Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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11/09/2005: "So, was it worth it?"

I had my one hour art consultation with Alan Bamberger this morning and it was indeed money well spent! Alan is a professional art consultant who also runs the excellent web site which has a lot of free advice in his articles for artists section.

I had already read most of the articles, but talking to him in person about my work and situation in particular was exactly what I needed. He hit on some things I was already feeling but having it confirmed by a professional was helpful. He also gave me some very specific, tangible things that I can start doing right now to improve sales and to improve the art purchasing experience of potential buyers. (expect some changes on my site sometime soon).

Ultimately, it was just great to be able to run every random concern or idea Iíve ever had, past someone who knows a hell of a lot more about selling and promoting art than I do. If any of you out there feel like youíre floundering a bit, not sure which direction to head in next, not sure if youíre ready for x,y, or zÖI would highly recommend Alanís services, even for people just starting out. In fact, I hope to hire him again on down the road once Iíve had a chance to absorb and implement his advice from today, which might take awhile.

I think my favorite tip from him was on how to get over my intense opening night panic attacks: get a prescription for an anti-anxiety pill to take ahead of time, like a valium. Wow, why hadnít I thought of that? Of course, Iíve never taken one so I should probably see what kind of effect it will have on me before I try it out at an opening, donít want to pass out in a corner or drool on myself or anything.

Itís hard having to go into work this morning, now that my head is spinning with strategies but that's life. I feel reinvigorated and ready to get on it with it. Oh yah, and thanks to artists Anna Conti, Shahnaz, and John Kraft for providing the positive feedback about Alan that gave me the confidence to try his services.

Replies: 9 Comments

on Wednesday, November 9th, Jill said

Great site! I'm an arts reporter for a small newpaper in Homer, so I love to see what's going on in the state. I'll be back.

on Wednesday, November 9th, greg said

That's awesome! It's interesting to read of your premeeting rush of creative activity, and the next day struggle. So - give yourself time perhaps to design a new logo, or do that marketing blurb, or sketch out new website designs ... or just take some time off to reflect and integrate.

I bet if I invited Alan over once a month I'd get soooo much more work done :D ... it's like how we always clean the house so much better when guests are coming, than we would otherwise .... hmmm *ponder ponder* :confused:

Have you gotten into acrylics anymore? Hows the dobro coming along?

on Wednesday, November 9th, Elise said

Hi Jill,
You know, I really love Homer. If I wasn't living in Juneau that would be my second choice. We used to visit there all the time when I lived in southcentral Alaska, we'd camp out on the spit or stay on the kiltcher's property. Does your newspaper have a website? Also, there is a great publication called akartscene for art reviews mostly of shows in Anchorage.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by.

And Greg, yes, I have a lot of "house cleaning" in front of me but I have something to work towards as well.

As for acrylics, no, I haven't done anything else with them because my air purifier should be arriving any day now and also because I'm not using solvents anymore. I'm painting exclusively with walnut oil so my whole reason for wanting to switch to acrylics has become a mute point.

And as for the dobro, it's not coming along so well. I've been working too hard in other areas to do much with it, but I love it and it's not going anywhere so I'm not too concerned.

on Wednesday, November 9th,">dad said

what is a dobro? dad

on Wednesday, November 9th,">dad said

what is a dobro? dad

on Wednesday, November 9th, Rod said

I looked up Alan Bamberger. Is he in S.F., or was he in Juneau? If the former, was it a bit strange talking to him 'cold', or was he familiar with your work previously? I'm just curious because from your entry you seem so excited from your consultation with him and if he was 3500 miles away via telephone...he must be REALLY good at what he does! Either way, it seems that it was money well spent!

P.S. I will not be there in person for Thanksgiving for moral/ethical reasons. Though I'd rather be there than the alternative. I'll fill you in during our pre-arranged conversation on the 20th.

on Wednesday, November 9th, Elise said

Hi dad! I bought you a little birthday present tonight! I should get it in the mail in the next 6-8 weeks.
a dobro is a rasophonic resonator guitar, the kind that looks like it has a hubcap stuck on the front and that you play with it sitting in your lap, strings facing up, with a steel slide. It sounds really funky and time you come up for a visit I'll play a song for you!

And Rod, I'm sad you aren't coming for thanksgiving...when did we designate Nov. 20th as our conversation date? Oh, and yes, I talked with Alan Bamberger from here in Douglas, he was in SF, and yes, he was really good and it was money well spent. I'll tell you more on the 20th!

on Thursday, November 10th, Rod said

Don't you read your own blog? Our next conversation is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 20th. I am extra-deluxe sad that I won't be there for Thanksgiving, even though I have an AK airlines voucher. (Remember, I cried at the front desk to get it! :laugh:)) But I will be sending you a super special gift for the turkey-day celebration that will blow your mind! (And the minds of @8 other fine guests!)

on Thursday, November 10th, Elise said

I remember you mentioning the 20th before but I was wondering how you came up with that date?

Anyway, I can't wait for my mind-blowing special gift...I seem to recall you mentioning that you were sending me a present this summer too so............i guess I'll believe it when I see it!
Anyway, I could drill you about why you can't make it and all that but I'll save it for our big phone chat. (you realize I charge $150.00 an hour right?)