart’s content. It’s a learning curve, most users have an intuitive sense as to when to take it to the next level. First things first… just get started!

Help grow your audience with Constant Contact email marketing

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