Letter to Santa (What I Want for Christmas)

Dear Santa,

I know that life hasn’t been easy on you lately.

Lots of people no longer believe in you, and I can’t imagine how awful that must feel.

Aside from that, Amazon and online retail in general must be terrible competition.

And what with hypes like Cybermonday and Black Friday, do people even want stuff anymore, come Christmas?

Oh right, I forgot: some people always want more stuff.

But, don’t you think things would get easier if you get with the times a little?

I mean, all that flying round in a sleigh – doesn’t that wear on you?

At your age, I imagine the cold must be a real drag.

And speaking about drag: reindeer and a sleigh are hardly aerodynamic, are they?

As for the reindeer: I’m sure you’re a friendly person and you just grew into it, but these days it’s become quite unacceptable to treat animals that way, making them work they way you do.

No, I think you’d be much better off using some technology.

I mean, even Amazon is going to use drones for delivery, so you might want to look into that.

But the real reason I’m writing you this letter, is to ask for my present.

And it’s not a present for me.

What I want for Christmas, this year and onward into the future, is for you to give people more art.

Because really, how many Nike shoes does a kid need?

And how much happier does a marriage become when you give the husband an Xbox?

Think about it: what people ask for might be what they want, but that’s not necessarily what makes them happy.

And you’ll agree with me that behind every want a person may have, the ultimate desire is to become a happier person.

And I don’t know if you’ve read the news the last few thousand years, but the more art there is in people’s lives, the better those lives get.

Theatre, opera, music, painting, dance, sculpture, literature…

All those things make life better and the world happier.

So it’s not that I want to tell you that you’re doing it wrong, but…

The world doesn’t need more toys and iPhones – it needs more art.

So that’s the only Christmas present I want, please: more art under the Christmas tree.

I’m sure you know which kind each person would be happiest with.



Happy holidays everyone!

AMEI Interview: How to Generate Massive Free Publicity for Your Art Business or Your Show

Yet another terrific Art Marketing Expert Interview, showing you how to get free press for your creative business:

In this interview, you’ll hear:

•    Why persistence matters: Luke just kept trying until he made something work, and he discovered that publicity was the thing that got people take him seriously.

•    Luke will also explain why interviews are much more effective than advertising, because they get you attention and authority.

•    Not only that: publicity also gives you the halo effect: it’s like an implicit endorsement

•    Not that it’s a replacement for marketing, but it’s one of the big overlooked opportunities and you’d do well to make use of it

•    Luke will explain why the mental block is the biggest problem for people who want to get press (aka the small poppy syndrome), and the workaround you can use to get publicity anyway.

•    Luke says that the key to publicity is giving a mix of entertainment and useful how-to information, or infotainment if you will

•    The one thing to avoid though when reaching out to journalists, is making it sound like an ad, and Luke will give very specific instructions on how to pitch news outlets with your story.

•    And, he’ll tell you how to get press by working with local outlets and talking about the local economy

•    Here’s another little tip to make it work: get a non-profit sponsor, or work with a local charity, And here’s another trick: if you happen to have a sticks and bricks location, why not become a drop off point for charity?

•    Basically, any event in your area can be a golden opportunity to have the news pick up your story.

•    Luke will share with you his tried and tested formula for getting press, for free, time and time again.

•    He will also tell you his case study, where a local gym owner who had gotten tired of her business and wanted to sell it. She organised an event, got the rapper Flo Rida to show up and rap some tracks, drummed up the press, and ended up selling her business with a big profit.

•    You’ll also hear an experiment I did trying to get some articles printed in the local press, but they were rejected – and Luke’s advice on how to make sure they’ll pick me up next time.

•    In the end, Luke says, it’s not about selling yourself, or even your art: you want to sell the press people your story idea.

•    He will tell you which website to use in order to automatically find reporters actively looking for interesting stories – and that could be your story.

•    Luke also tells you why Paul Hartunian is a guy you must follow and learn from if you want to use publicity to grow your creative business.

•    But, Luke says, if you want to get publicity you need to be very targeted in who you pitch to, otherwise you just spend a lot of energy for little result.

•    In essence, it comes down to your ability to appeal to the vanity of the journalists and news anchors.

•    You’ll hear Luke’s top tips for how to formulate your pitch, and what you must always include and avoid.

•    He’ll tell you about the three levels of radio stations, and how to move up the food chain, and why brokered radio is always hungry for guests.

•    And, Luke will share with you how you can use local events, ride the wave, and potentially get massive exposure and free press.

This interview can make a huge difference to your creative business, and I totally recommend you listen to it, notebook in hand.


50? No. 75 Bucks Worth of Art Supplies (I Pay Shipping)

If you replied to my email yesterday, and you haven’t heard from me yet: do forgive.

My inbox is creaking with all the replies, and I’ve been busy all morning setting up the giveaway contest.

And, I’m going to make it even more fun for you:

Garret from Japan wrote to say a gift card wouldn’t be much use to him, since he lives so far away.

So, I’ve upped the amount to 75 buckazoids.

In other words: I’ll pay for shipping.

Why am I doing this, running a contest for 75 dollars worth of art supplies?

Because I need your help, I’m asking for a favour, and I want to make it worth your time.

This seminar next week, I want to reach as many people as possible with it.

So please help me spread the word, either by email or on social media.

And, it’s going to be really worth it, here’s why:

The entire 3-hour event will be filmed, so that next year I’ll have a video course that I’ll be able to sell.

But, if you participate in the contest, you’ll get the full show, absolutely free.

So, you want to help your friendly little Stellar?

Then here’s how:

1: Go to the link below

2: Click the blue bar at the top that says ‘free art supplies’

3: Enter your name and email address, and click next.

4: Share as often as you like, and each time you share again, you get another entry in the contest.

You might not win, who knows.

But you will get the video.

If you click the link, and IF you share.

Which link?

This one –> http://www.martinstellar.com/find-buyers-sell-art/

Ready? Share! :)



Artist in Andalusia? Want to Sell More Art? Live Art Marketing Seminar in Competa Dec19!

Art makes and defines our culture – are you selling yours yet?
Exclusive invitation to a 3-hour art-marketing workshop in Competa on 19 December

I know, I know: when you hear the word marketing, you probably think of dodgy used car vendors, or those pesky telemarketers who call at the worst times.

In reality though, when you do your marketing right, you don’t need to bother people and you certainly don’t need to connive or cheat.

Think of it like this: Marketing is what you do when you can’t go see someone in person.

And selling is nothing more than being paid for something another person wants, out of their own volition.

But as a professional artist, you probably know full well that marketing and selling your art is difficult to get right.Should you go only with galleries? Can you use the internet to find buyers?

Do you need your own site, and what about social media – does that help to grow your audience and sell more of your work?

The answers to these questions, you’ll receive at the upcoming Art Marketing Workshop, jointly organised by Lieuwke Loth of Luz de la Vida Gallery, and art business coach Martin Stellar

During a 3-hour seminar, you’ll learn exactly which strategies and tools you can use in order to become more visible, to grow your audience, to build a fanbase of ambassadors, and ultimately to sell more of your work at better prices.
If you’ve ever wondered why other artists have a great career but you seem to be struggling, this workshop will elevate your business acuity to a higher level

As a coach and marketing teacher who specialises in helping artists prosper, Martin will share all the tips, tricks, tools and strategies that other successful artists use.

The date for this information-rich workshop is tentatively set for December 19th, to commence at 2PM. Addmission is 25 Euro p/p, to be paid in advance, and includes tea or coffee, plus a very tasty soup after the seminar.

After the workshop, there will be a Q&A so that once you go home, you’ll have all your questions answered.

This is a unique opportunity to prepare your art business for 2016, and to learn how you can finally start to build the success you deserve.

Please contact Lieuwke Loth or Martin Stellar for inquiries and reservations. Seats are limited to 15 attendees, so don’t miss your chance.

To purchase tickets directly, please visit this page: http://www.martinstellar.com/find-buyers-sell-art/
About the organisers:


Lieuwke Loth - artist, gallerist, mover and shaker

Lieuwke Loth – artist, gallerist, mover and shaker

Lieuwke Loth is an artist who runs the Galeria Luz de La Vida in Competa, and who organises art events like the Artwalk in Competa, the Art Days in Malaga, the Art IS Malaga Symposium and the LUZ Symposium in Competa. She can be contacted at info@lieuwkeloth.nl or +34722539488.




Martin Stellar - Art business coach. May contain nuts

Martin Stellar – Art business coach. May contain nuts

Martin Stellar is a Dutch author and art business coach who lives in Salobreña. He teaches marketing strategies and works 1-on-1 with artists, in order to help them sell more of their work. He recently helped Dutch artist Anook Cléonne launch her massively successful Blue Hour project. He can be reached at martinstrella@gmail.com or +34656321321

Industrial Distraction | Attention Span | Listening to Professional Advice

Had a bit of a fight with my book designer the other day.

I had sent the content of my ebook him, in order to create a front cover and design the interior layout.

And as you know, I have a very particular format for my writing.

With me, a paragraph is only one sentence long.

And a sentence is short.

Sometimes only one or two words.


And yes, I know that I break 400 years of typography with that.

I know it’s not ‘correct’ writing style.

And yes, I know that for some people that just doesn’t read well.

But there’s a particular reason for it, to do with psychology, so when Emma and her husband (who does the actual design) told me to please make proper paragraphs with a head and tail and a central thought, my initial reaction was: No.

I have my way, my reason, and my style – and that’s how it’s going to be.

Unless there’s a very good reason, I don’t see why I have to zig when everyone else does.

If I want to zag, I’ll bloody well zag, by Jove!

But then I got some advice from a few pros in the writing field.

James Chartrand said, more or less: “Don’t be stupid, just format it into proper paragraphs”.

Mark McGuinness said it’s up to me, and that his own editor once told him that attention spans have totally eroded due to the internet.

So that didn’t help me decide.

But it did help me think.

And what I thought was this:

It’s not attention spans that are the problem.

Maybe they are shorter than before, but the real problem is what I call the distraction industry.

You’ll have noticed:

Nearly everything on the internet (and indeed a lot of stuff in the real world) is based on pattern disrupt.

Whatever you might be doing, there’s someone out there who tries to break your concentration and corner your attention for a moment.

Money gets made when you get interrupted.

Even if the interruption is only clicking away an ad: the advertiser earns a few cents because you saw the ad.

Whatsapp, Facebook messages, Skype, SMS, ads – everything these days beeps and flashes.

At any time, you might be assailed by yet another distraction.

And make no mistake: this industry has developed this distraction skill to nearly scientific finesse.

And that’s why we get so easily distracted.

Not because our attention spans are shorter, but because there’s someone out there who makes money if only he manages to distract enough people.

This is also why I think the Android system is fundamentally broken.

Just consider: There’s a ‘back’ button on every Android device.

That means the system is designed around the concept of distraction and interruption.

You were doing something, got interrupted, and you hit back to return to what you were doing.

And I don’t think that’s good UX design.

But anyway, back to the book.

After a bit of back and forth with Emma and her hubby, I gave in.

Because if there’s one thing that isn’t useful, it’s clinging to our own ideas despite what a professional says.

And he’s a real pro, after all.

His designs are awesome.

Which means it would be stupid of me to ignore his professional advice.

Just like when I sold copywriting services:

Sometimes, a client would want a style that I knew for a fact wouldn’t work.

And I’d explain why, what to have me write instead – and if they wouldn’t listen, I wouldn’t take the gig.

When someone with expertise tells you how things need to be done for maximum effect, it’s worth your time to listen carefully.

When you do?

Well, magic can happen.

Like Anook, for example.

She listened to my advice, took it seriously and adapted it to her style and personality, and boom:

Massive success.

Anyway, my advice is yours for the taking, in case you need some help.

Otherwise, I bid you a fantastic day.

You can make it even more fantastic if you get my custom report on how to optimise your site for conversions.

But only if you take the advice and recommendations in it, and put them to use.

If so, here’s where you can get yours: –> http://www.martinstellar.com/turn-your-site-into-a-conversion-machine/



Why I Never Reply to Old Friend Direct Messages on Facebook

Every now and then, someone from long ago shows up on Facebook and sends me a direct message.

Usually along the lines of ‘Hey, long time, how have you been!’

I never reply.

Not because I’m antisocial.

Not because I don’t care about people.

And not because I’m not interested in people from the past.

But, I’m extremely careful and deliberate about who I am in touch with.

My circle of friends is small, but extremely high quality.

I chose my friends with care, and care a great deal about them.

If you are one of my friends, you know this to be true.

Sometimes, you fall out of touch with people, that’s just normal.

Lives change, people move on.

And in some cases, people from the past should stay in the past.

You’ve grown, evolved, changed – and that means that some people just don’t have the same relevance, meaning, or importance for you.

That doesn’t mean you should be as radical as I am, but it’s worth considering and looking at who the people are in your circles.

They say you are the sum of the five people you spend most time with, and I think there’s true to it.

And also, some people just don’t help you along.

There are folks out there who drag you down, as much as they may care about you.

Besides, I don’t know about you but I look forward in life, not back.

What’s in the past is in the past, and that’s just fine by me.

But here’s the biggest reason that I don’t reply to old-timey reconnect messages on Facebook:

If someone hasn’t talked to me in ten years, and it’s only because of Facebook’s ‘do you know Martin’ algorithm that they contact me?

Then I’m not really interested.

Call me weird, but if someone doesn’t have the impetus to connect out of his or her own volition, then I probably have better things to do.

Does this make my life lonely?

Not at all.

It just ensures that IF I have a friend, we’re meaningful to each other.

Machiel for example, who I hadn’t heard from in 15 years.

He wanted to get in touch so he looked me up, found my site, sent me an email.

And I was thrilled to hear from him.

Be mindful of who you have in your life, because everyone is an influence.

Like my teacher of Andragogics used to say, back when I studied to be a psychiatric nurse:

“You can’t not influence”.

Wise words.

Who’s influencing you?

Oh hey, if you want some helpful and positive influence in your life, I can give you some.

16 pages of LEAP art marketing teaching each month, plus email access to me any time you need it.

Sign up here –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/



Oh, the Places I’ll Go…

Don’t know about you, but I’m EXCITED about the new year.

Pumped, as the American colloquialism goes.

I have no idea what’s all going to happen, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a lot and a lot of fun.

See, all that stuff I wrote in the December LEAP about habits, planning, strategy and so on, I’m putting that to use.

I’m building and fortifying habits, creating new products, recording and publishing art marketing expert interviews, creating ebooks and planning live seminars…

There’s a new website (still with a few broken bits and bobs, but that’s getting fixed) and there’s even a new logo.


Cute, no?

That one was made by Emma Plunkett, who with her partner also builds websites.

And as an artist herself (plus a real good designer) she knows what an artist website should look like.

If ever you need a new site, or work done on your current site, let me know and I’ll put you in touch.

But yes.

It’s going to be an exciting year.

And if not for all the new plans and projects, it’s because of this:

I’m no longer busy.

Used to be, I was always very busy.

Or at least, I thought so.

In reality, I procrastinated on all kinds of things, which only made me feel busy.

But now I have a coach who’s keeping track of my progress, and procrastination, that old but deceiving friend, is long long gone.

I’m no longer busy, but I work harder than ever before.

Progress. It rocks.

Credit goes to systems and habits.

Yes yes, it’s going to be a fun year.

Lots of interesting stuff, including a special book that Anook and I are going to make.

Especially for artists, and not for reading.

A very special book, for special artists.

Details to be revealed at a later date.

Oh, why do I tease you so?

Cuz I can, maybe.

Anyway, if you’re reading this on my blog and you’re not subscribed, you might want to do so now.

Otherwise, if you already are and you want to learn how to get free publicity and do outreach like a pro, get on board for the January LEAP.

It’s going to show you how you can get bums in seats and viewers at your shows, in the real work.

Signup is here –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/



Do This: Simple ‘Trick’ to Get Journos and Influencers to Your Art Show

Some things are so simple that you don’t even think about it.

So today, let me give you a tip that just might get you high attendance for your next show, and with a bit of luck it’ll get you press as well.

And, it’ll hardly cost you any time or effort.

Two concepts to work with:

1: Other people’s audience and

2: What are you for?

See, I spoke to an artist yesterday.

She’s having a solo show in a few weeks, and obviously she needs bums in seats.

But her own list is quite small, and Facebook only gives you so much reach.

So I told her this:

“Your art is about children, education, and the way we adults influence the child during their formative years.

“I know for a genuine fact that you’re not the only one who’s interested in those things.

“There will be bloggers, authors, journalists, editors, radiomakers and podcasters and filmographers, all with the same focus.

“These people all have their own audience.

“And that means they’ll want to find new material ongoingly, to communicate with that audience.

“And you, your art and your show: you are new material.

“So what you do is spend a few hours googling, and create a list of people who work with the same topic, who have a reasonable sized audience, and who seem approachable.

“Then you write a template email that tells them you like their work, that your work has overlap and why, and that you’re about to have an exhibition.

“You explain why you feel their audience might be interested, and you invite them to the opening, while also telling them that you’re open to doing an interview.

“You slightly modify the email for each person, adding in comments that show you’ve actually seen their work, and you hit send.

“Do that 30 or 40 times, and it’s entirely likely that you’ll get three or four people to reply.

“Probably even more.

“And suddenly, you are in front not only of your own audience, but theirs as well.”

And that’s how you use your ‘why’, the thing your art is for, combined with Other People’s Audience, in order to get more visibility for your work.

And if you want to have that email template ready and written?

Then sign up for the next LEAP, because it’s included and ready to use in your own marketing.

Along with a whole lot more tips for getting more of your art seen and sold in the coming year.

Sign up here –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/




Am I Really That Crazy?

I don’t know, you tell me.

I’m in Africa, never been here before, meeting people and seeing things and having a tremendous time…

And yet, I’m working.

Wtf Martin, are you really that crazy?

Is there no offtime for you?

Oh yes, there sure is.

But there’s a couple of good reasons why I’m still
working, even if it’s only my daily email and a replying to the most urgent emails that come in.

For one thing, to show you something, namely: business goes on, even if you’re on holidays.

Which doesn’t mean you can’t take time off – just that you need to make sure you have things in place to keep working while you’re not working.

For me, that’s the daily email.

That’s something so easy and so fast, now that I’ve been doing it for almost two years, that it literally takes me less than 20 minutes a day.

So I don’t consider it work – rather, it’s maintenance activity.

Aside from that, there’s the fact that yes, business goes on even if I’m not working.

Sure it would be fun to just completely disconnect, have 100% downtime while I’m away.

But actually?

I don’t want to.

Not fully.

Because I’m in the business of being a fixture in your life, and that doesn’t just stop when I stop.

Of course I could have pre-written my dailies, and scheduled them to go out automatically.

But that’s not how I work.

These emails, they’re baked fresh daily.

Pre-writing them just wouldn’t be the same.

For you, perhaps – you might not notice the difference.

But it’s exactly this ‘getting down to it daily’ that is the core of my work.

And that’s why I’d rather miss the odd one out, like last week, instead of having them all pre-written and set up for send in advance.

I need to stay in this groove, you see.

It’s how I work, how I live my life.

And then there’s another thing, something I need to show you.

And it’s really really important.

See, right now I’m at the Rabat train station, and our train to Fes is delayed.

Well ain’t that just perfect?

I had no idea what I was going to write today, had not had a chance yet, and whoops: suddenly there’s a 40 minute void in my day.

What better to do than to grab my laptop and rap out a little message to you?

It’s perfect.

And that’s another lesson today: you might be really busy.

I believe it when you say your days are frigging full.

But even in days like that, you’ll find small slots, tiny spaces of vacuum.

And to be more effective and more efficient in your art business, it’s exactly a matter of making use of those when you have the chance, that you get to put in small but important bits.

Could be jotting down a writing idea in a notebook.

Maybe a quick sketch of something you want to paint.

Reviewing your calendar, or perhaps simply tweeting a bit while standing in line at the supermarket.

There’s more time in the day than you think.

And while those slots might seem like downtime, they usually aren’t because you feel unproductive.

That’s why I prefer to use those.

That way, I get to have more, and actual, offtime – which means I enjoy it more and I get more rest from it.

Your mileage may vary.

But I say it’s worth your time (get it?) to look at it, and see how you treat your time.

Anyway, learn the ins and outs of this kind of thinking for your business, in the monthly LEAP newsletter –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/



Blame Game vs Ownership: "It's Because of the Crisis!"

A vernissage last Friday, some very interesting abstract work in a small Danish gallery.

Talking to one of the visitors – herself a painter – she laments:

“Used to be my work sold really well, all through galleries.

“But it’s because of the crisis, that’s when everything fell to pieces and sales were decimated”.

I see what she means but it’s not how things work.

Sure, things were easier in the past.

And yes, the economy broke the back of many a business – art and otherwise.

But let me ask you this: If you’re out for a walk and it starts to rain, do you just let it rain on you?

Or do you flip open your umbrella…?

When traffic clogs up ahead of you, do you just motor on without slowing down?

If the cheese in your fridge has gone off, do you eat it anyway?

Of course not.

Any sensible person will react to change, and adjust their own attitude or actions to match the new status quo.

Of course it’s a pity when external circumstances reduce the output of what you’ve carefully built up.

But it’s going to happen sooner or later, one way or another.

Life is composed of an endless series of changes.

And your life in it is composed of an endless series of choices.

When things change, you have the option to choose to change as well.

When you do, you keep moving.

If you don’t, things stagnate, and you end up stuck longing for the good old days.

I say listen to life, and adjust your actions and strategies to what life presents you with.

When sales drop, choose to own your business, and learn what you need to know in order to crank them up again.

That’s how you build and sustain a business.

Here’s a strategy for you to consider: learning how the psychology of your buyer works, and what methods of exposure and communication work for you and your art business.

And here’s a choice to consider: signing up for the LEAP art marketing newsletter, so that you learn exactly that, and more.

More information here –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/



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