I love it when you’re in THE ZONE. You feel strong in so many ways. Unstoppable. Momentum builds and you’re on it faster than a rocket can lift off. Not only do you push past any limitations you may have previously placed on yourself, but everything comes with ease. I’m not saying you’re not working hard. Far from it. But creating and doing whether it be the fun stuff or the more boring stuff like admin it’s a win-win all round.
So how can you stay in THE ZONE:
Channel your energy wisely: prioritise and get things done (even the boring stuff!)
Whatever way works best for you keep doing it
Ensure your workspace is kept on top off (whether its ultra clear or an organised mess!)
It’s the perfect time to try things you might not necessarily do
Keep momentum up and close the door to avoid distractions
Reward yourself for such fab work
Get things ready for the next push
A little stress is fine as long as you keep ‘checking-in’ with yourself
Sleep! If you can 🙂
Coaching is also another great way to check-in with your progress and put perimeters in place to ensure you achieve your goals. Stay permanently in THE ZONE with coaching!
So what is Brian Fog? Well it’s when you can’t see the wood for the trees, everything is blurry and it’s hard to focus. Even the simplest of things are hard to do and you can’t think properly. I’ve felt it myself when suddenly everything is out of reach and difficult to even attempt. It’s not a nice place to be in but you can find your way out.
It takes some time but it is possible to free yourself of Brain Fog, but the first thing to not do is push yourself. Pushing yourself only makes it worse as your brain just can’t cope. It’s about stepping back and letting it just be. Living with the fog it’s important to not attempt to do anything too big. And in an ideal world you should let your mind rest, as hard as this may be, you need to for a little while.
Personally yes I resisted. I tried to brainstorm my way out of the fog, thinking that if I tried to tap into my creative zone that I’d see the fog lift. But it wasn’t that simple. My brain needed the exact opposite. So instead of motivating and inspiring it into action I needed to completely switch it off. Call it a vacation for the brain. I slept, rested, read magazines and didn’t think about what I needed in my life or wanted it to be. I’ll admit that walks seemed too much – usually a time for consideration and reflection – they became tortuous. I had to accept that it wasn’t possible to function normally during this time. I had to switch off. Luckily I was in fact on holiday at the time so it meant putting away my notebooks and action planning for the month ahead and just nurture myself for a little while by doing nothing.
A few days later, the flog started to clear a bit and I was able to write this blog. Which then actually helped as another form of release. Finally I could apply myself again. It’s small steps and remembering not to rush into full-on action mode is hard but necessary.
I need to remind myself that if your mind and body shuts down it’s usually telling you something So my best advice is to stop, listen and be. It’s a tough ride but the fog will lift when it’s ready to.
5 Habits of Highly Effective Artists Who Sell
Let’s have a look at what it takes to be an expert seller of your art…
1. Be prepared & prioritise
Really dig deep to understand what kind of art customer you are trying to reach, because not every person will have the same tastes, just as not every person will be able to afford the same works.
The other secret to getting prepared is giving yourself enough time to actually develop your selling strategy and carry out all of the admin and marketing tasks that come with it.
So prioritise the opportunities that deserve your attention. Think about where do my customers prefer to shop for art? Art fairs, galleries, in retail shops, cafes, online – one or more of these options might be right.
Expert sellers know one thing to be true: if you aren’t reaching your target audience, you won’t be making sales!
2. Make it easy to buy from you
From the minute customers come in contact with your art, you have to make their buying experience as effortless as possible. Consider what questions they may have before they make a purchase.
3. Have a great website and social media
This is your shop window. Only use high-quality photos of your art. Make sure all your links work properly. Make it a breeze to find your social media handles. Answer emails regularly and enthusiastically.
4.Follow-up your leads
Top selling artists are always in the habit of jotting down a few notes after a promising conversation, so they remember who exactly they were talking to and how they should be following up. Because people who love your art are worth building a relationship with!
It’s one of the golden rules of selling: the more times interested contacts see your art and get to know you as a person, the more inclined they will be to purchase your work. And if you say you are going to follow up, you need to keep that promise.
5.Know your product
We’re talking about the story behind it – your inspiration, the process – the entire narrative of how it came to be. And, it’s one thing to know it, but another thing to be able to convey it to a potential buyer.
As an artist, photographer, writer or creative entrepreneur there’s nothing we understand more through our working life than resilience. And what is this resilience? Is it our capacity to keep painting when we don’t always get selected for the exhibitions we want to be in. Is it working day after day writing 1000 words to secure that publishing deal. Is it climbing to the top of that mountain in the Lake District at 4am to take the perfect picture. Or is it getting up everyday and once your kids are at school working on your Etsy creations to build your mini creative empire.
The Arts Council partly define ‘resilience’ as
” …seizing opportunities, identifying and mitigating risks, and deploying resources effectively.”
Being in and amongst my peers in the Creative Industry earlier this month made me sit up and realise that looking to your peers for learning, support and understanding was a fantastic opportunity. It’s fair to say that other artists know better than anyone else what it takes to be an artist!
Another area I recognised – personally and professionally – is to get regular inspiration. Whether it’s getting outside, going to an art exhibition, looking at Instagram (for a short time only ideally!!) is paramount to our future growth. We can’t live in isolation at the end of the day, plus networking with other creatives is a great way to get in touch with your peers.
Input. Input. Input. Are we so frightened to get proper, critical feedback? It’s good to stretch ourselves and whether we like it or not IT WILL push us forward! Which leads nicely onto being non-judgemental – about your own work – or others work. Opening our minds. Art is subjective which is why it’s so fantastic!
Lastly, it’s not child’s play (well it is!) but to experiment and play is the foundation to our wellbeing and feeding our creative juices. So let’s feed it!
How you should feel when your resilience levels are high…
Ability to reflect
Having good intentions
Planning is clear
Being renewed and invigorated
Maintaining meaningful connections
How creative journaling can help you to discover what lights your fire
Discovering what lights your fire and brings you joy is what creative journalling is all about!
We all have an inner flame that needs lighting so by taking some time to pause, take stock and reflect on our lives we can uncover and nurture our personal potential.
Increasing our self-awareness of what makes us tick, noticing how we cope with stressful situations, digging deep into what we enjoy and love means we can work past our fears and aim straight for happiness.
Journaling isn’t about performance or perfection, it’s about the process. You can write, draw, doodle, cut out images and words – anything and everything to describe how you’re feeling towards a certain subject. I use journalling in coaching because it taps into your inner knowledge and wisdom. We usually know what we need to do but teasing it out and understanding what it is can take some time. Journaling allows you to gain perspective in a fun, relaxed way.
Celebrating and acknowledging your successes is really important too as you focus on the positive, the positive grows!
When it comes to using journaling to define and achieve your goals, you’re much more likely to succeed because you’re working intuitively to express yourself. In other words, you can actually SEE what it is you’re trying to achieve because you’ve drawn or written it in your journal.
Here’s a few journaling examples:
Creative journaling: Use your thoughts, feelings and observations as prompts to visualise your ideas and dreams. Think in a visual way!
Purely writing: A good example is Morning Pages from the book ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron. Simply write for 3 whole pages. It doesn’t matter what you write, as you long as you write! You can also do this during the day or at night before bedtime to free up your mind.
Mind-mapping: write down the main theme of your idea, draw a big circle around it, then think of other ideas which relate to it. You then connect your sub ideas to the main idea, creating a mind map.
Bullet journaling: a coded system for organising your thoughts and creative activities. More like a diary where you can make your own daily, weekly and monthly planners to keep super organised!
One sentence journals: just write a single sentence at the end of each day. Before you know it you’ll have months of sentences written down!
Whichever way you’d like to start journaling, the main thing is to try it! There’s no pressure to achieve. You can just be yourself whenever you need some “me time”.
Watch my second Journaling video to see how to get started.
Introductory offer on all telephone & SKYPE coaching calls
Regular coaching is so easy to schedule in, keeping you on track and pushing you forward whenever you need it. So how can we do this?
Working together via telephone or SKYPE – audio only or video. I’ve tried it myself and found it works great! Plus you can be anywhere you like – in your studio, office or in the comfort of your own home.
Reduces on travel time
Comfort in own environment
Take your laptop anywhere you like
Pick any day or time that suits you best
And that’s not all… if you like you can record the coaching session so you can refer back to it whenever you want!
As an introduction I’m happy to knock £5 off any phone or SKYPE calls in Feb & March – simply message me to book!
Encouraging change through creativity
Did you realise that being creative through art, writing, photography or any special activity will promote change for you as a person. We change through our relationship with the creative act itself…
– By choosing our materials and methods
– Finding out what works and what doesn’t
– What suits our needs and what doesn’t
– Making choices based on these discoveries
Coaching and creative thinking also go hand-in-hand…
When making inquiries into ourselves, fresh ideas rise up, creating inspiring new visions for action. Change occurs as we gain greater confidence, clarity and creative purpose!
This is why we can often become unstuck when we stop ‘making’. Every little creative act gets us a little further along the way to discovering something new. Just like when we walk down the street we don’t know what’s around the next corner until we get to it.
So even if we’re not quite certain what to try next in the creative process, by doing something it means we’re closer to discovering if its good… or not! Our ability to make decisions based on this information therefore also increases our ability to adapt and change. That’s why you always hear the saying ‘Just DO IT’ – it’s good to do something in order to keep moving forward!
Brand new ‘Coaching for Creatives’ workshops at Dot-Art
Is it February already? Yes! Are you in full swing now? I am!
Not only have I been moving houses so I’m residing in Cheshire again near to my family and friends. I’m also really chuffed to announce my continuing partnership with Liverpool-based Dot-Art running three brand new ‘Coaching for Creatives’ workshops.
All workshops are taking place at the very arty Make. North Docks. Simply click on the links for more info or visit the Dot-Art website.
Watch my new coaching video (my first one ever!)
I’ve wanted to make a video for a while now though my own fear of being on camera has held me back. I’ve realised this for a while so it was a case of procrastination until now! Yes even I have to push through my fears!
I’ve created thisshort videoto discuss the importance of creating a vision board, how it can give you clarity and spark a sense of excitement about what you really want to achieve. We all have dreams so combining coaching and vision boarding together can truly help to push you in the right direction.
Watch to find out more!
Your time for Growth
Being an artist is all about creativity so reflection time is not just important – it’s crucial!
Making sure you take the time to pause and reflect first means we can dig deeper when setting goals that align with your overall vision. Not only does it give you the opportunity to acknowledge your challenges but your successes too. You can really think about what you’ve accomplished and what you’d like to achieve in 2019.
So roll on January and onto my big announcement!
I’m running individual ‘POWER’ sessions for artists and creatives in January, February and March – a 2 hour in-depth, focused workshop tailored to each person. Choose between a Vision Mood-board session or a Reflective Journalling session.
Keep reading below to learn more about the sessions…
VISION: It’s important to create and shape a Vision of your future so you have something to work towards. Through coaching you will create a mood-board from magazines and newspapers – an image-based snapshot of your goals, dreams, wants & needs for 2019 (and further ahead). We will then identify your goals and create an action plan to move forward with.
REFLECTION: Together we will identify the conditions you need to be able to thrive in which will increase your confidence and resilience as an artist. We will spend time journaling, looking back over the last year and dreaming forwards to the year ahead. This allows you precious space to let loose and explore with colours, shapes, lines, and your words all at once. Journaling helps you to get in touch with your core self and work out what is most important.
Sessions are only £60 and I’ll bring most of the materials! You just need to bring yourself and for the Creative Journaling session bring a blank notebook or sketchpad you can’t wait to use.
Simply book direct with me via e-mail and we’ll arrange an introductory call to discuss your tailor-made session!