Protect Your Assets–Back Up Your Files

Perhaps because I know firsthand the consequences, I advise every artists to make your number one priority with your online business to protect your assets.  Simply put, back up your files.

This past summer a lightning strike near our home took out my computer’s mother board and display adapter not to mention our router as well.  Just getting off the water from our boat, we were even able to feel the electricity in the air.  As you can imagine, the impact on my online business was devastating.  Fortunately though, my data was recoverable.  Better late than never, now I have a back up system in place.

Using the Nero Start Smart, I burn CDs of my artwork.  It’s a comforting feeling to have a tangible copy of my work.  Before I was able to replace my computer, I was using the CDs I burned to work with files on my husband’s laptop until I had a new computer.  Since I had the software, I’ve also created CDs with slideshows of my work for clients.

Now I back up my computer regularly.  I schedule it during the overnight.  Definitely a wise strategy.  I like it too with this software that I can manage the files rather than an unviewable compressed file that the Windows Backup/Restore function creates.

As your own data manager, you must have a plan in place.  It is your responsibility to protect your irreplaceable artwork.  Regular back ups are your best insurance.

Share the Love–Photo Christmas Cards For Your Clients

photo Christmas cardIt’s that time of year again, but certain to hit with a rush and a flurry as the Christmas season officially kicks off this Friday.

The holiday season is the perfect time to share the love and offer holiday photo cards to help your online business.

Holiday cards offer you the opportunity to touch base with your clients.  In these tough economic times, it behooves you to make your business stand out.  Sending cards to your valuable clients gives the message you want to send–their interest in your artwork is greatly appreciated.  Timeliness of your mailing also gives you an opportunity to touch base with your clients and remind them of the joy your art has given them and perhaps how they can give the same gift to a loved one or friend.

I took some time to evaluate the offerings at Christmas Cards Direct.  Like other on demand sites, you are in control.  The selection of greetings convey a good, positive message.  You can create the impression you want–even if it’s wishing for the warm weather with a tropical themed card.

Also, the cards are competitively priced to place for sale in your own online store. Build your series of favorite artwork for holiday gifts.  You can also create cards as a prize for a contest on blog or website.

I’m sure you’ve noticed it.  The Internet noise is getting louder as the shopping season begins.  Sharing your message of holiday cheer is a great way to make your business stand out.

Photo by krisdecurtis

Four Ways To Always Have a Painting In the Works

original watercolor paintingWith so many distractions like work and home obligations, it can be hard to have ideas at hand to always have a painting in the works.  I’ve learned many techniques from my writing that can certainly be applied to the artist.  Here are four techniques from blogging that fit into an artist’s world.

1. Keep an art calendar.
I’ve kept a list in my mind about the paintings that I’ve always wanted to do.  Now that list has grown long.  As with my blogging, I’ve created an art idea spreadsheet so for the days I want to paint, but don’t know where to begin. I will schedule these on occasion to make sure I get in the studio.

2. Have your idea journal handy at all times.
As I learned while writing my first mystery, you never know when ideas come forward.  The Muse is difficult that way.  I always have my handy Moleskine with me to take down what the Muse is saying.

3. Maintain a photo reference file.
I often will browse the reference photo section on WetCanvas.  Many times that’s all I need to take up my paintbrush.  Other times, I’ll tuck an image away to keep for later, say when I’m in the mood to do a still life.  I like to keep reference images around for things that I may add to a painting like vegetables for a still life or a cow for a farm scene.

4. Run an ongoing series.
Every time I travel, I take lots of photographs.  I take notes.  From this information, I’ll build a series of paintings or at least ideas.  I’ve done several gate paintings that I’ll return to now and again.

While planning seems to go against the grain of the spontaneity of art, getting a handle on your thoughts and ideas can help you always have a painting in the works.