Posts tagged marketing

Wash & Wax Media Exposure

Wash & Wax: Bubble Bath

Wash & Wax: Bubble Bath

Leisa has written an excellent page on her website about our collaboration, Wash & Wax, (which you can find here) — and she asked me for a link to the SAQA Journal article that I wrote about the collaboration that was published in the Fall 2015 issue. I thought that surely I had the link on my website, but a quick search showed that I had neglected to share it. It’s amazing how life gets in the way.

2015 SAQA Journals are not yet available online to non-members, but with SAQA’s permission, here is our article:


I also found that I haven’t provided a link to the ArtsATL article written by Gail O’Neill. You can find it over here.

2014 Accomplishments


At the end of the year, I look at my goals and see how close I came to achieving them. Here is it January 8th — I should have done this at the end of 2013 — but I got the flu after Christmas, and it took all of my energy for a couple of weeks. I’m just now beginning to recover and put together the pieces of everything I have to do in my life. Today was the first time I’ve had to look at my art goals.

2013 was the year that “I finally broke into the sunshine at the International Quilt Festival/Houston” — and 2014 was the year that I created controversy.  But just like I said last year — I’m still here and kicking — and I hope to continue to create in 2015.

Worry— My blog was viewed 21,00 times in 2014 which broke all of my previous records. The highest viewed post was The Use of Someone Else’s Photograph in Your Work, the subject of which was the controversy over my piece Worry at the International Quilt Festival/Houston this year.

Worry and Golden Moment were accepted into Georgia Artists at the Abernathy Arts Center here in Sandy Springs, GA, an exhibit highlighting the work of local Georgia artists from all mediums. Golden Moment won 1st place.

Worry was accepted into International Quilt Festival/Houston: World of Beauty and was awarded 3rd place in the Art-People, Portraits, and Figures category.

Dolce Far Niente was accepted into the special exhibit What’s for Dinner? at Quilt Festival/Houston.

The Cardinal was shown at the Square Foot Fiber Art Pin Up Show at the Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance here in Atlanta and then was donated and auctioned at the International Quilt Festival/Houston Silent Auction.

LincolnLincoln traveled from the 2013 International Quilt Festival/Houston and went to The Texas Quilt Museum, Spring Quilt Market in Pittsburgh, International Quilt Festival/Chicago, and Quilt! Knit! Stitch! in Portland before being purchased.

Beach Guardians traveled from the 2013 Sacred Threads show and went to Sacred Threads West: Art of the Sacred in Seattle, WA.

— Rebecca Reasons-Edwards and myself co-curated another exhibit this year called Fierce Fibers at The Art Place in Marietta, GA. Beach Guardians, Golden Moment, A Walk in Twilight, and Worn were exhibited.

— Golden Moment was accepted into Art Quilts XIX: Permission to Play at the Chandler Center for the Arts in Chandler, AZ and was awarded Juror’s Choice & 3rd Place.

Firecracker was included in the article Pet Portraits Popular With Owners Who Quilt in the Daily Sentinel published in January.

— Heike Hellmann-Brown wrote an article about me and my work that was published in the local publication North Fulton Family Life in August.

— Sold Lincoln to a private collector.

— Sold I Am the Vine, You are the Branches to a private collector.

— Sold Worry to a private collector.

The Cardinal— Sold The Cardinal to a private collector.

— Met goal of selling at least 2 of my pieces.

— I completed 3 large portraits, 1 small animal portrait, 1 small abstract, and 3 large abstracts. (All of the abstract works were made in collaboration with Leisa Rich.) (Goal to make at least 6 large pieces met.)

— I started a collaboration with a local artist, Leisa Rich. We have been working on an abstract series based on car washes and are planning a two person show at the Abernathy Arts Center in October of 2015.

— I applied and was accepted into Studio Art Quilts Associates as a Juried Artist Member.

— I spoke at The Atlanta Modern Quilt Guild in Marietta, GA, The Alpha Arts Guild in Alpharetta, GA, and the Misty Mountain Quilter’s Guild in Blairsville, GA.

— This year I kept a massive spreadsheet and kept track of my hours. I have to find a simpler way to do this. Halfway through the year, I decided that I not only wanted to keep category totals but also totals by project — so I ended up keeping two separate spreadsheets.

— As of the end of the year, I have 115 FaceBook Page followers (increase from 2013 unknown but I think it’s around 50%) and 32 Twitter followers (52% increase but still small).

— I did fairly well on maintaining my social media goals. I posted at least 2 blog posts a week 80% of the time, I posted at least 4 FaceBook page updates 78% of the time, and I posted at least 6 Twitter updates 74% of the time.

— What I didn’t do well with this year was keeping myself to at least 15 hours per week in the studio. I only met that goal 59% of the time. I was on track until I started taking freelance scoping work on the side. The truth of the matter is that my family is a part time job, so freelancing work cut into my art time. I do think I will keep this goal in 2015 however. I just need to work on being smarter with the time that I do have available.

— I didn’t keep my sketching goal at all. I have no problem drafting out a pattern for a particular project, but I can’t seem to make myself stop and fill a page in a sketchbook.

— I easily increased web traffic 5%. Given the controversy over Worry at IQA/Houston, my traffic increased 55.4% over last year.

I am eternally grateful for the support and encouragement of my friends and other people that reached out to me during the controversy over Worn. I am reminded that my place is to hold up others to the light and forward their achievements in a positive way. I leave all the others that still have lessons to learn — behind.

Love me or hate me, I’m still here, and I hope that 2015 is a great year.

Dolce Far Niente

Professional Headshot


(I have reposted this blog post from 8/29/14 that appears to be lost due to a technical issue between my database and WordPress. If and when is recovered, I will delete this copy.)

Last week, I had SAQA inquire about a headshot of me to include in their announcement of new Juried Members. I gave them what I have used as a professional headshot — but unfortunately, they wanted something not just for the internet but also for print publication to send their galleries. I put it aside for the weekend and hoped that I had something in my arsenal of pictures.

But you know, like most moms, I don’t have many pictures of myself because I am almost always the one taking the picture. I tried really hard to pull something out of thin air — but it just wasn’t there. So I went back and asked when they had to have the picture. End of the month. A week away. Oh wow.

I spent a day or two fooling myself into thinking I could do it myself. I have all of the equipment — but I knew in my gut it wasn’t the right thing to do and it would take a lot of time if I did it all by myself.

In the end, I did something that I have a hard time doing — I asked for help. Beth Buchweitz is a counselor at my daughters’ school and both of our daughters have taken lacrosse together for the last couple of years. We both take team pictures. So I asked her — and yesterday, she took time out of her crazy schedule to set me down in the shade and take pictures of me in a suit.

I don’t have them yet — I’ll share them when I do — but they came out really well. She asked me to stick out my chin and then dip my head down to create a shadow along my chin — I’ve not been asked to do that before but it made perfect sense. She fixed my hair when it was out of place — and best of all, she refused to accept a plastic smile. I had to carry a natural smile and chuckle under my breath and it made a big difference.

Dolce Far NienteI heard this week that my piece Dolce Far Niente was accepted into the International Quilt Festival special exhibit What’s for Dinner? 2014. This exhibit consists of 36 quilts to be debuted at the International Quilt Festival in Houston in October/November — and then it will travel to other IQF shows around the US. I’m honored to be included.


The CardinalI shipped off The Cardinal — IQF asked me to donate a piece for their auction and given how kind they were to purchase The White Raven from me as well as to grace me with a prize last year in World of Beauty and to include so many of my other pieces in their wonderful exhibits, I was happy to send them something. It will be available in their silent auction at their Houston show October 30 – November 2, 2014.



twitter.jpgI did not post a Tweek last Sunday — I had had a long day entertaining and then spent three hours painting my daughter’s room. I was just too tired — so this post covers the last two weeks.

What else have I been up to? It’s summertime and the living is easy. I am not quite up to my usual studio speed but I do have more time than I’ve had in previous years. I’ve found that my teenager sleeps all morning so if I can get myself in gear, I can pack a couple of hours in.

I have been expanding on my car wash series collaboration with Leisa Rich and set her up a couple of days ago as my first contributing author on the blog. We met earlier this week to discuss what to do with the first piece — but I admit I’ve already put my attention into another piece — a bigger one. I’m almost done with the drafting. Hopefully I’ll have some pictures up on the blog by next week.

These are my tweets for the last couple of weeks. If you would rather follow me in real time, I’m @vsgreaves. I have several social media icons in the upper right above the menu.

Although leasing work is probably not a good consideration for textile work (given its added limitations on exposure to direct light and its ability to absorb smells), I found this article about leasing artwork to be a great marketing idea for most artists.
Have You Considered Leasing Your Artwork? –

Wise words of Winkleman — he always has a pulse on the art world. As an MBA graduate, I was fascinated by his analysis of why the art market is an exception to many economic principles.
“Applying the Rules of all Markets to Art” Why economic principles don’t apply to the art market & unethical flipping

I found this court case to be disturbing. Although it is wonderful that there will be more books digitized for the blind, I find it unconscionable that a judge would take away the rights of the authors as to whether or not their work would be digitized (and thus its subsequent inevitable pirating).
“Digitized Books for Disabled Don’t Need Authors’ OK – Bloomberg” Good for disabled — bad for authors.

Another author making a case for doing work and not waiting for inspiration to strike.
“Don’t Waste Your Time on Inspiration”

It’s not often that I find a fiber artist highlighted on My Modern Met. Ana Teresa Barboza’s work is striking. I love the one of the fiber lion placing the drawn woman’s head in his mouth.
Inspiration: “Artist Uses Colorful Embroidery to Explore Natural Forms”

I don’t usually refer people to music videos, but this one certainly qualifies as performance art.
This is genius performance art — check out OK Go’s new music video:

I was fascinated by this article about Gauguin and that he often painted still lifes to bring home the bacon.
Even Gauguin needed to pay the bills. “Previously Unknown Gauguin Reveals a Lot About the Artist”

This is Leisa Rich’s article on my blog about our collaboration. I’ve added a feed from my blog to Twitter. It occurred to me that I routinely tweet articles that I’ve read, but I haven’t been tweeting about my own work. It’s ironic that my first syndicated post is not written by me.
Ruminations on Collaboration

Famed designer Massimo Vignelli who passed recently put forth the idea that all creatives need vision, courage, and determination to be successful.
“Massimo Vignelli: The 3 Traits of Great Creatives” Vision, courage, & determination.



twitter.jpgI just returned from a short vacation to celebrate the beginning of summer so much of my week was lost to the Muses, a respite of intellectual machinations to hopefully be cashed in at a later time. It was restful although I had hoped to spend time gathering inspiration through my camera. Unfortunately, the weather had a different agenda and a lot of time was spent looking at the ocean through large plate glass windows as we were inundated with rain, thunder, and lightening. (I will never understand the logic of people that think playing in the ocean or on a wet beach while lightening crashes around them is a good idea.)

I let my youngest daughter have the camera a good portion of the little bit of beach time that we enjoyed — so it will be interesting to pull them off the camera and see what enduring messages she has given me from our trip.

I did find time to tweet some — here is my weekly wrap-up. If you want to follow me in real time, I’m @vsgreaves — or hit the social media icons in the upper right above the menu.

This is a deeply moving series of portraits of dogs that were in service during the chaos of 9/11. I couldn’t help but wonder if it was the skill of the photographer the captured the deep pools of their eyes — or if it is a reflection of the horrors that they lived through during that time.
@mymodernmet: Moving Portraits of Surviving 9/11 Search and Rescue Dogs 10 Years Later

The world grew a little dimmer this week as we lost the life of Maya Angelou to the angels. This was her last tweet. May she rest in peace and rise in Glory.
RT @DrMayaAngelou: Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.

I was asked recently — by another artist — “how long did that take you to make?” As artists, we should consider this one as it is an opportunity to market ourselves if we answer it correctly.
“How to Answer “How Long Did That Take You to Make?”” Always a hard one to answer.

As Creatives, we are familiar with working in “the flow” — this book review covers “wu wei,” a similar concept, and why it’s important to use our unconscious brain in other difficult activities.
RT @brainpicker: How to cultivate the paradoxical art of spontaneity in work, life, and love through the Chinese concept of wu-wei

My mom, a painter, never had the back of her art remarked upon — although it’s something routinely considered in fabric art since it’s rooted in the traditional quilting world (whether we like it or not). I think that it presents a marketing opportunity for any artist in any medium if we’re willing to take the time to be thoughtful about it (as well as neat).
RT @ArtsyShark: What’s the Back Story on Your Art? –

A thoughtful consideration of why artists create the work that we do — and in the end, why the answer is probably best left unanswered.
RT @brainpicker: Why do we create? The great Leonard Bernstein on artistic motivation – absolutely brilliant and necessary read

I couldn’t help but share this incredible pen and ink master. Although his inspiration is inarguably baroque, his images are beautiful to behold.
@mymodernmet: Incredibly Detailed Ink Drawings of Winged Insects by Alex Konahin



twitter.jpgThis was the last week of school for my girls so there was a lot of interruption and not a lot of studio time. I did manage to finish my latest small piece — a still life — but blocking it caused some fabric crocking that I will correct tomorrow. I’ll post about how I do that. I also took some in process pics that I’ll share. I admit I’ve been a little stingy with sharing my studio time lately. I think the truth of it is that I’m a little burned out creatively.

I also have not had a lot time for reading — so I only have four Tweets this weeks. Remember that if you want to follow me in real time, I’m @vsgreaves — or hit the social media icons in the upper right above the menu.

I thought it interesting, after writing a recent post Branding Yourself As An Artist, that Winkleman has carried the torch and furthered the discussion. Being a gallerist from NY, he has a lot more wise thoughts on the subject.
“Branding for the Fine Artist : Part I” Wise words of Winkleman.

Brain Pickings presents yet another thoughtful essay on the secret to creative success as demonstrated by the masters — work ethic.
“The Long Game:Brilliant Visual Essays on the Only Secret to Creative Success, from Leonardo da Vinci to Marie Curie”

Although it’s curious enough to follow the bullying ways of WalMart, it’s equally fascinating to ask the question — who own the photograph? Although federal law says that it is the photographer, I have had subjects that are adamant that they are the owners of their own image.
“Walmart Goes After Photographer’s Widow” — who owns the photo — the photographer or the subject?

Harper Lee again takes her hometown to court for copyright infringement as the town continues to capitalize on their claim to fame.
“‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ author Harper Lee heading back to court in fight with hometown museum”



twitter.jpgAnother week in May. My mom was visiting last weekend and stayed through Tuesday — so I didn’t make my weekly goal of studio time. Always depressing — but sometimes life gets in the way. Hopefully, I will finish my small still life this coming week. I shared a pre-quilting shot of it on my Facebook Page a couple of days ago.

This is my weekly Twitter round up. If you want to follow me in real time, I’m @vsgreaves. You can also find me online through my social media icons in the upper right above the menu.

My first Tweet is about a couple that bought a warehouse in DC & decided to rent out space in it to artists for insanely low rents in the name of culture and small business growth.
“Off the Beaten Track provides affordable work space for D.C. artists”

Edward Winkleman gives another delightful read — a review after a Christie’s auction. No one is more painfully honest about the art scene in New York.
“Post-Incipient-Vomiting (or, An Analytical Look at “If I Live I’ll See You Tuesday”)” — Artists as brands.

I’ve been told that this has already happened. I suppose once people figured out how to make money on the internet, it was only a matter of time until people developed speed lanes for the giants of industry.
Really really bad changes threaten to put your Internet in the
. Say no at (via )

Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) is a professional textile artists group that has recently opened a new exhibit called Earth Stories at the Michigan State University Museum. I have several Facebook friends with pieces in the exhibit who, once the exhibit opened, were able to share how their pieces were created. It’s an extremely inspiring exhibit — not just on the theme of Earth Stories — but on the incredibly high professional talent in the world of textile art today.
SAQA’s Earth Stories exhibit opening Friday MSU Museum — incredible textile works.

A short article by 99U — but it covers the basics about the importance of starting and continuing.
“Vincent van Gogh & the Importance of Doing” Perserverance pays off — get to work!

Having spent a portion of my childhood as a people pleaser, I found Anne Lamott’s words really resonate with me. She also addresses the evils of perfectionism, another of my early faults that I thankfully excommunicated (having children really killed any remaining piece of that I still carried in my personality). “Shoot the moon.” I plan to get a copy of this book soon.
The Definitive Manifesto for Handling Haters:Anne Lamott on Priorities &How We Keep Ourselves Small by PeoplePleasing

Like many nuggets from Brain Pickings, I was unaware that anyone had ever declined the National Medal of Arts. I found Adrienne Rich’s letter to Bill Clinton interesting. I had a friend tell me that I have truly missed out by not reading her poetry — which I hope to rectify soon.
RT @brainpicker: Why Adrienne Rich, born 85 years ago today, became the only person to decline the prestigious National Medal of Arts

Not to get too political — but I did tweet this link about a Christian woman from Sudan who married a Christian and became pregnant. Because of Sharia law, she is considered Muslim because her father was, and so her marriage isn’t recognized — and after the birth and weaning of her child, she will be given 100 lashes and then  death — unless she recants her Christian beliefs. (There is disagreement about her degree of Christianity — but I’ll let you read the article and draw your own conclusions.)

This is a video about a man who went into the profession of a courtroom sketch artist — and how technology has made his skills increasingly obsolete. It is fascinating to consider the opportunity for an artist to make a living wage — and crushing to see it taken away and the artist morph into a security guard in order to pay his bills.
Watch: The Rise and Fall of a Courtroom Sketch Artist

Irish artist Brian Maguire traveled to Juarez, Mexico and spent four years documenting some of the 1,400 women killed and lost in this area of Mexico. We like to think that this is a remote problem that doesn’t concern us — but I live in Atlanta and it has become a weekly occurrence for teenage girls to disappear into sex trafficking in our city. Maybe it takes the resounding drum of artists to give faces to the missing and exploited.
“Art from Anger: Portraits of Ciudad Juarez’s Lost Women” The importance of social justice art.

Branding Yourself As An Artist


Back when Luke Haynes got his contract for a commissioned piece with Fossil and was asking for feedback on the design, I began thinking about artists that successfully market their work by branding themselves. Luke has put his own image on many of his own pieces — and in some ways, his Hipster style is what is iconic about his work.

And then Edward Winkleman wrote a blog post last week about this very issue. Most of the press coverage for a recent auction at Christie’s covered discussion of the artists and not the art itself. The artists have become a brand that drives the price of their work — and the focus is no longer on the art itself.

Night before last, I had a chance to speak at the Alpha Arts Guild and when I brought up this subject, there were murmurs of unhappiness. Not that I disagree with them — but the artists that I have seen do this are successful financially.

So maybe the question is — should be strive for financial success — or artistic success? And in our modern times, does one follow the other? Is artistic success assumed if the artist has great financial success?

Last year I changed my focus so that I would sell more pieces — and I was successful in that — and I don’t think that I compromised the art to do that. But how far will I lean?



twitter.jpgThis is a bad evening. I’m doing taxes. I just found out that — if you, as an artist, have hobby expenses over hobby income, then none of your hobby income is reported. However, if your hobby income is a dollar over hobby expenses — the ENTIRE AMOUNT of income is taxable — and it isn’t directly offset by hobby expenses. Hobby expenses are itemized deductions. I have a degree in accounting — and I am baffled by this. It is probably one of the most unfair things I have ever seen — although I always knew in tax class that the right answer was always the one that’s the most unfair to the taxpayer. I’m just so completely overwhelmed with what this says about our treatment of the arts in our society. I don’t make enough income to qualify as a business — but they’re going to penalize me for making anything. I feel like I’ve dropped into a hole — a doughnut — where I am penalized just for existing at all because I’m no longer in the red — but nor am I enough in the black.

That said, I give you my weekly Twitter summary — with little commentary. You can follow me in real time @vsgreaves — or check out the social media icons in the upper right above the menu.

RT @EliaLocardi: “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” – Pablo Picasso #inspiration

RT @ArtsyShark: Make Your Own Luck –

RT @ArtsyShark: What Makes Art Remarkable? –

RT @FortheCreators: How to Find the Joy in Your Creative Work Every Single Day

RT @abstanfield: Who’s Buying What? 10 Surprising Facts survey of super-rich collectors via @artnet

@vsgreaves: “New Video Series Humorously Probes Art’s Corruption” Finding art in the art world — good questions.

@vsgreaves: “Banksy Vandalism Drama Alert!” Banksy always begs the question — what is vandalism? #Banksy

@vsgreaves: “Woman of Mystery: Finding Vivian Maier” Who was this wonderful photographer — completely unknown until her death?

RT @abstanfield: “Hans Ulrich Obrist: the art of curation” Curation is it’s own skill set.



twitter.jpgIt’s been a studio intense week — but given that I’ve recently burned myself making rice in the steamer for the first time (lesson learned — don’t check it without turning it off first), my eloquence on the keyboard will be limited tonight.

This is my weekly Twitter update. If you want to follow me in real time, I’m @vsgreaves. Check out the icons in the upper right above the menu to find me in different places.

This is another great book review by Brain Pickings — How Children Succeed — and offers a lot of insight into the mindset needed to achieve success.
“Grit and the Secret of Success” taking the long view — life is a marathon not a sprint 

This is an entertaining video about every cliche that you’ve ever seen in marketing. It even ends with references so that you can find the cliches to use in your own marketing.
“Every Advertising Cliché in One Video” The dark side of marketing — funny! @ATLFlipFlops 

This 99U article links to a much longer article at that discusses the talents of the world famous juggler Gatto — how he reached the heights of his craft — how the average person cannot begin to comprehend the skill required for him to perform — and how he eventually left his craft — his performance art — to run a concrete business in Florida.
“How Does a World-Famous Juggler End Up In the Concrete Business?” 

The discussion of Droit de Suite is heating up in the United States as auction houses push back against the move to provide artists extra money for their work on secondary sales.
“Auction Houses Lobby Against Artist Resale Royalty Act” Will auction houses prevail? 

Relationship is an important part of marketing any good — including your art.
RT @ArtsyShark: Want To Sell More Art? Sell Yourself First.  via @99u

Beautiful photographs in the latest National Geographic contest:
RT @mymodernmet: These are some truly outstanding entries in the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest


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