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Omphaloskepsis Blog

29 essential blogs and websites that every artist can benefit from

Mar 27, 2013

There are quite a number of blogs and web feeds I follow on a regular basis, some of them are indespensible tools for an artists toolkit. Here they are. What websites do you think are valuable and important for an artist and why? Tell me in the comments so everyone can benefit.





This is where I would begin. Feedly is an RSS aggregator. If you don’t use one yet, now is the time to begin! RSS means Rich Site Summary sometimes called Really Simple Syndication are web feeds used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines and articles, audio, and video—in a standardized format. There are a half dozen or more RSS aggregators you can use with your browser. Some are free, some are not. Feedly is free and does a beautiful job of presenting the information, is user friendly and plays well with others. Using an aggregators means you don’t have to continue to visit each individual website to check in on the blogs.



Of course, you can begin your RSS feed subscriptions with my blog: Omphaloskepsis.  The susbscriebe to blog button is in the column on the left. Omphaloskepsis: contemplation of one's navel as an aid to meditation In Greek, omphalos means "navel"; skepsis means "examination." Less than a century old, omphaloskepsis is usually considered humorous. Shift Collaborative Gallery nominated my blog for The Versatile Blogger. (Thank you!) www.shiftcollaborative.wordpress.com  I write about being an artist, from the business of art, to building an expert shipping crate, to registering your copyrights, to creativity, donations, other artists, grants, as well as my own career.



Art Biz Blog


This is a blog I can’t live without. Alyson Stanfield is upbeat, she keeps me motivated, on track, in touch and always learning something about the art business from organization skills, techniques, software to publishing a catalog, to how to build a relationship with your gallery and more. She offers seminars and wrote the book I’d Rather Be In the Studio! http://www.artbizcoach.com/irbits/. I also subscribe to her email blasts. My favorites are her Friday Twitter Tweekly’s, they always have wonderful links.


The Abundant Artist 


Another wonderful art business management blog is Cory Huff’s The Abundant Artist. Cory writes: “I teach artists to dispel the starving artist myth by using the Web to sell art directly to your fans. I don’t teach artists how to get into galleries or museums. Building your own business online can be complimentary to a gallery business.” Cory also offers courses and a mailing list.


Renee Phillips The Artrepreneur


From her website: "Ever since I was an art student I've been determined to empower other artists and eliminate the stereotype of the "poor starving artist." I absolutely LOVE promoting talented artists. I LOVE writing about talented artists. And, I LOVE giving artists the guidance they need to take their career to the next level." Renée is the Founder and Director of Manhattan Arts International www.ManhattanArts.com. It features a Membership gallery and art resources. She is a leading expert in her field and internationally recognized for six editions of her best selling book The Complete Guide to New York Art Galleries. She is also the author of Presentation Power Tools for Fine Artists and Success NOW! For Artists. Her most recent publication is the Artist Success Package: A Complete Handbook for Professional Artists.

Creative Capital RSS feed 


They have a two year application cycle for various disciplines and it’s quite a big deal to become one of their artists. “Creative Capital supports innovative and adventurous artists across the country through funding, counsel and career development services. Our pioneering approach—inspired by venture-capital principles—helps artists working in all creative disciplines realize their visions and build sustainable practices.” You can subscribe to their blog.

Alan Bamburger: Art Business; articles for artists and collectors 


Alan Bamburger is a San Francisco art consultant who has written The Art of Buying Art as well as many many helpful articles for collectors and artists. He is also on Facebook and hosts lively debates. One thing I do caution the reader, while I greatly appreciate the artists articles, I sometimes come away feeling annoyed by the anti-artist bias in the writing.

Professional Guidelines 


A fabulous free resource by artist Harriete Estel Berman. “The Professional Guidelines have been developed as a reference to help everyone in the arts and crafts community learn how to handle common but important situations that may arise. These documents are basic tools for improved and equitable business practices, leading toward more standard professional practices.” Check it out.

Government copyright page


Here is where you register your copyrights. Yes, you own the copyright of your work as soon as it’s created, but you have 3 months retroactively to register it in order to have protection under the law. It’s only $35 do register electronically. And quite easy to do. You can read my blogs about copyright to learn how and why.


Mail Chimp


You must be building your mailing list with every contact you make. There are several good, free services you can use to aggregate your mailing lists, segment them and easily design and track custom email invitations and announcements. I like Mail Chimp. Their training videos prepare you to create professional campaigns and track them.

Wise Stamp


A wise stamp is a signature you add to the end of your email. You can link your webpage, your blog, any any of your social media you want. You can customize how you present your name. If you use constant contact, it integrates with constant contact so people can sign up directly to your mailing list. Unfortunately, it does not yet integrate with Mail Chimp.

How to start licensing your art 


Nice little article with embedded links.




Fractured Atlas Blog  


If you are not a member of Fractured Atlas, I highly recommend it. Yes, you have to pay but what you get in return is worth it. Fractured Atlas offers hands down THE BEST fiscal sponsorship available. They only take 6% as opposed to the 10% or more that the other fiscal sponsors take. The accounting is way better. They also offer health insurance for artists, all kinds of webinars to teach about fundraising and grant writing, as well as a plethora of excellent online courses all included with membership.


Here is what they say about themselves on their website: “Fractured Atlas empowers artists, arts organizations, and other cultural sector stakeholders by eliminating practical barriers to artistic expression, so as to foster a more agile and resilient cultural ecosystem. We're a national organization that supports folks at every level of the cultural ecosystem. Mostly that includes individual artists — performing, visual, literary, design, media, and everything in between — and arts organizations — from one-person outfits to the biggest of the big. Our office may be in New York, but everything we do has a national reach. (We've even got members outside the US.) Whether you're in a small town, a big city, or the middle of nowhere, all of our services are just a click away.”


Artist Trust

www.artisttrust.org and http://artisttrust.org/index.php/for-artists for the listings


Artist Trust is a Washington State non-profit organization supporting the arts. Here’s what they say about themselves on their website: “Artist Trust is a not-for-profit organization whose sole mission is to support and encourage individual artists working in all disciplines in order to enrich community life throughout Washington State. To accomplish its mission, Artist Trust raises funds from an array of sources in order to: Give financial grants, through a peer review process, to individual artists working in the visual, performing, media, literary, and interdisciplinary arts; serve as a professional information resource for artists and encourage artists to support each other; and, provide recognition and support for the contributions artists make to the lives of people of Washington State and for the merit and integrity of artists' work.”




I subscribe to re-title’s international opportunities listings. In their own words: re-title.com, an artist initiative founded in London in 2005, is the information resource for emerging and professional contemporary art, providing directory and publicity services for internationally focused artists and galleries. This subscription is free.



Benny Shaboy’s baby. I pay a yearly subscription fee to Art Opportunites Monthly and every month I receive a PDF with hundreds of verified listings in all disciplines. From juried shows, to university galleries, to residencies.




The Marketing Zen Group 


THE go to people to learn how to effectively use social media. If you were only going to subscribe to one blog to learn about social media, this would be the one.


Mari Smith


Mari is considered the guru of Facebook. She is up to date on the latest developments and changes and can tell you how to set up your page and fan page like a wizard. But it’s not just about FB, it’s about marketing too.


Social Media Examiner


OK. I hate that I need this site. It offends my sense of design because it’s so used auto retail looking. But it’s so useful. If you need to learn how to use social media (and we all do!) this is a must subscribe blog.



The Guardian UK: art


The Guardian has some of the best articles about art.

Art Critical


“An online magazine about art and ideas” The articles are longer and meatier and relevant to the artworld today.

Edward Winkleman 


Edward Winkleman is a NY Art Dealer who writes a widely followed and fabulous blog about the art world and the art scene.


New American Paintings 


New American Paintings Magazing is a juried exhibition in print that publishes a bi-monthly magazine of 40 emerging painters. Each juror is a high profile curator, critic, or gallerist in the art world. They keep a blog that keeps me up to date on some of the hottest national work today.

Art Beat 


Seattle government’s up to date what’s going on in art, RFQ’s, Art education, Calls, Funding etc. Good one to subscribe to if you live in Seattle. If you don’t, check you city government page to see if your city has a similar page.



Pivitol Presentations


Although Connie doesn’t actively blog anymore, she has plenty of fabulous past, very relevant blogs posted about how to give a stellar presentation. As artists, at some point you are called upon, either formally or informally, to present about your work. It is very important to learn how to speak publicly. Start practicing now.

TED talks 


Of course, another great way to learn how to give fabulous talks is to watch some of the best TED talks, like Brene Brown’s talk on vulnerability. Additionally, learn some fascinating things about the world you live in for some great cross-disciplinary stimulation.






This is one of my all time favorite blogs. There’s always something I won’t find anywhere else and it’s usually pretty whacky which meets with my own warped, closet humor. I usually end up pinning the videos onto my Pinterest page. Love this blog!


Pick the Brain: Motivation 


This is not a blog about art or art business. It’s articles about staying motivated. Working in isolation, it helps me to read about how to stay motivated.




This is where I go for inspiration. Even though the title is similar to the previous website, they're nothing alike! It features writers and poets and illustrators and sometimes scientists. It’s about beauty in life and it’s always interesting and high brow.

First Thursday Art Schlock 


If the title doesn’t already say it all…this is a tumblr page of sassy, snarky, anonymous animated gifs…just to help you keep it all in perspective. So fun and funny and now it has a cult following.


Category: How to
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