Thursday, February 26, 2015

art journal ideas: create a personal mantra

art journal ideas: develop a personal mantra

A great way to keep yourself on track with your goal setting is to develop a personal mantra. In this art blog, I share how I created a personal mantra using my art journal.

For the last two years I have been choosing a word of the year as my one word mantra. This year, I decided to take it one step further and incorporate my word theme into a personal mantra.
In order to facilitate this process, I looked online for quotes incorporating my "one little word", purpose. (see blog post 2015: A Year of Purpose) One of my favorite go-to quote sites is I love it because you can search for words or themes to find the perfect quote.

The first few quotes I found were good but not perfect. I put them in my art journal anyway...
art journal ideas: develop a personal mantra

Tweet: the purpose of life is a life of purpose~Robert Byrne via @schulmanArt
Tweet: the purpose of life is a life of purpose~Robert Byrne 
via @schulmanArt

art journal ideas: develop a personal mantra

Tweet: begin each day as if it were on purpose~Mary Anne Radmacher via @schulmanArt

Tweet: begin each day as if it were on purpose~Mary Anne Radmacher via @schulmanArt

My morning mantra: Begin each day with a sense of purpose

Finally, I made up my on mantra: Begin each day with a sense of purpose.
When I am lying around in my bed randomly clicking on my iphone I forcibly remind myself that that activity has no purpose and I repeat to myself "Begin each day with a sense of purpose" this gets me out of bed and started on my day.

Tweet: Begin each day with a sense a purpose via @schulmanArt #artjournal ideas: develop a personal mantra >>

Begin each day with a sense of purpose

click to tweet

Do you have a word of the year? 

Do you have a personal mantra that helps? 

Share your personal mantra with me by leaving a comment!

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Monday, February 23, 2015

7 Email Marketing Tips for artists

Are you following these email marketing best practices? Email marketing expert, Kate Barrett shares her best advice in this guest blog post. This article is courtesy of Kate Barrett,

The prospect of getting started with email marketing can be daunting – new terminology to learn, systems, strategies...phew! But building your database and using email marketing to communicate with your customers and build a relationship, is key to success and a great way to turn people who like your art into art collectors.

If you’re just starting selling your art or considering using email marketing to increase your art sales, how do you get started? How do you build a list of engaged, interested prospects and what on earth do you send them when you get them onto your list?! 

Start with out with these top 7 tips and get yourself off to a flying start.


1. Building your list is vital.

Without a list, you have no way to directly and quickly contact art lovers with information specific to them. Building a list should always be at the forefront of your mind, with your sign up form placed in as many places as possible, from your website to social media channels and even at your next art fair.


2. Give people a reason to subscribe to your list.

You know how fantastic your art is, but most people are only just finding you online for the first time and taking a leap of faith by registering to receive your emails. An email address is a valuable commodity and should be treated as such. Think about what you can offer in return for the users email address that would be valuable to art collectors and encourage the registration. This could be anything from a free download that gives framing tips, to a discount off their first purchase.

3. Plan your campaigns and get ahead of the game

Having run email campaigns for companies large and small over the years, I know what its like to keep up with the demand of creating new content and getting your emails sent. Especially as art entrepreneurs, when you’re wearing all hats and completing all the tasks in your business, you may be wondering how you will have time to add regular emails into your strategy?!

That’s where firm planning comes into place. Set down what types of email you want to send and when you want to send them and stick to it. When planning your campaigns, in order to ensure your messages are cohesive and interesting, you can also go one step further and plan out the main topics, call to action and content outline of what you want to say in each message in advance. In this way, when you come to write each email (such as your monthly newsletter) you will already know exactly what you want to say and save yourself, stress, worry and time by simply following your plans.

4. Make your call to action clear and accessible

It is really important to make your call to action really clear and precise - be specific to drive subscribers to exactly what you want them to do (don't be vague by using terms like 'Learn More'). You should also ensure you include your call to action at least 2/3 times throughout your email to give subscribers maximum chance to complete your desired action.


5. Design your emails with image suppression in mind.

The majority of email platforms (such as Yahoo!, Gmail and Hotmail (Outlook)) will automatically disable images from showing in your emails until the recipient explicitly chooses to turn them on.  Therefore, it is important to make sure that your main message and call to action are not hidden in your images and available in your copy so that even without turning images on, the subscriber can clearly, easily and quickly gain the value from your message and complete your call to action immediately. This is so hard for artist, but you can redirect them to a blog post or your listing on the website. Just make sure that the copy is there.

6. Give the audience what they want and optimize your creatives for engagement

Unless you ask your audience what they would like to hear about from you, how do you know your communications will be hitting the mark? I highly recommend sending out a survey to your list to find out more about them. This information can be used to inform the campaigns you send as well as the content to put in them, allowing you to gain the most engagement from your campaigns by providing relevance and value to your subscribers. Don’t forget, you want to provide a balance of value added messages vs. sales based messages.

7. Not a natural writer? Don’t worry!

Just because you’re not a natural writer doesn’t mean you can’t write a great email! Remember, the best emails contain short sentences/paragraphs, bullet points and aren’t too long! Your email should be a window to more information, a tease if you like! If you follow the tip above, you should also be able to generate lots of ideas to base your content around; which is half the battle I find!

Also, don’t forget that there is a wealth of information out there created by other people! Have you ever thought about including a round up of the best content from around the web that would help or inspire your subscribers? Just because you didn’t write it doesn’t mean you can’t use and reference it; in fact most writers would love you to feature their blog posts/information and gain them a little extra publicity so it’s win win! (Always make sure you accurately reference your sources and link to the posts)


Would you like 3 more FREE tips? 

Kate put together three FREE more tips just for my email newsletter subscribers. Click below and enter your email for 3 more of Kate's tips plus get subscribed to the bi-weekly Inspiration Place newsletter, perfect for artists. After you enter your email, the tips will be delivered straight to your inbox.
Kate Barrett is the founder of Shine a Light Media and The Email Marketing Academy, providing email marketing consultancy and training. With over 10 years' experience working directly on client email marketing programs for organisations including Nissan, Adidas and Asda, Kate has a proven track record - increasing results from opens and clicks to sales. Speaking, blogging, research and being a member of the DMA Email Council mean that Kate is always up to date with the latest email marketing news to feed her passion for the industry.
Get in touch with Kate via LinkedIn: Twitter: @shinealightmedi / @katebarrett or by email:
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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Art Journal Ideas: Chinese New Year

Using the Chinese New Year as an art journal idea for this inspirational artwork. Get step-by-step directions for the art journal techniques in an online class.

Art Journal Ideas for the online art class

In February 2014, I wrapped up filming my portion for the online art journal workshop, 21 Secrets. For my portion of the class, I decided to use the Chinese New Year as a source of inspiration so I included a "Yang" (goat/sheep/ram) as an animal totem as well as the symbol Yang.

In the online ecourse, you will learn step-by-step:
  • how to make a gorgeous integrated background
  • each product I use and why 
  • my top secret technique, "How to Make your Own Rub-Ons"


21 Secrets: An Online Art Journaling Workshop

Have you heard of 21 Secrets? I was asked to create a inspiring videos, full color photos, printouts, and detailed instructions to discover new techniques, unique methods, and bold approaches to art journaling so you can embrace your creativity with more gusto and joy!

Each 21 SECRETS is a downloadable eBook where you decide the pace, the order of the classes you dive into, and when! We know how busy you are so the 21 SECRETS eBooks are intended for you to savor and fit into your life perfectly. Because all the workshops are yours to keep you will never feel like you're falling behind or trying to squeeze everything in to meet a ridiculous deadline!

21 SECRETS was the first art journaling workshop of its kind online founded in 2010 by Connie Hozvicka and has served over 5000 creative hearts since then!

21 SECRETS is perfect for the art journaling newbie all the way to the seasoned artist looking to renew their creativity! 21 SECRETS believes that art journaling is for everyone and welcomes artists of all skill levels and backgrounds with open arms and warm hearts! {you can learn more about 21 SECRETS here}

So tell me, why do you want to take the 21 Secrets class? 

( hint, go to the site and come back here and tell me what you are most excited about!!) 

You can also download this FREE ART JOURNAL ebook for loads of prompts and techniques to keep you happy and busy!

art journal ideas | art journal pages | get art journal inspiration →

claim your FREE art journal ebook! →download now


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Friday, February 6, 2015

What's new with color trends

Pantone is a worldwide color authority that predicts color trends in art, fashion, decor, and other industries. Each year they choose one color meant to reflect the current cultural mood. Get acquainted with the 2015 color of the year, Marsala, an earthy, wine red hue, and discover the cultural phenomena that inspired it. {artwork above by Miriam Schulman, collect a fine art print to instantly refresh your home with modern color ->collect this }

Charles James at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art's retrospective on couturier Charles James influenced fashion color trends. The exhibit featured vintage ballgowns in rich palette of wine reds and earthy browns. This duo of dresses graced my instagram predicting that these hues would trend in 2015. The color experts called it a "subtly seductive shade," so it's no wonder Charles James used it for his striking gowns. 

Want to know what colors will be popular next year? A trip to a museum is always a sure fire way to predict trends.

Color Technology

Pantone also looks to technology when determining the color of the year. Maybe you've seen red-brown colored cars on the roads, like the Acura RDX, or been inspired by interior brick walls that are becoming popular again for their nostalgic feel. Utilitarian industries like cars, construction, and even electronics can embrace this color trend. Look out for Marsala headphones and iPhone cases this year. 

Tweet: #marsala is universally appealing translates easily in2 fashion beauty industrial design home furnishings +interiors hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily into fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.~Leatrice Eisemen, Pantone


Beets, pomegranate seeds, red delicious apples, port wine... the list of Marsala-colored foods goes on! Pantone used many adjectives for the color of the year that could easily be applied to food. Satisfying, rich, and earthy like a home-cooked meal. You can incorporate the shade into your kitchen with deep brown plates and warm red napkins spread over a mahogany dinner table.

Tweet: #marsalaBrown is a natural fit 4the kitchen &dining room–making it ideal 4 tabletop, small appliances &linens thUout the home and fulfilling, Marsala is a natural fit for the kitchen and dining room – making it ideal for tabletop, small appliances and linens throughout the home.~Leatrice Eisemen


Walls painted Benjamin Moore's Middlebury Brown, featuring original art

In your home

Of course, the best way to add a touch of Marsala to your home is through art. A spectrum of warm tones, like in my painting featured below, will enhance red or brown walls in every space, lending a cozy feel to your environment. Marsala might be the year's biggest trend, but it will remain timeless in an interior setting. According to Pantone, you can "add elegance to any room by incorporating this rich and welcoming hue in accent pieces, accessories and paint." I recommend complementing the shade with natural or earthy paintings that feature landscapes and animals.

Other decorating ideas you might like



Do you love art and decorating?

Get your FREE Guide to Choosing House Paint Colors to transform your home in 2015 >>Download now!<<


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Thursday, February 5, 2015

What is your decorating personality?

Do you know your decorating personality? Take this short quiz to reveal your unique home decor style. Find out if you are a "Thoroughly Modern Millie", a "Traditional Tracy" or a "Boho Bonnie" and then get decorating ideas based on your decorating archetype.

Boho Bonnie

You are not impressed by a fancy price tag and rather spend the weekend scouring flea markets and etsy for the perfect vintage finds.

To complement your boho style, choose mixed media collage art which goes well with large comfy sofas and rumpled cotton slipcovers, mismatched wood furniture painted white or a pale color, accessories with a timeworn appearance, including distressed paint and a mix of floral motifs for fabrics, china, and artwork.

Traditional Tracy

You crave tradition in your life and want to surround yourself with timeless classics. To complement this decorating style look to invest in upholstered seating, wool rugs, and original art.
To enhance a traditional aesthetic you can also add these decorating touches

  • Medium to dark woods with a polished finish
  • Brass and crystal accents on light fixtures
  • Dressmaker details such as tassels and trims

Thoroughly Modern Millie

You are modern through and through and this shows from the clothes you wear to the latest hairstyle. Your fingers tips always are painted with the trendiest shades and you feel most comfortable in rooms that show off your advanced sense of style.

For this look keep your sofa neutral so that you can always refresh with a new set of pillows. Choose art on canvas with sides painted black for a "just from the art gallery" look and feel.
Accessorize with global touches and be sure to mix low and high end items.

Share the results of your quiz! Was this quiz accurate for you? Let me know by leaving a comment.

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Monday, February 2, 2015

finding comfort in needlepoint patterns

I am proud to announce a new partnership with to offer my art as designs for needlepoint canvases.

I've always loved the comfort of knitting. I love complicated patterns that challenge the left side of my brain to work with the creative right side, which is why I was completely thrilled when I signed on to offer my art as needlepoint patterns for

Why women stitch

After a discussion with the company, I learned that women choose needlepoint for emotional reasons. Often they are passing the time while keeping a loved one company who is ill...perhaps long hours in the hospital. Others choose needlepoint projects to commemorate a loved one.

I know I like to stitch (knitting) because it keeps my hands from snacking while watching tv and is a great way to use nervous energy while supervising homework or when I am traveling. With all this snow we have been having it would be wonderful to have a new project to get my fingers busy and keep my lap warm all day.

Western Wall Tallit Bag :
a lovely canvas of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem 
for all skill levels.  Can be framed or made into 
an 11x14" Tallit bag. Kit includes a deluxe 
needlepoint canvas and all the easy to use 
silk threads needed to complete.  
A name or other customized hebrew lettering 
can be added to the canvas to personalize.

Projects they choose

In addition, women who stitch do so to give gifts, like a Tallit bag to commemorate a Bar Mitzvah and to decorate their own home. Home decor needlepoint projects include turning canvases into pillows, frame-able wall art or even an ambitious offering such as a rug. They are always looking for a new challenge and there is a thrill in starting a new project.


Ebony's Bubble Bath Kit is fantastic for all 
needlepoint skill levels and all cat lovers!  
Gotta love the red toe nail polish!  
Kit includes a deluxe needlepoint 
canvas and all the threads needed to complete. 




Needlepoint Pattern Kits

Art Needlepoint will be rolling out many of the designs that they feel will work best as a needlepoint project over the coming weeks and months. This blog post gives a first glimpse of some needlepoint projects you can start working on today.

Golden Eye Barn Owl Kit
This very realistic and gorgeous barn owl will be a pleasure
 to stitch and admired for years to come. Kit includes a  
deluxe needlepoint canvas and all the easy to use, beautiful 
silk threads needed to complete.  Will make a fantastic 
pillow or framed for a wall display. >>start stitching this<<








Have you ever done needlepoint?

Can you think of someone you know who likes to needlepoint? I would love if you share this blog post with your friend! (click on a share button below, or choose to email it click on the icon that looks like an envelope to email to a friend)
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