Monday, August 29, 2011

Maximize your creative time!

Getting the most out of your creative time can make a huge difference in the productivity of your day as an artist.

Using these few tips, will help keep you focused and motivated-

FOCUS:  When you start to lose focus on what your are aiming for, the target becomes unclear. Write down the problem you are having, the physical process of writing with a pen or pencil accesses a different part of your brain not used when you are tapping on your keyboard.

INSPIRIATION:  We have data pouring upon us daily, be selective about your constant extended exposure to negative news, Direct your attention to things that stretch your comprehension, and inspire you to grow and improve things in your world.

POWER: Create time to generate new idea’s, themes and character sketches and WRITE them down, to weave into future projects.

Everyone has busy schedules, and each of us have opportunities to create efficiency in our schedules. Look at your activities ask yourself where are area’s that you can improve “how” you are doing things.  You may need to set the alarm a hour earlier to give yourself the “gift” of extra time.

ENERGIZE: Look at your list of ideas from your POWER list- not all of these ideas will be executed.  Start by selecting the “low hanging fruit” from your list, those are the ideas that are the easy to reach, allowing yourself these little successes you buoy your confidence for the bigger ideas. Create a outline to turn the idea’s into a action.    Like a garden, some day’s you need to  go back and clean things up and trim the excess to create room for more ideas in your creative “garden” to grow.

DEDICATION:  Stick with it,  to be good at anything you need to practice, and make time to develop your creative energy, it’s  like going to the gym, the 1st day your not very good using the equipment, but after several weeks, you develop a rhythm.

RECHARGE:  Having balance in your life is something you have control over,
After launching a large project, celebrate!  Getting proper rest, eating a balanced diet, AND taking breaks to get up and MOVE- Go for a walk, run, bike ride at lunch time or after a long work day. These little deposits in the creative bank will help insure the creative juices will keep flowing.

What are your favorite tricks you use to stay in the creative flow I would love to hear them in your comments below!  

Photo Credits: Creative Garden list clock

Friday, August 12, 2011

Recession proofing your business!

How are you personally weathering the economy?
  At this point everyone has been impacted, perhaps you, or someone you know has either been laid off, taken a job that is below their skill level, or even lost a home.

The media works diligently to continuously re-enforce your fears by talking about it constantly. 
It is a perfect time to just STOP- turn off the media stream for just a minute and ask yourself:

Have you recession proofed your creative business?

1)    Don’t make sweeping changes:  
      I know a business owner that is actually turning away a huge network of business because of 1 bad experience with a former colleague, they feared as a competitor. 
      Look at the big picture, if you’re in business -competition exists,
      what differentiates you from your competitors? And how does it help your customers?

2)    Increase sales:  Create bundles, lower price point items.  Offer special “tour packages” where they get a cd and t shirt for $20
For special recession busting bundles make them in easy to spend denominations $5, $10, $15, $20-

 “Free-Demo coasters”- put together a little FREE 3 song sampler in sleeves- w/ the name of the songs but more importantly your name, website, and booking contact info. and place one on every table in the venue your playing in as a FREE gift. Then during the break wander walk around and thank everyone for coming out. (make sure you have someone working your merch table!   You NEVER know who is in the audience!  My most successful show had 3 people sitting in the audience, that one person was a producer who booked us on a national tour.

3)    Reduce Inventory:  Are you just finishing a new cd? and you have lots of old buttons / stickers / t-shirts from your last tour or promotion?
Create Recession Buster Bundles
Go green and recycle packaging- 
One of my bands uses old paper towel rolls to pack the t-shirts in
It makes them easy to pack for touring and really easy green packaging for fans…  on the side in sharpie the write a sm md lg  description.
Another artist re-cycled Calistoga bottle caps to make buttons for a special event.

What Recycling packaging ideas are you using for your creative business?
I would love to hear about it in your comments below.


Photo Credits:

Tamra Engle SJL Buttons
Wilie Coyote

Link:  is your merch table a cash cow?