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In Episode 63... "How do I cope with burnout during my art collection release?" - Grace Lane-Smith

Grace Lane Smith is an artist, writer, and mental health advocate. The subject of her paintings has always been water, but most recently, the Atlantic Ocean. She is finding that life is manifesting a beautiful convergence of her visual art practice, her passion for supporting positive mental health and her love of writing.

Through her observance of the Atlantic Ocean, Grace has realized that the oceans go through changes, whether that be due to the the different seasons or the daily conditions. As humans, we also experience these same changes and a range of emotions.

Grace loves to get involved in new projects that she is passionate about but sometimes she feels burnout near the completion stage. Burnout can cause conflicting emotions, but Grace feels strongly that all emotions should have a place at the table. Through her experience supporting mental health, Grace has learned a few tools that have helped her deal with the negative emotions that come with burnout. She is passionate about spreading the message that burnout is common, and you don’t have to feel alone.

Listen in as I walk Grace through some ways to let go of the things that can wait and focus on what has to get done.

Key takeaways:

  • The more you fight burnout without downtime, the worse it can get. (00:05:14)

  • Simplify your to-do list by focusing on using the easy button. (00:16:07)

  • Decide what you need to make a priority. (00:24:50)

  • Make a plan that is flexible for you. (00:31:34)

  • Incorporate something that will help you enjoy carrying out the plan. (00:36:20)

  • Use what you are already fixated on to promote your art. (00:42:44)

Resources and links mentioned:

Learn more about selling your art:

  • For more practical and energetic strategies to create consistent income and life balance, follow Jessica on Instagram @artistmarketco
  • If you're looking for guidance on creating authentic, engaging content that truly resonates with your followers, you’ll love my new course. It’s called Find Your Voice on IG, and you can get it here.
  • For information on working with Jessica, send your questions/thoughts to jessica@theartistmarket.co

Read the Transcript for this episode

Jessica Craddock: Welcome back to Intuitive Art Sales. I'm here with Grace Lane Smith, who is an artist, writer, and mental health advocate. Her work recently has, and by recently, I mean, like the past two years has been exploring the Atlantic Ocean as a tool to explore how different emotions have a place at the table.

Her day job is being a digital communications specialist in mental health, which ties in very nicely. And she's finding this beautiful convergence in her life where her love of writing is combining with her visual art practice, as well as that mental health aspect. So it's kind of all coming together a little bit. I love it when that happens. I really feel like the more things you bring to the table is often very intimidating because it's like it feels segmented. But when you can start to find kind of that overarching theme about what you care about, and how you're exploring all of these different, let's call them mediums, within that, you start to create your own little beautiful niche. And I love that part! I love it when that happens soooo much. So, Grace.

Grace Lane-Smith: Hi.

Jessica Craddock: Hi. How are you doing today?

Grace Lane-Smith: I'm okay. happy to be here. Thanks for having me.

Jessica Craddock: I'm very happy to have you. So, You were telling me about how you are starting to write an e book about mental health as an opt in. And I think you were about to get to some questions that you had, and I cut you off because I was like, wait, wait, wait. We have to wait until I've done my introduction, and then you can ask me all the questions you want. So do you want to rewind just a bit? And... tell us a little bit about the e-book that you've been writing and then kind of where you're trying to go and what problems you're having.

Grace Lane-Smith: Yeah, so this e-book kind of grew into a much bigger project than I expected it to be. I was only going to, you know, do up a few pages as an opt in, but the more I wrote, the more, I had to say, I suppose, just from talking to different people. Not intentionally talking about burnout, but in casual conversations, hearing similar themes come up, you know, like not being able to rest because people didn't feel like they deserved it.

You know, feeling like and, not really diving too deeply into burnout because from what I gathered, it's not talked about very much. Like, we know it exists, but there's still a certain stigma around it. Like, why can't I pull it together? And  I know this pretty well myself too, so I'm not immune to it.

You know, just like hearing these common themes, people seemingly quite alone in their struggle with it. So, I've been through burnout quite a few times myself, and the most recent time, I didn't realize it was burnout. You'd think after experiencing it several times I would pick up on it, and it wasn't until somebody pointed it out that I realized they were right.

But it took months before I realized they were right. There was some resistance there. So, anyways, I just completed a podcast interview with somebody else who, a lot of what she has to say has to be around burnout. And so we talked a lot about that. It's Victoria Hines from the Empower Creative Podcast.

She's quite lovely. And she has a lot of very good actionable tips. So she asked for a freebie and I thought, “I don’t really have anything to offer”, I thought about it. Anyways, this project grew out of it and poured a bit of my heart into it and included some perspectives I hope are helpful and some actionable points for people to try.

Full disclaimer, I am not a professional, so take what you will from it. The whole point of this little book is so people can feel less alone and, you know, know that there are other people who are dealing with this as well. And if they can take a tool or two away from this e-book, then that's great. And if that doesn't work, then try a different tool, you know, there is stuff out there for you. It can feel very isolating.

Jessica Craddock: I don't think anyone is immune to burnout. I think you probably learn, like you said, tools to deal with it and get through it faster. And make it happen less often and maybe even make it less severe.

In my experience, I don't know that it ever completely goes away. I, myself, experience burnout or something that feels like burnout. I think about it more like my energy cycle just goes round and round. And at some point on that cycle is something that feels like burnout where I just don't want to do anything. And I want to sit there for a little bit and I want to binge watch some crappy TV for a couple days and not feel guilty about it.

Sometimes I'm able to do that. Sometimes I'm not. But it's hard to talk about it. It does feel like you're almost kind of letting yourself down a little bit, even though. I have learned it's just part of the process, and I have to go through some shape or form of it in order to go out the other side, over and over.

So that's fun, but I would love to read your e book when you're done with it.

[00:05:14] The more you fight burnout without downtime, the worse it can get.

Grace Lane-Smith: Great. do talk about energy cycles in the e book because, it is important to recognize when you're needing downtime because the more you fight it without downtime, usually the worse it gets.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah. And then we have this whole culture saying, do more, do more, hurry up, get it done.

Grace Lane-Smith: Yeah.

Yeah. There's a lot of self shame in there.

Jessica Craddock: Right. So you are writing this e-book as a tool to help people feel less alone. How does it relate back to your art? I know the answer, but I want to hear you say it. Yeah.

Grace Lane-Smith: So, you know, from working with you, I identified, really dug in deep to, what my art is about. And I've been painting the ocean, specifically the Atlantic Ocean, for seven years. And I was painting water before that, amongst other things, but specifically the Atlantic Ocean for the last seven years. And it keeps developing. Really asking why does this matter has been a really tough question because I could just paint it because it's pretty, but that's not really enough of motivation to keep going.

One of the things that you and I discovered together that's important to me is seeing the changes in the seasons and the changes in the days, how the ocean looks different, how that relates back to how, as people, we experience changes. We experience the highs and the lows as well, and that's okay, you're still you at the end of the day, if that makes sense.

And, you know, just generally the feedback to my art has been, oh, it's so peaceful. It's so calm. There's a little part of me that resists that a little bit because, yes, sometimes my work goes for that, but I don't feel peaceful and calm all the time. Yeah. You know, like, as humans, we have a whole gamut of emotions, and so, I feel like, the natural world shows us that as well. Like, it doesn't fit into this pretty little box. Like, sometimes it's stormy, and sometimes that's how I feel, you know. A lot of the time that's how I feel. Like, I feel conflicted. I feel confused. And I, I feel angry sometimes, and all emotions have a place at the table. You can't just say some emotions are acceptable, and the rest you put in a box and pretend they don't exist. Like that's a recipe for a disaster. You know, like that's, it will show up in other ways that's not necessarily healthy. So, I think in a way that's sort of what ties back to this book. Like right now it's just one part of the emotional experience. It's not the whole thing, course,

Jessica Craddock: I really love the phrase that you just said, which is, All emotions have a place at the table. I know that that's something that you've kind of realized lately is something that's important to you.

And I feel like you've really taken that and are running with it. And I really relate to that message. So, I just wanted to say, thank you for exploring that through your writing, through your art, so that people like me can experience it through someone else's eyes. I think it's great.

Grace Lane-Smith: Oh, thanks, Jessica.You know, I had a lot of support from you to dig down deep to figure that out. So, I am very thankful, too, for your insights and

Jessica Craddock: push. I'm so happy to do it. That is something that I adore and love. But back to you, like, this is a problem-solving podcast. So, I want to help you with something. Thank you. And it seemed like, perhaps, that thing might be, I've bitten off more than I can chew with this e book, even though I feel really passionate about it. How do I execute it? How do I bring it to reality? Is there a certain thing that you want to explore around that? Are we going the right direction?

Grace Lane-Smith: Yeah, let's explore.

Jessica Craddock: Okay, tell me what's happening.

Grace Lane-Smith: So, the e-book itself is almost complete. I have reached a point where the written material is all done. I just need to read over it, you know, one final edit, and get all the visuals and illustrations tucked away in there. Set it up, send it out, promote it, share it.

Mm hmm. I recently started breaking down my tasks into really tiny little tasks. Cool tiny little tasks. I discovered an app called the Todoist. You might have heard of it before.

Jessica Craddock: I have. I've used it.

Grace Lane-Smith: Yeah. And it's really been helpful in breaking things down into really tiny, tiny, tiny tasks. And I realized, okay, this is helpful. But also, all the other projects that I've volunteered myself for, they all have all these teeny tiny little hundreds of tasks. And I only have so much time. I only have so much energy. And to top it all off, December is off the table for me. I've completely committed to a family thing. And December is a huge time for artists to get their work out there.

And, you know, like it's a big time for sales. Right. I realized, Oh no, I. I'm overcommitted because I'm too excited. Yes. The irony was not lost on me. The irony has not been lost on me. But this tends to happen a lot where I get really excited about different projects and then I get paralyzed.

At the completion stage, because I hit a wall, you know, I hit a wall and I'm like, I have way too many things on the go and I want to do them all equally well. I've already taken some things off my plate. There's like an art course that I've had to say to the instructor, I will come back in January. I just can't do this justice right now. And a couple of other things that I had to take off my plate because I just can't do it all.

Jessica Craddock: So, what is left on your plate? E book, finalization, and promotion. What else?

Grace Lane-Smith: I have these little ocean paintings that I am completing and, putting it out there and I really, you know, accepted that there are parts of this whole collection that I won't be able to get around to finishing right now because everything just took longer than I had time for and energy for. That's okay.

Jessica Craddock: So where at, if we had to say the finish line is a hundred percent. Where are we in that collection creation percentage?

Grace Lane-Smith: The actual creation part, I'm pretty close. Like, I need to do some sanding, I need to do some assembling, but the actual painting part is good.

Jessica Craddock: 85?

Grace Lane-Smith: Yeah, but not large pieces. I don't have any large pieces to go with this.

Jessica Craddock: Are we okay with that?

Grace Lane-Smith: Yeah, I have to be, I don't have time.

Jessica Craddock: Great.

Grace Lane-Smith: I don't have energy. I don't have time. And I have another e-book it's more of a guide, rather than an e-book with designers. And I've said, honestly, let's release it in January because of the push for holiday sales, people's inboxes are going to be inundated, and I don't want it to get lost.

Jessica Craddock: So, it's more of a collaboration, more aligned people find you type of activity.

Grace Lane-Smith: Yeah. And it's just something fun that I want to do.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah. So what else is there anything, I mean, that's still a lot. Is there anything else?

Grace Lane-Smith: The promotion piece really intimidates me.

Jessica Craddock: Of the collection?

Grace Lane-Smith: Everything.

Jessica Craddock: Everything.

Grace Lane-Smith: Yeah, the, like, getting all the promotion parts done. I don't have time, like, December is coming up so that part kind of intimidates me.

Jessica Craddock: Today's November 8th, so we've got three weeks.

Grace Lane-Smith: Yay! Yes, this book has to go out next week.

Jessica Craddock: The e-book has to go out next week?

Grace Lane-Smith: Yes. I, yes.

Jessica Craddock: Tell me why. Why does it have to go out next week?

Grace Lane-Smith: Well, because my podcast interview goes out next week, if that timeline is still accurate. Well, I need to move along with the e book, the guide, the designer's guide. So, Am I more of a writer than an artist?

Jessica Craddock: Are you?

Grace Lane-Smith: This is a good question. I feel like I'm so in deep now.

[00:16:07] Simplify your to-do list by focusing on using the easy button.

Jessica Craddock: Okay.

Grace Lane-Smith: Again, the book is almost done. I just need to get the visuals figured out. And then create a webpage. Put it up. Do some writing for the webpage.

Jessica Craddock: Do you remember the momentum boosters?

Grace Lane-Smith: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: I mean, you don't have to, like, list them off, but you know what I'm referring to.

Grace Lane-Smith: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: Do you have a favorite?

Grace Lane-Smith: My favorite is probably the easy button.

Jessica Craddock: Okay, your mantra for the month, the whole month, is easy button.

Grace Lane-Smith: I think my mantra ever since I started working with you is the easy button, but I still tend to make things way too difficult.

Jessica Craddock: Right, which is why it is a mantra. We keep trying. It's like meditating. I'm going to sit down and meditate every day for five minutes. And about 30 seconds in my mind starts going doo doo doo, and I know the point of meditating is to notice that and bring my mind back. So, I have to keep reminding myself over and over. You don't have to be completely quiet. You just have to notice and bring it back. Notice. Does that mean I remember that every sin No. But I keep telling myself, bring it back, bring it back, bring it back. You're doing the same thing. Easy button, easy button, easy button.

I don't want to crap on your system because you just said it's really working for you. But I'm questioning if it's really working for you. Because you are taking on a big task, you're breaking it down into a million pieces. Thinking, how would I want this to look? I want to make it great. That means I need a webpage, I need a this, I need a that, I need to write this, I need to do that. And then you're writing all these tasks down, and then it feels very overwhelming to the point where... we're having trouble getting past that 85 percent completion mark.

So what if we keep going back to EasyButton, EasyButton, EasyButton? I don't have to write a whole webpage. I can put a signup form in my bio link, or on the front of my website. Or I can make a page, but I'm just gonna write a header, and I'm gonna connect it. And then down the line, we can perfect it when we have the space, and the time, and the energy, and the desire. And maybe we never have the time, or space, or energy, or desire to go back and make it 100%. But that's okay. If we can get it 70 percent of the way, where it's good enough. It's acceptable. I did it in the simplest way I could, check all the other tasks off for later. Just cross them off. Can we do that? Yeah.

Grace Lane-Smith: Talking me down so it feels less scary.

Jessica Craddock: Okay, so we've got e-book finalization and promotion. What if we also put off the promotion of it? That's not your top priority right now. Yeah, you want to get it out so that Victoria has something to share with her readers, but you're almost done with it.

You could even do it without visuals. And go back and add those later, but I'm not going to ask you to do that because you're an artist. That seems like too far of an ask. So we're going to add some pretty pictures in there, probably of your art, right?

Grace Lane-Smith: Yep.

Jessica Craddock: Okay.

Grace Lane-Smith: And graphics.

Jessica Craddock: And then we're going to mark that whole task done for now.

Grace Lane-Smith: I like the idea of promoting it later. This probably is in line with a bunch of other things that I need to promote, like, an artist guest takeover blog for my gallery. I have not really promoted that either because I just see this huge list of things I should be promoting in my head. And then I get paralyzed and pick something that feels a little bit more important to work on, like my book, because it's substantial.

Jessica Craddock: So, here's my proposal for you. We take all those promo y things that I need to promote, and January becomes... Here's all these cool things you can come get from me. And that is the focus of your January content, newsletters, social media, all the things.

Grace Lane-Smith: Okay.

Jessica Craddock: We're just going to throw those in a bucket over there.

Grace Lane-Smith: Okay. You don't think it's too random?

Jessica Craddock: It's a new year. I want to share. Here's a bunch of cool things. And maybe one week is one, one week is another, one week is the next.

Grace Lane-Smith: Okay. I like having that flexibility. I know you did a, a little reel recently about, what was it? I mean, you do lots of excellent reels. People should follow you. Follow Jessica.

Jessica Craddock: Ah, thanks.

Grace Lane-Smith: Those excellent reels. But this particular one was about treating your social media as sort of like an experiment and one post does not have to tell everything. I like that.

Jessica Craddock: I think it's a great mindset shift that I've been using for myself as well, and it's, it's just such a weight off. Instead of this post must do well because I want to sell this thing. Ugh... Okay, so back to... What we're looking at here, which is e book finalization, you've got about 15 percent more. I guessed that. I don't know if that's right. And promotion is off the table.

Grace Lane-Smith: That's a huge weight off.

Jessica Craddock: We're still going to do it. We're not putting it off. We're just sticking it into the monthly rotation. So, January is visibility, not invite all of these people into your space with these cool things? Right. Okay. So then ocean paintings, we're about 85 percent done with those.

So about half your time you're spending finalizing this e-book and making some beautiful artwork. Easy, breezy, flowy. Yes, no?

Grace Lane-Smith: Yeah, I should also be making headway with my designer guide too.

Jessica Craddock: Can we put that down? If you really need to make headway, I know you said December is off.

Grace Lane-Smith: Yes

Jessica Craddock: But December could be brainstorming, planning, using that as your Yeah, like

Grace Lane-Smith: I already have a big chunk of it done.

Jessica Craddock: Okay.

Grace Lane-Smith: Sorry to jump in.

Jessica Craddock: It's okay.

Grace Lane-Smith: I created a questionnaire for my collaborators, and one person has completely completed her section already, and I have questions for myself to address.

Jessica Craddock: Those people.

Grace Lane-Smith: I know. I love them.

Jessica Craddock: Who are they?

Grace Lane-Smith: I have questions for myself to address, so I just need to really like just to sit down and hammer it out, and then start assembling it together. And, you know, actually doing this book has been helpful in realizing all the little tasks to do. So, it's like almost a checklist for my next project.

Jessica Craddock: Like a standard operating procedure, which is my favorite thing.

Grace Lane-Smith: Exactly. Yes, So I just didn't want to come sit down in front of my computer in January and panic because I have not made sufficient headway.

[00:24:50] Decide what you need to make a priority.

Jessica Craddock: Okay, so I'm not saying take it completely off, but I am saying you just created this collection. It's almost done. You've got three weeks left to promote it, so in my mind that needs to be the priority.

Grace Lane-Smith: Yeah, you're absolutely right. It does need to be the priority.

Jessica Craddock: How can I help with that? You said promoting intimidates you.

Grace Lane-Smith: Yeah, like,

You know, in my day job, I am pretty good at scheduling things ahead of time. I know how all this stuff works, right? Consistency builds trust, and creating content. Like, I can do that. But when it comes to my own work, it's like this whole other ballgame.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah, it's more personal.

Grace Lane-Smith: I get really stuck. It is more personal, you know? Like, how come I just can't get it together? And I just hit a wall.

Jessica Craddock: Where are you gonna get stuck? I mean, I know that you know all the shoulds. But when you say I get stuck around promoting my work.

Is it a mindset stuck? Is it a strategy stuck? Like where's the stuck?

Grace Lane-Smith: There are a few things going on here. one is I just hit a wall sometimes. Like I sit down and I'm ready to work. I planned it out and I can't.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah.

Grace Lane-Smith: And it sounds scary admitting this on, on a live podcast, but

Jessica Craddock: I did that yesterday.

Grace Lane-Smith: You admitted something on a live podcast, is that what you're saying?

Jessica Craddock: No, I sat down to work and I couldn't.

Grace Lane-Smith: Okay, so you know what I'm talking about.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah.

Grace Lane-Smith: I've come to recognize this is probably just a brain thing. So, I'm way less hard on myself than before. The critical voices have significantly... I've been checked at the door since I realized this, and sometimes I can hyperfocus.

Jessica Craddock: Mm hmm.

Grace Lane-Smith: Not necessarily based on my schedule and not necessarily based on what I need to be hyper focusing at the time.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah.

Grace Lane-Smith: And, you know, I can spend an entire day panicking, paralyzed that I have all this stuff that I need to get done, feeling like I'm going to let people down because I can't follow through. And then, it’s late at night and finally I'm like, just get something done and I start working. But I'm exhausted because I spent the whole day being completely paralyzed.

Jessica Craddock: Mm hmm.

Grace Lane-Smith: So, I'm not sure how helpful this is, like, I feel you, in terms of talking to a business coach.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah.

Grace Lane-Smith: And this is probably something that I need to be talking to a medical professional about, but.

Jessica Craddock: Probably, but also.

Grace Lane-Smith: But also, it hinders me from completing an entire huge collection and getting it out there, like, this is a very real problem. So, you know, I have to dial back some of the things that I've expected. And write down, this is what will be done, and dial it back, but that, this is one area where I get stuck over and over again.

Jessica Craddock: So, I don't know if I can solve this whole problem.

Grace Lane-Smith: No, and I don't expect you to. It's not fair.

Jessica Craddock: I know you don't.

Grace Lane-Smith: It's not fair.

Jessica Craddock: But, what I can say is, let's try a tool to solve getting the ocean paintings promoted. I learned it yesterday.

Grace Lane-Smith: So now you can teach it.

Jessica Craddock: Exactly. And I used it yesterday, and I got my thing done that I was paralyzed all day to do. The thing was a grant for Southwest Colorado Small businesses.

Grace Lane-Smith: That's super cool.

Jessica Craddock: And I was like, why would you not apply for that? It's only a couple of questions, and I would just sit there.

So, what I did was I forgave myself for not doing the hour that I had blocked on my calendar for doing the grant. Because I could have just sat there. I could have really done that, and I did not. I scrolled Instagram on ADH, ADHD love instead. That's what I did. No joke. And guess what? They taught me something. It's, they do this thing called body doubling. Which I have never heard of before. Have you heard of it?

Grace Lane-Smith: Only when I was on their account. But I thought that was only in relation to their app about house chores.

Jessica Craddock: They do have an app about house chores with body doubling and I downloaded it.

But what I did was take that idea away, and when my husband got home, I went and sat down at the table and brought my computer. And I said, I need you to be in the room while I write this grant because I might need your help. And then I started writing. Having him there as like a physical support system, even though I didn't want him to talk to me, and I didn't want him to touch me, I just wanted him there. I got the whole thing done and sent it off last night.

Grace Lane-Smith: Good for you! I just want to take a second here to recognize how hard filling in forms can be, and you did it, and the more we stare at it, the harder it gets, and you did it, so good for you! I hope you're proud of yourself.

Jessica Craddock: I am proud! I got to check it off! That was one of my three big things to do for the week, and I did it. Well, like I said, I can't solve this whole problem. I do think that you should explore talking to someone about that. But do you have a plan for promotion yet? Have you written it down?

Grace Lane-Smith: Yeah, I wrote it down. It's not going to happen. I have a promotion plan for how many social posts, how many newsletters I need to write, all the different things I need to do. And I worked backwards from my last day of that. I can do this in 2023, which is I did write this down by week.

Jessica Craddock: Okay.

Grace Lane-Smith: It worked backwards, but I don't think I'll be able to do all of that. It might be a little bit more than what. Yes. I can actually do in real life.

Jessica Craddock: Let's be really honest and vulnerable on my side for a minute. I have made a hundred of those plans and they make me freaking paralyzed. I cannot execute that way. Just can't.

Grace Lane-Smith: Yeah. And we started with, you know, solid plans,.

Jessica Craddock: Right? They're great plans… so solid.

So, can we do two things. One we're gonna really implement the body doubling with your husband. Say, I must promote my paintings. I need you to be in the room with me, so I can do it. And see if that works for you. It might, it might not, but I have a feeling it might.

Grace Lane-Smith: I'm just going to write this down.

[00:31:34] Make a plan that is flexible for you.

Jessica Craddock: Yes, write it down. And then the second part of this is you're going to take that plan, that very well intentioned, very well structured, beautiful, solid plan. And you're going to throw it out the window.

Grace Lane-Smith: I think I have to.

Jessica Craddock: You have to. Okay, let's make a new plan. One that has structure, but flexible. Because I think you are very much like me, and if you are not inspired to do something, you can't do the hyper focus thing.

Grace Lane-Smith: Yes. This is something I do want to talk about. I don't know if we have time for it, but I do want to, like, pick your brain a little bit about that.

Jessica Craddock: Okay. Let's see if we have time. But first, what is the structure that we are creating? Let me ask you first off, what do you think has the most impact when you release a collection for you?

Grace Lane-Smith: What do you mean?

Jessica Craddock: What leads to the most sales?

Grace Lane-Smith: Well, it's not reliable. But, yeah, this is not a reliable,

Jessica Craddock: We're going to make it more reliable by exploring it more.

Grace Lane-Smith: Okay.

Jessica Craddock: So go ahead and just say it.

Grace Lane-Smith: I have some people who have connected to me as a person, like friends, and, into my writing. And just having seen the work over time, like they buy it, or through a magazine, you know, if my work has been in a magazine, or some other avenue, I tend to get a few sales there. I've also been thinking a lot about how I know in art price is only one factor. I absolutely know that. I've also been really sensitive to what, what some of the needs are from my audience whether they're on my mailing list or not and I know, like, I want to have something that everyone can, afford, you know?

Jessica Craddock: Yeah.

Grace Lane-Smith: Like, I know price is not the only thing, and I've talked, I have friends who are artists that sell things for 15k and up, and they're like, oh, Grace, like, you know, oh, you should be pricing this way, da da da da da, and I agree on an art level. But I also I'm sensitive to what my audience can do. And I know sometimes they make the big leap and they're like, I love this. I've been following it for over a year. I am going to go for that. But that's not always super consistent for me either.

And this is a really long way for me to answer your question in that I'm still figuring it out. And I've been selling art and promoting art for, I don't know, like nine years maybe? And part of me is like, why haven't I figured it out? What's my sweet spot, you know? But I'm still figuring it out.

Jessica Craddock: That's okay.

Grace Lane-Smith: It changes.

Jessica Craddock: Can we normalize that figuring it out is a Process.

Grace Lane-Smith: Yeah, I've learned that figuring it out is as much learning how to do the thing you know like working Instagram Setting up your website all that stuff It's as much that as it is It's understanding how you operate as a person.

Jessica Craddock: Mm hmm. And... It's both.

Grace Lane-Smith: Yeah. Like, these energy walls that I hit, for example, like, beating myself up over it makes it worse, so I might as well lean into it instead of working against it.

Jessica Craddock: Okay, so I asked you... What has worked the best for you so far in terms of sales? Magazines, people I know, time were the answers that I heard.

Grace Lane-Smith: Yeah, I think time is probably a big one.

[00:36:20] Incorporate something that will help you enjoy carrying out the plan.

Jessica Craddock: So, I'm going to ask you a different question now, which is when you have promoted work in the past, has there been anything you enjoyed?

Grace Lane-Smith: To be honest, usually by the time I get to promoting, I'm so exhausted.

Jessica Craddock: Are you exhausted now?

Grace Lane-Smith: I'm pretty tired because I run, like you, I think, I run really hard on inspiration.

Jessica Craddock: Okay. So, what I wrote down for What's Worked... magazine, people I know, Time, what I've written down for What's Worked To Enjoy It was just simply inspiration.

Grace Lane-Smith: Yeah. You know what? You're probably right. I made it too difficult. I did not factor time in. I did not factor in inspiration, but those are key.

Jessica Craddock: They're kind of like The Key.

Grace Lane-Smith: Yeah. For you too?

Jessica Craddock: For me to be able to do something big, no, I take that back. The big things that I choose are based on inspiration. I do put some structure it like around that. Like what do I want to do to get in front of more people right now? What do I want to do to nurture more? But I let inspiration kind of be that guide inside of the structure.

If we're thinking about the things that need to happen inside of this promotion. We could say next week, this, the week after that, this, the week after that, this, like this is the focus. This is where I want to find inspiration in, and then I'm going to let myself go and go do those things.

Grace Lane-Smith: So, it's like a game.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah. Kind of like a game. What needs to happen for you to better promote your collection? I'm not really talking about tasks. I'm talking about... Hmm. Actually, let me just do it with you. People need to know that you're releasing a collection. Right?

Grace Lane-Smith: I think people sort of already know.

Jessica Craddock: But do they, really?

Grace Lane-Smith: Probably not.

Jessica Craddock: Probably not. We're always going to assume they don't know, even if we've been talking about it for six months.

Grace Lane-Smith: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: Are you doing like, it drops on this day?

Grace Lane-Smith: No.

Jessica Craddock: When is it for sale?

Grace Lane-Smith: This month.

Jessica Craddock: The correct answer is now. It's for sale now!

So, what I'm writing is November 8th is today. So, we're actually backing it up a couple of days. November 8th through 18th, finishing is the theme and the purpose.

Grace Lane-Smith: Okay.

Jessica Craddock: Finishing, meaning I'm sanding. I'm hanging. I'm telling people I'm finishing. I'm telling people I'm sanding. I am finding ways to share that feel fun for me right now.

Grace Lane-Smith: Okay, I can do that. I actually have recorded maybe 50 videos, a little close.

Jessica Craddock: What? And I just have so you have so much.

Yeah. That's okay. We're going to pull from those because we've already, we've got, we've got support. Like, we're not starting from scratch. So far, our structure includes finishing. Then we have November 19th through 25th. And then you said, actually let's just scratch that because then there's only like five more days and you said you're ending a couple days early. So, what's the last day you want to ship anything out?

Grace Lane-Smith: I am really flexible with this. I'm okay to ship stuff out in January. People might not be okay with that, but I'm okay with shipping stuff in January.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah, so our purpose of November 19th through 29th is it's available and shop closes 29th.

Grace Lane-Smith: Okay. Yeah, like, I just feel like I can't compete with Black Friday and holiday sales since I lose a month. So, I'm okay doing some of this promotion in January as well.

Jessica Craddock: All right. So, with the exception of November 24th, our structure is talk about finishing and talk about available work. Now the thing that most people do when they're doing sales content is it's just, this is available. I want you to go beyond that and say, how can I make this fun for me? So, it's not just an informative thing.

Maybe that means you're scrolling through other reels and you find one you like and copy it every day. You see if you can recreate it and put your art in there somehow. I don't know, that's just the first thing that popped in my head. But like, what does Grace want to do? Maybe she wants to do a lot of writing.

Maybe that means... We're not doing so many reels. We're doing lots of newsletters because I have some things I want to say about the holidays and burnout and also here's some art and it's for sale

Grace Lane-Smith: That might be more doable. Yeah, I think there is a lot around the this is what's for sale and shop closes because there's that time sensitivity piece. Mm hmm. I don't think I can really use that.

Jessica Craddock: I do think that it's important to inform them of that. I would at least, as a very minimum, like just make whatever content you're gonna make and then put a, a little white, let's say you're making a reel. Put a little white bar on the bottom that's not even that big. And say, art shop closes November, whatever. But that doesn't have to be what it's about.

We're just throwing that in there as a FYI.

Grace Lane-Smith: Okay. Yeah, I like that. I think people need to know that too. That's a really easy way to do it.

[00:42:44] Use what you are already fixated on to promote your art.

Jessica Craddock: Last thing I want to say, the e-book, the mental health, like that is the first thing that you came in talking about. So, if we can just take what we're already fixated on and use it to promote our art instead of coming up with a whole other thing to fixate on and then jump back and forth between the two, I think it's gonna be easy.

Grace Lane-Smith: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: And launch with inspiration.

Grace Lane-Smith: You know what? I'm gonna write that in big letters.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah. Alright, so Grace, where do people find you and your freebie, which will be out by the time this podcast releases.

Grace Lane-Smith: So my website is www.gracelanesmithart.com and that's G R A C E L A N E S M I T H, art.

Jessica Craddock: Okay, let's do Instagram too.

Grace Lane-Smith: Gracelanesmithart. It's that simple. Same thing. I like DMs and I like emails. So, message me for that personal touch, and if something resonates, let's get in touch.

Jessica Craddock: Perfect.

Grace Lane-Smith: You're really good at solving those not typical problems, so I appreciate that.

Jessica Craddock: Well, thank you. I like the conversation and seeing where it goes and pulling out the problems. So… now we're going to plug. Even if you don't know what you want to talk about, you should apply to be on my podcast because I want to help you. So go apply!

Grace Lane-Smith: Yeah. Thanks so much, Jessica. I appreciate it.

Jessica Craddock: You're welcome.

Grace Lane-Smith: Bye.

Jessica Craddock: Bye.


More about Intuitive Art Sales

This is the show where I, Jessica Craddock, am going to teach you how to source your art marketing from within. You're going to practice claiming that authentic art business that you want and leaning into the most natural way for you to get there. You're going to learn to get connected to your intuition, your confidence and your community, so that you can sell your art consistently while holding strong boundaries on your work life balance.

Most of my episodes are full of interviews with your peers. In these and all episodes moving forward, I explore what each artist wants and give them the next steps to get there. You can take their struggles and their challenges and learn how to navigate your own and create actionable steps towards creating more art sales, more consistently at higher prices than you've ever sold before.

Just a note to our long-time listeners: We're doing away with our "Seasons", but you can still find this designation abbreviated at the end of the show titles for Seasons 1 & 2. From now on episodes will be numbered chronologically at the end of the title as well as in the episode description.

You can find all the episodes here.

About the Author

Jessica Craddock

I mentor intuitive visual artists who are sick of one-size-fits all formulas sell more work, more consistently, at higher prices — with better work/life balance. My clients regularly make 3x more in art sales within a year.

Using my signature Consistent Income method, we’ll push you over the precipice of some really amazing growth so you can become the creator of your next chapter.

My secret sauce is that we focus on not just the "doing", but also the "being". Affirmations, trusting yourself, knowing when to go slow and when to go fast, practicing getting out of your comfort zone and making room for the feelings that go with that... all this is equally as important as the action steps.

For once, you'll be ahead of the game and understand what's right for you.

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