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We help people get their home-based art businesses off the ground, with marketing tips and cake.



We chat about all aspects of building an art business and being an artist, from learning the craft, building confidence, tackling hurdles, pricing your work to self promotion and website basics.



We're both artists with marketing backgrounds, so we know what it's like from the inside. We work with various mediums from coloured pencils, to acrylics and pastels.



In addition to our experience, we'll also be interviewing some successful artists to see what advice they can offer.



All accompanied by slurps of tea and munching of cake. What are you waiting for? Put the kettle on and join us.

Life and Pencils Nikki Ruocco and Jill Aspin

    • Bildende Kunst

We help people get their home-based art businesses off the ground, with marketing tips and cake.



We chat about all aspects of building an art business and being an artist, from learning the craft, building confidence, tackling hurdles, pricing your work to self promotion and website basics.



We're both artists with marketing backgrounds, so we know what it's like from the inside. We work with various mediums from coloured pencils, to acrylics and pastels.



In addition to our experience, we'll also be interviewing some successful artists to see what advice they can offer.



All accompanied by slurps of tea and munching of cake. What are you waiting for? Put the kettle on and join us.

    Episode 9: Isolation, Condemnation and Defamation

    Episode 9: Isolation, Condemnation and Defamation

    After lowering the tone in episode 8 (that was funny though!), we're on to more sensible topics this week.







    When we've established what beverages we're drinking and what cake we're not having, we crack on and tackle a few issues that we feel most artists will resonate with.







    Topics discussed this week are loneliness as an artist, something that is more common that you might think. Being an artist is quite an isolating thing, and whilst some artists embrace all of that alone time, others - especially those who are transgressing over from a full time day job, tend to find the solitude quite hard to deal with. We come up with some solutions that you can put in place to help combat any feelings of loneliness.







    We also talk about unwanted critiques and how offensive it can be to foist your unwanted opinion onto another artists work. Plus, we chat about dealing with clients who are asking too much of you in terms of tweaks and changes.







    Jill recommends following an amazing artist called Lauren Daae, who creates amazing art with coffee! And Nikki recommends a tool called Canva this week and has created a video on How to Use Canva here.







    So grab yourself a cuppa and have a listen. Feel free to drop us a comment or review below and don't forget to look us up on our community Facebook group

    • 1 Std. 7 Min.
    Episode 8: Limited Snacks, Understanding your Tax & No Need for a Wax

    Episode 8: Limited Snacks, Understanding your Tax & No Need for a Wax

    In episode 8, Jill walks us through how to understand tax with your art business if you are working within the UK - it could work differently, depending on where you are based. She explains how it all works, what your tax allowance is and how much you can earn before tax, plus what is tax deductible and what you need to do to keep track.







    Nikki touches on why it's not a bad thing to fail, so that you can then adjust your plan and try something else - failing is good, everything is a learning curve.







    We also chat about what we got up to over festive period and the worst Christmas we've ever received - trust me, you won't have received a worse present than Nikki.







    Jill recommends a podcast for your dogs 'My Dogs favourite Podcast' created by Spotify - you did not read that incorrectly, and Nikki recommends you go and follow Wildlife artist Annie Drew, who paints beautiful wildlife paintings in oils. You can find Annie on Instagram here.







    Jane Booth is also mentioned as Jill is having a day's painting tutorial with her in Feb and is really excited about it!!







    If you'd like to keep up with when the next podcast is dropping, you can follow our Facebook page here -or join our Community here

    • 1 Std. 4 Min.
    Episode 7: Mildly Festive, Mildly Offensive, Always a ‘Joy’

    Episode 7: Mildly Festive, Mildly Offensive, Always a ‘Joy’

    In episode 7, Jill brings up those bloody mince 'not' pies with the sponge topping again, it's not a pie Jill!!







    We talk about winding down for the year and some of the things we'd like to draw in our downtime over Christmas, and how that can impact us us within our businesses as we head into the new year.







    Nikki mentions how she's inadvertently used her boob to draw with pastels on occasion, which leads to a discussion on other appendages that they both find hilariously funny - because frankly, the maturity level is low.







    Our recommended follows this week are @jessie_babin_fine_arts and @demilangart







    So allow us to keep you company in your studio for an hour as we say goodbye to 2019 and look forward to 2020.







    Merry Christmas to all of our listeners, thank you for your ongoing support - we can't wait to bring you lot's of exciting 'stuff' in the New Year. Stay safe, have fun and enjoy your break

    • 58 Min.
    Episode 6: Pods, Pickiness and Perfectionism

    Episode 6: Pods, Pickiness and Perfectionism

    In episode 6 we chat about a serious lack of cake, due to a last minute podcast recording. Jill was fine though, she was still stuffed full of birthday cake from the day before! Nikki did have a posh coffee pod thingy though, so that took the edge off.







    We also talk about how to deal with customers who might be being overly picky with you. Sometimes you have to be strong, take the reins and be the professional by advising your customer what is best. After all, that is what they commissioned you for.







    And tying into all of this is perfectionism and how we all spend too much time striving for perfection, when we could better utilise our time on honing our skills.







    We also have a little chat about the Art Business Course and that anyone who is interested in hearing more about it, can sign up here (below) for more info.







    Our recommended follows this week are @michaelfreemanpastelartist - an amazing pastel artist creating realism and @emmacolbertart another truly phenomenal pastel artist.

    • 56 Min.
    Episode 5: Hybrid Pies, Family Ties & A Felting Demise

    Episode 5: Hybrid Pies, Family Ties & A Felting Demise

    In episode 5, we talk about saying polite no's to friends and family who want freebies, or expect you to be available at the drop of a hat because you 'work from home'.







    Jill also talks a little about her experience with the gallery and selling her first piece, in addition to her 'wool felting' story of horror!







    We hear about two great people to follow @clairemilliganartist and @helen_carter_artist and learn about the charity Xmas podcast single that we'll be dropping into iTunes next week (we're not).







    Of course there is cake - always cake! And Jill treats you to some smooth tunes on the recorder, which we can't decide if it's a highlight or a low point - you decide!







    And Nikki just talks.....and talks...aaaaaand talks...zzzzzz etc.

    • 59 Min.
    Episode 4: Algorithm Shmism, Hashtags not Hash Cakes!

    Episode 4: Algorithm Shmism, Hashtags not Hash Cakes!

    In episode 4 we talk a little more in depth about the Instagram algorithm and what that means and how you can make hashtags work for you. We also mention cakes, custard creams and bourbons!!







    Jill recommends we all follow Jane Braithwaite on Instagram, with her beautiful oil paintings of horses, and Nikki recommends a couple of apps for encouraging block working without distractions and one for measuring you time spent working, to either bill a client accurately or help you to work out a realistic rate.







    Forest - for block working (and growing trees)







    Time Squared for measuring time worked/hourly rate







    You can also find more about Zest It here - the mineral spirit Jill referred to at the beginning of the show.

    • 58 Min.

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