handmade Archives - Side Arts

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, it is best to steer clear of friends and family as contracted helpers. Rather, keep them as your personal support network.

Freelancers

Freelancer Strategy

Hiring freelancers is its 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 roadmap for the work you want to do. First, 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 a new freelancer, another way to mitigate risk is to only give them a small job to do. For example, instead of hiring someone to rebuild an entire website, have them redesign one or two pages first. 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.

Freelancers

Freelancer Networks

Get work done faster with Fiverr, and with confidence. Hire graphic and web designers, digital marketing experts, and music and audio professionals. Find any service within minutes and know exactly what you’ll pay. No hourly rates, just a fixed price.Payment is released to the freelancer once you’re pleased and approve the work you get. Fiverr is here for you, anything from answering any questions to resolving any issues, at any time.

Click here to get started with Fiverr

Click here for more artist tips and discounted services

Todd Hestand - Side ArtsTodd Hestand, Founder, Side Arts, is an independent artist and business adviser. For over eight years he has served as the Manager of the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy where he works with thousands of artists, crafters, and performers. His role includes individual consulting, teaching courses, and developing programs for entrepreneurially-minded artists. Click here to learn about consulting services.

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Bella Vista Arts And Crafts Festival 2019 (Bentonville, AR) – Call For Artists

Bella Vista Arts And Crafts Festival 2019 (Bentonville, AR) – Call For Artists

Artisan Alliance at Wishing Spring announces a call for artists for the Bella Vista Arts and Crafts Festival 2019 where vendors sell one hundred percent, handmade, high-quality goods. Northwest Arkansas’ all jury show is seeking new vendors. From kitchen goods to fine art, all media is welcome. There is currently no fee to apply. Spaces in the large tents with free electric are available, as well as outdoor booths. Are your creations large? Shoppers love our large item pick up service. Take the plunge and join the festival’s 51st year! Festival dates: October 17-19, 2019.

Click here for the application / registration

Deadline: 1 Oct 2019

Over 40,000 shoppers attend. Northwest Arkansas is home to Walmart, Tyson, and the vendor companies that come with them. Shoppers come eager to spend money. The third weekend in October is Festival Weekend in Northwest Arkansas. Bella Vista Arts And Crafts Festival 2019 attracts tourists from every state in the union and into Canada.

Many community organizations come together to provide services that make the festival special. Free parking, large item pick up, and roaming ambassadors ensure vendors and shoppers have everything they need for a wonderful weekend. All positions staffed by non-profit volunteers from a dozen local organizations.

The Festival is sponsored by the Artisan Alliance at Wishing Spring. Nearly 90 percent of profits go to art scholarships for college students, block grants for elementary school art supplies, support for the Wishing Spring Gallery (a place for artisans to sell their work all year, staffed fully by volunteers), and the Clay Studio (a new Alliance endeavor to teach pottery to all interested). Even the festival director and staff are volunteers. Hundreds of people devote hundreds of donated hours every year to continue these missions. The other ten percent of profits go straight to community organizations.

About Artisan Alliance at Wishing Spring

The Artisan Alliance at Wishing Spring is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to promoting the arts, located in Bentonville, AR.

For more information, contact info@bellavistafestival.org.

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How Email Can Grow Your Creative Practice

Email is an important part of your social media strategy. 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. Here’s how:

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. There are three we recommend based on your design experience and technical proficiency. All three offer entry level pricing based on the number of emails saved. Plans scale based on how many more addresses are added.

Mad Mimi

Mad Mimi is the easiest of the three, although the number of design options and features are limited. It’s a straightforward platform. Upload email addresses. Design a basic template. Send campaigns.

Mailchimp

Got the hang of it or already have some basic design skills? Step up your game with Mailchimp. It is the most versatile without being overly feature laden. Some advantages: Get more creative with your emails with drag and drop elements. Set up a landing page to feature your work and collect more addresses. Educate new subscribers with automated drip campaigns that step new followers through you, your work, and what they can expect to hear from you.

Constant Contact

If your technical skills are a bit more advanced and you’re the type of person that loves tinkering with design, features, and apps, then Constant Contact is for you. 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.

How Email Can Grow Your Creative Practice

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.

Frequency

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.

Content

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 being 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, the more content can be sent. The more reasons there are for followers to click through to your content, the more likely they are to 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!

Here are some special offers that can help get you on your way:

Click here for more artist tips and discounted services

Todd Hestand - Side ArtsTodd Hestand, Founder, Side Arts, is an independent artist and business adviser. For over eight years he has served as the Manager of the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy where he works with thousands of artists, crafters, and performers. His role includes individual consulting, teaching courses, and developing programs for entrepreneurially-minded artists. Click here to learn about consulting services.

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Are You Ready For A Website?

Before getting started on a website, it is usually best to begin with understanding your goals, strategies, and tactics. Here are a few basics.

Start with defining your goal. Why do you need a website? What is it’s purpose? It could be a representation of your creative legacy that you control, a sales portal, or something else.

Once you have a goal in mind, you can start thinking about the strategy. What do you want to convey? Consider showing images of your artwork in a gallery, an artist statement, biography, and contact information.

When you know what you want to show, the next step is figuring out the tactics – how to get it done. There are a variety of website services. Some are do-it-yourself, others may require outside help. If you need help, there are freelancer networks at your disposal.

Check out some of the artist website designs offered by Wix. Their focus is on making website building super user-friendly.

Website

Website wireframe (how it is organized)

Page 1) Homepage: includes hero (main) image, name, navigation links (at top or side of each page)

Page 2) Gallery – includes 10-20 images with brief descriptions for each (title, size, medium, etc)

Page 3) Workshops
Workshop title with 2-3 sentence description each
Teaching service with 2-3 sentence description
Call to action – contact information (email, phone)

Page 4) Events
List of upcoming events
List of past events (keep this limited to the past 2-3 years)
Partner organizations (linked to their websites, if applicable)

Page 5) Contact
Contact information (Email, phone)
Bio
Artist statement

That’s it! Five pages to get you started. Before signing up for a website, editing the copy and images you want to have shown.  You may need one image for the hero image on the homepage to be larger.

How to find help

I’m biased since I’ve been working on websites for a while, so I often think they are “easy and intuitive.” This is not always so. Even then, first hand experience is always helpful, especially when trying to explain something to someone else. Once your content is ready, give it a try. If you find it too confusing, by all means, stop and ask for help. I’ve organized the wireframe above to be the most helpful for a web designer. If you need one, try Fiverr – this freelance service offers web design help.

Click here to see how Wix can help get you started.

Click here for more artist tips and discounted services

Todd Hestand - Side ArtsTodd Hestand, Founder, Side Arts, is an independent artist and business adviser. For over eight years he has served as the Manager of the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy where he works with thousands of artists, crafters, and performers. His role includes individual consulting, teaching courses, and developing programs for entrepreneurially-minded artists. Click here to learn about consulting services.

 

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Self Visualization For Maximum Good

Self-visualization for Maximum Good

This article is part of a series which is being expanded into a publication. The primary focus is Maximum Good, the changes we make that improve creativity, quality of life, and community. Click here to for the Introduction to Maximum Good. Follow along at sidearts.com/blog.

Self-visualization is thinking in advance about the most positive outcome can be before starting any new activity. Consider thinking about what it is going to be like when we finish, how we are going to feel, and what is realistic.

Consider the following

There is a range of ways that this can be done. Before starting anything new – any new work of art, our new job, or the beginning of our day – consider what outcome of this will make you feel good. Close your eyes for two minutes and think about how a positive outcome will feel.

One of the reasons why this is important to do is that most times there are obstacles that we will confront in new situations. It can be easy to give up when starting something new when faced with these obstacles.

Having a positive mindset going into the new task about what the final outcome is going to be is beneficial. If we think about the positive outcome before starting any new activity, then it is more likely that those obstacles will seem lessened. Try taking some time to think in advance.

Create an image. We can make vision boards made of of positive things which motivate us. These can be cut outs or hand made. We can use a work of art to focus on whether it is one of ours or something which inspires us, even if it is just an image displayed on our phone.

Try writing or reading daily affirmations. These are statements about positive beliefs about ourselves and our abilities. We can use the same phrase every day or try to vary them. They can be aspirational and read at a set time every day, usually in the morning. It can be note that says, “Today, I’m going to have a good day” kept near where we sleep so it is seen every time we wake up. Keep them someplace where we are most likely to see them.

The physical act of writing the same note daily can be helpful, too. It makes the thought process even more tactile.

Consider trying to write out our goals. What are they? What do you want to achieve? Sometimes the best thing is getting through the day ahead of us.

Self-visualization for Maximum Good

Exercise – Get started now

  • Try a self-visualization technique before starting a new activity
  • Create a vision board
  • Write and read daily affirmations
  • Write and read short and long term goals
  • Search online for examples of other self-visualization techniques that you can do daily

Throughout the Maximum Good series, I will present several exercises. Some are going to be new for you and others will be familiar. Try self-visualizing success before you start any one of them give them. Try thinking positively about a successful outcome before we try each activity.

Think positively that you’re going to have a good day today.


Todd Hestand is the Founder of Side Arts, as well as a classically-trained musician, singer, and artist. For over eight years, he has been the Manager of the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy in Philadelphia. The Center provides professional development support in the form of grants, courses, lectures, and individual consulting for creatives. For over eight years, he has developed programming and taught programs at The University of the Arts, Westphal College of Media Arts and Design at Drexel University, the Business Resource and Innovation Center at the Free Library of Philadelphia, and several Philadelphia area non-profit arts and community development organizations.

To receive updates on this publication and other resources, click here to create a free account on Side Arts.

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Introduction To Maximum Good

Introduction To Maximum Good

This article is part of a series which is being expanded into a publication. The primary focus is Maximum Good, the changes we make that improve creativity, quality of life, and community. Follow along at sidearts.com/blog.

Welcome to Maximum Good! This series is about professional development through community engagement. Specifically, how to use your skills and talents to best benefit yourself while helping your community at the same time.

My name is Todd Hestand and I am the founder of Side Arts, a content management service for visual artists and arts organizations. I am also a business management consultant specializing in marketing, operations, and supply chains for consumer goods and industrial manufacturing. In my role as the Manager for the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy, a Philadelphia-area non-profit, I work directly with artists of all kinds – disciplines, experiences, nationalities, gender identities, and ages – to help them realize their creative visions.

This series will review topics that many artists encounter as they learn how to market their skills and build their businesses. I have addressed these concepts frequently with my own clients. Together we have created solutions that benefit them, their bottom line, and their craft. Hard skills will include marketing, budgets, and contracts. Soft skills will focus on personal goal setting and understanding why you do what you do, and how you can move past personal roadblocks. Importantly, each of these skills will be tied to how you can improve your community for maximum good.

Themes throughout Maximum Good

  • Change the defaults: what are the smallest possible changes you can make to your creative process that will have the largest impact
  • Identify innovation: what unique characteristics do you have that will help you engage with your audience and improve your community
  • Build positive habits: what systems can you build that, by automating the smallest possible tasks, can make risk so much easier to address
  • Architect choice: how can you give your audience and community the maximum number of options of engaging with you so that they feel empowered
  • Understand privilege: identifying what privilege is and how it impacts your work, show empathy, and act accordingly to address issues positively in your community

Introduction To Maximum Good
Things to keep in mind

I will be giving you tools that you can use and try out at your discretion. Some will be activities and worksheets, others will be thought experiments and case studies to review. All of which should be designed to be easily approachable. Keep in mind that one size does not fit all. Some activities may not be applicable to you. There is no set order to participate. You should feel that you can jump in anywhere that interests you.

None of these topics are presented perfectly. There is always room for improvement. Feedback and suggestions are welcome at mail@sidearts.com.

Follow along by subscribing to the YouTube channel and read more at sidearts.com/blog.


Todd Hestand is the Founder of Side Arts, as well as a classically-trained musician, singer, and artist. For over eight years, he has been the Manager of the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy in Philadelphia. The Center provides professional development support in the form of grants, courses, lectures, and individual consulting for creatives. For over eight years, he has developed programming and taught programs at The University of the Arts, Westphal College of Media Arts and Design at Drexel University, the Business Resource and Innovation Center at the Free Library of Philadelphia, and several Philadelphia area non-profit arts and community development organizations.

To receive updates on this publication and other resources, click here to create a free account on Side Arts.

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Riverwalk Festival 2018 – Call For Artists

Riverwalk Festival 2018 – Call For Artists

The Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce announces a call for artists for the Riverwalk Festival 2018, to be held along the Flat River Riverwalk in Downtown Historic Lowell, MI. The focus is on handmade, re-purposed, found, organic, natural, sustainable, and eco-friendly art. The show is a gathering of 70 artists and craftspeople. The show is for high quality art and handcrafted but not a fine art. Median priced items sell best.

Click here for the application / registration

Deadline: 22 May 2018

The Riverwalk Festival 2018 is on July 12, 13, and 14. Artists are required to participate on Friday night and Saturday. The Chamber offers vendors continental breakfast on Saturday morning from 8am-9am.  Vendor parking is close to the show area, making it easy for unloading and loading. Overnight security is provided. The festival is a crowd-pleaser which draws in thousands of people from around the area. This a family friendly event with many fun activities.

About the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce

The Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce has been a longstanding organization in the Greater Lowell Community. Organized as the Lowell Board of Trade in 1906, the name was changed to the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce in 1970. Their mission is promote commerce and welfare in the Lowell area, making the area a desirable location for capital investment and residence. They promote the quality of life and harmony among the business and residential communities.

For more information, contact info@lowellchamber.org.

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Waterford Fair 2018 – Call For Artists

Waterford Fair 2018 – Call For Artists

The Waterford Foundation announces a call for artists for the 74th annual Waterford Fair 2018, a juried artisan exhibition with demonstrations and retail sales. This event will be held in the National Historic Landmark village of Waterford, Virginia, on October 5, 6, and 7, 2018. 160 heritage and contemporary artisans from across America are invited to demonstrate and sell their products at the Fair each year.

Click here for the application / registration

Deadline: 13 Apr 2018

Apply by 20 Feb 2018 to save $15 off the $45 application fee

The 18,000+ visitors who attend annually enjoy strolling through the streets of the historic village, touring homes, learning about the artists and their work, and purchasing their wares. Fair organizers select high-quality, handmade products from within eleven (11) medium categories.

Waterford Fair 2018 Artist Benefits

  • Artisans appreciate the warmth of the Waterford welcome and the support they receive from well-educated and loyal clientele, villagers, and volunteers
  • Vehicle unloading/loading at booth space, weather permitting
  • Free artist parking
  • Complimentary invitation to the Preview Party on October 4, 2018
  • Free local lodging (first come, first serve basis) in the village and surrounding communities
  • Individual artists listed on fair website and social media
  • Complimentary media files (JPEG/PDF) or printed rack cards for use in artist’s marketing efforts

The oldest arts event in Virginia, the Waterford Fair is unique for two reasons. One, its tradition of being a teaching event. Artisans demonstrate their art. They educate fair-goers giving them the opportunity to connect and become customers. Two, the event takes place through the entire village of Waterford. It is a National Historic Landmark and preserved 18th century Quaker village.

About Waterford Foundation

The funds raised by the Waterford Fair support the preservation and education efforts of the Waterford Foundation, whose mission is to preserve and protect the Landmark District. Through education, the foundation increases the public’s knowledge of life and work in an early American rural community. The Waterford Foundation is a 501(c)(3).

For more information, contact fairadmin@waterfordfoundation.org.

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Art on The Green – Call for Artists

Aigner/Prensky Marketing Group is looking for local and regional artists to be part of the 12th Annual Art on the Green at The Pinehills.

Call for artists application / registration

Deadline: 30 Mar 2016

This year, Art on the Green will take place on Saturday, June 18, 2016 from 10am to 4pm with a rain date on Sunday, June 19, 2016.

This free event will feature the work of more than 85 local and regional artists, all under tents on the beautiful Village Green ensuring that attendees will be shaded and dry.

For more information, contact Aigner/Prensky Marketing Group at lcipolla@aignerprenskymarketing.com.

Art on the Green

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Local Goods Chicago – Call for Artists

Local Goods Chicago is home to over 100+ artists who create handmade works of art and that live and work in the Chicagoland area and Illinois. We rent space to artists and also accept consignment sales.

Call for artists application

Deadline: Ongoing

Local Goods Chicago is open 6 days a week and will promote you and your artwork through our Facebook page, website, and local community – The Edgebrook Community on the northwest side of Chicago is very supportive of Local Goods Chicago.

For more information, contact info@localgoodschicago.com.

Show me more calls for artists!

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