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I created the  above Certificate of Authenticity by hand several years ago when I had seriously placed myself in the marketplace.  It was one of several forms that filled my file cabinet.  Although I am an imaginative person who enjoys creating art, I am also aware of the business aspect of being a professional artist.  If you don't pay attention to this vital part of being in the marketplace, you might find yourself in a snare.

Creating art can be a kind of elixir unlike any other.  As you continue to grow as an artist, ideas begin to frequently flow through your imagination.  Also, by this time, you have learned that when the art "speaks" to you during the painting process, you enter a place called "the zone."  I have found that it is here that you run the risk of becoming addicted to your work, binging on it as any junkie might.

However, if you are serious about being a professional artist, you will also learn that the business of art often requires as much attention as the creation of it.  If you are fortunate to have a secretary, assistant or agent, blessings to you.  But if you are like many of us, you have to attend to this vital function and its demands yourself.

There is a studio to run, with all forms in order.  These should include blank contracts, signed contracts, commission forms, artists statements, biographies, mailing lists, gallery lists, networking lists, supplier lists, order forms and receipts, letterhead, exhibitions, applications and more.  There is marketing to attend to and there are online venues to pursue. to name only a few.

I know of which I speak because I recently went through a period where all I wanted to do was paint. While this is not necessarily a bad thing for some of us, for me it means that something goes lacking.  Waiting in my "q" was a resume that needed updating, a few galleries I needed to contact, some supplies I needed to order, an overdue printing project, some order forms that needed purging, two works that needed framing and several marketing strategies that I needed to pursue.  Whenever I thought of completing all these tasks, I would simply lose myself in my work.  Sadly. if you're serious about running a business, you don't feel as good about the work if you neglect other important tasks.

I am happy to say that I have come through that period and have regained the discipline necessary to being a professional artist.  For me, this means dividing my time between creating art and the business of art.

I have done this by allocating one day a week for administrative tasks only;  by quitting each painting session while my mind is still bright as opposed to exhausted;  by reassuring myself that my art will get done;  by keeping all forms and notebooks in order;  by getting enough sleep and by resuming my habit of morning meditation.

 While there are still some areas that need working on, I know I eventually will get to them.  The business of art is neither boring nor unpleasant - but it is not the opposite of these either.  It simply is.



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