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ACT Applied to Marketing


Many artists come to me for advice about marketing. It’s such a big subject that I use the Art Career Theorem (ACT) model to simplify the subject and create actionable steps for success. The primary areas of marketing is defining your brand, customizing your message, and identifying your outlets.

The graphic recording above is from a recent ACT meetup where participants of the ACT workshop were invited to attend for free. The purpose of the meetup was to take deeper dives on topics of interest to them. Every meetup is different and customized to the artists’ needs.

In addition to marketing, in just two hours, we covered goalsetting, getting clarity, change approach, the Yes/No Meter, building relationships with the press, fear of failure, and shared resources relevant to the conversation.

See? Marketing isn’t so hard! It just needs to be distilled down into sizable chucks that can be broken down even further for easy execution.

Ever heard of the saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”?

You can get the marketing support you need by applying the ACT model.

ACT :: Tips on Saying “No”


Saying no is one of the hardest things to do. I personally have to practice it everyday. The Yes/No meter has been a very effective tool, but I’ve been working on it for years. It is a process so please be patient with yourself.

We all want to say “yes”—it feels good! But what happens when we say yes when we really mean no? It can make us feel bad, guilty, or full of regret because we intend for it to go well, but sometimes it does not.

For example, I tend to say yes because I like to hear other people’s ideas and I want to be part of their process to help them manifest their vision. But more often than not, I find myself overbooked and can’t take on more work. Or worse, I say yes to a project because I’m not busy and could use the money. What usually follows is that I discover that I’m not that passionate about the project after all, don’t do my best work, and then another project comes up that I want to say yes to, but I’m not available to meet the need and can’t.

So what do I do to practice saying no? I recognize triggers, create buffers and use a specific criteria to determine if I want to take on a new project.

I share my tips in detail with ACT participants, but if you would like a copy of my tips and tricks, please click here to email me. I would be happy to share the handout of tips and techniques on what works for me.

To learn more about how you can create and sustain the art career/life you want, you can keep up to date by checking out posts about ACT by clicking here.

Scribe Video :: Next Generation Arts Standards

The National Arts Education Association advances visual arts education to fulfill human potential and promote global understanding. They do so by providing exemplary learning opportunities that help members become more effective educators, artists, leaders, and advocates for visual arts education. As the NAEA moves into the next generation of arts standards, they needed a way to deliver their message that reflects their mission to their audience. Naturally, a hand drawn scribe video was the answer.

The following is a case study of a scribe video using a blackboard as a background.

C A S E    S T U D Y – Next Generation Arts Standards | National Arts Education Association

Purpose To visually illustrate the 2014 arts standards, how they compare to the 1994 standards, and how the NAEA is working to support arts educators in implementing them.

Process Working with a highly collaborative and inspired team is not only productive, but a joy. Under a very tight deadline of two and a half weeks, the client was able to immediately supply a succinctly written script and voiceover to inspire the storyboard. This well-written script was so clear that there were only minor tweaks made to the storyboard illustrations. The visual metaphor of a blackboard was used to illustrate the changes between the previous standards and the use of technology (VideoScribe) was used to carry this message, featuring the new arts standards. Managing white graphics was a challenge. New processes were put into place during the production stage to ensure efficiency and success. After two weeks of production, the video was approved—again with only one minor change.

Payoff The NAEA debuted the video at their national conference in San Diego in March 2014. The team received many accolades for their efforts. Better clarity and understanding were brought to arts educators learning about the new standards and how they can be used in arts curriculums grades K-12. Sparkol, the maker of the software VideoScribe, featured the video on their Facebook page and stated, “Best chalkboard scribe we’ve ever seen!”

Are you ready to collaborate on your next video project?
Please reach out to me to learn how I can create a scribe video for you.


ACT :: The Workshop

So you may have heard about Art Career Theorem (ACT) and read that it was a success from previous blog posts found here, but what is it really all about?

The Art Career Theorem is an art life/career planning tool that allows artists to get in touch with their values, set values-based goals, and improve the quality of their artwork while increasing self-awareness.

ACT has been tested in 1:1 coaching sessions, small groups, a workshop, and meet up for over 2 years. The front page of the 12x18” handout below is what participants receive upon arrival of the workshop, along with large pieces of paper to map out the ACT process.


The backside of the handout includes in-depth exercises to explore values, goalsetting, and self-awareness techniques that helps bring your art and your life/career together in a matter that reflects your needs. They are facilitated in the workshop and in 1:1 sessions through graphic coaching.

This model is a tool that can be used by artists over their lifetime. It can also be applied to other occupations so whether you are an artist now and want to change your career trajectory, or want to become an artist from another field, ACT can help with transitions. It has also been applied to non-arts related trades like plumbing and neuroscience!

The ACT workshop simply provides a foundational structure for artists to strategize and grow. Participation in meetups and 1:1 coaching can further develop your understanding and maintenance of the art life you want to live.

If you would like to receive a copy of the front side of the handout or want to learn more about how ACT can support your art life, please email me.

Good luck in all of your creative endeavors!

Brand versus Identity versus Logo


Did you ever wonder, “what is the difference between my brand, my identity, and my logo?”

Your logo is the graphic representation of your business. Think of the Nike swoosh. It’s so common that we don’t even need the word Nike to accompany it. The swoosh part of the logo is called the “mark.” By hiring a professional graphic designer to create your logo, you will be provided with the necessary digital files and guidelines for using your logo consistently—essential to informing your brand.

Your identity is how your logo is used and the behaviors associated with your business. Some examples of identity are the marketing collateral created by a professional graphic designer and how your logo is used to promote your business. It is also how you “show up” or represent your business. By maintaining control over your identity, you also inform your brand.

Your brand is the perception that your audience has of you. It can be what they say about you to others, but not always directly to you. You can inform your brand with your logo and identity, but you don’t have total control of it.

If you are looking for ways to build or change your brand, consider hiring a professional that can help guide you through the proper steps. With over twenty years of graphic design experience, I have worked with marketing departments, print shops, for newspapers and telephone directories, even published an arts magazine. I’ve worked with many different types of designers and am happy to work with you or refer you to a graphic designer who may be a better fit for your needs and goals.

Please email me to learn more.

Art Career Theorem Workshop a SUCCESS!

Pictured above (clockwise starting upper left): Heather and Amy assess one of the primary aspects of Amy’s work; Rhonda creates a collage reflecting her values; visual notes are taken of the ACT process; Mariah and Bronwyn reflect on values-based goalsetting; detail from the morning’s graphic facilitation chart. Photos by Ray Martinez.

If you ask me, March 8th was an auspicious day. Artists found themselves surrounded by like minds, and I had the opportunity to express myself in a big way while doing what I love—drawing on walls.

The morning consisted of artist spotlights, assessing the primary areas of an artist’s work: process, subject matter, and voice. Throughout the day, Emilie Monson provided us with her delicious and nutritious creations that kept the creativity flowing. In the afternoon, we reflected on our values, tackled goalsetting, and increased our self-awareness by learning to say yes or no based on our purpose.

The demand to learn more was so great by the end of the day, that we decided to meet again as a follow-up to discuss marketing and other topics in greater detail.

More to come as we continue to sort out the important aspects of living the art life. Please stay tuned…

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