Toilet Paper Inspiration
As I refer to toilet paper inspiration in this case, I am referring to the amazing turn of the tides in the art world regarding the famous and very successful, deceased artist Thomas Kinkade. As the saying goes, you can’t make this stuff up. Who would have thought someone the mainstream art world diminished, would be the one coming to their aid.
Thomas Kinkade’s Foundation
The Kinkade Foundation recently contacted NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance) after it wrote an open letter to New York officials demanding financial relief for galleries shuttered by COVID-19. Their relief petition for galleries and artists just reached over 40,000 signatures as I am writing this article. The last foundation you would ever expect the NADA to connect with might be the Kinkade Family Foundation. So many visual artists today dismiss anything by Kinkade, and many deride his work with great disgust. This is true of both Christian artists and non-Christian artists. His work is seen as kitschy and sentimental as opposed to more serious artwork. But how can even the most staunch, elite art dealer argue with an advocate like this in a season like we are in today?
The Kinkade Foundation is selling some of Thomas Kinkade’s earliest, and never before seen work, which has become iconic in this weekly challenge to find toilet paper. See here the painting by Kinkade, Untitled (toilet paper). Fans and patrons can buy puzzles made from the painting, as well as limited and open edition prints on canvas. Still looking for the right painting to put in the guest bathroom?
If that’s not your taste, and you would like something a bit more edgy, maybe try this artwork created by our friend Charlie Wen. Having created so many iconic visuals for Sony and for Marvel, he took a moment during the quarantine and created an image of Ultron sitting on a throne of Costco toilet paper.
Now you can have something for the Man-Cave and the She-Shed!
Time to Pivot
But in all seriousness, when you are done worrying about toilet paper it is time to pivot. There is no better time to try something different. We cannot do things the way we used to a few weeks ago. So stop trying to manage the same way you did before. Make the most of this season (and take some time to rest). As we talk about in our calling course, there are different seasons in your life, and your calling will need to adapt to new seasons. It may be an illness in the family, new obligations or changes in the marketplace. Anyone still have a MySpace account?
So, here are the top 7 things to do now, during the quarantine to pivot.
Top 7 Things to Do Now
No matter your creative endeavor you need to care about your database of patrons, colleagues, business contacts, fans, and super fans. You can update your current database, or maybe it is time for you to start using business tools like CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software. There are dozens of great options, but you need to have a way to keep track of everyone. You don’t want to forget who bought your last painting, connected you to a new gig, or opened the door to write a new TV series. Nurtured contacts are critical to success in the long term.
Think of the Kinkade Foundation. This is a great time to do some work with other artists or organizations online. Consider volunteering your talents, seeing how you could gain exposure as you bless others. Consider partnering with someone to create new experiences online or in person once the quarantine is over. Or maybe there is someone you always wanted to work with, but never asked. They are probably stuck at home too, and it may be the perfect time to reach out. Shoot for the stars.
People want to help each other, but how can they help if they don’t know how? Are you still using just contacts in your phone to run your artistic pursuits? You may need to start using an email service like ConstantContact to communicate more effectively and track how much your audience is responding to your work. Consider how you can keep in touch and nurture your audience.
Take an online course right from home and develop your talents. Now is the perfect time to learn Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, or whatever tool you need to upgrade your ability to stand out from the crowd. You can buy complete courses, or simply invest time watching YouTube tutorials and targeting specific tips and tricks.
Your marketing pieces, sizzle reel, website design, and business cards might all need to be gone over and touched up where needed. The competition isn’t going to be spending all this quarantine time reading books and sipping tea. Don’t fall behind while others are upgrading their image.
Are you still using the same profile picture from 10 years ago? It is a great time to review and update your profiles on social media and maybe even add a new channel to communicate with your fans and patrons. Have you updated your experience, unique market positioning, or new products? It may be time to simplify by deleting information that doesn’t highlight your talents, and add your latest expertise.
There is nothing as refreshing as good news right now. We are tired of the news and looking for something encouraging, hopeful and celebratory. Use some of your time to celebrate other artists, encourage them online or on the phone (at least until we can gather for parties again). There is nothing that lifts your own spirits quite like celebrating the life, talent, and beauty of others.
You may not have a great painting of toilet paper to offer the world, but you are uniquely talented with something wonderful to offer. Capitalize on what you do have instead of worrying about what you don’t have right now. God has gifted you, and you have opportunities to use those gifts to collaborate, celebrate and inspire. So take time and consider these 7 things to do right now during the quarantine.
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