Are You Rolling With The Changes?

So far we’ve talked about how to succeed, and even how to fail in your chosen field, you’ve got the list bookmarked, made a few changes in 2012, but this is 2013 and maybe it’s time to reassess the entire process in light of the inevitable changes that affect us all…to that end I thought it a good time to ask….

“Are you rolling with the changes?

Changes to your art career are going to happen. …either you roll with them, or make them happen.

Life and technology continuously throw new opportunities, obstacles and big questions at you.

To keep up, you are changing on a nearly daily basis. While some changes are microscopic, others are monumental.

You get a smartphone and start texting instead of calling and emailing your family and friends. You get a Kindle and stop buying physical books.

You get an iPad and stop using your desktop. You get a Wacom Cintiq Graphic Monitor and stop using paint and canvas.

Changes Come in Personal and Professional Ways..

You get bad news about your health or a family member. Unexpected changes with employment happen. Maybe it is good news, for instance a promotion, graduation, or marriage. Regardless of the stimulus, they all cause change.

If the Fish Aren’t Biting, Change the Bait, Find a New Hole, or Quit Fishing.

As a professional artist, (One who sells their work for a profit.), you might find the subject matter, color palette, or medium is just not selling as well as before. Do you question if you are on the right path? Should you continue to pursue making a living as an artist? Should you overhaul what you are doing and shift into another kind of art? Are you pursuing an art business career, or a passion for making art? Can you make them work together?

Make Time to Review Your Situation and What to Do About It

Once you satisfactorily work through the questions about what is going on with the art you are making, you have to address are you doing the right things to get your work to market? Are there things you are doing you need to stop, or cut back while putting your focus and energy on other ways to help you sell your work?

Social Media Marketing Questions Are Daunting..

Should you be engaging on a social media platform?
Do you need a mobile marketing strategy?
Should you be cross-posting the same exact message on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites?
Do you have the time and resources to create custom messages for each platform?
Is there a reasonable payoff for any of it?
I can feel some readers’ anxieties swell just by writing the above questions because I know taking the time to think through them intelligently, then to come up with an answer and follow up with appropriate actions is overwhelming. It is enough to make some want pull back and hibernate instead of trudging forward

Social Media Is Just One Part of the Art Marketing and Art Career Path Equation..

It is not just confusing newfangled social media causing concerns. Changing consumer tastes, the decline of the gallery system, the growth of e-commerce and more are cause for you to evaluate and make changes to how you make, market and sell your art. The current circumstances are such that artists and other entrepreneurs are being forced make sometimes unwanted and difficult decisions regarding how to keep their business current, relevant and profitable.

The Only Thing Stopping You from Making Constructive, Art Career Changes Are Fear and Lack of Information

Change can be subtle, such as moving from oil to acrylic. It can also be drastic, such as some recent situations I encountered. A colleague where I work just quit her $50,000 year job with great benefits to move to Japan to teach English to Japanese school kids. I asked her if she knew Japanese. She said no, because English is the only language spoken in the classroom.

I know more of you are like me in that we have no plans or enthusiasm for moving away from the comforts of our home, friends and family. However, that does not mean you can’t make big changes in your life. I am thinking about your art business. Are there things in your art career that could benefit from changes?

Perhaps It Is Time to Tap Something New

Are you finding less interest in your work, or subject matter, or both, than in the past?
Are you bored with working in the same genre and palette?
Does the idea of taking on a new challenge make your eagerness flutter and your heart race a bit?
Does the notion of taking your career in a new direction throw fear in your heart?
Are you ready to take on some new risk for new rewards?
I have long championed the idea, and so does my friend and fellow author and gallery owner, Jason Horejs (“Starving” to Successful: The Fine Artist’s Guide to Getting into Galleries), that artists should stick to a look or style. There is a difference between switching styles and having no discernible style

Have No Fear. Leave No Regrets.

If questions like those resonate and stir your soul, then you are ripe to start planning the next you, the new you. You are only stuck if you think you are. It can be little changes, or macro changes. The point is to understand, believe and commit.

If you have the courage to make a change and take the time to understand why and how you are going to do it, then stop getting in your way and get moving towards a more rewarding life. It is okay to have concerns, but do not be held back by the fear that can be aroused by them. Be informed, confident and prepared and just do it.

You can choose to regret decisions in the past, although, other than learning from them, I believe it is an utter waste of time to dwell on them. What I am suggesting to you today is to start working on plans where you can say from this day on "I do not have regrets about career or lifestyle choices I have made".excerpted from Art Print News by B Davey

Are you rolling with the changes, or struggling with them?…Janis.


  • Dianne  Ilka
    Dianne Ilkaabout 2 years ago

    Wow Janis! You really have amazing timing with these posts :) only this morning I was discussing with an old school friend what my goals are for my art this year and how to achieve it. He coaches businesspeople on thinking outside of the box and has his own business which he calls “the space”. It’s a room where the walls are are white board and the possibilities are endless… He’s started up a million dollar challenge and he asked what it would take to sell a painting for a million dollars to which I replied “I’d have to get really famous and then die lol”. While i know I’m going to have to take a considerable amount of zeros from that million dollar total, it’s certainly fun to explore what options are out there :)

  • I am so glad this was timely for you…I hoped it would resonate with people but I got so few comments that I was about to delete the post…thanks so much for the feedback Dianne…

    – ©Janis Zroback

  • Mui-Ling Teh
    Mui-Ling Tehabout 2 years ago

    Well I for one, as you know, made a big drastic change last year. Thinking about that together with the first points you’ve outlined about how the world around us is changing – we never know what is going to happen anyways – if we really want something; while some may find us crazy, we can just as equally, maybe even more so, regret not making changes ourselves to our own lives because, for example, when staying at the same work place, we may have a more difficult time finding a job later, suppose our workplace suddenly took a downturn and ran out of business, then if we had made a change earlier (just an example…). Our lives depend our own decisions, but also luck. Meanwhile what works today may not work later, and things are always changing. Unfortunately that also means some students will learn things in school, and by the time they graduate, what they learn may no longer be applicable.

  • I did not know you made a drastic change…you did mention something about making a change but I was not aware that you had takes the plunge and done anything as yet..
    The world is changing rapidly around us and if we want to keep abreast of it, we do have to be aware of what is going on in all fields of work even though on the surface they seem to be unrelated to what we’re doing…

    – ©Janis Zroback

  • Dlouise
    Dlouiseabout 2 years ago

    Lots to think about now,,,,great questions to ask yourself,,,thank you!!

  • You’re very welcome…glad you found it helpful…

    – ©Janis Zroback

  • Mark Wade
    Mark Wadeabout 2 years ago

    Always evolving Janis

  • We must all evolve or we will be left behind… glad for the feedback Mark…so nice to see you..

    – ©Janis Zroback

  • Cindy Schnackel
    Cindy Schnackelabout 2 years ago

    Good thought provoking points. I must have missed this one, just now saw it!

    Yes, my choices evolve. When it feels like I’m getting scattered, or pulled off on a tangent, sometimes I have to refocus, and decide if that’s a direction I really do want to go. Not everything I’ve done was part of the plan, some things that worked out were unpredicted opportunities. And a few things that are not as far along as I’d like call for more effort.

    Agree, that style can change or evolve, and that’s not the same thing as having no style. If an artist has more than one obvious style and they’re not all a good fit for the same market, they can sell in different markets.

    I find your journals, and the experts you refer to, to be some of the most helpful free marketing info. Today, just to see what it was, I checked out an art business site someone was plugging on another site. Turned out to be total pablum, and I unsubscribed as soon as I read their so-called info packed document. Some of them charge hundreds for it their whole package, when a $25 book probably holds far more actual info. It’s nice that some artists have shared some of their marketing knowledge for free and/or written a good text on the topic that costs a normal price.

  • I just published this so you really did not over look it…yes some advice seems good until you follow it through, then you find out it was only a teaser and you need to ante up a lot of money for information that might not even be valuable…that is why I do all this searching around…sometimes I mash several posts together to get something worthwhile…this year is my marketing year, although so far the things I planned to do are only partly done…still, there’s time as long as I don’t get too far behind…thanks so much for your input Cindy…

    – ©Janis Zroback

  • mYmEMine
    mYmEMineabout 2 years ago

    I went though a long involved process of what direction to take my art and even whether or not to even try to market it. I’m not nearly as prolific as I used to be and since I work in several different mediums it’s hard for galleries to find a place for me in their space. I just recently (the last couple years) got into writing poetry. That’s something I never really did before. I started out by illustrating every poem until I hit on a few poems that I had no idea how to illustrate. I have always been told that me art is illustrative and not really suitable for Galleries. So I quit the three Galleries I belonged to. They were so expensive as far as fees, fees for shows, etc. That it was not worth it for me because I never sold a single piece in a show. I’ve sold more of my art from my living room at home than I ever sold in Galleries. There are so many people that say they love my work but they don’t love it enough to buy it and I was tired of practically giving it away, and sometimes literally giving it away.
    I’ve never made a living doing art and probably never will because I am not a salesman. My pleasure is in doing the work, not selling it.
    So, I think the direction my work is headed is writing stories/Poems and illustrating them. Whether they sell or not. I’ve published one book of my work and have enough stuff to do another. It’s just a matter of getting motivated to do it all. I love the creating. I don’t love the nit picking details and rules and regulations involved in putting a book together and getting it printed. I’ve probably made enough off my book to cover my expenses. So that seems to be the direction I’m going in now. If I ever make a hit that would be great. But as long as I have people who read and appreciate what I do I am satisfied. I have no dreams of ever being rich and famous.

  • I don’t think many of us have dreams of wealth, but I imagine we all want to be successful and that is certainly within the reach of all of us…you already know exactly which direction you want to take and that is half the battle..the rest is easy from now on..
    Two things…galleries should not be charging you anything…it’s rare for them to charge where I live and those who do are called vanity galleries…vanity galleries do nothing for the artists who show there..all they care about are the fees..once they get those they abandon you…you are better of without them..
    Re a book of your poetry and art…what about Blurb? You are in total control there and you can get an ISBN number and sell the books yourself..

    – ©Janis Zroback

  • EleanorMann
    EleanorMannabout 2 years ago

    I missed this post of yours, Janis. Please don’t stop posting them. If people don’t comment it does not necessarily mean they haven’t appreciated them – perhaps, like me, they feel they have nothing intelligent to add.

    I have read and appreciated ALL of your posts but haven’t always commented. They have contributed enormously to my current thinking and plans for 2013. Whether the “plan” works for me or not I will be a happier person having chosen my path and I have you to thank for that.

  • Thank you so much for your feedback Eleanor…i really appreciate it and I am so pleased that the articles have been a help to you..
    Comments don’t necessarily have to be as you say “intelligent” but merely something to let me know that the post was useful to the reader or that it resonated in some way…where there are none or very few comments, I have no idea if people think the article was helpful or rubbish they did not like or need….if there are merely a number of views, and not much else, the post will be deleted after a few days…they take a great deal of time to research and write, so if I feel they are not resonating with the members here, I won’t continue the posts..

    – ©Janis Zroback

  • Pam Humbargar
    Pam Humbargarabout 2 years ago

    Wow…you have said it all, for so many of us, Janis. Keeping up with the times is what it is all about nowadays…but it’s a challenge for us older folks…though we certainly do have regrets, we still have our lives before us—and many works of art yet to create and share with the world…and so much more to learn…! Your great posts are keeping us old fogies up-to-date!!!! thank you:)

  • I am so glad they resonate with you…thank you so much for letting me know…and yes there’s lots of time to do so much more…

    – ©Janis Zroback