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The SOFT Approach: Introducing People to Your Work

Joan Holloway with the soft approach

"Aren't you darling? You're going to be gangbusters." - Joan Holloway


In the past I have been guilty of the following faux pas: inviting people to my studio as soon as I was introduced to them. This is the equivalent of, “Hey, I know you don’t know me, and we did just meet but I think, sometime soon, you should take time out of your day, transport yourself to my studio and listen to me talk about my art for at least 30 to 45…

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The Almighty Ensmallulator: Seeing the Big Picture

a painting seen through a magnify glass


Picture this: It's a late night in your petite painting studio. Uncertain about the composition, you step back to get a greater field of vision, and knock over your paint palette onto a freshly primed canvas. Your brain, addled by a day of coffee and starvation, has lost the connection to your body. You respond by wildly flinging your arm out hoping to prevent the disaster and, instead, effectively knock your fresh coffee all over…

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A Way Out of Creative Paralysis

paint on a hand


It took me a little while to realize this, but prepping canvas has always been a great way for me to ease myself into a new series.


Beginning a new artwork series can be a nebulous cloud of anxiety and excitement: What will I do and how on earth will I do it ? The options are endless and seem to stretch out before me in an endless tirade. It’s overwhelming to say the least, and in this state it's quite common that I'll find many…

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Give Clients Food For Thought: What They Want To Know About Your Art

woman looking at an artwork


I remember a friend showing me how to scan my images at art school. For convenience sake, he quickly titled the files while we worked. He came up with them on the spur of the moment - they were funny and quirky and revealed much of what I knew of his personality (he is a very funny guy).   These titles changed the feeling of looking at the images and offered a new way to connect with the work.  This valuable experience showed me…

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The Escape Artist

Girl, don't go away mad, girl just go away. Motley crue


It has been a very busy year so far, I'm not going to sugar-coat it.


There have been moments where I thought to myself, if things get more intense I might just go mad! But I tend to be the type of person who can really put myself into a pressure cooker of expectations. The more I accomplish, the higher the bar gets raised - it's enough to drive a drama queen a little mad. Sometimes I just want to put on sweatpants and do nothing,…

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Humour in Art

Man and a sign that says art or life


I love this photo, it's from an art exhibition about humour. How many of us can relate to this one?


"Laughter is universal, it is something that people in every culture can relate to. Humour, however, is socially specific". - Director Ralph Rugoff speaking about art exhibition titled Laughing in a Foreign Language at The Hayward Gallery.


Image source: Roi Vaara

Use Protection: Contracts for Commissioned Artwork

building with the word contract written on it in giant letters


Commissions are tricky. And unless you have been thorough you might end up working "on-spec". This means that you create a commissioned work, and then, once it's complete, the client views it and decides whether they will purchase it or not. Ouch! This can be a truly unholy, rude awakening. With equal parts foresight and clear communication in written or verbal form, you can effectively ward off evil and reassure yourself that your…

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