5 Tips to Get You Into Your Studio

There is nothing like a good deadline to make me schedule time in the studio and consistently get in there.

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Have you ever fallen victim to productive procrastination excuses? Have you ever thought about doing a project and not acted on it for months and years, because there was no end date in site? I certainly have!

I used to tell myself, “Today’s the day. I’ll get started… as soon as the house is clean. then I need to go to the grocery store because we are out of milk.” Or, “I am going to paint after I watch one more episode of Friends…”

Etc.

This is such a tough battle for me, because while I value how I feel after painting so much, I also value a clean and organized house. Not to mention, I work a full time desk job, and have a sweet little baby and amazing husband to tend to.

Add cleaning, cooking, and commuting to the mix, and sometimes I only have 20-40 minutes to spare at the end of the day. I know I need to spend those valuable minutes in the studio, but sometimes I just want a glass of wine and time on the couch with my husband.

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Here are some tips on how to combat the guilt of spending time in the studio when you have so many other responsibilities as a modern woman in today’s society.


  1. Setting a Show Deadline

    • Find a show or two you want to get into and set the deadline in your phone calendar and put it in your studio to keep you focused on a goal. AND tell someone you are applying so that they can keep you accountable. I skype with Kelsey Livingston and Liz Zanca every month to check in and they ask me how many shows I’ve applied for.

  2. 30 day challenges

    • These are so rewarding, but they can be hard and take a lot of prep work. I cannot tell you how much they have changed my art career. I was in a slump after art school. I didn’t have any more homework and therefor no deadlines, so I all but stopped making work. Who would I show the work to anyway?

    • One summer, I was listening to the Artist Helping Artist Podcast and they mentioned their 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. My first thought was “that is crazy” but the more they talked about it the more feasible the idea became. These paintings didn’t have to be large gallery ready masterpieces.

    • It was more of a practice of getting into the habit of getting into the studio every day, and making a daily online post. They do the challenge in September and February each year if you want to join.

    • My backwards portrait series and my embarking home series began with one of these 30 day challenges. I did the backwards portrait series while 8 months pregnant! So if I can paint a painting a day for almost a month with Braxton Hicks and all of the joys of the last bit of pregnancy, then anyone can do it.

    • The 30 day challenge is a great way to get focused and stay challenged and even if you only complete 20 paintings in 30 days, it is still amazing that you did that many.

  3. PODCASTS

    • I cannot tell you how podcasts have changed my art practice. I listen to several different podcasts and am always searching for more. They make me feel like I am not alone making work in a quiet studio for no reason. Knowing that there are other artists out there struggling with the same issues I struggle with on a daily basis makes me feel so connected.

    • Some of my favorite podcasts are:

      • Art For Your Ear

      • The Art History Babes

      • Thrive Talks

      • Art And Cocktails

      • I Like Your Work

      • Art Matters

      • Artist Helping Artists

      • Two Artists Walk Into a Bar

      • Ted Radio Hour

    • Also, these podcasts are really people, try to reach out to them and tell them you appreciate what you are doing. It will make their day!

  4. Contact a Gallery

    • I would see artists having shows and I would wonder, how in the world do they get solo shows? Must be that they magically get discovered and the gallery probably called them and said, please show here. One day I got the guts to email Kelsey Livingston, visual art director at the Baton Rouge Arts Council, and ask her how its done. She promptly responded and said, “All you have to do is ask. We love your work, and July is free. Would you like to rent the space then?” Wow! All you have to do is ask and have the work. I never thought it was that easy to contact a gallery and get information. Even if they don’t like your work they might send it to someone they know that might like to show it.

    • Also, don’t get discouraged if they don’t like your work. There is a market for every artist—you just have to find your people who love what you make and love to look at your work. I have contacted galleries and never heard a word from them, and that is okay as well. Keep reaching out and you will find a supportive and loving family who will want to work with you to display your work.

5. DO THE WORK

  • The most important thing you can do is try to make an effort to make something every day. Even if it’s a five minute sketch while you unwind with a glass of wine after a long day at work.

  • Try to have 20-30 cohesive pieces to present to a gallery

    • Cohesive meaning: similar color pallet, size, theme, story line, or idea. It looks much better in a space if you have a similar thread between the pieces rather than a random smattering of ideas all in one.

  • Get in the studio and get to work and make something. Have an idea and a goal and a time frame and you will get somewhere and then just have fun! Trust me, it works, and don't do yourself the disservice of not reaching your full artistic potential.

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Holiday Portrait Sale

$75 OFF CHARCOAL PORTRAITS

OCTOBER 1-31

Pricing:

9”x12” - $125

Regular price: $200

11” x 14” - $175

Regular price: $250

18” x 24” - $275

Regular price: $350

portraits make amazing Christmas gifts that will delight every recipient.

Getting Started: email the photo that you wish to have drawn to:

bethdixonwelch@gmail.com

or text a photo to

318-789-6250

If you have 2 faces in one image the listed pricing stands on a “price per face” basis.

If you would like your work matted and framed there will be an additional $75 framing fee.

Tips on how to get the best portrait possible:

Natural lighting makes for the best portraits, i.e. outside on a cloudy day or next to a window. If you are having trouble choosing a picture please send multiple options and I can advise which picture would translate into the best charcoal portrait. I am more than happy to photoshop 2 images together, i.e. if you have hair that is better in one and a smile that is better in another. I will send you images of the photoshopped proof for your approval before beginning the project.

Please have clear original images as the portraits will only be as clear as the photos sent. I will inform you if I am worried that the image is unclear and might not translate into the best portrait possible.

Time Frame:

I normally have the portraits completed within 2-3 weeks of the initial portrait inquiry, for commissions with more than two faces I will contact you in regard to time frame.

I also will send progress shots as I complete the portrait. This allows you to see the magic of the portrait coming to life from the sketch to the final piece. At the end of the process I will ask is there are any minor details that you would like to tweak to achieve maximum satisfaction.

I am based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and am happy to ship anywhere in the US and Canada. Please note that shipping is not included in the discounted price.

Please contact me if you have any questions or comments! And thank you so much for your interest in supporting my art career.













TAG A FRIEND AND WIN A FREE PORTRAIT giveaway!

Don't miss out on this opportunity to turn a favorite photo into a family heirloom! One winner will be selected to win a free 11 x 14 charcoal on paper portrait of a person or animal . Deadline to comment, tag, and enter the giveaway is July 30th 2017. This is a $250 value, and a bargain for a custom drawing that will be timeless and loved by your whole family. Be sure to tag a friend in the comments section to be eligible to win! Please see the terms and conditions below. 

Emma 

11x14 charcoal on paper 

Terms and Conditions: 

*Only one entry per person

*The portrait will be an 11 x 14 charcoal drawing, no exceptions.

*Only the person commenting will be entered to win. The friend that is tagged will not be entered unless they comment and tag another friend. 

*The winner will be selected at random on July 31st 2017. The last day to enter is July 30th at midnight. 

*Once the winner has been contacted they need to submit 7-10 photos to me via email at bethdixonwelch@gmail.com, I will then select the photo that will translate best to a portrait. 

*Only good quality, clear photos will be accepted. 

*Free shipping in the United States. 

*The winner will be contacted via personal message on July 31st 2017, if there is no response by Monday, August 7th 2017 a new winner will be selected. 

*Only one face for the portrait may be submitted to receive the giveaway, any additional faces to be added will be charged regular retail price of $250 for the additional face. 

*If you have any additional questions please contact me at bethdixonwelch@gmail.com