Art Biz Podcast

By Alyson Stanfield

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Category: Visual Arts

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Looking for art career inspiration and ideas while you’re working in the studio or schlepping your art across the country? Alyson Stanfield helps you be a more productive artist, a more empowered artist, and a more successful artist.

Episode Date
Multiply Your Audience and Expand Your Show's Impact with Jill Powers (#27)

Jill Powers is a sculptor, installation artist and educator who creates art related to ecological issues. Jill discusses how her events educate, delight and challenge the viewer, and how she came to seek out unique collaborations with area businesses, organizations and experts. Jill also describes the many programs she has organized, and how she did it while balancing her own artistic commitments. You’ll hear about how she worked with dancers, scientists, and restaurants beyond gallery walls.


In this interview, you will hear about:

  • Jill’s background both in art and education, and her passion to create and teach in different settings.

  • Two Colorado exhibitions: Plants and Insects in a Time of Change at the Firehouse Art Center in 2013 and Hold Fast: Seaweeds in a Time of Oceanic Change at the Dairy Art Center in 2016.

  • The curatorial thesis of experiencing art that opens doors to the message.

  • The actual work that was on view for each exhibit.

  • The benefits of becoming involved in your community and collaboration beyond what seems possible.

  • The clever way Jill’s exhibitions included everyone from dancers, to chefs and scientists.

  • The film night she organized as part of a public program.

  • The funding that took place in order to successfully run the exhibits.

  • The obstacles she faced in pulling off both events with over 3 years of planning.

  • Her way of using volunteers and organizing systems to help her stay focused and on track.

  • What led her to recognize the value in involving others and making the art more meaningful.

  • The immersive aspect of her exhibits including live samples of seaweed at a tasting station and using music to set the mood.

  • Her advice for artists who may consider becoming more involved in their community, and why enthusiasm and personal connection is so impactful.

  • A glimpse into what’s next for her in the future, including a book based on her teaching and life experiences.





May 09, 2019
Creative Placemaking and Public Art with Lynn Basa (#26)

Chicago painter, public artist, and creative placemaker Lynn Basa joins the show today. She discusses making the art you want to make and the varied ways that artists are intersecting with public life. Lynn, author of The Artist’s Guide to Public Art, also talks about the legacy she is creating with The Corner Project and how public art has changed over the years.



In this interview, you will hear Lynn talk about:

  • Her background as a studio artist and how it led to her interest in public art.

  • Her time at the Seattle Arts Commission.

  • The big jump of having her tapestries fabricated as rugs in Nepal, to then selling art to private collections, to finally teaching herself the business of finding customers.

  • How the accessibility of art and availability of selling it online has changed the industry over recent years.

  • What creative placemaking is, why it has gotten a bad rap, and how it is different from public art.

  • Why she felt the need to go back to school in 2016 and get an MFA.

  • What The Corner Project is, who funds it, the main mission of the space, and why she was inspired to start it.

  • Some of the obstacles Lynn faced to build a coalition and organize a community in The Corner Project.

  • What a typical meeting at The Corner Project looks like, her biggest challenges in running it, and what she wishes she would have known before starting it.

  • Why an artist would be interested in creative placemaking, and who isn’t cut out for it.

  • How her personal art has developed over time.

  • The Chicago art scene and the way her community supports other artists.

  • Her upcoming book, the second edition of The Artist’s Guide to Public Art.

  • Getting better results by truly listening rather than by imposing your ideas — especially in local politics.

  • How she learned how to pace herself and manage her time more effectively.

  • Inspiration for artists on how they can be catalysts in their communities.



The Artists Guide to Public Art

Lynn Basa

The Corner Project

Id Rather Be in the Studio



“Art is a billion dollar business, and someone has to do it.”

“There is so much demand for art of all kinds.”

“Buying art isn’t a rich person’s hobby anymore.”

“I do think artists have a holistic way of looking at the world, and we need to recognize that.”

“Look around you, there are more resources than you think. “


*** This episode of the Art Biz Podcast is sponsored by our Art Career Success System, a year-long business training program for committed artists. See ***

Apr 18, 2019
Caring for Your Most Precious Asset as an Artist with Missy Graff Ballone (#25)

Missy Graff Ballone, artist and founder of Wellness for Makers, joins the show to discuss the importance of taking care of your most precious asset for making art: your body. She shares her own background as an artist, massage therapist and yoga instructor, and why she saw a need to provide resources that help artists take care of their bodies so they can make more art, and in turn, run their businesses. She also gives tools artists can use to get started in their new journey towards better health.


In this interview, you will Missy hear talk about:

  • Her background as an artist, massage therapist, and yoga instructor, and how all three are instrumental in her career today.

  • How she blended her artistry and love of the body to motivate and empower artists through education, mindful living, and movement.

  • Why she felt it important to teach artists accessible self-care to improve the longevity of their bodies, and ultimately their career.

  • How it’s never too late to invest in yourself and focus on the key assets — your body and health!

  • The importance of creating extra variety in your movements in the studio.

  • How we can become more consciously aware of the patterns we create within our body, and the most common ailments artists typically endure.

  • Some gentle techniques and tools that she finds important and effective.

  • The theme of resilience and how it relates to wellness for artists.



Wellness for Makers

Complete Wellness Kit

4 Weeks of Resilience



  • “We can’t make art without a healthy body.”

  • “An artist’s number one asset in their business isn’t their mailing list, it’s their body.”

  • “Our body is our most important tool.”

  • “Learning about the body is really empowering.”

  • “I love the idea of resilience in the body.”



*** This episode of the Art Biz Podcast is sponsored by our Art Biz Mastermind Workshops, where we can accomplish more in two days than if you spent 6 months trying to figure it out yourself. See***

Mar 14, 2019
How To Be A More Confident Artist with Gwen Fox (#24)

Gwen Fox, a professional artist, instructor, and coach, joins the show to talk about building confidence. We discuss the difference between a belief and a truth, silencing our inner critic, how to overcome setbacks and deal gracefully with unwanted commentary. Gwen shares some of her own affirmations and gives specific ways in which we can use goal setting and visualization to create a life we may have never even dreamt was possible.


In this interview, you will Gwen hear talk about:

  • What you can do when your confidence is dashed, and how perfectionism and negative self-talk doesn’t help.

  • Why some people appear more confident than others, and where confidence doesn’t come from.

  • Why it’s crucial to surround yourself with those that give you confidence.

  • Gwen’s personal experience of an authority figure questioning her intellectual capabilities, and how she finally shed the belief of not being “smart enough” that plagued her for years.

  • The difference between beliefs and truths, and how to acknowledge and then silence your inner critic.

  • Why so many artists suffer from the imposter syndrome, and how to combat it.

  • How the words you choose to describe yourself shape the entire creative process.

  • Examples of affirmations that Gwen herself uses for success and confidence.

  • How Gwen looks at failure and mistakes as learning lessons and highways to success.

  • The two best words you could ever ask yourself: “what if”.

  • The importance of using visualization, affirmations, and goal setting as tools to shape confidence and release your artistic voice into the world.

  • Why Gwen fully believes we produce better art when we are kind to ourselves.



Gwen Fox



  • “Confidence is a mindset.”

  • “Creating comes from your soul, and it’s where you reveal the deep, intimate side of yourself.”

  • “Your creativity is what is so important. No one has your voice.”

  • “What we feed ourselves mentally is what we bring about.”

  • “The most important real estate in the world is the 6 inches between your ears.”

  • “Know that failure is an event, it is not personal.”



*** This episode is brought to you by the Art Biz Inner Circle. This is a group of unapologetically ambitious artists that my team and I worked with for a year. We help our members with goals, mindset, business strategies, and focus. See – ***

Feb 14, 2019
Leaving Behind What is Safe with Jan R. Carson (#23)

One artist’s journey is never the same as another’s. Not only do you have to be creative in what you make, but also in how you get it out there, connect with the right people and situations, and create a sustainable living. There is no perfect blueprint on how to make money or create a sustainable career, but for Jan R. Carson, the focus is on the quality of the work. In this episode, she talks about her own journey from a production artist since 1999 making over 7,000 silk and stainless steel wire mobiles, to her decision to leave behind what had been a safe income to go after the art and life she wants for herself. She discusses the balance of both worlds and how she has made it work successfully over the years, the selection process for the shows she enters, the vulnerable side of transitioning to a fine artist, and advice for artists looking to take a risk and leave what is safe.


In this interview, you will hear Jan talk about:


  • The non-linear career path of professional artists, and why determination and vulnerability are two key characteristics.

  • Her personal transition from a production artist to a fine artist over the last 10 years.

  • More about Jan’s Moon-Lily Silk Mobiles, and what is involved with production and filling orders.

  • The many hats she wears in navigating the construction of the mobiles, along with marketing, accounting, etc.

  • Why she found it easier to retain and train people as employees rather than interns.

  • What led her into production work and the retail business, and how it showed her that it was possible to make a living as a fine artist.

  • Why she feels as though production art is tough for artists that want to explore and grow the different facets of their art.

  • The point at which Jan knew she needed to begin shifting towards making her own art, and the steps she is taking towards balancing both production work and creation.

  • Her commitment to letting her body make the work, and keeping her mind out of it.

  • How she got the confidence in herself and her artwork to exhibit it, and what it felt like to put it out into the world.

  • The important question artists need to ask themselves: What do I need to make? Not: How do I sell my art?

  • The challenges of textile art, and connecting with the right people that will lead to sustainable income.

  • The social component of being an artist, and how Jan navigates the world as a self-proclaimed shy homebody, to integrate her personal confidence more into her art.

  • The importance of listening, connection, and staying open and present as an artist.



Moon-Lily Mobiles

Five Years Out

Cherry Creek Arts Festival

Jan 24, 2019
Opening and Running Your Own Gallery: Tracy Miller (#22)

Many artists have a desire to open their own gallery, but few know how much work and thought actually goes into it. In today’s episode, artist and gallerist Tracy Miller shares her experience of running the Tracy Miller Gallery for the last 7 years. Tracy discusses the journey from Fine Artist, to working in a Gallery, then opening her own gallery in Manitou Springs, Colorado. She talks about what type of artists she chose to work with, why she chose the specific location of Manitou Springs, the style of Art of the New West, challenges she overcame when running the business, how to still paint and have time for your own art when running a business, and advice she would give to others looking to open their own gallery. Tracy also talks about her decision to close down her gallery and focus more on her own work as an artist.

In this interview, you will hear Tracy talk about:

  • Her background as a fine artist, and how her experience with wholesale helped her later with becoming well versed in retail.

  • Her experience working 5 years at an art gallery in downtown Denver, and why she feels working at a gallery before opening one is crucial.

  • How Tracy Miller Fine Art came to be in 1994, and then evolved into Tracy Miller Gallery in 2011.

  • Why Tracy chose Manitou Springs, Colorado as the gallery location, and how the mix of tourists and locals was a smart choice for her business.

  • Why 70% of her sales ship out of state, and the importance of running a good virtual business on social media and your website.

  • The importance of maintaining studio hours when you are an artist-gallerist.

  • What Art of the New West means stylistically, and how the wildlife, landscape and Western themes are brought to life in a contemporary and colorful manner.

  • The vision that Tracy brought to curating a cohesive gallery that some say fits perfectly together like a jigsaw puzzle.

  • How Tracy chose specific artists for her gallery, and why she recommends working with artists that have tested their art before, engage with their clients and fans, and are active in their own business.

  • Why gallery owners should know the price points of not only the art in their region, but the city or community as a whole. Crunch the numbers, and know the numbers.

  • The success principles of “acting as if” and getting involved with your local community to network.

  • How the internet has changed the way gallerists and artists interact as a collaborative effort rather than separate entities.

  • Overcoming major business challenges, including two fires, floods and road construction projects around her gallery.

  • Why Tracy has decided to close the gallery.

  • Why her profit margin was at least 10% higher than a normal profit margin for retail.

  • The different types of galleries that artists can open, and the choice they have to feature only their work, or create a space featuring both themselves and others.



Tracy Miller Fine Art

Tracy Miller Gallery - Facebook

Tracy Miller Fine Art - Instagram

Comment on this podcast


  • “I wanted to bring the finest in this genre that I could to our region.”

  • “Little did my artists know how long I stalked them!”

  • “If you want to be financially successful and sell art, I knew I would have to pick people that had a following and a track record already.”

  • “It’s a long term career, not a fast overnight career.”

  • “Do your research and know your market.”

  • “It comes down to a lot of organization and discipline to paint while you run a gallery.”

  • “Never turn down the opportunity to promote yourself and meet new people.”


*** This episode is brought to you by the Art Biz Inner Circle. This is a group of unapologetically ambitious artists that my team and I worked with for a year. We help our members with goals, mindset, business strategies, and focus. See ***

Dec 20, 2018
Creating Opportunities for Your Art Career: Meg Black (#21)

Artist Meg Black doesn’t wait for things to happen, she makes them happen. She has recently installed a major commission in the new edition of the town hall in Topsfield, MA, and is here to tell us all about the process from vision to reality. Meg shares with us how she got involved in the project, the research that went into it, and the hurdles she had to overcome in able to get it done both perfectly and on schedule. She now is a local celebrity due to her talent, and care for the community.


Meg’s commissioned pieces are wins for the community, as they employ local vendors, and simultaneously showcase the beauty and romance of Topsfield.


In this interview, you will hear Meg talk about:


  • The pivotal experience 20 years back where Meg was commissioned to do a painting for the Topsfield town library.

  • The story behind the special preserved and protected road that was recommended by locals to Meg as a great subject to paint. Meg called upon her “galaxy of artists” and decided to leave some of the windy road landscape to the viewer’s imagination.

  • How Meg’s idea of the Topsfield Town Hall addition project presented a challenge with no patron and no donor, and how she enlisted the perfect patron for this project.

  • The “10 Million Dollar” problem of the town hall project, and the feeling that Meg had of not wanting the beauty of the piece to become tainted by community politics.

  • The homework Meg did to fully understand and articulate the process of tax exemption when writing a letter to her potential donor.

  • The interesting release schedule Meg activated for her installation, which kept the town aware of the work but not completely in the know about who the donor was.

  • Meg’s dedication to seeing that the entirety of this project was kept local, including the printer, photographer, and the framer.

  • How the sales of the prints are divided up both in labor and earnings.

  • Why networking on LinkedIn is important for any artist looking for the next commercial opportunity.

  • What we can expect next from Meg, and a peek into the new commission she is very excited about.




Meg Black



  • “I was afraid someone else would beat me to making the art. That’s what did it and got myself out there.” - Meg

  • “We need to speak the language of lay people, especially when we ask them for big sums of money.” - Meg

  • “When you find a donor for your artwork, the entity has to take care of that work and agree to take it on.” - Alyson

  • “I probably put about 500 hours for that painting. I was waking up at 3:30am every day.” - Meg

  • “Everything was in town.” - Meg




*** This episode is brought to you by the Art Biz Inner Circle. This is a group of unapologetically ambitious artists that my team and I work with for a year. We help our members with goals, mindset, business strategies, and focus. See ***

Nov 29, 2018
How to Choose the Right Artist Group for You (#20)

Artists are so generous and I love to see them supporting one another. I’m blessed that I get to be the person who introduces them to one another in the groups I lead.

After witnessing artist groups from the outside and within over nearly 3 decades, I’ve been thinking a lot about artist group dynamics. In this podcast, I share with you my thoughts on this topic. It’s just me talking, so it’s shorter than most of my episodes. 

Here’s what I share:

  • Four primary reasons to be part of an organized and well-run artist group.
  • Four attributes to look for in an artist group that will match your goals and ambition.

Take notes because this could save you a lot of frustration when you’re trying to find your tribe. 

*** This episode is brought to you by the Art Biz Inner Circle. This is a group of unapologetically ambitious artists that my team and I work with for a year. We help our members with goals, mindset, business strategies, and focus. See ***

Nov 01, 2018
The Investing Artist: Art, Real Estate, and Legacy with Mary Erickson (#19)

Mary Erickson’s art sales have paid for her lifestyle, which is comfortable and adventurous, but far from extravagant. She is a savvy investor and wise with her finances. 


Mary says she paints so that she can buy real estate so that she can collect art - paintings by other artists. You’ll hear all about it in this episode. You’ll also hear about: 


  • How she started selling and why she believes being involved in your community is key to an artist’s success.
  • How she keeps up with the 8 different galleries that represent her.
  • Mary’s legacy project: High Ridge Gardens, a bird sanctuary and artist retreat on her property, which  she will leave with a funded endowment.


I hope Mary’s story inspires you to become wise with your finances.


See Mary’s art at 


*** This episode is brought to you by the Art Career Success System: a step-by-step system to implement for growth no matter where you are in your art business. See***

Aug 16, 2018
Transform Your Many Creative Ideas into Multiple Income Streams: Helen Hiebert (#18)

Ten years ago, Helen Hiebert didn’t think of her art as a business. Her shift of mindset changed everything and she now makes her living as a working artist. Rather than feeling icky about having a “business,” she embraced it and learned to channel some of her creativity into making money from her talents. 


In this episode of the Art Biz Podcast, Helen and I discuss:

  • Her 5 income streams, and the percentage of income she receives from each
  • How she approaches online content creation
  • How her blog - The Sunday Paper - and podcast - Paper Talk - grew naturally from her life’s work to that point


See Helen’s art at and subscribe to her podcast, Paper Talk.


See images of what was discussed on the podcast and leave a comment at 


*** This episode is brought to you by Art Biz Coach mastermind workshops that occur in various parts of the U.S. throughout the year. See***

Jul 19, 2018
Transitioning to a Full-Time Artist: Dianna Fritzler (#17)

Many artists have a dream of doing their work full-time without any idea of what that means or what it would take. Dianna Fritzler made it happen. Not just once, but twice. 

In this episode, Alyson talks with Dianna about the steps she took to make sure that her first year back as a full-time artist was going to be a successful one. She reveals:  

  • The moment when she decided that her art could no longer play a secondary role in her life.
  • The steps she took immediately that set her on the path to making her dream come true.
  • The income streams she tested and what has worked (and not worked) for her.
  • The vision she and her husband have for his future full-time role in her business.
  • The amount of time she spends on business v. in the studio.
  • How she structures her day to be most productive.

See Dianna’s art at 

*** This episode is brought to you by the Art Career Success System: a step-by-step system to implement for growth no matter where you are in your art business. See***

Jun 25, 2018
Overcoming a Major Setback: Artist Annie Salness (#16)

When you find yourself making excuses as to why you can’t get into the studio or why you don’t have time to write that newsletter or blog post, think of this conversation with Annie Salness. Almost 10 years ago, Annie had a stroke and, among other challenges, had to relearn how to paint with her non-dominant hand. 


While many artists would have given up when faced with the trials Annie had, she met the challenge and continues to challenge herself.


This is the story of a true artist - an artist who has something to say and is committed to making sure her voice is heard … her art seen.



See Annie’s art at 


*** This episode is brought to you by Art Biz Coach mastermind workshops that occur in various parts of the U.S. throughout the year. See***

May 17, 2018
Confronting Your Professional Legacy: A Conversation with David Paul Bayles (#15)

What will happen to all of your art and career records after you are gone? Will your family know what to do with them? Those were questions that David Paul Bayles had about his photographs and archives. And he had good reason to be concerned because they were valuable documents of a particular part of the country and culture. 


See David’s work at 


*** This episode is brought to you by Big Table Art Retreats - exclusive artist mastermind retreats that occur in various parts of the U.S. throughout the year. See***

Apr 19, 2018
Quantifying Quality in Art: Elaine Kehew’s 8 Targets (#14)

How do you quantify quality in art? Alyson talks with artist Elaine Kehew who has set out to do just that. After receiving a negative review last year, Elaine is determined to improve the quality of her art and has developed 8 targets to measure her progress. 


See Elaine’s art at


*** This episode is brought to you by Big Table Art Retreats - exclusive artist mastermind retreats that occur in various parts of the U.S. throughout the year. See ***

Mar 08, 2018
A Creative Way to Approach Legal Priorities for Your Art Business

Alyson talks with photographer and attorney Kiffanie Stahle about legal concerns for your art business. The way one artist protects his or her business will be very different from another artist. So much depends on your audience and goals.

Kiffanie, who owns has developed the Creative Business Model Canvas to help you home in on legal priorities. Find it here:

Feb 08, 2018
Find a Niche for Your Art with guest Maria Brophy (#13)

Alyson talks with Maria Brophy about niche markets for artists - why they’re valuable and ideas for finding where you fit.

Dec 14, 2017
The Bumpy Road to Success: Stories from Art Biz Coach Clients (#12)

Alyson talks with Debby Williams and Cynthia Morris about the accomplishments and struggles of Art Biz Inner Circle members - and what other artists can learn from them.

Nov 16, 2017
The Portrait Experience: Museum Portrait Exhibition with Lisa Kovvuri (#11)

Alyson talks with artist Lisa Kovvuri about a multi-year portrait project that resulted in a museum show.

Oct 17, 2017
Creative Organizing with Heather Powers (#10)

Alyson talks with Heather Powers of Creatively Organized Spaces about how she helps artists clear clutter and organize their workspaces. 

Sep 21, 2017
Artist-Authors Rebecca Crowell and Jerry McLaughlin (#9)

Alyson talks with artists Rebecca Crowell and Jerry McLaughlin about writing their new book, Cold Wax Medium: Materials, Techniques, and Conversations. 

Aug 24, 2017
Powerhouse Artist Couple Sam Woolcott and Poe Dismuke (#8)

Alyson talks with artists Sam Woolcott and Poe Dismuke about owning a gallery together in Bisbee, Arizona, being married, and their museum exhibition.

Jul 27, 2017
Business Insurance for 4 Levels of Artists (#7)

Alyson asks Claudia McClain, founder of, about the special insurance needs for artists’ businesses.


Mar 02, 2017
How to Get Back Into the Studio Groove After an Absence (#6)

Alyson asks Cynthia Morris for tips for getting back into the studio after an exhibition opening, a vacation, a holiday, an illness, or family tragedy.


Jan 05, 2017
Which Ideas Are Worth Your Time? (#5)

Alyson talks with Cynthia Morris about why having too many ideas is detrimental to your success as an artist.


Dec 08, 2016
Making a Living as a Teaching Artist with Elizabeth St. Hilaire (#4)

Alyson talks with Elizabeth St. Hilaire about how she created a successful art career and became a full-time artist. Includes mention of multiple streams of income and her teaching models.


Oct 20, 2016
The Value of Community for Artists (#3)

Alyson talks with Michael Keen about why community is important for artists to thrive and to receive validation, inspiration, motivation, and constructive feedback.

Sep 29, 2016
Getting The Difficult Things Done (#2)

Alyson talks with Cynthia Morris about how to accomplish things in your art career and business that you don’t enjoy doing. Listen for discussion about being happy v. being satisfied with the work you do.

Aug 25, 2016
The Impatient Artist: Time and Your Art Career (#1)

Alyson talks with Cynthia Morris about impatience - how everything that is worth getting in life takes longer than you think it will. But it’s worth it when you’re committed to an artist’s life and career.


Jul 26, 2016