Tag: Online Classes

Share the Work Challenge Day 2 – Sharing Your Vision With Your Audience

My journey with Emily Jefford’s Share the Work continues with more deep exploration of the threads of influences that intertwine my work with those who enjoy the art I create.  Again, this was challenging for me because I created the Birthstone Goddesses for me and my particular set of tastes first before I figured out the kind of person who might buy them.  I just assumed folks like me were out there and that I’d find them eventually!  Making that connection wasn’t done with as much intention as it should have been from the start of the project.

Now, I need to figure out why other folks might enjoy this series for reasons I might not have thought of.  If you’re out there, Birthstone Goddess fans, let me know what about this series resonates with you and help me solve the great mystery of humans who enjoy my art!

Day 2 Challenge Worksheet
Sharing Your Vision With Your Audience

What makes your work unique?

My work channels the awe-inspiring beauty of the decorative art of Mucha re-imagined with the primal allure of folklore, fantasy, and my own dark elegant aesthetic.

Where do you find inspiration?

From vintage art movements such as Art Nouveau, the Symbolists, etc, holiday traditions, folklore, haute couture fashion, and history.

What stories does your work tell?

My Birthstone Goddesses speak of rituals and blessings, harkening back to real-world traditions retold via original imagery in a liminal fantasy space.  They explore the journey of the soul, rituals of death and grieving, fertility, etc.  This narrative started to formulate more consistently during the Goddesses of Autumn, while the goddesses I created earlier on weren’t as intentional with their narrative.

Define who your ideal customer is and where they feel most comfortable:

My ideal customer controls their own living space as a home owner (or apartment) and has an appreciation for folklore, history, nature, and feminine empowerment.  They also enjoy diverse human beauty in all its forms and may also appreciate or practice pagan or new age spirituality.  They are most comfortable surrounded by elegant beautiful things that bring them a sense of peace, mystic awe,  and tranquility that also nurtures their own creativity.  They are usually women 25 or older.

How can you use empathy to share your work effectively?

By understanding that there is a lack of diversity in Art Nouveau that I didn’t realize until I interacted more with my customers at conventions who loved my work, but didn’t see themselves in it in a way that I was perfectly capable of obliging.  After this experience, I realized that I also want my art to look like my own family which spans the gamut from dark to light in so many beautiful ways.  I want to bring diverse images of goddesses to all kinds of people, especially women, who want to to feel empowered when they see the goddess that represents their birth month.

What is one way I make buying my work a little more effortless?

I could start by actually updating my shops with all the stuff I’ve been making, but just haven’t had time to properly add yet.  I also have a bad habit of just sharing art once and never again because it feels like people will think it’s ‘old news’ and everyone will be bored of seeing it again.

Are my photographs conveying the value of my work?

I either only show the art and not the frame/context or the images of my framed pieces are shown without any lifestyle context.  I feel like I could do better to make them feel more posh and magical!

Actual photographs from my Art Nouveau shop of my originals. They don’t do a good job of showing my aesthetic.

Is my “highest work” being communicated?

Probably not.  I only have a small amount of originals posted to my shop because I’ve been waiting for the right moment to share them.

Tomorrow’s challenge, How Do You Know if Your Art is Worth Selling?


Share the Work Challenge Day 1 – Clarify Your Vision & Why Your Work Matters

It’s been a strange time for me right now. Over the past few years, I’ve created an amazing amount of work for my Birthstone Goddesses project, but now I’m in a place where I feel overwhelmed by the prospect of getting all that work out into the world in a meaningful way!  I’ve been learning as I go along using my background in Arts Admin to fly by the seat of my pants, but as far as knowing anything about fine art marketing, I don’t feel my knowledge is adequate.

And that’s why Emily Jefford‘s Making Art Work course has piqued my interest of late!  Emily’s name has floated to me over the past couple years as someone who has mentored some amazingly talented folks I know, like Naomi VanDoren, Emily Hare, and Kiri Leonard, to name a few.  Her course focuses on fine art marketing from the ground up, from exploring your motivations as a creator to how you can build a sustainable business out of your art.  It sounds perfect for helping me feel just a little less crushed beneath the weight of my unorganized ambitions!

As such, I’m hopping on Emily’s free preview course Share the Work 2021, which challenges you to 5 days of prompts that help you explore some basic thought processes for getting your business and your art organized for success.  I’ll be sharing my progress here as I complete each worksheet!  Enjoy this rip-roaring ride because I’m starting a little late.  Share the Work goes away on the 25th (in 6 days)! 

Feel free to take the mini-course with me and share your thoughts here in the comments (or on my Discord).

First Impressions

I gotta be honest, guys.  All these questions about why I create art and what meaning my art has for others proved really difficult!  I’ve never tried to dive too much deeper into why I do what I do, except when I’ve been forced to for school assignments and artist’s statements.  I’ve always loved making art.  It’s been second nature for so long that I’ve not really questioned it! 

Was there any deeper meaning than ‘because I like doing it’?  More particularly, I started creating my Birthstone Goddesses because I love Mucha and wanted to create something that channeled that sense of awe and beauty I get from my favorite Art Nouveau pieces.  What more meaning did I need than “because I enjoy doing it and maybe other people might like it too?”.  The answers I found through this closer examination intrigued me!

Day 1 Challenge Worksheet

Why do you create? What keeps you coming back to the process?

The joy of realizing ideas for things I love and want to see more of in the world.  The happiness that comes from mastering a skill.  The joy of learning new things.

What meaning does your creative work bring to your life?

Creating images, characters, and stories that resonate and teach people how to be people be better people brings me joy.  Spreading an appreciation of nature, beauty, and stories also fulfills me.

How does it benefit others?
Try to go a little deeper than “it’s pretty” — though that totally counts!

I hope that sharing my art helps others gain a similar appreciation that I feel from stories and imagery that teach and empower others.  My goddesses, in particular, provide aspirational magic and beauty to empower those individuals whose months each goddess represents.

What messages do you convey through your art?

My Birthstone Goddesses convey a respect for the primal waxing and waning of life and death, the cycle of human festivals of life, love, and death.  They pay homage to the cycle of the year that reflect human existence, while also empowering women, the unseen, and underappreciated.

Why does this message matter to you?

I see a lack of the kind of stories about empathy and complex morality in the world and I want to explore them.  I also want to see more people who look like my multiracial family.  I want to normalize different types of human beauty and to empower myself and others by telling stories that relate to them and motivate them towards positive change.


I was very surprised to see many of my answers leading back to the idea of female empowerment and personal empowerment, though it made sense once I dove deep and connected the dots to the things I personally love, like the history of historical women and other underappreciated figures.  It was not an accident that my Birthstone Goddesses span a more diverse range of races, which represent my own colorful family, starting with my olive-skinned Latina mother for December. 

These answers also reinforce what I’ve seen at conventions in the past.  For example, many folks would pick up the Lady of September (my most popular print), because they liked that she represented an interesting depiction of their personal birth month.  She empowered them in a way that other depictions of September by other artists haven’t.

I’m also realizing I’ve been marketing my Birthstone Goddesses more as an illustrator would.  I’ve been very focused on the fantastical lore I’ve come up for their function as goddesses.  Fine Art, from what I’m gathering from the lectures thus far, is more focused on what a buyer sees of themselves in a piece of work or what that art says about them if they display it.

Hopefully, I can figure out how best to combine both of these approaches!  I love telling fantastical stories and I’d love for people to feel empowered and awed by my goddesses without requiring them to necessarily read their lore write-ups.

Tomorrow’s challenge is Sharing Your Vision With Your Audience, which asks probing questions about inspiration and our ideal customers.  Should be fun!