The DELVE Toolkit

10/16/14

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I love hearing about new resources for artists, and I was really excited recently when Sara Jones showed up at an event I had in New York and introduced herself to me. She is one of the founders of Kind Aesthetic, an creative agency who helps artists create a visual, written and emotional representation for their practice or business. One of their services is the DELVE Toolkit.

The DELVE Toolkit for artists & creatives offers personalized, one-on-one, professional guidance to visual and performing artists, creative entrepreneurs, crafters and makers to help them best communicate what they do, get (and stay) organized, and achieve their professional goals.

What you get:
+personalized direction and weekly assignments
+hours of one-on-one conversation plus email access to Kind Aesthetic
+the drive and focus from two professionals who truly care about your success
+honest, clear feedback
+constant, steady motivation and manageable tasks
+confidence, accomplishment, self-reliance and new amazing work habits and skills

You can set up a free 20 minute consultation by emailing hello@kindaesthetic.com

You can also read more about the toolkit here.

Have you taken my Become a Working Artist Course on CreativeLive or read my book Art Inc? The DELVE Toolkit sounds like fantastic followup support and action to get your art career moving.

Happy Thursday.

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Become a Working Artist on CreativeLive!

10/06/14

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Last week I taught a two-day intensive class on CreativeLive called Become a Working Artist (and thank you to my student Alexa Heung for capturing the photo above). You can now purchase the 22-video class on CreativeLive for $99. The course includes hours upon hours of content, tips and exercises you can watch at your own pace (once you buy the course, you own it forever). You can read reviews of the course, watch a preview and see all the topics I cover right over here.

Thank you to the entire crew at CreativeLive who worked on promoting, recording, streaming, and producing my class, my three special guests (Carrie Lederer, Lisa Solomon and Betsy Cordes), my hosts Chris and JKO, and my entire in-studio class (all 17 of you!). And thank you also to those of you who tuned in all over the world to listen, learn and participate. It was a really wonderful experience. Here is a photo of the crew and my in-studio students after we wrapped last Wednesday.

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Become a Working Artist, now available for purchase. And, as always, there is my book, Art Inc, a great companion to the class.

Have a great Monday, friends!

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Art Inc. Lives Among Us!

09/26/14

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Thank you to everyone who has expressed excitement over reading Art Inc. I never get tired of your photos on Instagram. Tag them #artinc and with my username @lisacongdon. I’m collecting them as we go!

Whether you’ve picked up the book or not, I wanted to remind you that I am teaching a free live online class this Tuesday and Wednesday (September 30 – October 1) through CreativeLive. It’s called Become a Working Artist, and I’ll cover things like self promotion, managing your time, understanding the fine art, illustration and licensing worlds and selling your work online. You can RSVP for the class here, and if you aren’t available to watch it while it’s streaming live, you can purchase it to watch later here also.

I also want to give a shout out to the students and alumni at California College of the Arts where I’ll be speaking at their Building an Artists Life 2014 event today on the Oakland campus.

Have a great weekend and happy Friday!

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On Becoming a Working Artist

09/23/14

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Yep, sometimes I feel like a bit of a maniac, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

In 2001, I took my first painting class. I was 31 years old, and looking for something to fill my time outside of my job at an education non-profit. I was slightly nervous. I hadn’t taken an art class since I was a kid. I didn’t even take art in high school or college. I was creative, yes, and I sewed and made crafts at home. But an artist? No way. Would I enjoy it? Would I be any good? I had no idea.

That painting class changed my life. Not in a big explosive way. And not overnight. But it set me on a trajectory that led to what I do today. Fifteen years later, I am a working artist. At first it was a hobby — a hobby that gained momentum and grew exponentially as I grew artistically and as I began to share my work on the Internet, which was relatively new at the time. Then several years later, in 2007, I left my job and began my self-employed life.

Along the way, there was no guidebook for me. I was self taught, and I’d never gone to art school. I was intimidated by the art world and had no clue about the worlds of illustration or licensing. Even selling my work on a platform like Etsy (also new back then) felt overwhelming. But over the course of time, I asked a lot of questions to whoever would listen and I read as much as I could. I tried new things. I kept a blog. As awkward as it felt, I began to spread the word about what I was making through all the ways that were available to me — in hopes that people would buy it, or want to hire me for an illustration job, or ask me to be in a gallery show.

And for a few years, all that effort felt frustrating. Stuff happened (the sales, the illustration jobs, the shows), but it came slowly. My income didn’t add up to as much as I wanted or needed. But the art-making part was so fulfilling to me (in a way I had never experienced) that I kept at it, with the hope that some day I would hit a tipping point and begin to make a regular, full time income as an artist. I was determined.

And then at the end of 2010, I hit my tipping point. And for the last four years I have been in a place of opportunity — sometimes so great that it is as overwhelming as the frustration I felt when I was first starting out. In the course of a few years, I went from starving (not literally, of course) to thriving.

On that path, I learned many things about what worked and what didn’t. I began to write them down. And in 2012 I began to work with Chronicle Books to write Art Inc: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist, which came out this past August. In this book I wrote about all the stuff that I did that led to a steady income, steady work, and an abundance of opportunity so that I could share that information with other artists who are just starting out. I also interviewed almost 20 people — successful artists, agents and gallery owners — on their perspectives about what it takes.

This September 30 – October 1, I am teaching a two day intensive online class through CreativeLive called Become a Working Artist. The class is based on Art Inc, but goes deeper, and will cover things like goal setting and action planning, the nuts and bolts of selling your work, demystifying the worlds of illustration, licensing and fine art, promoting your work successfully and managing work flow. My goal is to give people who are interested in making a living as an artist practical information that will help jumpstart or enhance their process. Whether you are interested in making a full or part time living, this class will give you concrete information to help you on your path. If you watch the class live, it’s free. Or you can watch it later (and take your time with the content) for $79. You can RSVP for the free class (or purchase it now) here.

I hope to see you there.

Have a happy Tuesday!

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In Conversation with Design*Sponge 9/17

09/08/14

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New York City friends! I’m super excited about my Art Inc. book launch party next week at Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn on Wednesday, September 17. Come listen to Grace Bonney (aka Design*Sponge) and me talk about building a career as an artist, followed by a social hour (with wine!) and a book signing for Art Inc. You can RSVP for the event here. Hope to see you there!

Can’t come on this night? I’m also speaking the following evening at CUE Art Foundation in Manhattan. Or come to both events! Info on that event here.

Have a great Monday!

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New Online Class: Become a Working Artist

09/02/14

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Friends, I am so excited to announce a new online class I’ll be teaching through CreativeLive starting September 30. It’s called Become a Working Artist. In the two-day class we’ll cover:

+Embracing yourself as an artist and mapping your future

+Setting actionable goals

+Understanding the fine art world

+Developing your business’s personality

+Promoting your work successfully

+Making money selling your own work

+Understanding the worlds of illustration and licensing

+Preparing for and managing success

The class is FREE if you watch live on September 30 and October 1 between 9-4 pm. It will also be available for purchase after the live taping for $79.

Want to participate in the live class as part of the studio audience? We are still taking applications. You can apply here.

The class text book is Art Inc. (order that now if you plan to participate) and you’ll also receive a workbook with extra tools and information.

Hope to see you in class! RSVP today!

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New Podcast: Accidental Creative

08/27/14

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I am so thrilled today to let you know that I was interviewed by Todd Henry for his podcast over at The Accidental Creative. We chatted about several things, most notably the “U” curve in the creative process. You can listen here. Enjoy!

CATEGORIES Art Inc | Podcasts
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I’m Giving a Talk in New York City

08/25/14

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New York & NY Area friends: I’m giving a talk in Manhattan on September 18th at 6:30 pm called I Am An Artist: On Ownership & Other Enterprising Acts. This talk at CUE Art Foundation (on West 25th Street) will be followed by a book signing of Art Inc & cocktails. Space is limited and you can purchase tickets here (free to CUE members!).

Hope to see you there!

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CreativeLive Interview

08/15/14

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As part of my book launch for Art Inc, I recorded an hour long interview through CreativeLive. Last Tuesday Meg Ilasco interviewed me in front of a live studio audience about how I got started making art, managing my workload, my personal projects, and a range of other art-making & art-career related topics. You can watch the interview for free right here (scroll down to see the video link).

I’m also going to be teaching a business class with CreativeLive at the end of September. Stay tuned for more information on that next week!

Have a great weekend.

 

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New Podcast :: What’s Your Story

08/15/14

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Friends, it’s launch week for my latest book Art Inc, so I’m posting all of the different podcasts I’ve recorded recently (see category Podcasts for all of them). Last week I sat down with my friend Meighan O’Toole (who, by the way, is an amazing social media and digital strategist for creative brands) to record for her new podcast series What’s Your Story. We talked about the information I share in my new book and a lot about my own experience with social media, self doubt, and community.

Folks who have been following along with my work for awhile might remember this podcast I recorded with Meighan in 2011 where I talk more about how I got started as an artist.

You can listen to the new 30-ish minute podcast over here.

Happy listening and have an excellent Friday.

CATEGORIES Art Inc | Podcasts
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New Podcast :: Converge on Fasttrack Creative

08/13/14

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I am so honored to be part of Dane Sanders’ podcast series Converge. Dane and I talked recently about the idea of making money and expressing yourself honestly as an artist — along with many of the other challenges and opportunities that are part of being a working artist.

Host Dane Sanders is the real deal. Like me, he fell into art-making later in life (he’s a photographer). An educator at heart, he spent the first part of his life in academia and has now dedicated his life to helping other photographers and artists find their voice & place in the market. He is a fantastic interviewer to boot. I hope you will give it a listen.

In the podcast Dane and I refer to my new book, Art Inc, which came out yesterday! You can listen to the podcast here.

Have a great Wednesday!

CATEGORIES Art Inc | My Books | Podcasts
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Art Inc :: Out Today!

08/12/14

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{My beloved dog Wilfredo posing with Art Inc!}

Friends, I am so thrilled that today my new book ART INC: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist hits bookstore shelves and is widely available for sale online (you can even download the iBook on iTunes)! To celebrate, we’ve organized a blog tour, which will run through August 20. Check out these blogs on the following dates for excerpts of the book, giveaways, interviews and studio tours!

Today 8/12 – The Jealous Curator: Blog tour debut. Danielle is giving away a copy of the book on The Jealous Curator!
Today 8/12 – Jonathan Fields: Jonathan, the amazing guy who wrote my foreword, shares a book excerpt
Tomorrow 8/13 ; Uppercase: A story by Uppercase Founder Janine Vangool about our work together over the years
Friday 8/15 – Inc: The fine folks at Inc. Magazine are going to publish an excerpt
Monday 8/18 – Design Crush: Kelly will feature a Q&A with me about the book and also do a book giveaway
Wednesday 8/20 – Art & Lemons: Nikki will feature a Q&A with me too
Wednesday 8/20 – sfgirlbybay: Last but not least, come with Victoria to my studio for a peek into my world

I’d also like to thank Maria Popova, who wrote this fantastic piece on Art Inc on Brainpickings today.

Oh, and I hope you will take a look at this lovely trailer we made for the book based on the books gorgeous illustrations by Karolin Schnoor:

We’ve also got a few book events planned, and here’s the 411:

Today, August 12, 5 pm PST: Global Book Launch at CreativeLive. Anyone all over the world can participate in & view this event, since it will be broadcast live over the internet! The amazing Meg Ilasco will be interviewing me about my journey as an artist, the writing of Art Inc, and the lessons & advice in the book.Get all the information you need to either watch this event online here.

Wednesday, September 17, 7-9 pm, EST: In this special event at Powerhouse in Brooklyn, New York. I’ll be in conversation with one of my favorite people, Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge! We’ll discuss my journey as an artist, the lessons I’ve learned along the way, and the tips I give to other artists in Art Inc. The conversation will be followed by a book signing. RSVP’s are recommended. You can do that and get more information here.

Thursday, September 18, 6:30-8:30 pm, EST: I’ll be giving a public talk entitled: I Am An Artist: On Ownership and Other Enterprising Acts at CUE Art Foundation in Manhattan followed by a book signing. Seats for this event are limited. Tickets available here!

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Have a great Tuesday!

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New Podcast :: While She Naps

08/11/14

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I’m so excited today to be featured with my agent Lilla Rogers on Abby Glassenberg’s awesome podcast series! We talk about working together (Lilla has been my illustration agent since 2008), our books, and making a living as an artist. You can listen to the podcast here.

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Tomorrow Art Inc is released! I’ll be back first thing in the morning announcing the blog tour for the book! Stay tuned!

And happy Monday.

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New York Art Inc. Events

08/04/14

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New York friends, I have two Art Inc. events scheduled in September and I’d love to see you there! You can RSVP for the September 17 event at Powerhouse Arena here. Information about the event at CUE Arts Foundation coming soon! Save the dates!

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Art Inc. Book Tour Dates!

07/31/14

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Friends, as you know, my latest book Art Inc. is released August 12. I have a few exciting book events scheduled and I wanted to share them with you:

Tuesday, August 12, 5 pm PST: Global Book Launch at CreativeLive. Anyone all over the world can participate in & view this event, since it will be broadcast live over the internet! The amazing Meg Ilasco will be interviewing me about my journey as an artist, the writing of Art Inc, and the lessons & advice in the book. There are also live audience seats for the taping in San Francisco. The seats for this event are close to being filled, but you can sign up for one of the remaining seats here. Get all the information you need to either watch this event online OR get live audience seats here. I’ll be signing books after the interview (you can purchase a book there if you don’t have one already).

Wednesday, September 17, 7-9 pm, EST*: In this special event at Powerhouse in Brooklyn, New York. I’ll be in conversation with one of my favorite people, Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge! We’ll discuss my journey as an artist, the lessons I’ve learned along the way, and the tips I give to other artists in Art Inc. The conversation will be followed by a book signing (Grace will be signing copies of her book too). RSVP’s are recommended. You can do that and get more information here.

Thursday, September 18, evening, EST*: I’ll be giving a 45 minute talk at CUE Art Foundation in Manhattan followed by a book signing. Seats for this event are limited. Tickets will go on sale soon (the event will be free to CUE members), and I’ll keep you posted here on the blog with all the information you need.

*Please note: when I originally posted this information I had the dates mixed up! The event with Grace Bonney is on Wednesday, September 17, and the event at CUE is on Thursday, September 18. These are the correct dates, not the ones I had previously posted.

There will be more events and book signings to come, so stay tuned for updates & please email me with any questions you have about any of the events!

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