The Bidness of Art

The steering committee of our Ellison Bay Arts Group met on last Thursday and then this past Sunday to brainstorm ideas about increasing our businesses this year.

We set the Art Crawl Dates.  We picked a night to have a general meeting. We discussed the advertising we usually do whether or not we need to put in new photos, and pay for a brochure re-design. We tried brainstorming new ways to get the word out to people in Door County and beyond that we are here and chock full of very cool and wonderful stuff to buy.   Someone brought up the topic of what to do to ‘get’ the younger customer and that stopped the conversation.  We all agreed that we needed to increase our customer base but there wasn’t an agreement about how to do that without spending more money.

Some of our group are in their 70’s, then there is the rest of us, only in our 50’s and that is causing a technological gap. One of our artists isn’t comfortable with email and she’s the only one without a website.  It’s ok.  I understand her reluctance to go there.  Sometimes I wish I didn’t have all this website~blog~twitter~email~squiddo lens~cellphone stuff hanging around like a necklace, or noose.  Or time~sponge.  If these things were people I could call them time vampires…sucking the time and life out of my day.  But………

These tools are kind of important to reach our new audience.  There are new ways of looking at the activity of reaching and acquiring new customers that frankly, I like.  It’s more honest and friendly.  People are looking for something to improve their lives and we have unusual functional art that will do that.

So, we will be teaching our members how to use the web to their advantage, and I think carrying some of them by doing their networking for them and by extension for the group.

These are some the issues that we artists who are in biz for themselves with no teaching jobs or that ‘day job’ to carry them need to address.  It feels like change or die this year.  A certain kind of edge is in all our conversations.  I don’t like it.

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