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In Episode 69... 

SaraMarie Bottaro is a painter from Boston. She's an artist who is working with themes of divination in the ancient Mediterranean using mixed media and culturally relevant symbols to illustrate some of the stories and traditions of that culture. About a year and a half ago, she took a job as a technical writer in Boston, which is a great hub for that type of artwork. She works full time and loves her day job, but she also loves to create her art. 

SaraMarie knows that her art has come a long way in the past year, and she is excited to take it even further. She has plans to travel more and conduct more research on the stories she is passionate about sharing through her paintings. But there are so many other things on her list like getting her work in front of a larger audience, sharing her work online, and figuring out how to nurture the connections she’s already made. She knows it is all important to helping her business grow. 

Like many artists, SaraMarie has many questions and is uncertain how to bring it all together. What tasks should take top priority right now, and where should she be spending her time? Should she be making bigger work, or should she be focusing on taking commissions? How does she tell the in-depth stories behind her art without being too wordy? It seems all too daunting of a task to combine her goals, the opportunities she already has in front of her, and the things that she wants to explore more to create a marketing plan that works for her business.  

Listen in as I walk SaraMarie through some important questions that help her discover what she needs to be focusing on first and how to add in other things as she moves forward. 

Key takeaways:  

  • When trying to decide what step to take next, start by identifying your number one goal. (00:08:32) 

  • Use your goals to create your marketing strategy. (00:13:35) 

  • You can limit commissions to a theme of your choosing. (00:19:22) 

  • Sell your work in ways that appeal to you. (00:25:31) 

  • Sharing your work in progress is a great way to make content easier for your audience to digest. (00:31:10) 

  • Long form content can be repurposed in multiple ways. (00:35:27) 

  • When nurturing your list, be personal and intentional, focusing on one person at a time. (00:40:06) 

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
  • Apply to Be a Guest on Intuitive Art Sales here
  • Apply for my mentorship program, Consistent Income 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. In this episode, I am talking to SaraMarie Bottaro. She's an artist who is working with themes of divination in the ancient Mediterranean using mixed media and culturally relevant symbols to some of the stories and traditions of that culture.

About a year and a half ago, she took a job as a technical writer in Boston, which is a great hub for that type of artwork. And in this episode, her burning question was what is my top priority? I don't have a whole lot of information to go off of on where's the best place to be spending my time.

So, what we did first was to look at what her main goal is. Is it to sell art? Is it something else? So that we could really figure out what priorities should be in place inside of the limited amount of time she has with a full day job.

The second thing we did, similar to what I do with my students in Consistent Income, is we looked at the next couple of months and how do we make sure that we are checking all the boxes? How are we getting in front of more people? How are we nurturing? How are we selling? What type of art are we making?

What type of content are we making so that everything starts to work together and feels like a cohesive plan, which is something that I know a lot of artists struggle with.

How do we bring it all together with our goals, the opportunities we already have in front of us. The things that we want to explore more so that we can create a marketing plan that works for us. So, with that, let's get into it.

<< PODCAST INTRO MUSIC >>

Jessica Craddock: Welcome back to Intuitive Art Sales. I'm here with the beautiful sarah Marie Bottaro. And, um, normally what I do on these sessions is just say, let's start, but Sarah Marie came with questions, so we're gonna do our best to try to answer as many of them as we can in a way that makes sense for you to kind of go through this journey with us.

So Sarah Marie, let's start with what's happening in your life, your life, your art practice, your art business. We can get a little bit of context going to answer some of these questions that you had.

SaraMarie Bottaro: All right. So a year and a half ago, I entered the tech sector for the first time and I'm a technical writer at a software company now. So I have a full-time job that is demanding a lot from me, and I am still maintaining a studio practice in the meantime. And the job has given me the ability to also invest in my art more.

And I traveled to Sicily last summer, which really let me meet wonderful people and learn a lot about the cultural practices there. And, part of the stories that I was learning about before and really got to step into and become more embodied in through that experience.

Jessica Craddock: Am I remembering correctly? You moved to Boston.

SaraMarie Bottaro: I did, yes.

Jessica Craddock: So explain why Sicily? why are we talking about Sicily?

SaraMarie Bottaro: Okay. I decided a few years ago that I wanted to dive into my heritage as a way of deepening my art practice and making really meaningful work. And I'm kind of a mix of a lot of things I decided I would start with Sicily because I thought I'll just pick one. And Sicily is itself a melting pot and I have picked a very difficult subject matter that I'm really enjoying. And thankfully I'm regionally really well suited to be diving into that interest. There's a large Italian American community in the Northeast, and there are a lot of people in Boston. And the Sicilian side of my family is in Connecticut, so I am available to the cultural happenings.

Jessica Craddock: That's amazing.

SaraMarie Bottaro: yeah,

really happy to be here.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah. I'm trying to think back. I remember when you got that job and you were so excited,

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: Are you loving it?

SaraMarie Bottaro: I am.

Jessica Craddock: I mean, you just said was hard, but also the title of the job itself sounds very difficult, but I think it suits your personality, which is also why choosing the hardest piece of your heritage to go to first works for you.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah. It's a theme.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah, it's cool. I like it. Self-growth and all that,

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah. Yeah. Expanding the comfort zone.

Jessica Craddock: Right. The first thing that you asked me before we hit record was, I think my, my real top priority is knowing, what are my next steps? What are the things that I should be doing first? And you mentioned some things about should I be making bigger work, should I be taking commissions? And a couple other things. I'm gonna let you take the reins for a second. Go a little bit deeper on that. What are you thinking about? Why are you not sure where to go? And then we'll there.

SaraMarie Bottaro: At the beginning of this year, I completed a couple of commissions for a coworker that really deepened my art practice in a huge way. I had to solve problems in the works and convey things conceptually in a way that I had never really been able to before. And I deepened into the use of my mediums and it felt really good. And I felt like my work had more breadth and that I had more command of my art. And so that's something that I'm really excited about and that is motivating me to feel able to kind of expand. And I've sold a couple of pieces from my last series that were similarly large works and that were really well received.

Jessica Craddock: That makes me so happy for you.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Thank you.

Jessica Craddock: I think it was a couple of years ago, maybe three years ago, that I first met you, and you were kind of struggling to put it out there at all. So the fact that you have made this much progress in the past year and a half makes me super happy to hear. So, commissions, what else? What are the other things that are swirling around in the brain that are keeping you from moving forward because you don't know which one to pick.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Well, I feel a bit of a block with Instagram right now. Uh, it's hard for me to want to show up in the short form and then when I write a lot, I feel like I'm just going on and on, and I'm using too many words and words that are too big and that rely on previous understanding of all these stories that I'm halfway in the middle of and all this, and

Jessica Craddock: You're a technical writer.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah, I'm like, that needs to get chopped down. This is about clarity, like I want to actually communicate with people and not just throw around art terms or art philosophy speak that I was trained in in art school.

Jessica Craddock: Right.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Also, through visiting Sicily, I really had the realization that I wanted my work to come from a more embodied place and not to over intellectualize the experiential things that I'm trying to convey. 

[00:08:31] When trying to decide what step to take next, start by identifying your number one goal?

Jessica Craddock: Let's take a pause there for a minute and I wanna ask, what's your number one goal? And clarify that question just a little bit by saying, most people would say, duh, Jessica, it's to sell my art. But maybe that really is your number one goal. I need to bring in some money from my art. Maybe it's, I really wanna create a series that helps me explore this kind of new direction that I'm going a little bit further and talk about it and, you know, promote it as I'm putting it out. Maybe it's, I wanna really strengthen my community of people and that's my number one priority. Can you tell me what your number one priority is?

SaraMarie Bottaro: I want to really live these stories through making work about them. It's about giving the stories a place to exist in the world, and continuing the long tail of tradition that has come before me, but also bringing them into the contemporary and alchemizing them through my own lived experience. And I think that will lead to people being excited about them and lead to sales.

But what's most important to me is, is investing in that and letting the work live. And what happens in my one-on-one interactions is that I just wanna inspire people to make art. And I think. You know, walking the walk is hugely important to me in that 'cause the people that I get to bother about making their own work are always inspired when I'm making mine. And so I want to continue to be a part of that and I hope to collaborate with people more and more. I have separate projects where I do zines and collaborate with an incarcerated poet. And I have a lot of fun with that, and that's really deeply meaningful to me. And I'd like to eventually be able to collaborate in my mixed media work as well.

Jessica Craddock: In the actual production of the work? Is that what you mean? More marketing of it, the artwork making side of it?

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah, I'd really like to try that. And I think it's a process that would lend itself to it because there are a lot of layers and a lot of pieces and a lot of different mediums being used. So even if someone was really, really expert in watercolor, let's say, but not a acrylic like that could be part of a large piece that we work on together.

I.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah, very fun. I have so many notes I almost can't even see through them yet.

Okay. So you said your number one goal is to live the stories, to give them a place to exist, to continue the traditions, was that the word you used?

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yes.

Jessica Craddock: Traditions and also modernize them. So, really deeply rooting into that heritage and bringing them for them to not die, for people to still see that they exist, to understand them, and to wanna adopt them for themselves in some way, shape, or form. That's the way that I understand what you said.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yes, and I think this does include cultural traditions, but in it, the biggest way is including stories for Hmm.

Jessica Craddock: Okay. Well, maybe the stories, correct me if I'm wrong, but are the stories the way that you help them understand the original. Cultural traditions and that's how they are modernized or no?

SaraMarie Bottaro: I think I don't understand enough about the cultural traditions as they exist now in Sicily to really have an eye to that or be able to lend much to that piece of it. But in learning about the ancient stories and then the newer stories and, as that goes along, I'm seeing that they are repeated because they're instructions for life and for living well. And

Jessica Craddock: Ah.

SaraMarie Bottaro: bringing them into the present, it's like, let's think about this again. Let's think about how we need the earth, about how the divine feminine is maybe an underworld goddess and is about composting. That death becomes life and that the dark is not to be something to be afraid of.

Jessica Craddock: That's so fascinating. I love it. Let's do it. Okay. We talked about commissions. We talked about having an Instagram block. We talked about possibly long form, but currently the way that you are experiencing long form is that it's coming across as too high level. You wanna from a more embodied place.

Some of the things you said before were I really want to leverage some opportunities that are coming to me. I wanna do better outreach with communicating consistently. 

[00:13:34] Use your goals to create your marketing strategy.

Jessica Craddock: The way that I like to break it down is to one, look at what, what are you trying to do? What are you trying to accomplish? Who are you? And then if we're looking at how do we market our art, telling these stories, sharing instructions for life, inspiring people, et cetera, how does that become our marketing? How do we check all of the boxes so that we know we're giving our art the best chance to find its people, to connect with people and to find its new homes.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yes.

Jessica Craddock: Okay, so let's, let's do that.

Thinking about, and I honestly, I just kind of did this in my last episode a little bit, so I was a little bit hesitant to go here. But my brain will not work any other way this week. This is all it, so let's go. All right, so we are thinking about, the way that I see it is visibility, nurture, sales.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: Also life. We're gonna throw some more into the mix here, art and, if possible, how do we also have something that, I call them invitations, that we can interact with people through our art, our message, et cetera. Okay, so we've got all these categories. Life, art, visibility, nurture, sales, invitations. Let's start with January, February, March.

I don't know if we can get through all this or not. And if we do, we won't get to any of your other questions, but I kind of wanna try if you're down. think it would be really useful for you and for other people to help kinda see how to break all this down to figure out what their next steps are.

So as far as January, February, March goes, when we're thinking about life events, is anything happening outside the ordinary that's going to mean I don't have as much time.

SaraMarie Bottaro: I am vaguely traveling in March to San Diego to go home. Just to have a break from New England Winter.

Jessica Craddock: Okay, so that's in March. Is that like a weekend or like three weeks? Like what's on that?

SaraMarie Bottaro: it's like working remotely for a couple days and taking a couple days off. So basically one week. So not too crazy.

Jessica Craddock: So then we've got art, and you shared with me that you are evolving away a little bit from the acrylic, more towards a representational mixed media, I think the word that you used. So in the coming months, January, February, March, where are you excited to be focusing your art practice? You also mentioned commissions. You also mentioned collaborative work with other artists. What do you wanna do? When do you wanna do it? How much time is it gonna take?

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah. Okay. Collaborations with other artists are big dream, planting the seed for probably longer term than Q1. I do have a series that I would like to complete. It's just a three piece thing that I'd like to, I guess actually I'd like to frame it as a triptych when it's done, so maybe it's just one piece. But it's about a protection symbol in Sicily, and I have a related larger work that's about the same thing that uses some of the same subject matter that is like halfway done.

Jessica Craddock: We're, kind of starting to form a collection maybe, maybe purposefully, maybe not.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah, it's kind of an expansion of the Statte Bona Statte Forte collection that I did a couple years ago, that I've just kind of continued working in that vein since then. I think that would be good. And those are things that are started that just need to be finished.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah. So then I'm gonna say maybe to correct me if I'm wrong, but you could be done with those in January, or is that too short of a timeframe?

SaraMarie Bottaro: No, that sounds totally doable. Yes.

Jessica Craddock: So then after that, and I wanna clarify real quick and say we can change,

SaraMarie Bottaro: Great.

Jessica Craddock: But we're making a, a guideline. So in February and March, if we are now done with these three to four pieces that we wanna finish, are we continuing that theme? We just continuing down that road making more no?

SaraMarie Bottaro: Knowing myself, I'll probably be ready for a different color palette 'cause all of those are very red and black, which I love. But I'll probably wanna switch back into blue and do something that's more under watery by that time.

Jessica Craddock: Do you think that the, besides the color switching, is there still enough in common that it could be the same collection?

SaraMarie Bottaro: I think so. I am working on themes of protection and there's just no shortage. It just goes forever. It's something really means a lot to people and has meant a lot to people forever. So we have a lot of stories about it.

Jessica Craddock: Shall we? Tell me if you disagree. Shall we just say we are going to stick with the theme in a similar style, whether or not it's red or blue through March?

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yes.

[00:19:22] You can limit commissions to a theme of your choosing.

Jessica Craddock: Yes. Okay. And then you also mentioned collaborations and how you felt like it deepened your practice. Are you open during that time to also accepting collaborations with the themes of protection this new mix media style that you are going towards or no?

SaraMarie Bottaro: Commissions with a theme. Wow. I hadn't even thought of that before. But yes, I think if I got to be working on that theme that I like, I would love that, and I think that would take me further.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah, so a lot of artists will struggle with the idea of commissions because they think it means they just have to paint whatever people want them to paint. But if we can be really specific, when people give us these requests, be like, well, right now, here's what I'm focusing on. If you want something like that, I would be happy to do a commission for you. If not, let's base again in April and see if that might be something that I'm open to. And by touch base, I mean you write down their contact information, and you touch base.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yes.

Jessica Craddock: Next, visibility. You mentioned there were some different opportunities happening. Tell me a little bit about that.

SaraMarie Bottaro: So, someone that I've met in the past year through different classes about Sicilian folk practices tagged me in a post about an Italian American gift guide that was being put together by a couple of lovely people.

And they said, you should apply. And I did, and I'm in it now. And I I knew that it was gonna come out. Yeah, I'm really excited about it and there are some really, really cool people in it. So that's also really awesome. Many of whom I already followed and I'm like big fans of, so that's cool. But I don't know what to do with that really. I

made a bit of an attempt to, I reorganized my website a bit. I tried to pay attention to the user experience of if someone actually clicks on the link in my bio and you know, made sure that.

Jessica Craddock: make sure everything works. And in this guide, I assume it said here's Sarah Marie's website, and that was kind of that. So when they go to your website, is there any way to possibly capture them? Like are you sending them to an email list? Are you saying follow me on Instagram and say Hi? Is there anything like that right off the bat, like tippy top?

SaraMarie Bottaro: On the shop page itself, I'm not sure. I have a newsletter sidebar. I have a link to my Instagram on the top banner, so that's always there. On the blog page, the sidebar is broken up by email newsletter, and then right after that, it's like a little mini feed from Instagram and like a follow button. But I don't think that happens on the shop

Jessica Craddock: honestly pretty hidden if we're thinking about it.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: number one, go change that today.

SaraMarie Bottaro: I can do that.

Jessica Craddock: You said, what's top priority and I wrote capital letters. That's, that's number one. We're gonna that so that it's very clear when they go to the page, if they don't want to forget about you immediately, where do they, what do they do?

SaraMarie Bottaro: Right.

Jessica Craddock: Okay, so then that was something that has already happened. Is there any possible things coming up, anything you're trying to be a part of or that someone said, Hey, let's do something sometime. Or I'd like to apply for a show or anything in terms of getting your artwork in front of more people that I should know about.

SaraMarie Bottaro: No, not at the moment. There was just an art sale at my alma mater, like at my art school in Boston. And I participated in that, and that was cool. And I sold some work, and that has now passed.

<< COMMERCIAL BREAK >>

All right. I want to take a quick pause here because I have a freebie that if you're listening to this episode still, I think you will find very valuable. It's called The Artist's Day, and inside you are going to find a 20-minute video and a worksheet that help you understand how to break down the time that you have. If I have 20 hours a week, how should I be spending that? And how can I use it very purposefully?

So, it's a little bit different than what we are doing with SaraMarie here, but they kind of go hand in hand. So, if that's something that you struggled with, just starting your day at full-speed, not really with a plan or intention behind it, and just doing whatever is calling out urgent, urgent to you, this is going to be a great resource for you. If you want it, you can go grab it in the show notes, and we will get back to SaraMarie.

<< END OF COMMERCIAL BREAK >>

Jessica Craddock: So moving forward, if our main goal is living the stories, giving them a place to exist, continuing traditions, modernizing them, sharing instructions for life, sharing stories, when we think about that, where would you like to be more visible? In your life, in your city, on the internet, it doesn't really matter. I just wanna know if you have anything that comes to mind when I say that.

SaraMarie Bottaro: I wanna go to more in-person events. I really wanna take advantage of my location, my physical location,

Jessica Craddock: You a great one.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah, and there are so many incredible Italian American artists in Boston doing really subject matter wise, similar stuff to what I'm doing. And I've been to events that they've put on, but I should be showing up to every single one. 

[00:25:30] Sell your work in ways that appeal to you.

Jessica Craddock: Okay. So in terms of selling, are there any particular ways of selling that are of interest to you?

SaraMarie Bottaro: I've just contacted someone in Rhode Island that makes really beautiful prints. And I haven't really been happy with having prints made of my work before or me trying to make prints of my work. I just get really perfectionisty about the quality, but I know this. Lady does an amazing job and oh my gosh, I just remembered an opportunity that I should have

Jessica Craddock: Okay. Tell me.

SaraMarie Bottaro: mentioned before. So I have a piece that I framed for, last year's art school art sale that did not sell. And at first I was thinking, I should try to sell that piece in the holiday season. And then I saw that the group that I travel to Sicily with is raising money for scholarship, a spot for next year's trips, and I was like, that's what I want to do with that piece.

And I asked if I could donate the piece for an art auction instead. And they, were really excited about that. And now they're going to run an art auction with me and a few other artists to raise money for scholarships.

Jessica Craddock: cool. When is that?

SaraMarie Bottaro: Um, I, they're getting it together now, but probably January or February it will launch.

Jessica Craddock: Okay, I'm going to write February.

SaraMarie Bottaro: yeah.

Jessica Craddock: art auction. And then in terms of sales, you started to talk about prints and how you'd somebody and you weren't quite happy with it. I wanna ask it a different way. I am not necessarily asking about what do you want to sell at this very moment in time? I'm asking if there is a way that you would like to present your art to the world and say, this is for sale. I don't know if that makes sense or not. So if it doesn't ask questions, ready to go.

SaraMarie Bottaro: I have found in the past that selling originals is really important to me. I feel like there's something about spending time with that work physically that's part of what I'm trying to do, especially with the protection pieces. It's like there's all this intention and. Sincere wishes for protection in your life, and I am mailing it to you.

And this is a thing that has been with me and my studio that I've cared for and been with, and now it is with you.

Jessica Craddock: Right.

SaraMarie Bottaro: And that ritual part of it is important to me. So I want make and sell more originals.

Jessica Craddock: And how do you want to help them find your, and I, I know, I'm like, I'm digging here 'cause I, I don't think I'm asking the right question, but do you help them find the original to buy? Is there any way that you would like to present it?

Let me give you some examples. Some artists do collection launches online. Some artists like to have a, a period of a week or two where they send out more emails saying, Hey, this collection is available and you can buy it. Some artists will say, I wanna be in markets or festivals, or I wanna host a solo show, or I want to get into galleries. Or on and on and on and on. Any of those spark any interest?

SaraMarie Bottaro: There are definitely exhibition opportunities. There are galleries that accept proposals and territorial things from

Jessica Craddock: that what you wanna do? I feel resistance.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah, it's a lot of framing and it's a lot of install. And I've like done that before, but maybe it's time to try again too, because it's been a long time and the last time I did one, I wasn't working in something that I had committed to for so long. And that I had a body of work in, and that I feel like I could talk about.

Jessica Craddock: I wanna reflect back to you real quick because you said I don't really have enough data. I don't have enough information to see what works and what I should do and what I shouldn't do. But you told me that I was in a group show for my alma mater and I sold a couple of pieces. If we're thinking about how have we sold work in the past and we're, really kind of craving that data to see what to do, that is a piece of information that you can glean some data from.

So what would I glean from that? They were part of your community.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yep. There were people who wanted to support student scholarships at my alma mater and support working artists or, or artists affiliated in some way with the school. Over the past three years, I've been submitting different pieces to the show, and all three years I've sold one of the mixed media pieces, at least one.

Jessica Craddock: So there's some data. So we know that they were part of your community and we know that mixed media is a positive thing for you. respond well to it. Which is also aligned with what do you want to make and when all those things come together, woo-hoo. So in-person, group sales, uh, maybe, maybe not.

[00:31:09] Sharing your work in progress is a great way to make content easier for your audience to digest.

SaraMarie Bottaro: I think I wanna do more work in progress content that feels really approachable to me, and that feels like a way I could say little bits of things over time and not just explain in a huge block of text all at the end.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah, I think splitting it up into bite size, which you mentioned earlier, is always great and I. No matter what, every so many pieces, depending on your goals, should say they are for sale.

But I don't necessarily consider the regular content selling, even though we are informing that it's for sale. So what I really want to emphasize with you is that yes, we're gonna finish our work. We're gonna start figuring out one or two good ways that you like to talk about it, and that's probably gonna take some experimenting.

But if sales are also a priority, you didn't say that sales are a priority, I'm just assuming that they are to some degree.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah, it is part of how I really want the work to live in the world and donating this piece for a scholarship and raising money for student scholarships at my alma mater, is a really motivating reason for me to keep raising my prices.

Jessica Craddock: Mm-Hmm.

SaraMarie Bottaro: and keep selling. And I only raise my prices when I sell, so,

Jessica Craddock: I like it. Okay, so what I just wrote down was auctions that have a cause behind them where maybe a percentage of that goes to the cause, but it puts it in front of people who are ready to pull out money.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: That might be a really nice kind of middle ground for you as you're getting your feet under you a little bit more, practice selling, while being able to really live that kind of top goal. So I'm just gonna write that across the board for January, February, and March. We're gonna be looking for auctions and ways to interact with them. By interact, I mean, hey, are you looking for artists? Like finding out more about what is the split that they do and all of that. How can you support them while they support you?

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah. Some of sales were auctions, actually, even when I was still in school I was local so I can reach out to the same people.

Jessica Craddock: And that can be a sweet spot. Like it, you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time. Is that gonna make you thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars a year? Probably not,

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah,

Jessica Craddock: Maybe someday. I mean, if you build that, it could.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Right.

Jessica Craddock: But we gotta start where we're starting. So we're starting with let's do some more because we've liked that and it aligns and all of that. Okay. Then in January, I wrote down Fan Girl

SaraMarie Bottaro: Okay.

Jessica Craddock: Under Nurture because you're featured in this guide with all of these other Italian American artists that you said, I really love.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: Let's open the door with them. Hey, we were in this guide together and I just wanted to fangirl on you a little bit because I really love your work and you're so amazing. And here's the top thing that I love about you. See if can just get some community with these other people started so that. You mentioned collaborations we can maybe bring in, maybe not the art collaboration. You said that was

Track 1: too

SaraMarie Bottaro: It feels like a far away dream. Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: I almost pushed you on that, and I decided not to. But how can we collaborate with these other people who have these similar ideas to us, or at least a similar heritage. See if you guys click, see what you can do together in order to get your art in front of the world more. So that fangirling you're gonna try to use that to look for opportunities to get your art in front of more people in February and March.

Okay?

[00:35:27] Long form content can be repurposed in multiple ways.

Jessica Craddock: I also think I like that you write long form, because long form can turn into 10 short forms.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: It can also turn into one, to two to three emails. It can also turn into videos, which you said you were a little iffy about, but if you knew what you were gonna say, maybe it wouldn't be so scary.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: form is one of those beautiful things that can turn into any kind of content or platform that you want it to. So while we're not sure, which. Content platform is the thing want to be on, yet if we're writing long form, we can make it into any platform.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yes.

Jessica Craddock: the way that I do this, well, two ways that I do this. One, I'll write an email or a blog post, which often gets repurposed as the other one, and then I will say, what other way could I say this? Or what quote could I pull out, or how could I make a short video about this paragraph? Just thinking about how can I stop reinventing the wheel all the time?

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah. I have this thing of like trying to explain the whole x, it's just impossible.

 

Jessica Craddock: All right. Let's break it up and it's not necessarily taking chunk, chunk, chunk, chunk, chunk. It could be, but it's getting at all your thoughts and ideas and then saying, what's a way that I can illustrate this in my life? What's a story I can tell to, help people understand that I forgot which goddess you said is a metaphor for recycling. Like. How can we pull all that in? The stories, the instructions for life, the traditions from what you made. When I'm making these plans, I know content plays a role in visibility and nurture and sales. I like to kind of keep it separate in my mind, like just what do I wanna explore and then start with that.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: So with all that being said, you said newsletters. I'm gonna insist that be one.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Okay.

Jessica Craddock: What other one place feels like somewhere I'd like to play with, whether it's Instagram or not.

SaraMarie Bottaro: I think Instagram feels like the thing to do.

Jessica Craddock: Okay.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah, and I've bought one of those little arm things that holds the phone and has a light, and I just, I haven't even used it yet.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah, I get it. 

SaraMarie Bottaro: But it's ready, it's there. It could help me make a video of a work in progress thing that I think looks cool and would like to share.

Jessica Craddock: So let's make your goal for each piece we write one long, technical if you need to thing. And maybe it doesn't actually go anywhere, but that is where you can pull, what do I wanna talk about in my content from.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Mm-Hmm.

Jessica Craddock: So maybe that's you're writing one long one a month or two long ones a month or whatever that looks like for you. Then that's how we're gonna go break it down. Yeah. Okay. got our content covered. We've got our sales covered. We've got our art covered. Um, auctions kind of do double duty. So if we're being a little bit lazy and not lazy in the terms of, I don't wanna do anything, but lazy in terms of, I don't actually have that much time 'cause I have a full-time job. Auctions can do double duty for getting in front of new people as well. The other thing was the, the fangirling is possible visibility

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yes.

Jessica Craddock: So then we've got two slots left February and March nurturing. What are our focuses there? You said, I wanna plan to nurture existing collectors. I want to leverage the most of my opportunities For February, I want your nurture plan to be nurture existing collectors some way, shape, or form. You get to decide what that looks like. Maybe it's one touch point, like the postcard you mentioned.

Maybe it's three. Maybe it's a postcard and a, Hey, do you wanna have coffee sometime? And a comment, go, go play in their Instagram if they have one, and see what they're up to and give them some love. That's number three. You can change all of those,

SaraMarie Bottaro: Okay

[00:40:06] When nurturing your list, be personal and intentional, focusing on one person at a time.

Jessica Craddock: For March, I want you to explore the idea of making the most out of the opportunities that you are having and the way that I want you to do that. Actually, I want you to start, start this in January, but you can really give it some attention in March. Start making a list of your ideal art buyers, people you'd love to collaborate with, past clients, how can I show up for them? Like on a one-On-one basis, meaning. Sometimes you're gonna have a lot of time to do this, and sometimes you're not. The tip that I wanna give you here is not to think of it as a overarching, how do I show up for everybody?

Jessica Craddock: So, you can look at one person on that list and say, what would make their day better?

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: How can I reach back out because I kind of left them hanging. How can I, just make them know that I see them as a person and they're important to me?

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: And then once you've done that, maybe start to see some themes. Maybe, maybe you make a list of all of those ideas that you come up with so you have something to pull from later down the road when you're like, I don't know what to do. If you're like a super organized person, which you probably are, you can say, okay, every single new person that comes into my world, I wanna do these three things within three months.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Oh, that's a great idea. I like that framework a lot.

Jessica Craddock: Because the reason why I said that to you, 'cause I don't say that to too many people, is because you said a lot of things about community and outreach and my audience and nurturing. I think that could be a really important practice for you, and I think that that might be your strength. A lot of people, not a lot of people.

Everyone I've ever met definitely excels naturally in either visibility, nurture, or sales. Some people two of them, one's like a secondary, but I'm guessing nurturing is your thing.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah,

Jessica Craddock: Yeah.

SaraMarie Bottaro: and in general I'm, I'm like good at remembering what people need and checking in on my friends and dear ones.

Jessica Craddock: So I want you to use that strength, and my guess is that selling is third on your list.

SaraMarie Bottaro: That would be correct.

Jessica Craddock: So the other thing I want you to do is challenge yourself for all three months.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Mm-Hmm

Jessica Craddock: How can I make sure people know this is for sale and how to buy it? I gave myself recently a 30 day content challenge. Not 30 day, 30 pieces of content challenge where I was going to for every single piece of content, whether it was an email, a video, a podcast, whatever it was, say, oh yeah, and if you like this, you might also like that. Just giving myself that challenge made it really easy and doable to do. But I go through ebbs and flows of selling is great, and then I'm like, I don't know how to do it. Selling That's hard. Uh, but I'll get into this. Selling is hard phase. And I don't ever say anything's for sale, which is why I reiterate that so often to other people because I know it's a downfall if you have a business. So I am practicing it for me. I want you to practice it for you.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Okay.

Jessica Craddock: Okay. FYI. Visibility is mine. I'm good at visibility, nurturing a second. I've actually gotten pretty good at sales, but I've worked real hard on it.

SaraMarie Bottaro: yeah. Well that's how you know how to advise others on it then. Once you've struggled with something like, then you know the struggle.

Jessica Craddock: Right. So Sarah Marie, do you feel like you have some more clarity on your next steps? Top priority? What to do, when to do it?

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yes, I do, and I'm really excited that it starts with finishing some more work and that feels really doable. I. And then it will all tie into the next steps.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah, and you, guided that whole thing. I just structured it,

SaraMarie Bottaro: Awesome and thank you.

Jessica Craddock: this is your plan. different for everybody else. Okay, so where do they find you, SaraMarie.

SaraMarie Bottaro: You can find me on my website, saramariebottaro.com. And also on Instagram at SaraMarie_creates.

Jessica Craddock: Great.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: If you had to pick one, where should they go?

SaraMarie Bottaro: Since I'm not great at selling, you should go to Instagram because that's

Jessica Craddock: Yes. Okay. Oh, one more thing I have to add to this

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yes.

Jessica Craddock: email. I said that, but it's not written down.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Oh

Jessica Craddock: We're gonna experiment on Instagram and email is also a top priority.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yes.

Jessica Craddock: Meaning we're already writing it. We just need to pull out what we wanna put in that email about it.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Yeah. And then send the emails.

Jessica Craddock: Oh, the sending is the easy part. You just hit the button. You can do it.

SaraMarie Bottaro: Okay. Thank you so much.

Jessica Craddock: are welcome. Bye.

 SaraMarie Bottaro: Bye.

Jessica Craddock: All right. That is a wrap on that episode. I just wanted to do a quick little reminder before you sign off. One, if you were interested in The Artist's Day video and worksheet, it’s available to you for free. All you have to do is go down in the show notes, enter your name and your email address, and it will be sent to you lickety split. I mean, give it like 10 minutes, but it's coming.

And if you are enjoying this, if you wouldn't mind leaving a rating, a review, subscribing, doing any of those actions that you feel called to do in order to support the production of this podcast, I would appreciate it so much. Thank you for listening, and we'll see you in the next one.


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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