Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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08/11/2005: "Make your art your business"

Today I went on a book buying orgy and purchased the following:

"How to Become a Famous Artist and Still Paint Pictures" W. Joe Innis; Paperback; $16.95

"Drawing Dynamic Hands" Burne Hogarth; Paperback; $13.57

"Successful Fine Art Marketing" Marcia Layton; Paperback; $19.95

"Art Office: 80+ Business Forms, Charts, Sample Letters, Legal Documents & Business Plans" Constance Smith; Paperback; $11.87

"The Artist's Marketing and Action Plan Workbook" Jonathan Talbot; Paperback; $16.95

"The Great Heavy Bag Handbook" Dale Walters; Paperback; $8.95

"Artists Journals and Sketchbooks: Exploring and Creating Personal Pages" Lynne Perrella; Paperback; $14.95

"Art Calendar" Magazine; $35.83

I feel excited by the purchases, as I allow myself 50% of sales to reinvest in art business items. I read on Anna Conti's "working artist journal" that she gave a lecture on Make Your Art Your Business (Aug. 11th) at one of my favorite places in San Francisco, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Man, I would have given anything to go to that, but it seems they will be broadcasting it from the artspan website so hopefully I'll still get to hear her lecture.

Even though I'm taking some time off from exhibiting, I'm more amped than ever to figure out how to make a living making the kind of art that *I* want to make. I still think that it is possible, though I have no illusions that it will be easy.

In the mean time, I am working away at putting together my tenure file for my *real* job. I go up for tenure in September and it's kind of a major big deal because if you don't get it, you lose your job!

Tonight I went for another sail with DeLynn and this time my friend Alicia joined us. She used a term that I'd never heard of before; she called herself "childfree". She said you're "childless" if you want to have kids but can't for some reason, and "childfree" if you don't have kids by choice. That's me!

Anyway, we actually had some wind tonight, not a lot but enough for her to learn the ropes. I think DeLynn and I will try to go out again tomorrow night and then perhaps out on our friend Gerald's boat on Sat. to practice for a big race that's coming up. I just love that we're having clear skies and don't feel at all guilty for not being in the studio. The rain and darkness will come soon enough and I'll have more than enough time then to stay holed up the studio.

Oh yah, did I mention that I've become a victim of identity theft! You never think it's gonna happen to you until it does. I'm super online savvy, never follow links to update online info etc. never give out info on the phone, have fraud alerts on my accounts with the credit reporting agencies...and still it happened to me. My advice is no matter how safe you think you're being, stay vigilant!

Replies: 4 Comments

on Friday, August 12th, ona said

glad you're taking it to the next level.

on Friday, August 12th, Elise said

Thanks Ona, you'll be able to say you have a couple of "Tomlinson originals" when I get good and famous! LOL!

on Sunday, August 14th, Anna L. Conti said

Hey, thanks for the mention and the link, Elise. You're further along than you realize. For more inspiration a long these lines, have you read Steve Job's commencement address to Stanford grads? It's posted on Danny Gregory's site at

Not only will you get there... aren't you there now? Aren't you painting what you want to paint? Living where and how you want to live?

Keep it up!


on Sunday, August 14th, Elise said

Thanks Anna!

I guess I kind of am there now. I mean, I am a "working artist", I work at my art harder than anything in my life...but it hasn't made me financially viable yet. (yet).
That address by Steve Jobs really struck a chord with me. I agree with what he said 100%, sometimes we just need a little reminder that if we're doing what we love everything else will fall into place.