Goal Setting & Achieving

#IWillDELVE, a free 1 week challenge to help you get sh*t done

One of the hardest things to do as a busy artist is to set aside time to visualize your big career goals. It can be much easier to focus on the tasks at hand than to push ourselves outside the comfort zone and dream big. It can also seem easier to think and fret about making progress and not actually do anything about it. Well, it's time to just take action and make amazing stuff happen.

In this article, “Don’t Underestimate the Simple Power of Writing Down Your Goals,” the author writes, “Having dreams is one thing; actually accomplishing them is quite another, especially given the fact that relentless fantasizing may actually reduce one’s odds of achieving goals.”

Exactly. You need to write them down and make an actionable plan to achieve them. It sounds simple but can be quite daunting. So, we created a challenge to help kick start you into gear.

The #IWillDELVE challenge will help you:

  • Clear your mind and identify your top professional goals

  • Determine the first goal to accomplish that will pave the way to future success

  • Fess up to what is holding you back

  • Make an action plan to achieve your most pressing to dos

  • Find accountability

  • Get a huge goal accomplished in one month’s time!

If you sign up we will also be checking in with you personally to see how things are going. That way you get a little bit of built-in accountability with this challenge.

This challenge is free and self-guided, meaning you can sign up at any time. You’ll get a series of emails that will walk you through the steps. But don’t delay, because if you get started now, you know you are on your way to awesome things.

Sign up for the #IWillDELVE Challenge now!

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

A 2 week branding challenge and 2016 update!

Hi everyone!

This is just a note to check in and let you know about some exciting new resources and projects we are developing for you. And hey, they are really good resources. And they are free!

1. Sign up for the Kind Aesthetic 2 Week Branding Challenge.

We know, a challenge? Don't roll your eyes! If you've ever met us, you know this came with a lot of thought and testing. It will definitely help you improve the way you communicate the unique story behind your work, and therefore help you build a strong foundation for your personal brand. This challenge will take you less than 15 minutes a day, and will result in a clear, confident way to share your work with your ideal audience, and build a community around what you do.

2. Download our 3-Step Branding Guide.

We are trying new ways to bring artists and creatives free resources to help you best communicate your work – in writing, in person, and online. If you spend 30 minutes with this guide, it will help you ask yourself the right questions so you can feel better about how you market your work.

3. New online classes on the horizon..... keep a lookout!

We've attended many group training seminars, conferences and workshops. The consensus, is, artists and creative entrepreneurs have a hell of a lot to do, and often we work alone and it's hard to find the resources we need for marketing, finances and more. So, we are developing some online classes to be launched in early 2017 to help you through the tough stuff. They will be affordable and in collaboration with other experts. So, stay tuned. We are here to help!

Email us with questions or requests!

 

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Your Unique Story: tips for figuring it out and getting it out there

Happy September!
Whether it's back to school time for you or not, this time of year never-the-less makes it feel like it's time for a fresh start. We are feeling it, and are excited to dive in with you and help you refresh your story and your materials. This month we'll be sharing advice and ideas on how to hone in on how you tell your story, both in writing and verbally. Once you have that down, you'll find that it'll be easier to pursue and get opportunities and reach your goals!

Fact: you are the only person in the world who does exactly what you do in your unique way. As artists and creatives, we all occupy so many different roles in our lives that sometimes we need a boost in seeing the big picture. We need to assure that we stand out in our vibrant, saturated, creative communities. So, how do you let your audience know who you are, tell your story in a compelling way, and genuinely show that your artwork or creative products are so incredibly unique? We’ll cover a step-by-step process below.

Sharing your unique story in a professional, genuine way is undoubtedly important because potential customers and patrons want to know who you are and where you come from; it gives them confidence to know about you, makes them comfortable and interested, and they can connect with you and your work in a profound way. Your story is part of your identity, whether that’s a brand identity for your product or who you are as an artist.

By confidently conveying your professional creative self, you will be able to reach several goals that come along with having a strong story and identity:

  • You will sell work. If there’s a strong story behind your work, it’s going to be a lot easier for people to hold on to it, remember it, and want it.
  • People will be more inclined to follow you on social media if they can connect with you and recognize themselves in your story. You want to form a bond with your audience and the best way to do that is by sharing.
  • With your story loud and clear on your website, people will feel comfortable reaching out to you for commissions, purchases, or to collaborate on projects.

The first step in feeling confident in telling your unique story is to set aside quality time to write. Set aside one uninterrupted hour on a timer and answer these questions:

  • Who are you and how do you want to be defined? For example, you might work a day job as an accountant, but make jewelry in your spare time, with the hopes of eventually launching a jewelry business. So you would state that you are indeed a jewelry maker.
  • Write out your professional bio as a creative. Look back at the work you’ve made, where you’ve showed it, who has purchased it, and any press you’ve received and sing your own praises. Just starting out? Don’t worry about it. Definitely touch on any education, workshops, and experiences you have along with your passion for the work.
  • Write out a detailed description of your work or project. What does it look like, how is it made, what kind of materials do you use, what does it feel like? Be as specific as possible.
  • What is the inspiration behind your work? This can be anything and everything, don’t hold back.

Next, after a short break, read over what you’ve written and highlight the parts that are unique to you. Make a separate list of these unique traits and translate these facts into a written story about yourself in the first-person. For example, you might have started out by describing yourself as a jewelry maker (of which there are thousands), but now you are able to describe yourself as a jewelry maker who uses brass fittings and rope from the hardware store to make bold, sculptural statement necklaces inspired by your life growing up on the New England coast helping your grandfather repair his boats. It’s pretty likely that no one else can claim that exact story, and this specificity will make your audience want to learn and see more.

The added bonus of adding specific details to your story is that they can also help shape your logo and the look of your website if you are getting ready to launch an online store. The jewelry maker in the above example might be inspired to incorporate nautical elements into her logo or decide that she wants all the product photography to be taken on a weathered dock to reference her story.

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Is time always running out?

One of the biggest fears a lot of our clients have is the fear of not having enough time. Enough time to finish a project, get an application written, or a proposal sent out. It's that nagging feeling that you might as well not even try because you'll probably run out of time. Or the realization that the deadline is at midnight, and here it's already 7pm, so why even bother. It's born out of procrastination but also causes procrastination. Have you ever said to yourself "I'm never going to get my materials together in time, so I might as well not even bother?" (and then promptly clicked over to Facebook or Instagram)...

Us, too. It happens. But how do you get out of that mindset or rut? 

The key is realizing it is a mindset. Meaning it's in your mind. Anything that's in your mind, you can adjust. If you think about it, there are 2 kinds of time. There is clock time, which is standardized and given (60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, etc.) and then there is the time you feel on any given day. This kind of time is completely based on perception, meaning an hour at the dentist can feel like an eternity, while watching your baby turn 18 can feel like the blink of an eye. So any tasks that you want to fit in for your practice or business can be organized with clock time, but their perception can be adjusted depending on your mental attitude towards them. 

Step one is harnessing and organizing that clock time. 

Here's how:

1. First, you need to know where all of your time is going to begin with. Grab a scheduler (or a calendar), and for one week, write down everything you do and how long it takes. Be honest, and see how much time the various parts of your business or practice take. (This is also a valuable exercise to see what things you're not even doing, even though you know you probably should be doing them). How much time during your week is spent with productive activities that are working towards your goals?

2. Wait, what? Goals? You know you have some, but are they really clearly spelled out for the next month, six months, or year? And we mean really clear, like you know exactly what the goal is, and how it's broken down into achievable tasks over the next few weeks? Next step: write out your goals, and then break them down into manageable pieces or steps.

3. Each piece of that goal should have time assigned to it. This is where a scheduler or calendar actually comes in really handy. A to-do list is great, but what happens is that it becomes longer and longer and then gets overwhelming. Take those to-dos and pencil them into a real schedule with real amounts of time assigned to them. That way you don't have to think about them and have them overwhelm you, unless they are the scheduled task in front of you for the next 30 minutes or hour. Keep that appointment with that task. If you do that, it will actually get crossed off your list! Amazing!

4. Take 10 or 20 minutes at the beginning of each day (or even the night before) to plan the day. Make sure all your scheduled goals are still on track and that the tasks you set for yourself are realistic to accomplish. At the end of your work day, take 10-20 minutes to go through that day's tasks and assess if you've actually accomplished them and if the process went smoothly. If it didn't, assess what went wrong and try to remedy it for next time. (For example, you set one hour to work on your writing, and you got nothing accomplished because you were feeling blocked and spent one hour staring at a blank screen. Next time, start the task with a list of questions you can answer to help you get the writing process started. Start simply, with a question like "What is this project about?")

5. Take a minute before each task to decide what result you want to achieve. This will help you know what success looks like before you start. And it will also slow time down. Take a minute after each task to determine whether your desired result was achieved. 

This all seems like a lot of work, probably. But once you try it and figure out a way to work it into your routine, time will feel a lot less scary and you'll actually feel like you have a grasp of it–and can possibly even manage it!

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

 

 

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Overcoming Fear: 3 things to consider

  ideal relaxing end-of-summer scenario...

ideal relaxing end-of-summer scenario...

Happy August!  We hope you're out enjoying the end of summer and getting some relaxing time in before the Fall kicks into gear. 

Since this month is a slower one for many people, we decided to use the downtime for some introspection, so that we can move forward with intention once the busy season of Fall kicks in. For us, the upcoming season means teaching lots of workshops and classes, going to as many openings as we can muster, while also launching a whole new suite of products (stay tuned—it's about to get exciting around here!) So before we do all of that, we wanted to spend a few quiet moments pondering a subject that we know haunts a lot of us: FEAR. 

Fear of what? Of taking the next step in your career, of trying something new in the studio, of talking to a stranger at an opening, of doing your taxes, of reaching out to your idol, of putting your work out into the world? And why are we fearful of that? Because of failure. It boils down to the fact that we're all afraid of failing. But what does that mean, exactly? For each of the examples mentioned above, the stakes are of course a bit different. Do any of your fears make you stop in your tracks and feel unable to move forward?

This month, we'll talk about steps to take to push through your fears, but before we go there, let's first all acknowledge that failure is part of the process. And sometimes failure is the best thing that can happen, because it allows you to reassess your situation, your point of view, and your approach. It often leads to new ideas, new ways of working, and new relationships. It is why great things happen, which is why you have to at least try. Nothing happens without trying, and that's the stasis we want to avoid! 

Here are three things to think about when you feel fear creeping in and preventing you from taking a next step:

1) What exactly is it that is making your fearful? Get specific and identify what aspect of the task is preventing you from moving forward. 

2) Talk or write it out. Find someone to confide in, or write it out in your journal. Chances are, once you've listed your specific fears, they will no longer seem so scary or daunting. 

3) If you are feeling fear, switch over to feeling gratitude instead. For example, if you are at an opening and afraid to introduce yourself to the curator, instead take a fresh look at the situation and feel grateful to be able to be in the position to make this connection/be part of this artist community/to have seen the great show this person has curated. Chances are, it will change your attitude and point of view, and you'll no longer be afraid to say hi.  

Let us know what fears are holding you back. We want to start a conversation and help you move forward! 

 

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

It takes a village. We're cultivating a community through DELVE.

You might be incredibly social or like to keep to yourself, or maybe you’ve been in your field for over 25 years or you're just starting out, but still there are multiple times a week when you might feel alone, frustrated or stuck when it comes to your artistic or creative practice. Why? Probably because you are trying to juggle 3,000 things in addition to your creative work. If you’re reading this, you are a talented person who is filtering the world through your creative lens to make your work, in addition to possibly managing other jobs, family, and life stuff... PLUS you also know (maybe just at the back of your mind) that you need to market and communicate your work in a kick-ass manner in order to get the opportunities you want. It’s a tall order, and you’re smart and up for the challenge, but it can be really, really hard.

Well, good news: we are launching the GROUP DELVE TOOLKIT!
Why should you care? Good question.
Here’s why:

  • The Group DELVE Toolkit is a series of online classes for artists and creatives that will help you get better at writing and talking about your work, and will cover all of the nuts and bolts of all of the marketing stuff that feels really hard and not genuine.
  • The classes will be curated and small so you’ll still get personal attention.
  • Small classes means support from your peers, and cultivating these relationships will be built into the classes.
  • The Group DELVE Toolkit is AFFORDABLE! We aren’t multimillionaires selling you an impersonal system. We are two successful women who are artists and creative entrepreneurs and have worked with incredibly talented people to help them succeed. You know you need to invest to succeed, but we don’t want to make that option too hard.
 

Do you want access to a discount to the Group DELVE Toolkit before it launches to the public? Take this short survey!

 

We feel and have felt stuck a lot, too, and that was a huge motivating factor for us to start DELVE.  It is due to the amazing community we’ve cultivated, and the hard work that we’ve put in, that we are now in the position to help you achieve your goals: by helping you clearly articulate what you do–online, in person and in writing–in order to get the opportunities you want, and therefore the life you want to have.

If you're reading our blog for the first time or you’re a familiar friend, we wanted to take a step back and share who we are and how you can be part of the community of artists and creatives we are cultivating in person and online so that running your day-to-day business (artists, you are small business owners, too) can be inspiring and in line with making your work.

First, a little backstory. We, Sara and Andrea, are both visual artists and started our creative agency, Kind Aesthetic, as a way to offer artists and creative small businesses genuine storytelling, visual branding and beautiful, effective websites to push their businesses to the next level.  Any clients who have worked with us know that it's more than just getting a "brand." We can't help you without digging in deeper and uncovering what makes your work uniquely yours and why you are the best at it. We ask a lot of challenging questions, but we support you, hold you accountable, and refresh how you communicate your work to an ideal client as well as to yourself.

It’s because of this creative agency work that DELVE came about, which is an educational and coaching platform for artists and creatives who want to hone their own professional skills and how they communicate their work. In other words, we help guide you in creating your unique story, marketing plan and personal brand. DELVE started as a series of in-person networking events around New York City where amazing speakers shared their paths about how they achieved their professional successes, and has since branched into workshops and our popular 1:1 DELVE Toolkit, a coaching platform for individuals.

We understand that there are a lot of people advertising classes and online marketing solutions to you. Our services come from a very genuine place because we have had the same struggles and have been offered the same options. We are confident that what we do differently is:

  • We communicate very clearly that working with us is not an “easy fix.” We don’t find galleries for artists or tell small business owners where to find their next paying clients. We aren’t magic unicorns. But we do help you define your unique story so that your ideal audience and clients can find you. And when they do find you, they will be very impressed.
  • We listen and we care and we ask a lot of questions. We are two very kind and honest individuals who won’t work with you if it’s not the right fit. We care about your success and don’t want you to waste your money.
  • We won’t waste your time. We show up, you show up, and together, through wonderful conversations and some incredible work, we will help you. And, dare we say, it might even be fun and will make you feel good, confident, and excited about your work.

We hope that if you're interested in some amazing online classes specifically for fine artists in all disciplines, and also all kinds of creative entrepreneurs, you'll fill out this quick survey so we can offer you the classes you want at the times you want. Our thanks will come in the form of a discount! Cheers!

 

 

 

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

The Second Best Time is Now, or Investing for Retirement, Even if You're Not Perfect

We are excited to announce a new "Tax & Money Stuff" column and a partnership with Hannah Cole. Hannah is a tax expert who specializes in working with creative businesses and artists. A long-time working artist, the financial challenges of freelancers and small creative businesses are both relevant and personal to her. She is the founder of Sunlight Tax.


Guest post by Hannah Cole

You’re having drinks with a friend after an opening, and the topic turns to money. Life is expensive, the city is expensive, and the distant menace of retirement? Forget it. You turn back to your $14 cocktail and feel depressed.

But wait. Aren’t you the same person who is taking charge of her career? Aren’t you setting new goals, prioritizing your studio time, building your network, learning how to market yourself? You’re smart, and you’re tackling the other hard stuff. So why are you cheating yourself on the bigger picture? You can do this. No need to let the perfect be the enemy of the good here. There is an apt proverb about planting trees: The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second-best time is now.


But first, a little digression about beauty. And compound interest.

This is a drawing by Sara Jones. Beautiful, right? It has a lovely feeling of calm about it. Remember this feeling as you read on about saving.

I think saving for the long term can be intimidating, because it seems that we’ll need so much money that we just get overwhelmed. It’s easy to focus on the short term (My rent is so high! Childcare costs are ridiculous! How can I really cut any of my spending? How is $100 a week going to make a dent?). It’s easy to think “I’ll do that later, when I have more money.” But the difference between starting now or ten years from now is bigger than you think.

Now look back at Sara’s drawing. See the curve? That’s the image that should be in your mind as you think about saving. That’s what happens to your money. Why? Because of your friend, Compound Interest.  

There’s a lot of great explanation out there about the benefits of compound interest. But if you’re a visual person, like me, it’s really in the picture. So here’s another one, this time with numbers:

This is a chart showing what compound interest does to a one-time $5,000 initial investment. Don’t let the details throw you - the curve is the important part. The light orange part shows the money you put in. The dark orange part is all growth. When you put money in a savings vehicle (like an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), invested in index funds, which have a historic average growth rate of 8% - more on this in a future post), compound interest works to multiply your initial investment over time.

Here’s how it works: Your 5,000 earns 8% interest, so at the end of year 1, you have $5,400. The next year, you make 8% not on 5,000, but on $5,400, yielding $5,842. It doesn’t seem like much yet, but the magic happens near the end. So this little bit of money, after 40 years of compounding, turns into $108,622.61. Now we’re talking.

Now what happens if you make your $5,000 investment an annual habit? Basically, this curve gets steeper. That means you grow real wealth. Check it out:

GRS-compounding-2-min.jpg

 

It’s important to notice the numbers here. The chart reaches into the millions now, not hundreds of thousands. And the light orange part, which represents money you put in, is growing each year, as you make your annual contribution. So in forty years, you now have $1,507,527.81.

Compound interest is your friend. It means you don’t need to save as much as you might fear you do in order to retire.

But what if you wait ten years to start? On the first chart, your $5,000 is worth over $180,000 after 45 years. But after 35 years, ie, ten fewer years of growth, it’s worth about $90,000. That ten years cuts the money in half. Now you see why the first principle of retirement saving is “start early.”

And as a tax professional, I will tell you that your annual contribution limit to a tax-sheltered IRA is even a little higher than in my example. The 2015 limit is $5,500. And you have until April 15 to contribute for 2015 (yes, it’s retroactive). Opening one is as easy as opening a bank account. I recommend Fidelity or Vanguard.

So don’t let perfection stand in the way of action. Maybe you can’t put aside as much as you’d like, but you can put aside something. But don’t wait for some elusive “better time.” Remember the proverb about the trees? The best time to save was twenty years ago. But the second best time is now.


Hannah is a tax expert who specializes in working with creative businesses and their owners. A long-time working artist, the financial challenges of freelancers and small creative businesses are both relevant and personal to her. She is the founder of Sunlight Tax. Follow Hannah on Twitter at @sunlight_tax, or sign up for her newsletter to get friendly, timely updates about money stuff for creative people.

Disclaimer: This is meant as a guide, not professional advice. If you have questions about your own situation, talk to a tax professional.

 

 

 

 

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Finding Focus for the stuff you really want to be doing

Happy March! This month we're tackling a topic that goes hand-in-hand with last month's time management theme. We're going to be talking about finding focus, staying motivated, and building confidence so that your creative work stays at the forefront of your mind and at the top of your priority list. Follow along and participate in the conversation with us on Instagram and Facebook, as well as here on our blog, and by using the hashtag #KAfocus!

To be creative, we need to have time and space to allow our minds to wander, expand, and go off in random directions. Of course, that's a hard thing to do these days, as we have so many things constantly vying for our attention (studio, jobs, family, email, appointments, social media, netflix). What that means is that we have to learn to be really strict with ourselves. If creative time is indeed important to us, and something that we'd like to bring to the forefront in our lives, than we have to make time for it. Last month, we talked about figuring out ways to find that time. This month, we're going to talk about what to do with that time once you've blocked it off for yourself. Blocking it off is the first and most important thing you can do. Write it in your calendar and treat it like you would any other meeting or appointment. It is arguably the most important appointment of your day. 

Hopefully the time you have found for yourself is also your most creative time of the day--for example, many of us think most clearly and have the most energy first thing in the morning. If that's the case, then grab your cup of coffee and head straight to your work area. Do not check your email, do not scroll through Instagram. This time is blocked off for your mind to focus, for your creativity to have a chance to flow in. If you check your email, chances are you'll get distracted and think that confirming your dentist appointment is most important thing you could do. It's not. Almost all of your emails can wait until you take your lunch break. 

In the book Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build your Routine, Find Your Focus and Sharpen Your Creative Mind, Cal Newport suggests starting with small blocks of focused creative time (an hour at first), and building those up incrementally by 15 minutes every week or two. The key is never to allow distraction. Once you give in to checking your phone, you should cancel the whole block and start over. It's a great way to build discipline. 

Another tip he suggests is having one focused task to do during that time. If you are writing an article, do all your research ahead of time so that when you sit down, all you have to do is write. Same thing goes for starting a new painting or designing a poster. Gather all your research, source material, visual inspiration, and tools ahead of time so that when you sit down you can dive right in.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to learning how to focus and letting your creativity in. We'll have many more posts over the course of the month, and stayed tuned for more information about an upcoming free Webinar on the topic, as well! Also, please let us know what you do to stay focused! We'd love to share your advice with the community!


If you're interested in a sure way to find accountability and want help making sure that you are working towards your professional goals with all you've got, then you should consider the DELVE Toolkit. It's a one-on-one consulting program that will definitely help you make bigger strides than you though possible! Get in touch with us to set up a 20 minute call.

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

10 Steps to Visualizing Your Future

When we work with our clients on any size project, one of the first steps we do is to sit and talk, listen, and visualize. Creative lives and businesses can hold uncertain futures; there may be no direct path up, like with a corporate ladder. Creative projects can thrive in unpredictable ways; the end result of an exhibition or competition, for instance, can turn out better than planned since the art work and creative minds collaborating generate more ideas and a unique project-based symbiosis. 

What's that saying my mother always says? 98% of what we worry about never happens.

This is where visualization comes in. It's a powerful tool to set your path straight and take actionable steps to fulfilling goals.  This great article sums it up perfectly, especially this sentiment by Sarah Kathleen Peck:

The power of visualization lies in closing the gap between your future narrative and any current narratives when you imagine in detail by picturing the steps it will take to accomplish your goals.

Exactly. Here is a 2.5 hour step-by-step guideline to get you on your way to succeeding, instead of always having to swat away that annoying voice in the back of your mind:

1) Write down your goal. Say it out loud. Now set your timer for 2.5 hours and shut off contact to the outside world. Keep water and snacks near by. Do not let anyone get in your way. 

2) Make a folder, physically or on your computer, and start keeping stuff there. Make it easy to find and have it stare you in the face. 

3) Take at least one uninterrupted hour and visualize your goal. Write it, draw it or sing it. Whatever it takes to get you in the head space.

4) Now write down each and every step, no matter how trivial or scary, that it will take to get you there. What kind of cash do you need? What is your timeline? Do you need special stuff? Do you need to consult an expert? Are you completely changing your life or just doing a side project? All of these ideas matter. Write them down.

5) Now put these ideas in order to the best of your ability. Consider a timeline.

6) Now categorize each step so you know what you are in for and how much time you will need to spend: easy, difficult, requires, bravery, needs research, needs money, lengthy, cheap, fun, urgent, etc.

7) At this point you are either terrified, totally jazzed, or a combination of the two. Don't stop. Call someone or go find someone that you know and trust, and tell them. Show them your plan. Saying it out loud makes it real. Your 2.5 hour exercise is over, but that's not all. There's more.

8) Have a drink.

9) The next chance you get, start scheduling everything. After some sleep and a new spring in your step, you can begin scheduling these steps into your calendar and decide how you will hold yourself accountable.

10) Get an accountability buddy who will kick your ass, or practice self-deprivation of something you love that you will NOT get until you finish a step. No one ever said this was easy.

Keep going, and know that your plan needs to remain flexible. Things will not go exactly as you dreamed, but they might even be better. Assess your plan after each step, reorganize time and get new perspective but do. not. stop. Because at the next party you are the person who gets to modestly boast about all of the progress you have made on launching your side business or writing a book, and you won't be the guy wishing he has the balls to do it.

Need some assistance telling your unique story in a beautiful, clear and compelling way? Get in touch, we'd love to chat. 

This post was originally published July 10, 2014.

 

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Finding balance: the tricky decision of when to keep going and when to let go

As small business owners, artists, and parents, we have plenty of experience with making mistakes, failing, flailing, and seeking balance. When we started Kind Aesthetic a few years ago, we were doing way too much, and it makes us laugh now (kind of), but it was incredibly stressful then. Determined to have a successful business from the get-go, we said "yes" way too much and spread ourselves too thin out of a determination to make money and find the balance in our business. For instance, we embarked on a journey to collect art for clients and actually helped them acquire some amazing, amazing work, but the whole time, we knew it felt wrong. As artists, this service was not our passion and utterly stressed us out.

It was after a big collecting project was over that we got the chance to say no. We realized we had the power to move on and concentrate on doing what we love: helping artists and creatives see their amazing work from an outside perspective and transforming their unique stories into compelling, beautiful and genuine marketing materials. We can both say it was like a cloud had lifted, and though it meant that the previous cash flow from commissions was now to disappear, it also meant that we could concentrate on the work with the most impact for us and, especially, for our clients.

One amazing artist we worked with uses ephemeral materials—homemade inks and paper—in her work, and they are absolutely beautiful. She came to us convinced that she needed to alter the way she works because she was questioning the archival nature of her work and its collectibility. The thing is, this work was her breath, her peace, and a part of her as an artist. She never wants to stop making it. So, through the DELVE Toolkit and spending quality time writing about her work, she was able to keeping going and let go. She embraced her materials, used them to fortify the conceptual nature behind her work, and began researching new archival methods for future work. Then, she got an artist residency she was aiming for. 

If you are experiencing any moments of struggle of when to keep going and when to let go with your work, consider the list below. We talk to amazing individuals everyday who are searching for balance and we can usually help, so be in touch.

1. Write. We have said it time and time again, but list making and writing about the work that we do is not only practical, but necessary.

2. Find someone to keep you in check. We are lucky to have each other and our smart husbands to help us out on a daily basis, but working alone in an endeavor can be incredibly challenging. A fellow artist or entrepreneurial friend can help.

3. Give yourself a challenge. If you are convinced that you need to move forward with a project because it will improve your practice or your business, do not delay. Stop thinking about it and set up a challenge for yourself. (We are really good at holding our clients accountable!)

4. Fuck it. If you are beating yourself up over some work that you are not doing well, not doing at all or hate doing, then say goodbye. As we discovered in the past, we had the power to say no and it was amazing. Creative individuals are very hard on themselves, us included, and that goes double for entrepreneurs (which artists are just as much as creative business owners are!)

We hope this is helpful. We are not therapists and don't have magic answers but our methods of asking the right questions to help our clients see what they cannot see at first works wonders to achieve clarity. From experience, working towards the "aha" moment leads to getting what you want. Give us the chance to ask you some questions about your practice, learn about all of the amazing things you do, and help you find your answers. Whether you are a candidate for the DELVE Toolkit or a bigger project, email us to set up a totally free twenty minute call that could change your life. Read what other clients have said about us here.


Join us in a fun project this January! On Instagram and Facebook use the hashtag #kagoals along with a photo of what you are working on that makes you one step closer to fulfilling your professional goals this year. Inspire us!

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Client Spotlight: Kat Chamberlin

This month we are exploring different ways that artists and creatives set goals and achieve them, find balance and plan ahead... or not. The resolutions of the new year can fall flat, which is one of the reasons that we started the DELVE Toolkit. It helps to create new productive habits all year while abolishing the feeling of being stuck. Read all about the DELVE Toolkit here.


We had the absolute pleasure of working with artist Kat Chamberlin last year before she embarked on her new role of becoming a mother. (Congratulations, Kat!) We know that many of you are parents, or maybe you are thinking about it. Even if you aren't at that stage of your life, or never will be, Kat is a total inspiration. Before her due date, she dove into her work with Sara via the DELVE Toolkit and made some waves. She saw her chance to hone her own skills to communicate her work in the best possible way before her baby's arrival, and has since seen multiple successes, including becoming a 2016 BRIC Arts Media Fellow. So inspiring! Maybe you also have an upcoming event to prepare for, or just need some help lighting the fire to get back into the swing of things. Let us know.

Thanks, Kat, for writing about your experience:

 Sticks and Stones, IV, No.1, 2015

Sticks and Stones, IV, No.1, 2015


Motherhood doesn't come with a 'how-to' manual —neither does my art—but both can be equally demanding and terrifying at the onset. Daunted by the challenge of having a child while continuing my art practice, Kind Aesthetic prepared me with tools that allowed me to better articulate my work and set goals after I gave birth, giving me the freedom to concentrate on the essentials as I forage these unknown territories.
                                           –Kat Chamberlin
 

 

Born in the Netherlands and raised in Turkey, Kat Chamberlin is a Brooklyn-based conceptual artist interested in alternate narratives and encoded languages that surface as result of state censorship and the absence of reliable historic documentation. Her work has been exhibited across the U.S and internationally, and featured in exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, The Chicago Cultural Center, Barbara and Steven Grossman Gallery in Boston and Gana Art in New York City. Kat completed her Masters in Fine Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is the recipient of a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, the Toby Devan Lewis Award and the William Dole Award. Kat Chamberlin is currently a 2016 BRIC Arts Media Fellow.


Just like Kat, you, too, can kick ass. Our mission at Kind Aesthetic is to help artists and creative entrepreneurs feel extremely confident and excited about their unique stories that they share with their ideal audience through beautiful and compelling marketing materials. All of the success is within you, we just help eek it out, trust us. Email us to set up a totally free 20 minute call to talk about what you have going on and see if we can help.

Join us in a fun project this January! On Instagram and Facebook use the hashtag #kagoals along with a photo of what you are working on that makes you one step closer to fulfilling your professional goals this year. Inspire us!

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

2016: We want to help you get what you want.

Happy New Year!

We hope that 2016 has started off with motivation and positive action for you. From our end, we are committed more than ever to helping you find your voice and share your work and story in clear, compelling, and beautiful ways. There is so much to look forward to!

Over the coming year, we are going to share a lot with you: in the form of blog posts, tips on Instagram and Facebook, and through new products and services to help you better tell your story and achieve your goals. We believe that by living a creative life ourselves, we are in the best position to understand where you are coming from.  We want to be your go-to resource for tips, tricks and ideas on how to market your work in a way that feels clear, confident and genuine.

We want to get to know you better, and we want to share more of who we are, too.

For the month of January we will be focusing on dreams, resolutions, and goals, and how to best plan for them so that they come true in the year ahead—especially if life throws you some curve balls. Please follow our blog, Instagram and Facebook for helpful articles, tips, and inspiration to help you plan for the best creative year yet. Check out the sidebar to your right to dig into helpful articles on our blog.

 #kagoals

#kagoals

#KAgoals this month on Instagram!

Give us a sneak peak into your work, showing us how you are kicking butt this month and working towards achieving your professional goals: whether it's to work in your studio more, make more money from your work, get your practice organized, market your work, get a residency, take a class.... anything. Inspire us. We'll be sharing your posts, too!

 

 

Over the past year, we have been busy gathering experience and information on how to balance our roles as artists, creative entrepreneurs, and parents. 2015 was a year of big changes for each of us, while we still continued to grow and nurture our business together and work with many amazing and inspiring creative clients. We’ll be sharing our stories of balance/imbalance and obstacles/inspiration, as well as words from our community and clients, and all of the tools, tips and resources we devise and discover.

We want to help you get what you want.

As for our personal changes: In March, Andrea welcomed baby Eleana to the world and then over the summer moved to Buffalo, NY to be closer to her family. In October, Sara welcomed baby Isabel in Brooklyn, and all of us are thriving with thanks and appreciation. These beautiful babes are keeping us on our toes and were a big part of a year of adjustments: to our new roles as mothers, to figuring out how to keep our individual art practices alive, and to growing a business remotely. It hasn’t been easy at all, and we’ll talk about that, but by taking leaps in our personal lives, it has allowed us to learn how to be better at what we do and streamline our efforts. We are committed more than ever to helping you do the same.

 Sara & baby Isabel

Sara & baby Isabel

 Andrea & baby Ellie

Andrea & baby Ellie

We hope that you will join us, and if you find our story helpful, that you’ll share it with some friends. Please use that little share button at the end of the post and share this post on your favorite form of social media or forward to a friend!

All best for the year ahead!
Sara and Andrea

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Six steps to amplify your ideas

The world relies on artists, makers, creative entrepreneurs and savvy organizations to come up with all of the amazing ideas that we experience in the world. It's our job, really. So, next time you need to make a project happen, when you really need to be heard and amplify it, here's a check list to consider:

Say it out loud. Nothing gets a project underway, revised, and makes it more real than sharing it with people who will support it. 

Write about it. The project may be brilliant, but the idea has to be communicated to the right audience, collaborators, participants and funders. Words do that very effectively. 

Visuals that support it. Beautiful and compelling images, design, logos, websites and photographs will drive your project further. 

Be present. Don't worry about the world stealing your ideas. Nothing will ever happen if you don't share. Better things will happen if you do.

Collaborate. It's most likely you can't do this amazing thing on your own. That's ok—it's great actually. Allow it to thrive with other people on board. You might not be the best at organizing or producing an event, so let someone do it who loves to. 

Document. All of your future ideas will be amplified by your past accomplishments. Let them live somewhere easy to find, beautifully documented.

Good luck! Be in touch with us if you need an expert team by your side.



© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Embracing Limitations to spur creativity

Creativity is endless, but life has its limitations. Make them work together! Limited resources, budget, and time can create a productive structure around your creative projects and even give them more meaning. In the case of Phil Hansen's story, below—and for so many artists and creatives we work with—life sent some obstacles, but he was inspired to embrace them. We can be deeply affected physically and mentally by family and health issues, but it's part of life, and being flexible and open to change is the key to moving forward – perhaps further than you ever imagined.

In art school, Phil Hansen developed an unruly tremor in his hand that kept him from creating the pointillist drawings he loved. Hansen was devastated, floating without a sense of purpose. Until a neurologist made a simple suggestion: embrace this limitation... and transcend it.

We came across this video on this short post from the Freelancers Union by Antonia Blair. It's a great little boost, for when you are in the trenches of creating, making, negotiating, dreaming, and working. Taking comedy breaks, planning future travel, and indulging in a walk are great ways to get some perspective. Feel free to get in touch with us if you want to talk through how to spark more productivity and tell your creative story to the world in a clear, beautiful way. We have lots of options to work together.

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.