Map Your way into an Income from your Art

The following post is by Toronto artist Moshe Mikanovsky from Fine Art Views, a newsletter than encourages it’s subscribers to share information about art and fine living…

A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid to studying and organizing information, solving problems, making decisions, and writing.
By presenting ideas in a radial, graphical, non-linear manner, mind maps encourage a brainstorming approach to planning and organizational tasks

I have started recently applying Mind Mapping, the brain-storming and organizing method that you can apply to any planning, in some of my activities while trying to build my art business to the next level. This year is the second year of my efforts, and I have done quite a few things in the last year, in different areas, which I can definitely learn from, and expand on, in the short and long term.

So one of the Mind Maps I have made is of my Art Income. I listed all the areas that I have used to make an income. In many of them the income is quite small, but never the less, it is also part of the big picture, and it is in areas that can be developed more thoughouly in the future.

This Mind Map was created with the MindBlowing free iPhone app (by The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Computer Science & Engineering) which I downloaded to my iPhone. I love using my iPhone anywhere I can to write notes (like blog posts ideas), read articles, connect with my Twitter and Facebook friends, or, brain-storm my mind in mind-mapping…. There are many other apps and utilities for mind mapping, I will probably write about it in another post.

First, I put “Art Income” in the middle, as the subject of my Mind Map. Then, I listed all around it the areas in which I have made some income:

Art Income Mind Map, first level.

So the areas that I need to expend on are: Paintings, Giclee prints, art shows, licensing, writing, teaching, website and technology. Many artists focus only on making art and selling it. But from what I have seen around, there are many ways to make an income from being an artist, and also my unique background combination, of technologist and artistic, can work to my benefit. For example, I developed courses for artists that aim to assist them in learning about technology, mainly the Internet, websites and social media, in order to help them with their art business.

Next, I exploded each of these areas:

Art Income, full mind map.

The Paintings area has several activities where I participated – art shows, art fairs and commissions. I have applied to several shows, and been accepted to some of them, and sold some of my artwork through these shows. I also participated for the first time in an outdoor art fair (or art festival). This one didn’t materialize in any income, but I am not dismissing it as an investment to future, more successful, events. I have submitted my application to several of the Toronto area art festival this year, and I hope it will be a much better year! And finally, I received couple of commissions through my network.

The other area shown is the Giclee Prints. I started a business relationship with photographer Steven Crainford, who is producing my Giclee prints. Since Steven is a full time artist photographer, and has a full setup at his home studio to produce Giclees, I saw the benefit of working with another local artist (and blogger). It is much more personal and it works very well for my needs. I started with the Zodiac series and with the 7 Days of Creation series, planning to expend it in the future to other paintings.

The nice thing about Mind Mapping is that you see the entire picture in one place. And when you make it, you don’t have to get stuck with one area. You can add and move and remove and adjust any of the areas, and it is developed in a much more holistic way than linear lists and bulletins. From the mind map, you can always drill down into specific areas you wish to explore more (create a Mind Map of that area only), or analyze which area need more work.

I think mind mapping like this is brilliant way to plan your career and insure that you are moving along the right track…what do you think…is this something you would find useful as part of your marketing program?..Janis

Here is a template for you to get started..Janis

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