Do mail out Annual newsletter. Don’t mail it out every 3 years, unless you wish to re-title it ‘the annual and a bit’ newsletter and have disappointed clients on your hands.
Do write in your daily blog. Don’t misinterpret daily as meaning annual, they will not sign on everyday for a year just to check to see if you have.
Do send out an invitational mailing to your shows. Don’t send them out the day before the show, your clients do have a life, the postmaster is not related to superman andsticking and licking 5,000 stamps, labels and return addresses doesn’t make for a happy assistant at the show the next day, also hinders her communication skills.
Do get an assistant at all cost, they are worth their weight in gold. Don’t mail out the entire data base if you want to keep her.
Do go to breathtakingly beautiful, way out of the way places for inspiration and reference. Don’t take the scenic route, if driving there. ie; San Juan Islands are a long way from Southern California, remember this is not
England and ALWAYS check that ‘inches to mileage ratio thingy’ in the bottom corner of your map of
Do, when going to remote wilderness, take someone with you, who can carry the dinner bells, bear spray, back pack, and camping gear. So as an added bonus, you should now be able to outrun them if necessary. Don’t take just Ramen noodles if you want the bear to follow the one with the food pack.
Do, when hundreds of miles in the wilderness, at all costs, guard your food. (…..unless its just Ramen noodles) Don’t challenge a hungry bear with nothing but a plastic canoe paddle …ok, I did survive, the tactic worked, but that bear had never seen a paddle before. Sheer luck.
Do follow exciting animal tracks. Don’t follow mountain goat tracks
Pleine air; Do paint outdoors in the wilderness where ever possible. Don’t paint in ANY areas with Black Flies or Mosquitoes!!!! Unless wearing all in one body bug suit. Or paint in dense berry patches, unless making lots of noise, ie; clank brush in jar continuously. For that matter, streams loaded with Salmon, not good! Just because the biologist says the bear is happy and busy fishing, don’t count on it, we all saw what happened to the ‘Grizzly Bear Man’!!??! Gulp!, Don’t; paint on high windy ridges, Californian Deserts in summer, by the Arctic ocean, near the Arctic ocean, within 500 miles of the Arctic ocean, (even with 7 layers on and a down jacket, I still froze!) etc.
Do paint loose and fast; 1.) A fast exit might be necessary. 2.) When looking through your bug mesh body suit, that is all you are capable of. Don’t use oil painting as fly paper to catch Black Flies.
Do paint landscapes and small friendly animals. Don’t paint anything that looks hungry or very cross with you.
Studio painting; Do correct with your reference photos, all the bad anatomy you drew at break neck speed in the wild. Don’t use reference photos where the animal is a blur, when doing detailed paintings.
Do listen to books on tape when painting 8,786,542 hairs. Don’t listen to scary ones remember you’re painting hairs.
Do listen to music especially fast and lively classical music. Don’t conduct to it with your paint brush when clients are coming over, especially with big glass french doors to your studio. Yes, we are allowed to be a little nuts but it’s still embarrassing when it is confirmed.
Do pick a maximum of one animal and hide at least three feet behind rocks, grasses, tree stumps, old tin cans, boxes etc. Feet are very hard to paint. Don’t EVER do a painting involving the word herd!!!!!
Do become a writer on the side to survive as an artist, as we all know how lucrative that field is. Don’t tell your clients you have become a writer on the side and never finish one book! And remember a book on animal poetry requires more than two.
Do enjoy time out with your collectors as then you can avoid painting hairs. Don’t ever take your best collector in to the cage with you, when getting reference of three mountain lions. Er, in fact, Don’t ever go in a cage with three mountain lions!!!??!!!