Archive for Business skills for Artists

How to get organised

How to get organised - Think in Pictures Events

Try working with your calendar in reverse… ie write down the due date for a task you’ve set yourself and put that at the top of your list.

Then… underneath that…. list everything in reverse order, one step at a time, going backwards. So, the first line might read:

  1. 20 October – The event
  2. 10 October – Pack showbags
  3. 20 September – Registrations due
  4. 20 August – Final confirmation of sponsors, entertainnent and speakers
  5. 20 July – Finalise sponsorship and prizes
  6. 20 June – Finalise speakers
  7. 31 May – Book speakers and sponsors

Your options are:

  • Be as detailed as you like, however keep it short and sweet, the less to remember, the more efficient you will be
  • Diarise it in your calendar – online or otherwise
  • Set alarms
  • Work with someone else – that helps to remind you too and keeps you accountable
  • Add pictures – visual reminders speak louder than words
  • Diarise some ‘chill out’ time too – it’s important it’s not a stressful exercise

So take some time and work out how to get organised.  You’ll be glad you did.

Discipline, determination and dedication

Military tattoo - Think in Pictures Events

Don’t you just love it when you see absolutely phenomenal skill, technique and discipline in full flight? Occasionally our social media friends will share something amazing with us and when we get to actually take the time out from our busy schedules and sit and watch something and truly value it’s content, it can be quite inspiring.

There are moments in videos like these that make you realise how much work it takes to achieve perfection (or close to), how much time it takes to discipline oneself, how much dedication it takes to work with a team who doesn’t always share the same values as you, yet are still prepared to work together to achieve an amazing outcome where so many get to share the joy.


This Top Secret Drummers video just does it I think. So, before you go off banging your own drum, have a think about what you’re doing or perhaps not doing, that could be ‘adjusted’ in some way so that you achieve whatever successes you set yourself. Have a go… 😀

How to find your artistic niche

How to find your artistic niche

If you’re anything like me, you’ve dabbled in many different art forms, and if you have managed to find just one…. just one…. that does it for you, you may well have tried so many different ways of working with a particular medium, various designs and a wealth of concepts.

Ok, now here’s where we get serious.  Have you ever sat down and really wondered how to find your artistic niche?  Well… having spoken to a few experts, who really do know their stuff and have done very well in the arts industry, win awards, are renowned for their excellence, have won contracts for major works, exhibited in super-high-class galleries, one thing that seems to come up all the time is – stick to one thing.

Now, that can be hard huh?  I know.  I’ve been there, over and over and over.  I’m one who will always want to experiment with art and crafts, to explore, to discover new ways of doing things, to see how a paintbrush feels, to see what a particular design will do to a pot, to play with glue and paper and see what happens.  But…. what is that really stands out amongst all those discoveries?  For me, it’s one standard thing…. a Japanese influence.  For years it’s come out in my clothing choices, my arts and crafts, home decor and so much more.  As much as I’ve always known this, it’s taken me until now to recognise that this is really where I want to be and what designs I want to work with.  It’s the one style that appeals the most, the one that pushes all the buttons and just keeps coming up, over and over and over again.  For me to recognise this required me taking an expert around my home and showing her my work and for her to ask me what it was that really jumped out for me.  She also asked me why I wasn’t following that inclination, that urge, that passion?  It was unique and needed to be shared!  All the right things you want to hear huh?

So, how to find your artistic niche?  Do the same thing… that is, sit down and really think about what it is that seems to show up again and again in your work or choice of designs, whether in your art works or in your preferences generally.  What is it that appeals to you and why does it appeal?  What is it about that medium, or design, or colour scheme or method that makes you want to go back to it time and time again or scan the internet looking for any blogs you can subscribe to?

That’s one way to find your artistic niche anyway.  It works for me – it could well work for you too and I encourage you wholeheartedly to give it a whirl.

How to exceed expectations

How often do we fall into the trap of following and modelling others’ ideas and then just settling for that….

How many of us think something is a great idea, adopt it, modify our sales techniques, products, websites, presentations and then leave them at that…without pursuing it any further?

Here’s an idea…. why not take the ideas you find and then stretch them, not just a little bit, but a WHOLE lot further.

Check out this German video on how a magician works so well with an iPad… it really highlights the potential of how 2 completely different areas of expertise can be integrated to not only enhance  a product’s features, but highlight the strengths and advantages of both.


So, here’s the thing…

Is magic and the world of technology so different?

What can you do to enhance what you’re doing to make it soooooooo different and so unique that you too will get 2 million views?

Food for thought.  Think in Pictures and see what happens…

How to add that personal touch

how to add that personal touch

One of the best marketing tools I ever learned was to keep things personal.  Now, I don’t mean divulging all your personal information or boring people silly with tales of your personal life…. save that for a different audience.  I’m talking about interacting with your followers, audience, buyers, customers, clients, whatever…. on a personal level.  It’s all about how to add that personal touch.

One thing I learned when studying NLP was that people like people who are most like them.  So, when you can adapt your marketing skills so that you are providing your market with what they like, they’re going to love you for it.

First thing?  Find out where your market is at.  Are they on Facebook?  Are they on Google+?  Are they not online at all?  What do they like?  Can you give it to them?  This is all going to determine how you market to them and what you market to them.

Secondly, it’s about being real and genuine and honest and true.  Making up stuff or faking it is simply not going to work.  The chances of you appealing to so many more comes down to your personal touch.

So, how do you do that?  Connect on their level.  Make sure your social media profile image is current and is you or your logo, not some standard out-of-the-box silhouette.  For starters, would you connect with someone online if there was no picture of the person?  Keep it real… put your image up there and let people see who they’re dealing with.  They want to connect with YOU, not some non-personal graphic.

Why do we fear being judged?

How to be the most boring presenter

Often when addressing potential speakers, I put it to them that one of the worst fears as a presenter or speaker is the fear of being judged. We are our own worst critics, or can be, naturally, however, what do we know of our audience?

When we assume that they are judging us, we too are guessing – we’re making assumptions that they are thinking certain things and making conclusions about us.  Perhaps the conclusions we assume they are making are in fact our own fears of ourselves and our lack of performance as a presenter or speaker. Perhaps we are making the assumptions that those judgment calls we think others are making are in fact our own inhibitions coming to the surface.

What do you think? Are you one to make these judgement calls yourself? What have you done about it to get over it?  The fact is that judgement, or fear of, can make or break a speaker and can turn your presentations around – for better or for worse.

Assume for a moment that you’re thinking the absolute worst before taking that first step on to the platform or before stepping in front of the camera…. how do you think your presentation is going to work out? Not so great. That’s a given.

Now let’s assume you have put all judgements aside and are now considering how fabulous you are going to be, how much your audience can’t wait to hear what you have to say and how amazing you’re going to feel once you step away from the audience and their applause. Not bad eh? Bit of a contrast?

Let’s face it. We are not mind-readers and we can’t possibly know what our audience is thinking. Secondly, do a self-check and establish whether those fears of inadequacy are in fact a means to rectify something, learn more or even change something for the better.

I put it to you… consider it. What have you got to gain? What would it mean to you to turn your thinking around and approach your stage or video presentations from a different angle to your norm?

Lose the judgement call and get yourself right. Then, when you get on the platform, remember it’s not about you, it’s about them and what you’re delivering. If we shift that focus and deliver what they came for, then they’ll be happy and so will we… all judgements aside.

What’s a vision board?

Call them vision boards, treasure maps, mindmaps, hope boards, bucket boards, whatever you like – essentially they all have the same purpose – to remind you to get motivated and start achieving what you really want in life. Ok, let’s not get too profound – there’s enough of that D & M stuff going around on social media to drive you bananas.

Let’s keep it short and sweet. If you’re asking ‘What’s a vision board?’ Then you may not have one of those wonderful colourful boards where you’ve stuck up pictures from magazines, newspapers, articles and other glossies.  If you have, great!  Good on you!  I’m all for it.  It works for me. The more I see it, the more I want it, the more I’m determined to get it.

Imagine if you applied that principle to your speaking skills? Just imagine you took photos or images of people that you really admire as great speakers and presenters and put them on a vision board. What do they mean to you? What is it about their presentations that inspires you and makes you want to be so much more of a presenter than you already are? It may be that they’re a fashionista or have superb dress sense, it may be that they stand in a certain way, have a great voice etc. Then, easy peasy… find images that represent those exact same things, and image of someone standing the way you would like to, an image of someone with a great voice, a piccie of someone who looks brilliant, even in a singlet.

Spread the inspiration around and keep it around you. The more you see it, the more you’re likely to act upon it.

Remember, your vision board, doesn’t have to be a board as such.  It could be a poster collage, a photo album, a journal, a book with lots of blank pages ready to be filled, a group of sketches……. whatever works for you.  Just remember to keep looking at it.

Go for it. Start it today… right now 🙂

Creative Conversations – how to be a great interviewee

So, let’s say you’ve been invited to do an interview about your work, your artistic talents, your business, your dreams, your forthcoming performances or perhaps your next exhibition.

One thing that can be really off-putting for your listeners and viewers is the old ‘gotta memorise everything’ concept.  No no no no no no.  I know we’ve mentioned this before, but people do like people who are most like them.  If you’re being interviewed, it’s your audience who want to be able to relate to you.  Learning something rote to read back in response to ‘planned’ interviewer questions is going to make you sound rehearsed, uncomfortable and to a degree, unprofessional.  Your interviewer doesn’t want to talk to someone who’s got their face down in reams of paper looking for the right answers.

You see, you know your stuff better than anyone.  It’s a matter of trusting it.  If you do come across an interviewer who asks you a curly question, well, it’s a matter of dealing with it the best way you can.  If it’s too personal or simply too hard to answer, then say so.  Tell them you’re going to decline answering that question, or that you simply don’t have an answer.  Your interviewer should be professional enough to be able to handle your response and move on appropriately.

I guess, in a nutshell, don’t afraid to be you.  Trust your knowledge.  If you were having a cuppa with someone you’d be sharing that information quite freely.  It’s the same thing during an interview – the same concept that is.  Just keep it simple, keep it friendly and keep it real.

How to leave your audiences wanting more

Podium Power pics_0016Is your presentation memorable?  Is it one that people would come back for again and again?

Keeping your audiences engaged during a presentation can be a challenge.  But how do you do it?  That’s what we all want to know… how to leave your audiences wanting more.


Here are 10 tips I’ve always taught my students at my workshops:

  1. Be you – trying to be someone else is just way too hard
  2. Research your topic thoroughly.  You don’t have to have all the facts – give credit to those who have been there before.
  3. Impress your audience with statistics and facts and back them up.
  4. Offer content that no one else does
  5. Involve your audience as much as possible
  6. Tell YOUR story
  7. Don’t be afraid to have fun with your audience
  8. Share your sense of humour
  9. Leave your audience with something to think about
  10. Ask for feedback and publish some awesome testimonials

Now of course, they’re just for starters – there’s a whole lot more you can do.  Post your ideas below and let’s share the joy around.

How to start a joint venture

how to start a joint venture

Well now… an easy question to ask, but what does it really take to start a joint venture?

Have you always wondered how to start a joint venture?  Have you listened to other people talk about how they’ve established a joint venture with someone else and their businesses have just taken off?

Well, yep – it’s do-able.  It can produce fabulous results.  It’s about finding the right person for the job.  It’s almost like an interview really.  Here are 10 ideas on how you can get started:

  1. Plan what you want to achieve in your business
  2. Think about who you might want to work with to make your plans come to life
  3. If you can’t think of someone you know, join a networking group and sus out some potential joint venturers
  4. Approach those who you think might be interested
  5. Question skills, experience, aspirations, interests and availability
  6. Meet face to face and discuss your options
  7. Ask how much time they’re prepared to dedicate to this venture
  8. Discuss finances and how much you’re both prepared to contribute
  9. Lay down the rules at the outset and be clear about each other’s terms and conditions
  10. Put it in writing and seek professional advice on legal terms, finances, insurances etc

Joint ventures don’t have to be complicated.  They can be short-term or long-term, but whatever you commit to, be prepared to put in your share.  As we all know, it takes two to tango, but joint ventures need not be a regrettable experience.  Of course, they can involve more than 2 parties, but be sure about who you’re working with.  You may want to work with someone who has ‘been there done that’ and can share all their experiences – joys and mistakes – with you.  Alternatively, someone who is at the same level in their business as you might be the ideal match.  Do your research and in turn demonstrate your professionalism and reliability.