Archive for the ‘Art Business’ Category

Gettin’ Social with A New Art Exhibit and Blog Changes Coming

November 2, 2011

Social Media Immersion

Be helpful.

It’s the #1 most important thing I learned in Alyson B. Stanfield’s (aka Art Biz Coach) Social Media Immersion workshop a couple weekends ago.  I went with lots of questions about Facebook, Twitter, Google+, blogging and learned a lot in 2 days.  Not only did we learn a lot, we made many new artist friends, as there were 45 of us participating in the workshop.

Barbara and Alyson enjoying Alyson's book, "I'd Rather Be in the Studio". By day 2, we were all pretty giddy with our heads packed full of new information.

I have a long list of action items and a plan for next steps to improve my online presence and be more social.  I’ve also been thinking a lot about what “be helpful” means for me – how can I be helpful to those of you that read my blog, those that I connect with on facebook and twitter and those of you I’ve yet to meet in cyberspace.

I have some ideas for things I can share to be helpful, including more about effectively using the various social media platforms.  But I’m also really interested to hear from you – how can I be helpful to YOU?  If you have particular ideas, I’d love to hear them – you can leave me a comment below!

Fun times at the Social Media Immersion Workshop

2 person Show at Bas Bleu Theater in Fort Collins

Besides attending the SM Workshop this past month, I’ve been heads down in the studio working to complete some new work for a new show which we just installed this past weekend at the Bas Bleu Theater here in town.  It’s a 2 person show, my first one with my partner Barbara Gilhooly, and we have a total of 36 pieces in the show – paintings, fiber, and works on paper.

The exhibit will be on display now through Dec 30th.  We will have an artists’ reception on Friday, Dec. 2nd, from 5-7pm.  There will also be a Beet Street Arts & Drafts event at Bas Bleu on Tues, Nov 15, 5-7pm (RSVP required) which will be another fun opportunity to see us and see our show.

Postcard we'll be sending out to announce our show

Changes coming

And speaking of social media immersion…I am in the process of revamping my own online presence, creating my “2.0” version of my website and blog, now that I’ve had my original site up for a couple of years and my blog for 1.5 years.  It’s time to re-fresh my web presence to reflect my newest self.

I want a site that not only is well-designed, but that gives me more control, to be able to make all my updates myself, and to also integrate my website with my blog.  So, I’m working with Pat Velte of WhiteWing design to create my new integrated website and blog design.

What does this mean for you if you are subscribed to this blog?

If you have subscribed to my blog with  your email address (you currently receive my blog posts in your email inbox), you should not need to do anything.  When we complete the migration of my blog to the new site, if all goes well, I’ll be able to bring you all along with me and migrate your subscriptions.

If you have subscribed to my blog via RSS feed reader, you will need to re-submit your subscription.

You’ll know that we’ve completed the migration because the look/feel format of my blog posts will be different, and my blog will be located at (no longer at

Our plan is to complete this blog migration before 11/26, so you should see these changes get implemented within the next 3.5 weeks.  I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going, although you’ll probably know once you “see” the difference.

Wish me luck with all the changes!


Shiftin’ “IT” – How I Do What I Do

March 28, 2011

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”

– The Cheshire Cat, from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland

"Tangled Web #5" ©2010 Ayn Hanna "16x10" Textile Painting (cotton fabric, cotton batting, cotton thread) mounted to 24"x18" canvas

One of my readers recently asked, “How are you able to get your art done while also juggling a family and full-time day job – How do you do all that you do?  This seems to be a pretty popular question, so I’m going to try to answer it.

Lucky for me, I’ve always been a good planner.  And, I’ve also had some good training in project planning, organizational development – strategic planning and visioning, and graphic recording (drawing and writing down plans/outputs from meetings in organized ways).

I am currently a Shift-IT coach-in-training.  Over the past year I have been working to complete the coursework to become a certified Shift-IT coach, facilitating several clients through the Shift-IT personal strategic visioning and planning process.  I’ve been using the Shift-IT process on my own strategic visioning and planning too.

The Shift-IT process is a set of 7 process steps and 17 visual map templates – a strategic planning process for individuals – designed by Christina Merkley (aka “The Shift-IT Coach”) to help individuals make “shifts” in whatever areas of their lives they want more satisfaction with, and to identify, soften, and soothe the internal resistance we often have to achieving those shifts.

How I do the things I do

In a nutshell, here’s what I have found works for me to achieve my goals (and how I have used the Shift-IT process for my own planning):

1. DREAM BIG: I start with developing a clear vision of my goals – who and what I want to be and have by a certain date in the future.  Within the Shift-IT Process, this step is called “Focus on your Future” and one of the key outcomes is the Magnetism Map (Clear Vision of your Future).

2. CREATE A “TAKE ACTION PLAN” and WRITE IT DOWN: I use a framework for planning out my major strategies to achieve my vision goals, with detailed tasks, dependencies, and timelines associated with achieving the strategies brainstormed and WRITTEN DOWN on sticky notes, which I then group and arrange on the wall.  Within the Shift-IT Process, the applicable map is the “Take Action Plan” where you identify your big action areas (strategies) and then write down the “mini-tasks” needed to achieve them.

Take Action Plan

3. MEASURE PROGRESS to achieve GREAT RESULTS: Any tasks that haven’t started yet sit on the left hand side of the wall.  Tasks that are in progress are moved into the middle of the page, and adjusted to the right as they near completion, and then completed tasks are moved to the far right of the wall. I am a visual person and I love being able to actually “see” the progress I’m making as sticky notes move across the wall to the right!

My dynamic 2010 Take Action Plan

4. REPEAT STEPS 1-3 to keep revising my Vision and Plan as I accomplish goals and new goals emerge:  As I complete tasks and strategies, new goals emerge (We’re not the same people now that we were yesterday or even 5 minutes ago).  One of the coolest things about achieving goals is how new goals-new rockets of desire-emerge along the way….we’re never finished creating our next selves!

5. HUSTLE and NEVER GIVE UP:  Work smarter and enjoy the journey!  Always get back up, dust off, check parts, take note of new learnings, and move on.

Proof it Works

I have achieved AMAZING results in the progress of my art career over the past year and I attribute a good deal of this to using the SHIFT-IT process.  This SI process is powerful – it’s like putting rocket boosters to whatever “IT” is you want to shift – I’ve experienced it personally and had the privilege to witness it with my clients as well.

A few highlights of achievements that I have accomplished (or will before 2011 is complete) with my art career that just one year ago were mere goals and tasks written on sticky notes stuck to my wall:

1. I have had work accepted into several local, regional, and national juried exhibitions, received my first award, and had my work sell during the show.

2. I held my first ever (and now annual) open studio show.

3. I have been accepted into the Fort Collins Studio Tour event to be held in June 2011, so now will be hosting 2 Open Studio Shows in 2011.

3. I created a website AND a blog AND a Facebook Fan page for my art, and on April 6th, I’ll be celebrating my 1 year anniversary of my blog.

4. I will be teaching my first Visiting Artist Workshop, Art Cloth: Unique Hand-Printed Fabric, this summer at the Ah Haa School for the Arts in Telluride, CO.

5. I have been invited to participate in a 2 person show at a local gallery space in Fort Collins in the fall this year.

This is a quick overview of how I approach goal setting and action planning.  There’s certainly more to it than can be captured in one blog post, so if there’s interest, I may dive into more details in further posts.  Thanks for reading and joining me on my journey!

Endings and Beginnings, Looking Backwards and Forwards

January 7, 2011

"Tangled Web #10" © Ayn Hanna, 17"x12", Textile Painting (cotton fabric hand-dyed and discharged by the artist, cotton batting, cotton threads) mounted to canvas

Happy New Year!

My mind is spinning, awash in all the things that this time of year usually brings about:

Reflection, acknowledgement, and appreciation of all that I experienced, learned, and achieved in the past year.

Appreciating and realizing how I need to do better at making time for my important relationships with myself, my partner, family, and friends.

Planning my art/coaching career goals for this new year (including plans for completion of yet-to-be-completed goals from the previous year’s list such as my Shift-It Graphic Coaching Certification).

Selecting a single word as focus for this year (last year I chose 2 words, FIERCE JOY).

Slaying Dragons in my all-too-full-time-make-my-eyes-bleed-from-staring-at-a-computer-screen-for-11+hr-days Day Job. (I’m actually very grateful for my day job, even if I have to constantly keep reminding myself of that.)

Writing thank you cards to my art collectors (I sold 11 pieces – 5 textile paintings and 6 prints – through our First-Ever-and-then-Annual Hanna-Hooly Holiday Open Studio Show in Dec.).  The image above, Tangled Web #10, was one of the 5 textile paintings sold at the Open Studio Party.

This is a quick short post today as I am off to attend an art opening tonight, but will have more to share soon regarding 2010 accomplishments and 2011 goals & plans.


May 6, 2010

I find it’s really important to have clear goals and plans to keep me on track with the many important interests that I’m pursuing.  Juggling my day job, family relationships, self care, and art career are challenging enough even with an organized plan.  It would be total chaos without one.

Recently, I participated in one of Christina Merkley’s “Shift-It” group training sessions which really helped me gain clarity on where I’m headed and develop an organized plan to get there, across multiple facets of my life.  (I highly recommend the Shift-It program for anyone who really wants to make a change to their current situation and would like some help in clearly defining goals, plans, and ways to break through their own resistance.)  Through the Shift-It course, I first developed my Goals, then developed a Big Picture Plan which had 3 top level action areas in support of reaching those goals, and then for each of these Big actions, I created a Take Action Plan which includes the smaller tasks required to achieve the Big actions.

Below is a picture of my Take Action Plan.  It’s comprised of multiple sticky notes, each with a specific task.  It’s also a pretty dynamic plan, because I am constantly completing tasks and removing them from the wall and just as quickly, coming up with new tasks to add to take their place.  It’s all linked together, so I know that by working on completing the small tasks, I’m always making progress and headed in the direction of my ultimate goals.  It’s my anchor and compass, to get me where I want to be.

My "dynamic" Take Action Plan

Developing an Art Career

One of the action areas of my plan, in support of developing my art career, is to establish an exhibition record.  One of the tasks associated with that is to identify a list of potential juried shows to consider entering, noting their entry guidelines, and putting the entry due dates on the calendar.  Getting this information captured and then noted on the calendar really helps me to structure my plans and adds a nice incentive (i.e. “deadline looming”) to help me get pieces done.  Here’s a photo of my list of potential shows to enter for 2010.

I won’t be entering all of these shows (my goal is 2-3 this year), but having this list helps me map out and manage how I’ll focus and spend my studio time throughout the year.

What big goals do you have for your art career this year and what tools and processes do you use to keep yourself on track?

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