This blog focuses on the joys, challenges and lessons of living the creative life—and make a living doing it!
Author Gayle Mahoney is an arts marketing consultant and has shown and sold her own artwork for over 25 years.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Is your art website user-friendly?

It takes a lot of time and effort to keep a website up-to-date, fresh and relevant to users. We invest a lot of creativity and energy designing and launching our websites. But how do we know if the sites accomplish what we would like them to?

Here are some tools for analyzing the usefulness of your website from a user's perspective:

22 Tools for Testing Your Website's Usability

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring awakening?

Today we had a winter storm advisory which, thankfully, has ended up just being some drizzle and not 10 inches of snow. My crocus have already bloomed, the daffodils are up, the lilacs are starting to leaf out, a few perennials are popping up so spring (must be?) just around the corner. It has been a long winter.

My creative life is mirroring the seasons right now. After a rough fall season (my sales were dismal, despite being in shows almost every weekend), I have taken a few months off from making jewelry or doing any other kind of artwork. I have really really needed that break.

Now I am starting to think about what I want to do next, and I think it is going to be something different than what I have been doing. The price of silver has more than doubled in the last year, and there is no sign that the price is going to stop climbing any time soon. This catapults my work into a higher price range than it can really bear, just for me to cover my expenses. So I need to adapt- either redesign my lines, re-market to a different price point, or make something totally different.

I know I need to get into the studio and just get working on something, I need to work to figure it out. I am excited about what the next few months will bring for me creatively.

How have you jump-started your creativity after times of creative doldrums?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Photographing products

I would consider myself a skilled amateur photographer; I have taken college level photo classes, have worked at times as a photo assistant, have a darkroom in my basement, and am a photoshop expert. I have a very good quality digital camera, just a notch below pro quality. I have a simple light set-up and know some tricks to improve results. I have also managed many photo shoots in my work as an art director, and have developed a very good eye for images. But even with these skills, over the years I have learned that if I have enough lead time and have the funds, I always get better results when I hire a pro to shoot product images.

Still, there are times when I need to shoot something to get it up on the web or to add it to a product catalog and don't have the time (or funds) to use a pro. Here is a WikiHow article that may help you when you find yourself in the same spot:

If you want to buy a table-top lighting set (lamps and dome) I suggest B&H camera. I use a set-up that cost about $150.