artists marketing colorado

What Inspires An Artist’s Work?

Humans are hardwired for stories. Stories came before written words. Stories, passed down through time, have kept us out of harm’s way, helped raise our children, and formed communities and cultures. 

As an artist, you spend your days telling stories in paint or clay or photographs or bronze. Because art it, at it’s core, stories. 

These stories are what collectors want to hear and learn. I’ve heard many artists say, “My art stands on its own; I shouldn’t have to explain it.” To which, I say: “Good luck with that.”

Artists, please, for the love of god, understand that there is a gap between your work and your audience. Yes, collectors could take art classes and learn the amazing techniques you’ve just wowed them with, but they don’t want to. What they want is to live with art and to feel connected to the art they collect. Technique is not that connection. Stories are the connection.

This is why I want you to tell your stories in a blog. The stories are not always exciting or earth-shattering; they often are simply the idea or feeling or emotion that was passing through while you worked. 

Tell the Story, Connect the Dots

artists marketing colorado

Creating a blog does something else that is quite remarkable. It acts like your personal magazine filled with ads focused on you.

This is the best marketing you have at your disposal. And it forms the Artist’s Marketing Trifecta: Blog + Newsletter + Social Media.

Each of these things done alone helps, but when done together, they’re art marketing magic.

What's the difference?


Lives on your website

Creates great SEO even while you sleep

The perfect reason for collectors to return to your website


Individual email, sent and gone

Doesn’t live on your site

Announces current happenings and, if done right, should send people back to your website

Social media:

Lives on someone else’s platform


Should be used to announce new blog, which drives people to your website

Let's make it easy

I am so dedicated to getting you to create blogs and effective newsletters as a way to market your art online that I’m teaching Blogging with Pictures every other month. I developed this workshop to make it easy. We use your art and tap into the stuff you know like the back of your hand. 

I give you templates and go over all the basics. Then we make blogs and post them to your website.

Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy. 

Artist Bloggers Show and Tell

Blogs come in all shapes and sizes. There are lots of analytics about what works and the best length of a blog, but the reality is that any blog written on a topic you know well is a great online marketing for your art.

Still feeling a bit dubious? Check out these blogs from artists who have taken my workshops…

In this blog, Jan R. Carson talks about her work but does so by telling a story of how one piece came into being after watching a paper wasp build her nest. It’s a fascinating blog that let’s us into her process and educates us with her knowledge of insects.

Queen Paper Wasp Encounters

My interactions with insects have become a dynamic influence on my artistic process. Paper wasps love to build their nests on the eaves outside my textile art studio in northern Colorado. Each spring I use the handle of a metal rake to scrape off the nests before they get going. The key is to remove the nest when the queen is out foraging, which is usually in the strongest heat of the day. This means I spend some time watching the queen build. This also means I start developing a bond with her. After all, she did pick my house. To me, that feels like some kind of compliment.


Pati Stajcar decided to answer a frequently asked question: how do you get all this heavy sculpture to an art exhibit? In her blog she takes us behind the scenes as she and her husband travel to the Easton Waterfowl Festival.

Travel Blog: Easton Waterfowl Festival, Easton, Maryland

July 21, 2023

The sounds of semi trucks and car doors invade my sleep. I have a wildlife art show in three days. My body is stiff as I carefully stretch to ease the pain. I can’t see even though my eyes are open it is unnaturally dark. Oh yeah, I have my hat down over my eyes to shut out the glare from the lights in the parking lot. The fog of sleep is lifting as the sun rises. This is day two on the road. Have sculpture, will travel. My husband Dave and I are sleeping in our van at a rest stop. Kansas or Missouri? Put the coffee on, things will come into focus.


Here’s one by Suzanne Storer, a ceramic artist. Suzanne’s work is incredibly unique. Her blog sheds light on her subjects–homeless men and women–and gives us valuable insights into their lives, Suzanne’s process and her fervent desire to make sure these people are seen.






OK, one more. Cody Aljets is a sculptor who literally traded his fire fighter’s helmet for a welder’s helmet. Why? Because his days were numbered…

The thing I didn’t write was: I want to do this before I die of cancer. 

The problem was, I was a ticking time bomb.

It’s October, 2021 and I’m sitting in my Fire Officer One class, distracted with the uncertainties that lay ahead. So many things had transpired in the past years.  

My wife Brieonna and I started building a home while living on our land in an RV with our son Cullem, who was 3 at the time. 

I have been with Crested Butte Fire Protection District since 2013, working full time since 2019. Covid hit everyone’s world hard, but started here in November 2019. 

In April of 2020, I was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer and given less than 10% chance of surviving. Nine months later and 70 pounds lighter, I headed back to work.


Let's Do This

Please consider joining me for a Blogging with Pictures workshop. I want to show you how easy and effective this approach is for marketing your art online. 

And, once you’ve taken a workshop, you can come to any of my virtual office hours on Zoom for help with writing, editing and layout for SEO.

Hope to see you soon!

Here’s a link: WORKSHOPS.

As always, leave a comment with questions and feel free to book a call with me to learn more. Go to my CONTACT page and scroll to appointments.

Studio Mojo: The Potential Power of a Home Studio

Meet Nancee Jean Busse

My friend, the wonderful artist Nancee Jean Busse, dug into the pros and cons of establishing a home studio. I love Nancee’s wry sense of humor and candor. In Studio Mojo: the Potential for Power in a Home Studio, Nancee addresses some of the practical needs–more space and ways to organize–along with the mental side of carving out solitude.

For more about Nancee, click here.

Studio Mojo: the potential for power in your home studio

By Nancee Jean Busse

Nancee Busse studio

I’ve been either an illustrator or a painter for almost 50 years. During those decades I’ve created art in wildly varying spaces, most of which were problematic. I worked in an office for some of those years, but when my son was born in 1984 I decided it would be a swell idea to work from home; a very small, very humble home.

So let’s have a little chit-chat about some of the home-studio issues that came up over the years for me and how I solved (or attempted to solve) them. Here’s a list of studio problems and how to solve them.

Issue: I don’t have a spare room for a studio.

Yes, that sucks. For years I painted at the dining room table. Whenever the cat was unhappy he would jump up on the table and vomit on what I was working on. I was also fair game for every family member to unload their problems on. That was fun. If you have to work in your home’s family space, get a compact, folding table easel and work at the kitchen/dining room table. Store your art supplies in plastic tubs. In order to keep from driving yourself mad with clutter, put that stuff away when you’re not actively painting. Your sense of space and privacy will be greatly compromised, but I found headphones to be helpful…and ignoring the sound of breaking crockery.

Issue: I can use the spare bedroom, but it’s tiny!

Not ideal, but a step up from wiping someone’s dinner off of your work!  Minimize everything and keep your creative sanctuary as uncluttered as you possibly can. One easel, good lighting, a cabinet with drawers or shelves for paint, and storage for supplies that you don’t use daily are all you really need.

If you have the space, a bookshelf for your reference materials, instructional books, and any other print material that inspires you to jump into your creative endeavors with both feet.

Busse storage unit idea

Issue: I don’t feel the sense of privacy I need.

To a great degree, this is inner work. Requesting alone time and setting boundaries is, for some people,  one of life’s greatest challenges. My completely dysfunctional style was to be kind and polite with every interruption until I reached my limit of tolerance and then became a screeching bitch. I hope you are better at this than I was! From a practical perspective, having a door that closes is helpful. Letting others know when you’re unavailable is another helpful tactic, but I realize that even mentioning the fact that you’re “unavailable” is offensive to some people. This whole “I need to be alone” thing is icky tricky and I’ve been helped along its path by reading books on setting boundaries and co-dependency issues. 

Issue: I have a studio, but it’s a cluttered mess.

Clutter impedes creativity. If your beautiful paintings are piled in with a bunch of clutter it will diminish them in your eyes and the eyes of others. Marie Kondo the hell out of your studio and give yourself room to breathe and think. Get rid of old, ugly paintings, dry paint tubes, broken or useless brushes, old magazines, etc. Be ruthless.  Try to avoid letting family members use your studio as a place to store their excess possessions. If there’s anything in your creative space that depresses you or makes you feel anxious, get it out of there. 

Issue: Well crap, my studio is full of unsold paintings.

Hoo-boy, that one totally sucks. There are solutions, but none as good as actually selling the work. First, take a look at your work with a critical eye. If the painting is just so-so, take it out of the frame and store it that way. If it’s really an embarrassment (I have some of those), gesso over it and breathe a sigh of relief that no one will ever see it. If you can find a local restaurant, doctor’s office, or business who would like some art on loan, then you can place them where they will have visibility. Document the agreement and get a receipt for your pieces. Set a specific time frame for your art to be displayed. If all else fails, you can start foisting them off on relatives in the form of gifts. They’ll either be thrilled or appalled, but either way they’ll probably smile and be nice about it.

Issue: I can’t feel creative when I know how much I need to do around the house.

I’m so familiar with this one. Remember the old Peggy Lee song, where she sang that she could bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan, then wash up 44 pairs of socks and be ready to boogie by nine? Well, I ain’t that broad, and you probably aren’t either. 

Make a quiet and solemn agreement with yourself to be in your studio at a certain time each day. If you’re going through a time in your life when chaos reigns and it’s all you can do to get through the day, then I believe your Muse will not only understand, but will wait patiently and lovingly in the wings for the chance to be with you again at the easel. 

Issue: I get bummed when I go to my studio and can’t think of what to paint.

Have a comfortable chair in your studio. Make a cup of tea, put your feet up, and know that it happens to every artist. Flip through some art magazines or art books. Watch a YouTube painting demo. Light a candle. Play some music that has creative substance, nothing that is as familiar as an old pair of shoes. This “time out” is a gestational period.  Have total confidence that your creative juices will flow again soon, because they will. You can’t stop them, even if you tried. 

Issue: There are so many artists who are better than I am. Why would I need or deserve an art studio when I’m just mediocre?

First of all, don’t judge yourself. There are plenty of people out there who will be happy to do that for you.

Know that the cocktail of creativity, desire, time, repetition, and passion is a powerful one. When you have your own dedicated space, rituals, and consistent work habits, you WILL grow as an artist and your work will improve. When I look back on some of the paintings and illustrations I did 20 years ago, I cringe.

I would also suggest that you find some art books, magazines, and references that inspire you. Absorb them. Watch YouTube tutorials, artists’ biographies, and art history videos. There’s bucketloads of wonderful, inspiring content on YouTube and other sources. 

You don’t have to muster up a bunch of self-esteem that isn’t there yet, just trust the process and watch your progress over time for affirmation of your growth.

My studio has become an extension of myself. It holds my favorite toys (art supplies), the representations of hours and hours of time, care, devotion, frustration, victories, and losses. Along with the usual furnishings, my studio has an old sofa, a small espresso machine, an electric teakettle, and a jar of chocolate chips. I say good morning when I enter, and tell all my favorite things goodnight when I leave. My studio is a comforting constant in my life. No matter what is happening outside my studio, when I’m there I only have one job to do: CREATE!

Let Nancee and others know about your favorite studio tips, tricks, and stories. We all appreciate the quest for a place to add beauty to the world. Add your brilliant advice in the comments section.

And to see Nancee’s work and read more of her blog posts, visit

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