What are you saying about your business without speaking a word? What can folks discern about you, your art, your professionalism from the nonverbal cues you send them?
Many folks sit and wonder why it is they are not attracting the type of clients or patrons or work they would like to have. The first thing they question is the people around them....what's wrong with them, why aren't they buying what I am selling, why are they so cheap, why aren't they leaving comments on my blog, why don't the see the value I am bringing them.....why, why, why???? Whoa Nelly, the first thing you need to question is yourself. To attract the kind of folks you would like to have as clients or customers, you first have to be that kind of person. The world is a giant Pay It Forward really. If you set out to take care of other's interests before your own (without the expectation of something in return), you will be rewarded in random and unexpected ways. I have found the more I give, the more I get in return.... and sometimes, that "return" can be well, a bitter reflection of what you gave in the first place. Think about what you are giving... is it a sense of gratefulness and gratitude or is it an angry face or a cynical worldview? We have many non-verbal ways that reflect outward that which is inside of us and it spills out into EVERYTHING we do and say.
I love Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine and I just so happened to pick up their studio edition....I highly recommend it to folks BTW. What I love about this special issue is the sneak peek we get into the lives and work spaces of some of the most talented folks in the arts and crafting community. It is amazing what you can discern from someone's work space. While I was on the set of Carol Duvall's Art Unscripted project, I had the honor of working next to Magdalena Muldoon (of MercArt). Our work space was a complete mess (my side of the table worse than hers....) while Michael Jacobs' work space was meticulous and in order (just like his incredible book bindings and exact architectural folds and wire creations). Flipping through the magazine, I could not help but wonder, how was the studio in action, you know, when the artist worked.....what was their process and, (growing little horns out of my head here) did the studio really look like that all the time or was it just for the benefit of the camera? The saying goes, "You can't get upset if a person comes over and sees your house as it normally is...." Um, yup, my studio is total chaos all the time and seldom is it ever "camera" ready.
My studio is chock full of projects in various stages of completion. I have storyboards and massive glass plates decorated with dry erase marker noting deadlines and project objectives that hang from the ceiling. My work tables and benches are covered in steel and look as if they belong in a car garage rather than an "art" studio. Every project I am working on has it's own bin and once completed and sent out, the bins are labeled and are shelved with the raw materials used until they are published (just in case we need to tweak it or rework something last minute) or closed out (because the client received them). I have other shelves that are home to the rubbermaid bins and rolling carts that are filled with pre-kitted materials and supplies for upcoming classes that are labeled with the dates and locations they will be sent. It is definitely more of an industrial creative warehouse than a personal retreat....which many folks find completely shocking. It is an inside joke that if a person dares to go down into the studio not only do they have to sign a non-disclosure agreement (because of the sensitivity of the projects I am working on) but, will indeed need a rope tied around their waist to insure that they will not get lost and can be safely extracted when they decide to come back upstairs...
I started thinking about the work spaces I see in magazines in general.... I know, I totally salivate over them as well however, in all my time as an artist, starting when I was a child at my Grandmother's side in her studio (which is incredible I might add...), the studios I felt most at home in were working studios... places where art was created and messes were made without care or concern. Your workspace has to be a place where you feel at home and inspired and well, that is different for each person.