MATTOON — Full-time studio artist Deborah Fell says marketing in the 21st century is really an exciting endeavor, but many things have changed in the last 10 years.
For that reason, the Mattoon Arts Council (MAC) has invited Fell to share her suggestions during a workshop titled “The Business Aspect of Art.”
“It’s a giant, scary world, but there’s a lot you can do to market your work and help your art business take place,” Fell said by phone Monday.
She learned some of her marketing tools from colleagues but most by trial and error with her art quilt business.
“I’ve decided it’s good to share what I’ve picked up along the way — that’s the wonderful part of the art community: Everyone is willing to share,” Fell said.
The workshop will open with a discussion on the importance of setting goals, Fell said. If an artist wants to become famous, he or she would have a different marketing plan than an artist looking to earn a salary to support his or her family, she said.
Fell will highlight artists’ common mistakes, including pricing.
“It’s important that they can articulate clearly their specific pricing formula,” she said.
As an artist, Fell is able to give an estimate of how much a quilt would cost per square foot, for example.
“Then people realize it’s really not as expensive as they thought,” she said. “There are a lot of different salaries in this economy.”
Fell said an important note is for artists to have the confidence to identify themselves as artists. Along with marketing in the 21st century comes navigating websites and all the Internet has to offer, and artists need to have the ability to photograph their work so it shows nicely online.
“I think this is something that will be beneficial to those who are trying to break into the business world with their work,” MAC Chairman Justin Grady said. “It isn’t about quilting; this is for any artists who are looking for information about networking and the business side of art — how to brand your name as an artist.”
Fell said her workshop, which she has presented a number of times, serves as an introduction to marketing and networking methods.
“This isn’t a ‘let’s make art and have fun’ workshop, but hopefully I give them some tangible tools they can take away and apply to their own plans,” she said.
The workshop costs $50 and is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 23 at the Mattoon Area Family Y, 221 N. 16 St. Lunch is provided. Limited seating is available; those interested should contact Grady at 217-254-7011 or email mattoonartscouncil@ gmail.com for more information.
Fell taught art at Urbana High School for more than 30 years before retiring in 2011 to become a full-time artist. She says the workshop has allowed her to share her love for teaching while still being a full-time artist.
“It’s always been my dream to combine both worlds.”
Fell creates art quilts and says her work isn’t created to drape over the bed, but she paints and dyes the fabric to hang on the wall.
“I’m pretty much a painter, but I work with quilts — it’s not quite as traditional.”
She says that working as an artist and marketing herself in the correct way has opened many doors. A quilt of hers titled “Hope” is featured at Carle Clinic Cancer Center in Urbana and a quilt named “Tuesday’s Children: Does God Have Enough Hands?” hangs at the former Ground Zero Headquarters at Trinity St. Paul’s Chapel in Manhattan.
For more information about her work, visit www.deborahfell.com.
Contact Zyskowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-238-6869.