Thursday, June 30, 2011

Resource: Robert Genn

Robert Genn is an inspiration. He is a talented artist, a very dynamic part of the Federation of Canadian Artists, and he is a rich resource on professional development for artists through his portal, The Painter's Keys.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Time Management Software

One of my students sent me this link to Harvest, which says of itself:
Harvest lets you and your staff track time and send invoices from one integrated application. Get set up in just a few minutes and instantly start tracking time and invoicing your clients. Contractor and employee timesheet and timesheet approval is included. Use Harvest's visual reports to see the distribution of your company's resources at a glance. Create an online invoice and easily bill your client. Get paid faster by collecting online payments from your clients instantly and securely via the web.

Hilarious: Weird Crap on Etsy

Regretsy is a site that revels in revealing "horrible" things available on the fabulous sales site, Etsy.

Resource: Licensing Blog

There is some self-promotion on this blog, but there are also considerable resource links about licensing your artwork. Of course, they are American sites dealing with the American market, but from following some of the links, I found out quite a bit about professional methodologies.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Square is a new device available currently, only in the US. But watch this idea grow because soon someone will provide this service for Canadians. Square is a device that lets you use your smart phone (or iPad or other wireless device) to use customer credit cards for sales. This has long been a problem for many artists, but soon, I suspect, we will have a solution like Square in Canada.

Square (the device) is free, but you pay a per-transaction fee.

Everything You Need to Know about Twitter

Twitter is a subject I wish to know nothing about—the last things I want anything to do with are it and Facebook. But since networking is a vital part of any artist's practice, and for all those who have heard of Twitter but do not know what it is about, Charles Curl Design has a webpage in point form that is a great introduction to it.

Visual Art Professional Development Blog

This is a decent blog if you are interested in my blog. I look at a lot of blogs like this, many of which, seem dedicated to making money over serving visual artists, but The Artist's Business Digest feels legitimate and worthy of your time investment.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Artist Statement

What's with the surge in making fun of artist statements? Artist Charlotte Young has produced an "artist's statement" video with handy subtitles intended to poke holes into this literary form.

Whereas I recognize that scholarship in any field contains field-specific language that is often challenging for lay readers, when artists assume a highly pedantic style, I fear that it makes the reader feel unintelligent and that works against the artist and all artists. I am an advocate of comprehensible and compelling language.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Trouble with your artist statement?

Just for laughs, here is a link to a joke website that writes nonsense artist statements that poke fun at our world with affection.

Graphic Resume

A very visual resumé by graphic designer Katie Briggs‘. “I haven’t been turned down for anything I’ve applied for with this resume,” she said. Story from Neatorama. More visual resumés here.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Toronto Artists Lucky

Artscape president and CEO Tim Jones spends his days finding and creating spaces around the city for artists. His big idea for Toronto would be to give artists the tools – under one roof – to develop the business side of their work.

Founded in 1986, Artscape grew out of the Toronto Arts Council’s recognition that it needed to defend artists’ live-work space. Since then, the not-for-profit has been working against the forces of gentrification to maintain affordable studio space.

Read the whole article from the Globe and Mail, here.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Another Scam Notice

Another letter from a fried of this blog:

Hello Chris,

I'm a Vancouver artist living these past months in Europe (not bad at all!). I wanted to alert you and your many readers about this scam I just experienced. Like most cons, it taps into the typical vulnerabilities of the target group, in this case artists: we're eager for others to see our work, to get excited by it, and even perchance to buy it! We're generous in sharing our work and information about ourselves (internet), but not often savvy enough in the business end, as especially you well know. In any case, I hope you'll be able to check this out on a blog I just started from Italy. And I hope you like the blog.


Classroom Resource

A letter from a friend of this blog:

Hello Chris,

My name is Carley. Right now I'm looking over the downloads page on your website. I'm an elementary art teacher and one of my students brought it to my attention. We've been using ideas the kids find on the web for art club activities and they seem to really enjoy it, so we're gathering more for future use. Thanks so much for putting the page together and inspiring us!

I've also been using this article. It compiles a whole bunch of great art-focused sites. I thought anyone else who happens upon your page like we did might enjoy seeing it posted, and wanted to pass it along. Thanks again!


Tax Question

Question: i Chris, My partner is a visual artist (painter), and I am currently preparing his 2010 income tax return. He's purchased a lot of books, movies, and music to inform and inspire him in his work. What kind of expense would I claim this as? Thanks so much. I can't find the response anywhere in your book "Artist Survival Skills". Natalie

Answer: I am not a tax expert and I have to consider my liability when I provide the advice I give —this is what my professional partners have taught me. So advice about taxes and other legal issues are high-risk for me. I did not write the tax chapter in my book, Bob McMurray, an artist and accountant did. I ask him a lot of questions when I answer tax questions.

But I would not claim these expenses you are asking about. By extension, every sensual/intellectual experience an artist has is capable of inspiring a piece, but you have to pay taxes. There has to be a evidentiary trail to make a legal claim; a specific movie or book may relate to a specific work, but that is such a slight occurrence in the grand scheme of things, and the expense so small, it is hardly worth claiming, and the fact that one work may be inspired by one movie does not qualify all movies as a legitimate expense.

I have been audited and I believe such claims would be refused, but this is just my opinion, Natalie. An accountant can give you professional advice.