Putting Your Art Career in Motion in January! by M Theresa Brown

Everyone loves the start of a New Year! It's human nature to review the  past year, look forward to a new year and see its possibilities.  And it is human nature to make plans and set goals for each new year!

Technically the stretch of holidays ended with New Year's Day. But we have spent days revamping our websites...still doing that.....and  getting organized  long before that D-Day of January 1.  :-)

The good news is that we ended 2010 with a bang...the final 3 months exploded with orders and new collectors.  Like everyone else who works for a living , we too, have had to tweak, adjust and re-work areas of the business plans we create each year in our art marketing!  So every indication shows that consumers are loosening their purse strings!

But our financial rewards were not a result of blind luck. We had many clients and several large dollar clients invest their money into our art this fall but we had consistently been in touch with them for a period of time....some for years!   We adhere to the "rule of seven" and that means  staying in touch with all interested people all year long through a variety of low cost methods.   And that is the point: you simply never know when your steady marketing will pay off! So when they did come to us, we were ready!

Being ready meant that our Business plan for 2010 worked and kept working! Anyone who has been in one of our Art Marketing seminars knows that success does not happen by accident. Or for free, or without thought or without perseverance! If you would like to hear my story on Blog Talk Radio in an interview with Dana Woods, visit my "about me" page and follow along!

Consistency and  perseverance WILL pay off. So this week, as start into 2011, sit down and take the time to lay out a business plan for 2011. It's my mantra :-).

Need help? A big jump star? Join us all day Sunday, January 16 from 12:00-6:00 for an in depth step by step layout and implementation of your plan! Our popular art marketing, audio CD, Art For Sale,  is included in the seminar!Check it out at Jerrysartevents.com




How Daily Painting Can Make You a Better Artist by Mike Rooney

If you've been around the painting business any amount of time you've probably heard the term "daily painting." But you may be asking "what is that exactly?" and may be wondering what it could offer you.

Daily painting is a movement that started years ago and is pretty much attributed to an artist named Duane Keiser. It started when he would paint a small painting (around 6x8) and post it on Ebay and auction it off, every day. If you're familiar with the online art business today that doesnt sound so revolutionary but back before there were hundreds of thousands of artists selling online, that was revolutionary. Back then just about everybody was selling exclusively at shows or in galleries. To use the 'new' technology of the internet to sell art was unheard of. Not so today. Just google "art blog" and see what pops up!

Daily painters are artists who commit to paint a small painting everyday and post it online for sale. There are also daily painter 'galleries' that post their painter's paintings online every day of the week.

Now, how can all this help the budding artist? Lets look at the benefits of painting every single day.

What would happen if you were a marksman with a rifle and shot in competitions, but you never had any target practice. Same thing goes for painting daily. Think of daily painting as target practice. They'll ultimately help your larger paintings. If you're painting daily you'll also have lots of little paintings that you can sell cheaply (compared to your larger paintings). Start a blog and put them on there everyday. After several months start asking to get in some of the new daily painter online galleries and soon you'll have several dozen potential buyers looking at your work every single day. Selling work is all about marketing and daily painting is just one really successful way to do that. Now stop reading this and go paint one!





Spotlight on Artist ANN FLAHERTY by M Theresa Brown

When a participant in one of our art marketing seminars came up to me afterwards and began to chat about some of the aspects of things we had discussed, little did I realize what an amazing person I was talking with!
Sometimes touching the lives of thousands starts with a simple concept: Finding a need and fulfilling it. 7 years ago, Fiber artist and quilter, Ann Flaherty, from Fayetteville, NC,  is an artist who did just that. Not only did she use her artistic abilities to solve an immediate challenge in her own family with a lonely grandchild who missed his Iraq deployed daddy, she took on the challenge of making sure that ALL lonely children of militarily deployed families had the comfort of soft, snuggly quilts with photo images of their loved ones on the surface!

Ann did not share this story with me until later, through our emails, and I confess to wiping away tears. Her story has so touched my heart that I offered to share it with our many readers.  The story speaks for itself.  

So, in Ann's words:

Operation Kid Comfort


Comfort. Create. Unite. Operation Kid Comfort creates comfort quilts and pillows for children of deployed service men and women, and offers an opportunity for America to unite in support of military families. Please take a few moments to scroll on down, look at our pictures, and read about our success.

OpKid Beginnings 2005

So many people ask me where Operation Kid Comfort came from, and the simple answer is:
“from love, compassion and patriotism.”

My son-in-law, Mike, was deployed to Iraq at the onset of the war. His son, eighteen-month-old Christian, had no understanding why his Daddy was not coming home from work each evening. Christian had tantrums, became withdrawn, and hoarded photos of Mike in his room. My heart broke, seeing how much my little grandson missed his beloved Daddy.

As a quilt artist, I’ve used photography in my quilts, and made Christian a quilt so he could hold his Daddy close. It worked…and he dragged that quilt everywhere. Christian loved showing the images of him and Daddy at the beach, playing on the floor, at the park, and with Mommy too.

Christian’s little friend, Mikey, also needed a quilt. Mikey’s Dad was serving with my son-in-law, and his mother was in Afghanistan. It worked for Mikey too. His grandmother wrote:

"Thank you so much for making a quilt for our grandson Michael. When his father left for Iraq, Michael was lost, but one month later his Mom left for Afghanistan - he was devastated...One night, I heard him talking upstairs in his bed. I listened at the door to a conversation between this precious 2 1/2 year old and his Mommy's and Daddy's pictures on the quilt...I know having this wonderful quilt has eased the separation and will make the reunion of this family so much better."

I made one for another child…and another…and a few kids later, the reality of how important these photo-transfer quilts are to the children of deployed soldiers, and to the parents who now felt relief that they would not be forgotten by their little ones at home. Many children could benefit from a photo-transfer quilt, but I could not do this alone.

The Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) of Fort Bragg/Pope AFB loved the idea and welcomed the opportunity to help me found Operation Kid Comfort. The ASYMCA staff, Lynne Grates, Peggy Mikol, Deborah Graybeal, Deborah Hall and Melanie Spangler have all worked so hard to make Operation Kid Comfort a reality, while maintaining the many other programs that the 'Y' offers to the Fort Bragg and Pope AFB community.

As a non-profit with more than 150 years experience assisting America’s military and their families, I knew the ASYMCA as an organization that could see my plan to Comfort! Create! and Unite! to the end. Our mission: to provide FREE photo-transfer quilts and pillows to children of America's deployed service men and women, and to offer an opportunity for America to unite in support of military families.

A chance meeting with Dr. Kathleen Gruben at a weekend car rally, led me to her Georgia Southern advertising students. During the Fall 2003 semester, Georgia Southern University’s advertising class took on Operation Kid Comfort as their project. These remarkable young minds created marketing strategies and advertising campaigns; they developed plans for fundraising, and did all of this according to geographic region. Bases across the country now have a guide for establishing Operation Kid Comfort specific to their region. So much of our marketing process is derived from their exceptional talents.

The support Operation Kid Comfort has received has been nothing short of phenominal. In Fall, 2003, Karey Bresenhan, Quilts, Inc. President, the International Quilt Market and all its vendors pitched in and contributed more than $16,000 of fabric, batting, thread, and quilting necessities to get us started.

Local cleaners and laundries washed and pressed all the fabric.

Home Depot of Fayetteville, NC donated cabinets to store it in.

Anthony Battista of HP's Army Print Division found two printer/scanners for us. Anthony continues to support us with regular donations of ink to keep those photos printed.

Through the compassion and patriotism of so many other contributors and volunteers, and under the direction of the Armed Services YMCA, Operation Kid Comfort was formed.

In May, 2004, Operation Kid Comfort was awarded the Raytheon's Best New Program of the Year at a congressional luncheon on Capital Hill. Also that month, CNN American Morning highlighted the success of Operation Kid Comfort in their weekly Extra Effort Series.

Since then, Operation Kid Comfort has been the subject of many news and magazine articles: locally, nationally, and even internationally, from the Fayetteville Observer to the Army Times to Quilter's Newsletter Magazine. We have enjoyed the attention of publications and programming from all corners of America.

Just since January, 2005, more than eighty volunteers have donated more than 2,000 hours to make Operation Kid Comfort quilts and pillows. As of June, 2005 we had served more than 850 children through the Armed Services YMCA of Fort Bragg/Pope AFB, and expect that number to multiply by years end.

It was January 2002 when I made that first quilt for my grandson Christian. Now his Daddy prepares to leave again, and I will make a quilt for his little brother, Joshua, who will be eighteen months old when they are separated. I don't relish the need of another quilt for another grandson, but I am glad to know all of us at Operation Kid Comfort (volunteers, ASYMCA staff, and contributors) are choosing to Make A Difference for so many military families.

I'll make Joshua's quilt on October 22nd, Make A Difference Day 2005 and Operation Kid Comfort's second anniversary. On that day we will celebrate our success with our second annual Operation Kid Comfort Quilt-A-Thon (a great idea from our Georgia Southern students that proved so successful last year). We'll spend the day printing, and cutting, and sewing, and quilting and most of all...HAVING FUN as we celebrate this very important anniversary while MAKING A DIFFERENCE for the Fort Bragg community. Think about joining us...last year's event proved enjoyable, memorable and productive.

This is just one story…and there are many other OpKid stories to tell. If you have an OpKid story to share, whether it be how your child received his or her quilt, or a touching moment in an OpKid workshop, or just a funny anecdote that relates to your Operation Kid Comfort experience, please use the comment link here (the little envelope icon). And of course, we always welcome your words of support. We all look forward to hearing from you and reading about your instances of  "love, compassion and patriotism".

And please don't hesitate to contact us via email at operationkidcomfort@gmail.com.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Ann Flaherty

ASYMCA Volunteer and Proud Military Mom

Operation Kid Comfort is now operating at military installations across America from Fort Drum, NY to San Diego Naval Base, in Alaska, Hawaii and overseas. On September 11th, President Obama visited our Washington, D.C. group as part of the National Day of Service. Please include a link to donate at www.braggasymca.org 


Provided by M Theresa Brown of Art Career Experts



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