Susie Monday

Artist, maker, teacher, author, head cook and bottlewasher.

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The art I make is the result of a life-long love of pattern, texture and color. How I teach is a skill honed by experience (I started teaching creative arts to younger kids when I was 12). After earning a B.A. in Studio Arts from Trinity University, I helped lead an internationally recognized educational foundation, designed curriculum exhibits for schools and other institutions, wrote and edited for a major daily newspaper, opened the San Antonio Children's Museum and then, a dozen years ago, took the scary but essential (for me) leap to become a fulltime artist and art teacher.

About This Blog

This weblog is about the maker's life. The teacher's path. The stitching and dyeing and printing of the craft of art cloth and art quilt. The stumbling around and the soaring, the way the words and the pictures come together. Poetry on the page and in the piecing of bright scraps together. The inner work and the outer journeys to and from. Practicalities and flights of fancy and fearful grandeur, trivial pursuits and tactile amusements. Expect new postings two or three times a week, unless you hear otherwise. 

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    « 10 Ways to Unstick when You're Stuck | Main | Reminder: Art Biz Coach is Coming Tomorrow »

    The Blog Tour: Alyson B. Stanfield says...


    Today I’m hosting Alyson B. Stanfield, author of I’d Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion. Alyson is here as part of the blog tour to help promote the book and is also giving away a free copy. She’s given me the opportunity to ask a question related to the book, so here goes . . .

    A: Susie, thanks for inviting me to El Cielo! I would so love to be there in person. I know you live in a beautiful area.

    S: Thanks Alyson,  the next time you get to Texas, I hope you'll stop by in person!

    I've been reading your blog and taking classes with you for a couple of years now, and I know the importance of "branding" for an artist -- but what if I essentially have two businesses, one about making and selling art and one focused on teaching, both in my studio, and increasingly, in other venues. As an artist who teaches (both in other places and regularly in my own studio with retreat formats) I wonder if I should have a separate blog, website and newsletter for the teaching/coaching side of my business, or do I keep it all together. Which is less confusing?

    A: Susie, you’re quite right to be concerned about confusing people. When people visit a website and they’re confused, they leave. If confusion is your primary concern, I wouldn’t worry too much about having them combined as long as what you teach can be seen in the work that you do. In other words, that the teaching is an extension of your art.
    If you teach one thing, but your work looks quite different from the thing you teach, there will be a disconnect. I don’t see that as a problem for you at all, but it could be at some point.
    There might also be a need to separate the two if in the future you seek high-end galleries and museums. Having your teaching with your art (especially if it overpowers the art itself) could be a deterrent to curators and gallerists. But I don’t believe it is when you’re marketing to the general public. Having said that, you can always tailor your blog, newsletter or site to ensure that the art doesn’t get lost in the teaching.


    Thanks for the advice! I'm getting ready to add the WORKSHOP link to my website, so this is timely information. Alyson's book is a wonderful addition to your artist's tool. If you'd like to win a book, click here for instructions. Visit this site, read the instructions, and enter. Your odds are good as she’s giving away a free copy on most of the blog tour stops. You can increase your odds by visiting the other blog tour stops and entering on those sites as well.

    And speaking of workshops -- the next one up in a couple of weeks here at El Cielo: "Words on the Surface," a hands-on extravaganza of all things typed and written as elements for your art cloth, art quilt or mixed media work . We'll be making sun prints with Setacolor, experimenting with different ways to do photo transfers, adding text with batik scrafitto and a myriad of other fun techniques. On Friday evening, May 9, early arrivals will have have the chance to do some creative writing with some new exercises. For more information, check out the Coming Up: Workshops page.



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    Reader Comments (3)

    I think Alyson's advice is nearly alway spot on, but I have to disagree in this case. She is absolutely right saying that confusion is the kiss of death to a Web site. However, artists can show your artistry and teaching on the same site effectively AND enhance your reputation doing it.

    Juliette Aristides ( ) does a very good job of promoting herself as an artist/educator. On her Web site her art and atelier are nicely presented as unique but joined disciplines that make up Juliette's whole professional persona.

    Juliette is known for her remarkable classical drawing and painting skills. She is also well known as an art educator and champion of the atelier system of classical art training. I believe that her popularity as an artist is greatly enhanced because of her teaching rather than in spite of it.

    Jacob Collins ( ) is also a good example of an artist whose reputation is strengthened by his reputation as a very influential teacher.

    Embrace your whole artist/educator self, rejoice and tell the world about it.

    I cannot agree with you more, Susie, about Alyson's book. I have nearly worn my copy out. It is a must have for any artist serious about their business.
    April 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Lynn Adams
    Susie, in your case your work speaks so eloquently for you it'd be a shame to separate your businesses.
    Good luck! I'm sad that I live so far away. Your workshop sounds fantastic.
    April 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia Scarborough
    Thanks Mike and Patricia for your comments. I enjoyed seeing the links to the two artists -- and their work is incredible. The sites really show that well, too. Susie
    April 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSusie

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