Market agoraphobia: how to stand out when everyone is different, a conversation with Lucy Knisley

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Lucy-knisely-at-her-deskLucy Knisley makes comics, puppets, songs and food. She graduated from the School of the Art institute of Chicago in 2007, where she went to study painting, but wound up making comics. She was the comics editor of the award winning FNews Magazine for two years, and was published in a number of anthologies including (among others) You Ain't No Dancer and I Saw You; A Missed Connections Anthology. Her first book, French Milk is a drawn travel journal about Paris, food, and the bond between mothers and daughters. It was published by Simon and Schuster in 2008. She went on to self-publish a number of collections of work, and to get her MFA from the Center for Cartoon Studies, a tiny comics college in the woods of Vermont.

She now lives in Chicago where she is working on a new book for First Second Publishing, freelancing as an illustrator and comic artist, drawing a series of comic essays published online, and teaching drawing and comics part-time to elementary school kids. Her most recent collection of work is entitled Make Yourself Happy, and is available on her website.

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Success outside the art system, a conversation with Hazel Dooney, a Dangerous Career Babe

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Hazel Dooney Profile 08 GW_2Hazel Dooney has been an inspiration and role model to many artists seeking to self-produce their own careers, including myself and many past guests on Art Heroes. Uncompromising, driven and dissatisfied with the art world as she found it, Hazel pioneered her own path to global recognition.

Raised by parents seeking a sustainable alternative lifestyle in the isolation of rural Australia, Hazel Dooney emerged at a very young age as a rising star of Australian art. In 2001, when she was just 22, she was invited to join nine of Australia's most famous male artists – including John Olsen, Tim Storrier, David Larwill and Robert Jacks – on a high profile, privately funded artist's expedition to central Australia. The unusual journey was the subject of an Australian Broadcasting Corporation TV documentary, The View From Here, directed by Liz Jones, and a best-selling coffee table book, William Creek And Beyond, and the resulting artworks toured museums and regional galleries around Australia. Just six years later, Dooney was the only female artist under 30 included in Christie's prestigious London auction, Modern And Contemporary Australian Art, which featured major works by Brett Whitely, Arthur Streeton, Sydney Nolan, Arthur Boyd and Tracey Moffat. Two of Dooney's early enamel paintings sold for over $A23,000 each.

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How to plan a successful trunkshow for sales and exposure, a conversation with EC (Lisa) Stewart

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Ecstewart1 Trunk shows are an approach to selling art that can be highly effective during rough economic times. When sales are slow, galleries and other venues become skittish about investing in stock or producing big shows for artists they haven't worked with in the past. But they still have to have something to put in front of their customers if they are to remain in business. Trunk shows can solve this problem by providing a ready-made, low-risk solution for the venue while at the same time providing artists with an easier way to get in the door. A trunk show is great way for a venue to see if your work is right for their customers before making a larger commitment of money or floor space.

The appeal of trunk shows for art buyers is that they are an event, an exclusive preview of work before it is made available to the general public. EC (Lisa) Stewart describes trunk shows as "a party with an opportunity to sell art." In her Trunkshow Manifesto, she has created a strategy and implementation guide that you can use to make it easy for venues to say "yes" to your proposal.

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Start your band now, learn to play later, a punk rock conversation with Johnny B. Truant

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Johnny You'll notice that Johnny B. Truant's photo is the first guest photo on Art Heroes to have color in it. That's because Johnny's a rebel, a rule breaker and, well, hell, kind of a colorful character. Also because I thought it looked good, but mostly 'cause he's a rebel.

Turns out— being a nonconformist has been the key to his success. It didn't happen overnight, or on the first try, but he did it his way.

Johnny B. Truant is an internet marketing nonconformist and punk rock entrepreneur. Within his first year, he used his own breed of “personality branding” (characterized by transparency, win-win-win thinking, and a healthy dose of disobedience) into a six-figure business.

In addition to running JohnnyBTruant.com and co-creating Question the Rules*: The nonconformist's punk rock, DIY, nuts-and-bolts guide to creating the business and life you really want, starting with what you already have. Johnny is a regular contributor to mega-blogs Copyblogger.com and Problogger.net, as well as to the cult hit small business marketing blog IttyBiz.com.

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Connecting art to tradition is how you move forward, a conversation with Mary Anne Davis

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Maryanne2 I met Mary Anne Davis through her blog, way back in 2005, when we were both just starting to find ways to make our blogs represent our art on a global scale. We've had a few opportunities to meet up in person as well, including the panel discussion, Millionaire or Artist? How About both? which we shared with Amrita Chandra and Hugh MacLeod this year at SXSW.

One thing I've always liked about Mary Anne's work is the way she ties her functional art to broader concepts— Mary Anne has a relentless curiosity which she applies to art history, social movements, ecology, globalism and localism, and experimentation with new ideas about art and commerce. She finds simple ways to bring complex ideas into the meaning of her art and her practice of art.

Making fine porcelain dinnerware is the bones of my studio practice. Making dinner expresses my inner thinking. Talking over food is where art occurs. Co-creating a beautiful world where people get along, cook, eat and talk is my idea of great art. Shopping at the farmers market and cooking for friends and family thrills me no end. Serving up delicious food on my own dishes moves a meal into an integrated expression of living at the highest level. That is the ultimate. — Mary Anne Davis

In this episode, we'll discuss her art formal education experience, her ideas about art history and practice as an extended conversation held between all working artists, and her studio and business model.

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Master art business basics so you can focus on the fun of art, a conversation with Howard Mann

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Howard-Mann-headshot The business side of being an artist can absolutely kill the joy of making art if you're not careful. It doesn't have to— it can even become a creative, fun and challenging extension of your art— but to make your art business successful on your own terms, you need to understand the basics.

Howard Mann is President of Brickyard Partners Inc., the business design and development agency. He's passionate about the basics of business and knows first-hand how getting them right can make or break a business. He uses engaging story-telling skills and quick wit to enlighten and challenge what you thought you knew about business— Every time I talk with Howard, he comes up with an absolutely brilliant idea within the first five minutes. It's always something unexpected, yet it always feels immediately obvious that I should give it a try.

In the last year, Howard has helped me to do two things; the first, you would expect from a business consultant— he's helped me expand my market and grow. But more important was his focus on reconnecting with my purpose so that the business didn't kill the fun or the love I feel for art. Growing just for the sake of growth can often alienate you from the very things that inspired you in the first place.

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Announcing Art Heroes Review

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Art Heroes Review, No. 02
How it can suck to succeed and the Bubble Wrap Effect— a conversation with Hugh MacLeod

$15.00 FREE

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I am excited to launch Art Heroes Review, a companion publication to the radio show that completes the vision I had when Art Heroes began. The name Art Heroes Review was carefully chosen to reflect the fact that it is both a serial publication on a regular schedule, as well as a review of the best information contained in each show. Starting with the transcript of the show, each issue is edited for clarity and then boiled down to the very best material. In some cases, I've added new material that was not in the show but should have been, so it's not just a rehash of what you've heard. When you download an issue, you'll actually get two files— the Review and a corrected version of the full transcript as well.

To celebrate the launch, I'm giving away the issue based on Episode No. 02. How it can suck to succeed and the Bubble Wrap Effect— a conversation with Hugh MacLeod. I will be uploading more issues of Art Heroes Review each day this week. Once I get caught up with the backlog of shows, the Review will be published weekly.

Reese Spykerman did an amazing job on the design for the Review, which won't surprise you if you listened to her episode, How to design effective artist websites that get results. We've worked together to present the information from the Art Heroes Radio show in the most useful and useable format possible.

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DIY fund raising and shameless self-promotion, a conversation with Philip Huang

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Artist and provocateur Philip Huang blew me away when I saw his stunning performance at the Dynamic Adaptability conference. He demonstrated his approach to fund raising by telling the audience to "get out your wallets," raising over $200 in 5 minutes for a series of street performances. Check out the video embedded below to see it for yourself.

Philip's message is simple: Artists aren't entitled to shit.  If you want it, you have to get your hands filthy, filthy, filthy.  Screw grants, residencies, galleries, theaters, arts institutions—make your own fucking way.  If you're good enough, they'll come knockin'.

In this conversation we'll discuss fund raising for individual artists, how to pitch a project, the differences between speaking to groups or individuals, and why your own fund raising efforts are more likely to be successful than the traditional approaches of grants, residencies and auditions.

Model-turned-actress Philip Huang is the founder of Dana Street Theater, a queer performance space based out of his Berkeley bedroom. Check out his awesome Youtube channel, Philip's Video Club.

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Stop freaking out about money, a conversation with Naomi Dunford

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Naomi-dunsford-ittybiz-portrait-bw

Sometimes it seems like artists fear success even more than failure. There are so many issues around actually earning a living from art that it can paralyze us before we even begin. It's not just the myth of the starving artist— the fear that your friends will think you sold out is just as real as the fear of being homeless and alone. Why is it that money freaks artists out so much? What can you do to move past that and learn to be okay with earning a reasonable income from the hard work you put into your career? How can you stop treating money like a magic talisman and realize that it's just a tool to get things done, like any other tool you use in the studio?

In a recent post on Ittybiz.com, Do We Need To Talk About Money?, Naomi Dunford asked her readers about their money drama and the response was amazing. As a result, she collaborated with one her former clients to create a Money Class that explored where money drama comes from and how to get rid of it. As I read the comments on her original post, I figured this would be a perfect topic to have her discuss on the show.

If you've ever thought that marketing and business are boring, complicated, or scary then you probably haven't read ittybiz.com. Naomi is smart, entertaining and brilliantly talented at helping entrepreneurs and microbusiness owners take their business well past expectations. She doesn't doesn't bullshit, she doesn't hold back, and she genuinely cares about the people that she works with.

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Selling art in your studio, a conversation with Julia Hensley

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Hensley_headshot3I first met Julia on twitter last year and was tremendously impressed with both her art and her ability to write about art and ideas on her blog. Julia has a depth of education that informs her work and a passion for sharing that knowledge both through teaching classes and writing online.

At the end of last year, I noticed that Julia's studio sale seemed to be going remarkably well as she tweeted about work that was selling. When I asked her about it recently, she told me that she had sold quite a lot of paintings, more than often sell in a gallery show. And she had done even better the year before when the economy was having it's darkest hour. We'll discuss her strategies for successful self-produced shows, how teaching art can be an unexpected avenue for sales of art, and how to run an art school as an independent artist.

Julia Hensley received a BFA in painting from Boston University. She has taught drawing and painting to adults since 1999 at Kirkland Arts Center, North Seattle Community College, the Frye Art Museum, Pratt Fine Arts Center, and Julia's Studio, her private school. Julia has self-produced two shows and represents her work online at www.juliahensley.com Her gallery history includes representation by the Sunne Savage Gallery in Boston, Foster White Gallery in Seattle, and Paul Thiebaud Gallery in San Francisco.

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Statement + Bio | Curriculum Vitae | Bibliography

I'm best known as an artist and designer. Relaxing makes me tense, so I tend to put in a lot of hours on diverse projects.

On the way to a successful art career I've been a poet and writer, a tech geek, a print and web designer, illustrator, industrial designer, musician, teacher, actor, set designer and even a paid guru once.

It's all the same thing in the end— I wake up most days thinking about how I want to change, fix or improve some aspect of the world. And after a couple cups of coffee I get started on it.

My specialty is impossibility remediation: if it can't be done, I'm on it.

Mobile: 231.584.2710 (9 to 5 PST only) | Email me
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If you have a question for Art Heroes guests during the live show, ask me on twitter. Type @johntunger followed by your question and I'll try to work it in to the show. Tag twitter comments about the show with #ArtHeroes.

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