Friday, December 27, 2013

Making Your List and Checking It Twice

Some great ideas to plan for a successful artistic  2014. Reprinted wth permission from Alyson Stanfield, Arts Business Coach.

Today's article is short and sweet because you should be enjoying the day. But . . . tomorrow it will be time to get back to work and start thinking about how you want to start the New Year.

Here is an idea for finishing up 2013 and preparing for a prosperous 2014. I'm fairly certain that Santa uses a similar process to keep track of the many deliveries he must make today.
Identify Your Projects

Spend a couple of hours this week assessing all of the projects on your plate.

Projects are undertakings that require multiple steps to complete. You can't finish a project in one sitting.

You might not be actively working on certain projects, but they are on your radar. You want to stay on top of them.

Here are some examples of projects:
- Overhauling your website or blog
- Creating a new series of work
- Moving
- Organizing an exhibition
- Planning an opening
- Arranging an event
- Marketing campaigns
- Writing an article or book
- Teaching classes or workshops
- Scheduling travel
It's likely that you have 10-15 projects or more at any one time. Each exhibition is a separate project. Each article is a separate project. Each teaching gig is a separate project.

This first step is simply to capture all of your current and future projects in one place. You can do this on paper, in a document, on Evernote, or in a project-management system.

It doesn't count to do it in your head. You must write them down.
Add The Tasks

After you have a good idea of your major responsibilities for the year (and beyond), you can add the tasks associated with each project.

Remember that a task is a single action, which might be dependent on an earlier action. Be sure you drill down your tasks so that each one requires only one step.

Add deadlines to your list.

Click here for the entire article

Alyson Stanfield is an artist advocate and business mentor at This article was originally published in her Art Biz Insider, which is sent weekly to thousands of artists who are elevating their businesses. Start your subscription now and read more articles like this at

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My Yearly Date with My Overwhelming Mess

 It's that time of year again, and this very busy artist has a lot to deal with. The problem with being someone who works and creates daily in a small space is that eventually it gets to the point where you just have to stop and clean it all up. That time for me usually comes once a year when I host my annual Holiday Open Studio which is this weekend November 16 and 17 from 10-5 both days. If you are in the area and would like to come, I'd love to see you. Just click on my home page for more info.

Cleaning up my studio always takes me at least 4 days. At one point, I literally couldn't walk through it. It gets very overwhelming. I have clay and painting materials, packing and shipping materials, finished paintings, greenware, finished clay pieces, paintings in progress, canvas, paints, glazes, my wheel, stacks of paintings and boxes of clay pieces going from show to show and on and on.. you get the picture...

 Every year, I don't know if I will get everything done in time  or if I will be able to recover from the smell of the stink bugs that cause me to have to vacuum every nook and cranny of my 12' x 20' foot space. Vile creatures!!!

These photos show where I am right now. I'll keep you posted on how the cleanup progresses. Its really quite remarkable. Usually, by the time I am done, people often come into the studio and ask if I work in here.  Oh, if only they knew….Stay tuned...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Studio Makeover

We bought my studio from Amish builders in Gap, Pa. about 6 years ago. They are built as sheds and come unfinished on the inside so what you do with it is left to your imagination. It is 12 ft. by 20 ft. and I got the fancy doors put on it (for an extra charge) and extra windows for maximum light. We also bought the optional window boxes, as I wanted it to have a warm feeling for customers when they came to visit.   My husband and I finished the inside with insulation, drywall, cathedral ceilings and vinyl flooring.
It has served me well, providing me with a wonderful space to create new paintings and pottery, hold open studios, and have collectors drop by. It has also been great just to have a place to escape to, especially in the winter time when I am feeling hemmed in. I have enjoyed it in the form it came in with a white exterior and red trim and window boxes but felt it was time for it to get a  new do this summer. (The smaller building is my husbands shed)

One of the beautiful things about having a college kid home during the  summer is the availability of cheap labor :0) My daughter came home at a time when it didn't make sense for her to look for a 
summer job, so she did a lot of projects around the house to earn money. Having the wonderful artistic
sense that she does, she and I went to pick paint colors to give the studio the pizazz to match my work.

She worked hard and did a great job and now I am just delighted to look at my studio when I go outside everyday. It just looks so happy against the green surrounding it and is a place that I am even more proud of to bring clients and friends to see my work!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Morning Mosaic Madness

Celeste demonstrating

What could be a better way to spend a beautiful Saturday morning than hanging out with a bunch of women artists creating art? I had lots of fun yesterday morning creating a mosaic stepping stone for my garden. As it happens, my awesome hubby Al is in the process of installing walkways on either side of our decks so the timing couldn't be more perfect for this type of project.

I was invited to this soiree' by my friend and multi -talented artist Dragonfly Leathrum. There seems to be no limit to this woman's talent. She is known all over the region where I live for her many murals in downtown Newark, Delaware and elsewhere, as well as for her beautiful stained glass work, paintings and oh, her ART CARS!  When I was first getting to know her she was driving her famous "Turtle". Going to Dragonfly's house is like stepping inside a giant art work. Drop on over to her facebook page to have a  look at what she does. You will be made happy.

Dragonfly (L) Celeste Kelly (R)

Smashing things up
The workshop was being led by mosaic artist, Celeste Kelly. Interestingly enough, she and I have been part of the same artists organization, the Newark Arts Alliance, for many years and only yesterday met each other! I don't know how that happened. Or rather didn't :0)... Celeste was kind enough to offer her time and talents to showing us ladies her skills for a very minimal cost  and the donation of an extra paver for a kids camp.. ..

We started by filling trays from a smorgasbord of broken pottery, pieces of glass, mirrors, plates (which we got to smash up ourselves) tiles, and small sculptures.  Everyone seemed to bring a different paver type to create their mosaic on and Debbie Hegedus (another heavy hitter on the Newark art scene) brought a  birdbath type thingy.

Debbie Hegedus
Celeste demonstrated for us how to cut the glass (which was surprisingly easy if someone tells you how to do it) and cut the pottery into pieces with caliper type tools. She stressed trying to keep the distance between your pieces the same when gluing them into place and also recommended buffing edges with a machine that she had brought. I think most of us were to anxious to see results to stop and buff edges. Artists!

Cutting glass

Laying out the pieces

Variety of pieces in progress

The beginnings of my piece
Some people seemed to have a design or pattern in mind. I think most of us went free form and let the pieces dictate the design. I started out with a pattern in mind and ended up with something completely different..


In progress still

All done except for grout

I will be finishing this with grout today which will change the look completely. I used a red paver as the base since that is what we are putting in the walkway but the grout will be a deep green. Head on over to my facebook page in a day or two to see the finished result.

All in all, the morning was a special treat. Its nice to step out of your comfort zone once in a while and try your hand at new things. I am so lucky to be an artist and get to spend time with amazingly talented people. I have read stories about artistic rivalries, jealousies and competitions. That is something I have never experienced with the company I keep. The community of artists that I belong to have never been anything but kind, helpful and supportive of one another which has always been a huge blessing in my creative life.

Dave (who promptly vacated the scene) and Karoline Wiliczek
Dragonfly (hostess with the mostest) and guest
If you would like to learn more about my creative friends, check them out here :

Celeste Kelly-

(sadly, some folks do not have a web presence so you'll have to check them out next time you are in Newark, De...)

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Mystery Challenge

I got something exciting in the mail the other day. It's a Mystery Build kit. Cool! Here's why it's exciting. I paid $43 for the kit which covers the contents, shipping and entry into the Mystery Build Art Contest. The challenge: create a work of art using only the box and the contents in it. The theme of the contest this year is "Re-Invent a Work of Art" The work of art can be anything (which I am not sure I agree with) but it can be one of my own, a famous work of art or the Brooklyn bridge if I think it is art.

Every participant gets the same items in the box. The only thing that can be added to the project is liquids, like paint, or oil, or water. Other than that, nothing can be used that adds anything to the materials or leaves something behind (like a staple).

I have to document my process through video or photographs which show me using the materials and creating the work. I am sworn to secrecy. I can't post my process before submitting my piece or tell what's in the box. How fun is that?

I can't wait to get started. I have a good idea of what I am going to do and I think I will get started on it tonight. I have until Oct. 20 to submit my creation to vie for $15,000 in prizes! I am so up for this! Wish me luck!!!!!

Here are some previous winners:

Artist:Majbritt Payne
Title: One Flew Over the Cuckoo Clock 
Theme: Interpret a Movie Title 
Movie- One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest
Artist: Leslie Stancil
Title:Hugo and the Mystery Clock
Theme: Interpret a Movie Title
Movie: Hugo

 Artist: Sara Hartman
Title: Tea Time
Theme: Interpret a Story Book
Book: Alice in Wonderland

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mud Slinging!

I will be performing a live pottery throwing demo at Paradocx Vineyard this weekend. If you are in the area, drop on by, have a glass of wine, listen to the concert featuring Rory Sullivan and watch me throw dirt around.

If you are not in the area, and even if you are, check out my first demo video made for your viewing pleasure!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Meet My New Intern, Lisa

 Full Name:       Lisa Joy Meyer
How old are you?  19 years old. Birthday?  April 29th 

Where do you live?  I live in the Amish country of Pennsylvania. :) 

Pets, siblings?  I have one cat named Smokey. He is full of personality and lets us know everything he is thinking! I have an older sister, Nicole. She has a degree in culinary arts and has been happily married a little over a year now. My younger sister is Isla. She is almost 13 and loves horses and youth group. 

Whats your favorite thing about where you live? I love the diversity and beauty of this area. After a long day, I can take my camera out to catch a sunset. Within a short drive we have rolling farmland, lots of woods, and rivers and lakes all around. I can choose from any number of wonderful locations on a given day. It's so rejuvenating to be out in nature, enjoying the landscape and the wildlife. On another note, major cities like Philly and New York are within a reasonable distance. Cities provide a whole new subject matter for photography.  

You want to be a photographer, why?  Life is full of amazing moments. I love the ability to capture those moments. When I am able to do that effectively; make my subject look its very best and share that with others, that brings me so much joy! 

What excites you about that? Photography is exciting not only to capture what we see, but also what we can't see. When I capture a photo of a bird mid-flight, it takes my breath away to be able to see each individual feather spread. Or to take a macro shot of a Bumble Bee collecting pollen. A flower has thousands of perfect little sacs of pollen on it. The details are so incredible! 

Favorite subject matter…  I love taking photos of anything in nature. From landscape scenes to the little details in leaves. I also love photographing old architecture and setting up still life scenes using some man-made and some natural items. I don't think I can pick a favorite! :)  

Why did you want to intern?  First of all, I wanted to intern because it is a wonderful experience that I know I will learn and grow through. I see the value in learning from someone who has gone before me. She understands where I am at and how to get to where I want to go with my art. Secondly, I wanted the hands on experience. It is one thing to have people tell you how and what you should do with your marketing. But to have someone showing you and then letting you actually do it is a very important part of growing. Lastly, I wanted to do this internship with Mrs. Hahn because she is a fun, patient person who cares about my success and who is extremely successful and gifted herself.  

What do you hope to gain from the experience? knowledge on how to market effectively. The opportunity to work with an experienced, established artist who is able to guide and teach me. I hope to meet people at shows and make some good connections. It's hard to put into words exactly what I want to gain from this experience, because it is the little things as well as the big things. There are so many benefits to being able to see an artist working behind the scenes and having someone to answer any questions that come up. 

What are your strongest assets?   One of my strongest assets is a creative vision. I see the potential in different scenes and am able to compose the subject matter well. I have a thirst for knowledge. I have read as many manuals, photography books/guides, magazines, and online information about photography as I can get my hands on. This has been so valuable in training the way I see and create my art. 

What is your impression so far of the life of a full time artist/creative person?   Fun, busy, demanding. It is so awesome to see someone living out their passion and creating art on a daily basis. The flip side of that, however, is all the work and effort that goes into marketing. Marketing can be exciting and fun. It can also be tedious and time-consuming. So my first impression would be that you have to be passionate about what your doing. If that passion is there, then the life of an artist is a wonderful, fulfilling experience. 

What skills and insights have you gained thus far that you feel you will be able  apply to your future as a photographer?    I am learning that selling art well is as important as making art well. I am learning SO much about how to market effectively. I am also learning about all the important details that save time and thus accomplish more. 

If you won the lottery, would you still choose the artists life? Absolutely! It would just give me more freedom to travel and create more art. 

If you could live in any country, where would it be? why?  To be honest, I'm not attached to any particular area. I love traveling around and would love to visit places all over the world. For me, it is more about appreciating the unique and beautiful qualities about each location.     

 What is the best compliment you've gotten so far about your work?   One of my mentors helped me prepare for a photography trip to the Grand Canyon. We critiqued photos from tons of different photographers to see what worked and what didn't. When I got back from my trip, he critiqued my photos. After looking through all of them, he said that my photos were better and more well composed than all the photos we had previously viewed. 

Do you have a website? what is it?  Yes I do, it is:  My website is still in the exciting beginning stages. I will be adding photos often, so be patient with the limited selection. :)  

Anything else you'd like to say?   I am so blessed to be able to live out my dream of being a photographer and to have all these wonderful opportunities like the internship in my life. I am very excited to see what this next year holds for me! 

Welcome Lisa!  I am just as excited to have you working with me!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lovin' TheGoodOleDays: Come on, Get Back Up

A shared bit of inspiration from my friend Lisa over at Lovin' the Good ole Days. Uplifting, even with Stallone's bad acting :0)
Lovin' TheGoodOleDays: Come on, Get Back Up: Day after day, we juggle our schedules, finances, priorities, and responsibilities to do what needs to get done, just to do it all over agai...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Music Video Studio Takeover

There were exciting doings over the weekend here at Chez O'Lone-Hahn. Being the artsy-fartsy family that we are, my husband Al, the very talented bass player for Knowlton Point and the rest of his bandmates took over the back yard and my studio to shoot a video for their new song "Your Way".

Their videographer Hui and his assistant Bill arrived around 11:30 to start setting up for the shoot. When I found out that the primary location was going to be the area in front of my studio, I had to scramble to get the 10 bags of mulch out of my car so that I could back it up to my studio and load in all of my artwork for a show before I wouldn't have access. I didn't have to leave for my show until 3:30 but I knew that video takes a really long time so with my husbands help, I got unloaded and reloaded and ready to go.

  Little did I know that my studio would also serve as a dressing room. I didn't mind at all, since my husbands people are totally respectful of the work and the space and wouldn't want to suffer my wrath if anything was a miss :0)...

While it was a little tedious hearing the same song over and over again while they filmed and I mulched the yard, it was an interesting process to watch. I know that some shots were done in the house, so some of my paintings will probably show up in the background. The video will be out of production in a couple of weeks and I will post so that you may enjoy their new song and play spot the KOH paintings. In the meantime, head on over to Knowlton Point's website to check out their current music and CD.