Category Archives: Art Biz & Arts Leadership

Black Out…Speak Out – June 4th, 2012!

This post was written on May 12, 2012, as I prepared for my trip to Gwaii Haanas. Today, I’m somewhere completely remote and totally off-grid in the very waters that the Enbridge Pipeline issues threaten. Thanks to the miracle of technology, have written this post today for it to be published while I’m away. Yeah!

June 4th, not surprisingly…is a momentous day for someone very special in my life. It’s Grace’s 8th birthday today, and I’m sorry that I’m not there with her but instead – thinking about her future and the future of my grandchildren and their grandchildren by examining what we have to lose in the battle between government, big oil and the human beings and creatures that inhabit this earth.

You may well recall Dr. David Suzuki resigned from leading his foundation because of the pressures of the Harper government and so-called “ethical” oil interests began to put on charitable foundations and political involvement.

As an independent artist, I don’t have either the protection…or the encumbrances of an institution around me, and I can speak out…black out…and stand up for what I believe in and for my children’s future.

rabble.ca logoThe article below was posted on http://rabble.ca on May 9th, 2012 by David Suzuki, and I’m re-blogging and sharing here with you. Please do me a favour and spread this message and as a gift for my daughter in my absence, do choose for yourself on June 4th…my daughter’s 8th birthday.

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“Canada would be a different place without our 80,000 registered charities dedicated to everything from health to economic policy to the environment. We’d be much poorer without the two million employees and millions of volunteers who devote their time to causes that strengthen our nation.

Recent efforts by the federal government and its backers in media and industry front groups like Ethical Oil to demonize and silence legitimate organizations ignore the important role charities play in Canada. That’s why environmental and other organizations are joining with Canadians from all walks of life for Black Out Speak Out, launched on May 7 with ads in the Globe and MailLa Presse, and Ottawa’s Hill Times and culminating in a website blackout June 4.

Canadians understand the value of charitable organizations. Close to 85 per cent of us over 15 years of age (22.2 million people) donate to charities every year. Often, it’s to help people in other parts of the world. According to Charity Village, Canadians gave $20 million to the Canadian Red Cross, CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, UNICEF Canada, and World Vision within four days of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. For supporting worthy causes, Canadians are entitled to a small tax break.

Canadians also know that our spectacular natural environment is crucial to our national identity, health, and survival, and that we can’t always count on governments and industry to look out for its interests. And so they give their time, money, and voices to organizations working on a range of conservation issues from habitat and species protection to clean energy and global warming. The David Suzuki Foundation relies on Canadians for more than94 per cent of its funding.

Canadians also expect transparency and results, which is why our funding and spending information is public. With the help of many Canadians, and along with friends and allies, we’ve enjoyed many successes. We’ve increased demand and supply for sustainable seafood, fought for habitat protection for animals such as killer whales, and ensured that invaluable areas like the Great Bear Rainforest and the northern boreal forest get increased protection. Perhaps more importantly, we’ve facilitated opportunities for Canadians to engage in important discussions about conservation of the air, water, land, and biodiversity on which we all depend.

It’s why we’re astounded by the increasing efforts to stifle so many people and organizations that devote countless hours to the often thankless and less-than-lucrative tasks of ensuring that Canada remains a stellar example of an open and democratic country with strong social values and a clean and healthy environment.

If we are committed to these ideals then it follows we should also value freedom of speech and opportunities for a range of viewpoints on matters of national interest. It’s fair to place limits on the extent and types of work organizations with charitable status can do. It’s fair to ask questions about donations and what, if any, influence they may have on activities. But it is unacceptable to try to silence people with smear tactics designed to discredit them and deny their funding.

If our leaders want to pin all their hopes and our future on a twinned pipeline through Alberta and B.C. to ship raw tar sands bitumen to China, then Canadians at least deserve a proper conversation about it. We’ve seen recent signs of hope, with the Alberta government calling for a national energy strategy, for example, and with people in the media and elsewhere questioning the wisdom of employing an omnibus budget act to gut environmental laws and attack charitable organizations.

With continued suppression of those who speak out about the environment and women’s and human rights, along with muzzling of government scientists and cuts to government scientific and environmental programs and departments, it’s clear we’re facing a growing campaign, in part backed by industrial interests, to silence opposition.

We expect and deserve better. That’s why we’re speaking out. Silence is not an option. We’re asking all Canadians to join us to help preserve two core national values: nature and democracy. Let’s keep Canada strong and free. Please visit the websites of your favourite environmental organizations on June 4 to add your voice.

Participating organizations include: David Suzuki FoundationGreenpeace Canada,Environmental DefenceEquiterreCanadian Parks and Wilderness Society,Sierra Club of CanadaPembina InstituteNature CanadaEcojustice, and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Canada.

Written with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Editorial and Communications Specialist Ian Hanington.

Learn more at www.davidsuzuki.org.

 

Are We Sheep, Content To Lick The Side of The Road – or Do We Stand and Deliver Our Destiny?

Big Horn Sheep on the Icefields Parkway

Big Horn Sheep on the Icefields Parkway ©2012 Janice Tanton.

The Icefields Parkway starts to get well-travelled at this time of the year. It’s still a barren stretch of road, devoid of the average “touristy” stops, cell connectivity and roadside gas stations. You’re bound to see some form of wildlife almost any time of the year in this high country. More often than not, you’ll see Rocky Mountain Sheep vs. the Bighorn Sheep that you see above, but nonetheless….both will cause a jam on the highway as tourists from all over the world stop to catch their fill of  a bit of wild “Canadian” through the lens of the glaciers, the mountains and the Columbia Icefield. Hell…as taxpayers, we’ve sure marketed it! I’ve always said it’s the most beautiful road in all of Canada and drank that Koolaid…until today.

Today, I found a less-travelled path by the common North American, Japanese, Chinese and European tourists that so often are now found along the stretch from Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper. The Icefields Parkway seems but a cheap touristy trinket version of “Canadian Wild”, eh?

Today…I found the road from Smithers to Terrace, and THIS is the most amazing piece of road that I have yet seen in all of my life. Wide areas of timber, rivers that flow with strength and purity one into another – of every colour and size, culminating in the Sacred Headwaters of the Skeena River. Wow. And until yesterday, I thought the Bow River was something to behold, but the Skeena has a power and life-force beyond comprehension and words. My friend, Rob Buffler talked about the Skeena over coffee last week. His eyes lit up with fever and wonder…and I would not have understood it until I saw it for myself.

The Skeena River

The Skeena River ©2012 Janice Tanton.

The verdant valleys that lay at the bottom of majestic snow-capped peaks that line the sides of the Yellowhead highway #16 westward towards Prince Rupert…have taken my breath away today. The smell of the air is different here. It’s newer – fresher, filled with spirit and the life-breath of the trees. The life-breath of this planet.

I get it. I get why we need to look at this land with different eyes, and protect it. I’ve never seen anything like it. Pristine…beautiful. There are no words for this place…and there are fewer people to see it.

I travelled for hours today, only sighting a few logging and industry trucks and a camper or two amongst them. The tour companies don’t come here…it’s too far, too remote, but it’s important. We need to see this place. This is the place that the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline (and a warning- that’s the link to Enbridge’s point of view of this) will pass through. It is almost as though this remote place doesn’t matter because the majority of folks never see it. This is just not true. It matters. Oh…how incredibly vibrant and alive this place is. I do not think we can afford to even take a small chance to ruin such a thing. It disrespects the Creator. It disrespects us. It disrespects everyone that came before us and everyone that will come after us. We really need to rethink this.

Protest of Enbridge, Northern Gateway Pipeline in British Columbia

Speak up. Spread the word. This land is important.

I despair that my children, and their grandchildren may never see such things as I’ve seen today, and I am not a sheep, content to lick at the side of the road while the tour companies plan the stops and the tourists jump from their busses, cameras in hand to catch a sheep licking the road. I don’t want to see that type of “managed” wild. It’s just not real…not living…not “us”.

I will not be that sheep. There is something much more powerful stirring within me.

This is the time for us all to become more like the bear – to travel far and wide and see what our territory is, beyond our comfort zones, beyond our daily lives and into the life we are all so deeply connected within.

We cannot lose this….or can we? Get involved. Find out what the issues are for yourself. Question and understand every viewpoint, and then voice an educated opinion.

T E A R – Allan Harding MacKay :: How Much Art = Democracy

Canadian War Artist, Allan Harding MacKay destroyed five of his own works, in protest of the Harper-led Canadian government and their erosion of democratic rights. In his “Speak Up, Speak Out” expression, MacKay states, “The value of openness, justice, honesty, fairness and unfettered participation by all MP’s is being held hostage by a government that holds the Parliamentary System in deliberate contempt…”

You can listen more about what Allan has to say in this interview on the radio show “Q”, hosted by Jian Ghomeshi, a former music artist himself. Begging the question, “Why”…or more deeply –  “Who Owns the Work?” goes directly to the root of the sacrifice of the original art. To my mind, driving attention to the government’s tactics is well worth the sacrifice of several works of art, and is an act of art in itself.

Allan sent me this small clip, and there will be more information, discussion and debate over this “act of art” in coming days through Allan’s website. You can visit and review some of the comments, discussions and links at Speak Up Speak Out.

What do you think? How do artists influence politically? What would you do? What do you think a democracy is worth?

T E A R

 

Allan Harding MacKay, Canadian War Artist Destroys His Work in Protest of the Harper Government

In the interview below, highly regarded Canadian artist Allan Harding McKay explains why he is destroying his work in Ottawa tomorrow.

MacKay plans to destroy four more of his works pieces on Parliament Hill on Thursday. May 10th and says he hopes his act will help more people “wake up” to how the government is doing business.

“This is a citizen’s action,” he said. “I have art that has a power beyond my voice. So I am utilizing works that within my possession — assets that are within my possession — to shine a spotlight on things I completely disagree with in terms of this particular Harper government.”

Allan Harding MacKay

Speak Up - Speak Out - Allan Harding MacKay

As an artist, I applaude and support Mr. MacKay for his art action and thank him for standing up and speaking out on what he believes in. The erosion of our democracy is happening by tiny increments. Who else, but the artist to help draw attention to matters of concern for everyone.

Thank you, Allan. And thank you for emailing me back and encouraging everyone to Speak Up and Speak Out.

You can read more and get the facts straight about Allan on his website at  Allan Harding MacKay .

You can email Allan at Mackay.allan7@gmail.com or even better, if you are in the Ottawa area, meet at the Centennial Flame on Wellington Street in Ottawa and support him in person. Find your voice. Use it.

Artist’s Guide To Surviving a Tax Audit

30 Ways To Keep Your Sanity

Artist's Guide To Surviving a Tax Audit

Yeah...why would an artist need a pencil?!

  1. Determine who your real friends are. You’re going to need to lean on them for some support. It’s a good thing. You really find out who supports you in the good and bad times.
  2. Make good friends with your banker if you haven’t already. In this age of online banking, I still love having a person to person relationship with my financial institution. I always have, and I always will. They can help you track down things you never thought you would need. Like a copy of the $30.00 bank transfer that grandparents gave to your children for a special allowance or treat that went into your personal account. Seriously…they assume you sold a painting and never claimed it as income!…and the CRA won’t take your word for it.
  3. Remember there are appeal systems at every turn of the road. USE THEM! They aren’t easy to find. You have to use your time to find out how the system works.
  4. Be proactive.
  5. Document every conversation you have with them. Dates, times, what they said. What you said.
  6. Be kind to your bookkeeper – he or she is just trying to help and this will be a stressful time. They’re just delivering the message, not the message-maker. Support them when the CRA guy is nasty to them. You’re a team….but make sure they are doing their end of the job.
  7. Take yourself out for a walk every now and then.
  8. Remember that no matter how any government in power may look at the “arts”…art cannot and will not be defined by an economic system of profit and loss. The value in the arts reports to a much higher authority.
  9. Practice answering these questions and NOT blowing your top:
    “Why would an artist need a box of pencils?”
    “Why would an artist need a halogen lightbulb?”
    “Does your husband care if you lose money?” <<< I still can’t do this one, and yes…the CRA auditor actually asked me that question! He is no longer welcome in our home. The government has no business in this.
  10. Find places to vent. A pillow works well when you need to muffle those four letter words. I particularly do not recommend punching walls. You will need your painting arm when this blows itself out…although you might be able to deduct the repair bill on the next income tax year.
  11. It does blow itself out and there is an end. Remind yourself of that….constantly.
  12. Tell your local, provincial and federal art bodies how you are treated in an audit. Make them aware so they can help educate other artists on how this will go. They may even be able to help, provide support and lobbying where required.
  13. Document everything.
  14. Document everything that happens during the audit.
  15. Document the questions the auditor asks you.
  16. Document everything.
  17. Lawyers are your friend. Find ones that know the arts and tax laws. They can help you when it becomes overwhelming.
  18. Accountants are your friend. Find ones that know the arts and tax laws.
  19. Insist the auditor has experience in auditing artists and the arts industry. If they don’t, appeal it and tell them they need to get experience. They wouldn’t send a non-experienced auditor in the oil industry up to audit an oil company, would they?
  20. Let your galleries and suppliers know you are undergoing an audit and you may need them to provide additional backup from time to time above and beyond. Express your gratitude for their assistance. Tell them what you need from the get-go in your relationship: contracts, statements, cheque stubs and details of the paintings that are sold when they sell them. If they aren’t already supplying those things to you – get rid of them. I mean it. It’s not worth your time to be involved with a gallery or supplier who isn’t providing detailed statements, cheque stubs, or bouncing cheques on you. All of those things raise red flags with the auditors.
  21. Auditors are ruthless. They don’t know how to “make sense”. They will not do any work on a file. They will assume you are a criminal and hiding things from the start.
  22. Dig your heels in for the long run. Know this is going to eat up your time when you’d rather be in the studio. Budget for that….if you can.
  23. Be fair in all things. Even though the auditor might not understand….you do! Educate them on your business. Really educate them.
  24. Write down your experiences and share them with other artists as you go. It’s important to share and learn together.
  25. Vanquish negativity from all other parts of your life. You’re going to need all the positivity you can muster when dealing with these morons.
  26. Keep good mileage logs for your vehicle. I use an iPhone app – “Milebug” and it works fabulously, kicking out a very decent report when you ask it to. Now…when they question 82% use of my vehicle, I can thoroughly back it up with detailed proof. Take THAT, Stephen Harper!
  27. Tax auditors keep themselves in a job sometimes by not doing their job well. Keep that in mind. They don’t have a lot of time and don’t care if they miss something. They just pass it along the line to the next guy. Be vigilant with them.
  28. Let your clients know what you’re going through. No one likes to go through an audit, and people can be very helpful in finding things to assist you and supporting you through this.
  29. Take your kids out for ice-cream and revel in the thought that your art will outlast everything and this too…shall pass.

Be a Vigilant Artist. Fight For Your Profession.

In Canada, we are currently under the thumbs of one of the least “artist-friendly” governments since Confederation. There’s a reason for that. Artists are not afraid of speaking out, acting as catalysts for change, observing change in the larger society and finding unique and expressive ways to shine light into dark corners of corrupt governments. That frightens those in power – it always has. They are frightened of what they do not understand.

One of the only ways to silence the voice of the artist in a democratic society is to persecute and prosecute and to use the law to slow down those voices. One of those tools governments use is an audit. Artists owe it to themselves and to humankind to know the laws as well as they can, be prepared and continue to make art, voice concerns and work within the law to effect positive change. In the past year, I have heard of not one…not two…but four separate audits on artists and art galleries in our small community. Call me Oliver Stone, but I think those stats are a bit much, don’t you? We won’t know about that in the future, though, because Harper’s government has cut back on Stats Canada and readily available hard data on the status of the artist won’t be available. Oliver Stone. I’m telling you.

While we may think that countries that are less democratic than Canada are more cruel and censor their artists brutally through imprisonment, confinement or persecution. (e.g. – Al WeiWei), Canada is in many ways, no different and can act in very quiet, subversive ways by cutting funding, compartmentalizing and attempting a pure commodification of the artist.

We are in a frightening, changing country with the current government and we all need to be vigilant at every turn to advocate for and defend our freedoms, for this is how change occurs and freedoms disappear….not through violent rebellious military coups but ….quietly, silently and in the night in the disguise of a tax auditor that sucks the life out of you by stealing the only thing you can never regain – your time.

Your time to create.

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Audits are something as artists, we don’t seem to talk a lot about. Let’s do that. Have you had an experience with an audit? Post your comment here on this blog, and let’s start shining some light into those dark corners.

Meeting My Art Elders – A Visit With Norman Yates At The Whyte Museum

Landscape #232 ©2009 Norman Yates. Acrylic on canvas. 136.5 x 224 cm

Landscape #232 ©2009 Norman Yates. Acrylic on canvas. 136.5 x 224 cm

I’m excited – this afternoon, I am meeting for two hours with Canadian painter Norman Yates at the Whyte Museum where his exhibition, “The Space Between” has opened. I have such respect for those that have gone before me, and laid the groundwork for a rich painting history.

Norman has very graciously agreed to meet one-on-one with several artists in the Banff and Canmore area to discuss painting and mentor us in career development. Lucky for me, I’m one of them. I admire Norman for his articulation of the process of the painter, and for his lifelong journey and exploration in art. I’m feeling very blessed today to be sharing some time and thoughts with Norman. I have many questions for him.

Have a listen to Norman on his process and joy:


One of the most important aspects of being an artist is to be able to have deep dialogue with other artists and discover their process, talk about the meaning of the work and the joy of creating. I’ve been lucky to have this type of contact with some great Canadian artists including Glen Loates, Ken Danby and today – Norman Yates.

I’d encourage you to take every opportunity to connect with senior artists – those who have walked this path before. They are our Elders and we have much to learn from them.

Yin. Yang. It Takes Two…Baby!

Men are paint.

Women are canvas.

Paint adds colour. It changes when it’s mixed with others. Sometimes it’s messy. It needs a forIt’s made up of pigment, binder and a vehicle. Mostly a vehicle.

Canvas receives paint – sometimes. It’s strong but flexible. It can rot over time if not treated properly…or tear under pressure but usually holds up to all things and is remarkably strong. It’s made up of many different threads, running at cross-purposes. If you look closely, it’s complex but orderly.

 

Men are paint.

Women are canvas.

One without the other?

  • Less interesting.
  • Less colourful.
  • Less formless.
  • Less creation.

Men are paint.

Women are canvas.

Together, there is art.

Yin and Yang

 

 

 

 

 

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Discuss.

4 Must Have Apps for the Organized Artist and Small Business Owner

Things

Things LogoPlatforms: MAC only

Price – $49.99 for the Mac (only!).

Where To Get It: Created by Cultured Code, downloadable online.

How I Use It: Things is a wonderful task management program that’s a one-time buy. I’ve been using it for over a year, and it’s been my “goto” assistant every morning. It also syncs with my iPad and iPhone so that I can update and cross things off my list while I’m on the go.

Why It Makes Me a Better Artist: The biggest usability factor I find with it is that I can enter a task into the list, date it, assign it to a project or a person on my team and then FORGET ABOUT IT. That leaves my head clear for other creative matters that need attention in the immediate time frame. Sometimes there can be a lot to remember, so having a virtual system in place for task management is an excellent way to gain more brain and physical space in the studio.

Favourite things about it: I can prioritize items by things needing to be done “Today”, “Next”, “Scheduled”, “Someday” and “Projects” and then review the list for priorities according to those categories. I love the project management aspect of it, which allows for specific assignments of the tasks required to complete a project. A+ on this for me.

I can assign team members to tasks and projects. That’s great too, because I can email my team members with their task lists…and forget about it, or as more often happens, I have them sync their iPhones with “Things”. Works wonderfully – but you have to be on the same WiFi network, if I recall.

What Would I Improve About It: I’d like to be able to program a timed reminder alarm that goes off via an email or sound cue. I can do this via iCal but I prefer using that for appointments and not task management which in my mind are totally different “things”.

Evernote

Evernote LogoPlatforms: Mac and Windows

Price: There is a FREE version but I’ve got the yearly subscription. It’s $45.00 per yr.

Where To Get It: Evernote Site link takes you to the Mac App Store.

How I Use It: Electronic filing for receipts, sales and expenses. Saving links to sites that I want to revisit. Blog-writing on the go. Workshop information (for workshops I’m giving). Basically, it’s a cloud storage database and organizer of information.

Why It Makes Me a Better Artist: It makes me a better artist because I don’t have to spend as much time worrying about critical files that I need if my hard drive or computer systems go down. What’s mandatory and quickly accessible to me is available..anywhere I can get internet access.

I can e-file everything that I want to keep into “Notebooks” that are in categories and sub-categories. I’m able to share my notebooks with my team members and it all syncs with my iPhone and iPad so when we’re on the go, those resources stay with me wherever I can access the internet. I can save up to 1 gig a month online, so do save some photo references as well there.

I can email things directly into Evernote, so for instance if I get an email from a client that I want to keep, I email it into Evernote, then delete it off my hard drive or iPhone, knowing it’s there later. It keeps my hard drive and email InBox clean and I’ve “processed” and archived that information for later reference if required. Efficiency is the key…more time for me in the studio!

Favourite things about it: Emailing into Evernote. Saving and emailing photos for reference into the database. How incredibly detailed I can get with it by tagging things for further reference. It becomes my own reference library. That there are so many add-on applications that work with Evernote such as Skitch…it’s endless and developers keep adding to it. I’m happy with the updates to the product and that they are quite on top of any bugs that appear in system operations.

Shortcomings: I wish it were a one-time purchase, but I’m actually amazed at how incredible a value it is for 1 gig of cloud storage a month. Overall, I don’t have a suggestion yet as to how I’d improve the program. I’m very satisfied with it!

Bento

Bento LogoPlatforms: Mac

Price: $49.99 as a single user, $99.99 in a Family Pack (allows up to 5 computers at one time).

Where To Get It: Bento Site Bento is made by the Filemaker folks. It’s like the little sister to Filemaker. For those that require a more powerful database management system, check out Filemaker Pro.

How I Use It: Bento is a database management piece of software that allows me to  keep track of mailing lists, addresses and sort into categories of collectors. It acts as a “one stop shop” for archiving all of the information on works that are created, where they are shown, when they are sold, etc. As Bento is customizable, you can pretty much get as detailed as you want to regarding the categories in which you want to classify and sort your artwork. I also use it to keep track of investments (not a hard job, because I’m a poor artist), iPhoto catalogue, iCal Events and Tasks, User Names and Passwords – just about anything that you need to sort, classify, record or archive.

Why It Makes Me a Better Artist: Again…I’ll say it again….because it saves so much time for me so I can be in the studio. Entering all your works and contacts into a database program at the get-go can be a daunting experience. (Hire someone if you have to – I hired my son and that worked out well. He learned more about the business…we got the work done!) Once the database information is entered, you have a beautiful archived library of information on your entire career and THAT helps you become more organized, more efficient and independent. There’s no downside on any of that from a business or artistic perspective.

Favourite things about it: There are numerous ready-made Bento templates available for free on the Bento website, including one for art inventory. These are super as starters, and allow you to then sort through and add fields for classification as you require. It’s super easy to use and quite visual and user-friendly. There’s a version for my iPhone and iPad that allows me to carry them “on the go”. It’s customizable, expandable AND…if you need to “grow it up”, you can upsize the data into Filemaker Pro.

Shortcomings: Bento doesn’t sink over the internet, so you have to sync only when you’re on wifi. I’d love it if there was a remote feature that updated remotely, but it’s a picky thing with me.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact LogoPlatforms: Mac, PC, Linux – it works over the web so any platform will do.

Price: Monthly fee depending on the size of your contact list.

Where To Get It: Constant Contact Site

How I Use It: Newsletter, Email Communications, Facebook Page Site Integration

Why It Makes Me a Better Artist: Constant Contact does a bunch of html email programming in a WYSIWG editor, allowing me to create great graphic design on my newsletters. I don’t have to think about how “beautiful” it is. Professional looking email communications are de rigeur these days if you are wishing to stay in contact with your collector base. It’s “expected”, I believe.

Favourite things about it: The interface is super easy to use, and you can try it out for free for awhile to see if it’s for you. What I absolutely LOVE is that they have amazing support people who are there to help you out and are really organized and proactive. They call….they help…they send tips and there seems to be a personal connection with the company. THIS….I love about ANY company. If you take the time out to call me and check in, see how I’m doing and really know how I’m using the product without me having to complete a silly “5 minute” survey, you’ve got my vote.

I can import my mailing database from Feedblitz or Bento, categorize lists and send out specific communications to certain client lists as required. This is a huge timesaver. VIP collectors may get different communications from me than blog subscribers, so being able to categorize and send to specific lists within the program is a bonus.

It’s all online. I can design a newsletter from my local coffeehouse if I feel like it. This is good…gets me out of the studio and office.

They always seem to be improving their services. I’ve seen two major improvements in the past month alone that allow a campaign management through Facebook.

I get notices when someone joins my mailing lists…or leaves. This is great because I can be more proactive and know who is interested in my work and develop a relationship with my clients and followers. I LOVE this!

They just “get it”. I feel the love from them.

Shortcomings: As a visual artist, I want LOTS of images in my emails. They only allow for five at a time unless you purchase an upgrade to allow you to upload more images. I don’t mind – it’s a small  amount, but I’d rather have that included in the package somehow. Just seems to be a bit “nickel and dimey” for such a powerful program.

8 Seconds – TEDxCalgary Features Janice Tanton

I’ve been sorta, kinda, maybe… definitely….kinda…sorta…a little bit HIDING this talk, but I think I got “outted” today by the wonderful folks at TEDxCalgary when they blasted this email today to all the amazing participants and Calgary area folks. I’m learning to celebrate when good things happen, but I still have trouble watching myself in this video.

Honestly…I would have rather gone 8 seconds with the bull at the Stampede.

Thanks to everyone for the comments and to so many of you who have been inspired to have a little creative fun of your own. That makes me feel great!

I look like I’m blowing kisses to the audience, but in fact, I was suffering from a severe case of dry mouth while I was on stage, and had just finished an awesome boob joke following the chicken breast guy that spoke before me. I’m thankful for that, because it sure set me up!

If you haven’t seen the video, there’s a link below.

Enjoy…and CREATE!

TEDxCalgary 8 Seconds Email Photo Featuring Janice Tanton

 

The Infamous Famous TED Talk

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