Studio Notes

More than Time Spent Painting

“It must be so great to be able to paint all day!” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this when I say that I’m a full-time artist. I think that there is this romantic idea of what an artist’s life is like when in reality…

Spoiler Alert!

If you don’t want to have the myth shattered, stop reading!

…being a full-time artist is more that we become excellent jugglers, learning to keep a bunch of bowling pins in the air at one time. I first wrote “balls” back there, but then…you know…balls…oh come on, my mind wasn’t the only one that went there. Ok, maybe it was, and I just don’t give you all enough credit!

At the easel, hoping the muses stop by for a visit.

Maybe an artist’s life is more like that of a clown’s — cause I drop those frigging bowling pins all the time!!!

In addition to painting, I also get to be my own accountant, copywriter, tech support, manager, and the list goes on.

The newest activity was learning how to add SEO to the website. What’s SEO, you ask? While it’s Search Engine Optimization! Please, contain your excitement!

Trust me; it can be just as mind-numbing as it sounds.

That is, unless sitting at the computer all day appeals to you? All the while crafting descriptive text about each web page in an inviting and friendly tone. All to entice a person searching “contemporary artist” — will read the meta description and click the link to my website instead of the umpteen other google search results — whew! I’m exhausted just writing that! Probably not as much as reading it was! Thanks for sticking with me!

To be honest, writing for the professional or business side is a place I struggle. I tend to make the text sound lifeless, in a dry,  “just that facts ma’am” way. For example,

About page = Nancy Murty is an artist living in Rochester, NY.

Not very inviting, is it? It doesn’t entice you to click on the link to find out more.

I often have to work back through the text several times to find ways to make it more engaging. Again, in a friendly, professional manner and not a creepy, annoying salesy tone. Now that I think about it — it’s sorta like writing a dating profile, but with a “hey, let’s go for coffee” and not a “let’s get married and have three kids” desperate tone.

Here I am writing dating profiles, who said an artist’s life isn’t romantic! Oh, I think it was me. I may have to rethink that.

So I’ve found my new best friend — the Thesaurus. I type in my impersonal sounding words, and it gives me exciting options that sound so much more like what I was trying to say in the first place. We’re in love.

I just typed juggler into the thesaurus, and this is what it had to say — enchanter, shaman, sorcerer, warlock, witch, wizard. I might not stick with an artist’s life being like a juggler — maybe enchanter. Artist’s Life = Enchanter. Oooo! I could live with that.

The truth is that professional artists don’t get to spend every day painting, but it’s how we get to spend some of them, and that’s the reward for all the other days. We also get to learn all kinds of other skills such as marketing, website design, social media strategies, technology, accounting, administrative tasks, and time management, to name just a few. It’s one of the things I love that about this life — that I get to learn new things, whether it’s with a paintbrush or not. And although writing SEO for the website isn’t easy, it’s still gratifying in a way, even if it’s checking the box that it’s complete.

If you’d like to learn more about SEO, I highly recommend Meg Casebolt of Love at First Search. Meg makes it easy to understand and apply.

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