Posted by: Liz Massey | March 3, 2008

Surf’s Up: March 3, 2008

This week’s treasures include “deep thoughts” about selling art in a recession, a blog devoted to storytelling and some helpful drawing and sketching tools.

1. Art business coach Alyson B. Stanfield has a great discussion going on at her blog about what sort of art is selling during this economic downturn. She posted this last Thursday:

“Today’s Deep Thought comes from Michael McCurry, who wisely asked about selling art during times of slow economic growth. I realized that I really don’t have a good answer for him and should know this. Maybe I can get some help from you.”

What follows in the comments section is an excellent discussion of what’s selling and what isn’t right now.

The blog is mainly oriented toward visual artists, but it surfaces questions that lurk beneath the surface for many professional creators: will anyone buy it if I create it? How much ground do I have to cede to commercialism? Do I have to compromise my vision to make money?

2. I’ve recently discovered a delightful blog, A Storied Career, which has been created by Kathy Hansen, PhD, a leading proponent of deploying storytelling for career advancement. I like her tag line, which asserts that the blog’s purpose is to “explore traditional and postmodern forms/uses of storytelling.”

She writes much about storytelling to boost one’s career and to further one’s business or organization. In the last week she’s covered the current state of organizational storytelling, how she caught the storytelling “bug,” praised a fellow blog focusing on the use of storytelling to create more compelling business presentations, and launched Tell Me About Yourself , a blog-within-a-blog about using storytelling techniques to succeed in the job market.

Those of you who are traditional storytellers or writers might initially bristle at the practicality (or even the banality) of utilizing storytelling in such a manner, but I’m enjoying the feed from her site. If you create with words, leveraging your storytelling abilities to your advantage simply makes sense–the skill is becoming more and more in demand in corporate life.

If you work with other media, honing your story about your work and about your life as an artist may enhance your ability to sell work close to your heart, connect with your audience, or create new opportunities for worthy projects.

3. Katherine Tyrrell’s blog, Making a Mark, is filled with useful educational material for visual artists. This recent post lets readers know she has updated her very extensive files on sketching.

I still haven’t made the plunge into exploring sketching and drawing—yet—but I know if/when I do, I’ll look at Katherine’s materials. There are many downloads available for personal, private use. She is also focused on using the blogosphere as a place to build artist community space, and I appreciate her posts on blogging techniques.



  1. Thanks so much for the kind mention. The blog has been in existence for about 3 years but I’ve only recently gotten really serious about it.

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