Artists Annex

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  • New Work – The Great Victorian Food Fight

    And you thought tea parties were harmless fun … I recently finished a new piece that appeared in the Part Time Artist, Full Time Friend show, held at the Classic Comedy Club on Sunday 18 November. The show was a great local arts initiative combining a one-day art show, 14 bands and musicians and comedy […]

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  • How to Make Money from Selling Handmade

    The handmade movement is booming all over the world, and is becoming a real force in the market. Aimed at countering mass-produced consumerism, “buy handmade” has become a mantra of many disenchanted consumers, and owners of small handmade businesses are benefitting. People want less stuff, and they want to feel connected to the stuff they DO buy – they want to know things are ethically produced, they want to feel as though they KNOW the person who created an object. They’re tired of mass-produced crap.

    But handmade businesses just can’t compete with the prices of goods from China, and the economies of scale for larger companies mean most small business owners are struggling with increasingly small profit margins.

    As an example: two brightly colored wool hats sell in a clothing store for $30. One hat was made in China, shipped to the country and sold to the retailer by a large hat-buying chain for $15. The retailer makes $15 and that hat-buying chain makes $8. The costs of shipping, storage, freight and packaging add up to $7.5 and the Chinese hat maker earns about .50c.

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  • The Epic Guide to Teaching: Earn More Money and Grow Your Creative Business by Becoming a Teaching Artist

    This is a guest post by Emily Helms, an incredibly talented, intelligent and compassionate writer, bookworm and creative copywriter (she’s humble too, but trust me, this girl has the “brain smarts”.)

    If you’re a creative biz owner who is just starting out, I’m willing to bet that the money isn’t rolling in the door yet. In that case, teaching may be a great way to earn some extra cash while honing your skills.

    I’ve taught for almost two years in three different settings: out of my home, out of a community arts school, and most recently, out of a teaching studio at my local music store.

    In this post, I’ll go over some advantages and disadvantages of teaching to help you decide whether it’d be a good addition to your artist’s bag of tools. I’ll also go over some of the things you’ll need to consider before taking on your first victim…er, student.

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  • I found Kindness in the Mosh Pit

    Here on Grymm & Epic, I talk mostly about business – but I’m a true believer that you are happiest when your business – what you accomplish in life – is a reflection of the person you are inside, and when you’re able to reach out and help a group of people who you identify […]

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  • Artists and Creatives – How to Write a kick-ass sales page

    I aim to please. I’ve been a fan of Cory Huff’s Abundant Artist blog for, oh, forever. It was reading this blog and some of the inspiring guest posts that first inspired me to set up my own art shop. And, while my paintings have never been as successful as my writing, I consider my […]

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  • Epic Interrogation with Vail Joy of FutureNoir – designer behind steffmetal.com and grymmandepic.com

    If you’ve admired the bad-ass graphics and design of any of my websites, you’re should direct your compliments to Vail Joy of FutureNoir.net. Vail is the epitome of a grymm & epic businesswomen, running her creative design studio out of Slovenia, where she can indulge her bird-watching obsession and attend as many metal festivals as she wants, the lucky wench.

    Over 18 months ago I was thinking about updating my Steff Metal site and sent out a message to all my readers asking if anyone knew of a good designer. Vail answered the call and I’ve been bugging her with projects ever since. She’s friendly, super easy to work with, has the BEST ideas (have you SEEN my Cthulhu-themed copywriting packages? That’s all Vail’s work), and I recommend her to everyone I know planning a website – especially if you’re even a little bit alternative.

    vail-joy-future-noir

    Vail’s come over to Grymm & Epic today to talk about being a creative freelancer, money managing tips, and how to find the time to get to all the best heavy metal concerts.

    Firstly, we just want to know who you are, and what you do. Can you share your journey from mini-Vail to FutureNoir?

    Well, I am a transient cat herder and long-time lover of music, but make a living as an independent writer and designer. FutureNoir is a niche design studio focused primarily on web solutions for the creative industry – music, authors and artists.

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  • How to blog about your Art and wow people’s clothes off

    Hypothetically, of course. Anything else might get me into trouble.

    In my ebook, the Grymm & Epic Guide to Blogging, I talk a lot about figuring out what to blog about. A successful blog strikes a balance between writing about what interests you, and writing that helps you find and build an audience – the right audience. The audience that will go on to buy your art. And sometimes, that audience isn’t whom you’d expect.

    A lot of artists get stuck in the habit of writing about the business of selling art. Often, they’ll get quite in-depth, writing epic 2000 word posts about their successes and failures at craft fairs, etc. These posts will be extremely useful for other artists, and they’re profoundly interesting for the artist writing them, because they offer the chance to put thoughts about business down in a cohesive way and analyse what is and isn’t working. But whenever I see an artist with a blog that’s all about running an art business, I wonder if the artist knows whom their audience really is.

    Who wants to read a blog about how to run an art business? People who want to become full-time artists, of course. And yes, many people who are full-time artists want to support other artists and love to buy art, but they are a small slab of an infinitely larger pie.

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  • Announcing My New Ass-Kicking Writing Packages!

    There’s no Epic Interrogation this week. Instead, I’ve got an announcement. A lot of people write to me saying they’d love to hire someone like me to work on their site, but they don’t think they’ve got the budget. I don’t like advertising my rates, but I’ve been thinking of creating some special writing packages […]

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  • Why it’s Hard Selling Stuff Online (Not Info-Products, Actual Stuff) and How You Can Fix It

    [dropcap]L[/dropcap]ets say for a minute that you sell some kind of actual, tangible product. Or you’re going to, once you’ve finished creating it. Maybe you make jewelry and sell it. Maybe you’re a band, and you’re pressing a CD to sell that. Maybe you knit funky mutli-colored winter scarves (if so, we need to talk …)

    You probably feel a bit left out of the internet business conversation. I don’t blame you. These days, if anyone’s talking business online, they’re talking about info-products, selling services like consulting or de-stickifying your life or making your website look pretty. And these are all super awesome and useful services and products. Heck, I know, because I sell my fair share of info-products.

    But you, yeah you, with your jewelry and your CD and your rainbow-colored scarves. You are so cool. You sell actual stuff.

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  • Kicking Ass with your Online Portfolio – Why you Need One and What To Stick In It

    [dropcap]T[/dropcap]hese days, if you ain’t online baby, you ain’t anywhere. You could be the most incredible clothing designer, writer or cartoonist in the world, but it nobody finds you, you’ve wasted all your hard work. Wiring-up your creative business enables potential clients, customers and fans to locate you, anywhere in the world, even while you’re sleeping or having sex in the shower.

    As an artist, you are only as good as your portfolio, and your portfolio should be online (as well as hard copy). Do not underestimate the need for a portfolio that can be accessed through your website.

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