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Karen Atkinson

Blog Entries by Karen Atkinson

Are We Teaching Artists to Fail*?

(16) Comments | Posted July 14, 2012 | 5:32 PM

I recently did an informal survey of artists who have participated in "business of art" workshops, classes and lectures around the country to get an idea of what was being taught and how it was received. This included schools and universities, nonprofit organizations and individuals who offer these courses or...

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Why Your Site Is Not on My Pinterest

(0) Comments | Posted March 28, 2012 | 2:58 PM

I decided to use Pinterest in a new way. I am creating lists of organizations that are helpful to artists, both locally in Los Angeles as well as nationally. Pinterest is all the rage this month, but it seems to be providing great results, especially for visual folks and artists...

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Fundraising Without Writing Grants

(1) Comments | Posted February 13, 2012 | 10:56 AM

Cartoon by Sue Clancy

Fundraising can be a daunting task, and writing grants requires a lot of time and effort. There is a lot of competition for a small amount of funds. Coming up with other strategies to raise capital is essential for contemporary artists....

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Reasons for Rejection and What You Can Do About It for Artists

(4) Comments | Posted January 25, 2012 | 4:40 PM

As an artist, a large part of getting things going is to submit proposals to grantmakers, funders, galleries, nonprofits and businesses. After having had the pleasure and pain of sitting on many panels for all of the above, I thought I would share the reasons why artists get rejected and...

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End of the Year Checklist for Creatives

(1) Comments | Posted December 25, 2011 | 1:03 PM

Just a few thoughts for the end of the year:


  • Do your books before December 31st, so you can tell if you can or should spend on any tax-deductible items.

  • Send a thank you to those who have...
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Mental Menudo: In Celebration of Artist Gilbert "Magu" Lujan

(3) Comments | Posted July 27, 2011 | 8:59 PM

Mental Menudo: A series of gatherings at homes, studios and back yards (and later at a few art institutions) in which the participants engaged in conversations about art and life, which were designed to be challenging and engaging.

Gilbert "Magu" Lujan (left) on one...
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Career Options for Creatives (Finding a Job)

(3) Comments | Posted May 27, 2011 | 11:25 AM


The average American getting out of college today can expect to have five to ten careers during his or her lifetime. If you just graduated, or you have been looking for a job for some time, here are some helpful hints on finding a...

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Ethics For Artists

(11) Comments | Posted February 22, 2011 | 9:25 AM

The discussion of ethics in the art world has come up numerous times recently. Since all participants have a stake, I am going to start with my suggestions for artists. In another post, I will discuss ethics for other participants.

Having worked on just about all sides of the...

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Artist-Run Businesses Matter

(9) Comments | Posted December 15, 2010 | 4:03 PM

There is a myth out there that artists are not good at business. I did a survey about six months ago of gallery dealers in Los Angeles, and asked them about artists and entrepreneurship, and the business of art. The most common reply was that artists are not good for...

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East of Borneo: A New Model for Online Magazines in Los Angeles

(0) Comments | Posted November 9, 2010 | 9:40 AM

In Los Angeles, where over two hundred languages are spoken in the elementary schools alone, with a diversity of just about everything you can think of, it's almost impossible to imagine a dominant history encompassing this sprawling heterogeneous city. With so many individual perspectives here, it's worth asking who gets...

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Ask GYST: Public Domain Images Get a Mark

(4) Comments | Posted October 15, 2010 | 6:37 PM

Creative Commons has announced the release of the Public Domain Mark. Artists and others are using multiple images from the web for just about every conceivable purpose including making artwork. Now, the new mark can be attached to images that are free of copyright and are a part of the...

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Ask GYST: Aging as an Artist

(1) Comments | Posted October 15, 2010 | 1:45 PM

As the graying of America progresses and the baby boomers begin to enter their twilight years, the US government and other agencies are deep in discussion over issues of physical and mental health care; social security, retirement and pension benefits, and attitudes and policies on aging. Traditional solutions to the...

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Ask GYST: Time Management for Creatives

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2010 | 5:24 PM


Why should you have great time management skills?

Effective time management is an essential skill for creatives. Artists need to work smarter when times are tough. Those who manage their time and get organized are some of the top achievers in any field, and...

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Getting Your Sh*t Together: Ask GYST (Keeping Track of Information for a Work of Art)

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2010 | 5:27 PM

What are the basic pieces of information I should keep track of for each work of art I make and sell?
Kimberly B., Painter
Los Angeles, CA

It is vital for any artist to keep track of what is happening with their work, sold or not. I know...

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Getting Your Sh*t Together: Ask GYST (Bartering and Trading Artwork)

(0) Comments | Posted September 14, 2010 | 12:34 PM

I want to propose a barter with my dentist, I give her a painting in exchange for dental work. Are there laws I need to know about?
Zachary B., Artist
Los Angeles, CA

Yes, the IRS has a number of rules in regards to bartering and trading. There...

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Getting Your Sh*t Together: Ask GYST

(0) Comments | Posted September 3, 2010 | 11:39 AM

A number of years ago, I was sitting in a faculty meeting and we were discussing the current curriculum of the art program and chatting about the embarrassing things that our students have done as part of their art careers and how little they knew about the professionalism of being...

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